Revolutionizing Embroidery with Multi-Needle Innovation

The Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine is a powerhouse in the embroidery world, designed to cater both to commercial users and dedicated home embroiderers. With its advanced features and multi-need setup, this machine takes embroidery to the next level, allowing for more flexibility, speed, and creativity in your projects.

Key Features of the Janome MB-4S

Four-Needle Configuration

  • Efficiency: The four-needle system enables you to set up multiple colors of thread before starting your project, which means less manual thread changing and faster completion of complex multi-color designs.
  • Convenience: While the machine works on one project, you can prepare or finish others, maximizing your productivity.

Compatibility and Versatility

  • Format Compatibility: The MB-4S works seamlessly with most embroidery formats, including those used by industry professionals, ensuring it can handle a variety of designs from different sources.
  • Hoop Variety: Compatible with six Tajima-standard hoops and four Janome hoops, this machine offers exceptional flexibility for projects of all sizes.

User-Friendly Interface

  • Large LCD Touchscreen: A 5.7″ screen allows for easy access to machine settings, stitch options, and design editing features, making it simple to navigate and adjust according to your project needs.

Enhanced Embroidery Capabilities

  • Large Embroidery Area: Offers a maximum embroidery size of 9.4″ x 7.9″, perfect for larger designs that require more space, such as jacket backs or quilt blocks.
  • Automatic Features: Includes an automatic thread cutter and a programmable jump thread trimming, plus a programmable foot pedal, which enhances the ease of use and efficiency during the embroidery process.

Design and Build

  • Robust Construction: Designed for both commercial and heavy home use, the machine’s build is sturdy and capable of handling extensive use without compromising performance.

Detailed Review of Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine Features

The Janome MB-4S, discovered at Sunshine Sewing and Quilting, offers an intriguing blend of commercial-grade capabilities in a machine designed for home use. Its robust features, including multi-needle functionality and expansive design capabilities, cater to both aspiring and experienced embroiderers looking to enhance their creative projects.

Key Features of the Janome MB-4S

RCS (Remote Computer Screen) Display

  • 5.7″ Interactive Display: The large Remote Computer Screen (RCS) provides a clear, user-friendly interface for accessing and editing designs. It displays all 50 built-in designs along with any additional designs loaded via the USB port.

Multi-Needle Configuration

  • Four Needles: Allows for quick changes between thread colors, significantly reducing downtime and simplifying the process of multi-color embroidery.
  • Thread Spool Capacity: Though it houses four needles, the machine can accommodate up to eight spools of thread. This feature is invaluable for projects requiring multiple thread changes, allowing for continuous operation without frequent rethreading.

Design and Editing Tools

  • Built-in Designs and Fonts: Comes equipped with 50 designs and 10 fonts, plus options for 2 and 3-letter monogramming, providing a broad base for customization and creative expression.
  • Comprehensive Editing Functions: Offers drag and drop editing for precise design placement, resizing options from 80% to 120%, rotation in 1 and 90-degree increments, and the ability to flip designs both vertically and horizontally.

Connectivity and Memory

  • USB and ATA PC Card Ports: Enhances design transfer capabilities with multiple connectivity options including a USB memory key compatibility, ensuring easy design imports and machine updates.
  • Expanded Built-in Memory: Allows users to save and store numerous custom designs directly on the machine, making them readily accessible for repeated use.

Performance and Usability

  • Embroidery Speed: Capable of stitching up to 800 stitches per minute, enabling efficient completion of complex designs.
  • Automatic Thread Cutter: Streamlines the embroidery process by automatically cutting threads between color changes and at the end of stitching.
  • Embroidery Area Tracing: Ensures precise design alignment and placement before beginning the stitch-out, minimizing errors and material waste.

Hoops and Accessories

  • Standard and Optional Hoops: Includes standard hoops (M1, M2, M3) with a maximum embroidery size of 9.46” x 7.88”, and offers an optional hat hoop for more specialized projects.
  • Thread Color Conversion: Supports thread color conversion among major brands like Janome, Robison-Anton, Madeira, and Mettler, allowing for perfect color matching with existing thread stocks.

