Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 

Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 are excellent options if you are looking for a fast and powerful sewing machine that can handle thick fabrics without complaining. However, despite their similar looks and specs, Juki DDL 5550 and Juki DDL 8700 are not identical. Learn more about the differences between these two sewing machines below!

Read this article if you want to find out about:

  • The design and build quality of each sewing machine here
  • The distinctive features of Juki DDL 5550 and Juki DDL 8700
  • The comparison of their speeds and overall performance
  • The suitable uses of Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700
  • Which Juki sewing machine that is more recommended

Juki DDL 5550: Overview

Juki DDL 5550 comes with an integrated table, a 30-inch ruler that runs along the front, a dual cone thread holder, an on-board lamp, and a bobbin winder. It features a needle plate with handy seam guides etched on the surface, as well as a quiet yet powerful servo motor. See also: Cricut Cuttlebug vs Sizzix Sidekick

You can also find a finger guard, a reverse stitch lever, and a dial for adjusting the spring tension adjustment manually on the right column. If you turn the machine around, you will spot the on/off switch on the front side of the table. Juki DDL 5550 also has a knee lift which will allow you to adjust the position of the presser foot.

Despite being a straight-stitch only sewing machine, Juki DDL 5550 does not have a permanent needle plate and presser foot. You can remove or replace the needle plate and presser foot when necessary. This makes the unit quite versatile.

Juki DDL 5550: Features

Although Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 look similar, there are two important differences in their feature sets. First of all, Juki DDL 5550 comes with a reverse button which is placed near the needle. This will allow you to backtrack very quickly. On the other hand, Juki DDL 8700 does not have the reverse button, though it does have a regular reverse lever.

Secondly, Juki DDL 5550 actually has a shorter arm length. This makes the unit ideal for sewing apparel and short-sleeved clothing items. Whereas Juki DDL 8700 comes with a longer arm length which will allow it to handle most industrial sewing stuff.

Juki DDL 5550Juki DDL 8700 
Product Dimensions48 x 36 x 48 inches
48 x 36 x 48 inches

Shipping Weight250 pounds
125 pounds
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The stitch length can be adjusted up to a maximum of 5mm. To make the operation as convenient as possible, Juki DDL 5550 comes with a thread trimmer. It is located under the needle plate, accompanied by a fabric edge sensor which will automatically stop the machine and trigger the thread trimmer once the needle reaches the fabric’s edge.

Juki DDL 5550 also has a bobbin thread sensor that will buzz whenever the bobbin thread is running low, hence giving you some time to prepare before actually running out of thread. You don’t even need to check the bobbin from time to time, so you can put your entire focus on the sewing.

Juki DDL 5550: Speed and Performance

The specs say that Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 have similar speeds. They both can reach a maximum of 5,500 stitches per minute, which is incredibly fast. However, it has been noted by some users that Juki DDL 5550 is actually a little bit slower than Juki DDL 8700. Then again, the difference is not very noticeable.

If you have ever used an industrial sewing machine previously, you won’t face any trouble in using Juki DDL 5550. The setup and operation should be familiar and intuitive. Yet, if this is your first industrial sewing machine, there is no need to worry – the instruction manual will guide you step-by-step, and is quite detailed and helpful.

Once the setup is done, you will be amazed not only by the incredible speed of Juki DDL 5550. This machine is also very, very quiet. If you compare the size of the machine’s servo motor to the other models in the category, you will find that it is actually smaller. Even so, it is so well-designed that it can be fast, powerful, and quiet.

The only quirk of Juki DDL 5550 is that the tension needs to be fine-tuned to match the particular fabric in order to achieve a perfect result. This can be done easily by slightly turning the tension adjustment dial. After doing so, you can be certain that the stitches will be secure and well-formed without any flaw. You can also change the stitch length while the machine is operating.

Juki DDL 8700: Overview

Juki DDL 8700 is also a fairly basic yet well-built industrial sewing machine. It is designed to tackle a wide variety of materials, and is ideal for creating or modifying garment items. It has an all-metal construction which is very robust and durable.

