In the past, if you wanted to add embellishments or embroidery to an item, it had to be done by hand. The differences between hand embroidery vs machine is more evident now than ever.
The results weren’t very professional looking and it was time consuming, plain and simple.
Nowadays, there are many different machines on the market that let you embroider high quality designs.
Over time, the technology of embroidery machines has evolved and you can now buy high-tech computerized embroidery machines!
This article will help you find your way through the modern tech that’s out there and get you the perfect machine! Read on to find out more.
What’s the Best Computerized Embroidery Machine For me?
There are many things to consider when selecting the best computerized embroidery machine.
I’ve condensed my reviews down into some subcategories, take a quick look at the best 3 before we look at the rest…
The Janome Memory Craft 500E is my top pick.
All the engineering has gone to make this excel at what it does.
I love that it has a large work area and extension table, which really means less faffing during larger projects.
It can be hard to align fabric in a hoop perfectly, so the larger embroidery area is a real treat.
The sewing speed varies between 400 – 860spm, depending on the design.
The machine will tell you how long the embroidery will take, and how many stitches per minute it is moving at – this will vary depending on the density of the design.
Best for the Money
My choice that’s best for the money is the Brother PE800.
Customers report how easy this machine is to use with flexible features, so it can be easily navigated no matter your ability.
The PE800 Brother embroidery machine will easily cover the demands of professional embroiderers and will serve well as a home machine for a small business. It comes with a CD that has 15,000 more designs on it, and 11 fonts.
The machine supports digitizing software that helps edit designs online.
Since it doesn’t include the software, you will have to purchase this separately.
Although it’s not the cheapest machine around, the Brother PE800 is full of features and designs that come with the typical Brother ease of use.
Best Heavy Duty Computerized Embroidery Machine
A unit with good features and speed. It can also easily embroider on different types of thick fabrics.
Although heavy duty and embroidery machines don’t usually appear in the same sentence, the Brother SE1900 would be the best heavy duty embroidery machine on the market.
It will easily embroider through thick layers of fabrics such as denim, leather, and canvas, and the extra high presser foot ensures the battle of squeezing fabrics through is limited. This machine also my choice for the best embroidery machine for hats.
It will embroider up to 850 stitches per minute, which is pretty fast for an embroidery machine for home use.
The Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine has lots of computerized features, including 240 built in stitches and 138 built in designs.
It also has a larger embroidery field than other Brother embroidery machines at 5 x 7”.
It’s good for heavy duty, high paced production work.
Finding the Best Computerized Embroidery Machine
After reading hundreds of embroidery machine reviews, I’ve compiled a list of the seven best computerized embroidery machines on the market.
Hopefully I can help make your decision a little easier on which machine to purchase.
Top Computerized Embroidery Machines
Here are the full reviews of all the products in the lineup…
The Brother SE625 is a combination machine for sewing and embroidery.
It will allow the user to embroider in a standard 4 x 4 inch field, meaning the maximum size of your embroidery designs will not be more than 4 inches in diameter.
It’s mostly made of plastic, but the metal frame gives it a longer life.
These embroidery machines come with a USB port, so you can bring in limitless personal or downloaded designs.
But, it also comes with 80 embroidery designs plus 200 more on a DVD disc. Store imported designs in the inbuilt memory.
It will also remember the settings that were in use in the previous application so you can pick up the exact stitch you left at.
This computerized embroidery machine Brother offers has an LCD color touchscreen display with extensive editing functions.
Some editing options for your embroidery designs include a color palette so you can change the shades of the design to match the thread you are using.
Also, there are rotate, zoom, and flip functionalities.
Users might be pleased with the 103 built in stitches – lavish for combination embroidery machines!
It features an automatic thread cutter, automatic needle threader, and the standard large library of Brother accessories.
- Built in stitches: 103
- Built in designs: 80, plus 200 on DVD disc
- Maximum hoop size: 4” x 4”
- Sewing stitches per minute: 710
- Dimensions: 21” x 16.42” x 15.28”
- Weight: 25.3lbs
- 280 embroidery designs.
- Free arm for hems and cuffs.
- Handle and dust cover are included.
- Won’t accept larger hoops.
- Small workspace for quilts.
One of the best embroidery machines for beginners who want to give embroidery and appliques a try.
