Brother SE625 Review – Pros, Cons, and Comparisons

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The Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine will be a reliable, feature-rich addition to your craft room. I love having it in mine!

A combination machine, the Brother SE625, functions as a computerized sewing machine and embroidery machine. 

While the 4″x4″ embroidery area is small for dedicated embroidery enthusiasts and the stitching speed’s a little slow, I’ve had mine for quite some time, and it’s been great at sewing and embroidery.

If you’re wondering if the Brother SE625 is perfect for your sewing needs, this Brother SE625 review can help! I’ll start by giving you more information about its features, answering common questions, and finally detailing the pros and cons.

brother se625 review

Features to Know

Embroidery Area4"x4"
Embroidery Designs80 built-in, 200 on CD
Built-in stitches103 stitches
Maximum Sewing Speed710 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Included Accessories

My Brother SE625 embroidery machine

Here’s what came in the box with my Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine:

  • Brother SE625 machine unit, foot controller pedal, and power cord
  • Embroidery arm, 4″x4″ embroidery hoop, and embroidery foot
  • 7 sewing presser feet
  • Needles: 6-piece needle set (2 75/11 needles, 2 90/14 needles, and 2 90/14 ballpoint needles) and twin needle (2/11)
  • Other tools and supplies: 4 bobbins, 3 bobbin clips, 3 pre-wound bobbins with embroidery thread, scissors, disk-shaped screwdriver, cleaning brush, 4 spool caps, spool net, and darning plate
  • Dust cover
  • Bilingual operations manual, quick reference guide, and embroidery design guide

If you want to start embroidering immediately, you will need extra supplies like stabilizer and thread. 

I’ve written a separate post on must-have embroidery machine supplies to show you my favorite products and teach you how to choose the right stabilizers, software, threads, and more for the Brother SE625.

Sewing Features Of The Brother SE625

The Brother SE625 computerized sewing and embroidery machine is not lacking in its sewing ability, as you’ll soon see!

Computerized Controls

While you can manually control sewing with the foot pedal, the Brother SE625 also allows you to sew using buttons on the front of the machine instead. 

Three buttons (start/stop, needle up/down, and reverse) combined with an adjustable speed slider allow you to sew foot-free. While you can program the machine to cut the upper and bobbin threads automatically, this can be done manually with the touch of a button.

Touch LCD Display

embroidering the towel

A 3.2″ colored LCD display on the front of the Brother SE625 adds considerable versatility to this embroidery machine. This is where stitch selection or embroidery design selection happens.

When selecting your utility or decorative stitch, the machine allows you to alter the length or width and displays a preview of what the final product will look like. 

The machine also suggests the best presser foot to use with the stitch to achieve optimal results.

brother se625 tutorials onscreen

If you need a quick reminder on using an aspect of the machine, 8 built-in tutorials can be accessed with the help key below the LCD screen.

Settings such as default needle stop position, buzzer sounds, automatic thread cutting, and automatic reverse stitching can be changed by pressing the settings key.

7 Included Presser Feet

The following 7 presser feet cover your bases for most sewing projects. With them, you’ll be able to sew zippers, buttons, decorative stitches, invisible hems, and more. 

  • Spring action zigzag foot
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Button sewing foot
  • Overcasting foot
  • Monogramming foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Blind stitch foot

103 Built-In Stitches

stitch options on the Brother SE625

Each of the built-in stitches has a maximum length and width of 5 mm x 7 mm when applicable. Here are the types of stitches included with the machine:

  • Straight stitches and zigzag stitches (with and a without reinforcement stitch)
  • Elastic zigzag stitches and a triple stretch stitch
  • Overcasting stitches
  • Piecing and decorative quilting stitches
  • Hem stitches and blind hem stitches
  • Blanket stitches
  • Buttonhole stitches
  • Darning stitches
  • Satin stitches and decorative satin stitches
  • Many other decorative stitches and cross-stitches

Bobbin To-Know

The Brother SE625 embroidery machine uses plastic SA156, Class 15 bobbins, which are 7/16.” It’s important only to use compatible bobbins.

