Best Embroidery Machine Reviews

Machine embroidery can be done with regular sewing machines using free motion techniques, but most people associate free motion with quilting. Machine embroidery most commonly refers to computer controlled embroidery that is done by a sewing machine under computer control.

Best embroidery machines are sewing machines that have a built-in computer that controls the machine and two additional motors that drive a hoop. The fabric is inserted into the hoop and the hoop is snapped into the drive assembly on the base of the machine. The machine can move the hoop in any direction while sewing to produce the desired embroidery patterns.

Embroidery machines function in a similar manner to a computer printer. The content (in this case the embroidery design) comes from an external source (such as a personal computer) and is transferred to the embroidery machine using a memory card or USB memory stick. Alternatively, some computerized embroidery machines can receive files from a computer through a USB cable or other type of computer interface cable. Once the file is transferred to the embroidery machine the machine can sew the design onto the fabric.

Best Cheap Embroidery Machines

Cheap embroidery machines have small hoop sizes and are good for smaller size projects. They are a great way to get started if you are interested in machine embroidery. Some inexpensive machines can also function as a regular sewing machine.

BROTHER PE500
brother PE500
The Brother PE500 sells for about $350 on Amazon and has a thread cutter and max speed of 400 SPM. The maximum hoop size is 100mm x 100mm. It has 5 built-in letter fonts and 70 designs. Check Price
BROTHER SE400
brother se400
The Brother SE400 sells for about $299 - $330 on Amazon and also functions as a sewing machine. Max speed for sewing is 710 SPM and 400 SPM for embroidery. It has a thread cutter and needle position control. The maximum hoop size is 100mm x 100mm. It has 67 built-in stitches,70 Built-in Designs5 letter fonts and does monograms. Includes a USB computer interface. Check Price
Janome Memory Craft 200E
janome memory craft 200e
The Janome MC 200E sells for about $549 on Amazon and has as a thread cutter. The maximum hoop size is 125mm x 125mm. It has 3 built in monograms fonts. Includes a USB computer interface. Maximum speed is 650 SPM. Internal memory can hold 100 designs. Check Price
BROTHER PE770
The Brother PE770 sells for about $570 on Amazon and has a thread cutter and max speed of 650 SPM. The maximum hoop size is 125mm x 250mm (with optional large hoop). It has 136 built-in designs and 6 built-in letter fonts. USB computer interface. Some built-in design editing capabilities. Check Price

Medium Cost Embroidery Machines

Medium cost machines are priced in the range of $1200 to $2500. I will not list prices for these machines because there are many promotional sales events and discounts available and the street prices are always changing, do your homework and wait for a low price if you are in the market for one of these machines.

Brother Designio Series DZ820E
Brother Designio Series DZ820E
Brother Designio Series DZ820E has only an embroidery function with 800 SPM for embroidery. It boasts bonus 4x4 inch and 2.5x1 inch embroidery hoops, a starter kit, and more than 200 designs CD. It has 136 built-in designs with 6 letter fonts and 120 frame pattern combinations. USB computer interface. LCD touch screen. Check on Amazon
Brother LB6800PRWPKG
Brother LB6800PRWPKG
The Brother LB6800PRWPKG Computerized embroidery machine has 67 built-in sewing stitches with 98 sewing stitch functions. It has a thread cutter and needle position control. The maximum hoop size is 175mm x 300mm. Includes a USB computer interface. The model also includes dressmaker scissors and rolling carrying case as a bonus. Check on Amazon
Janome Memory Craft 350E
Janome Memory Craft 350E
The Janome MC 350E has as a thread cutter. The maximum hoop size is 140mm x 200mm. It has 3 built in monograms fonts. Includes a USB computer interface. Maximum speed is 650 SPM. Internal memory has 100 designs. Check on Amazon
Janome Memory Craft MC 9500
Janome Memory Craft MC 9500
The Janome MC 9500 does both sewing and embroidery and has as a thread cutter. The maximum hoop size is 140mm x 200mm. It has 3 built in monograms fonts. Includes a USB computer interface. Maximum speed is 650 SPM. Internal memory comes with 95 designs and 98 sewing stitches.Tha machine also has a large 4.7" LCD Touchscreen. Check on Amazon

Commercial Embroidery Machines (Multi-needle)

The multi-needle commercial embroidery machines listed below are priced in the range of $5000 to $13000. There are also multi-needle multi-head machines available with from 2 to 15 heads (or more). The multi-head machines can cost over $25,000 and are for production use.

