The Janome 2212 is neither fancy nor impressive looking. In fact, it’s a basic and straightforward mechanical sewing machine. But bells and whistles can be overrated.
For some sewists, a straightforward experience is exactly the right thing. So, is the Janome 2212 the no-frills sewing machine you need?
About the Janome 2212
The Janome Sewing Machine Company has been a leader in sewing machine innovation for a little over 100 years.
The company name means “snake eye” in Japanese. And the round, snake eye-shaped bobbin was just the first of many innovations.
Today, Janome makes a wide range of sewing machines for industrial and home use. From top-of-the-range, features-packed computerized models to simple workhorses, their machines show quality and durability.
The Janome 2212 is on the simpler end of the scale. It’s a mechanical model, which means:
- Small selection of utility stitches
- Knobs and dials control stitch parameters
- Simple, intuitive interface
On the one hand, some sewists may find the lack of decorative stitches and advanced functions limiting.
On the other hand, it’s hard to beat the mechanical sewing machine’s ease of use. If you want to start sewing right out of the box, a simple mechanical machine can help you to do that.
Who Is the Market for the Janome 2212?
There are two types of sewists for whom this type of sewing machine is ideal:
- General-purpose home sewists
If you’re starting in sewing, ease is paramount. A more complicated machine can be intimidating. The truth is, if you’re afraid to touch it, you might never learn how to use all the functions.
With that in mind, look at the interface of the Janome 2212.
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There are two knobs and a reverse lever. The labels are clear, and it’s easy to tell what each one does just by looking.
And while it’s true that there are only a handful of stitch designs, they’re all the ones that sewists use most.
The Janome 2212 also gives you a few stitches that you don’t typically find on an entry-level mechanical sewing machine. But we’ll talk about that in a bit.
This type of sewing machine is also well suited to someone who does occasional home sewing projects, like housewares and clothing alterations.
Also, mechanical sewing machines tend to be less expensive than more complicated computerized models.
Importantly, because this one is a Janome, it’s sure to have a durable build with quality components.
How to Choose a Mechanical Sewing Machine
Not all mechanical sewing machines are equal in quality and performance. In fact, if you look carefully, you’ll find quite a bit of variation in features even among machines that look quite similar at first glance.
One of the defining features of the mechanical sewing machine is a small number of stitch designs.
Computerized sewing machines have built-in memory that can store hundreds of designs. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, for example, has 600!
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By contrast, many mechanical machines have just a handful. The Singer Start has only six.
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The Brother XR3774 has 37, which is unusual for a mechanical machine because most have fewer than a dozen.
The Janome 2212 has a respectable 12, which includes all of the stitches you probably need, plus a few pleasant surprises.
First, you get:
- Straight stitch
- Zigzag stitch
- Blind hem stitch
These are pretty standard, but you also get a few stitch designs that you won’t find on a lot of mechanical machines, including:
- Overcasting stitch
- Knit stitch
- Straight stretch stitch
- Smocking stitch
It’s not a lot, but it is pretty neat. And for most home sewing projects, you can do quite a bit with just these essentials.
For clothing and household crafts, you will most likely need to make buttonholes. Sewing machines have two different types: a one-step buttonhole and a four-step buttonhole.
A one-step buttonhole is pretty standard on computerized machines. But while some mechanical sewing machines (like the Singer 4452 ) have a one-stepper, others have a four-step process.
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What’s the difference?
Well, a four-step buttonhole requires a lot of stopping, starting, and adjusting. Plus, if you’re making more than one buttonhole, it can be difficult to get consistent results. Check this out.
On the other hand, a one-step buttonhole does the entire thing in one go. And if you use an automatic buttonhole foot, you can customize the buttonhole to the exact size of the button you’re using.
The Janome 2212 has a four-step buttonhole. And depending on your sewing needs, this may or may not make a difference for you.
With many sewing machines, you can slide off part of the base in order to reveal a smaller work space. This smaller space is called the free arm.
Why might you want less space to work?
Actually, if you’re working with smaller, circular projects – think collars, cuffs, and trouser hems – it’s essential.
And even though a free arm is an inexpensive, low-tech feature that’s easy to include, there are quite a few mechanical sewing machines that don’t have them.
Fortunately, the Janome 2212 does have a free arm. So if you’re looking for a sewing machine for mending and garment making, this could be a good one.
Have you ever tried to jam a fuzzy thread-end through the teeny, tiny eye of a sewing machine needle? It can be frustrating, not to mention headache-inducing.
Fortunately, as they say, there’s an app for that. Well, there’s at least a feature that makes it easier.
A needle threader is another low-tech, inexpensive feature that comes standard with most sewing machines. And if you spend a lot of time squinting at stitches, it can be an eye-saver.
Unfortunately, for some reason, Janome decided not to include this simple convenience with the 2212.
For some people, it might not make a difference. In fact, you can purchase inexpensive sewing machine needle threaders to solve this problem.
But seriously, in our opinion, you shouldn’t have to.
Heavy duty metal frame
At one time, all sewing machines had a metal frame and components. Bit by bit, though, many manufacturers replaced the metal parts with plastic ones.