Bobbin winding happens on the top of the sewing machine and is SO easy. First, place the bobbin on the bobbin winding shaft and slide it to the right. Then, check the manual, quick-start guide, LCD screen tutorial, or instructions on the top of the machine to set up the thread. 

Installing the bobbin is equally simple. Just open the bobbin case and load it from the top, following the directions again in FOUR different places.

And, being a top-drop, quick-set bobbin, you don’t need to worry about drawing up the bobbin thread yourself. Once you begin sewing, the machine does it for you!

How to Thread The Brother SE625

Just like winding the bobbin, threading is effortless, with diagrams practically everywhere you look. Just make sure to thread with the presser foot up, or you will mess with your upper thread tension.

using the auto needle threader

You can also use the automatic needle threader when passing the thread through the needle’s eye. 

For something that’s supposed to save time, it’s not the easiest contraption to learn. For sewists with shaky hands or poor eyesight, though, it will come in handy and is worth the time to figure out. Just be careful, as I’ve broken mine in the past. 

Making Buttonholes

With 8 buttonhole stitches, the Brother SE625 makes a variety of auto-sized buttonholes. 

The process is accomplished automatically in one step and is very simple to learn. By placing the button in the back of the buttonhole presser foot, you’re guaranteed to have perfectly sized buttonholes on every project!

What’s a built-in free arm good for?

brother se625 free arm

If you’re regularly sewing small, tubular objects like shirt sleeves or pants cuffs, you can wrap them around the free arm. This way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally sewing the two sides together!

While it sounds fancy, the built-in free arm comes standard on most Brother sewing machines and is accessed by removing the flat-bed accessories storage compartment.

LED Light

A reasonably bright LED light illuminates the stitching workspace to help you see those tiny stitches better! It’s not spotlight-bright, but it will work well in most circumstances.

Quilt Perks and Disadvantages

The Brother SE625 is also not too shabby for quilting as its enlarged throat space (6.4″ x 4.1″) will accommodate bulkier projects than a standard entry-level sewing machine. It’s not gargantuan, though, so free-motion quilting large projects (think a queen-size comforter) will be difficult, if not impossible. 

Also, the Brother SE625 doesn’t include many of my favorite quilting presser feet. However, if you want a walking foot, spring action quilting foot, or 1/4″ piecing foot, you can purchase compatible low-shank presser feet separately. I got a set of 32 on Amazon for a deal!

Several Brother combination quilting and sewing machines include an oversized, detachable wide table (like the Brother XR9550prw, HC1850, and CS7000X sewing machines.)  While the Brother SE625 does not include this table, you can purchase a compatible wide table as an additional accessory.

Furthermore, the feed dogs drop at the touch of a button to allow for free-motion quilting.

how to drop feed dogs

And lastly, here are a few of the quilting and piecing stitches available on this machine that aren’t available on entry-level machines. 

quilting and piecing stitches on the brother se625

Embroidery Features

80 Built-In Designs

In addition to the 80 designs, an additional 200 designs come on an included CD for a total of 280 designs. I think it’s a little odd that Brother created this technologically-advanced sewing machine and then provides a CD with designs. Many computers these days have done away with CD drives!

There are also six built-in English embroidery fonts. You can make capital or lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Each font comes in small, medium, or large sizes. 

English fonts on the Brother SE625 and BRother SE600

Here are the 6 English fonts above.The large-size fonts are around 3-4 cm tall (depending on the letter), and you can fit about 3 of them in the 4″x4″ hoop. So, if you want to do more than monogram, you will have to rehoop.

Take a look at all the 80 included designs in the embroidery design guide, or watch this quick video for more information.

USB port on the side of both the Brother SE625 and Brother SE600

If you’re not in love with the 280 embroidery designs that come with the Brother SE625, you can also import more designs using the built-in USB port.

No need to plug the machine into your computer to transfer the files, which is a nice improvement over the Brother SE400! However, the SE625 does not wirelessly transfer designs like the newer Brother SE725 combination machine. 

