5 Best Cheap Embroidery Machines for Function & Budget!

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If you’re looking for a cheap embroidery machine within your budget, these affordable embroidery machines won’t cost more than your mortgage!

Purchasing an inexpensive (but still reliable) embroidery machine is a great idea for beginners. Especially if you’re not sure embroidery will be your new favorite hobby.

Plus, even advanced embroiderers don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on an expensive embroidery machine if they won’t use the added features or hoop space.

However, even though you’re looking to purchase a cheap embroidery machine, there’s no reason to waste your money on a machine that won’t last.

Read on for more in-depth reviews and comparisons of the best affordable embroidery machines available! 

Best Cheap Embroidery Machines

Considerations Before Selecting a Machine

To ensure choosing the cheapest embroidery machine doesn’t get in the way of your embroidery goals, here are a few questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.

1. Do you want your machine to be a combination sewing and embroidery machine

Meaning, not only can you embroider designs, but you can also sew, quilt, add decorative stitches to projects, and accomplish your sewing goals. 

2. What hoop size do you want for your designs? 

embroidery hoop sizes

The machine’s hoop size corresponds to the maximum embroidery area your machine can handle in one stitching session. 

While it’s possible to split designs and embroider in phases on machines with smaller hoop sizes, it might be worth investing in an embroidery machine with a larger hoop size. 

However, the best embroidery machine hoop size for you is the one you can afford!

3. Are you tech-savvy enough to find and import your own designs? 

All the budget embroidery machines here include built-in designs and allow for design import.

If you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find and add your designs, make sure to choose an embroidery machine that includes a larger number of built-in designs and fonts that appeal to you. 

If you are tech-savvy, here’s a post with my favorite sites with free embroidery machine designs for download!

4. Do you have brand loyalty?

Brother makes the cheapest embroidery machines. I own Brother machines and highly recommend them. However, everyone has their own brand preferences.

If that’s you, the next cheapest embroidery machine brands are Singer, Eversewn, and Baby Lock. (I recommend checking out the Eversewn Sparrow X2 or the Singer Futura XL400 for loyalists.)

Once you start looking at brands like Bernina and Janome, which have die-hard sewing fans, you’ll find a smaller selection of entry-level embroidery machines and, thus, higher costs.

Best Cheap Embroidery Machines

Here are 5 of the cheapest embroidery machines on the market in 2023!

Unfortunately, the stock has been unpredictable due to supply chain issues, so several may not be available at a given time. The prices also vary widely as a result of supply and demand. 

1. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine

Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine, whiteShop on Amazon!

In general, the Brother PE535 is one of the cheapest embroidery machines available that is also easy to use. 

Just note that it’s an embroidery-only machine, not a combination sewing and embroidery machine. Consider purchasing an affordable sewing machine like the Brother GX37 if you want to sew and don’t already own a sewing machine.

Even though it’s a budget embroidery machine, the Brother PE535 will not disappoint with its embroidery capabilities.

It comes with a 4″x4″ embroidery hoop and 80 built-in designs, although additional designs are easily imported via a USB port on the side of the machine. There are also 9 built-in fonts, 6 of which are in English.

If you’re concerned about the small hoop size, check out my post: What can you embroider with a 4″x4″ hoop?

It boasts a color touchscreen where you can edit thread colors and preview design changes before setting your machine to stitch. In addition to changing thread colors for designs, you can further edit the size, angle, letter spacing, and even put letters on arcs using the LCD SmartScreen.

Fun automatic features like the automatic needle threader make changing threads on multi-colored designs faster and simpler. Especially for users with poor eyesight or shaky hands!

2. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Brother, SE600, Computerized Machine with 4" x 4Shop on Amazon!

The Brother SE600 is the best cheap sewing and embroidery machine available right now.

It replaced its predecessor, the Brother SE400, and is a significant improvement in user-friendliness.

The Brother SE600 is a combination machine, meaning not only can you embroider, but you can also sew with it. And if you want to have it act as a faux serger, you can purchase a Brother side cutter presser foot to cut fabric while creating seams.

Featuring 7 presser feet and 103 stitches, it sews at a maximum speed of 710 stitches per minute. 

As a sewing machine, it’s pretty impressive, with some quilting perks and a nice-sized work area. Not to mention, it’s computerized so that sewing can happen foot-free with the use of controls rather than the foot pedal.

There are 80 included embroidery designs, but don’t worry if you don’t like them. Additional designs can be imported via USB on the side of the machine. You can find free or paid designs online or design your own with embroidery software.

Editing happens on the color SmartScreen where you can alter designs and preview the pattern. If you read my full review of the Brother SE600 combination machine, you’ll learn more about how to use the embroidery features of this combination machine.

Since this is a budget sewing and embroidery machine, the maximum embroidery area will be 4″x4.” Large designs will require splitting and rehooping between sections.

3. Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

My Brother SE625 embroidery machine

Shop on Amazon!

