Best Embroidery Machine for 2017
Choosing the best embroidery machine is important considering it’s a sizable investment. Whether you’re searching for a model for your business or to move on to bigger and better projects as part of your hobby, finding the right one can be a challenge.
To start, you’re going to want to check out the brand. For the most part, most of the large brands, such as Singer, offer machines that are high in quality. But you shouldn’t stop there. If you’re familiar with a brand, do a little digging. Does the manufacturer offer customer support, and if so, does their customer support team have a good reputation for helping consumers to troubleshoot? This is especially important if you’re a beginner.
Does the model you’re interested in feature most of the requirements on your must-have list? Everyone has their own unique sewing and embroidery style and certain functions are essential to the user’s individual needs, such as a bobbin winding for the needle, or automatic thread cutting. Do you do most of your work at night when everyone else in the home is sleeping?
Pro Tip: Look for a machine that’s quiet-running and comes with a well-lit platform.
If you have your heart set on a combo machine, is the sewing machine separate from the embroidery unit? If it is, you’ll be able to use the machine for quilting and sewing as well as embroidery.
Are you looking for a more portable unit or do you need a large commercial grade machine? There are plenty of options out there if you’re not in need of an industrial strength embroidery machine. If you do have a home business but can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on an embroidery machine, there are a number of high-quality home use models that are tough enough to handle daily use. Daily use is the magic words. Otherwise, you may end up spending hundreds of dollars on a model that will burn out if it doesn’t come packed with the right amount of power.
If you’re a beginner, do you have all the tools and accessories you need to get started once your machine arrives, or are you starting from scratch? If you’re totally unprepared, take a look at the many starter package bundles available. These packages come with needles, different hoops and anything else you’ll need to get started. You should also learn about a machine’s versatility. Does the manufacturer offer attachments and other items you can purchase later to expand your machine’s usability? This includes quilting tables, different presser feet, and attachments you can use for special techniques.
How flexible is your machine? Some models only come equipped with designs built into the memory. In order to get your hands on as many designs and stitches as possible, you’ll need a machine that can connect to the internet.
These are some of the important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you even begin your search. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top five models currently on the market, each of which has something special to offer whether it’s user-friendliness, value, or a larger workspace, the odds are you’ll find your next embroidery machine here.
Embroidery Machine Comparison Chart
|Product||Function||Use||Workspace||Price Comparison||Lowest Price|
|Singer XL 580||combo||home||10x16||$$$$$||check price|
|Brother Designio||single||home||5x7||$$$$||check price|
|Singer Futura XL 400 ||combo||home & work||18.5x11||$$$||check price|
|Janome ||single||home||5x5||$$||check price|
|Brother LB600PRW||combo||home||4x4||$||check price|
1. Brother LB600PRW Project Runway Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine Combo Review-Best for 2017
If you love to embroider and sew, and you have a passion for fashion, then the odds are you’ll be left foaming at the mouth when you come across the Brother LB600PRW computerized embroidery and sewing machine combo. This model comes loaded with features. The PC connectivity will allow you to upload customized embroidery or sewing designs directly to the machine. This will instantly expand your embroidery library. The machine also offers seventy embroidery stitches, a hundred and twenty frame pattern combos, sixty-seven sewing stitches and a total of five monogramming fonts. You can also adjust the width of the stitching up to five millimeters and a length up to seven millimeters. So, you can see why we felt that this model was so versatile. This is one embroidery machine combo that will allow you to explore your creativity.
This model also features an extensive twenty-five-year product warranty and free customer support for life.
If you often find yourself embroidering in a dimly lit setting, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that this model comes with a floodlight system which focuses the lighting power on the work surface, to ensure you create a flawless design.
In addition to the features we’ve already covered, this model also features five styles of one-step automatic buttonholes, a presser foot leveling button and foot pressure adjustment, needle stop position control, an easy needle threading system, speed control, backlit LCD touchscreen, and a Project Runway carrying case.
- The computer connectivity offers endless possibilities, while this sturdy machine is powerful enough to sew bulkier fabrics without struggling.
- Regardless of your skill level, you can use this machine easily because it comes with a very detailed user’s guide and starter kit. The easy to use LCD screen features tutorials that you can take advantage of to increase your sewing and embroidery skills. The machine’s easy to use design makes it perfect for beginners.
- We felt that the hoops were a little small and may not be appropriate if your goal is to use this machine for larger projects.
- While it offers a wide range of features, this isn’t a machine that can handle heavy daily use, which makes it a poor choice for embroiderers looking for a commercial grade model.
