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After hemming and hawing over whether the Brother SE2000 sewing and embroidery machine was worth purchasing, I broke down on Black Friday and bought it to try out.
I’ve owned my Brother SE1900 (the SE2000’s predecessor) for almost three years now, and while it’s given me no problems, I couldn’t resist the siren call of new technology.
So, after unboxing and trying out my Brother SE2000 for a while, I put together this Brother SE2000 review to detail its features, pros, cons, and my thoughts!
And, I’ve compared the Brother SE2000 vs. SE1900 in detail along the way so you can decide if the upgraded version is worth the extra money.
Brief Brother SE2000 Review of Features
Here’s some boring information to set the stage before getting to the nitty gritty.
- Max embroidery area: 5″x7″
- Built-in stitches: 241
- Built-in embroidery designs: 193 designs and 13 fonts
- Presser feet included: 7 sewing feet + 1 embroidery foot
- Maximum sewing speed: 850 stitches per minute
- Maximum embroidery speed: 650 stitches per minute
- Warranty: 25-year limited warranty (only on the machine’s body; everything else is a 1- or 2-year warranty)
What’s In The Box
Also boring, but here’s what came in the box with my Brother SE2000:
- The machine, power cord, and optional foot pedal
- Sewing accessories: extra spool pin for twin needle sewing and seven presser feet
- Embroidery accessories: embroidery arm, embroidery foot, 60wt embroidery bobbin thread, and 5″x7″ embroidery hoop
- Tools and notions: needle set, spool caps, bobbins, seam ripper, scissors, eyelet punch, cleaning brush, screwdrivers, thread spool insert, spool net, bobbin cases, and grid sheets
- Knee lifter (I feel like the bee’s knees when I use this)
- Manual (in English, Spanish, and French), embroidery design guide, quick reference guide, warranty information, and other informational papers
Helpful Additional Notions and Supplies
Why Brother doesn’t include stabilizer in their entry-level embroidery machines is a mystery to me as you can’t embroider your first project without it.
Thus, before starting to actually embroider, you must gather embroidery supplies and notions such as:
- Embroidery stabilizer (consider grabbing tear-away, cut-away, wash-away, and water-soluble topping to start your stash.)
- Machine embroidery needles (these are different than sewing needles)
- Machine embroidery thread (also different than sewing thread)
Other things that I enjoy having around when embroidering include:
- Extra hoops (I like owning the 4″x4,” 1.5″x2,” and 5″x12″ hoops as well.)
- Magnetic hoop (While not perfect, this helps if you plan to quilt with your embroidery machine)
- Specialized embroidery scissors
- Machine cover to keep out the dust bunnies
- Embroidery software
Of course, if you’re going to use the Brother SE2000 for sewing as well, you’ll need basic sewing notions like scissors, an iron, fabric, and more.
Reviewing The Sewing Portion of the Machine
As a combination machine, the Brother SE2000 can both sew and embroider.
Below is a quick showcase of my favorite sewing features with commentary and comparisons to my older machine.
1. Excellent Stitch Selection
The Brother SE2000 has 241 sewing stitches, although some stitches on the right are “duplicates,” as they are the decorative version of the same utility stitch.
This is a good time to mention that I also own a fancy schmancy Brother Luminaire embroidery machine.
I actually prefer the Brother SE2000 over it when it comes to the sewing stitch options. Why?
First, the 2cm long basting stitch on the SE1900 and SE2000 is worth its weight in gold. I cannot believe my 5-figure embroidery machine only has a 5mm max length basting stitch.
And second, I love how the lid of the machine opens up for easy visual inspection of the stitch options. On my Luminaire, I painfully scroll through the categories onscreen or check the manual for visual inspection of the available stitches.
Not so on the SE2000!
To compare, the Brother SE1900 has only 240 stitches, and they’re practically identical to the SE2000, as you can see above.
I painstakingly compared stitch by stitch on the two machines and finally found the one singular added stitch on the Brother SE2000. It’s number 04, which looks like a narrow version of the 03 blanket stitch for applique.
So, nothing new and special between the two machines.
(Also, if you’re having trouble seeing clearly in the pictures, you can view the Brother SE1900’s stitch line-up in more detail here.)
2. Helpful Automatic Functions
A. Advanced Needle Threader
The Brother SE2000 has an apparatus on the machine’s left to help thread the needle.
Pass the thread as directed, press the lever, and voila, the thread goes through the needle.
This threading helper is appreciated by my poor hands, but it breaks easily.
It’s the same needle threader on the Brother SE1900 embroidery machine, and well, let’s just say I had to buy a replacement Brother needle threader in the first year of use and install it myself after bending the small hook inside.
B. Automatic Thread Trimming
On the Brother SE2000, you can press the scissors icon on the touchscreen to set the machine to automatically trim threads at a seam’s end.
