Best Embroidery Machine Reviews – Are you interested in embroidery for your own towels, shirts or bedsheets? How about starting your own home-based business? No matter what your reasons are, chances are you have no clue where to start from.
Even if you do have a plan, it takes time to research the market and figure what the best embroidery machine is, not to mention learning about features and issues that may arise in the future. Luckily for you, you are in the right place.
Table of Contents
- What Is an Embroidery Machine?
- Most Common Types of Embroidery Machines
- Main Types of Machine Embroidery Procedures
- Steps to Follow in Computerized Machine Embroidery
- Best Embroidery Machine – Our Top Picks
- #1. Best Overall – Brother LB6800PRW
- #2. Best Embroidery Machine for Hats – Brother SE1900
- #3. Best Embroidery Machine for Patches – Brother PE770
- #4. Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners – EverSewn Hero
- #4. Best Embroidery Machine for Monogramming – Janome Memory Craft 400E
- #5. Best Budget Embroidery Machine – Brother SE-400 or SE-600
- Other Top-Rated Models Worth Paying For
- Final Thoughts
Find out what an embroidery machine is and how it works, but also become familiar with the most important types of machines out there. At the same time, it is worth going on with a reputable product. What does it mean? Easy – a well-established manufacturer and a top rated machine. Read on what to expect from this venture and find out how to make it as smooth as possible.
What Is an Embroidery Machine?
In order to understand what the best embroidery machine is, you will need to become familiar with the concept of such equipment. Embroidery is referred to as a professional technique of using stitches in order to design patterns, drafts, and models.
Everyone is familiar with it to some point. You find towels in hotels carrying the unit’s logo or perhaps the uniform you have in work is embroidered with a few words or a symbol. This level of personalization is widely appreciated by pretty much everyone. As for its uses, it can go for a wide plethora of applications.
The unique appearance is the main reason wherefore someone would choose an embroidered item over something simple. When it comes to enriching a piece of apparel, most companies rely on stickers. They lose their colors over time and they start peeling off. Sooner or later, they are useful only when you wash your car or cook.
When it comes to embroidered apparel, people find it more attractive because it looks unique. It does not look like those items that are mass produced. However, you will find embroidery machines that can work with automatic stitching features, yet the final result will still make the difference.
Why You Should Have A Good Machine
From another point of view, embroidered items seem to be more valuable. It is easy to tell why – the actual manufacturing process is different. A sticker is one thing that will fade and disappear with time. An embroidered piece of apparel will maintain its looks over time. A good machine can put dozens and even hundreds of stitches together in order to achieve a beautiful final result, whether you use one or more colors.
Quality is just as important, so embroidered items do sell better and for more money because of the durability of the respective design. Those stitches are more likely to maintain their color as well.
As if all these were not enough, finding the best embroidery machine will open a new world for you. You get a professional machine that will help you keep in touch with the ultimate fashion tendencies. Got a new idea? Consider it done!
Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to be unique. Most machines let you come up with your own designs. It could be a horse, a tribal design or perhaps a flower. Anything you like can easily just go on your clothes, towels and so on.
Most Common Types of Embroidery Machines
Embroidery machines have seriously advanced lately and they come with all kinds of futuristic improvements. From this point of view, more and more units are computerized and allow deep feature customization. There are more types out there and each of them carries its own main features and unique specifications.
1. Combined Embroidery and Sewing Machines
Combined sewing machines are self-explanatory – they represent a mixture of the most common features you can get these days. They are sometimes referred to as computerized embroidery machines.
You will most likely find single and multiple needed machines, yet this model represents a middle solution. You can find both options and you can even choose the right type of stitching based on your design or recommendations. Adjustability is by far the best thing about them. Apart from choosing how many needles you need, you can adjust pretty much any feature.
2. Single Needle Embroidery Machines
This type of embroidery machines represents the most common option in commerce. It represents the actual basics. If you have seen or used sewing machines, they look pretty much the same. They come with a wide and flat bedding where the apparel goes in, as well as the actual embroidery mechanism.
