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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Janome 500E Embroidery Machine Review

I recently had the opportunity to test-drive Janome's brand new MC500E embroidery machine....and what a machine it is! 

The 500E is a dedicated embroidery machine that rivals the embroidery quality of some of it's more expensive cousins from the Janome line-up (the MC12000 and MC15000). While I think the 15000MC embroidery quality is hard to beat, the MC500E comes close, but is offered at a more reasonable price. This makes it an excellent choice if you are only looking for an embroidery machine without the sewing capabilities of the more expensive (but amazing) 10,000 series. 

As with any new machine, I am always nervous about the learning curve and how fast I will be able to get "up and running." Fortunately, this machine was very easy to set up, partly because it had the familiarity of other Janome machines I've used. Also, because the manual gave clear instructions. After reading the basic set up, it was just a matter of threading the machine, transferring a file, attaching my hoop, lowering the foot, and pressing start. 

One of my favorite things about this machine is that you can hook up your PC to it. I don't like to have to transfer to a memory stick, then stick it in the machine...I'd just rather hook up my laptop and easily transfer the design--it saves me a step. It also keeps my laptop nearby so I can make any necessary changes to a design should I change my mind in how I digitized a design. 

The 500E comes with a simple embroidery program. I did not dabble in it too much except to open the logo design that I had already digitized in the Artistic Suite (a more powerful embroidery software by Janome.) I was able to easily transfer the design from the embroidery software that the 500e came with to the machine. 

I tested out a rather complicated design that I recently digitized, to see how the machine would handle. While I experienced some thread breakage, it was minimal.  
The machine comes with 4 hoops of varying size. I wanted to see the largest hoop in action to get a feel for how big this machine can go. Hoop size is always important when selecting an embroidery machine. The largest hoop that comes with the 500E is 200x280mm. It is a generous area and allowed me to embroider the logo, from my husband's veteran's organization, across the back of his shirt. I could have gone even larger, but did not opt to fill the entire hoop area with design. The largest hoop also allows you do utilize the quilting patterns that come built into the machine. The other hoops range between 140x140mm, 140x200mm, and 200x200mm.

The hoops are easy to use, and simple to snap in place. I had to switch back and forth between black and white bobbin thread as my design went through the various steps. I was impressed that the hoop stayed lined up each time I had to detach then reattach. 
This machine steps above the previous embroidery dedicated machines from the 200 and 300 series, boasting a larger full color touch screen. The screen is easy to navigate, and gives a great amount of valid information. I appreciated the ability to see the stitch count through the design. I also liked the clock showing approximately how much longer the design had to embroider. Their is a cursor that appears over the part of the design that is actively being stitched. You have the ability to change the alignment, and edit right there on the screen.

The machine comes preloaded with 160 great designs. While you can go through and view the designs on the machines display, I appreciated that they are also pictured in the back of the instruction manual--so you can see all of them at a glance. The preloaded designs include a selection of boy and girl themed designs, some decorative floral and geometric designs, some quilting designs, borders, and monograms alphabets and more. There's plenty to keep you busy on projects for quite a while. When you are ready for more designs, you can check out Janome's Acudesign app that allows you to download more designs and edit right on your iPad. 
Of course one of the best things about an embroidery machine is the fun in watching it stitch like magic. My eight year old son loves this part the most! He helped me choose thread colors too. He was most impressed with the speed at which it stitched. 
The display kept us informed of all the thread sequences and we made it through this 13 color design!
This is the result of my first project with this machine!
I think my husband will be very excited to see it when he gets home from his work trip. Don't you think it turned out great? I will test out a few more designs and post more about this machine during the next month.
If you are a Veteran, or you have a Veteran in your family, you may want to check out my husband's Veteran's Day Organization This organization is 1 year young this month. He has a simple concept that is making a huge impact on communities in bringing more awareness to Veterans Day and filling people with a sense of good ol' American pride. Stop by to see what you can do in your community to make Veteran's Day a day to be remembered and not forgotten.


  1. Thankyou for telling me about this machine as i have a 500E on layby and i am just looking for more info on it before i bring it home. Can you please me know what brand of embroidery thread do you use. The janome shop i am getting it from omly seĺl "wonderfill emb threads" . Is this a good brand. The assistant male said you can use any thread on it. My sister mm us e s outback or R&A threads . What do you use. Thankyou

  2. Hi Samantha i was just reading your info on Janome 500E again and you were talking about the Janome Acudesign app. Can i use this app on a samsung tablet 2. Its the latest one. Thanks Madonna

  3. Thank you for your info. The best one ive seen. Lookup on you tube. Didnt really give me feedback. Thank you for your time. I will be getting my machine on 3rd june 16. I cant cant. Been saving up for a while

    1. Sorry didnt add my name. Christine ogden

    2. Sorry didnt add my name. Christine ogden

  4. Thank you for your info. The best one ive seen. Lookup on you tube. Didnt really give me feedback. Thank you for your time. I will be getting my machine on 3rd june 16. I cant cant. Been saving up for a while

  5. Hi Sam i have finally got my 500e and omg its so easy to use. I have gone with the janome thread wonderfil its great. Thats the thread they use in Canada which no one has any problems with that brand unlike some other brands.i have just done my first towel hand towel and washer set. It is the best machine. Thankyou for your review. Madonna

  6. How do you bring designs from your iPad to this machine? It does not have wireless capabilities, does it?

  7. Susan, you can plug your laptop directly into your sewing machine. You just need a cable. ;)

  8. Yes, that is true. But, does it work with an apple operating system. It does not say and of course it is different then Microsoft. I know the 15000 is compatible with an iPad. But, we are talking two different operating systems. I have a quote on the 500 e. I just need to know for sure. I have an older model kenmore 19000 and I can design from print artist and copy and paste for embroidery from that program. It's not apple tho.

  9. Susan, Janome embroidery machines only works with a Windows based computers, so not a Mac OS system. However, there are work arounds. I design my files on a Mac, and send my files over to my Windows based HP laptop. Some people run a dual boot program on their Mac Os like: Mac Boot Camp or Parallels. These programs allow you to use Windows on your mac.

  10. The technological advancements create ease in the procedure. How to incorporate the technology in my field the author highlights very well. DigitEMB

  11. Any tips on how and when to set the tension would be greatly appreciated. We have the 500E and it is a great machine but we struggle understanding when to increase or decrease the tension when the bobbin thread become visible. I would also appreciate a point in the right direction in finding a good embroidery user forum.

  12. Does anyone know if you can use cutwork needles in the MC500e. I have the Janome MBX V5 so can digitize the cutline but don't want to buy the expensive needle if I cant use them in this machine. Thank you in advance x

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Janome 500e is really good machine but I like Brothers machine most you can see Brother machines feautres and top ten list from this website. I think brother PE770 is the best machine ever.

  15. I have a Brother DZ820E (identical to PE770). The machine works great but I HATE the graphics..most of the time you can't tell what the designs are you've downloaded! I've been using it for just over a year and will be upgrading to the Janome. 500E in the very near future! Ingrid


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