JUKI HZL-355Z Common Problems and Troubleshooting

The Juki HZL-355Z Sewing Machine is a versatile electric sewing machine designed to meet various DIY sewing needs. This article addresses common problems that users might encounter while using the Juki HZL-355Z model and provides troubleshooting solutions to overcome these issues.

JUKI HZL-355Z Overview

Product Description:

The Juki HZL-355Z Sewing Machine is an electric sewing machine with 26-stitch patterns, including Automatic 1-step buttonhole. It can be used to sew denim, zippers, DIY fabric, insoles, bags, curtains, and more. The machine is designed to add fun and creativity to your DIY projects. The lightweight and compact design, along with the included hard-shell carrying case, make it a perfect traveling companion for sewing enthusiasts.

Automatic Needle ThreaderEasily threads the needle without eyestrain, allowing quick sewing startup.
Automatic One Step ButtonholingSews buttonholes automatically to match the size of the button.
Adjustable Presser Foot PressureAllows adjustment of presser foot pressure for better sewing results on different materials.
Free Arm SewingAuxiliary bed slides off for sewing collars, cuffs, and other awkward areas. Also includes storage space in the Auxiliary Box.
Easy-to-UsePerfect for beginners and sewing enthusiasts. Features slip-free bottom pads for stability during operation. Compact and lightweight for easy travel and storage.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 15.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Item model number: 1
  • Customer Reviews: 3.7 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)
  • Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Item Weight: 21 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Juki
  • Date First Available: March 23, 2015

Causes of Common Problems with the JUKI HZL-355Z

This section will address potential problems that users might encounter while using the Juki HZL-355Z Sewing Machine and provide solutions to resolve these issues.

Common Problems with the JUKI HZL-355Z and Troubleshooting

1. Thread Breakage During Sewing

Description: Threads keep breaking while sewing, disrupting the stitching process.

Cause: Incorrect threading or tension settings can lead to thread breakage.


  1. Re-thread the machine following the correct threading path as outlined in the user manual.
  2. Check the tension settings; adjust the upper thread tension slightly to find the optimal balance.
  3. Ensure the needle is properly inserted and not bent or damaged.

2. Uneven Stitches

Description: Stitches appear uneven in length or tension across the fabric.

Cause: Uneven stitches can result from incorrect presser foot pressure or improper threading.


  1. Adjust the presser foot pressure according to the fabric being sewn to ensure even feeding.
  2. Check the upper and bobbin thread tension settings; make necessary adjustments for balanced tension.
  3. Clean the machine’s tension discs and bobbin case to remove any lint or debris.

3. Needle Breakage

Description: Needles frequently break during sewing.

Cause: Needle breakage can be due to using the wrong needle type, incorrect needle insertion, or sewing over thick seams.


  1. Ensure you are using the appropriate needle type and size for the fabric being sewn.
  2. Insert the needle correctly, with the flat side facing the back of the machine.
  3. When sewing over thick layers or seams, use a slower sewing speed and consider using a walking foot attachment.

4. Bobbin Thread Bunching

Description: The bobbin thread forms loops or bunches on the underside of the fabric.

Cause: Incorrect bobbin threading or tension issues can lead to bobbin thread bunching.


  1. Check the bobbin threading; ensure the thread is correctly placed in the bobbin case’s tension spring.
  2. Adjust the bobbin tension if necessary; a slight increase in tension might be required.
  3. Ensure the bobbin is wound smoothly and placed in the bobbin case with the correct orientation.

5. Machine Jamming or Skipping Stitches

Description: The machine jams or skips stitches during sewing, causing interruptions.

Cause: Problems with the feed dogs, needle, or incorrect machine setup can lead to jamming or skipped stitches.


  1. Check the feed dogs for any obstructions or debris; clean the area if needed.
  2. Replace the needle if it’s dull or bent.
  3. Make sure the presser foot is properly attached and lowered before starting to sew.

6. Skipped Stitches on Thin Fabrics

Description: The machine skips stitches when sewing thin or lightweight fabrics.

Cause: Skipped stitches can occur due to improper tension settings or using the wrong needle for delicate fabrics.


  1. Use a fine or ballpoint needle suitable for lightweight fabrics to prevent skipping.
  2. Lower the presser foot pressure to allow the fabric to feed smoothly without causing tension issues.
  3. Experiment with slightly loosening the upper thread tension for better results.