This model is so basic anyone can learn how to use within hours only. Given the basic design and capabilities, this model is less likely to provide sophisticated designs. Instead, it is more suitable for general projects and even intricate stitches. They also make a good choice for those who plan to create plans and designs – excellent for computerized training.
One Head Only
All these machines feature one head only. The head consists of more little parts – bobbin, thread, needle and so on. Some accessories can be attached to it to make it more sophisticated. Unlike most expectations, it is not the arm holding the needle doing the whole work – It is the bedding that is flexible enough to move from left to right, up and down for the design to be completed.
Attachments are not too diversified. There is only one place where you can attach things.
When compared to other types, a single needle embroidery machine will not impress with a large range of hoop possibilities. It does not mean that it is useless though. Instead, it is mostly recommended to small accessories and pieces of apparel, but also for personal or light commercial purposes.
As a general rule of thumb, such a machine can come up with anywhere between 250 and 1,000 stitches per minute.
3. Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines
As technology changes and people gain experience, more and more users simply stick to this type. This is the best embroidery machine if you plan to go into business. If you are serious about this venture, it will make a massive difference in your projects.
Most machines have anywhere between four and 10 needles. Each needle can have a different thread – imagine that with different colors. You can switch between one color and another without needing to change the thread every once in a while – the main difference from single needle machines.
When it comes to the speed, it varies between 400 and 1,000 stitches per minute. Some of them go even faster than that. The best embroidery machine can easily hold a couple of points of hoop attachments, which means you gain more diversity and versatility when embroidering fabrics.
Deciding on the best option depends on how far you want to take this embroidering experience. If you are interested in gaining experience with business purposes, it pays off investing in a higher end model. Even if you do not, a good machine will still fuel your passion.
Main Types of Machine Embroidery Procedures
A designer will never be able to do with one machine only – not even the best embroidery machine. The same rule applies to newbies, as they gain experience. On the same note, what works for some people will not work for everyone else.
In other words, you will still have to research your options and figure the strengths and weaknesses of each machine mentioned below before deciding which one matches your needs.
When it comes to types of embroidery, there are two major types out there – free motion and computerized.
Free Motion Machine Embroidery
Free motion machine embroidery is quite self-explanatory. You have full control over whatever the machine is doing. It will follow your pattern and allows you to move the fabric around and go in any direction. You can also determine the needle size, not to mention the type of stitches. All in all, you have the possibility to decide everything in terms of design and final results.
This kind of embroidery is quite complicated because it asks for experience. New users will struggle a bit in the beginning. Do not practice on your best clothes, but get some cheap fabrics in order to get familiar with how the machine works. While this is the hard way to discover and embrace embroidery, it is also the most rewarding one. If you know how to use a free motion machine embroidery, you can use any other type of machine.
Developing a wide range of sewing skills is part of the process. Moreover, the free motion model will enhance other skills too such as quilting or thread painting. For these reasons, most beginners would rather do with a free motion model when looking for the best embroidery machine.
Computerized Machine Embroidery
The computerized machine embroidery is suitable for a wide variety of people – those who want more sophisticated designs or modern techniques, as well as those with some experience or future business plans.
When compared to a free motion alternative, this model is more expensive. However, it pays off – you get plenty of extra features, utility and the possibility to come up with some exquisite designs, the kind of designs that you would not be able to do otherwise.
The actual use of technology will certainly add to your convenience. No matter how many designs and models you have in mind, you can easily store and use them later within the internal memory or on a card. Not all machines accept memory cards though, so make sure you can find a way to transfer your models to the machine for even more convenience.
More futuristic models allow Internet or computer connectivity. Some of them are connected to the wireless network and can be used like printers – only they “print” stitches on fabrics. Some others can be connected to the computer or laptop, as well as a smartphone.