Embroidery Area and Hoop Size

The maximum embroidery area is 4″x4,” and one 4″x4″ hoop is included with the purchase. (The hoop itself is larger than this, but I’ll still call it a 4″x4″ hoop because that’s approximately the usable area of it.)

This is adequate for monogramming and doing most small t-shirt embroidery designs. You will run into issues if you want to embroider something larger. But, check out embroider ideas with a 4×4 hoop for project inspiration for this smaller hoop size. 

Setting Up The Machine to Embroider

Embroidering or monogramming requires slightly more setup than basic sewing.

putting on the embroidery arm of the Brother SE625

To set up, you must attach the embroidery foot and embroidery unit to the Brother SE625 unit. The prepared fabric (with stabilizer) then goes into the embroidery hoop, which attaches to the embroidery unit.

Picking the correct needle size, thread type, and stabilizer is essential, so if you’re experiencing issues, check for the correct supplies as part of your machine embroidery troubleshooting

How to Select and Alter Embroidery Patterns

selecting a design on the Brother SE625

Use the LCD screen and associated buttons to choose a pattern–you can choose from the 80 built-in patterns or import your own from your computer on a USB drive.

Once you’ve selected the pattern, you can adjust the pattern in the pattern editing frame. With the touch of your finger, you can move the pattern around the area, change its size, and even change thread colors. These adjustments appear on the color LCD screen, so you know what your changes look like. 

If you’re planning to monogram or use letters, you can also type in your letters and edit them. One fun aspect of the Brother SE625 is that letters can be placed on an arc!

Once you’ve finalized your pattern, preview it in your area. Double-checking prevents you from having to remove all those tiny, incorrect stitches later on painstakingly.

If you’ve chosen a multicolored design, note that the Brother SE625 only sews one thread color at a time. After the first thread color is sewn, the machine will alert you of the following color to set up. You will need to rethread the machine with the new color, so some automated features like needle threading are helpful!

Use the Correct File Formats

The Brother SE625 is only compatible with .pes, .phc, and .dst embroidery data files. The preferred file format for the Brother SE625 is .pes, which is also its default saving file format. 

Other formats may cause your machine to malfunction, so be cautious about loading files from unknown sources.

For decorative stitches, .pmx, .pmv, and .pmu stitches data files can be used. Only .pmu or .pmx stitch data files are retrievable. The preferred stitch format and the default for saving stitches on the Brother SE625 is .pmv.

The Brother SE625 Does Not Include Software

You have to buy your own or purchase pre-made designs. 

Examples of online embroidery shops include iBroidery (Brother’s official embroidery design store) and Etsy.

Many free designs are also circulating; be careful you only load trusted designs onto your machine. (I’ve written an entire post where I like to download free machine embroidery patterns if you want to check that out. And here’s another post listing websites with free or paid in-the-hoop designs.)

If you’re looking for software, Inkscape with the Ink/Stitch embroidery extension is the best free embroidery software I’ve found.

Because I have a Cricut Maker, I like to create SVG files in Inkscape and sometimes digitize them into embroidery files using Ink/Stitch. If you know vector graphics, this is a GREAT program. However, it isn’t easy to learn and has minimal support available if you’re new to embroidery and graphic design.

For a budget, more beginner-friendly software, I recommend checking out Embrilliance Essentials or SewWhat-Pro as basic design editing software. They have good support and many beginner tutorials because they are widely used software options.

If you’re looking to create your own designs, also known as digitizing, Hatch, Embird, and Embrilliance Stitch Artist are three of the best digitizing embroidery software options for home embroidery enthusiasts. Hatch 3 is my favorite and the one I currently use. 

And lastly, SewArt is a good auto-digitizing embroidery program, which converts images into .pes embroidery files without much user input. Because it is not a manual digitizing program, the results may not be great, especially for complicated images! Also, don’t expect to run a commercial embroidery business with auto-digitizing. 

