Brother and Janome sewing machines originated in Japan in the 1900s and are now two of the most recognized brands. But if you’re in the market for a new sewing machine and are considering these two brands, how do you know which to choose?
Brother and Janome sewing machine brands have a good reputation for producing high-quality sewing machines with a range of features. Exact features depend on whether you go for a manual or computerized model and the overall function of the machine. But in general, the major difference is that Brother sewing machines tend to be more affordable while Janome is more innovative.
In this article, I’ll share the similarities and differences between these two brands. I’ll also share the pros and cons of their most popular models so that you can get a sense of what each brand has to offer.
Brother Sewing Machines
The history of Brother sewing machines began in 1908 when a man named Kanekichi Yasui started the Yasui Sewing Machine Company in Japan. The company originally just manufactured sewing machine parts and repaired sewing machines in his community.
After Yasui’s sons inherited the company, it was renamed Yasui Brothers Sewing Machine Company, which eventually evolved into being called Brother. The first sewing machine developed by Brother was a chain-stitch sewing machine for straw hats, which was created in 1928. After that time, they began working on a sewing machine designed for home use.
In the 1930s, Brother began mass-producing their first home sewing machine. In the 1950s, a group of Americans asked if they could distribute Brother sewing machines in the United States. This led to the birth of the Brother International Corporation, which began selling other products such as lathes and electric fans in addition to sewing machines.
Brother introduced its first computerized sewing machine in 1979. They also expanded their product line to include computer keyboards, typewriters, printers, calculators, and more. Finally, in 1991, they released their first embroidery machine.
Since the release of their first embroidery machine, products have only become more innovative since then. They have released more models of computerized sewing machines and embroidery machines, in addition to printers, scanners, and fax machines. Today, Brother still creates some of the most affordable sewing machines on the market, with their printers being just as popular.
Janome Sewing Machines
Like Brother, Janome sewing machines first originated in Japan. But, they aren’t as old as Brother since the Janome company was first started in the 1920s. The name Janome means “eye of the snake” in Japanese and is a nod to their creation of a new round bobbin that resembles a snake’s eye.
The company was started by a man named Yosaku Ose, a pioneer of sewing machine manufacturing in Japan. His expertise has enabled Janome to create some of the most innovative sewing machines on the market, even in the first few years of the company. Due to their innovation, the company quickly became one of the most popular sewing machine companies.
Part of their popularity and growth has to do with their purchase of the New Home Sewing Machine Company in the 1960s. New Home was an American sewing machine company that had been around for almost 100 years before Janome purchased them. The Janome Sewing Machine Company now has sewing divisions on every continent except Antarctica.
In 1979, before Brother released their first computerized sewing machine, Janome introduced the first programmable computerized sewing machine ever invented, which they called the MEMORY 7. Today, their MEMORY line is still some of their most recognizable and popular models.
Janome was also the first sewing machine company to release an embroidery machine for home use in 1991. Today, they continue to lead the way in innovative sewing machines and have even won several awards for their sewing machine design. In addition to sewing machines, Janome is also a world leader in designing and manufacturing high-precision robots.
Brother vs. Janome Sewing Machines: Key Points
After learning their history, you can see that Brother and Janome have always seemed to be competing with each other. Even though Janome was the first to release a computerized sewing machine and a home embroidery machine, Brother followed shortly. Today, they both manufacture a variety of sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines to meet the needs of any sewist.
