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Picking the best computerized embroidery machine for your needs is the first step in starting (or continuing) your embroidery journey.
Whether you want to embroider t-shirts for grandkids or start a home embroidery business, a good-quality computerized embroidery machine will work with you, not against you.
I’ll walk you through some of the things you should consider before choosing a computerized embroidery machine and then let you know some of my favorite picks. I hope you’ll leave feeling equipped to choose your new addition!
Things to Consider When Selecting a Computerized Embroidery Machine
Function: Combo or Embroidery Only
If you are looking for an embroidery-only machine, this will be a computerized machine that offers you the ability to create, edit, and import embroidery designs to your machine. It does not have sewing functions, so you will need a second sewing machine to sew stitches. Embroidery-only machines are very powerful and typically less expensive than combination machines with comparable embroidery features.
On the other hand, if you want to sew also and don’t have room for two separate machines, consider a combination sewing and embroidery machine that allows you to both sew and embroider within one machine. Switching between these two functions is easily done.
The hoop is the container that holds your fabric to be embroidered. Each machine has a hoop size and thus a maximum embroidery area. Some of the older computerized embroidery machines offer as small as a 2″x2″ hoop size, and sizes go up from there.
For small sewing projects like adding logos to shirts or putting small monograms on towels, a 4″x4″ shirt embroidery machine will be adequate. However, if you’re wanting to embroider larger areas like pillows or the back of a denim jacket, a larger hoop may be beneficial. While you can still create larger designs on a machine with a small hoop size, you do have to split your design and embroider in sections, which takes more time.
Built-In Designs and Import Method
Another consideration before purchasing is looking at the built-in embroidery designs and fonts. If you’re tech-savvy and plan to design your own embroidery patterns or purchase them online, you may not need many built-in designs. If you’re not looking to import designs often, consider a machine preloaded with designs. Some Brother embroidery machines are character-themed also, so you might find that a Disney, Star Wars, or Marvel embroidery machine is just what you want!
Also, think about how you want to transfer new designs to your embroidery machine. Several of the older embroidery machines require connecting directly to a computer to import designs, but more modern embroidery machines allow design transfer via WiFi or USB import.
The larger the hoop size and the more features present, the more expensive the embroidery machine will be. Typically, prices for new embroidery machines run from the $300’s to 6 figures for commercial embroidery machines! If you’re a beginner and want to tinker around with embroidery, I would recommend choosing a less expensive machine with basic features and upgrading later. If you already have a business plan and are ready to go, splurge for the machine that’s going to save you time and hassle.
In these reviews, I’ve stuck to the more affordable embroidery machines. Typically, these will be the Brother, Singer, Eversewn, and some of the more entry-level Janome and Husqvarna embroidery machines. There are other great brands like Babylock and Bernina, but these are going to be machines you want to go take for a test drive at a sewing shop before spending so much money on.
Best Computerized Embroidery Machines
Here are what I consider to be some of the top embroidery machines with a computer.
|Embroidery Designs||138 designs|
|Maximum Embroidery Speed||650 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
As a computerized embroidery only machine, the Brother PE800 offers users the reliability and affordability of the Brother name.
With a 5″x7″ embroidery area, you’ll be able to stitch larger designs, which saves time with rehooping. There are also a total of 138 built-in designs, including 10 frames, 14 borders, and 11 fonts. (Only 7 of the fonts are in English, though.)
Being a computerized machine, there is also a color LCD display that is 3.2″ x 1.8″ in size. This smart touchscreen is awesome! In addition to choosing the pattern, it gives you the option to edit it on screen. You can edit all of the following without having to leave your machine:
- Change pattern size and rotate it
- Switch thread colors
- Combine patterns, letters, and frames and change thread density
- Make a mirror image
- Add letters to an arc
Also, several nice automatic features such as a thread trimmer, advanced needle threader, and automatic thread tension increase ease of use. Furthermore, the Brother PE800 features Brother’s top-drop, quick-set bobbin, which is simpler to set up, in my opinion, than front-load bobbins.
Read my Brother PE800 review where I’ll walk you through the included designs and give you more information about the machine.
And, if you like the idea of a Brother embroidery machine with a larger hoop size, check out the Brother NQ1600E, which has the 6″x10″ hoop and automatic jump stitch trimming!
The Brother PE535 is the least expensive embroidery machine with a computer available new. However, it’s still a great quality embroidery only machine that’s beginner-friendly.
It features 80 embroidery designs (and 9 fonts, 6 of which are English) and includes a 4″x4″ hoop. It’s very similar in usage to the Brother PE800 with its color LCD Smartscreen where patterns can be selected and edited. The main difference between those 2 machines is the increased hoop size of the Brother PE800.
