The Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners to Start In 2020

Embroidery is a fun and versatile technique that can enhance any craft or fashion project. While embroidery was originally a delicate skill mastered with many years of practice, technology has stepped up with a variety of tools and machines to help even a novice achieve a successful project. Just like with sewing, there are many embroidery machines available on the market that can take the place of more old-fashioned, traditional needle-and-thread approaches.

Perhaps you are not only new to embroidery, but you are new to sewing altogether! Or perhaps you could sew endless projects in your sleep, but are new to embroidery – either way, we have the perfect guide for anyone looking for The Best Embroidery Machine.

PRODUCT DETAILS  
Our TOp pick overallbrother-se1900-sewing-machine Brother SE1900
  • Combined sewing and embroidery capability
  • 5″ x 7″ embroidery field
  • 138 embroidery designs
  • 11 embroidery fonts
  • 240 built-in stitches
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • 22.05 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty
Best ValueBrother-PE535-Embroidery-Machine Brother PE535
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 4″ x 4″ embroidery field
  • 80 built-in embroidery designs
  • 9 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • 14.99 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty
Recommended for BeginnersBrother-SE600-Embroidery-Machine Brother SE600
  • Combined sewing and embroidery capability
  • 4″ x 4″ embroidery field
  • 80 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 embroidery fonts
  • 103 built-in stitches
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • 11.82 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty
Recommended for Home useJanome-Memory-Craft-500E-Embroidery-Machine Janome Memory Craft 500E
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 7.9″ x 11″ embroidery field
  • 160 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Automatic needle cutter
  • 20 lbs
  • USB port included
Best ValueBrother-PE800-Emboidery-Machine Brother PE800
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 5″ x 7″ embroidery field
  • 138 built-in embroidery designs
  • 11 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • 17.64 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty

Top 5 Best Embroidery Machines for Beginners

Brother SE1900

brother se1900 sewing machine
  • Combined sewing and embroidery capability
  • 5″ x 7″ embroidery field
  • 138 embroidery designs
  • 11 embroidery fonts
  • 240 built-in stitches
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • 22.05 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty

PROS

  • Long warranty
  • Extensive variety of built-in stitches and designs

CONS

  • Heavier than other models
  • No automatic thread cutter

The Brother SE1900 is the perfect machine for beginners and advanced sewing enthusiasts alike. The best feature about the Brother SE1900 is the fact that it is both a sewing and embroidery machine combined! This makes the Brother SE1900 an excellent choice even beginner sewers because then you’re not having to invest in two machines. For advanced sewers, you can consider the sewing compatibility as an extra sewing machine, or perhaps an upgrade from the one you’ve already been using.

The Brother SE1900 also boasts an extensive collection of built-in stitches and designs to inspire the beginner and satisfy a more experienced sewer. The USB port offers sewers the option of uploading their own embroidery designs if they wish. This, combined with its colorful LCD touchscreen, make the Brother SE1900 a great choice for embroidery beginners.


Brother SE600

Brother SE 600 sewing maching
  • Combined sewing and embroidery capability
  • 4″ x 4″ embroidery field
  • 80 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 embroidery fonts
  • 103 built-in stitches
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • 11.82 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty

PROS

  • Long warranty
  • Lighter than other models

CONS

  • Smaller selection of built-in designs

Just like the SE1900, the Brother SE600 combines both sewing and embroidery capabilities into one machine. This is a wonderfully efficient and economical choice for beginners looking to invest in their first machine. And once again, for seasoned sewers, having the combined capabilities can serve as an upgrade to the machine you already have, or merely as a spare sewing machine.

The Brother SE600 stands out as the lightest of our featured embroidery and sewing machines, weighing in at just 11.82 lbs. This is a great point if you are a beginner without a dedicated sewing space. If you’re going to have to lift the machine onto your kitchen table every time you want to use it, a lighter machine will be a welcomed feature. Another great feature on the Brother SE600 is its automatic needle threader and automatic thread cutter. This will save you loads of time and aggravation, making it a feature not to take for granted. While the Brother SE600 comes equipped with built-in designs, its USB port makes it very easy to upload your own designs.


Brother PE800

Brother PE800 embroidery machine
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 5″ x 7″ embroidery field
  • 138 built-in embroidery designs
  • 11 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • 17.64 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty

PROS

  • Long warranty
  • Large embroidery field

CONS

  • Smaller selection of built-in designs

The Brother PE800 is an excellent machine that’s perfect for beginners and advanced sewers looking only for an embroidery machine. This is typical of people who already own a sewing machine that they are fond of and have no need for another machine. This makes the Brother PE800 a good choice for a seasoned sewer who is looking to expand their skill set into embroidery.

The Brother PE800 offers a lot in a relatively lightweight machine! In addition to having a USB port for uploading your own designs, the Brother PE800 comes with 138 built-in designs ready to go. The Brother PE800 is also capable of rather large embroidery patterns, being able to accommodate a field range of as much as 5″ x 7″. It also boasts an automatic needle threader to help reduce the stress of threading the needle and to increase efficiency. This is an excellent machine for any beginner or seasoned sewer looking for solely an embroidery machine.


