Brother HC1850 Review – Features, Comparisons, Pros & Cons
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The Brother HC1850 sewing machine is one of my favorite sewing machines based on its versatility.
It features over one hundred built-in stitches, numerous types of buttonholes, and even has alphanumeric stitches. In addition to being a sewing and quilting machine, it also functions as a basic monogramming machine with its one included monogramming font.
This computerized machine also has many beginner-friendly features such as automatic needle threading, a quick set, top drop-in bobbin, and an automatic drop feed.
While the CS7000i sewing machine is a more entry-level computerized sewing machine, this Brother HC1850 computerized sewing and quilting machine provides more options for more experienced sewers.
However, it is so easy to learn to use that reading the user manual and watching the instructional DVD can teach even a beginner how to harness the power of this feature-rich sewing machine.
Want to know more? Read on for my full Brother HC1850 review and answers to common questions.
Quick Brother HC1850 Review of Features
|Dimensions||19.0” x 12.5” x 15.5”|
|Stitches||130 built-in stitches (8 are one-step buttonhole styles)|
|Monogramming||55 alphanumeric stitches|
|Maximum Sewing Speed:||850 stitches per min (spm)|
|Stitch Length and Width||5 mm x 7 mm (0.19 x 0.27 inches)|
|UL/CSA Listed Voltage||110V|
|Warranty||25 year limited warranty|
In The Box
Here is what is included in the purchase of this sewing machine:
- The sewing machine unit itself, of course, along with the power cord and foot controller pedal
- Oversized detachable wide table (for larger projects like quilts)
- Accessory pouch including 3-piece needle set, twin needle, ballpoint needle, 3 bobbins, 3 spool caps, extra spool pin, cleaning brush, seam ripper, eyelet punch, and screwdriver
- 8 presser feet
- Operation manual and instructional DVD in both English and Spanish
What Extras Should A Beginner Purchase?
Note that a protective case is not sold with the machine. You can purchase a universal case on Amazon that will fit your model or sew a soft case yourself if desired.
Additionally, I like to have tons of bobbins with my machines, so you may want to purchase additional ones. I do highly recommend staying with Brother brand bobbins due to quality issues with other Brother bobbin knockoffs. The bobbins this machine uses are Class 15 type bobbins, SA156.
I also have a list of sewing supplies for beginners if you’re interested in learning more about popular sewing accessories and seeing what lives in my sewing box.
Here’s a little bit about what the sewing machine can do.
LCD Display and Buttons
The front, top left has the needle up/down, reverse stitch, and start/stop buttons.
There is also a slider to adjust the speed of the machine if choosing not to use the foot pedal. The machine can sew very slowly or very fast, with a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute.
The machine can also be programmed to have the needle stop in the down or up positions. (Check the instruction manual for directions.)
On the front middle of the machine, the backlit LCD display and buttons allow the user to select the stitch and set its length and width. It also tells you which presser foot is recommended for your stitch selection. Super helpful!
The front right of the sewing machine shows the options for stitch selections in a conveniently located flip chart.
Full Brother HC1850 Sewing Machine Review
Now that you know about the basic details of the machine, here’s more of an in-depth look at its capabilities!
There are 130 Built-in Stitches
These 130 built-in stitches allow you to sew and quilt with many options. Among these stitches are 8 styles of automatic one-step buttonhole stitches.
In total, there are 170 stitch functions that allow for quilting, decorative sewing, heirloom sewing, and garment construction.
How many presser feet, and what can they do?
There are 8 quick-change presser feet that can be switched in no time at all with the press of a lever.
The presser feet have letters on them to help you know which is which. When selecting a stitch on the machine, the LCD display will show a letter corresponding to the correct presser foot. Install the presser foot with the letter facing you.
- Zigzag foot – all-purpose everyday foot for straight stitching and zigzag stitching. Use with most projects.
- Buttonhole Foot – makes an automatic buttonhole. You can guarantee all buttonholes on a project will be the same size.
- Button Sewing Foot – sews on the button.
- Monogramming Foot – used in conjunction with the monogramming font or some of the other decorative stitches.
- Overcasting Foot – use with overcasting stitches to finish the edges of fabrics or seams in lieu of using a serger.
- Zipper Foot – sew on a zipper.
- Blind Stitch Foot – put in a blind hem.
- Spring Action Quilting Foot – for free-motion quilting.
