This product has been discontinued by Elna.

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  • 2 reviews
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Date Purchased: Apr 2016


5 out of 5, reviewed on Mar 25, 2017

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

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Date Purchased: Feb 2016

Happy only a slight problem with the bobbin

4 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 28, 2016

Really happy except the bobbin warning light no longer flashes me on my screen to let me know my bobbin is almost empty. No one seems to be able to tell me why. Has anyone else had this happen? Otherwise I am very happy with my machine. Really please with the fact that I can do anything I like with this machine and I received a 5 year warranty

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  • 6 reviews
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  • 8 helpful votes
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Very happy with this machine. I love using it.

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 08, 2014

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 extremely 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.

I had to have the embroidery arm re-aligned after a couple of months due to carelessness on my part, and there was no problem with warranty repair at Janome.

UPDATE: I've had this machine for almost 3 years now and it's going constantly. One thing is the embroidery arm that the hoop sits on is flimsy. I've knocked it out of alignment and the belt has come of several times, (ok I was careless the first time) and it requires a trip back to Janome each time to have it fixed. Janome fixed the machine so that it would operate again but it took a trip to an independent technician to have it running smoothly again. So thumbs down to Janome, their service centre is not what it used to be. The other thing I wish this machine had is a larger hoop. It didn't take long before I wanted to embroider designs that were larger than 5" x 7" and I will probably get another machine with a larger hoop and a scissor cut function (really time saving) eventually. The sewing side of the machine operates very well and I'm really happy with it.

+ Everthing, Price, sewing experience, reliability.

Purchased at: Spotlight

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  • 1 review
  • 2 helpful votes
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5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 22, 2011

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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Product Details

Type Computerised