One of the most affordable models on the market, the Brother JX2517 is a fairly basic mechanical sewing machine. Although first-time sewists will find it straightforward to use, it is not suitable for more advanced sewing tasks. We’ll take a closer look at what makes this machine great for beginners in this in-depth Brother JX2517 review.
Brother JX2517: an overview
As well as producing a range of personal electronics, Brother is one of the biggest names in the sewing machine world. They are well-known for their user-friendly and affordable machines, particularly geared toward novice sewists.
One of the most basic and most affordable models in the brand’s sewing machine range is the Brother JX2517. This is an entry-level machine that is best suited for repairing garments and sewing basic projects.
What we like:
- Easy to use – the JX2517 is well-designed and very straightforward to use, making it ideal for beginner sewists.
- Value for money – as one of the most affordable machines around with a decent range of features, this machine offers excellent value for money.
- Compact – being small and lightweight, the Brother JX2517 is very portable and easy to store.
What we don’t like:
- Basic functions only – although this machine is well-suited to basic sewing, it does not support more complex sewing projects.
- Not well-suited to robust fabrics – the BrotherJX2517 does not work well with heavier fabrics or multiple layers.
The JX2517 is a user-friendly machine that even beginner sewists will find easy to use. However, experienced sewists will find this machine limiting when trying to do anything more than for basic sewing tasks.
Brother JX2517 review: features & benefits
The Brother JX2517 is an entry-level mechanical sewing machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. This affordable sewing machine has a range of functions that will make basic sewing a breeze.
The key features of the Brother JX2517 are:
- 17 built-in stitches – this machine is equipped with 17 stitches, including straight stitches, zigzag stitches, a four-step buttonhole, and a blind hem stitch.
- Compact – this small, lightweight machine weighs only 12 pounds.
- Drop-in bobbin – the top-loading bobbin is easy to thread and resistant to jamming.
- Adjustable thread tension – you can tweak thread tension according to the fabric and sewing technique with an upper thread tension dial.
- Reverse-stitch function – there is a conveniently-located switch on the front of the machine to quickly change the stitch direction.
- Thread-cutter – you can easily cut your thread tails on the thread cutter on the side of the machine.
- Free arm – there is a removable free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
- Bright LED light – the work area is well-lit with a bright, LED light, allowing you to clearly see your work.
- Included accessories – the Brother JX2517 comes with four presser feet, a set of needles, bobbins, a darning plate, and a screwdriver.
Let’s dive into these features in more detail.
Ease of use
This mechanical sewing machine is designed with beginners in mind and so is very easy to use. It has a simple design that even novice sewists will find easy to navigate.
There is a large dial located on the front of the machine to select the stitch you want to use, and right next to that is a clear stitch chart. This gives you a quick and easy reference guide to choose the right stitch.
The JX2517 has a drop-in bobbin that is easier to use than a traditional front-loading bobbin and automatically feeds the lower thread up to the sewing area. An incorrectly-threaded bobbin can cause skipped stitches or birds’ nests, so a top-loading bobbin like this one that is easy to thread is invaluable.
Even if you thread it properly, bobbin jamming is another common sewing machine issue that plagues sewists, but the JX2517’s bobbin is also jam-resistant, so you can look forward to a smooth sewing experience!
An extra handy feature is that the bobbin cover is clear plastic. This is a big time-saver as you can easily peek in to see if your thread is running low, without needing to unload and reload your bobbin, or getting caught without bobbin thread mid-way through a seam.
Winding the perfect bobbin is also easy with the machine’s automatic bobbin winding system. All you need to do is place the bobbin on the bobbin winder, place the thread through the guides, and then wind the bobbin.
Other handy features
The Brother JX2517 has a reverse stitch direction lever on the front of the machine. This allows you to easily switch the direction of your stitches, such as to reinforce the beginning and end of your seams.
There is also a thread cutter on the side of the upper arm that lets you quickly cut your thread tails while sewing. This allows you to work more efficiently as you won’t need to keep stopping to pick up your scissors.