This does not come with a walking foot or 1/4″ inch foot, but they can be purchased separately if you’re wanting them to quilt.
Is the Brother HC1850 an embroidery machine?
One built-in lettering font with 55 alphanumeric stitches is available for basic monogramming (includes 26 letters, numbers 0-9, punctuation marks, and specialty symbols.)
While it has this limited monogramming capability, this is not an embroidery machine you can use to load and stitch computerized designs.
If you’re looking for a sewing and embroidery machine, I recommend checking out my Brother SE600 review.
For a little more money, you get a combination machine that allows you to import and stitch embroidery designs on up to a 4″x4″ embroidery hoop.
How to Get Started with the Brother HC1850
Bilingual written and DVD instructions will allow you to immediately start using this machine.
I highly recommend reading the entire manual before beginning to sew if this is your first time.
You’ll need to learn how to choose a stitch type, presser foot, needle size, and even thread type. I know that sounds complicated, but the instructions will help you out tremendously!
What are the HC1850 automatic features?
The digital, computerized HC1850 sewing machine features an automatic needle threader and automatic bobbin winding system and an automatic drop feed.
The bobbin is touted as jam-resistant, though some users beg to differ. It is also a top-drop, quick-set bobbin, easier for beginners and more advanced sewists alike.
The needle can be threaded with a touch of a lever. I think it’s a little finicky, and mine broke after a couple of years. The needle can always be threaded by hand as a backup.
How is the lighting?
An LED light over the sewing workspace is pretty standard on most Brother sewing machines and is a feature I love on my sewing machine!
Gone is the difficulty of seeing dark stitches on dark fabric or getting rid of the darn overhead shadow cast on the fabric by the top of the sewing machine.
And for those of you who have near vision problems, extra light helps with contrast and makes it easier to see.
What is a built-in free arm for?
This feature is also pretty standard on Brother sewing machines and helpful when sewing sleeves, cuffs, pant legs, or other round items. The free arm is accessed by removing the accessory storage space.
What do you have to adjust manually on the Brother HC1850?
You will have to manually adjust your thread tension with a dial on top of the machine. As a beginner, this can be tricky at first, but after a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.
The thread cutter is housed on the left of the machine. It’s a manual thread cutter, as there’s no automatic programmable thread cutter.
Can The Brother HC1850 Sew Denim Jeans? Can It Sew Leather?
If you’re looking for a machine to sew leather or denim all the time, I’d skip straight to purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine.
For occasional thick fabric sewing, this machine does an adequate job. The thinner the leather or denim, obviously, the more likely this machine will be able to sew it. Thick leather, I’d say, don’t even try!
It is important when sewing thicker fabrics to choose the correct needle size and thread type to minimize possible problems.
Also, I’ve found that getting a fresh needle before a heavy-duty sewing project helps my machine perform better. I know when I first got my sewing machine, I started full-speed ahead without learning the basics. As a result, I bent a needle and made a mess of my machine during my first denim potholder attempt!
How Does The Brother HC1850 Sewing Machine Quilt?
Perfect for assisting with larger projects, the included oversized wide table is a nice perk.
Additionally, quilting is made easier with the included spring action quilting foot, allowing for free-motion quilting.
As I mentioned, a 1/4″ piecing and walking foot are not included. Purchasing these additional feet shouldn’t cost you too much, if you want to add them to your collection.
Thanks to the countless quilting-friendly stitches, you’ll be able to piece together quilt pieces and add decorative stitching as well.
To note, the throat space of the HC1850 is 5.75″, so for larger projects, this iss too small to roll up the fabric. A quilting machine with a larger throat space may be beneficial if, for instance, you routinely want to create queen- or king-sized quilts.
What Is Covered in the Warranty?
As with most Brother sewing machines, the HC1850 sewing machine also has a 25-year limited warranty.
This means that the machine’s chassis, or body, is covered for 25 years. The parts, labor, and accessories are warrantied for 1 year, and the electronic components have a 2-year warranty.
Proof of purchase is required, so keep that receipt!
How Noisy Is It?
If you listen to the Brother 1850 sewing machine sew (go watch some Youtube videos!), you’ll hear that it’s not nearly as noisy as some of its competitors.
You’d be able to hear music over the noise of the machine.
Obviously, sewing at the 850 spm maximum will make a bit more of a ruckus than if you’re sewing at a slow or medium pace.
Does the Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing Machine Come With a Pedal?