This model comes equipped with all of the same features that you’ll find on Brother’s SE 400 model, with the addition of the Project Runway rolling carrying case. You’ll be totally overwhelmed by this model’s sixty-seven stitches, which include everything from quilting and decorative stitches, to heirloom and utility stitches. The large LCD display will allow you to quickly cycle through stitch options to find the best choice for you. This is a machine that can do it all. The five classic fonts and a hundred and twenty built-in frame patterns will allow you to truly explore your creative side, allowing you to embroider shirts, sweaters, napkins, and towels. The only limitation will be your imagination.
2. Singer Futura XL 400 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine Review-Biggest Work Surface
Over the past several decades, Singer is a company that’s made quite the name for themselves by producing sewing machines that can withstand the test of time. Their extensive line of embroidery and sewing machine combinations has taken the industry by storm, offering a wide variety of features and the same type of quality that Singer is known for.
The Singer Futura XL 400 is a mid-range embroidery and sewing machine that features a design that easily allows for heavy-duty use. Due to its solid casting, this machine has definitely been made to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Unlike standard embroidery machines, this model is surprisingly easy to use, even though it comes with a wide range of features. However, the included features are user-friendly and designed to facilitate your sewing process, making it much easier for the user to take on a variety of embroidery projects with ease. This model also allows you to import a variety of designs and patterns from your PC.
This model comes with a wide embroidery surface and offers multi-hooping capabilities. The large embroidery surface comes in at a little over eighteen inches by eleven inches, which is one of the largest surfaces available on the market to date. Because it features such as wide work surface, you’ll be able to work with a wider range of fabrics. This wider work area will also prevent you from having to constantly rehoop in order to finish a project.
Because this is a computerized model, it may be slightly harder to use for beginners. However, because it’s computerized, manual adjustments and other functions can be controlled through a quick swipe of your finger.
- This machine is brimming with innovative features. It offers a hundred and twenty-five embroidery design, plus the ability to upload more designs via USB connection. The USB compatibility will also allow you to personalize or edit designs and upload them onto the machine with no hassle.
- This machine also comes with thirty sewing stitches that can add some serious variety to your sewing.
- If you enjoy sewing at night then you’ll love the six LED lights that will keep your work area well lit.
- While many sewers raved about the built-in lighting features, others felt that the lights were on the dimmer side.
- Another downside involved the LCD screen menu, which was difficult for some beginners to use to navigate through features.
As far as the included extra features are concerned, users will benefit from the many ways they can personalize their creations. If you’re a beginner, it can take some time to learn how to use these features or edit and create your own designs, but fortunately, the included user’s manual and available twenty-four-hour customer support can guide you along the way. A machine that’s tough enough to be used for your small business or for home use, Singer has truly outdone themselves with this all in one model.
3. Janome Memory Craft 200E Embroidery Machine Bundle Review-Best Value
The Janome Memory Craft 200E embroidery machine bundle is a reasonably priced package that includes a top of the line embroidery machine that’s extremely efficient. This machine is ideal for users who want to indulge in embroidery but are at the beginner’s level. This particular model, while extremely beginner friendly can actually be used in a professional capacity. Many users have reported successfully using this machine to turn their hobby into a home-based business.
This model offers the characteristic Janome sturdy design and one that allows you to use this highly stable machine even when embroidering at top speeds. This model also boasts a large work surface, so it can be used for a wide range of project sizes.
Because it’s priced so affordable, compared to many other Janome models, it’s often used as a starter kit for beginners. This machine comes with plenty of helpful features that make the entire process easier for newbies, such as the automatic thread cutter and automatic needle threader.
Pro Tip: This model features a five by five-inch embroidery area, which is more than enough space for most beginners. This will also allow the user to work comfortably without the need to constantly rehoop.
A beginner may have trouble using this machine initially, yet once they get the hang out if, this model is very easy to use. The computerized function makes the embroidery process much easier considering it just takes a swipe of the finger across the touchscreen in order to activate a wide range of features. As an example, the large LCD screen can be used to shuffle through a variety of preloaded design patterns.
- The customizing and digitalizing software allows you to edit designs by mirror imaging them or rotating them.
- The 700k built-in memory system offers more than enough space to save your favorite designs and patterns.
- Users will also be able to access past information by performing a search. This package comes with plenty of free extras, such as a two pack of blue tip needles, butterfly bobbins, and two packs of red tip needles.
- We didn’t run into many issues using this machine, however, we should mention that it’s pretty loud.
- The level of noise the machine emits can make it almost impossible to use at night without disturbing the entire household. Some beginners did have complaints that that using the digital features was complicated at first.