Brother PE535

Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 4″ x 4″ embroidery field
  • 80 built-in embroidery designs
  • 9 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Advanced needle threader
  • 14.99 lbs
  • USB port included
  • 25-Year Limited Warranty

PROS

  • Long warranty

CONS

  • Smaller selection of built-in designs
  • Smaller embroidery field

The Brother PE535 is one of the best embroidery machines for beginners just starting out. Not only is it lightweight, it is also simple and easy-to-use. The Brother PE535 comes with 80 built-in designs to help get you started, while also offering the capability to upload new designs using the embroidery machine’s USB port. It has a 4″ x 4″ embroidery field, a perfect fit for most home projects.

Another advantage of the Brother PE535 is that it is solely an embroidery machine. Sometimes when just starting out with something new, less is more. This is also an advantage to anyone who already owns a sewing machine and is not looking for a combined sewing and embroidery machine. The Brother PE535 is a great choice for small embellishment and accent design projects.


Janome Memory Craft 500E

Janome Memory Craft 500E Embroidery Machine
  • Embroidery capability only
  • 7.9″ x 11″ embroidery field
  • 160 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 embroidery fonts
  • Color LCD touch screen
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Automatic needle cutter
  • 20 lbs
  • USB port included

PROS

  • Biggest embroidery field of our featured machines

CONS

  • Warranty is not clearly stated

While we definitely leaned into Brother embroidery machines for this list, we couldn’t ignore the Janome Memory Craft 500E Embroidery Machine. Maybe one of the most impressive features of this machine is its large embroidery field, being able to accommodate as much as 7.9″ x 11″. This is perfect for larger-scale projects, such as embroidering a large design onto a quilt, curtains, or clothes.

It also comes with many built-in designs, more than any of the Brother models to be exact: the Janome Memory Craft 500E comes with a total of 160 built-in embroidery designs. On top of this extensive design collection, it also includes a USB port if you are interested in uploading your own embroidery designs.

Another great feature of the Janome Memory Craft 500E is that it is equipped with an automatic needle threader and cutter. If you are new to using any kind of thread machine, be it a sewing machine or embroidery machine, an automatic threader and cutter are almost essential.


Buyers Guide

What’s the difference between an embroidery machine and a sewing machine?

There are many differences between embroidery machines and sewing machines, which often come down to the functionality and the actual mechanics of the machine.

First of all, sewing machines are designed to join pieces of fabric, whereas an embroidery machine is used to decorate or add ornamentation to a fabric’s surface.

The main physical or mechanical difference between a sewing machine and an embroidery machine is the type of foot used. A sewing machine’s presser foot is flat, while the embroidery machine’s presser foot is round. Also, the embroidery machine’s presser foot hovers above the fabric, which is tightly pulled into an embroidery hoop, while a sewing machine’s foot is directly on the fabric and the fabric may be left loose while sewing.

It is important to note that some machines only offer embroidery or sewing, so it’s critical to check that the machine you plan to buy is actually capable of performing the tasks you need. While some machines do offer both capabilities in one, it is not a guaranteed feature: definitely be sure to check before investing in one.

What features should I look for in an embroidery machine?

Single-needle vs Multi-needle

This meaning here may be fairly self-explanatory: single-needle machines have only one needle, while multi-needle machines have…multiple! But why is there a difference, and which one do you need?

When using an embroidery and sewing machine, you have to thread the needle with the thread color you wish to use at that moment. However, if you want to switch colors, you then have to stop the machine and literally switch threads. This is where multi-needle becomes very useful. Multi-needle machines allow you to have multiple needles threaded with multiple colors so they are “at the ready.”

While it may seem logical to go with the multi-needle machine for efficiency’s sake, these are typically more relevant to industrial use rather than domestic-use. Most people survive just fine with a single-needle machine. What may be more helpful to the domestic-use beginner is having an automatic needle threader and an automatic thread cutter.

Automatic Needle Threader

An automatic needle threader is arguably a critical feature to have because it will save you from the painstaking process of having to literally thread the needle. For most people, this is probably a really helpful detail, especially if using the machine for the first time. Threading a needle is hard enough – threading a machine can be even harder.

Automatic Thread Cutter

Traditionally, it was necessary to physically cut the thread with scissors. Then, machines came up with a little built-in tool to serve as a cutter. But now, machines are built with an automatic thread cutter so that you don’t have to do anything. This is a great feature to look for in a sewing and embroidery machine!

Size, Weight, and Portability

Take into consideration where you plan to use the embroidery machine the most so that you choose the most convenient one for your needs. Embroidery machines come in a variety of different sizes and weights, and some are even easily portable. While these details may seem arbitrary, it can end up being a really important detail once you start getting yourself set up to use the machine for embroidery.