Using It as a Faux Serger

Even though the Brother SE625 can sew, quilt, and embroider, it does not function as a traditional serger.

The machine can create a seam and finish fabric edges simultaneously using the built-in overcasting stitch and overcasting presser foot. You will have to do any trimming yourself, though.

side cutter presser foot tutorial

If you want to trim fabric edges while sewing, consider investing in an auxiliary Brother side cutter presser foot.

The side cutter cuts excess fabric while simultaneously finishing the fabric edges. (Honestly, I’m in “like,” not “love,” with my own side cutter presser foot attachment. It’s PERFECT for cotton but not as excellent for knits. You can learn more in my Brother side cutter foot tutorial!)

If you want this sewing machine to sew as quickly and accurately or produce as professional seams as a serger, don’t expect the Brother SE625 to do that. Invest in a quality serger instead of purchasing the side cutter foot.

The Brother SE625 Is Very Beginner Friendly

I highly recommend the Brother SE625 or Brother SE600, its almost identical twin, for beginners wanting a combination sewing and embroidery machine. (Read my full Brother SE600 review if interested, or check out my Brother SE625 vs. SE600 comparison post.)

With an easy-to-navigate display and comprehensive instructions, beginners can set up the machine with little frustration. The automatic features, such as bobbin winding and needle threading, are beginner-friendly, and the top-drop, quick-set bobbin eliminates the need to draw the bobbin thread up yourself.

With troubleshooting error codes and compatible presser foot suggestions, the Brother SE625 helps beginners who want to venture into sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

But, by reading the instructions manual and watching a few YouTube tutorials, you’ll be sewing well in no time. Just give yourself grace at first; we’ve all been beginners and sewn some pretty rough projects at first!  


  • A great value combination sewing and embroidery machine
  • Import designs through a USB stick or straight from your computer to this beginner embroidery machine
  • Edit and preview right on the touchscreen.
  • The automatic thread cutter and advanced needle threader are nice perks.


  • A CD for the additional 200 designs? A USB would have been more helpful for those of us without CD drives!
  • No included embroidery software and the 4″x4″ embroidery area can be small for many projects. (I recommend the Brother SE1900 if looking for a 5″x7″ hoop size.)
  • Slower maximum speed makes stitching intricate designs take longer, and it’s not as good at handling heavyweight materials as a heavy-duty sewing machine.

In conclusion: Jam-packed with features, the Brother SE625 allows you to sew, quilt, and embroider at an affordable price. It’s fun, easy to use, and a great addition to a craft room; I’ve also loved mine and recommend it. 


  1. Do you have to use the foot pedal for any operations on this machine (bobbin, threader, start sewing, etc)? I’m paralyzed and need a machine that is operated completely by hand without a foot pedal.

    1. After over a year of use, I’ve never even unwrapped the foot pedal from its original plastic! I sew completely foot-free for everything!

    1. Sure! Here’s the set I bought right here: There are several other options on Amazon, too, if you’re looking for more or less presser feet. When I bought this set, all of the feet worked pretty well with my machine except the fringe foot, which I had to take a file to to get it to work properly. I thought 31 out of 32 wasn’t too bad, though, for the price!

  2. Thank you so much for this helpful article! I am completely new to embroidery and barely know anything about sewing. I just got my SE625 in the mail the other day and was feeling so overwhelmed, but this article made me feel much better and ready to take it on today!!

  3. I am sewing with metallic thread and need to slow it down . Does the speed switch work just for regular sewing or for embroidery speed too? If so what are the spm of low , medium and fast?

  4. Thank you for your article ☺️
    I just started sewing 1 month ago and I’m loving it. I have a singer simple and I like it a lot. I love embroidery and I have been looking at some embroidery machines to buy later during the year. But well, I just saw this brother at Walmart at 380$. It’s much more cheaper than it’s original price right? I was not planning to buy it now, but I’m afraid they won’t have this deal anymore during the year. Do you recommend buying this one? I’ve never done embroidery. Also, do you know if they do this deal very often?
    Thank you again for your advices.