All in all, knowing how each type works will certainly help in choosing the best embroidery machine. When about to make a decision, make sure you take future plans and expectations into consideration too – not just your current needs.
Steps to Follow in Computerized Machine Embroidery
Computerized machine embroidery gains more and more popularity lately – it is easier than free motion machine embroidery, but it also provides more options and connectivity. At first, it may sound complicated for a beginner, but there are only a few basic steps that will take you through the entire process. Most of them are straightforward and intuitive.
- Create a digital design. You can create the design yourself using specific software. However, you will also find plenty of models to download over the Internet. Try both options at first until you get used to how it works.
- Convert the digital design into a stitch file. In order for the machine to recognize the design, you will have to convert it into the right format. Computerized machines work with “stitch files”. You can turn any design into a stitch file.
- Upload the new file. Once you have the stitch file, it has to go into the machine. Different machines allow different ways to transfer files.
- Prepare the settings. Each embroidering action has to be set first. Some settings make sense – others are hard to understand. Refer to the owner’s manual for more information if you are not sure.
- Prepare the fabric. Get the fabric done. Stretch it on the hoop frame. Also, make sure it is big enough to take the whole design – or better said, make sure the design is suitable for it.
- Turn the machine on. Once you have all these done, you can press the start button and watch the magic happen. Depending on the size of your project, the process may take less than a minute or more than a few minutes.
Best Embroidery Machine – Our Top Picks
Now that you know how embroidery machines work and what types of products you can find out there, what is the best embroidery machine for your needs? Different people look for different things in life and the same rule applies when buying something.
Some buyers look for value for money, while others want bells and whistles or simplicity. Here are some of the best-rated embroidery machines on the market, as well as their best features explained.
#1. Best Overall – Brother LB6800PRW
Brother’s best embroidery machine is one of the leading products on the market and by far the most balanced one in terms of features and specs. It comes with 67 sewing stitches with different purposes – heirloom, quilting, decorative, utility and so on. You also have 70 preset designs, 120 frames, and five fonts.
Not enough for you? The machine comes with computer connectivity. In other words, you can import any design you can find online or make yourself. Furthermore, you can download any upgrades to keep the unit running smoothly. The embroidery area measures 4×4 inches – more than enough for personalization.
- Simple bobbin winding mechanism.
- Straightforward LCD display.
- Can feed smooth fabrics.
- Many preset tutorials for beginners.
- Light to keep the workplace bright.
- Feels a bit heavy.
- Embroidering area might feel too small for some.
#2. Best Embroidery Machine for Hats – Brother SE1900
If you are interested in personalizing hats, this model could be the best choice. It is a combination of sewing and embroidery – multipurpose versatility. The embroidery field measures 5 x 7 inches – a bit wider than other units in this segment.
The machine can be controlled through an intuitive LCD touchscreen. It also lets you preview the design, not to mention editing it. You have 240 sewing stitches, fonts and frames, not to mention the import capability or the eight sewing feet.
- Plenty of presets.
- Sewing feet.
- Multipurpose versatility.
- Easy to use.
- Multifunction touchscreen.
- Plenty of stitches that you may never even need.
- Noise level might be a bit disturbing for some.
#3. Best Embroidery Machine for Patches – Brother PE770
Brother’s best embroidery machine for patches features a large embroidery area of 5×7 inches. You have all the space you need for designs, letters, logos and so on. There is less rehooping needed. Threading is fairly simple as the machine has its own system. You just need to follow the threading diagram on the unit.
If you are not 100% happy with the design, you can always do some edits before printing it on clothes. Everything is available on the LCD display. The machine has its own memory as well, so you can import all kinds of designs from free sources or just do your own.
- Embroidery card slot.
- Easy set bobbin.
- Wide embroidering area.
- Backlit LCD touchscreen display.
- Easy to edit designs.
- Accessories are poor.
- LCD menu can be a bit tricky.