7. Uneven Feed of Fabric

Description: The fabric doesn’t feed evenly, causing uneven stitches or distortion.

Cause: Uneven fabric feed can result from dirty or damaged feed dogs, incorrect presser foot pressure, or improper threading.


  1. Clean the feed dogs and surrounding area to ensure smooth fabric feeding.
  2. Check and adjust the presser foot pressure to match the fabric’s thickness and texture.
  3. Verify that the fabric is properly threaded and positioned under the presser foot.

8. Thread Tangles in the Bobbin Area

Description: Threads become tangled or jammed in the bobbin area of the machine.

Cause: Incorrect bobbin insertion, improperly wound bobbins, or lint buildup can lead to thread tangles.


  1. Ensure the bobbin is correctly inserted into the bobbin case, following the machine’s threading diagram.
  2. Wind bobbins evenly and smoothly to prevent tangles; discard partially used bobbins.
  3. Clean the bobbin area, removing lint and debris that might hinder thread movement.

9. Noisy Operation

Description: The sewing machine produces unusual or loud noises during operation.

Cause: Noisy operation can stem from mechanical issues, lack of lubrication, or loose parts.


  1. Check the machine’s manual for recommended lubrication points and apply oil as needed.
  2. Tighten any loose screws, nuts, or parts that could be contributing to the noise.
  3. If the noise persists, consult the user manual or consider contacting a professional technician.

10. Bobbin Thread Not Being Picked Up

Description: The machine fails to pick up the bobbin thread, preventing proper stitching.

Cause: Incorrect bobbin insertion, improper threading, or a bent needle can result in this issue.


  1. Ensure the bobbin is properly inserted into the bobbin case and that the thread is pulled through the tension spring.
  2. Rethread the machine, making sure the upper thread is correctly guided through all thread guides and tension discs.
  3. Check the needle for bending or damage; replace if necessary.

11. Uneven Buttonhole Stitching

Description: Buttonhole stitching is uneven or inconsistent in appearance.

Cause: Incorrect buttonhole foot placement, improper tension settings, or fabric thickness can affect buttonhole quality.


  1. Ensure the buttonhole foot is securely attached and aligned before starting the stitching.
  2. Check and adjust both the upper and bobbin thread tensions to achieve balanced stitching.
  3. If using thicker fabrics, consider using interfacing to stabilize the fabric and improve buttonhole results.

12. Needle Threader Malfunction

Description: The automatic needle threader fails to work as expected.

Cause: Dust or debris in the needle threader mechanism, improper positioning of the needle, or a misaligned threader can cause issues.


  1. Clean the needle threader mechanism using a small brush or compressed air to remove any obstructions.
  2. Ensure the needle is at its highest position before attempting to use the needle threader.
  3. Refer to the machine’s manual to realign the needle threader if it’s not functioning correctly.

13. Fabric Not Feeding Forward

Description: The fabric does not move forward during sewing, causing stitches to bunch up or become irregular.

Cause: Incorrect presser foot pressure, tangled threads in the feed dogs, or a damaged feed dog mechanism can result in this issue.


  1. Adjust the presser foot pressure to a suitable setting for the fabric thickness and type.
  2. Remove the fabric, check for tangled threads around the feed dogs, and clear any obstructions.
  3. If the issue persists, consult the machine’s manual for instructions on inspecting and repairing the feed dog mechanism.

14. Thread Looping on the Underside

Description: Loops of thread appear on the underside of the fabric, creating an untidy finish.

Cause: Incorrect threading, improper bobbin tension, or a blunt needle can lead to thread looping.


  1. Re-thread the machine, following the correct threading path as specified in the user manual.
  2. Check the bobbin tension; adjust it slightly if the loops are too loose or too tight.
  3. Ensure the needle is sharp and properly inserted; replace it if necessary.

15. Thread Keeps Tangling at the Beginning

Description: Threads tangle and create a mess at the beginning of sewing.

Cause: Insufficient thread tail left after threading, incorrect bobbin winding, or improper presser foot positioning can cause tangling.


  1. Leave a longer thread tail after threading the machine to prevent the thread from getting pulled back into the needle hole.
  2. Ensure the bobbin is wound smoothly and placed correctly in the bobbin case.
  3. Lower the presser foot before starting to sew to prevent the fabric from pulling on the threads.