Janome MB-4S
Janome MB-4S
The Janome MB-4S has 4 needles. The maximum hoop size is 240mm x 200mm. A remote screen allows you to set up the machine and edit more than 65 000 colors. Includes a USB computer interface. Maximum speed is 800 SPM. Internal 3MB memory has 100 designs and can store up to 1 500 000 stitches. Check on Amazon
BROTHER ENTREPRENEUR PR650E
BROTHER ENTREPRENEUR PR650E
The Brother Entrepreneur PR650e has 6 needles and max speed of 1000 SPMand automatic thread cutters on all 6 needles. The maximum hoop size is 300mm x 200mm. It has a 300 color palette, 3 USB computer interfaces. LCD touch screen. Check on Amazon
BROTHER ENTREPRENEUR PR1000E
BROTHER ENTREPRENEUR PR1000E
The Brother Entrepreneur PR1000e has 10 needles and max speed of 1000 SPM and automatic thread cutters on all 10 needles. The maximum hoop size is 350mm x 200mm. It has a 300 color palette, 3 USB computer interfaces. LCD touch screen. Built in machine vision to aid in needle positioning. Check on Amazon
MELCO AMAYA BRAVO
MELCO AMAYA BRAVO
The Melco Amaya Bravo is made in the USA and has 16 needles. The maximum hoop size is 360mm x 300mm. Includes a USB computer interface. Maximum speed is 1000 SPM. Internal memory comes with 95 designs. Check on Amazon

Brother Embroidery Machine Reviews

Brother Embroidery machines make the art of embroidery even more fulfilling. If you’ve found this page, you’re probably just as passionate about embroidery as I am.

After I researched the various Brother Embroidery machines for sale, I compiled the research and created this page, with the hopes that it would help other hobbyists who love this art and who want to find the best embroidery machine for their embroidery needs.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about Brother Embroidery machines, including the general types to choose from and the pros and cons of each. I’ve also listed some customer reviews for you to look over, to give you a good idea of what everyone is saying about these machines.

Types of Brother Embroidery Machines

You can choose from three main categories of Brother Embroidery machines, depending on your specific needs. They offer machines for beginners, machines for small business owners, and machines that are designed with all of the bells and whistles for a full-blown embroidery business.

In general, Brother Embroidery machines range from styles that are equipped with 136 built-in embroidery designs, to 6 and 10-needle designs that offer large, full-color HD touchscreens. Popular Brother Embroidery machines that are ideal for individual use or for small businesses include the Brother PE770 and the PE-780D.

For larger business owners, the Entrepreneur Pro PR-1000e and PR-650 models fit the bill. Aside from these models, you can also choose from combo machines, which are designed for both embroidery and sewing purposes. The Brother DZ820E is an extremely affordable combo machine, and the Brother SE400 is similar in price range. You can also check out the Brother PE700, which is pricier than the aforementioned models, but well worth it. Finally, the Brother HE1 works great in conjunction with your PC.

#Features and Benefits

The features that Brother Embroidery machines offer were the main driving points that led me to choose a Brother Embroidery Machine for my own needs. I mostly work as a hobbyist, but I do run a small business on the side, so I needed some practical, efficient features from my equipment.

#Built-In Designs

A Brother Embroidery machine comes with various built-in embroidery designs and lettering fonts, which help give me plenty of options to choose from when it’s time to sit down and work. Plus, it’s given me the freedom to be really creative.

#Memory Stick

Another cool feature Brother Embroidery machines offer that I’ve found really comes in handy is their USB compatibility. If you have a memory stick, just pop that baby in the built-in USB port, and your designs are good to go.

#On-Screen Editing

They are also made with LCD touch screens, so it’s fun to use the on-screen embroidery editing features. Also, the built-in embroidery card slots have helped me pull from hundreds of optional embroidery designs when I’m in a pinch and need something new to play with.