The Brother SE625 is the near-identical twin of the Brother SE600.

However, it’s a different color and includes an additional 200 embroidery designs on a CD. Read the full Brother SE625 review to learn more about the machine and get an idea of those additional 200 designs!  

Besides the color and extra designs, these two machines have identical specs. 

Prices can fluctuate a bit for the Brother SE626 vs. SE600, so if you like the idea of a combination sewing and embroidery machine, make sure to check which is the cheapest embroidery machine that day.

Usually, the Brother SE600 is more popular on Amazon, whereas the Brother SE625 is more popular on Walmart. Walmart has also recently released the Brother SE630 combo machine, which has even more spotty availability right now. 

4. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine

Brother PE800 Sewing Machine, One Size, WhiteShop on Amazon!

The Brother PE800 embroidery-only machine is more of a splurge than the other machines I’ve covered here. And, because of supply issues, its availability and price wildly fluctuate. 

The main reason the Brother PE800 is more expensive than the others, though, is its maximum embroidery area is 5″x7.”  This larger field size eliminates the time you spend splitting large designs and rehooping in between if you decide on one of the 4″x4″ hoop-size machines.

If you’re starting a home business and plan to embroider larger designs more frequently, choosing a larger hoop size will save time. Time is money sometimes, and this is one of the best embroidery machines for beginners who know they want to embroider bigger things!

Now, the Brother PE800 includes an impressive 138 built-in embroidery designs and 11 fonts, although only 7 are English characters. Import additional designs to the machine via jump drive.

As with most other premium small embroidery machines, you can edit and combine designs on the LCD color touchscreen.

It’s jam-packed with automatic features, including an automatic thread cutter, advanced needle threader, automatic default tension, and a quick-set top-drop bobbin.

Since it only embroiders, you need a separate sewing machine to add decorative stitching to projects. Or, if you want a sewing and embroidery machine with a 5″x7″ hoop size, check out the Brother SE1900. Sometime’s it’s less expensive!

Find more details in my review on the Brother PE800!

5. Brother PE550D Embroidery Machine (Disney)Brother PE550D Embroidery machine, White

Shop on Amazon!

Very similar to the Brother PE535, the Brother PE550D embroidery machine only differs in that it is one of Brother’s Disney embroidery machines.

Thus, it has an extra 45 built-in Disney designs for lovers of all things Disney. Choose from Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and more of the gang.

Like the Brother PE535, you’ll get an embroidery-only machine with a 4″x4″ hoop size and 9 built-in fonts. Additional designs are imported without having to connect your computer to the machine. Just use a jump drive!

Edit designs on the 3.2″ colored touchscreen to further personalize your embroidery projects! Something else helpful about the Brother touchscreen is that built-in tutorials will remind you how to thread the machine, set it up for embroidery, etc. Very helpful and easy to learn to use for beginners!

If you’re into character-themed embroidery machines, you can also check out the Brother LB5000M or LB5000S, which are Marvel- and Star Wars-themed combination embroidery machines, respectively. They do cost a bit more because they sew as well.

Just know that Disney files and trademarked characters on Brother embroidery machines are for personal, non-commercial use.

New vs. Used Embroidery Machine – Which is Better?

If you are on a very tight budget, you can find a used cheap embroidery machine at a local sewing store or online on eBay, Amazon, or Facebook, for example. 

While purchasing used from third-party sellers (an authorized embroidery dealer is an exception) decreases your expenses, you are not getting the assurance that it is a good embroidery machine.

Most used embroidery machines will no longer be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. And, you don’t know how the machine was treated by its previous owner. If it was not maintained properly, there’s a chance it may fail after you purchase it.

My general recommendation when deciding new vs. used is unless the deal is a steal, only buy it if you can try it out before purchasing or are given a very lenient return period. 

Meaning, if you find a great deal on craigslist, make sure the seller allows you to take the machine for a test drive before handing over money. Or, if you decide to purchase a preowned embroidery machine from your local retailer, ensure a return period and a warranty if you discover you received a lemon.

How Much Does an Embroidery Machine Cost?

Embroidery machines are much more expensive than sewing machines and start several hundred dollars new, depending on the retailer or promotions. 

The larger the hoop size and the more functions you have, the more your embroidery machine will cost. In fact, the snazziest computerized embroidery machines and commercial embroidery machines are five figures!

(You can learn all the details in my cost of an embroidery machine breakdown.)

Final Notes

Embroidery is not an inexpensive hobby! 

In addition to purchasing a machine, you also need thread, stabilizer, needles, and the materials you’re embroidering. Not to mention digitizing software if you want to create your own embroidery designs from scratch.

(If you’re lost and don’t know where to start with all of these supplies, check out my post on embroidery machine supplies for beginners to help you find exactly what else you need.)

Nonetheless, it’s understandable that you’re looking for a cheap embroidery machine that will not break the bank! That way, you can have some money left over to spend on awesome accessories to get you started designing and embroidering new projects.

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