This will also turn on the automatic reverse/reinforcement stitching. Meaning, you can activate the thread trimming by pressing either the reverse or reinforcement button.
If you don’t like automatic trimming, you can also press the scissors button on the machine head to cut threads.
Or, you can pull them around to the machine’s left to trim on the thread cutter yourself. This is what I do when I need longer thread tails, like when gathering.
C. Automatic Reverse/Reinforcement Stitching
Pressing the upside down U-shaped button on the touchscreen turns on automatic reverse (or reinforcement) stitches at the beginning and end of a seam.
3. Lots of Included Accessories and Nifty Features
I will breeze by this part by including pictures and a few simple descriptions.
First, the machine has seven sewing presser feet, all stored in an organized compartment.
Next, it’s easy to switch between sewing and embroidery by removing the accessories compartment, attaching the embroidery arm, and switching to the embroidery presser foot.
Threading the machine is simple after you’ve learned the process, and details are displayed on the machine’s body.
The bobbin also winds on the top of the machine and is a top-drop, quick-set bobbin, meaning you don’t have to pull the thread up through the throat plate before beginning to sew.
Unfortunately, the bobbin winding motor is not independent, so you do have to stop the machine to wind another bobbin. (I love having tons of pre-wound bobbins for this specific situation.)
But hey, if you run low on bobbin thread while sewing or embroidering, the machine has a sensor that alerts you of the impending mayday.
And lastly, above’s a picture of my rocking knee lifter, which makes lowering the presser foot hands-free possible.
For the record, I describe a lot more basic information in my lengthy review of my Brother SE1900, so you can check that out for more details.
The Embroidery Smorgasbord In Detail
Sure, it’s a groovy sewing machine. But, what about the embroidery portion?
1. The 5″x7″ Hoop Size: Too Small or Just Right?
The Brother SE2000 has a max embroidery area of 5″x7,” which is a smaller hoop size compared to many machines.
As such, the largest embroidery design you can stitch in one session is ~5″ x 7.”
However, this does not mean you can never stitch big designs on the SE2000.
To do so, though, you have to get a little creative.
Purchasing embroidery software allows you to split big designs into small pieces.
Then, you can stitch a big design in multiple sections on your Brother SE2000 by removing fabric and rehooping between stitching sessions.
The repositional 5″x12″ hoop (above) makes this process easier as you only have to move the hoop rather than release and rehoop the fabric in some cases.
As a note, splitting applique designs is tricky/sometimes impossible, and large in-the-hoop designs are also a no-go.
Splitting is not the perfect solution for all designs; it takes extra time and finesse.
But, embroidery machines with large hoops are NOT cheap, and that’s why I happily split designs for years on my smaller machine, giggling to myself about how I saved thousands of dollars.
In fact, I started embroidering at home with an inexpensive and smaller 4×4 embroidery machine. (I wrote a post showing all the things you can embroider with a 4×4 hoop so you can think of all the things you CAN do rather than those you can’t.)
I upgraded to my 5″x7″ embroidery machine a few years later, and the big-hoop bug bit me in early 2022–after paying off a decade of doctoral loans, I splurged on my Luminaire.
However, as much as I love my big hoop machine, most of the projects I do still fit in the 5″x7″ hoop!
2. Automatic Embroidery Feature: Jump Stitch Cutting
What are jump stitches, and why is this feature on the SE2000 (but not the SE1900) so helpful?
When a design has multiple disconnected areas that need to be stitched in the same thread color, the machine “jumps” from one section to another.
As the machine makes the jump, the thread follows and connects the start and end points of sections.
After you’re done embroidering each color, you manually have to go in and cut each piece of thread.
However, automatic jump stitch cutting means your machine helpfully cuts the thread before it jumps to the next section. You don’t have to go back and make the trims yourself!
3. Built-In Embroidery Designs and Fonts
193 embroidery designs and 13 fonts are built into the machine and can be viewed in the design guide. (This is 55 more designs and 2 more fonts than what’s included on the Brother SE1900.)
What I love about the extra designs on the SE2000 (see them underneath the pineapple icon in group #2 in the design guide) is the added five continuous quilting designs.
If you plan to use your embroidery machine to add quilting to projects, having these edge-to-edge connectable designs is helpful!
To note, there are NO Disney embroidery designs included.
Now, after reading all that, does the number of designs really matter?
Not really, as you can download free or inexpensive fonts and free or cheap designs online and transfer them to your machine in a snap.
However, the number of built-ins is much more important if you don’t have a computer or internet access.
4. Design Transfer: USB vs. Wireless (And Why I Still Like USBs)
My house’s internet is sketchy thanks to old, unreliable underground copper wires and no real hopes of fiber installation.
Thus, I don’t use the wireless design transfer option on any of my machines often because I don’t trust my internet to transfer all the embroidery data.