Working Mechanism of the Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine

The Janome MB-4S stands out as a remarkable tool in the embroidery industry, striking a unique balance between the capabilities of industrial machines and the user-friendly features suited for home use. This review delves into the threading system, the innovative RCS (Remote Computer Screen) unit, and other key functionalities that distinguish the MB-4S.

Threading System

The Janome MB-4S simplifies what might seem like a daunting task—threading multiple needles. Its threading system, designed with clear, color-coded guides, makes the setup process straightforward and significantly easier than threading a serger. For those accustomed to the intricacies of serger threading, the MB-4S will feel refreshingly simple and intuitive.

Remote Computer Screen (RCS)

Standard vs. Optional RCS:

  • The standard configuration includes a basic LCD screen that displays function settings and file names but does not show a visual of the embroidery design. This can be sufficient for basic tasks; however, the optional RCS unit elevates the machine’s functionality dramatically.
  • The RCS unit, attachable to the side of the machine, provides a full-color, detailed display of your embroidery designs. It includes enhanced controls for adjusting design size, color changes, and more. This feature makes it easier to visualize and modify your work before and during the embroidery process.

Embroidery Capabilities

Multiple Hoops:

  • The MB-4S is compatible with various hoop sizes, including the standard Janome hoops and Tajima hoops. This flexibility allows users to undertake a wide range of projects, from small monograms to large, intricate designs.

Embroidery Design and Customization:

  • With a USB port conveniently located on the RCS unit (or next to the LCD screen without the RCS), users can easily import their own designs. The machine’s built-in memory also includes six lace designs, providing additional creative options.

User Interface and Functionality:

  • Whether using the RCS unit or the standard LCD screen, the MB-4S offers an array of buttons that streamline the embroidery process. Users can start, stop, and pause their projects with ease, and even perform tasks like resizing and repositioning designs directly on the device.

Design and Construction

Embroidery Hoops with Silver Arms:

  • Unlike traditional hoops, the MB-4S’s hoops feature extendable silver arms that snap into place on the machine, allowing for quick setup and removal. This unique design enhances the machine’s efficiency and ease of use.


Speed and Efficiency:

  • The MB-4S can embroider at speeds up to 800 stitches per minute, making it suitable for both quick projects and bulk orders. The four-needle system minimizes the need for manual thread changes, further speeding up the embroidery process.

Standard and Optional Accessories for the Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine

The Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine comes with a variety of accessories that enhance its functionality and ease of use. Below is a detailed breakdown of both the standard accessories included with your purchase and the optional accessories available for enhancing your machine’s capabilities.

Standard Accessories

The MB-4S includes several essential accessories that help you start embroidering right away:

  • Embroidery Hoops:
    • M1 Hoop (240mm x 200mm): Ideal for larger embroidery projects.
    • M2 Hoop (126mm x 110mm): Suitable for medium-sized designs.
    • M3 Hoop (50mm x 50mm): Perfect for small, detailed embroidery tasks.
  • Maintenance and Adjustment Tools:
    • Lint Brush: Helps maintain the cleanliness of the machine by removing lint and thread debris.
    • Needles DBxK5-NY #11: High-quality needles designed for the embroidery machine.
    • Offset Screwdriver & Small Screwdriver: Useful for making adjustments and performing maintenance tasks.
    • Triangle Screwdriver: Specifically designed for reaching tight areas during adjustments.

