The Big 3 - Juki Longarm Machines 

Here we are looking at the best long arm industrial machines for heavyweight, industrial applications. Let’s start off by saying there are several metric tons of long arm machines to choose from. Some are quilters, but that is not what we are talking about. There are quite a few manufacturers in the game and new players trying to enter the market. In this article we are really just looking at Juki, however, we make mention of other brands that offer similar models.  There are many more Juki models to choose from, but here we will just focus on the big three, most popular Juki long arm machines. 


The Juki LG-158 is the largest long arm machine that Juki makes. The giant will set you back about $15K. There are so many options that are available, that the cost really depends on your product. It may also be the heaviest duty in the Juki line up. It has a unison-feed, long arm lockstitch with vertical-axis, with a large hook. The body is a throwback to the older styles. It does not have an auto thread trimmer or direct drive motor inside. It is more simplistic. However, this is the highest quality model you can get if size is your main concern.

This machine is often utilized by the trucking industry for large tarps. It is best for sewing oversized applications that have thick materials such as laundry bags, webbing, 4 ply webbing, pillows, drapes, tents, sheets, and the like.

It is known in the industry as the 30-inch machine. It has 750mm of workspace, which translates to about 29 and a half inches. This huge work area along with a 10mm maximum stitch length provides ample capability for sewing heavy materials. The Consew 745r30 is an almost identical style in comparison. It looks remarkably similar and is made for sewing bulky materials and for lap seaming. It has nearly all the same features as the Juki. However, there is just no comparison for dependability according to the technicians and sales staff who have worked with our company for over 30 years. There are a few other manufacturers who offer a similar model, but buyer beware. We have heard horror stories for the last 50 years about the knock off brands. Let’s get back to Juki. 

There is an auxiliary handwheel in the middle of the head so the operator can actually reach it when they are working near the needle. Its’ unison feed mechanism makes for smooth and steady material feeding. A big bobbin for a big machine just makes sense. The bobbin has a double capacity of a normal bobbin - as you might expect. The bobbin winder is mounted just in front of the auxiliary wheel for easy accessibility.

This is a huge machine. The head weighs around 400 pounds, so it comes with a sturdy, heavy-duty table. It sews easily with threads sized 69 through 138. Although this is the largest longarm machine made by Juki it is not the most expensive. The newer electronic models with all the bells and whistles cost more but cannot quite compare in size.

This is one of Juki’s longest-running models due to its long-term popularity with factories.  The Juki LG-158 is a heavy-duty machine with a simple design and extremely tough parts.  


This is the upholsterer's dream machine. The cost runs between $2,400 for a stripped-down model - or $7K for this fully automatic. Although it has an oversized workspace, the Juki LU-2860-7 is classified as a semi-long arm. The cast is larger than a regular walking foot, but it does not measure up in size to these other two popular models. The Juki 2810 is the single needle version of this electronic machine. This 2860-7 has a double-needle, unison feed with an automatic thread trimmer. The workspace from the neck to the needle is 347mm, or just over 13 and a half inches. It also boasts a higher workspace than standard machines, measuring at about 5 and a half inches tall in the center area. A double tension comes standard on this electronic machine which keeps thread tightness the same when working on multi-level materials.  

The mechanisms of this machine have been designed for fast starting and stopping with extra heavy-weight materials. Juki has eliminated the belt to motor drive set up and shortened the pedal response time with a direct drive motor. This direct-drive motor system is now featured on all Juki electronic auto thread trimmer machines. 

The presser bar height is an impressive 20mm which makes this machine great for upholstery processes like joining thick cushions to leather. The stitch length can be set up to 9mm. The large, vertical axis hooks are easily accessible under the slide plates. The oiling system is called semi-dry, which is an automatic, internal, tank. All these features make it best suited for the sewing of car seats, sofas, and bags. Many brands offer a similar model to this one, but the long-term cost of ownership seems to be the collective issue for inferior manufacturers. 


The Juki LU-2266n-7 is the most capable in the Juki Longarm family, ringing up at about $17K. It has nearly the same size workspace as the LG-158 but is a fully electronic machine. It has a double-needle, unison feed with an automatic thread trimmer. The workspace is over 25 inches wide under the arm. Like the 2800 series, the double tension keeps thread tightness the same when walking over multi-level materials. The foot lift of 16mm makes for easy loading of thick materials. The LU-2266n-7 is the modern mash-up of huge long arm sewing with automatic features and the direct-drive motor. 

Of course, like most industrial machines, it can use a little help for certain operations. Since most owners of this machine are working on oversized materials, we find that a good material puller can be indispensable. The one featured in this video is a double-needle with an air operated roll puller. 

The automatic features include a pneumatic lifter, auto lubrication, a reverse feed, and an automatic thread trimmer. In addition, there is a quick control cluster near the needle featuring a DL switch to instantly change over the vertical stroke of the walking foot and presser foot. If desired, it allows for sewing speed to be automatically regulated by the vertical stroke setting to ensure ideal sewing in changing conditions.

Look no further if you are searching for the best of the best in the long arm category. This machine will produce perfect stitches on oversized applications such as car seats and furniture for many years to come. This big, fully electronic, direct-drive machine is the best performing, most dependable long-arm you can get. You can also find a similar machine from Durkopp, but again, it’s just not a Juki. 


There are tons of long arm industrial sewing machines. The top-performing, most reliable brand is Juki. These 3 are the most popular options that are constantly chosen by top manufacturers of oversized products. If you need help selecting the best Juki for your job, just give us a call. Any consulting fees accrued will be applied to the purchase of your new machine.