Best Embroidery Machine Reviews of 2020
Brother SE1900 Computerized Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Ultimate 2-in-1 embroidery & sewing machine
Packed with features for the best in embroidery and sewing.
1 Brother SE1900 Review
This Brother SE1900 is the best combination embroidery and sewing machine on the market. With a large LCD touchscreen and more features than you could ask for, this machine is easy to use and a joy to work with.
Featuring 240 built-in sewing stitches, 138 embroidery designs and a color touchscreen that lets you preview and edit, this is the only machine you’ll ever need for your sewing and embroidery projects.
The Brother SE1900 also has an innovative My Custom Stitch feature which allows you to design your own custom sewing stitches and save them for later use. This is a great feature for professionals and novices alike.
With almost zero conversion time between modes, this machine can keep up with the most demanding projects. Meaning you won’t need to clutter your workspace with multiple machines.
With so many useful features, it’s clear to see why the Brother SE1900 is the best embroidery machine on the market.
Brother PE800 Computerized Embroidery Machine
Large field, excellent value for money
A revolutionary machine ideal for professional embroiderers and passionate hobbyists.
2 Brother PE800 Review
The Brother PE800 is an excellent embroidery machine for both professional and hobbyist embroiders. The large embroidery field allows designs of all sizes and the expandable memory allows you to store as many designs as you like on a USB memory stick.
The machine also comes with over one hundred built-in designs and eleven lettering fonts. You can browse and select these using the larger-than-average LCD touchscreen, perfect for creative projects that need something unique.
This embroidery machine offers an impressive speed of 650 stitches per minute. Thanks to its speed, you’ll be able to handle high-volume tasks and projects effortlessly.
The machine can also rotate or reflect the design, which is perfect if you want to achieve a mirrored effect.
Even though it offers less functionality than the SE1900, the Brother PE800 offers a high-speed performance and great value for money, making it the best choice for professional embroiders that already own a sewing machine.
Brother SE600 Computerized Sewing & Embroidery Machine
Great 2-in-1 embroidery & sewing machine
A highly versatile machine ideal for both amateurs and professionals.
3 Brother SE600 Review
If you don’t need the largest embroidery field but would still like to switch between stitching and embroidering, check out the Brother SE600. This one is slightly smaller than the PE800 but still offers high performance. It also comes with a 2-in-1 feature that has all your embroidery and stitching needs covered.
The sewing function lets you select from 103 built-in stitch types to suit your project. When it comes to embroidering, just create a linear or intricate pattern on the color LCD screen or upload your favorite design via the USB port.
The 4×4-inch field is great for both pros and beginners. Keep in mind though that the interface could be a bit overwhelming and the instructions are not always easy to follow.
But despite these slight downsides, the Brother SE600 undoubtedly brings all the value you need to satisfy the needleworker in you or your clients.
Brother PE550D Embroidery Machine
Great for Disney Lovers
A dependable and affordable embroidery machine for novices.
4 Brother PE550D Review
If you’re looking for an embroidery machine with enough functionality for craft projects without the hefty price tag, the Brother PE550D is the perfect one for you. Reliable yet affordable, it doesn’t offer as many in-built designs as the previous models but is plenty for hobbyists and crafters.
Featuring 45 built-in Disney designs as well as florals, borders, lace and other designs, this machine is the must-have model for Disney enthusiasts.
The large LCD touchscreen display is easy to use and allows you to view all designs before stitching. Plus, the embroidery editing feature means you can resize, move, and mirror-image designs beforehand – perfect for those new to the craft.
For an affordable machine with the whimsical fun of Disney, the Brother PE550D is the perfect choice.
1. Sewing vs. embroidery machine
Sewing and embroidery machines look similar at first glance, but they serve two different purposes.
- Sewing machines: Are designed for tailoring and are often employed in many creative activities that involve sewings, such as creating patchwork designs or fabric wall art. Most sewing machines offer multiple stitch patterns and pattern lengths that can vary from simple to decorative, but these machines are not capable of creating artistic embroidery.
- Embroidery machines: As their name suggests, are developed specifically for artistic embroidery, although some of them double as traditional sewing machines. These machines can be mechanical or computerized and can embroider intricate patterns such as letters and complex ornaments. Embroidery machines are ideal for the embroiderers who want to sew complicated models which are hard to achieve by hand.
2. Types of embroidery machines
There are three main types of embroidery machines, mechanical, electronic, and computerized.
- Mechanical embroidery machines: Are the granddaddy of them all and like the mechanical sewing machines, they are controlled by a rotating wheel. Due to the simpler technologies involved, these embroidery machines are the cheapest, but they are harder to operate than an electronic or computerized machine and offer a limited selection of stitch types.