And I never, ever, ever install a machine update via WiFi.
However, if your wireless internet is up to snuff, you can transfer designs wirelessly after installing Brother’s Design Database Transfer on your computer.
I am not a Mac or Apple expert (I use PC and Android exclusively.) However, as far as I can tell, there’s no way to natively use Design Database Transfer on Mac without Parallels or an equivalent.
Some embroidery software options have wireless embroidery design transfer, and you may find something that will work with tablets or natively with MacOS, though.
5. Artspira Compatibility: Worth the SE2000’s Extra Cost?
The Brother SE2000, because it has WiFi capabilities, can connect with Brother’s newest app, the Artspira app.
Why is this important and useful?
First, Brother adds free embroidery and cutting designs plus projects each month in the app.
This isn’t a huge perk, as the internet is FULL of free machine embroidery designs you can download.
However, for users who don’t have–or want–embroidery digitizing software, the Artspira app also provides some ability to create designs.
For example, I created the above doodle with a running stitch saying “Aly” and a satin stitch heart in less than 5 seconds and transferred it immediately to my SE2000 to stitch.
I also let my daughters draw in the app on my tablet with a stylus, and then I transferred their creations to my machine. That was fun for them!
The app will not let you do more than the most basic digitizing, and it’s in no way a replacement for full-fledged embroidery digitizing or editing software.
And, setting up the app for the first time with my Luminaire embroidery machine and my ScanNCut (SDX330D) model was a colossal pain in the tuchus.
I had to contact Brother’s support chat (not very helpful), reset some passwords, and even create a new Canvas Workspace account to get things linked finally.
Thankfully, once I got the kinks ironed out for my other machines, the SE2000 was no big deal to add to my account.
Brother SE2000 Pros
- Keeping up with the other brands’ machines, Brother has now introduced wireless design transfer on its entry-level machines.
- Artspira has potential to be fun and useful.
- Automatic jump thread trimming on a 5″x7″ machine is a huge plus.
Brother SE2000 Cons
- The 5″x7″ hoop can limit in-the-hoop project options and stitching of larger designs.
- SOOOO much more expensive than the SE1900, so assessing the added features vs. price increase is important.
- Added costs are everywhere: buying extra hoops, software, threads, stabilizer, etc.
Helpful Resources for Learning to Use the Brother SE2000
While the Brother SE2000 is easier to learn to use for beginners than most embroidery machines on the market, not everything might be smooth sailing at first.
Before starting to sew or embroider, I recommend you sit down and at least scan through the user manual.
How boring, right?!
I guarantee it’s worth it, as it will prevent many beginner mistakes and help you become less overwhelmed with your machine.
After reading your manual, you can then even consider joining machine-specific Facebook groups or finding YouTube channels dedicated to the machine.
And, I’ve also put together multiple resources for beginners.
For example, check out how to use an embroidery machine as a beginner. This post will cover things you need to know about picking machine embroidery threads, choosing the right stabilizer, and selecting the right embroidery needle.
Troubleshooting Brother SE2000 Problems
Even the most expensive embroidery machines aren’t perfect, especially since users aren’t perfect. I was a mess as a beginner!
I’ve also curated other helpful resources for beginners learning to use their machines.
First, check out how to troubleshoot an embroidery machine.
Then, check out each of these specific guides for individual problems:
- Fixing bobbin thread showing on top of embroidery
- How to fix embroidery thread breaking
- Why embroidery needles break and how to fix it
- Troubleshooting skipped embroidery stitches
- How to use machine embroidery stabilizer
Brother SE2000 Comparisons
I’ve written a more in-depth post comparing the Brother embroidery machines on the market that you can check out for an overview of what Brother offers.
However, here’s a quick down-low on the most popular competitors to the Brother SE2000.
Brother SE1900 vs. SE2000
To summarize, these are the six most significant differences I’ve noted between my Brother SE1900 and SE2000:
- The Brother SE2000 cuts jump stitches automatically.
- The SE2000 is WiFi-enabled and can receive designs transferred wirelessly from a computer.
- The SE2000 can be used with Brother’s Artspira app.
- One extra sewing stitch is included on the Brother SE2000.
- The SE2000 has 193 embroidery designs and 13 embroidery fonts compared to the SE1900’s 138 designs and 11 fonts.
- The faceplate colors are different, with the SE2000 having a more sophisticated look.
Otherwise, the machines have similar uses and functions and even have interchangeable hoops and parts.
Brother SE2000 vs. PE900
The Brother SE2000 and PE900 have identical machine embroidery features.
However, the Brother SE2000 can sew, whereas the Brother PE900 is an embroidery-only machine.
And that’s all I’ve got for now until I’ve done more sewing and embroidering on my new Brother SE2000 combo machine.
Any other questions, friends? Let me know!