The Brother SE1800’s strongest points are its functional design and great performance, but useful additional features are the cherry on top. Full review.
Best Embroidery Machine Reviews 2018
To some, embroidery is just a hobby, to others it’s a passion and a few make a living embroidering designs. But, one thing is for sure – embroidery has seen a resurgence in recent years.
Perhaps this is because our lives have become so hectic that we are all looking for a way to unwind and relax after a long day at work, but it would be fair to assume that this has something to do with embroidery machines becoming widely available.
Embroidery is not something your grandmother does by the light of a kerosene lamp any more. On the contrary, embroidery has become an industry and today, everyone and their grandmother are buying (and reviewing) embroidery and sewing machines online.
This is the reason we’ve decided to start this website. Our goal is to create a virtual gathering place, dedicated to the world of embroidery. Product reviews, buying guides, tips and tricks and more – it is all available on our website. Beginners, experienced embroidery enthusiasts and thriving home business owners - you are all welcome here.
If you’re a beginner wondering how to choose an embroidery machine, feel free to scroll down to our buying guide, but if you want to cut to the chase right away, just keep reading – we’ve compiled a list of the best embroidery machines money can buy.
Best Embroidery Machines on The Market
Best Embroidery Machine Under $500
Brother’s PE 540D is one of the best, if not the best, beginner-friendly embroidery machine money can buy. Apart from being a very budget friendly best-seller, the PE 540D is a light, unique, compact device packing a punch. Kids-friendly features, tons of accessories, over a hundred built-in designs, USB connectivity, efficiency and ease of use – the PE 540D has it all. If you’re a beginner or someone who wants to dip their toes in the world of embroidery, this machine is perfect for you.
Another affordable, beginner-friendly model, the SE400 is a beautiful, highly functional little machine. You can sew, quilt and embroider with the SE400 at the same time, which means this is essentially a multi-functional combination machine. The easy-to-view back-lit touch screen LCD display, 67 unique sewing stitches and 70 built- in embroidery designs, 5 lettering fonts, computer connectivity and a wide variety of accessories – the SE400 is a beginner-friendly combination machine with a twist.
Best Embroidery Machine Under $1000
If you’re a budget-conscious hobbyist, looking to have an almost professional experience, the Memory Craft 200E will fulfil all your needs. And if you’re thinking of starting your own home-based business, but you haven’t got too much money to invest the 200E is certainly worth considering. A large embroidery area perfect for working on bigger projects, embroidery speed of up to 650 stitches per minute, great design, tons of accessories and features - you cannot go wrong with this Janome model.
An eclectic combination of cutting edge modern technology and traditional embroidery machine features, Brother PE770 is a lightweight, functional, portable model that doesn’t cost too much and has just about everything a good embroidery machine is supposed to have. It works great, it’s fast, it has many pre-programmed functions and designs and included accessories. Simply put, this is a well-thought out product that every embroidery enthusiast is bound to fall in love with.
Best Embroidery Machine Under $1500
The Brother SE1800 is a sewing and embroidery machine perfect for home business owners and, perhaps, intermediate hobbyists. This is a modern, professional combination machine with a large embroidery area, 136 built-in designs, 184 stitches and countless useful accessories and features. The SE1800 may not be for every budget, but it certainly over-delivers in almost all departments and it is one of the best combination machines available today.
The DZ820E is another brilliant Brother machine, cheaper than SE1800, but almost equally as good. This is a stable, sturdy device that’s perfect for hobbyists and beginners who feel the need to try a more sophisticated machine with more options and features, that is user-friendly at the same time. The DZ820E features an extra-large embroidery area, 136 built-in designs, a great speed of 650 stitches per minute and dozens of exciting accessories.
The Best Embroidery Machine for a Home Business
Singer is a world-famous brand and it comes as no surprise that one of their machines has ended up as our top pick for the best home business embroidery machine. The Singer XL-580 Futura is a modern, powerful, fully computerized machine, packed with exciting features. It’s beautiful, it’s sturdy and it performs exceptionally well. The XL-580 is fast (600 stitches per minute), comes with two hoops (10x6 inches, 4x4 inches), has lots of built-in designs and features an extra-large embroidery area. If you’re thinking of turning your hobby into a business, this machine might be what you’re looking for and best of all is – it doesn’t cost too much.
How to Choose an Embroidery Machine – Buying Guide
If you’re a beginner, picking a good embroidery machine can seem like a daunting task. Even intermediate users struggle with this part. Like we said in the beginning, the world of embroidery has experienced a renaissance of sorts and the market is absolutely flooded with different kinds of embroidery machines.