    1. The SE625 is a great starter machine! Prices for the machine are all over the place ever since the pandemic started, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for a specific price. I’ve seen it be very low and also very high over the last year depending on the availability of the machine and who’s selling it!

  5. Hi, I downloaded the MyEditor software to edit/manage my embroidery designs. When I go to save a design, I choose .pes, then I am confronted with a list of .pes formats such as normal.pes, normal_v1.pes, and so on. How do I know which one to use?

    1. I can’t tell how old this comment is but… those aren’t file types – those are the names. When saving a file, everything after the period is the file type. All of your listed examples end in “.pes”. The “normal” and “normal_v1” are file names, and I’d guess that these two are the same thing saved twice (the first time as “normal” and the second time as “norm_v1” meaning ‘normal version 1’). Hope this helps someone.

  6. Hi, I really like your detailed and helpful articles thank you. I need to buy a sewing and embroidery machine for my wife and she doesn’t have the training or clue how to use either of them. so, what is your recommendation what type of dual machine to buy and complete guide tutor for beginners. thank you.

    1. If your wife is completely new to both embroidery and sewing, I recommend one of the smaller combination machines (Brother SE625, SE600, SE630, etc.) These have less features and are thus less complicated to learn, in my opinion. They’re also significantly less of an investment if it turns out she doesn’t end up enjoying sewing and embroidery! However, if she ends up loving this hobby after using the machine for awhile, it’s easy to trade in these smaller machines or resell them to upgrade to bigger models down the road.

  7. What walking, spring action quilting, and 1/4″ piecing foot are compatible with the SE625 or SE600? The Amazon feet you purchased don’t include a walking foot 😦

    Also, what is the difference in the SE630 vs SE600/SE625?

    I currently own a PE400-D. It has been a GREAT machine, but the screen is going out (lines and blank spots on the screen). It will cost approximately $250 to fix. So now I’m trying to find a new machine after 20+ years. Your articles have helped me tremendously! I sew, machine quilt, and embroidery. I want the large throat space for quilting, but can’t afford the machine. So, I’m trying to find a middle ground to encompass all my needs. After learning the SE600 & SE625 have a throat space of 6.4″, I was interested — AND i get embroidery to boot! My current machine has 5″, so anything bigger is better! When comparing SE600 vs SE625, I’m leaning towards the 625 because it’s a $100 cheaper and the extra designs on cd (I have a laptop with a drive). BUT now I’m learning about the SE630. This can be SOOO overwhelming!!!

    On a different note, what is the throat space of the SE9285, SE7000X and CP1000X?

    Any advice you could offer, would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi there!

      Any of the low-shank generic or Brother-branded presser feet should work with the S625. I got most of those feet with my CS6000i sewing machine years ago, and that’s what I used with my SE625. You can easily find these online or at local sewing stores.

      As for SE625 vs. SE630, the SE630 has more downloadable fonts and designs. (This isn’t a huge deal, though, because you can download thousands of designs (for free or for purchase) online and transfer them to either of the machines! I rarely use built-in designs or fonts on my machines bc I like the ones I create or download better usually.)

      I also just went and measured my CS7000X right now (it’s a sewing machine only), and it looks like the throat space (I’m referring to horizontal space directly right of the needle) is also really close to 6.4″. So pretty similar to SE625 actually!

      Hope that helps a bit!

  8. Thank you for your reply!

    Seems like the SE600 ($399), SE625 ($300) and SE630 ($385) are basically the SAME machine except the extra designs – and the SE630 has a little larger screen. I haven’t researched the downloadable free or for-purchase designs. BUT for the extra $85-$100 I would be save by purchasing the SE625, I could purchase designs :)!

    1. I would love Aly to comment on Diane’s post as well. Would the SE625 also accept .pes files? I teach fabrication and a USB powered embroidery machine would be great for my students.

