The Search for the Best Embroidery Machine

The Search for the Best Embroidery Machine

If you’re looking for the best embroidery machine, you can find what you need on our list of the best options in the market right now. Take a look and see which one fits your needs:

10 Best Embroidery Machine

Contents

Brother SE400 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

This is extremely popular, and that’s because it really is that good. The Brother brand has earned a rather lofty reputation, and the brand even received the 2018 Women’s Choice Award for Embroidery Machine.  This particular SE400 machine is a computerized model which you can use for both sewing and embroidery. It features a backlit LCD touchscreen display from which you can pick from a wide range of design options.

This lets you pick from 70 decorative designs, 67 sewing stitches (decorative, heirloom, quilting, and utility), 98 stitch functions, 120 built-in frame patterns, and 5 built-in font styles. One nice bonus feature is that you’re told which foot to use for a particular stitch. 

You can even edit the designs by adjusting the size or by rotating or getting the mirror image. If that’s not enough, you can purchase designs from www.iBroidery.com and these include exclusive characters from Disney and Nickelodeon. 

The embroidery area measures 4 by 4 inches and it’s brightly lit. It has a port for computer connectivity with the USB cable included, and it also has an embroider card slot built in. 

For your convenience, this has an automatic needle threader and thread cutter. It also has a bobbin-winding system to prepare bobbins fast along with the drop-in top bobbin that’s resistant to jamming. 

Your accessories include 7 accessory feet along with a soft cover and a 4”x4” hoop. You can buy a 7”x4” hoop that can also work with this machine. It’s a fantastic machine especially for beginners, as it has a number guide to help you thread the machine and wind the bobbin. This model has been around for a while, so it’s a proven machine. 

Perhaps the main issue with the SE400 is that you also have to buy the right software for it so you can start embroidering. That’s an extra expense, though at least you have trial periods so you can figure out which software works best for you. 

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Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine

If you’re annoyed with tiny embroidery fields, then you’ll love the 5” by 7” embroidery field in the PE770. That lets you embroider larger designs while you also have space to combine designs as well. But that’s not the only reason why it’s highly regarded.

Its durability is also astonishing, especially for a home-use model. This is designed to last for a while, and it even comes with a 25-year limited warranty. You can call for customer support for free for the life of the PE770. It’s durable enough that you can rely on it for your home embroidery sideline business. 

This comes with an LCD display, which you can use to pick from the 136 embroidery designs in its memory. These include 6 lettering fonts, 10 frame shapes, and 12 border styles. You can use the LCD display to see what the design looks like when you change its size or when you rotate or get a mirror image of it. 

With its USB slot, you can just put in a USB stick with additional embroidery designs. You may download some of those from iBroidery.com, though you’d have to pay for each design. Here you also have the slot for the embroidery cards from Brother which you can also buy. 

Again you have the automatic needle threader, and there’s the automatic thread trimmer too. This also has the quick-set bobbin. 

All in all this can be used regularly and last for a long while. That’s good, because you’ll need a long while to fully master this machine. Even after many months of use, you’ll discover new and better ways to use this, and that’s not always a bad thing. 

There’s a ton of online videos featuring tips on the many ways you can use the PE770, and you should better watch as many of them as you can. Just remember that this is an embroidery-only machine.

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Brother LB6800PRW Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine

This is the Project Runway Limited Edition model that’s for both sewing and embroidery. This gives you 70 decorative designs, 120 built-in frame patterns, 6 font styles, 67 sewing stitches, and 98 sewing stitch functions. The designs can be altered a bit so you can get the mirror image or rotate the image. You can also change the size. 

You can add more by connecting this to your PC, for which this has a port and a USB cable included. You can also buy Brother embroidery cards, which you can insert in the slot for it in the LB6800PRW. 

Here you’ll find many of the convenient features that have made the Brother brand famous. There’s the 4 by 4-inch embroidery area, and the needle area is brightly lit. In addition, you’re going to enjoy the auto needle threader and thread trimmer.