With that being said, Janome is known for its innovation. Most of the differences between Janome and Brother will lie in the features of their machines and not so much in the selection or quality of machines that they offer. This table will provide some of those differences at a glance so that you can see a quick overview of what each company has to offer.
|Features||Varies based on model, unique features include StitchVision projector technology||Varies based on model, unique features include AcuFlex Feeding System|
|Functionality||Manual and computerized sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines||Manual and computerized sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines|
|Portability||Offers 10+ portable sewing machines||Offers a few different compact sewing machines, one of which comes in different colors.|
|Built-In Stitches||Most range from 15-200 built-in stitches||Most range from 15-300 built-in stitches|
|Stitches per Minute||Up to 1500 spm||Up to 1600 spm|
|Durability||Comparable to Janome||Comparable to Brother|
|Quality||Comparable to Janome||Comparable to Brother|
|Affordability||Prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars||Prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars|
|Service/Warranty||Up to 25 years||Up to 25 years|
|Experience Level||Machines and resources for all levels||Machines and resources for all levels|
Brother vs. Janome: Similarities and Differences
As you can see, many of the categories being compared between these two models are very similar. For example, it’s hard to say which one is better than the other in those particular categories. However, there are some categories in which each of these companies differs, mostly in the features that they offer.
When reading through this section, it might be helpful to consider exactly what your needs are in certain categories. For example, maybe you want a machine with a faster sewing speed or one with more built-in stitches. Maybe you need a more compact machine or want one with some unique features. Keep these things in mind, but also remember that exact features will vary by each machine model. So with further ado, let’s dive in.
As previously mentioned, the exact features of each machine will vary by model and will vary based on whether you are looking at sewing, quilting, or embroidery machine. With that being said, it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer regarding which company is better based on their features.
There are some features of both of these companies that are unique, interesting, or at least worth mentioning how user-friendly their machines are. Like I said, not all machines may have these features, but it’s good to know that these features exist if you feel like they’re something you need.
For example, some Brother models have StitchVision projector technology, which enables you to see what a design will look like on a particular piece of fabric before you start stitching. Another feature that Brother has is that many of their computerized machines have large touch screens on them. That feature isn’t necessarily unique to Brother. However, it’s something to keep in mind if you want a more user-friendly machine.
Brother also has some unique features on its website. One of these is a sewing machine product finder in which they ask you some questions and suggest different models based on your wants and needs in case you don’t quite know what you’re looking for. They also have a page just for beginner sewists, in which they provide tools and resources to help you get started.
I’ve already mentioned that Janome is known for its innovation, and some of its unique features reflect that. For example, their entire Memory Craft line is some of the best models for sewists, no matter your needs. For example, the Memory Craft 6700P has the fastest Top Loading Bobbin in the sewing machine industry and has won several awards for its design.
Another unique feature of Janome sewing machines is the Acufeed Flex Feeding System, which evenly feeds fabric from the top and the bottom. This helps ensure consistent stitching throughout your project. In addition, their website also features tutorials and project inspiration for new and advanced sewists.
To sum everything up in terms of features, Brother sewing machines seem to be a great choice for beginners or those who use sewing or embroidery as an occasional hobby. But due to the innovativeness of Janome sewing machines, they seem to be a better choice for advanced sewists or those who sew a lot as a hobby or even do it professionally.
Brother and Janome are both pretty similar in terms of the functionality of their machines. They both have sewing machine models available for all skill levels, whether you need a sewing, embroidery, or quilting machine.
They both also offer manual and computerized models so that you can find one that suits your needs and your budget. Again, the exact functionality and capabilities of each machine model will be different, so it just depends on what you’re looking for in a product. It’s hard to choose a clear winner based on just functionality alone.
If you travel a lot or just have a small space in which to sew, then you’ll want to consider a compact or portable model. These models don’t take up a lot of space and tend to be more lightweight. They are easy to store or transport if you need to take your machine with you. However, it’s worth noting that compact machines tend to have fewer features, such as fewer built-in stitches, than non-compact models.
If you want a large selection of compact sewing machines to choose from, then Brother seems to have the advantage here. They have more than 10 portable sewing machine models with slightly different features and functionality. For example, some of their compact sewing machines have only 17 built-in stitches, while others have over 200. Some of their compact sewing machines are even computerized.
Janome only has five compact models. One of their models, the New Home Janome, weighs only five pounds, but it comes in several different colors. However, their compact machines only have between 4 and 50 built-in stitches, depending on which model you choose. Most of Janome’s computerized machines are manual.