#Design Areas and Warranties

The smaller Brother Embroidery machines come with designs areas that measure 5”x7”, and some of the HD touchscreens on the larger models measure out at 4.3” x 7.2”. As for warranties, some come with 25-year limited warranties, depending on the make and the model.

#Other Benefits

Some benefits that I found were consistent with Brother Embroidery machines during my search were thorough, accurate instructions, and easy set-up procedures. Most of the machines were pretty user-friendly; even the larger machines, which looked pretty intimidating at first glance.

I also liked the versatile design and font selection to choose from, and the built-in frame shapes and border styles were a plus, too. When compared to some of the Singer and Janome brand machines, the Brother Embroidery machines seemed to offer better prices in regards to their features and size options.

#Cons

As I checked out the different Brother Embroidery machines, there were, of course, some negatives that I felt were worth pointing out. Taking some of these cons into consideration definitely helped me decide which machines to eliminate from my list of possibilities.

First, although the instruction booklets are accurate, I found that some of them didn’t clearly address how to fix simple problems you might run into. The portions that explain the set up are very clear and pretty self-explanatory, especially if you know your way around an embroidery machine, but simple solutions for common errors or mishaps weren’t easily laid out for you to follow.

The only other con that is worth bringing up is the pricing for the larger machines. If you are purchasing one of the larger models for your business, then the prices are great considering the quality and design, which are second to none.

However, if you’re an individual or small business owner who is looking to upgrade at some point, you’ll find a significant difference in the price. Overall, I’ve found Brother Embroidery machines to be worth every penny, though, and a wise investment for a serious embroidery hobbyist or professional.

1. Brother SE 400 Combination Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Brother SE400

The Brother SE400 is one of the many Brother Embroidery machines for sale. I recently looked into this particular model because I wanted to find an affordable embroidery machine that would provide me with the features and options I wanted.

I’ve decided to share the information I found on this particular Brother Embroidery machine. My hope is that by sharing this information, you can have an easier time deciding if this is the best embroidery machine for your needs, or if you need to keep looking at the other Brother Embroidery machines.

If you are anything like me, you take pride in your crafting. You too want a machine that will enhance the quality of your crafting skills. You want a machine that will provide you with professional quality without breaking the bank, and a machine that offers you some fun options that will challenge you to grow as an artist.

In my review of the Brother SE 400 Embroidery machine, I recommend that you take the time to do what I did: compare the features with your needs. Consider what pros are sellers for you and which cons might be deal breakers.

Features and Specifications
  • Connectivity Options  The Brother SE400 can hook right up to your computer. What I loved about this was that it offered me a virtually limitless access to additional embroidery patterns. If I could find it online, I could make it. I love that! This gives me a challenge and more options than I could ever actually use. Connecting the Brother SE400 to my computer gave me another great benefit. I can update my Brother Embroidery machine and keep it up-to-date.
  • LCD Touch Screen  The Brother SE400 features an easy-to-view, touchscreen LCD display. This makes the LCD screen easy on the eyes, and it also makes editing the designs fast and easy. It also adds to the machine’s overall precision.
  • Embroidery Features  Another great pro that the Brother SE400 has to offer is its embroidery features aren’t sacrificed just because the price is lower than the more expensive models. This has allowed me to have a lot of fun and not feel like I was making a sacrifice, just because my budget was a little lower. There are 70 different embroidery designs built right into this machine. It has 120 different frame pattern combinations and 5 different lettering fonts. I really enjoyed experimenting with all of the different designs and options.
  • Sewing Features  The selling point for me with this machine was that it was a combination sewing and embroidery machine. This allows me to design all of my clothing, from beginning to end. I can do everything I enjoy doing; sewing and embroidery, all with one, easy to use the machine. Best of all, there are 67 different sewing stitches built right into the Brother SE400. I don’t think I will ever use all of them, but I intend to try!
  • The Warranty – Personally, I never make a big purchase if there isn’t a warranty in place. So, it definitely gave me peace of mind knowing that the Brother SE400 comes with the same 25-year limited warranty that all Brother Embroidery machines come with. This means that my investment is protected, which is very important to me.
CONS

There really wasn’t much missing from this Brother Embroidery Machine. However, there were a few minor things that I felt were lacking. I really would have liked this model to have the USB memory slot. While I can hook my Brother SE400 up to the computer, it would be nice to take all of my designs on the go.

