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Juki HZL-355ZW-A Review

The Juki HZL-355ZW-A is a simple sewing machine, but it's great for ease of use and compact design.

Juki HZL-355ZW-A
(Image: © Juki)

Our Verdict

The Juki HZL-355ZW-A has all the basic features you need for most sewing projects.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Simple and compact design
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Carry case included

Against

  • It lacks automatic stitch settings

This Juki HZL-355ZW-A doesn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles, but it’s still a relatively useful machine for basic sewing. Reaching up 750 stitches per minute means this machine is slower than most of the best sewing machines we tested but likely fine for most tasks. The speed is also only controlled by the foot pedal; there’s no integrated speed control on the machine itself. This is a simple sewing machine, but it's a great option for those on the go. 

Juki HZL-355ZW-A: How it performed

Even though there are only 26 stitch patterns, nearly the lowest of the machines we reviewed, it has everything you’ll need for most sewing projects, including a straight stitch, zig-zag, buttonhole, and blind hem. The downside to these stitch patterns is you must change the settings manually. For instance, the zig-zag stitch won’t come out right until you change the stitch width dial yourself.

The HZL-355ZW-A comes with a sewing light, a thread cutter on the side and an automatic needle threader but lacks an extension table, so large projects like blankets require a little extra fabric manipulation. We found the Juki HZL-355ZW-A incredibly easy to use but we did find that it had some issues with accuracy, such as excess thread when sewing along a curve. 

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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

The thread tension dial changes how taut your thread is. (Image credit: Future)
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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

You have to manually change the stitch width and length with dials on the Juki HZL-355ZW-A. (Image credit: Future)
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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

The balance wheel on the Juki HZL-355ZW-A manually moves the needle up and down, as there is no button that automatically does it for you. (Image credit: Future)

This was also the only machine we tested that has no measurements on the sewing plate – just lines. This means if you’re not experienced with a ruler or other sewing machines then you’ll have no idea what seam allowance you’re using. We tested the noise level as well, and this Juki reached 68.9 decibels at its highest speed, which is a little quieter than the Singer Stylist 7258 and the Singer Confidence 7640.

The included instruction DVD is a nice visual aid for giving you helpful tips for using the machine plus safety information. The instructions recommend unplugging your sewing machine from its power source while changing the presser foot or needle, installing the bobbin or threading the upper thread in the machine. The video is straightforward and walks you through the machine’s operations including winding a bobbin, setting up the machine and using various settings like buttonhole sewing and the overlock stitch, which is used to keep fabric edges from fraying. We did struggle with this machine’s one buttonhole sewing feature. The written instructions leave out an important step: You have to pull a buttonhole lever down near the presser foot. This is illustrated in the accompanying pictures and on the instruction DVD though, so we figured it out.

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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

The Juki HZL-355ZW-A didn't have the most accurate straight stitch. (Image credit: Future)
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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

This Juki sewing machine has an automatic needle threader. (Image credit: Future)
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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

The sewing plate on this Juki sewing machine doesn’t have any measurements on it, so it’s unclear how large your seam allowance is if you’re new to sewing. (Image credit: Future)
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Juki HZL-355ZW-A

The Juki HZL-355ZW-A comes with three extra sewing feet. (Image credit: Future)

This sewing machine comes with three extra feet: a zipper foot, buttonhole foot and button sewing foot. Other supplies include two screwdrivers of different sizes, bobbins, a seam sipper and a pack of needles. There is also a free arm if you remove the auxiliary bed for easy sewing on pant legs or shirt sleeves. On the machine itself there is one dial for stitch length, one for stitch width and another for tension control, which should be left at a factory setting of 4 for most sewing projects.

Should you buy the Juki HZL-355ZW-A?

The Juki HZL-355ZW-A is a great sewing machine for beginners or those seeking a simple and easy machine for traveling. It comes with a carry case and offers free arm sewing for awkward tasks. We found it a little messy when it came to accuracy, but it's a great option for beginners and those working on less fiddly tasks. 

Anna Burleson
Anna Burleson hails from the arctic tundra of South Dakota and worked as a reporter before becoming a writer and reviewer for TopTenReviews. She reviews everything from metal detectors to pet trackers and likes asking questions, eating cheese, and the Oxford comma. See what she does on Instagram: @burlesonreviews.