You’re able to use the touchscreen display to pick the design you want to use, and you even have tutorials in the built-in computer to use so you can expand your newbie skills. 

This features the quick-set drop-in bobbin that resists jamming. The bobbin winding system is super-easy to use, too. Just put the thread in, adjust the bobbin to the right, and then press the start button. The machine automatically winds the bobbin right then. 

Your purchase also includes the softcover and the 7 accessory feet you’ll need for various stitches. You also get the embroidered rolling bag that’s perfect for bringing along the machine on your way to your embroidery classes. 

The warranty coverage is a bit complicated, however. It is 25 years for the chassis casting and 5 years for the electronic components along with the printed circuit boards. It’s only for a year for the other parts and accessories. 

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EverSewn Hero – 400-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

This has only 40 embroidery designs to choose from, but you do have more than 400 decorative and utility stitches in your library. The embroidery area is also 4 by 6 inches, which is larger than the usual 4×4 inches you see in many other affordable machines. You’re able to use the LCD display to pick the ones you want to use. 
At least you have the USB port so you can add more embroidery designs. You just need to download a program from EverSewn first. 

This also offers various convenient features that keep you from getting frustrated as you learn to sew and embroider. These include the auto needle threader and monitoring for the bobbin thread level. You have 8 different presser feet as well. 

This is mainly a sewing machine that comes with an embroidery module so you’re able to start with embroidering. It’s a great machine for those who are looking for a sewing machine, but it’s not really for those who want to concentrate on embroidery. It’s just that with this, embroidery can be part of your skill set. 

As for the customer support, quite a few people have mentioned that it’s basically nonexistent. You’ll need to do some research on YouTube and Google to find answers to your embroidery questions. 

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Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery

The Brother brand makes another appearance on this list, but that’s because we really have to include this sweet, affordable sewing and embroidery combo machine. This is the SE600, which is the successor to the proven SE400. 

This gives you 80 embroidery designs to choose from, along with 6 embroidery fonts and 103 sewing stitches. You even get automatically sized buttonholes. It also comes with 7 sewing feet. 

What makes this special and different from all the other affordable models is the 3.7-inch display that shows off your embroidery design options in full color. This is also a touchscreen display, so you can also use  it to navigate through your choices.

These designs can be edited as well. You’re even able to place letters in an arc, or alter the individual thread colors. The embroidery area is the standard 4-inch by 4-inch, but the expanded workspace measures 6.4 by 4.1 inches. The work area is illuminated, so you’re able to work better on darker fabrics. 

Other features you might like include the USB port for importing embroidery designs, the quick-set drop-in bobbin that’s resistant to jamming, and the all-important auto needle threader for newbies. 

This also comes with the 25-year Brothers limited warranty, along with the toll-free technical phone support that will last for the lifespan of the machine. All in all this is a great beginner machine, even without the built-in tutorials and the standard 4”x4” embroidery area. 

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Singer Futura XL-400 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Now we come to the venerable Singer brand, which has been in the industry since 1851. They’re obviously embraced modern sensibilities if the XH-400 is an example of their work. This is a sewing and embroidery machine, but a lot of emphasis has been placed on its embroidery capabilities. 

To start with, here you get 125 embroidery designs with 5 fonts and 30 lettering frames, to go along with the 30 sewing stitches and 2 auto-sized buttonholes. 

In addition, you also have the option of using a 10 by 6-inch embroidery hoop here, so much larger designs can be used. In fact, the designs can measure up to 12 by 20 inches large! That means you can use this not just for shirts but also for bedspreads and tablecloths. 

To use this, though, you will need a computer to plug in with the XL-400. The embroidery software you need is already included, and it’s compatible with many different types of files. You can edit the designs in various ways, including joining multiple designs into a single design and then adding letters to it. You can also flip the designs, rotate them in 1-degree increments, and select custom colors for threads. 