The other issue I ran into was that the 4 inch by 4-inch embroidery area could have been bigger. Of course, a bigger embroidery area would probably mean a bigger price. 

I think what I liked most about the Brother SE400 is its value. It’s affordable. I was even able to find a refurbished model, which saved me a little extra money. Just like purchasing a refurbished computer, you have to be careful to ensure that the model has been refurbished correctly.

Adding to the value of the Brother SE400 is its high-quality performance and its large variety of features. After all, a low price and limited features don’t make a product valuable, just cheap.

It is important to me that I don’t waste money on things that won’t meet my expectations or needs. This becomes even more important when the purchase is a big and expensive item. The Brother SE400 Embroidery machine didn’t let me down. I hope that it can offer you the same enjoyment that I have found as an embroidery artist.

Check on Amazon

2. Brother LB6800PRW Project Runway Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine

Brother LB6800PRW

The Brother LB6800PRW demonstrates the versatility and ease of use for which the Brother Company’s computerized sewing and embroidery machines are well known. This model gives the other Brother Embroidery machines a run for their money.

What led to this particular product’s fame is that it is the limited edition Project Runway machine. So if you are a fashionista, or you love seeing all of the creative projects that the designers on Project Runway are able to create, then you will certainly love this machine and its many capabilities.

The core features of the Brother LB6800PRW are similar to other models of dual-use machines, such as the Brother SE400 and SE600. For example, the Brother LB6800PRW has a 4 inch by 4-inch embroidery field, has a 25-year limited warranty, and includes 68 different built-in sewing stitches and 98 stitch functions.

All of these features are the same as the Brother SE400. Where the limited edition Project Runway machine differs is that it offers some extra bells and whistles to really help you flex your creative muscles. Plus, the Brother Embroidery machine itself bears the show’s logo, so if you are a big fan, how can you resist that?

One cool bonus about ordering your Brother LB6800PRW from Amazon is that you will also receive a bonus gift– a free piece of Project Runaway rolling luggage.

Model

The Brother LB6800PRW is a machine that may be best left in one place because it is a little bit heavier than some of the other Brother Embroidery machines for sale that is designed for dual use.

Because the Brother LB6800PRW is a very versatile machine, it is appropriate for both beginning embroidery machine users and those who are experienced sewers. It possesses a great number of features that make it suitable for beginning to advanced sewing enthusiasts.

Like most modern embroidery and sewing machine models, this model has a USB port, which makes it simple to upload new embroidery designs directly to your machine. All you need to do is connect your computer to the Brother LB6800PRW using a USB cable, and you have a practically limitless supply of patterns at your fingertips.

Most of these patterns are free, so there is no additional cost to add to your already large selection of embroidery designs. Like the Brother HE 400, the Brother LB6800PRW is able to sew 700 stitches per minute and embroider 400 stitches per minute. It also has the same 4 inch by 4-inch embroidery area that is like most dual-use machines of its class.

The Brother LB6800PRW is definitely a more quality, sturdy machine than those you will find in big box stores. Because it was designed for use on Project Runway, it is able to sew heavy fabrics, such as velvet and denim, without any problems. It is even able to sew over double and triple thicknesses of fabric without struggling or making any unpleasant “clunking” noises.
Features and Specifications
  • 7 feet included – The Brother LB6800PRW includes buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, zigzag, blind hem and button fitting feet.
  • USB port connectivity – The Brother LB6800PRW has a built-in USB port, which allows you to transfer embroidery designs straight from your own computer to the machine. Designs you found on CDs or the internet can all be transferred. You do not need to use any separate software to utilize this feature.
  • Simple Stitch Selection – Want to pick your stitch simply? The Brother LB6800PRW allows you to do so with the simple touch of an illuminated LCD touchscreen. The screen will conveniently tell you which presser foot you should use, so it takes the guesswork out of processes that may otherwise be confusing for beginning sewers. Plus, you can choose your stitch speed using a little sliding bar, so you can easily choose how fast or slow you want to go.
  • Easy to use features – Among the features that make the Brother LB6800PRW sewing and embroidery machine super easy to use is a quick-set bobbin system, an automatic needle threader, an automatic thread cutter, a start and stop button, and a reverse button.
  • Simple on-screen editing – The Brother LB6800PRW allows you to position your embroidery designs on various places around the hoop, with the ability to rotate designs in different angle increments.
  • Included accessories – The Brother LB6800PRW comes with a handful of helpful accessories, including a pair of scissors, a twin needle, a spool of bobbin thread for embroidery, and many more great extras.
CONS