The Brother SE600 is a hybrid sewing and embroidery machine. It is built with 80 embroidery designs and 6 lettering fonts.
There’s also a USB that you can import your own designs through.
The LCD screen measures 3.2” and is where you can edit your designs, even rotating them at 1° increments for perfect alignment.
The Brother SE600 software is compatible with SewArt and Amazing Designs, where you can download embroidery designs and edit them on your computer before uploading them to your embroidery machine.
By easily removing the hoop arm carriage, you can use the Brother SE600 computerized sewing and embroidery machine for regular sewing.
There, the speed will almost double from 400 spm embroidery to 710 spm sewing. It’s because the needle will only be moving in one direction with sewing – embroidery is much denser.
This machine is one of the best embroidery machines for beginners who want to give embroidery and appliques a try.
It’s affordable and comes with a good sized work area for your designs.
- Small work area.
- Slower spm.
- 7 Brother accessory feet.
- Thread color can be changed on screen.
- Lower price than similar models.
- Small work area.
- Slower spm.
Best Heavy Duty Computerized Embroidery Machine
A unit with good features and speed. It can easily embroider on different types of thick fabrics.
The Brother SE1900 is a combination computerized sewing and embroidery machine (my favourite type).
It has a library of 138 computerized embroidery designs, 11 lettering fonts for monogramming, and a large embroidery area of 5 x 7 inches. The large work area means it’s suitable for quilting and sewing too.
Although there are 240 stitches built in, this machine is programmed with My Custom Stitch, which allows users to create their own custom stitches and save them in the machine.
The Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine has a jam resistant drop top in bobbin, an automatic needle threader, and an automatic thread cutter. Below the LCD screen are 7 buttons the user controls, including the needle up, down, and stop/start functions.
Accessories included are 8 sewing feet and a knee lifter (one of my favorite features on a sewing and embroidery machine!).
You also get one free coupon for designs downloaded on ibroidery.com, which is Brother’s repository of embroidery designs.
It’s one of the best embroidery machines available for those who like to create unique content!
- Built in stitches: 240
- Built in embroidery designs: 138
- Maximum hoop size: 5” x 7 “
- Stitches per minute: 850
- Dimensions: 13.4” x 23.1” x 11.6”
- Weight: 22.05lbs
- My Custom Stitch for creating your own stitches.
- Built in memory.
- Advanced needle threading system.
- No adjustable sewing speed settings.
- Doesn’t have on screen editing such as built in borders.
The Janome Memory Craft 500E has a huge embroidery field of 11” x 7.9”, making it easy to use to embellish larger projects.
It will only embroider and cannot be used for regular sewing.
The computerized machine has a USB port for you to bring in your own embroidery designs and save them to memory.
You can edit them on the LCD touch screen where you can rotate, flip, enlarge, reduce, drag, and drop patterns.
Features on this machine include an auto-return post thread break so if the thread breaks, the machine will stop and go back to the last part of the pattern for re-sewing to prevent unraveling.
There is a top drop load in bobbin, sewing speed control, and automatic thread tension (yay!) so you don’t need to consider the tension of the thread.
An extra high presser foot means you can embroider on thicker projects like coats and quilts giving you a wider opportunity of projects you can work on.
Janome offers a good assortment of accessories with this machine, including a USB cable to link up your PC, a large hoop, and an extra wide extension table.
- Built in embroidery designs: 160
- Maximum hoop size: 11” x 7.9”
- Sewing speed: 400 – stitches per minute
- Dimensions: 22.6” x 12.4” x 9”
- Weight: 30.2lbs
- Auto return post thread break.
- Large embroidery space.
- Minimal maintenance.
- Not suitable for beginners.
- Embroidery only machine.
Best For The Money
The Brother PE800 embroidery machine has a full color LCD touch screen that’s easy on the eyes.
It’s been engineered with 138 built in designs, including floral, holiday, and kid patterns and 11 lettering fonts.
It will embroider only, so you would have to buy an additional device for regular sewing.
The embroidery field is 5 x 7”, reasonable for a machine of this budget. You can change the system settings on the Brother PE800 for different measurements, switching between metric to inches. You can combine patterns and designs on screen to save yourself time.
The Brother PE800 has a memory card slot and a USB port, so you can purchase preloaded Brother memory discs or import your own.
Make sure to convert it to a file that is compatible with the machine (.pes, .dst, .phc, .pen).