If you’re a newbie, then you’re really in luck. The software has tutorials for you to use. In addition, you get nifty features like an illuminated workspace, the Swift Smart Threading System, and the “Drop and Sew” Bobbin System. 

This is the portable model, as it is only 22 inches long and weighs 23 pounds. It’s true that it only has 30 stitches and doesn’t have a built in LCD display, but then again the 125 embroidery designs should more than make up for it. 

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SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

Now this is an extremely affordable model, but in no way would you call it “cheap”. It’s still a Singer machine, with all the quality the brand imparts on all its machines. This is a sewing machine that offers a staggering 600 stitches to choose from, along with 13 different buttonholes and 5 fonts. It also does the job fairly quickly, with a speed of up to 850 stitches a minute. 

As a sewing machine, you get a lot of the convenient features that don’t lead you to frustration. Things are much easier, thanks to features like the needle threader and the nifty bobbin system. The workspace is illuminated, and picking the right stitch is easy thanks to the LCD screen. 

Now this isn’t technically an embroidery machine. But it does have an embroidery foot, and the huge number of stitches can be combined to create your own designs. It’s not quite the machine you’d get if you’re just starting with embroidery, but it’s the machine you’d want if you’re a newbie to sewing in general. 

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Singer Futura XL-580

If you’re dead set on getting a true sewing and embroidery machine with the Singer brand, you have to take a look at the XL-580. It’s much more advanced than the XL-400, yet it’s also a machine that a beginner to embroider can embrace. 

You’ll surely welcome the 125 embroidery designs available here, which is the same number in the XL-400. It’s just that instead of just 30 sewing stitches, this time you’re able to pick from 215 sewing stitches. That’s a huge increase in available stitches that makes this a true combo machine. 

As an embroidery fan, you’ll certainly marvel at the bigger embroidery hoop option at 10 by 6 inches. This will give you designs that can go up to 12 by 20 inches. 

This comes with 3 different bonus programs, though you will have to connect this machine to a computer. These programs allow you to turn various clip art files and even your own designs into your personal embroidery designs. Don’t worry about fonts either, since all the TrueType fonts in your PC can be turned into embroidery and monograms. 

Again, you get the convenient features that help make your work into a pleasurable hobby. These include an illuminated workspace (using 6 separate LED lights), a smart threading system, and a much easier bobbin system to use. The arm is also 8.5 inches long, so you can use this for quilts and other bigger projects. 

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Brother XR9500PRW

Yes, we’re back to the famous Brother brand. This particular model is also a Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine, with 100 stitches to choose from, 140 stitch functions, 8 presser feet, and 8 styles of buttonholes. Not bad for a machine that’s unusually affordable. If it wasn’t for the Brother brand, you’d be downright suspicious. 

Let’s admit right out that this isn’t an embroidery machine at all. In fact, you can get it as your sewing machine and it complements your embroidery-only machine. 

But if you like monogramming and consider it a kind of embroidery task you’d enjoy doing, then this machine is right up your alley. This has 55 different stitches for basic monogramming and lettering. You can also be creative and use the decorative stitches for embellishing clothes. 

You also get the convenient features that users will expect from a good Brother machine. It’s computerized with a large LCD display, an auto needle threader, a large work table, and a hard case for protection. 

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Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

You shouldn’t be surprised that we end the list with another Brother machine, but this time you can sew and embroider with the SE1900. This is among the most expensive on this list, but then again you really get what you pay for. 

For your money, you receive 138 embroidery designs and 10 frame shapes along with 240 sewing stitches and 10 buttonholes. You even get 11 fonts, including 3 Japanese fonts and Cyrillic! 

You can change the design by using the machine’s color palette to alter individual thread colors. With the USB port, you can put in additional embroidery designs as well. The embroidery field measures 5 by 7 inches, so you’re not limited by the standard 4×4-inch work space. 

Other features you might like include the auto needle threader, illuminated work area, and the large LCD color touchscreen display. Basically, this is a super sewing machine that’s also a terrific embroidery machine. Use this embroidery machine for shirts, and you can even start your own business. 