Some customers report that there is no difference between the Brother LB6800PRW and the Brother SE400 dual use embroidery and sewing machine. So if you are not specifically seeking the Project Runway brand, it may be worth your time to compare and contrast the two machines for yourself to see if the Brother LB6800PRW is worth the extra cost.

If you would like to use software to create your own embroidery designs and customized patterns, then you will also want to consider that when you purchase the Brother LB6800PRW, it does not include this software. You can purchase software separately, such as Embird Digitizing Studio, which is compatible for use with the Brother LB6800PRW, but it is not included in the purchase price of the machine.

Check on Amazon

3. Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine

The Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine is one model of the Brother Embroidery Collection that is worth sharing with you. After sifting through a number of the Brother models, I’ve found this machine to be one of the most versatile, user-friendly machines out of them all.

In my opinion, the Brother PE770 is more economical for said individuals or small business owners. So, if these labels don’t apply to you, then the Brother PE770 may not offer all you are looking for, depending on your larger business needs or advanced skills.

That being said, I’ve found that regardless of the scope of features you are looking for in an embroidery machine, any Brother Embroidery machine is a quality machine and well worth the time to investigate each individual model on your own.

Model

The Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine with USB memory-stick compatibility is a Brother Embroidery machine model that is designed for individual use. It’s primarily helpful for someone who is new to the art of embroidery as either a hobbyist or a small business owner.

If you are thinking about taking up embroidery as a new hobby but the craft intimidates you, then this is a good choice to start out with, thanks to its size, easy use, and features. It measures out at 21.2 x 16.9 x 17.3 inches and weighs a good 12 pounds. You can order the Brother PE770 directly from Amazon and maybe snag a deal on shipping while you’re at it.

Features and Specifications
  • Versatile – Since I mentioned that the Brother PE770 embroidery machine is one of Brother’s most versatile models for beginners, I’ll start by pointing out why. For starters, this computerized embroidery machine can embellish anything from t-shirts to purses. It produces 650 stitches per minute, which is pretty impressive for a standard embroidery machine.

Unlike other models, such as the Brother SE400, the Brother PE700 is specifically an embroidery machine, instead of a sewing and embroidery combination. While combo machines are great for multitasking, an embroidery machine on its own is a nice plus if you are new to the art or want a standard, quality-made machine that focuses on the embroidery specialization.

  • Fonts and Patterns – The Brother PE770 features six built-in lettering fonts, 136 built-in decorative patterns, 10 built-in frame shames, and 12 border styles. The patterns include floral, quilt, and scrollwork designs, all of which have beautiful, intricate details. If these preprogrammed patterns aren’t enough for you, there are also additional designs you can pull directly from the internet.
  • USB Port – The USB memory-stick compatibility that the Brother PE770 offers is a big plus for embroidery business owners or hobbyists alike. This is one of my favorite features, especially with this specific model, because I can easily transfer any designs I like straight from my computer and get back to work in minutes.

Other models, like the Brother PE700, come with the USB port too, but this model costs significantly less and I still get the high-quality, functional features I want out of an embroidery machine.

  • Time-saving memory – The Brother PE770 has other user-friendly features going for it, like the time-saving memory function, which lets me save designs so I can revisit them later on, and on-screen help and editing.
  • Touch Screen – The on-screen features are displayed with a sharp monochrome LCD touch-screen control panel, which is easy on the eyes and saves me a lot of frustration when I’m trying to navigate any commands.
  • Pre-Sets and Extra Accessories – The advanced needle-threading, thread-cutter button, and the wide selection of handy accessories are other features that are worth mentioning. I’m convinced that practical, time-saving features such as these make for an excellent starter machine for a new hobbyist or someone who is on a budget.