Built-in Patterns

While you can often download patterns from the internet, you’ll want to know that there are at least a few easy-to-use embroidery patterns built into the machine already. You will sometimes want to download your own specific pattern, but there will be other times where a standard pattern will do just fine and you’ll be glad you have easy access to built-in designs.

USB-port

This feature will allow you to connect a USB thumb drive to the machine and upload your own embroidery designs that you have either created or downloaded from the internet. This will become really important after you’ve exhausted the built-in patterns and are ready to expand your creativity.

LCD Touchscreen

The LCD touchscreen will be so much easier to use than old-fashioned buttons and will make working in dark environments easier since the screen will be properly illuminated. Plus, with the advent of smartphones, a touch screen will likely feel much more familiar and offer more versatility.

Embroidery Field Size

Embroidering machines will always quote the “field size.” This is simply the actual amount of area on which you can embroider based on the machine’s capabilities. This becomes an important detail to note if you have ambitious plans to embroider a large surface area. You’ll want to make sure that the hoop size you are using is also compatible with the field size.

Warranty

Because you are investing so much money into an intricate machine with lots moving parts that only a specialized repair person could fix – it’s recommended that you lookout for a warranty that will support you in the event that there is a malfunction. Many machines offer a 3-year warranty, while there some that will even offer as much as a 25-year warranty.

How much should I budget for an embroidery machine?

A quick search of embroidery machines will yield a wide range of prices – some of which may be downright jaw-dropping! Don’t be alarmed: those higher-priced embroidery machines that sometimes cost nearly $10,000 are typically meant for industrial use. Luckily, embroidery machines designed for home use are much more affordable. On average, good quality embroidery machines for home use typically range anywhere from $550 to $2,500.

What is the best embroidery machine for the money?

Of our top five favorite embroidery machines featured in this article, the best embroidery machine for the money is the Brother PE535. It is simple, efficient, offering quality and varied features at a bargain price. A great feature that the Brother PE535 offers is the USB port, which will allow you to upload more designs beyond what is already built-in to the machine. If you’re a beginner on a budget – this could be a great choice for you!

What is the best embroidery machine for beginners?

If this is your first time starting out, you’ll want to choose an embroidery machine that is relatively easy-to-use. Seemingly small features like a touch screen or built-in embroidery designs can make a world of difference for a beginner of embroidery looking to get an easy start.

If you are super new to even any kind of sewing-related activity, another easy-to-use feature to lookout for is the automatic needle threader and automatic thread cutter.

Our top pick for the best embroidery machine for beginners is the Brother SE600. Not only does this machine offer a nice variety of features for a beginner at a good price – it is also a combined sewing and embroidery machine. This is an excellent convenience, especially if you are also a beginner to sewing and don’t even have a sewing machine.

What is the best embroidery machine for home use?

You may find that there are many machines designed for industrial use, which may not be necessary for the kind of projects you hope to dive into. For home use, you’ll want to go with what is considered a “domestic” machine.

Embroidery machines that are more suitable for home use would either be single-needle embroidery machines, or hybrid sewing and embroidery machines that offer both embroidery and sewing capabilities in one.

Our top pick for the best embroidery machine for home use is Janome Memory Craft 500E Embroidery Machine. The Janome stands out as having the largest embroidery field out of all of our featured embroidery machines, capable of accommodating projects as large as 7.9″x11″. It also offers a wide selection of built-in designs in addition to having a USB port for uploading even more designs. While the Janome offers a lot, it’s also one of the heaviest of our featured machines – making it one of the best embroidery machines for stationary home use.

What is the best Brother embroidery machine?

Four out of the five embroidery machines we are featuring in this article are Brother models and there is a good reason for that: Brother products offer excellent quality and consistency while also being backed by 25-year warranties, which is a lot more than many other brands offer.

While there are many great options when going with the Brother brand, the best Brother embroidery machine is the Brother SE1900. Perhaps the best feature of the machine is that it is both a sewing and embroidery machine combined into one.

Having a combined sewing and embroidery machine benefits both beginners and seasoned sewers: if you are just starting out without a machine – investing a combined sewing and embroidery machine essentially means you just bought two machines for the price of one! If you are a seasoned sewer, then buying a combined sewing and embroidery machine is like investing in an upgrade or back-up machine.

The Brother SE1900 is also one of the best embroidery machines because it offers a wide variety of features, built-in designs and stitches, and it has a roomy embroidery field for projects of varied sizes. You can’t go wrong with investing in the Brother SE1900, one of the best embroidery machines available.

Choosing the best embroidering machine

While there are many options available on the market, there are certain features you should look for when investing in an embroidery machine. Decide if you want to have a combined sewing machine and embroidery machine, or if you’d prefer to keep them both separate. Also, make sure you have an idea of what size embroidery field you want to work with so you choose the appropriate sized machine for your project. If you plan to use your own uploaded designs, then having an extensive amount of built-in designs may not be as critical to you. However, if you’re a beginner, a machine with a wide variety of built-in designs may appeal to you more.

There are many features to consider, but at the end of the day, choosing an easy-to-use embroidery machine will be the best choice when choosing the Best Embroidery Machine.

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