i am a mere male and i bought a cheap machine first to see it i liked to quilt after fighting with my cheap machine for 2 years my partner bought me the 8600 and know i can do things that i never thought was possible as i said im mere male and 62 years of age i think that these sewing machines deserve a lot better credit than they get
Very happy with this machine. I love using it.
Elna is now owned by Janome and they are very similar machines, however Elna offer a 5 yr warranty as compared to 12 months with Janome. The explore 8600 is very similar to the Janome 9700 if you wish to make a comparison.
I bought this machine a year ago because I got it at such a good price and I am extremely glad I did. I have used Janome machines for over 30 years and the Elna as far as set up and operation goes, is exactly the same. I chose this particular machine because it is both an embroidery and a sewing machine and it is extremel...y easy and enjoyable to use. It converts easily and quickly between the sewing and embroidery functions and I've had great results with my embroidery and quilting projects. It uses an ATA PC card to transfer designs from the computer to the machine. This requires the purchase of the card and an adapter, that can be purchased from sewing centres, and possibly a card reader for the computer. This is older technology as a lot of the new models have a USB slot. While this may be an issue for some, it's no problem for me and I use it constantly to download designs which I purchase from Embroidery Library. I actually have only used a couple of the built in designs that come with the machine. The 8600 comes with 2 hoops, the largest being able to do designs up to 5.5" x 7.8". I sometimes wish it had a larger embroidery area but for the price it has excellent features and capabilities. If you are wanting just an embroidery machine then the Elna 8200 and the Janome 350e are similar in features. I use this as an embroidery machine more than a sewing machine as I also have a computerised Janome sewing machine but the results for both are excellent and though there are other features, like a scissor cutter that would have been nice to have, they are nothing that take away from the sewing experience.
This is a fabulous machine. It sews beautifully, both sewing and embroidery, is easy to use. I bought it because my 30-year-old Elna sewing machine has been a fantastic machine and is still going strong. The 8600 has not disappointed me and promises to be as reliable as my old machine. It comes with a quite generous range of accessories and the software, which I have just bought, is amazing.
Ease of use and range of features
Would have liked a dust cover that allowed the machine to be moved without having to take it off.
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