16. Uneven Tension Between Layers

Description: Tension varies between the upper and lower layers of fabric, resulting in uneven stitches.

Cause: Improper threading, incorrect thread tension settings, or uneven fabric thickness can lead to tension issues.


  1. Re-thread the machine, making sure both the upper and bobbin threads are correctly threaded.
  2. Adjust the upper thread tension gradually while observing the stitching for balanced tension.
  3. If sewing multiple layers, consider using a walking foot to ensure even feeding and tension.

17. Needle Hits the Presser Foot

Description: The needle hits the presser foot, causing needle breakage or damage to the foot.

Cause: Incorrect needle insertion, using the wrong presser foot for the selected stitch, or incorrect stitch settings can result in this issue.


  1. Ensure the needle is inserted correctly with the flat side facing the back of the machine.
  2. Use the appropriate presser foot for the selected stitch type to prevent interference with the needle.
  3. Verify that the stitch settings match the chosen presser foot and fabric type.

18. Fabric Jamming in the Feed Dogs

Description: The fabric gets stuck in the feed dogs, preventing smooth sewing.

Cause: Incorrect fabric placement, insufficient presser foot pressure, or tangled threads can lead to fabric jamming.


  1. Ensure the fabric is positioned correctly under the presser foot and aligned with the feed dogs.
  2. Adjust the presser foot pressure to ensure proper feeding without causing fabric jamming.
  3. Check for tangled threads or debris around the feed dogs and remove any obstructions.

19. Buttonholes Not Matching Button Size

Description: The buttonholes sewn by the machine do not match the size of the buttons.

Cause: Incorrect buttonhole foot attachment, improper positioning of the button, or incorrect settings can lead to mismatched buttonholes.


  1. Use the correct buttonhole foot and ensure it is securely attached.
  2. Position the button in the buttonhole foot to match the desired button size before starting the sewing process.
  3. Experiment with stitch settings if necessary to achieve the desired buttonhole length.

20. Machine Suddenly Stops During Sewing

Description: The sewing machine stops abruptly during operation, disrupting the sewing process.

Cause: Loose power cord connection, overheating, or automatic safety shut-off mechanisms can cause the machine to stop unexpectedly.


  1. Check and secure the power cord connection to ensure a stable power supply.
  2. Allow the machine to cool down if it has been used continuously for an extended period.
  3. Refer to the machine’s manual to understand any built-in safety features that might cause the machine to stop.

21. Fabric Skidding While Sewing

Description: The fabric skids or slips while being sewn, resulting in uneven stitches.

Cause: Insufficient presser foot pressure, using the wrong presser foot for the fabric type, or uneven feeding can cause fabric skidding.


  1. Adjust the presser foot pressure to ensure the fabric is firmly held and fed evenly.
  2. Choose a presser foot suitable for the fabric’s texture and thickness to prevent skidding.
  3. Hold the fabric gently in front and behind the presser foot to guide it evenly while sewing.

22. Uneven Feed on Thick Fabrics

Description: The machine struggles to feed thick fabrics evenly, resulting in uneven stitching or skipped stitches.

Cause: Insufficient presser foot pressure, using the wrong needle size, or attempting to sew too many layers can lead to uneven feeding on thick fabrics.


  1. Adjust the presser foot pressure to ensure the machine can handle the thickness of the fabric.
  2. Use a needle appropriate for heavy fabrics; a larger needle size might be needed.
  3. Consider reducing the number of fabric layers to a level that the machine can sew through smoothly.

23. Thread Keeps Breaking at the Needle

Description: The thread repeatedly breaks near the needle, causing frustration and interruptions.

Cause: Incorrect threading, using low-quality or old thread, or a burr on the needle can cause thread breakage.


  1. Re-thread the machine, following the correct threading path and ensuring the thread is properly seated in the tension discs.
  2. Use high-quality thread suitable for the fabric; old or brittle thread is more likely to break.
  3. Inspect the needle for any burrs or nicks; replace with a new needle if necessary.

24. Bobbin Runs Out Quickly

Description: The bobbin thread runs out frequently, requiring frequent replacements.

Cause: Incorrect bobbin tension settings, inconsistent bobbin winding, or using too thin or weak thread can lead to quick bobbin depletion.