The number of built-in stitches that Brother and Janome sewing machines have is something that is going to vary depending on which model you look at. For example, computerized sewing machines or embroidery machines are likely to have more built-in stitches, including more decorative ones, simply because of their functionality.
Just looking at an overview of all of their models at once, most Brother sewing and embroidery machines tend to have between 15 and 200 built-in stitches. A few of their more high-tech machines may have more than that, just depending on their function. For example, one combination sewing and embroidery machine model has over 700 built-in stitches.
Janome also offers sewing and embroidery machines with a wide range of built-in stitches, just depending on the model. Except for their portable models that tend to have less than 10 built-in stitches, most Janome models have between 15 and 300 built-in stitches. A few models have over 500 built-in stitches.
When comparing the two models, it’s hard to say which one is better in terms of built-in stitches since they are both pretty similar. So you would need to look at other features of the machines for yourself, depending on what you’re looking for, to decide.
Stitches per Minute
The stitches per minute are another characteristic that will vary depending on which model you look at. But due to their innovation, many Janome sewing machines have speeds of more than 1,000 stitches per minute and they are known for having some of the fastest sewing machines on the market.
Some Janome sewing machines even have speeds as fast as 1600 spm, although most have speeds between 1200 and 1500 spm. Brother has a few models with speeds that fast as well, with the speed of most of their faster models being 1300 spm.
If you don’t necessarily need a really fast sewing machine, Brother has several models with speeds that are less than 1000 spm. Maximum speeds of 800 and 850 spm are common among Brother sewing machines, and their website makes it easy for you to filter models based on stitch speed.
Both Brother and Janome sewing machines are very durable and can last for a very long time as long as they are taken care of properly. It’s hard to say which one is more durable. However, Brother does advertise that their machines have an all-metal frame, making them very difficult to damage.
Janome also tends to make machines that can last for years and don’t become easily damaged. However, in both cases, a compact model is less durable than a non-compact model. If a compact model is something that you’re looking for, then Brother seems to have more durable machines. But if you aren’t looking for a compact model, then the durability of both brands is pretty comparable to each other.
Quality is another area in which these two brands are similar. Both have a wide range of products and services available, and both brands’ machines come with a lot of features and accessories. The machines tend to perform very well also.
The only difference between the two seems to be that Janome has won awards for the design and quality of their machines. That doesn’t mean that Brother machines aren’t as high-quality. However, Brother does sell many other products in addition to sewing machines, but Janome’s focus is mainly on sewing machines.
These sewing machine brands have machines ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Of course, the exact price depends on the features that the machine has and who the machine is meant for. For example, computerized sewing machines tend to cost more than manual machines, but the more high-tech the computerized machine is, the more it will cost.
Depending on what you’re looking for, Brother has some machines for as little as $100, especially some of their portable models, while advanced models can cost several hundred to more than $1,0000. Janome’s machines usually range from under $200 for their portable models to more than $1,000 for some advanced models.
When you compare the features of different machines with the price, Brother sewing machines tend to be a little more affordable if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly model. But remember that they often aren’t as top-of-the-line and innovative as Janome sewing machines are.
The warranty is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a sewing machine brand. You want to make sure that the machine can be repaired if something goes wrong with it. The last thing you want to do after spending a lot of money on a sewing machine is to spend more money on repairs or get a whole new machine.
Fortunately, both of these brands are durable and high-quality, so you likely won’t even have to use the warranty. But if you do, both Brother and Janome have up to a 25-year limited warranty depending on what goes wrong with the machine.
Brother’s warranty policy covers the machine itself up to 1 year from the original purchase date, 5 years for circuit boards, and 25 years for its chassis. Janome’s warranty covers electrical components of the machine up to 2 years after the purchase date and 25 years for defects with other parts of the machine.
When choosing one over the other, it’s a good idea to take a look at each brand’s warranty policy in full. That way, you’ll be aware of any limitations or exceptions in the warranty before you decide.