Features on the Brother PE800 include a drop in load bobbin that has a notification pop up on the screen when the bobbin thread is running low.
It’s a good machine for a small home business that doesn’t cost a fortune in the beginning! That is why this Brother machine is also on my list of the best commercial embroidery machines, which you can read here.
- Built in embroidery designs: 138
- Maximum embroidery hoop size: 5” x 7”
- Stitch per minute: 710
- Dimensions: 21.7” x 19” x 19”
- Weight: 13.7lbs
- 138 built in designs.
- Holds larger thread spools.
- Color LCD screen.
- Only recognizes plastic bobbins.
- Color LCD screen is small.
Comes with lots of computerized good features, helping you to visualize your embroidery designs from the LCD screen.
The Janome Memory Craft 9850 is a sewing and embroidery machine.
It comes with a generous 175 built in embroidery designs and 200 built in stitches. This unit is also one of the best Janome embroidery machines.
It will hold plenty of your imported embroidery designs in the 3MB memory.
The quick sewing speed is only comparable to industrial machines.
It will embroider on a work area no bigger than 6.7” x 7.9”, which is decently sized for an embroidery machine for home use.
The dual function sewing and embroidery machine can transform into a regular sewing machine easily, and has a free arm for turbicular sewing projects, like pant legs and arms.
The Janome comes with lots of computerized good features, helping you to visualize your embroidery designs from the LCD screen.
It will let you know when to change thread color during embroidering, and there’s lots of on-screen aid that tells you when the thread breaks or bobbin thread is running low.
Other features on the machine include automatic thread tension control and an automatic bobbin winder.
The bunch of accessories includes a 10 feet and a large hoop.
- Built in stitches: 200
- Built in embroidery designs: 175
- Maximum embroidery hoop size: 6.7” x 7.9”
- Sewing speed: 1000
- Dimensions: 18.7" x 12.4” x 8.8"
- Weight: 22.9 lbs
- Janome Memory Craft is easy to use.
- Easy to remove needle plate.
- Strong hoop locking system.
- Protector case not included.
- Only two built in fonts for monogramming.
This little Brother PE535 weighing 15lbs is an embroidery machine Brother offers with 80 built in designs and memory where you can store external designs.
Control to the machine is accessed through the LCD touch screen, viewable for perfect placing.
The designs include kid patterns, floral, and nine lettering fonts. The built in color palette will adjust the color in the machine best to match the thread you are using.
The sewing field of 4 x 4” might be restricting for some embroiderers, but you can move the fabric within the hoop space for larger projects. It sews at 400 spm which can be adjusted with the speed control.
Although it’s a relatively simple machine to navigate, it still boasts plenty of computerized modern features such as an automatic needle threader and thread cutter, an easy to use drop in top load bobbin and needle up and down button.
Troubleshooting is available on-screen for any problems that may arise during setup.
- Built in designs: 80
- Maximum hoop size: 4” x 4”
- Sewing spm: 400
- Dimensions: 16.5” x 7.8” x 12”
- Weight: 15lbs
- Lettering fonts come in three different sizes.
- Works well on thicker fabrics.
- Online tech support for life.
- 4 x 4 inches can be restricting.
- Does not function as a sewing machine.
What is a computerized embroidery machine?
Computerized embroidery machines are computer controlled and used for embroidery.
They are specialized machines that can create patterns from a digitized design.
Once the design has been created, it will then be stitched onto fabric at the press of a button.
They’re typically quick to figure out, but you would need to possess a certain level of basic computer skills and the basics of sewing and embroidery.
You can find lots of help online or could attend classes to help you with the technical side of it.
What’s the difference between a regular sewing machine and a computerized embroidery machine?
Sewing and embroidery are very different, and so would require different machines.
While a sewing machine is used for attaching fabric together to hold or to make clothes or accessories, embroidery machines are used with specialized stitches to create decorations and embellishments on fabric.
Sewing machines are limited in their stitch types, and used mainly for construction purposes. Sewing machines will come with the stitches built in, and what you see is what you get.
Computerized embroidery machines can turn digitized designs into patterns on fabric by using a repetitive stitch technique, and the machine is programmed to carry out these stitches as accurately as possible.
Should I buy an embroidery machine?