The 200E is brimming with features. The machine’s USB compatibility will allow the user to efficiently and quickly transfer their designs from their PC to the machine, instantly giving the user access to thousands of designs. The seventy-three built-in designs and three monogramming fonts provide plenty of artistic room to create a wide range of customized clothing, napkins, towels, and much more.
As you can see, this model is not only affordable but very versatile as well. But even at this low price, it’s able to hold its own against other top selling models.
4. Brother Designio Series DZ820E Embroidery Machine Package Review-Best Choice for Beginners
Brother is one of the leading embroidery machine brands in the industry, offering a wide range of models and styles from basic embroidery machines to sewing machines and embroidery combos. This is a classic single function embroidery machine that has a reputation for reliability and power. The machine comes in a large bundle that’s packed with frames, designs, and other features that are perfect for newbies.
The Brother Designio series DZ820E embroidery machine pack is a little on the pricey side, but this embroidery only machine is designed to last a lifetime. This model can help you personalize and customize your projects and even comes with a handy starter kit and a number of designs. Since this is an embroidery only machine, it’s very simple to use.
Did you know? Best of all, users will be able to enjoy a wide variety of fonts and a higher embroidery speed.
This model offers a large embroidery area that can accommodate most designs. The work area measures in at five inches by seven inches, which is pretty great for the price. This set comes with three hoops of 2.5×1, 4×4, and 5×7.
- This system is very user-friendly, to use the digital features simply choose the stitch function, design and other settings from the LCD screen and the machine will take care of the rest.
- The additional features include an automatic needle threader and automatic thread tension adjusting. The embroidery speed is pretty impressive at 650 stitches a minute. The drop in bobbin and jam resistant top allows the bobbin to remain firmly in place. The result? A polished and smooth finish with virtually no snares or snags.
- This starter kit features a hundred and thirty-six designs, not to mention the hundred and twenty frames and six font options. This model also comes with a CD that features two hundred additional designs. The USB port allows you to easily connect the machine to your PC so you can expand your design collection.
- This package also comes with a wide range of free accessories such as scissors, dust cover, large and small screwdrivers, seam ripper, embroidery hoops and cleaning brush.
- Some sewers had issues with the machine’s tension settings and had trouble correctly setting it, although this issue is covered in the user’s manual.
- Other users felt that the digital features were too difficult to navigate. Fortunately, Brother is a company that takes care of their customers by offering twenty-four-hour tech support, which will definitely come in handy for beginners.
This machine is extremely easy to use and provides plenty of value for the money. This model is probably the best machine on the market for beginners. The built-in tutorials are perfect for the novice who needs to be guided through the setup process and for users who need a closer look regarding how to use the included features. This machine is packed with plenty of state of the art options that will give you more creative control over your designs.
5. Singer XL 580 Futura Embroidery and Sewing Machine Review-Best Combo
The Singer XL 580 Futura embroidery and sewing machine is a high-end computerized combo with a ton of features. This model is suited for both beginners and experienced sewers. This machine is tough enough to be used for both business and home purposes. The large work surface also guarantees a professional and polished finish considering the user is able to access fabrics from the perfect angle. Featuring an extended number of stitches and designs, this machine will also bring more variety to your projects. The computerized features will allow you to easily jump from one feature to the next with no hassle.
Users will also appreciate such functions as a multi-hoop capacity and knee lifter. This will enable the user to sew for a longer period of time in total comfort. Experienced users will enjoy the computerized functions that will allow them to connect their PC or laptop to the machine for instant access to hundreds of new designs.
- The embroidery feature accommodates oversized embroidery hoops that measure in at ten by sixteen inches. Because this machine offers multi-hoop use, you’ll be able to embroider a design up to 18.5×11”.
- When it comes to the sewing feature, thanks to the wide work surface, you won’t need to constantly fold the fabric over, which means you’ll be able to access your projects easier, from any angle.
- The large LCD screen gives you faster access to the machine’s wide range of features such as tension settings, automatic threading, and design patterns.
- Considering the large assortment of features, this machine is surprisingly easy to use.
- If you’re purchasing this machine for your home business, then you’ll be happy to know that this model comes with Auto Punch software, which can help you to easily convert images to embroidery.
- The XL 580 comes with two hundred and fifty designs and two hundred and fifteen stitches. You’ll also get a total of twenty fonts for monogramming.
- The automatic bobbin thread pick-up feature can significantly simplify and speed up the sewing process. This model also comes with a clear cover so you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your work in order to avoid snares and snags. If you prefer to sew during the night, then you’ll definitely enjoy the six LED lights.
Most sewers were satisfied with this model’s performance. However, there were a few complaints. For example, one user felt that the tension system was too difficult to adjust. This is a common problem for beginners. The instructions regarding tension adjustment are included in the user’s manual.