- Electronic embroidery machines: Are the easiest to use. A bit more expensive than the mechanical machines but cheaper than the computerized ones, the electronic machines are perfect for the zealous embroiderer looking for more versatility. These machines have more stitch options and embroidery patterns, but you are in charge of creating the embroidery design.
- Computerized embroidery machines: Are perfect for the embroiderers who want to sew complex designs quickly and effortlessly. These are the best embroidery machines on the market, and the vast majority come with pre-programmed designs and connectivity functions which allow uploading new patterns. Computerized machines are developed to do all the work without human intervention, and all you have to do is select the desired settings and switch the unit on. However, the advanced technologies involved also make them the most expensive type.
Free-motion vs. computerized embroidery
Picking one type of embroidery machine over another is often a matter of embroidery preferences rather than technology. The mechanical and electronic machines are designed for free-motion embroidery, whereas the computerized machines are developed for computerized embroidery.
- Free-motion embroidery gives you full control over the needle’s direction. The machine’s only purpose is to aid you with stitching, but it is you to decide where the needle stitches. These machines are typically preferred by the amateurs who want to create their embroidery patterns but are less practical for the professional embroiderers. Since free-motion embroidery is complicated, these machines are also ideal for beginners who want to learn the secrets of this art.
- Computerized embroidery requires no intervention from your side. All you need to do is choose the embroidery design and set the parameters, and the machine will do everything else for you. While this won’t teach you embroidery, these machines are ideal for the industrial environments but also for the amateurs who want to embroider complex designs on garments or art.
3. Embroidery-only or combo machine?
Besides the technology involved, you must also decide if you want an embroidery machine designed exclusively for this purpose or a combo machine designed for both sewing and embroidery.
- Embroidery-only machines: Can be used for embroidery work only, and they are a great choice for the hobbyists and professionals interested exclusively in embroidering activities. Investing in an embroidery-only unit may also be a good choice if you already own a sewing machine and want to save some money.
- Combination machines: Can either sew or embroider, and they are a better choice in most circumstances. These machines are ideal for tailoring and quilting, arts and crafts, and all other activities that may involve a combination of sewing and stitching. Switching between the functions is typically easy, and a single machine is a more cost-effective and space-saving solution.
4. Embroidery machine head and needle
Embroidery machines come with either single head and needle or with a single head and multiple needles.
- Single head single needle machines: Look like the standard sewing machines, and many of these models are designed as combo machines. This configuration is ideal for the less complex embroidery projects, but they are rarely capable of handling too elaborated designs.
- Single head multiple needles machines: Come with a variable number of needles, typically between four and ten, and are designed specifically for elaborate embroideries. These machines are embroidery-only units capable of embroidering multicolor designs in a single step, without requiring you to change the thread. These units are often very expensive and typically used in the industries.
5. The Best Embroidery Machines in 2019 & 2020
6. Embroidery field size
The field size determines the size of the area the embroidery machine can stitch, ultimately determining the maximum size of the embroidery design you can create. Most units have a field size of 4×4 inches, but some of the best embroidery machines boast larger field sizes, typically of 5×7 inches or larger.
While expanding the field size is impossible, you can reduce it with hoops if you want to embroider smaller designs.
7. Built-in designs and connectivity
Computerized embroidery machines come with built-in embroidery designs including embroidery patterns, alphabet fonts, frames, and border patterns. The number of built-in designs and patterns varies from machine to machine, but the best computerized embroidery machines give you the possibility to upload additional designs and patterns.
Most computerized embroidery machines come with either PC connectivity or USB ports, and most manufacturers also allow to purchase or download designs from their websites.
8. Design editing and resizing
Sometimes you will have to edit or resize the design, and most embroidery machines give you at least basic editing options, such as rotating, mirroring, enlarging or reducing the image. Most embroidery machines display all the changes on an LCD screen, so you can control they meet your needs.
Before resizing the design, it is recommended to check the producer’s recommendations, because some designs may lose quality if reduced or enlarged too much.
9. Additional features to consider
A few additional features can add all those versatile bells and whistles to your embroidery machine.
- Embellishment options: Allow you to sew beadings and sequins besides the standard embroidery options.
- Thread cutting: A great feature if you want to achieve accurate results, as these machines are capable of trimming the threads with incredible precision.
- Auto shutoff: Switches off the machine when the bobbin thread has run out.
- Automatic thread tension: Adjusts the thread tension with no effort from your side.
- Variable speed: Similar to the soft start of cordless drills and other power tools, the variable speed embroidery machines start slowly and gradually increase the speed to prevent injuries.
- Accessories: Pre-wound bobbins, hoops, scissors, needles, and other accessories are valuable additions to your embroidery machine.
- Integrated light: The best embroidery machines also have an integrated work light designed to enhance visibility.
10. The Best Embroidery Machine for the Money
Brother PE800 Computerized Embroidery MachineLarge field, excellent value for money
A revolutionary machine ideal for professional embroiderers and passionate hobbyists.