Getting Started with the Juki TL-2010Q
Updated March 2022
Well, I got a new machine to help with making bags and purses. After a lot of research and questions answered it came down to a toss-up between the Janome HD9 or Juki TL-2010Q. I settled on the Juki TL-2010Q mainly because of price since they were both so well liked and had great reviews.
Why I needed it
I should note that although the Juki TL-2010Q is a favourite among quilters, I do not quilt so I won’t comment on that type of usage.
The reason I need to look into this type of machine is that my domestic sewing machine was getting into a bit of trouble trying to get though all the layers in some bag and wallet patterns I am fond of making. I guess I was forcing it by hand cranking the wheel as it slowed over the thickest parts. Poor thing.
I ordered my Juki from Toews Sewing in British Columbia, Canada through Amazon. The Juki TL-2010Q is a straight-stitch only machine and referred to as a “semi-industrial”. It is a wonderful machine to sew on, being fast and strong. I particularly like the knee-lift for the pressure foot so I can place my sewing under the foot with both hands and then just lower the foot with my knee. It has a huge space on either side of the needle with the extension table.
I already have a Singer Quantum 9960 for the variety of stitches and buttons, etc., a Brother serger and a Brother coverstitch and now the Juki TL2010Q. I’m all over the brand spectrum! However, every time I go to sew up anything, I head for my Juki! It is so easy to maneuver fabric under the needle with the wide space and well-lit view of my work. I love working with it.
Okay, for the details. First I read the short manual from beginning to end. I’m like that 🙂
The Juki TL-2010Q is a straight-stitch, single needle machine. It can go forward with stitch lengths up to 6mm and reverses with a touch of the handle at the front.
- Dimensions: 17.75”(W) x 9”(H) x 8.5”(D)
- Weight: 25.4lbs
- Shank Type: High Shank
It has an automatic thread trimmer and automatic needle threader. The Juki is very – very fast, but has a speed control slider (from turtle to rabbit). It can stitch up to 1500 stitches per minute and wow, is this fast! I usually keep the slider at about the midway point.
Other features include:
- Thread Tension Scale
- Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment
- Needle Up/Down Control
- The feed dog can be raised and lowered
- Knee Lifter Lever raises the presser foot as high as 12mm
Threading and Set up
This is simple simple simple! I wasn’t going to even bother to write in this section because it is so straightforward. The machine came threaded so I just took a picture with my phone focusing of the thread tension and foot pressure areas. This way if there was a problem, I could always reset it back. Thus armed with a back-up plan, I moved forward.
Threading is easy and intuitive, although I wondered at first whether to loop through all the holes before the first tension disk or not. I since discovered that 3 loops for thin thread, but only 2 necessary for the thicker threads. I have always just used the 2 (first and last holes as pictured below).
Type of Thread
I wasn’t sure what kind of thread to use, but again recommendations from FB groups and research seemed to favour the 3-ply Bonded Nylon (bonded, not twisted). Now this was a major discussion and many different options and opinions. Some felt that the bonded nylon tended to split. I found the 3-ply Bonded Nylon from the Canadian supply store Paccana to work really well for me. Paccana has about 15 beautiful colours and the price is right.
The machine manual is very clear about the type of needles to use and here there is no contention. Because the machine can go fast, you must use high speed needles or HAX1. Since it came with Organ Brand needles I decided to continue with this brand. I found a great package on Amazon with a selection of different sizes all HAX1. I found with the bonded thread, which is quite thick, it is best to use size 14 or 16. If you sew with plain cotton or thinner fabrics, it will chew them up though (ask me how I know). Switching needles is actually the easiest of all my machines probably because of the wide and well lit “harp” of the machine.
I did order a non-Stick sewing presser Foot (Teflon) from China. It took about 3 months to arrive, but it did get here. I was working on some vinyl (part of another Devon) recently and the fabric kept getting stuck and the stitches were getting smaller and smaller. Stupidly, only then did I remember I had a Teflon foot and swapped them out. What a difference! Can definitely recommend!
The foot that came with the machine is great and I use it 85% of the time. I decided to get a 3 presser feet package of 1/16″+1/8″+1/4″. When I need to be very exact in top stitching or something I will switch. I found that the foot pressure needs to be adjusted for each foot though or the stitching will be wonky especially the bobbin thread! Test after switching feet and check the bottom thread too.
To change the feet, you loosen the screw with a screw driver and wiggle off the old and then put on the new and tighten the screw. I was used to the quick swap of my domestic. I ordered a High Shank Presser Foot Adapter (it was like, $4) but it was garbage. Didn’t work. Now, some people swear by them, so you might like it. I found that switching the feet with the screwdriver is actually very fast anyway and I’m a pro now.
Bobbins were an issue at first. I ordered a box of off-brand from Amazon. I heard that some were not great, but I figured for the price and number of bobbins, enough would work. Nope! I got 3 functional out of a box of 30. They simply would not fit on the bobbin winder on the Juki. But I wind my bobbins on a separate bobbin winder gadget and so I did that. Nope, the bobbin would not fit in the bobbin case. So close…but nope. It is metal so there was no give. I tried several times but it would not go in. However, the good news is I found a great resource for the right bobbins in Canada. I ordered the BOB-2 bobbin from Wawak.ca and they are perfect! They cost around .50 cents each, but they also go on sale often.
The Juki does need to be oiled, but, in my experience, not nearly as much as the manual implies. I started by oiling mine about every two weeks to a month and that is just too much. Too much means it will leak out of the button for cutting threads. I think I can tell when it sounds a little less smooth now and needs to be topped up with machine oil. I put one single tiny drop in each of the 6 oil spots and in the bobbin case. If it was too soon, I will get some leakage and can just wipe that area with an absorbent scrap of fabric before it gets on my project.
Other than that, I dust her and vacuum the interior and feed dogs as needed.
There is a certain satisfaction to working with this machine and I just love sewing on it.
And that’s how I feel about this machine. I absolutely love it and use it a constantly. Sometimes I think of a project to do that just allows me to use the machine. I know…is that silly?
Anyway, I hope you found this information helpful in deciding how to expand your own sewing machine repertoire.