Featuring a heavy-duty frame, the XL 580 can be used on a daily basis. Thanks to the wide variety of features it’s perfect for sewing and embroidery, making it a great investment. Considering Singer has a reputation for quality sewing machines, it comes as no surprise that their embroidery models have done so well with consumers. This all in one machine can take your hobby game or your home business to the next level.
Embroidery Machine Buyer’s Guide
Long gone are those days when the sewing enthusiast had to spend hours on their embroidery hoops focusing on painstaking thread patterns in order to trace designs that would take months to complete. Instead, the best embroidery machines have been designed to help a person to indulge in and complete as many projects as desired, with little effort.
Thanks to these machines, a person can also complete their project in as little as a few days instead of weeks. Embroidery machines are packed with features that are designed to provide a professional finish and enhance the user’s comfort.
However, finding the best embroidery machine isn’t the easiest task, especially considering the market has been flooded with new innovative models, making it difficult to make the right choice. Initially, these machines were priced too high for the average seamstress to afford, but now, moderately priced models are available that can fit any budget. Because there are so many models to choose from, doing a little research on the best models can pay off big in the long run.
Most beginners are unaware that some embroidery machines can be used for both embroidery and sewing. However, if you already have a sewing machine and want to try your hand at embroidery, purchasing an embroidery only machine can allow you to focus on embroidery machine specific features. These single function machines are easier to use, without the hassle of having to learn how to switch from the sewing machine function to embroidery only and back again. This type of machine is also more affordable.
On the other hand, if you don’t own a sewing machine, a combination model can make better economic sense.
If you’re a novice, we recommend carefully assessing a model’s user-friendliness before you buy.
- A machine that’s too advanced for your skill level can have a major impact on whether or not you use this machine regularly.
- When purchasing your first machine, there are quite a few factors to look at, such as how easy it is to choose an embroidery design, the steps involved in uploading new designs via a PC and how versatile the machine is.
- These features can help to save you plenty of time and money. It’s also important to ensure that the machine comes with a USB port for easy software updates and easier design uploads.
Why the Size of an Embroidery Machine’s Workspace Matters
Using an embroidery machine can be problematic if the model you’re using doesn’t come with the right amount of workspace. While it’s usually best to choose a machine with a larger embroidery area, these models are typically on the more expensive side. If you’re on a tight budget, you can check out average size embroidery areas that work to accommodate a variety of fabric sizes. Some models also feature specific work surfaces that will accommodate certain types of embroidery hoops.
Keep in mind that machines with a smaller work surface are more affordable, which makes them a great choice if you don’t plan on tackling much larger projects.
Pro Tip- Not all models will offer the same features. Most machines will come with a wide range of built-in designs. Higher priced models often feature a minimum of two hundred designs. This type of machine can also include features such as monogramming and lettering fonts, which are ideal if you want to personalize items such as towels, clothing, or napkins.
More advanced models feature a tactile LCD screen which is used to choose design options such as stitching patterns and fonts. These models will also give the user the ability to edit preloaded designs by shrinking or enlarging their dimensions, changing colors or even combining patterns. To do, the user will need to insert the fabric attached to a tear away stabilizer into an embroidery hoop that attaches to the machine. With just the push of a button, the machine will start the embroidery process.
The digitized program will guide the needles in stitching the design. The embroidery machine will prompt the user when a thread change is needed. Once a pattern is finished, the user will detach the hoop from the machine and clip any jump threads in areas where the needle spanned spaces.
Embroidery Machines Based on Skill Level
Even entry-level models will require a little practice before you’ll be able to turn out quality pieces. The best model for the beginner is one that comes equipped with intuitive controls, easy pattern and thread changing features, low maintenance, and a problem-free operation. People with more embroidery machine experience may want to look for a model with more capabilities and functions.
The easiest machines to use for the novice all share the same basic features. Many of these models are sewing machine and embroidery combinations.
When shopping for a new model, be sure to compare the number of designs already loaded onto the machine and check out the thumbnail images to see if there are any designs you’d actually use.
You’ll also need to compare LCD screens and control panels. Some controls make look too complicated while others offer a more user-friendly interface with only a few buttons to choose from.
Models with a backlit LCD panel will not only display what pattern is in progress, but they’ll also indicate when a thread change is needed in order to finish a pattern. Search for a machine that’s equipped with an easy to read screen that offers full-color imagery.
Intermediate level machines will come equipped with many of the same features as the entry-level models, but they’ll also offer some added conveniences. Not only will they offer more preloaded designs, but many of these machines are also capable of connecting to a PC in order to upload designs online.