Both sewing machine companies have been in business for about 100 years, so they’re very knowledgeable of sewing machines and what the consumer needs and able to keep up with changes to make the sewing machines better. That’s the reason that both Brother and Janome have been able to stay in business for so long.
They both have machines available for sewists of all experience levels, whether beginning, intermediate, or advanced. And, both companies provide software and resources for sewists of all experience levels, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other in this aspect.
Popular Models: Brother vs Janome
Now that we’ve looked at different aspects of these two brands as a whole, let’s compare some of their most popular models. That way, you can get an idea of some of the products they offer and the features that the machines have and compare the pros and cons of them.
Brother CS6000iThe lCS6000i is one of Brother’s top-selling and most affordable sewing machine models. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, computerized sewing machine model for your basic sewing needs, then it is hard to beat this one.
It comes with 60 built-in stitches and has a maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute. An automatic threader, LED-lit work area, oversized work table, and hard carrying case are some of the added features you get with this machine.
- Large work area
- Hard carrying case
- Not as fast as other models
Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850One of Janome’s most popular models is the Horizon Memory Craft 9850. This machine is for advanced or professional sewists and has the features that reflect that. It has a high price point, but it’s reasonable for the quality of the machine and features that it comes with.
This computerized sewing machine has 200 built-in stitches, which you can customize and even save as favorite stitches. It has a maximum sewing speed of 1,000 spm, an extra-wide table, and is equipped with their Acufeed Flex Feeding System. It also comes with a lot of accessories as well.
- 200 built-in stitches
- Customizable stitches
- Fast stitching speed
- Pricey compared to other models
Serger Models: Brother vs Janome
Brother 1034DXBrother 1034DX is most highly-rated serger. This ¾ thread serger has 22 stitch functions and interchangeable feet. Color-coded thread guides make threading this machine super easy, and you can individually adjust each thread for more precise control. It’s very affordable and fast, too, with speeds of up to 1300 spm.
- Fast stitch speeds
- Easy thread control
- Not computerized
Janome AirThread 2000D
The AirThread 2000D is an award-winning serger equipped with Janome’s One-Push Air Threading System. It is capable of 2, 3, and 4-thread serging with a built-in needle threader to make manual threading super easy. The 8-Piece Feed Dog System can feed a variety of fabrics of different thicknesses as well.
- Built-in needle threader
- Can handle a variety of fabrics easily
Embroidery Machines: Brother vs Janome
Brother SE600The SE600 is one of Brother’s most popular and highly-rated computerized sewing and embroidery machines. It comes with 80 embroidery designs or you can upload your own designs via USB. It also comes with 103 built-in stitches. The large LCD touch screen makes it easy to operate this machine.
- 80 embroidery designs
- Large touch screen
- 100+ built-in stitches
- USB cable not included for uploading your designs
Janome Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000
The Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000 is a combination sewing, quilting, and embroidery machine by Janome. This innovative machine comes with over 500 built-in stitches and over 400 embroidery designs, plus embroidery speeds of up to 1000 spm. It is equipped with Janome’s Acufeed Flex Feeding System and a large LCD color touch screen. It is pricey, but this machine has tons of features and accessories in addition to those mentioned.
- 500+ built-in stitches
- Large LCD color touch screen
- Sewing, quilting, and embroidery functionality
Brother vs. Janome: Which Is Better?
When comparing popular models of these two brands, they didn’t have many cons. With Janome, the only con seemed to be the price. That means if you’re looking for a more affordable machine, then Brother seems to be the way to go.
However, Janome’s machine models are all very innovative and high-tech, and many of them have won awards for their designs. If sewing is something that you do a lot or even do it professionally, then Janome seems to be the better option.
The bottom line is that whichever one you choose just depends on your needs and preferences. Both brands produce very durable and high-quality machines, and the warranty policies are similar. It just depends on your budget and what features you want.