Some casual users may prefer plastic construction because it is lighter and more portable. However, professionals and students who want a machine that can last will prefer the all-metal construction of Juki DDL 8700. Not to mention that this design looks and feels premium, as opposed to the cheap and toyish feel of plastic.

The metallic construction comes with some weight. This is beneficial in a way that the weight will help to keep the machine in place when working. The machine won’t vibrate or shift around, even when running on the maximum speed. So, the sewing results will be consistent as well.

If you need a heavy-duty sewing machine that can handle serious workloads yet is still able to take light and medium fabrics, Juki DDL 8700 is a great choice. This unit is much more durable than the typical home-use sewing machines, while still having a fairly affordable price tag.

Juki DDL 8700: Features

As mentioned above, one difference between Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 is that Juki DDL 8700 does not have a reverse button. It still has a manual reverse lever, so it can still backtrack when needed, although this won’t be as quick and practical as simply pressing a button.

Additionally, Juki DDL 8700 comes with a longer arm length. This model is ideal for various industrial sewing tasks. It is better than Juki DDL 5550 when you need to sew a long sleeve or stitch a large pattern.

The other features of Juki DDL 8700 are similar to Juki DDL 5550. There is an integrated table with a 30-inch ruler, an on-board lamp, an adjustable stitch length, and an adjustable servo motor. For projects that require high precision, you may want to keep the speed at a low level. For simple sewing, you can increase the speed and get the job done more quickly.

What hasn’t been mentioned is that Juki DDL 8700 is a semi self-lubricating unit. It has an integrated oil container that will automatically provide lubrication to the essential parts. However, you still need to put some oil manually into several holes on the machine in order to keep it in good condition.

Juki DDL 8700: Speed and Performance

Juki DDL 8700 has a maximum speed of 5,500 stitches per minute, according to the specifications. However, when tested against, Juki DDL 5550, this machine seems to be a little bit faster, although the difference is marginal.

Although this sewing machine is categorized as an “industrial” unit, Juki DDL 8700 is not exclusively for professionals. It is true that Juki DDL 8700 can be used very well by professionals, but the machine is also ideal for beginners as well as home users.

The included manual provides a step-by-step guide for the setup and operation. Also, don’t forget to adjust the thread tension to suit the fabric that you are working on. This is important for a flawless result.

Like Juki DDL 5550, Juki DDL 8700 can handle light fabrics just fine. The materials can move smoothly under the needle without getting crumpled. Juki DDL 8700 is also able to handle thicker fabrics and layered fabrics. Older versions of Juki DDL 8700 still use a standard motor, but the users can upgrade to a servo motor. Newer versions already come with a servo motor.

Compared to the standard motor, the servo motor is more robust and powerful. If you have never used an industrial sewing machine before, you may need some time to get used to the fast and powerful motor. However, once you are familiar with it, you will love it very much. You can easily work on various materials and complete your projects more quickly.

Juki DDL 8700 is very quiet, too. Despite the high sewing speed, the machine can work without disturbing the entire neighborhood. There is still some audible sound, but it definitely won’t be a major annoyance.

Juki DDL 5550 vs 8700 

- Max. Sewing Speed: 5500 stitches/minute
- Max. Stitch Length: 5mm
- Unit dimensions (LxWxH): 48 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches
- Needle: DB X 1, sizes 9-18
- Max. Sewing Speed: 5500 stitches/minute
- Max. Stitch Length: 5mm
- Unit dimensions (LxWxH): 48 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches
- Needle: DB X 1, sizes 9-18


In general, Juki DDL 8700 is more recommended because it is slightly faster and it has a longer arm. It can easily handle various clothing items and craft projects. The lack of a reverse button is not a real problem because it still has a reverse lever. On the other hand, Juki DDL 5550 has a shorter arm and is more suitable for sewing apparel.