  9. Hi, Thank you very much for all the information! I have been reading many of your tutorials. Very thorough and I am learning a lot! I do have a couple of questions. I have a designer program and can create SVG files and vector images on it. I also have Inkscape and Ink/Stitch, and I am learning this as well, however, could you offer an explanation as to how you digitize (not the whole process, just regarding the file when your image is complete) an embroidery file from an SVG file? Do you have an Ink/Stitch tutorial? How does it get from an SVG to .pes or? Is it how it is saved/exported in Ink/Stitch? Hope that makes sense? Thanks a lot!

    1. Once you’ve created and placed your stitches in Ink/Stitch (you can use your SVG as a blueprint of sorts while doing this), all you need to do is click File, then Save a Copy. If you’re using the Brother SE625, save as type Ink/Stitch: Brother Embroidery Format (.pes).

      If you’re unsure how to place those stitches to create an embroidery design, the Ink/Stitch tutorial page ( is a good place to start learning to digitize. There are also many helpful YT videos, too.

  10. HI! thank you for all the Info,I have learning disability/ and any NEW SYSTEM I try to use” Begins to Rip me appart at the seams…(seam ripper) “BUT YOU MAKE things so relative and clear. I THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    That said- my husband Mike got me SE625 for 2022 Christmas. I have a Pro Baby Lock (so old cant find anything about it)I know how to sew I am 89% proficant/ with most sewing machines,My 3 personal devices are:”ProBaby Lock” “Kenmore ZigZAG button holer” (my 1st aprox 40 yrs old) and a Serger 4 threads. I need to use manual to thread.
    Now about this Brother SE625! The 200 designs on CD/ My MAC does NOT HAVE A DISK DRIVE! I have one I can plug in” and when I DID THIS to my MBP- Nothing happened! I have wasted alot of time searching for a solution-like is there a DOWNLOAD for this- I DID REGISTER my new machine…..BUT like I cant even ask a question. HOW frustrating. I am allmost READY TO RETURN IT! ALSO I am a artist, I want to use my own art and make creations for my Family-grand kids we have 9!
    Can I plug the SE625 into my MAC/ then try to PLAY the CD/ will the CD be RECOGNIZED or something like this? One more question, is PE ?” PE DESIGN software GOOD? I see it says ONLY WIN devices! I have a Lenovo Yoga Pro/ what say YOU ABOUT This software,Ive seen it priced at $19.00 as well as $49.00?? what gives? can you impart your wisdome please.
    its 12-30-22 10:34 PM……HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    God Bless You
    thanks linda ann

    1. Ok, so for the CD first: does your plug-in CD drive work with your MBP for other CDs? If not, it’s possible there’s some incompatibility between your computer and your external drive or that your external drive just isn’t working at all anymore. Plugging in your SE625 to your computer won’t help make the computer reading the CD any more likely, so I don’t recommend that!

      However, don’t worry too much about the CD. While it does contain designs, you can download thousands and thousands of free embroidery designs online that you can transfer from computer to machine with a jump drive. Once you find designers that you like, you can also buy super inexpensive designs.

      Now, as for software, PE Design 11 is a good option. However, its retail price is over $1000, so if you’re seeing these inexpensive prices, you’re probably finding pirated copies or copies filled with viruses. Machine embroidery Facebook groups are full of people who’ve purchased these cheap options thinking they’re getting a deal, and there are lots of reports of bad, bad experiences with them. So, I recommend only buying PE11 from an authorized retailer!

      Hope that helps a bit!

  11. I have done a lot with mine. Embroidery, monogram, caps, shirts, regular sewing leather handbags. I love the threader. Nev er have had a problem with it. You just have to make sure the needle is up all the way. I have just started having trouble with the top thread bunching up under the needle plate. The tension setter is not making a difference. I think it might be the bobbin case grabbing it. Gonna get a new one and see if that helps. If anybody has had experience with this problem and knows how to fix it, I would sure appreciate any info you can give me.

  12. if i wanted to write small 7 letter work, can it do that? i see you say only 3 letters, but i need something to monogram the school name

    1. The 3 letters refers to fonts in the largest size on the machine. If you choose a small size font, you can easily fit 7+ letters.

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