This machine also has an LED light that illuminates the work area, so you’ll be able to see what you’re doing even when working in dim conditions or at night. The light is well-positioned underneath the overhead arm so you won’t need to worry about shadows being cast across the work area.
The JX2517 comes with 17 built-in utility and decorative stitches, including six different straight stitches, several zigzag stitches for sewing on stretch fabrics, an elastic stitch, an over-edge stitch, and a blind hem stitch. The built-in stitches also include a four-step buttonhole that allows you to make a perfect buttonhole in just a few steps.
For more on how to make a buttonhole, check out our tutorial.
The Brother JX2517 is designed to perform basic sewing and mending tasks. You’ll be able to easily hem a pair of jeans, mend a garment, or complete a simple sewing project. You can use the built-in blind hem stitch to repair a hem or for home décor projects.
However, it is not set up to execute complex sewing techniques or quilting and embroidery projects. Although reasonably versatile, it cannot compete with the wide range of sewing techniques and fabrics that more advanced sewing machines can do.
The JX2517 is equipped with an upper thread tension dial just above the needle, allowing you to adjust the tension to suit different fabrics and sewing techniques. This model works well with lighter fabrics and will adapt to different materials, but is not suitable for heavy-duty fabrics or multiple layers.
On the upside, the Brother JX2517 does have a free arm for sewing small, cylindrical items like cuffs and sleeves. The removable attachment also acts as a storage compartment and is a handy spot to stash your sewing accessories.
The Brother JX2517 is a compact and lightweight machine, weighing just 12 pounds and measuring 12 inches by 6 inches by 15 inches.
This makes it easy to transport and store, and so is perfect for anyone who takes their machine to class, on the road, or wants to be able to stow it away between uses.
The Brother JX2517 is very reasonably priced, in fact, it’s one of the cheapest sewing machines on the market. It also offers good value for money, with a decent number of built-in stitches and range of features for the price.
If you only want to do basic garment and home décor sewing and maybe some repairs, this machine is a good choice at an excellent price. However, if you want to work with more complex sewing techniques or develop your skills, you may want to invest a little more in a more advanced machine.
The Brother JX2517 comes with all the accessories you’ll need to start sewing basic projects.
It has four presser feet in the box: a zigzag foot, a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, and a button sewing foot.
This is significantly fewer than many other machines, but will set you up for most garment and basic sewing projects. The presser feet are easy to change and install by simply snapping them on and off.
It also comes with a set of needles to handle different fabrics and for backup in case you break a needle, as well as several bobbins, a darning plate, and a screwdriver.
The JX2517 does not come with a hard case or soft cover, which is a shame for such a portable machine. However, it will fit a universal carrying case which you can easily pick up at a low cost.
Alternatives to the Brother JX2517
Beginner sewists have a lot of options when it comes to entry-level mechanical sewing machines. So much choice, in fact, that it can be tricky to know which to choose!
Let’s see how the Brother JX2517 stacks up against a comparable Brother model, the LX3817.
Brother JX2517 vs Brother LX3817
The Brother JX2517 and the Brother LX3817 are both fairly basic mechanical sewing machines geared towards beginners. The design of both machines is very similar, and they share many of the same functions and features and are available in a similar price bracket.
Both machines have 17 built-in stitches, including a blind hem stitch and a four-step buttonhole. Both come with the same four presser feet and both have a jam-resistant, drop-in bobbin.
One small difference is that the JX2517 has a stitch chart printed on the front of the machine for easy reference, while the LX3817 does not. On the other hand, the LX3817 has a free-motion sewing function, which the JX2517 lacks.
If you want to complete basic sewing projects with ease, or if you’re a beginner who’s looking for a simple machine to learn on, the Brother JX2517 is a decent choice. It is a highly affordable, user-friendly machine with the basic functions you need for entry-level sewing.
However, if you’re looking for a machine that can perform a range of sewing tasks, or will allow you to develop your skills, then there are better options.
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