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How to Use Your Embroidery Machine

Each machine may have its own set of instructions on how to use it. That’s why it’s always a great idea to read the manual first. 

However, the basic steps tend to be similar for embroidery machines. Here are the steps that you should take once you’ve read the manual:

Get Everything Ready

Aside from your machine, you need a stabilizer to hold your fabric in place. You should also prepare your needles, threads, fabric, and bobbin. Have the manual by your side so you can consult it if you’re unsure about anything. 

Pick Your Needle

It’s best if you go with needles that have been specifically designed for embroidery. The right size depends on the fabric weight, and you may have to experiment a bit with your machine to discover which needles are best for particular fabrics. 

Embroidery needles are differentiated by a number system, with a larger number corresponding to a larger number eye. You may want to pick a smaller needle, however, if you want more accuracy.

Embroidery machines for home use tend to use flat-sided shank needles while commercial embroidery machine models, generally use round shank needles. 

Pick Your Thread

You can go with embroidery thread, which is different somewhat from just plain regular threads. Embroidery threads are thinner, but they’re also stronger than the regular ones. You may also wish to go with the bobbin thread, which makes the embroidery design lighter at the back. 

The thread may also be rayon or polyester, and they have their own sets of advantages and drawbacks. Rayon is somewhat more popular, though it’s also a bit more expensive than polyester. 

Prepare the Machine for Use

Setting up your embroidery machine includes certain steps that may be familiar to users of sewing machines. You can plug in the machine, and maybe connect it to a computer or a USB device. 

Thread the Bobbin

You should consult your manual for this, as an embroidery machine may have a different procedure for threading the bobbin compared to another model. Basically, you did it wrong if you’re able to see the bobbin thread on both sides of your fabric. After this, you can load your fabric. 

Pick Your Embroidery Design

The best embroidery machines will make this process easy for you. Some even have a touchscreen that lets you pick a design in a snap. 

How to Thread an Embroidery Machine

Before you can thread your embroidery machine properly, you need to make sure that you’ve inserted your needle properly. If you haven’t, then you won’t be able to thread the machine. 

You also have to remember that you have to keep the thread tight so it doesn’t come out of the thread tension disc. However, you can tie the thread so tightly that you may pull the thread from the rest. You need to keep it tight to make it  just right. 

Threading your embroidery machine is actually a 2-part procedure. Let’s take a closer look at each part:

Upper Threading

This needs to be done right, or else you can end up with a bent or broken needle. 

  1. If you’re using a small spool, make sure you first put in the spool mat in the spool-pin. Put the thread spool in the spool-pin, and then secure the spool by putting on the spool cap. 
  2. Find the thread guide, with the hole right over the spool pin. Pass the thread through the hole from the back to the front. Pull the thread towards you through the inside of the front. 
  3. Find the guide plate under the guide. Pass the thread from the left side of this guide plate. 
  4. Now find the thread tension disc. Hold your thread and get it around the disc clockwise. The thread should securely hold the disc. 
  5. Pass the thread from the left side of the next guide plate in front of the first one. 
  6. Find the thread take-up lever hole, and pass the thread through that. 
  7. Right under it you’ll find a cover with a hole. Pass the thread down through the cover hole. 
  8. Use the needle-changing tool to pass the thread through your needle bar thread guide. 

Threading Your Needle

It sure will be easier for you if you can the automatic thread mechanism in your machine to thread the needle. If you’re a newbie (and you probably are if you’re reading this section), then it’s crucial that your new machine has this feature. 

  1. Press the button for the automatic thread mechanism.
  2. Pull about 6 inches of thread and then pass this thread under the fork of the threading system. Use the hook passing through the eye of the needle to carefully hold the thread. 
  3. Just after that, you’ll find a notch in the guide on the pressure foot. Pass your thread through that notch. 
  4. Now there’s a groove in the thread cutter right over the pressure foot. Coming from the top, pass the thread down through the groove. Pull the thread down and then cut it. 
  5. You can now press the automatic thread button to finish up. 