Optional Accessories

For those looking to expand their embroidery capabilities, a wide range of optional accessories is available:

  • Embroidery Kits and Hoops:
    • Anna Maria Horner Embroidery Kit: Includes unique designs and materials for creative embroidery projects.
    • Lettering Hoop Holder Unit and Various Lettering Hoops (J1, J2, J3, etc.): Various sizes for different lettering and monogramming projects.
    • Jumbo Bobbin and Bobbin Cases (multi-needle): Allows for longer stitching periods without bobbin changes.
    • Quick-Snap Hoop Set: For easy hooping of difficult-to-stitch items.
    • Sock Hoop Kit: Specifically designed for embroidering socks and similarly small cylindrical items.
  • Enhanced Functionality:
    • MB-4 Support Table: Provides additional support and workspace around the machine.
    • Hat Hoop for Multi-Needle: Facilitates the embroidery of hats and other curved items.
  • Additional Tools and Maintenance:
    • Janome Sewing Mat Large: Reduces vibration and noise while providing a stable sewing surface.
    • Needle Threader and Needles in Various Sizes (DBxK5-NY #9, #14): Essential for handling different fabric types and weights.

Fabric Compatibility for the Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine

When using the Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine, understanding which fabrics work well and which do not is crucial for achieving the best results and preventing damage to both the machine and the material. Here’s a guide on the fabric compatibility based on the machine’s capabilities:

Fabrics That Work Well with the Janome MB-4S

  1. Natural Fibers
    • Cotton, Linen, Wool: These are versatile and handle embroidery well, making them ideal for a wide range of projects.
  2. Fine Fabrics
    • Silk, Satin, Taffeta, Velvet: While these fabrics are delicate, with proper stabilizing and appropriate needle and thread, they can be beautifully embroidered with the MB-4S.
  3. Knits
    • Due to the MB-4S’s adjustable presser foot pressure and multiple hoop options, you can successfully embroider on stretchy knit fabrics without puckering.
  4. Synthetic Fabrics/Blends
    • Rayon, Polyester: These materials are generally very embroidery-friendly and handle machine embroidery well when stabilized correctly.
  5. Upholstery
    • Lighter upholstery fabrics can be embroidered with the MB-4S, adding personalized touches to home decor.
  6. Leather and Suede
    • Although challenging, thin and soft leather or suede can be embroidered with special needles and settings to adjust for the material’s thickness and texture.
  7. Canvas / Twill
    • These heavier fabrics are suitable for embroidery given their dense weave, providing a sturdy base for decorative stitching.

Fabrics That Do Not Work Well

  1. Reptile Skin
    • Generally too tough for standard embroidery machines and can damage needles and mechanisms.
  2. Plastic / Rubber
    • These materials do not stretch or perforate in the same manner as fabrics, leading to poor results and potential damage to the machine.
  3. Fur
    • The thickness and uneven surface of fur make it unsuitable for embroidery, as the stitches may get lost in the fur or cause the material to bunch and snag.
  4. Extra Thick Fabrics or Multiple Layers
    • While the MB-4S can handle multiple layers to some extent, overly thick assemblies or very dense materials might exceed the machine’s capabilities and lead to needle breakage or uneven stitching.

Tips for Embroidering on Various Fabrics with the Janome MB-4S

  • Use Appropriate Stabilizers: Matching the right type of stabilizer with your fabric type is key to achieving great embroidery results.
  • Select the Correct Needle and Thread: Different fabrics require specific needles and threads. For instance, embroidery on leather should use a leather needle and heavier-weight thread.
  • Test Embroidery: Always perform a test run on a scrap piece of your fabric. This helps in adjusting settings and ensuring the material reacts well to the embroidery process.
  • Adjust Machine Settings: Take advantage of the MB-4S’s adjustable settings like thread tension, presser foot pressure, and embroidery speed to accommodate different fabrics.

Janome Multi-Needle Embroidery Machine: Detailed Specifications

The Janome Multi-Needle Embroidery Machine is designed to cater to the advanced embroidery needs of both commercial users and serious hobbyists. This comprehensive review provides an in-depth look at the machine’s features, functionality, and specifications.