Of course plastic makes a sewing machine lighter and more portable. And if you’re not using it often or for heavy work, then plastic construction may not be an issue.
However, a heavy duty metal frame does make a sewing machine more stable. In addition, metal-framed sewing machines are better able to handle heavy work, such as thick fabrics and multiple layers.
Janome does make mechanical sewing machines with heavy duty metal frames. The Janome HD3000 is one example. The Janome 2212, on the other hand, is not.
Extra high presser foot lift
The presser foot holds the fabric steady while the feed dogs move it through the sewing machine. You can move the presser foot up and down with a lever on the right side of the needle.
Most sewing machines only allow you to lift the presser foot so far. And for the majority of projects, this is fine.
However, for some types of projects, like quilts, applique, and other work that involves multiple layers, that standard height may not be high enough.
Some sewing machines, and many Janome machines, come with an extra-high presser foot lift. This feature makes it easier to work with thick and layered fabrics.
The Janome 2212 has this handy feature.
If you’ve looked at a lot of Janome machines, you’ll notice that their accessories packs tend to be, well, minimal.
It might look a bit disappointing compared to some of the elaborate arrays of accessories that other manufacturers include.
On the other hand, packages of fun-looking trinkets that no one actually ends up using are a great way to bulk up the price without offering anything substantial in return.
As far as accessories go, here are some that you will very likely end up using:
- Sewing machine needles
- Presser feet
- Dust brush
The Janome 2212 comes with three presser feet and some bobbins. The presser feet include:
- Blind hem foot
- Zigzag foot
- Sliding buttonhole foot
Again, it’s not a lot. But you will almost certainly end up using all of these, particularly the sliding buttonhole foot.
Hard case or dust cover
A hard case can protect your sewing machine from bumps, dents, and scratches, whether during transport or storage.
A soft dust cover keeps the dust from gathering on and inside your machine.
Many sewing machines come with one or the other. The Janome 2212 does not.
You can buy dust covers and hard cases separately, but the hard cases are seldom cheap. It’s a shame that Janome didn’t think to include one of these with the 2212.
Do you want a portable sewing machine? That depends on your needs.
If you’re a beginning sewist, you may want to take your machine to classes. You might also want to take it to meetups.
The Janome 2212 weighs 13 pounds. That’s about the same as a miniature Dachshund. So if you’re looking for a portable machine, you’ve found one in the 2212.
Janome 2212 Review: Pros and Cons
To sum it up, there’s a lot to like about the Janome 2212. At the same time, it has a few faults that we can’t ignore.
- Impressive array of useful stitches
- Easy to use right out of the box
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Free arm
- Lightweight and portable
- Four-step buttonhole
- No automatic needle threader
- No included case or cover
- Stingy accessories pack
Competitors to the Janome 2212
The field of entry-level mechanical sewing machines is a crowded one. As a result, the Janome 2212 has some stiff competition.
The Janome HD3000 is a bit more expensive than the 2212. However, it offers quite a few of the features that the 2212 lacks, including:
- One-step buttonhole
- Heavy duty metal frame
- Built-in needle threader
It also has a few more stitch designs, a hard cover, and a few more included presser feet.
If you’re wondering what Janome machine is comparable to the Janome 2212 machine, this might be it. And if you want a few more conveniences, then the Janome HD3000 might be a good choice for you.
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The Singer 4423 is part of Singer’s 44-series of heavy-duty mechanical sewing machines. Singer has a reputation for making affordable, reliable machines that are good value for the money. The 4423 is no exception.
With the Singer 4423, you get:
- A heavy-duty metal frame
- 1,100 stitches per minute sewing speed (well above the 2212’s 860 stitches per minute)
- 60 percent stronger motor compared to similar machines
- Automatic needle threader
- Dust cover
- A truly impressive package of useful accessories
If features are what you’re after, the Singer 4423 is the whole package.
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You might know Brother for their office machines, particularly their printers and printer cartridges. But Brother started out as a sewing machine manufacturer. And today they make some of the best-rated home sewing machines on the market.
This mechanical sewing machine has an unbelievable 37 stitch designs, with an impressive array of decorative stitches among them. You also get:
- A one-step buttonhole
- An automatic needle threader
- Free arm
- Eight presser feet
Also, the XR3774 comes with a removable extension table.
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Granted, you probably won’t use this unless you’re a quilter. All the same, this is an insane number of features for basically the same price as the Janome 2212.
Should You Buy the Janome 2212?
The Janome 2212 is a straightforward, easy-to-use mechanical sewing machine. Janome’s reputation for quality construction and durability is unparalleled. So, if you’re wondering how to order a Janome 2212 sewing machine online, you won’t have trouble finding it.
At the same time, although the 2212 isn’t a bad machine, it is a bit stingy on features. That’s especially true when you consider what else is on the market.
If you have your heart set on a Janome, and you’re on a budget, this could be a good option.
But if you’re looking to maximize value for money, then the Janome 2212 falls short.
Featured Image by Alex Andrews from Pexels