When I compared the Brother PE770 to other Brother Embroidery machines for sale, these were the features that sealed the deal for me, along with the 25-year limited warranty.

CONS

Although I’m admittedly biased because I love the versatility this machine gives me, there are a few negatives to be aware of. First, the instruction manual could have been organized a bit better, and it could have explained the details better as well.

This seems to be a common complaint when it comes to Brother Embroidery machines, but I think it’s more of a problem when you’re dealing with a beginner machine, such as the Brother PE770. After all, you may be new to the craft entirely, so it helps to have some good instructions.

Other cons are the black and white display screen and the hoop attachment, which can be a pain sometimes.

All in all, though, if you don’t mind the black and white screen display and some weak instructions, the Brother PE770 is a sweet deal for the price.

Check on Amazon

Workflow and Software for Embroidery Machines

The workflow is the combination of steps and processes needed to go from an idea to the final output (in this case a finished design embroidered onto a piece of fabric).

Design The design can be created on paper by drawing or painting, captured by photograph, or can be created using the software on a computer. To create designs in the computer any kind of drawing or photo editing software can be used such as Photoshop, Gimp, Corel Draw, etc.
Digitizing If the design is originating from a drawing, painting, film, printed photograph, existing piece of embroidery or another physical item then it will need to be scanned or captured using a flatbed computer scanner or digital camera. After the design is scanned you will have a raster image file (bitmap file). This is usually in jpeg or png format.
Editing The image file can be edited to make any changes that are needed such as changing colors or removing backgrounds or other parts of the image that are not wanted. Some popular image editing software that can be used is Gimp or Photoshop.
Converting and formatting In this step the raster image file (jpeg) is converted into a vector image and then processing and formatting are done before the design is saved as a machine-readable embroidery file. A popular embroidery software program that does convert and format is Embird. There are many other programs available, some of them are free and can be downloaded. Some of the file formats for embroidery files are .pes (Brother and Baby Lock), .jef (Janome), .dst (Tajima), .hus (Viking), .vp3 (Pfaff). The embroidery file must be the correct type of the brand of machine you are using. The formatting steps can include resizing, rotating, changing the colors and editing the actual stitch coordinate data.
Transfer the design to the embroidery machine The embroidery file must be transferred from your computer to the embroidery machine. Some embroidery machines use a memory card, others have a computer interface such as USB or Ethernet.
Set up the embroidery machine The fabric is loaded into the hoop and stabilizer is added if it is needed and the machine is threaded with the correct color thread (or threads). A stabilizer is a thicker material that is added to the fabric to keep it from stretching or becoming dimensionally unstable as they like to say. If the fabric stretches during embroidery it can result in ugly miss-stitching and jamming of the hook.
Run the job The machine is run. The operator should monitor the machine as it progresses to make sure that nothing goes wrong and to stop the machine if there is a problem with thread breakage or jamming. Depending on the machine and the design, the machine may stop during the process and need to have the thread (or threads) changed to a different color.

Features and specifications

Editing and design capability                     Some embroidery machines have built-in LCD touch screens and are capable of editing designs before they are sewn or even creating new designs right on the touch screen of the machine. The editing and design capabilities that are built into these machines can be convenient but are simplistic compared to computer software that does the same thing.
Built-in memory Most embroidery machines have built-in memory and can hold a number of designs in memory at a time. Some machines come with design libraries in permanent memory.
Multi-needle            Two or more needles are used so that the machine can have multiple thread colors loaded at the same time. There are some machines with 6 or more needles that can run complex designs without needing to stop for thread changes.
Image sensors or cameras Some higher-end machines have special sensors or cameras and imaging software that watch the needles as they are sewing and can recognize and even correct for some errors.
Fonts and monograms  Many machines have built-in fonts and monograms so that they can produce simple designs (monograms and name tags) without a computer.
Needle threader, thread cutter Almost all machines have these.
Speed control Lets the user set the machine to a faster or slower speed depending on the type of fabric and thread being used and the type and complexity of the design.
Hoop size                 Hoops come in many sizes and each machine has a maximum hoop size. Inexpensive machines start with a 100mm x 100mm hoop size, medium home machines have a 150mm x 200mm hoop size and commercial machines can have much larger hoop sizes.

 

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