#4. Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners – EverSewn Hero
This model is designed with beginners in mind. It has an impressive stitch package of 400 preset designs. You can use any of them to practice or enhance your clothing. Furthermore, the embroidery area covers 4 x 6.7 inches. You have USB connectivity too, so you can import new designs or change the current ones.
The lack of experience might cause the bobbin ending in the middle of the action. Fortunately, this machine has a safety feature that warns you if the bobbin thread runs low. Moreover, if the upper needle thread fails (goes empty of breaks down), the machine will automatically stop.
- Safety features.
- Comprehensive preset gallery.
- Large embroidering area.
- Large LCD display.
- Eight presser feet.
- Needs some software installation to upload new designs.
- Too many presets that you will never use.
#4. Best Embroidery Machine for Monogramming – Janome Memory Craft 400E
Interested in embroidering monograms? This might be the best embroidery machine then. It does not feature any sewing capabilities, but it is packed with embroidery features, whether you count the display, presets or capabilities.
The great value for money is given by multiple elements, but most importantly, by the large embroidery field. Simply put, you can go over 7.9×7.9 inches. The speed goes up to 860 stitches per minute, while other worthy features include an easy jet bobbin, advanced needle threader, and automatic thread cutter.
- Superior embroidery field.
- Many convenience features.
- Impressive speed.
- Embroidery foot.
- 160 designs.
- Differently sized hoops must be purchased separately.
- Some adjustments might be challenging.
#5. Best Budget Embroidery Machine – Brother SE-400 or SE-600
Both these generations belong to the same model, only one of them is newer. You get the classic embroidery field size from Brother – 4×4 inches. Besides, you just cannot overlook the possibility to feed smooth fabrics without having to hold them. The seven-point feed dogs help taking everything in.
The workspace does not really need any light because it is naturally lit. The bright lights literally invade the working area to prevent mistakes. As for settings, edits, design control and designs, the LCD touchscreen display has everything you need. It is also backlit.
- Computer connectivity.
- Simple bobbin preparation.
- Automatic needle threader.
- Accessory feet.
- Full accessory bag.
- Preset patterns are good for practice, but not too stylish.
- Embroidery software must be purchased separately.
Other Top-Rated Models Worth Paying For
If you’re looking for other models, these embroidery machines are worth a look, too. They’re actually worth paying for.
#1. Singer XL-580
Singer’s best embroidery machine comes with 50 different designs and a hoop measuring 6.75×4 inches. You have stippling embroidery designs to come up with your own effects. There are 250 embroidery designs you can use to practice, but also to personalize some of your clothes. In terms of connectivity, you can connect the machine to your computer via USB.
The Swiftsmart threading system lets you guide the thread – everything else is done by the machine. Changing the bobbin is just as simple. Put the new bobbin in and the old one will be kicked out. You also have a knee lifter to allow you to raise or lower the presser foot without using your hands. Plus, you can use a series of different formats for design files – FHE, JEF, HUS, PES, EXP, and PSW, among a few others.
- Comes with plenty of designs for practice and customization.
- USB connectivity allows creating new designs on the computer before importing them.
- Comes with a knee lifter.
- Compatible with multiple file formats.
- Superior threading system.
- Manual of instructions lacks information.
- Might act weird and cause errors sometimes.
#2. Brother PE550D
Brother’s PE550D embroidery machine works on a 4×4 inch field and comes with alignment tools for precision. All settings can be easily controlled through a large 3.2 inch Sew Smart LCD touchscreen display. You can see everything in full color and get an idea about what to expect. The needle threader is automatic – just use the small lever.
If you are not sure where to start from, you have 125 embroidery designs to choose from – 45 of them will make your kids happy because they represent Pixar and Disney characters. You also have childish, floral and letter designs, not to mention borders. As for connectivity, you can import your own PES files using the USB cable.
- USB connectivity.
- Great for parents.
- 125 preset designs.
- Nine lettering fonts.
