This Janome sewing machine has all the basics for successful sewing with 50 different stitches that include three styles of one-step buttonholes. The stitches are listed on the front of the machine, so initiating one is a simple matter of entering the corresponding stitch number on the LCD screen. The stitch settings are then automatically changed for you, though you can manually change things like width, length and tension if you need to.
Like all the machines we tested, winding the bobbin is done on top of the machine. It is a relatively simple process if you follow the steps in the instruction manual. Be sure you slide the plastic cap down on top of your spool of thread as you wind because this machine was particularly ferocious and the spool popped right off when we tried skipping that step. Even with the cap on, the spool of thread was pulled rather hard and pushed the cap up almost off the spool holder entirely. Once you’re done, the top-loading full rotary hook bobbin works well.
This sewing machine has integrated speed control and a start/stop button so you don’t have to use the foot pedal at all if you don’t want to. When we tested it at full speed the noise level hit 65.6 decibels, about 1 decibel quieter than the other Janome we tested, the JW8100. Other nifty buttons on this computerized sewing machine include a needle placement button for moving the needle to its highest or lowest point automatically. The needle automatically stops moving in the up position when you release the pedal. Thanks to all of this, our reviewers gave it a B+ for ease of use. The accessories included with the 8050 are a soft cover, a lint brush, bobbins and a seam ripper which also works as a buttonhole opener, just to name a few. It also comes with three extra sewing feet: satin, zipper and automatic button hole.
The 8050 can reach 820 stitches per minute, the third-highest rate of the machines we tested, coming in slower than the Brother CS6000i and Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition at 850 stitches per minute and Singer 4423 Heavy Duty at 1,110 stitches per minute. Our testers experienced problems with thread tension on the 8050 as well as issues while sewing on satin. It felt less sturdy to sew with and earned a D for sewing accuracy. These problems notwithstanding, this machine has all the features you need for most sewing projects.