Machine Build and Mechanics

  • Hook Type: Front Loading Vertical Oscillating Hook Bobbin, designed for reliability and smooth operation under various stitching conditions.
  • Thread Tension Control: Automatic system, which adjusts the tension based on the fabric and embroidery requirements, ensuring high-quality stitch consistency.
  • Bobbin Winding: Features an independent motor for bobbin winding, allowing for bobbin preparation without interrupting embroidery work.
  • Machine Size and Weight: Dimensions are W 14.4″ x H 25.2″ x D 20.5″, with a heavy-duty weight of 45.2 lbs, indicative of its robust build suitable for extensive use.

Embroidery Features

  • Number of Designs: Comes pre-loaded with 50 embroidery designs, providing a variety of options for immediate use.
  • Fonts for Monogramming: Offers 10 different fonts, ideal for personalization and monogramming projects.
  • Maximum Embroidery Size: The large embroidery area of 9.4″ x 7.9″ (238mm x 230mm) allows for substantial, intricate designs on a variety of fabric sizes.
  • Design Transfer Options: Designs can be transferred via USB or USB host, facilitating easy updates and customization.
  • Embroidery Sewing Speeds: Capable of reaching speeds up to 800 stitches per minute, balancing speed with precision.
  • Embroidery Format Compatibility: Supports (.JEF), (.JEF)+, and (.DST) formats, which are widely used and accepted across different platforms.

Editing and Customization Tools

  • On-Screen Editing Functions: Includes tools such as enlarge/reduce, rotate, turnover, drag & drop, re-edit, zoom, arc, and combine, which allow for extensive design customization directly on the machine.
  • Programmable Jump Thread Trimming: Automatically trims jump threads for a clean finish.
  • Adjustable Hoop Positioning: Enhances precision by allowing the user to fine-tune the hoop position according to the specific requirements of each project.

Usability and Additional Features

  • Flexible Stitch Traveling: Offers adjustments in stitch position, which is particularly useful for fine-tuning embroidery details.
  • Auto Return Post Thread Break: If a thread break occurs, the machine automatically returns to the breakpoint once the issue is resolved to continue the design seamlessly.
  • Thread Brand Selection: Compatible with major thread brands like Janome, Robison-Anton, Madeira, and Mettler, ensuring versatility in choosing the right thread for any project.
  • Available Hoops: Includes several hoop sizes (M1, M2, M3) and an optional hat hoop, accommodating a range of projects from small monograms to large designs.


  • No Cover Included: Lacks a protective cover, which may be necessary to purchase separately to protect the machine from dust and damage when not in use.
  • Limited On-Board Stitch Options: As a dedicated embroidery machine, it does not feature traditional sewing stitches or buttonhole capabilities, focusing solely on embroidery functions.

Maintenance Tips for the Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine

Maintaining your Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine is crucial for ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. Here’s a structured guide to help you keep your machine in excellent condition:

Routine Maintenance

1. Clean the Race Hook and Feed Dogs

  • After Each Use: It’s important to remove lint, thread, and fabric particles from the race hook and feed dogs. This area accumulates debris that can affect the machine’s performance. Use the small brush included with your machine or a soft-bristled brush to clean out these areas gently.

Periodic Maintenance

2. Wipe the Machine Head

  • Monthly: Dust and potential buildup on the machine head should be wiped off with a soft, dry cloth. This helps prevent any particles from entering the internal mechanism, which could affect the embroidery quality.
  • With a Damp Cloth: Occasionally, you might need to use a slightly damp cloth to remove stains or residues from the machine head. Ensure the cloth is well-wrung to avoid moisture entering the machine.

Annual Maintenance

3. Professional Servicing

  • As Needed: Even if the machine seems to be running smoothly, it’s advisable to have it serviced by a professional every few years, depending on your usage frequency. This service typically includes a deep cleaning, mechanical adjustments, and updates to software/firmware that you might not be equipped to handle at home.

Non-Routine Maintenance

4. Lubrication

  • Not Required by the User: The Janome MB-4 is designed to operate without the need for routine oiling by the user. All internal lubrication is done at the factory or during professional servicing to ensure there’s no excess or improperly applied lubricant.

