12000/15000 vs 550e


Hi Pauline,
I have started a new thread to answer the question you asked about the 500/550 as compared to the 12000.

It really depends on what you want to embroider and what sizes of hoops you use the most. As the designs of the two machines are totally different. The 550e hoops are not as wide as several of the 12000 hoops and the Quilting hoop is much smaller. Also, it is a much tighter throat area. So if you are doing quilting with your embroidery machine or large scale bulky projects, it would probably be more frustrating. On the flip side, the hoops do not have the long connecting arm, so for in-the-hoop or appliqué projects, I find it to be much easier to use.

Regarding quality and maintenance, I find that my 15000 is a higher quality machine than the 500e that I have. Also, it is much quieter when stitching and does not have the repetitive oiling requirements of the 500/550 series. You may want to look at the pages of the 550e manual on the Janome site to see the maintenance requirements. It actually requires turning the machine on end and removing panels. There are Lso some YouTube videos as well.

Those idiosyncrasies aside, the 500e/550e is a good machine, built with Janome durability in mind and I do find myself using it a lot. From everything I have been able to tell, the only difference between the 500e and the 550e is that the 550e comes with a taller ‘largest’ hoop (but width is still the same, 7.9”). The main reason I mention this is that I think there are still some 500e machines floating around at good prices, whereas I have been told 550e machines are in short supply.


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