- Full control through the LCD display.
- Does not come with a foot controller.
- Instructions might seem difficult to understand.
#3. Brother SE625
Brother is a front runner in embroidery machines and the SE625 can easily dominate the segment. It is probably the best embroidery machine if you are after presets and tutorials. It has 280 different designs. Over 200 of them are included on a CD – alphabets, borders, sports, flowers, nature and childish designs – something for everyone.
You can control settings and even preview the design on the 3.2-inch color LCD touchscreen display. The drag and drop feature is quite an innovation in this model, as you can literally move the design on the display with your finger only. You can change colors in designs and benefit from 163 sewing stitches.
- Large 6.4x4.1 inch embroidery field.
- Seven sewing feet.
- Full control and customization through the LCD screen.
- Impressive array of preset designs.
- Computer connectivity.
- Confusing manual of instructions.
- Some patterns are more suitable to practice than to embroider on your clothes.
#4. Singer Futura XL-400
The multi-hoop ability is certainly a plus. Your designs can go as large as you want on the impressive 18.5×11 inch wide field. If size is what you are after, this model is the best embroidery machine for you. Furthermore, you can customize anything about your designs on the computer screen, whether you want different colors or sizes.
When it comes to presets, you have 125 embroidery designs. They include shapes, floral, abstract designs and letters, among many others. The working area is well lit by six LED lights. The feature is not all about viewing your work as it happens, but also about eliminating eye strain. As for files, the machine is compatible with more formats – FHE, JEF, CHE, SHV and XXX, among a few others.
- Multiple presets.
- Comes with an intelligent threading system.
- Features a drop and sew bobbin mechanism.
- Sewing space is extra large.
- Compatible with plenty of file formats.
- Random errors may occur occasionally, but find solutions in the manual of instructions.
- Computer requirements might ask for an upgrade of your current unit.
#5. Brother PE535
Brother brought in its classic 3.2-inch display on this model as well. It is an LCD touchscreen that allows full customization of your designs and settings. You can change colors and settings with a couple of taps only, but you can also preview. An automatic needle threader makes your job easier and can literally save your eyes from all the hassle.
The embroidery field is standard in Brother’s machines and this one makes no exception either – 4×4 inches. You can align stuff with a grid and certain tools for perfect placement. Not sure what to start with? There are 80 designs out there – kids and floral designs, borders, alphabets and so on – literally something for everyone.
- Ability to edit lettering designs.
- USB port for computer connectivity.
- Multiple preset designs.
- Large LCD screen.
- Easy to get used to.
- Does not work with larger hoops.
- Software must be purchased separately.
#6. Brother PE525
Brother’s PE525 embroidery machine allows deep customization of the text. You have nine lettering fonts – three of them are Japanese. You can include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols – three different sizes. There are also six ways to edit text design – aligned in curves, placed on more lines and so on.
The USB port allows computer connectivity to edit designs and import new files. You can save your work on USB memory sticks too. As for the embroidery field, it is the standard size for Brother’s segment – 4×4 inches.
- Comes with 80 preset designs.
- Automatic needle threader.
- Large LCD display.
- Simple to use.
- Multiple customization options.
- Other designs require a digitizing software.
- Takes a while to get used to it.
Bottom line, you do have options when trying to find an embroidery machine. Each unit has its particularities, while some models seem quite similar.
Based on the market and what it has to offer, Brother LB6800PRW is probably the best embroidery machine available today. It is suitable for both newbies and more experienced people, yet experts using it with business purposes might need a slightly larger embroidery field.
The product comes with its own bag, 67 stitches, 70 designs, computer connectivity, easy systems, and top-notch customization. It does what it is supposed to do and it does it right. The Brother’s best embroidery machine is currently rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, which means 93% of all buyers find it perfect or almost perfect.
In the end, the only one that knows your needs is yourself, so you don’t have to agree with us. Just choose one model that suits your requirements and budget.