  1. Check and adjust the bobbin tension to prevent excessive thread usage and bobbin depletion.
  2. Ensure the bobbin is wound evenly and smoothly to maximize thread usage.
  3. Use thread of appropriate thickness and strength for the sewing project to reduce bobbin consumption.

25. Stitches Puckering on Stretch Fabrics

Description: Stitches pucker or gather on stretchy fabrics, resulting in an undesirable finish.

Cause: Insufficient stretch stitch settings, incorrect thread tension, or using the wrong needle type can lead to puckering on stretch fabrics.


  1. Select the appropriate stretch stitch that accommodates the fabric’s stretchiness.
  2. Adjust the thread tension to ensure a balanced stitch on stretch fabrics.
  3. Use a ballpoint needle designed for knit or stretch fabrics to prevent puckering.

JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine User Reviews

When considering the JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine, it’s essential to take into account the experiences of users who have used this model for various sewing projects. The insights provided by users can offer valuable perspectives on both the positive aspects and potential drawbacks of the machine.

Positive Reviews from JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine Users

  • Some users were satisfied with the following parameters associated with the JUKI HZL-355Z sewing machine:
    • Reliable Stitching: Users appreciated the machine’s consistent and reliable stitching performance, ensuring professional-looking results.
    • User-Friendly Design: Many found the machine easy to set up and use, making it suitable for beginners and experienced sewers alike.
    • Portable and Lightweight: The compact and lightweight design of the machine was praised, making it convenient for sewing on the go or in limited spaces.
    • Automatic Features: Users highlighted the convenience of features like the automatic needle threader and buttonholing, saving time and effort.
    • Diverse Stitch Options: The variety of stitch patterns, including decorative and functional stitches, was appreciated for enabling versatile sewing projects.

These positive aspects mentioned by users highlight the JUKI HZL-355Z sewing machine’s versatility, ease of use, and reliable performance.

Negative User Reviews of the JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine

  • Some users were not satisfied with the following problems associated with the JUKI HZL-355Z sewing machine:
    • Uncontrollable Foot Pedal: A number of users reported difficulties with the foot pedal, stating that it caused the machine to run at full speed even with a slight press. This made precise sewing challenging and affected stitch quality.
    • Defective Units: A few users received defective machines that exhibited issues with functionality or stitching quality. These cases often required returns or replacements.
    • Limited Heavy Fabric Handling: Some users found that the machine struggled with sewing through thicker fabrics or multiple layers, leading to uneven stitches or skipped stitches.

These negative experiences underscore the importance of considering the machine’s compatibility with specific sewing needs and the potential for isolated quality control issues.

JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine Manual

The operating instructions for the JUKI HZL-355Z sewing machine can be found on the manufacturer’s official website. For comprehensive guidance on setting up and using your machine, including troubleshooting tips and maintenance instructions, we recommend referring to the official manual provided by JUKI.

Frequently Asked Questions about the JUKI HZL-355Z Sewing Machine

1. Why is my thread breaking frequently?

Answer: Thread breakage can occur due to several reasons, such as improper threading, using low-quality thread, or a bent needle. Re-thread your machine following the correct path, ensure you’re using high-quality thread, and replace the needle if it’s damaged.

2. How can I prevent skipped stitches?

Answer: Skipped stitches may be caused by using the wrong needle for the fabric, improper tension settings, or a blunt needle. Make sure to select the appropriate needle type, adjust the thread tension, and use a sharp needle suitable for your fabric.

3. Why is my fabric bunching up under the presser foot?

Answer: Fabric bunching can result from incorrect thread tension, improper threading, or a misaligned presser foot. Check the thread tension, re-thread the machine, and ensure the presser foot is aligned properly before sewing.

4. How do I troubleshoot uneven feed of fabric?

Answer: Uneven fabric feeding might be due to dirty feed dogs, incorrect presser foot pressure, or improper threading. Clean the feed dogs, adjust the presser foot pressure, and double-check the threading to address this issue.

5. Why does the machine suddenly stop during sewing?

Answer: Sudden stops could be caused by a loose power cord connection, overheating, or built-in safety mechanisms. Ensure the power cord is secure, allow the machine to cool if needed, and refer to the manual for any safety features causing interruptions.


For any issues you encounter with your JUKI HZL-355Z sewing machine, it’s recommended to consult the manual, contact customer service, or visit an authorized service center whenever possible. These resources can provide specific solutions and guidance tailored to your machine’s needs.

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