How to Use an Embroidery Machine Hoop

You’ll need to know how to use the machine hoop properly if you want to advance your embroidery skills. 

  1. Start by adding the stabilizer to the back of your fabric. If the stabilizer is fusible, you can just iron it on to the back of the fabric. If it’s not fusible, you can just pin it to the fabric.
  2. Remove the inner ring of the embroidery machine hoop. You can do this by lifting up and loosening the frame adjustment screw on the outer ring. 
  3. Use chalk to mark the center of fabric square with an “X”. This should help you make sure you get your design centered on the fabric.
  4. Pick the embroidery sheet with the right size for the hoop, and then put it on the inner ring. The guides should run along with the marks on your fabric. 
  5. Stretch the fabric carefully, so you take out the wrinkles and folds. Press the inner ring into the outer ring, then you can remove the embroidery sheet. 
  6. On each ring, you’ll find an alignment mark (usually a triangular arrow). These marks should be aligned with each other when you’re reinserting the inner ring. 
  7. Now tighten the outer ring using the frame adjustment screw, while you carefully stretch the fabric. You may use a multi-purpose screwdriver to tighten the screw properly.
  8. You’ve now hooped your fabric. After this, you can attach the embroidery frame to the carriage of the embroidery unit. 

Buyer’s Guide

Here are the factors you need to consider:

Price and Value

The right price for your embroidery machine and it will depend on many factors aside from just what you can afford. In general, the quality and the number of features the embroidery machine will offer will determine the cost. 

It all depends on what features you want. An affordable model may only have the most basic features, but the best embroidery machine for beginners can help you get started on your new hobby. But as you yearn for more advanced features, you better be ready to pay for them. The most expensive ones aren’t always the best for you, as they may have features that you don’t particularly care for. 

If you’re looking for the best embroidery for home business, you better make sure that the machine you get is reliable and durable. This type of embroidery machine tends to feature more needles so that you’re able to finish your designs faster. 

The newer ones tend to be more expensive, so you can expect the best embroidery machine 2019 models to be rather pricey. On the other hand, the prices for the best sewing and embroidery 2018 models may drop this year. 

Options for Embroidery Designs

The best embroidery machines will have a sizable library of embroidery designs that you’ll want to use. Some libraries are bigger than others, but a large library of designs doesn’t help you much if the designs aren’t to your taste. Still, with hundreds of embroidery designs and built-in stitches to choose from, you should have lots of options. 

It’s possible for you to obtain extra designs on disk or online, which you can buy or download. Some machines may need to be connected to a computer for you to add the extra designs, but others may just feature a USB port for more convenient design transfers. 

It’s also a great idea if you have lots of fonts to choose from. Putting in messages in clothes is an integral aspect of embroidery. 

Embroidery Field Sizes

The “hoop size” of the embroidery machine is the size of the area that the machine can embroider. Some are quite small, as they’re only large enough for you to put in a small logo. 

Others have multiple hoop sizes to offer, and they can come in different sizes or even different shapes. You may even be able to buy extra hoop sizes for your machine, as you would with extra embroidery designs. 

Machine Displays

The display shows you a picture of the designs you can choose from that are available from the machine. It is best if the machine offers you an accurate image, especially when you’re dealing with designs that come in several colors. You’ll want the colors to be accurately portrayed so that the final result will match what you envisioned for your efforts. 

Versatility

If you already have a sewing machine, it makes sense to buy a machine that can only do embroidery. But if you’re new to sewing (or you just want a new sewing machine as well), then it’s more practical to get a combo sewing and embroidery machine. 

If you’re running a home business, then it’s better for you to get a multi-needle machine that can only do embroidery. This type of machine tends to get the job done more quickly. This is also the type of embroidery machine you need if you wish to embroider hats. More versatile sewing and embroidery machines generally don’t do as well with this type of task. 