Best Practices for Machine Care

  • Cover Your Machine: When not in use, cover your machine to protect it from dust. If a cover was not included with your purchase, consider using a soft cloth or purchasing a cover that fits.
  • Turn Off and Unplug: Always turn off and unplug your machine before performing any maintenance tasks.
  • Use Compressed Air With Caution: If using compressed air to clean your machine, ensure it’s done from a distance to prevent moisture or too much force from displacing small parts or pushing debris further into the machine.
  • Check for Needle Wear: Regularly check and replace the embroidery needles to prevent damage to your fabrics and ensure the highest quality of embroidery.
  • Keep Your Machine Dry and Cool: Place your machine in a dry and cool area away from direct sunlight to prevent any heat damage or discoloration.

Pros and Cons of the Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine


  1. Multi-Needle Functionality: With four separate needles, the Janome MB-4 allows for quicker color changes and can handle multiple color projects efficiently, significantly reducing embroidery time.
  2. High Compatibility with Hoops and Formats: The machine supports a variety of hoop sizes and is compatible with industry-standard formats like (.JEF), (.JEF)+, and (.DST), enhancing its versatility for different project requirements.
  3. Advanced Editing Capabilities: Equipped with a comprehensive set of editing functions on the RCS (Remote Computer Screen), such as resize, rotate, and combine, which facilitate detailed customization of embroidery designs.
  4. Automatic Features: Includes an automatic thread cutter and programmable jump thread trimming which streamline the embroidery process and reduce manual tasks.
  5. Robust Design and Build: Designed for both commercial and heavy home use, offering durability and reliability with a solid construction that can handle extensive use.


  1. Complexity for Beginners: The advanced features and functionalities might be overwhelming for beginners or those new to embroidery, making it less ideal for novice users without prior machine embroidery experience.
  2. Investment Cost: As a high-end embroidery machine, the MB-4 is a significant investment. The cost may be prohibitive for hobbyists or those not intending to use the machine for commercial purposes.
  3. Physical Size and Portability: Weighing over 45 pounds and with substantial dimensions, the machine is not easily portable and requires a dedicated space for operation.
  4. Dependence on Optional RCS for Optimal Use: While the machine can operate with the basic LCD screen, optimal use and full functionality are best achieved with the RCS, which is an additional cost if not included.
  5. Limited Traditional Sewing Functions: As a specialized embroidery machine, it lacks the capability to perform traditional sewing functions, which might require users to have a separate sewing machine for other types of sewing projects.
This Video Is Taken From YouTube


The Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine is a powerful tool designed for users who require efficient, high-quality embroidery capabilities. It is particularly suited for small businesses or serious hobbyists who need a machine that can handle complex, multi-color designs with ease. While the machine offers advanced features that can enhance productivity and design quality, the cost and complexity may not be justified for all users, particularly those new to embroidery or with limited space.

FAQs for the Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine

What is the Janome MB-4 best suited for?

The Janome MB-4 Embroidery Machine is best suited for both commercial embroidery and advanced home embroidery projects. Its four-needle system allows for efficient handling of multi-color designs, making it ideal for small businesses or serious embroiderers who need to produce high-quality, complex designs efficiently.

Can the Janome MB-4 use regular home embroidery formats?

Yes, the Janome MB-4 can handle several embroidery formats, including .JEF, .JEF+, and .DST, which are commonly used in both home and commercial embroidery environments. This makes it highly versatile for using a wide range of pre-designed patterns and custom designs.

How many needles does the Janome MB-4 have?

The Janome MB-4 is equipped with four needles, allowing you to set up multiple thread colors at once. This feature significantly speeds up the embroidery process, especially for designs requiring frequent color changes.

What type of editing capabilities does the Janome MB-4 offer?

The Janome MB-4 includes on-screen editing functions such as enlarge/reduce, rotate, flip, drag and drop, re-edit, zoom, arc and combine. These features are accessible via the RCS (Remote Computer Screen), enabling precise design customization directly on the machine.

Is it difficult to thread the Janome MB-4?