User reviews and websites like ours are a great place to start, but it can all seem a bit overwhelming at times. After all, there is a sea of information out there, so it can be hard to digest all of it at once. This is the main reason we’ve decided to make a short buying guide – we want to assist our readers and help them pick the best possible embroidery machine, one that suits their individual needs and preferences. Below are some things to consider.
- Is it for Home or Business Use?
The first question you need to ask yourself, when buying an embroidery machine, is: Do I need it for home or business use? A home machine doesn’t need to be as fast or as heavy-duty as a business machine and therefore it probably doesn’t cost as much. However, since there are hundreds of different machines out there, it’s difficult to place them all in only two categories. Some machines are suitable for business owners and hobbyists alike, but generally professional machines cost more and are specifically built for mass production. Naturally, devices made for beginners are typically a lot easier to use than high-end machines.
- What's My Hoop Size and Embroidery Area?
Do you plan on working on larger designs or do you perhaps just want to work on smaller ones and then maybe switch to bigger designs? Hoop size, field size, throat width, embroidery area size – these terms are used to describe just that, on which projects will you be able to comfortably work on. Most cheaper embroidery machines are meant for hobbyists and typically include 4x4 inches hoops and have no multi-hooping capabilities. This is often what determines the price of a machine, more than anything else.
- What's My Budget?
Embroidery machines can be a considerable investment. Business owners are probably aware of this, but many inexperienced hobbyists fall into the trap of buying a large, elaborate, expensive embroidery machine that they end up selling for half the price in the end. Make sure to find a machine that offers good value for the money, regardless of how much you’re willing to spend. Reviews on our website are definitely a good place to start.
Every now and again, a no-name company produces a great embroidery machine that gets endlessly praised online and elsewhere, but these are exceptions to the rule. Most of the time, well-established brands produce the best machines. As you may have noticed, companies like Brother, Singer and Janome, to name a few, are household names and it’s always best to stick with their products.
- Sewing and Embroidery
We have mentioned a few combination (sewing and embroidery) machines above, but these can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Even though it sounds great to get two machines in one, the reality is much different. Designers often produce below average sewing and embroidery machines and advertise them as brilliant 2 in 1 devices, while they’re in fact not good enough for neither embroidery nor sewing. This doesn’t mean there aren’t good combination machines out there, but that’s usually reflected in the price.
Most embroidery machines nowadays come with a large selection of accessories – dozens of them. While most of them can be useful, it’s perhaps best you carefully consider your own needs and preferences before making the final decision. For example, some machines come with great carrying cases, so if you travel a lot that can be a great thing. On the other hand, some devices come with different presser feet or attachments of special techniques. The point is – always carefully read the list of included accessories (and not “optional” accessories).
- Designs and Computer Connectivity
The number of built-in designs is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when it comes to embroidery machines, especially for beginners. Hobbyists aren’t willing to purchase designs or able to make them themselves. Most machines nowadays have built-in software and computer connectivity too – usually an USB port. Even though this allows you to import as many different designs as you like, they’re often expensive, so the number of built-in designs is something to pay attention to.
- Warranty and Customer Service
This often goes under the radar, but warranty and customer service are incredibly important. In our experience, Brother has the best warranty program, but most other big brands have decent warranty services too.
Yes, there is a sea of, often contradictory, information on the world wide web but it’s always best to do you research before reaching for the wallet. Expert reviews, like those on our website and Amazon user reviews are a good place to start. If there is a consensus regarding a certain machine, between the customers and the experts both, that’s probably a good indication of the machine’s quality.
- User Manuals and Instructions
If you’re a complete beginner, a well-written, concise user manual can go a long way. Make sure to pay attention to do your research about user manuals and instructions that come with the machine that you decide to buy.
We encourage you to explore different sections of our website. There is an embroidery machine out there waiting for you to use it and we have probably already reviewed it. If we haven’t, we most certainly soon will. Consider our website a window into the world of embroidery. Whether you’re an experienced professional or an amateur beginner, you will find compelling, interesting content here and we will do our best to keep producing it.
Most Recent Reviews
The Brother PE770 embroidery machine is great for starting a home-based business and for letting your creativity flow. Read our full review here.
If it hadn’t been for one important flaw, this would have been the perfect combination machine – read our full review for all the details.
More powerful and flexible than you’d expect for the price, we were impressed by the Memory Craft 200E – full review here.
A few flaws overshadow the virtues of this beginner-friendly machine – read our full review of Singer’s Quantum Stylist 9960 here.
We hope our review of the Brother HE-1 computerized embroidery machine will provide valuable insight for our readers and help you make a buying decision.