Ease of Use

Some machines are easier to use than others, and even pros prefer machines that offer lots of helpful features. These features minimize the annoying problems and get the job done faster. The features you may want to look for in embroidery machines can include the following:

Pre-Installed Tutorials

This is a great feature if you’re a newbie, as you can take your own home lessons as you learn more about sewing and embroidery with the lessons you get. 

Automatic Thread Tension Adjustment

Improper tension can lead to a lot of mistakes, so it really helps when the machine can adjust the thread tension properly for you. 

Automatic Thread Trimming

It really is bothersome if you have to clip all your threads manually. It’s just a lot more convenient if the machine just trims all these threads for you. It saves you a lot of time and effort, and you minimize the annoyance. 

Beadings and Sequins 

Some embroidery machines may have attachments that let you do beadings and sequins. This can let you do more types of work than just regular embroidery.

Design Editing

The ability to do this can vary greatly depending on the model you have. On some embroidery machines, you may not be able to change anything. What you see is just what you get. Or perhaps you can change the size for a little bit. 

But other machines may offer greater leeway in the kinds of changes you can make, and that may not be limited to the size. You may be able to change some of the designs. There are even machines that let you pick borders and corners with other design components so you can come up with your own unique designs. 

Throat Width

This is about how far the needle is to the body of the embroidery machine. If you have ample distance in between, the machine is able to embroider the cloth more easily. 

It can be very frustrating to use an embroidery machine with a very small throat width. You’ll also need to adjust the cloth to fit the embroidery machine all the time. 

Variable Speed Control

Beginners may like this option of being able to set off slowly at first before you go faster. 

Knee Lifter

With this convenient feature, you’re able to lift the presser foot by using your knee. This lets you use your hands for other stuff. 

Durability and Customer Service

You may want to stick with the better-known brands, as often these brands have earned a good reputation for building machines that last long. You can read up on customer reviews to get an idea of how long you can expect the machine to work properly, and reading lots of complaints about malfunctions can be a red flag. 

A nice long warranty period is also a good sign of the machine’s durability. But do read customer reports on how the customer service department reacts to complaints. 

FAQs

What’s the main difference between a sewing machine and an embroidery machine?

In a sewing machine, you can do construction stitching which is a functional stitch. Embroidery machines allow for embroidery stitching which is mainly decorative. 

What’s the difference between embroidering and monogramming?

While they’re sometimes used as synonyms for each other, embroidery is actually different from monogramming. Strictly speaking, embroidery is about stitching a decorative design on your fabric material. Monogramming is limited to using initials as your design. So you can say that monogramming is a type of embroidery. 

What’s the main difference between a commercial-grade embroidery machine and a machine for home use?

Nowadays, you may find home embroidery machines with advanced features and hundreds of designs that can compare well enough with the commercial models. But the commercial-grade models stand out in their durability. You can use them for continuous, heavy-duty operation. With home embroidery machines, such use can wear out the machine quickly. 

That’s why the prices of commercial-grade models are so high. You can use them all day, every day. 

How can you take care of your embroidery machine?

Here are a few tips:

  • Unplug the machine when you’re not using it to protect it from power surges.
  • Keep it completely covered when not in use to protect it from dust. 
  • For home use, you should replace the needle after 4 hours. Make that 2 hours for commercial use. 
  • Don’t forget to oil the machine regularly. 

What’s the best advice for embroidery newbies?

Breathe and relax! Yes, you can make mistakes as you learn, but that’s normal. You can’t expect to get it right the first time. You can start with a project rated for beginners and learn along the way. It’s like learning how to ride a bike, except it’s not as painful when you take a fall! 

Final Words

As you can see, you can pick an embroidery-only machine or a combo sewing and embroidery machine. In fact, you can use a sewing machine and do some basic monogramming with it as well. But here you can see that with the best embroidery machines you won’t have too much trouble learning about sewing and embroidery. It’s a lot more fun when you have lots of options and designs to try, while annoying tasks like threading the needle are basically eliminated.

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