Despite being a multi-needle machine, threading the Janome MB-4 is straightforward thanks to its easy-to-follow, color-coded thread guides. If you’re comfortable with threading a serger, you’ll find the MB-4 even easier to thread.

Can the Janome MB-4 embroider on caps and hats?

Yes, with the optional hat hoop, the Janome MB-4 can embroider on caps, hats, and other cylindrical items. This makes it highly versatile for various types of embroidery projects beyond flat fabrics.

Does the Janome MB-4 come with any hoops?

Yes, the Janome MB-4 comes with several hoops as standard, including M1: 9.46” x 7.88”, M2: 5” x 4.3”, and M3: 50mm x 50mm, providing a range of sizes for different projects. Additionally, a hat hoop is available as an optional accessory.

What is the maximum embroidery size on the Janome MB-4?

The maximum embroidery size on the Janome MB-4 is 9.4″ x 7.9″ (238mm x 230mm), allowing for large and intricate designs on a variety of textile products.

How fast can the Janome MB-4 embroider?

The Janome MB-4 can reach embroidery speeds of up to 800 stitches per minute, enabling fast production times for projects that need to be completed quickly without sacrificing quality.

Does the Janome MB-4 require regular maintenance?

Like any embroidery machine, the Janome MB-4 requires regular maintenance, including cleaning the race hook and feeding dogs after each use, and having the machine serviced by a professional as needed to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

How do I transfer designs to the Janome MB-4?

You can transfer designs to the Janome MB-4 using a USB drive or through a direct connection to a computer. The machine is equipped with a USB port for easy data transfer, allowing you to quickly load your custom designs onto the machine.

Can the Janome MB-4 embroider on thick materials like denim or leather?

Yes, the Janome MB-4 can embroider on thicker materials such as denim and leather, provided that you use the appropriate needles and stabilizers. It is important to adjust the machine settings accordingly to handle the increased thickness and prevent needle breakage.

What types of thread can be used with the Janome MB-4?

The Janome MB-4 can use a variety of embroidery threads, including polyester, rayon, and even metallic threads. Ensure that you choose the right type of thread for your project and adjust the tension settings accordingly to achieve the best results.

Is there a warranty for the Janome MB-4?

Yes, the Janome MB-4 typically comes with a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for a certain period. It’s important to check the specific warranty details provided by Janome or your retailer, as coverage can vary.

How user-friendly is the RCS unit on the Janome MB-4?

The RCS (Remote Computer Screen) unit is designed to enhance user interaction by providing a clear and intuitive interface for accessing all machine functions. It allows users to easily select, edit, and customize embroidery designs directly on the machine, making it highly user-friendly, especially for visualizing projects.

Can I update the firmware or software of the Janome MB-4?

Yes, firmware and software updates for the Janome MB-4 can usually be done via USB. These updates are important for keeping your machine compatible with new features and ensuring it operates efficiently. Check the Janome website or contact customer support for the latest updates.

How do I clean the Janome MB-4?

Regular cleaning of the Janome MB-4 involves removing lint and debris from the race hook and feed dogs after each use. It is also recommended to occasionally wipe down the machine’s exterior with a dry or slightly damp cloth to keep it dust-free. Refer to the user manual for detailed instructions on how to open and clean internal areas safely.

What should I do if I experience tension issues while embroidering?

If you encounter tension issues on the Janome MB-4, first ensure that the machine is correctly threaded. Check if the thread is properly placed in the tension discs, and make sure the bobbin is wound and inserted correctly. Adjust the tension dials according to the type of fabric and thread you are using. If problems persist, consult the troubleshooting section of the manual or contact a professional technician.

Can the Janome MB-4 handle embroidery on stretchy fabrics?

Yes, with the right stabilizer and by adjusting the differential feed, the Janome MB-4 can effectively handle embroidery on stretchy fabrics. Ensure you use a stabilizer that adequately supports the fabric’s elasticity and adjusts machine settings to prevent puckering or distortion.

All Used Image Credit : Janome

Similar Posts

Disclaimer:This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read disclosure for more information..