The HC1850 comes with a foot controller, but it is optional. You can choose to use either the manual start/stop button or the pedal itself.
I like to sew with my feet up in the chair with me, so this is a very convenient option! When I do use my pedal for certain projects that are better, I don’t have any issues with the pedal being too overactive.
- Tons of stitch options covering most sewing and quilting projects
- Includes one basic monogramming font
- Beginner-friendly but still enough features for more advanced sewers
- Winding the bobbin and threading the needle are very easy. The machine comes with sticker instructions on the machine if you ever forget.
- Foot controller pedal is included but is optional. I do not like using a foot pedal, but my Mom learned to sew with one and will not purchase a machine without it!
- Lightweight and portable if wanting to sew outside the home
What are the Disadvantages?
While this is a great sewing machine, not every user 100% loves it.
- If your goal is to use this machine for only quilting, I recommend a more dedicated quilting machine.
- This is only for basic monogramming, so don’t expect this to make pretty monogrammed outfits, etc. Choose a machine that’s more tailored towards embroidery.
- The LED light might not be adequate for all. I recommend an auxiliary natural sunlight lamp if you have near vision issues. Make sure to tilt it at a good angle so as not to cast shadows.
- Some Brother HC1850 reviews report getting “lemons” (pretty much can happen with anything in life these days.) Just try out your machine within the manufacturer’s return period and then make sure to keep the receipt to take advantage of the warranty if it breaks after that.
While I do think this is one of the best Brother sewing machines available, you might find yourself looking for something different.
Here’s how the Brother HC1850 compares to other popular machines.
Brother HC1850 vs. CS6000i
|Brother HC1850||Brother CS6000i|
|Automatic Buttonhole Stitches||8||7|
|Automatic needle threading & bobbin winding||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Usually more expensive||Usually less expensive|
The HC1850 has an additional 70 stitches and a monogramming font not found on the Brother CS6000i.
Also, the HC1850 doesn’t come with a protective case like the Brother CS6000i, so you must purchase this separately or sew one yourself. This adds to the cost difference you’ll already find between the two machines.
There is also no walking foot included on the Brother HC1850, which is included with the CS6000i.
Otherwise, the operation of the two machines and other included features are similar.
Read: Brother CS6000i review for more information!
Brother CS7000i vs. HC1850
The Brother CS7000i, an updated version of the well-loved CS6000i, boasts 70 stitches; this falls quite a bit short of the 130 stitches on the Brother HC1850.
Additionally, the CS7000i does not contain a monogramming font like the HC1850.
However, for quilters, the 1/4″ piecing foot and walking foot the CS7000i sewing machine comes with are nice additions compared to the Brother HC1850, which does not have those 2 presser feet.
The CS7000i also includes a protective cover, which is not the case with the Brother HC1850.
See: Brother CS7000i sewing machine review!
Brother HC1850 vs. XR9550prw
Both these models are computerized Brother sewing machines with similar operations and similar automated features.
As such, both sewing machines come with the exact same 8 presser feet, 8 buttonhole styles, a detachable wide table, and built-in free arm.
The XR9550prw Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machine only has 110 stitches compared to the 130 of the HC1850 sewing machine. Both have one included monogramming font.
Read my full XR9550prw sewing machine review for more information!
Brother HC1850 vs. SQ9285
The HC1850’s 130 stitches, 8 presser feet, and 8 buttonhole styles fall slightly short of the Brother SQ9285’s 150 stitches, 10 presser feet, and 8 buttonhole styles. The 2 additional quilting feet included with the SQ9285 are the 1/4″ quilting foot and walking foot.
Both sewing machines have one built-in monogramming font.
They are also computerized sewing machines with identical automatic bobbin winding and needle threading.
Read my full SQ9285 sewing machine review for more information!
Brother HC1850 Review – Conclusion
The Brother HC1850 is a great sewing machine that offers a lot of versatility to the user. With its automatic features like needle threading, it is beginner-friendly too.
It contains enough user options regarding stitches, buttonhole options, and monogramming fonts. The monogramming font leaves a little bit of something to be desired if adding different types of letters to your projects is your goal.
When choosing a sewing machine, you’ll want to be honest with yourself if you need all its features.
Do you see yourself only doing basic mending and sewing? If so, you would probably be better off with a sewing machine like the Brother XM2701 that costs ½ the price.
However, if you’re excited to have all the options available on the HC1850 sewing machine, it might be worth adding it to your sewing room!