Brother HC1850 Review (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 a hundred built-in stitches, many types of buttonholes, and even alphanumeric stitches. 

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, and it also provides more options for more experienced sewers. It’s 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.

Read on for my full Brother HC1850 review and answers to common questions!

Brother hc1850 review (1)

Features At a Glance

FeatureSpecs
Dimensions19.0” x 12.5” x 15.5”
Weight13.2 pounds
Stitches130 built-in stitches (8 are one-step buttonhole styles)
Monogramming55 alphanumeric stitches
Presser Feet8
Maximum Sewing Speed: 850 stitches per min (spm)
Stitch Length and Width5 mm x 7 mm (0.19 x 0.27 inches)
UL/CSA Listed Voltage110V
Warranty25 year limited warranty

What’s In The Box

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited Warranty

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

Extras A Beginner Should Purchase

brother universal hard case

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.

brother bobbins

I highly recommend staying with Brother brand bobbins due to quality issues with other knockoffs. The bobbins this machine uses are Class 15 type bobbins, SA156.

I also have a list of sewing supplies for beginners if you want to learn more about popular sewing accessories and see what lives in my sewing box.

Features Explained

Here’s a little bit about what the sewing machine can do. 

LCD Display and Buttons

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited WarrantyThe 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 you choose not to use the foot pedal. The machine can sew very slowly or quickly, with a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute. 

The machine can also be programmed to stop the needle in the down or up positions. I prefer my needle down, as it makes turning corners much easier. 

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited Warranty

On the front middle of the machine, the backlit LCD 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.

The front right of the sewing machine shows the options for stitch selections in a conveniently located flip chart.

Other Things to Know

There are 130 Built-in Stitches

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited Warranty

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, 170 stitch functions allow for quilting, decorative sewing, heirloom sewing, and garment construction.

There are 8 presser feet

included presser feet

8 quick-change presser feet 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 overcasting stitches to finish the edges of fabrics or seams instead 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 want them to quilt.

The Brother HC1850 Is Not an Embroidery Machine

an embroidery presser foot
This is the Brother SE600 embroidery machine, which uses computerized embroidery designs.

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 the Brother HC1850 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 use this machine immediately. If this is your first time, I highly recommend reading the entire manual before beginning to sew. 

You’ll need to learn how to choose a stitch type, presser foot, needle size, and thread type. I know that sounds complicated, but the instructions will help you out tremendously!

There Are Lots of Automatic Features

using brother auto needle threader

The digital, computerized HC1850 sewing machine features an automatic needle threader, automatic bobbin winding system, and 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.

The needle can be threaded with the 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.

The Lighting is Decent

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.

For those with near vision problems, extra light helps with contrast and makes it easier to see. 

Built-in Free Arms Are Helpful

sewing machine free arm

This feature is also 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.

Don’t Expect to Sew Thick Materials Frequently

If you’re looking for a machine to sew leather or denim constantly, I’d recommend purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine or industrial machine.

For occasional thick fabric sewing, this machine does an adequate job. Obviously, the thinner the leather or denim, the more likely this machine will be able to sew it. Thick leather, I’d say, don’t even try!

singer 4452 sewing machine
This is my heavy-duty sewing machine, which is created for sewing thick items, unlike the HC1850.

When sewing thicker fabrics, it is important 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.

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!

Quilting With The Brother HC1850 Sewing Machine

Perfect for assisting with larger projects, the included oversized wide table is a nice perk. 

spring action quilting foot

Additionally, quilting is made easier with the included spring action quilting foot, allowing for free-motion quilting and free-motion embroidery, for that matter. 

As I mentioned, a 1/4″ piecing and walking foot are not included. Purchasing these additional feet shouldn’t cost too much if you want to add them to your collection.

Thanks to the countless quilting-friendly stitches, you can piece together quilt pieces and add decorative stitching.

To note, the throat space of the HC1850 is 5.75″, so for larger projects, this is 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.  

The Warranty

As with most Brother sewing machines, the HC1850 sewing machine also has a 25-year limited warranty. 

This means the machine’s chassis, or body, is covered for 25 years. The parts, labor, and accessories are warrantied for one year, and the electronic components have a 2-year warranty.

Proof of purchase is required, so keep that receipt!

Foot Pedal vs. Button Sewing

foot pedal controller

The HC1850 comes with a foot controller, but it is optional. You can use either the manual start/stop button or the pedal. I like to sew with my feet in the chair, 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.

Key Advantages

  • 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 you want to sew outside the home

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.

While I 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

CS6000i vs. hc1850

Shop on Amazon!

Brother HC1850Brother CS6000i
Stitches13060
Automatic Buttonhole Stitches87
Presser Feet89
Monogramming FontYesNo
Automatic needle threading & bobbin windingYesYes
Computerized?YesYes
PriceUsually more expensiveUsually less expensive

The HC1850 has an additional 70 stitches and a monogramming font not found on the Brother CS6000i.

Also, the HC1850 has no 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 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

Brother CS7000i Sewing and Quilting Machine, 70 Built-in Stitches, 2.0Shop on Amazon! 

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!

 

 

In 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 also beginner-friendly.

It contains enough user options regarding stitches, buttonhole options, and monogramming fonts. The monogramming font leaves 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 to your sewing room!

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