Though most often associated with super reliable vehicles, Toyota is also a name that should be just as frequently associated with high quality sewing machines. Since the late 1940s, Toyota sewing machines have been available to the world market, and today they offer two very durable models to the world.
To make things simple for their buyers, Toyota sewing machines are designed in two ways – as a heavy duty machine and as an everyday machine. The STF39 is the heavy duty model and has 20 built in stitches, a single buttonhole function, some embroidery options, and has double needle capabilities for working with leather, denim, or canvas. The STF17 is not as rugged as the other model but is still capable of meeting many demands.
It has 17 built in stitches, a four step button hole function, a darning plate, and is meant for those who want to focus on fashion.
Clearly, a lot of the traditional Toyota innovation has gone into the fluid designs of these machines. However, we were surprised that they both weigh a very hefty 18 pounds. We were also a bit confused by the warrantees extended to owners of either of the Toyota sewing machines. Though there is five year coverage, it is broken down into two years on the motor, wiring, switches, and light assembly, with even more restrictive coverage on parts (which are taken care of only over the first 90 days).
In other words, the finer print seems to say that the Toyota sewing machines may not be as reliable as initially believed.
Additionally, there are some comments about design flaws to be found in consumer feedback. These concerns usually apply only to the heavy duty machine and the location of such items as the lightbulb and the needle threader – which seem to conflict and cause some difficult hand maneuvering.
This, however, seems like an over-reaction to the need for maintenance and the challenges of changing a bulb.
A brief search for complaints about machine design and changing the working lamp on other models showed that many consumers don’t like their brand or model of sewing machine when this necessary task is required. In other words – it does not appear that some of the common complaints about Toyota machines are that unique in terms of general complaints about design and crowding.
On the positive side, the Toyota sewing machines are consistently favorably reviewed by the buying public. Many owners of the heavy duty STF39 praise it for its capabilities and its durable design. The costs for the machines are also reasonable as well. Though prices vary in all parts of the global Toyota sewing machines’ market, the average prices put the machines at less than $200.
Currently, they are available directly from the Toyota website and many online distributors. Most dealers in sewing machines will also tend to have the heavy duty model in stock because it is such a full feature design, but it may be challenging to get the lightweight model in some parts of the world.
All in all, we would recommend either of the Toyota sewing machines because of their favorable reviews, reliable manufacturing history, and their well-thought out design. They are meant to be used by novices and experts alike and can be called upon to manage some of the toughest challenges in sewing. If you are in search of a finer embroidery or quilting machine, however, this is probably not the brand to consider. It does not make allowances for the needs of alternative sewing and may not be up to the demands of such work.