- Some mid-level models are also able to handle larger patterns compared to machines designed for the beginner. If the ability to work with larger designs is crucial, pay close attention to the area each machine is able to fill.
- A machine that can download patterns off the internet directly to your machine offers unlimited design capacity. All the user will need to do is connect their machine to their computer and download the patterns of their choice.
Advanced embroidery machines feature hundreds of preloaded designs to choose from. These models are capable of handling designs up to seven inches by twelve inches and offer a number of premium features. This type of embroidery machine can stitch up to six hundred and fifty stitches per minute and can complete complex designs faster than a mid-level model. They often come with built-in memory which will allow users to save downloads right on the machine.
The top brands also offer multi-needle models that provide professional looking results. With four or six needles loaded using different colors of thread, this type of embroidery machine will virtually run itself. Some of these advanced models can also handle industrial type designs.
Helpful Features for Beginners
Many embroidery machines can be pretty complicated to use. The following features can ensure user-friendliness and will add plenty of extra value to some models.
The automatic thread tension feature allows the machine to adjust the thread tension automatically, so you’ll avoid any mistakes in a pattern that’s caused by improper tension.
Trimming all those little threads by hand can be a hassle, which is why a machine that automatically clips all of the loose threads can save you plenty of time and frustration.
Aside from basic embroidery, you may also want to do a little beading or sequins. Some models are compatible with these types of attachments, which can significantly increase the usability and versatility of a machine.
The archable fonts feature allows the user to curve their lettering, offering more design freedom. This feature can make any font more attractive compared to straight monogramming when it’s used in combination with other designs.
- Some models won’t allow you to edit designs much, or at all. Many models will allow you to edit the size of a design by no more than twenty percent. But there are machines out there that offer greater size editing. Some of these models will also allow you to create your own design by offering borders and corners that can be combined with other designs.
- A machine that features a variety of speeds to choose from will allow you to start off slowly, gradually speeding up the embroidery process.
- A knee lifter is a cool gadget that allows you to use your knees in order to lift the presser foot, which results in a hands-free operation.
Finding an Affordable Embroidery Machine for your Home Business
If this will be your first embroidery machine, consider whether you want one for business or hobby use, then consider how much cash you’re willing to spend.
If the machine is for hobby use, then there are plenty of options out there, starting at around five hundred dollars. For business purposes, you’ll need a machine that can handle heavy-duty stitching pretty quickly and efficiently. Home models don’t have to be as heavy-duty or as fast as a business grade machine. With a heavy workload, a home machine won’t last very long, instead, you’ll need to find a model that can handle heavy everyday use. If you’re looking for a machine to use for business purposes, you can count on spending anywhere from seven hundred dollars up to ten thousand dollars.
For business purposes, the machine’s field size will be crucial. Higher priced machines can sew designs that are bigger than four by four inches, without having to stop to re-hoop a design. And if you’ve ever used an embroidery machine before then you know that rehooping is another opportunity for error.
Getting Designs From PC to Machine
Along with an embroidery machine, you’ll need to find a way to get designs from your PC to your machine. Depending on the model you purchase, there are actually a few common ways this can be done.
Using a memory card is probably the most common of these methods. You can buy pre-programmed cards for an average of fifty dollars each. Some of these cards may even cost around a hundred. These cards typically hold about ten or twenty designs. To use, you simply insert the card into a slot on the embroidery machine and choose a design. The card writer should be the number one accessory to consider if you buy a model that accepts memory cards. A card writer is a small box that will plug into a computer and allows you to write designs from your PC to a memory card. After a design is sewn, you can erase it and create another design, sending it to the memory card. Card writers will cost around one to two hundred dollars, but they virtually pay for themselves quickly by saving you some serious cash on pre-programmed cards.
As we briefly touched on earlier, a USB connection is another common method used to transfer new designs to an embroidery machine. Several machines in the five-hundred-dollar range offer this feature.
The last way to transfer designs to an embroidery machine is via a floppy disk. Higher priced models feature a standard floppy disk slot that allows you to save a design from your PC to a disk and then slide it into the embroidery machine.
You may also need to purchase software for manipulating and managing designs or for creating your own unique designs, which can be essential if you run a home business.
The choices of embroidery machines, price, and software options will change significantly for commercial use. If you have your own Etsy store and you sew embroidery designs for people, then you’ll need to focus on a machine that offers faster production speed, ease of use, reliability, and quality results. You’ll also need to research a machine’s power and running ability. A machine that overheats from running for several hours a day is obviously not designed for that type of heavy use. these are usually models designed for hobby purposes only and if your machine is down and out, your business will be on hold.