There’s also the Brother 550D embroidery machine, which is the same as the Brother PE535 except it comes with Disney embroidery designs. If you’re looking to sell your designs, just know that you are not allowed to do this with the licensed Disney designs. (This applies to more than just Brother products. It makes me sad I can’t share my Disney designs I’ve made with my Cricut Maker also!)
|Embroidery Designs||100 designs|
|Stitch Options||120 stitches|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||850 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||No, but add designs with EverSewn Pro App.|
Eversewn isn’t as much of a corporate giant as Brother, but it still produces reliable and technologically-advanced sewing and embroidery machines. The Eversewn Sparrow X is no exception!
A “next-generation” machine, the Eversewn Sparrow X is the most technologically advanced computerized embroidery machine on this list. It does away with USB import of designs and instead uses the free EverSewn Pro app to edit and transfer devices using a phone, tablet, or even computer. This is nice because you can control the embroidery from your device without sitting right next to your machine.
The Eversewn Sparrow X contains 100 embroidery designs and a 4.75″ x 7″ hoop size, which is comparable to the Brother PE800. However, as an embroidery and sewing combo machine, it also boasts 120 stitch options!
Automatic thread trimming (including jump threads), automatic tension adjustment, and automatic needle threading are also perks of this machine.
Just remember, though, sometimes with great technology…comes great potential for a mess. So if you’re not tech-savvy or have a reliable WiFi connection, consider a different machine!
|Embroidery Designs||80 included|
|Stitch Options||103 stitches, 10 buttonhole options|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||710 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
The Brother SE600 computerized sewing and embroidery machine is one of the best embroidery sewing and embroidery machines for beginners. It’s an attractive price point and has all the features you need to get started with your new hobby.
Like the Brother PE800 and PE535, editing and pattern selection both happen on the color LCD touchscreen. It also has a 4″x4″ maximum embroidery area, so you may find yourself splitting large designs. In addition to the 80 included embroidery patterns, additional designs are imported via USB.
A combo machine, it is more fully equipped for sewing than some of the best Brother sewing machines on the market. It contains 103 stitches (10 automatic one-step buttonholes) and includes 7 presser feet. Because this is a computerized machine, sewing (or even quilting!) can happen with a foot pedal or with the buttons and slider on the front of the machine.
As an aside, the Brother SE600’s very near-identical twin is the Brother SE625, which is also a great machine. (It used to be my primary machine before I upgraded!) The only differences between the Brother SE600 and SE625 are the faceplate color and the inclusion of an additional 200 built-in embroidery designs on a CD with the Brother SE625.
|Embroidery Designs||138 designs, 11 fonts, 10 frames with 14 borders|
|Stitch Options||240 stitches, 10 buttonhole options|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||850 stitches per minute|
|USB Connection||Built-in USB port|
The Brother SE1900 computerized sewing and embroidery machine is the “Cadillac” of the widely available Brother machines.
In terms of embroidery features, the Brother SE1900 has similar designs, fonts, and touchscreen capabilities when compared to the Brother PE800. The big difference is the increased hoop size, from 4″x4″ to 5″x7.” Because the SE1900 is a combo machine, though, you can also sew with it. It includes a whopping 240 stitches, 10 buttonholes, and 7 presser feet!
One extra nifty feature is the knee lifter. With this, you use your knee to lift the presser foot rather than having to remove your hands from your project.
Other nice features are the advanced needle threader, automatic tension, and automatic reinforcement/reverse stitching. This is my primary home embroidery machine, and it is AWESOME.
I regularly embroider with a Janome MC200E machine. It’s been around for a long time but is still stitching great! As such, I can recommend the Janome MC400E, the more full-featured version.
The Janome Memory Craft 400E is an embroidery-only machine that impresses with its 7.9″x7.9″ hoop size. In terms of built-in designs, you’ll find 160 patterns, including 6 fonts for monogramming. Depending on stitching parameters, the embroidery sewing speed can range from 400 up to 860 spm.
Like the Brother embroidery machines, design transfer happens via USB on the side of the sewing speed. There are also a ton of editing options within the machine, including:
- Change sizing and rotate patterns
- Mirror image
- Drag and drop, group, and combine designs
- Add text to an arc
- And more!
A few of the automatic features include programmable jump stitch trimming, advanced needle threading, and an automatic thread cutter.
The Janome MC400E is a bigger investment than many of the other computerized embroidery machines I’ve reviewed here. However, Janome is a very well-known brand that produces quality machines that will last a long time!
If you’re comparing prices, I’d also recommend checking out Sewing Machines Plus. I’ve found their prices to be very comparable to Amazon and Walmart, especially since they offer a 10% coupon for first-time email signups.
And lastly, if you’re shocked to find no Singer embroidery machines among the best computerized embroidery machines, I’ve found that Singer embroidery machines just aren’t up to the standards they used to be. If you are a devoted Singer-lover, though, check out the Singer Legacy SE300.
I hope these reviews have helped narrow down your selection of computerized embroidery machines!
Once you’ve picked your machine, don’t forget to make sure you’re covered with all the supplies for embroidery machines you’ll need to get started.