There are different types of embroidery machines; embroidery only ones or combination embroidery machines that also offer sewing. Knowing the difference between an embroidery machine vs sewing machine might help steer you in a direction that’s a better fit.
If you are a regular sewist but want to pick up embroidering, dual function embroidery machines could be the next addition to your work area.
If you already have a sewing machine, an embroidery only machine would be most suited for you.
See the Memory Craft 500 in action on the video below…
If you’re unsure about investing in an embroidery only machine, there are some really cheap entry level embroidery machines out there that you could always resell if your skills outgrow the machine.
Is an embroidery business profitable?
Starting a business can definitely be profitable.
People price their embroidery on the basis of how many stitches are used, or number of garments.
It’s a great way to make back some of the money that you spend on your embroidery machine.
How will I choose the best computerized embroidery machine for me?
There are lots of things to evaluate when investing in any machinery or equipment, especially when looking for the best embroidery machine.
Here are some things to consider before you make the purchase.
Before you know it, you might have a small home business when people hear you’ve got an embroidery machine.
It can be a great way to reimburse yourself for the investment.
Decide what you will use your machine for now and in the future to see if you need a combination machine or an embroidery only machine.
If you will use it for multi-purpose, a dual function sewing and embroidery machine might be best for you. With one, you can add personalized touches to wardrobe items and customized gifts.
An embroidery machine is only one piece of the puzzle in the world of embroidery.
When you start embroidering, you will need to invest in stabilizers, extra hoops, thread, and fabrics.
Although lots of machines come with a large number of designs, if you want to source other designs, not all of them are free and can be costly.
Needles will also need to be frequently changed after embroidering a large piece.
If you will be using the machine for a business, it could be worth covering it with insurance too.
But if you would like to give embroidery a shot or make it a hobby without hurting your pocket, start with an inexpensive embroidery machine. Some will perform comparably to high-end embroidery machines but will have fewer features, slower speeds, and might have fewer built-in patterns.
Sewing is much easier with available support that you need and understand.
You definitely don’t want to buy without checking that you’re covered with a comprehensive warranty for parts and repairs.
Find a local embroidery machine repair shop in case of any malfunctions.
Go through the warranty with the dealer before purchasing any machine, just to make sure you know exactly what is covered.
Brother offers a 25 year limited warranty on their computerized sewing and embroidery machines.
You definitely don’t have to be an expert at embroidery to own a machine. Learning is a process, and I still find features on my machine that I didn’t know I had!
There is an infinite amount of videos on YouTube and on dealers’ sites that give you information on how to use your machine – plus most come with on-screen aid.
While most machines are easy to navigate, you should try and find a local dealer who will let you test run a machine to see if it will suit your skill level.
Embroidery designs are one of the most important things to check before you buy an embroidery machine.
I’ve looked through machines before and not purchased them because I didn’t like the designs that were installed.
There’s no point in buying an embroidery machine with a catalog of 200, if you will only use 2 and download the rest!
Brother comes with an extensive library of built in designs for their embroidery machines which you can access online before you buy.
Some features of computerized embroidery machines are:
Automatic needle threader
Essential for me, I could not live without this application now. It will thread the needle in seconds, saving you from squinting.
Import method – USB or memory card
Most sewing and embroidery machines come with a USB port and/or a memory card slot for you to load up and bring in your own designs. Check the memory of the machine; some are larger than others and will let you save more of your own designs.
Check that the software for the machine is compatible with your PC or laptop. It would be a nightmare to realize you cannot edit designs as you’d like.
A color LCD screen is where you will be doing all of the editing, unless you have purchased or are using included software. In my opinion the bigger the better, so you can really see each detail of the stitch. You will also use this as a preview function.
Most embroidery machines are compatible with file formats of (.pes, .dst, .phc, .pen). Check your embroidery machine requirements first, as trying to add an incompatible file could cause damage to the embroidery machine.
Embroidery machine accessories can be expensive. Most embroidery machines come with an extensive bundle of accessories, but specific feet can be costly.
Make a list of accessories that you want now, and consider your future needs. See if you can find a machine that ticks most of the boxes!
There are quite a few things to mull over before purchasing a computerized embroidery machine.
Really do your research, read plenty of embroidery machine reviews – they are usually brutally honest!
Just to remind you, my top pick is the Janome MC500E. It’s an embroidery only machine, and has functions you might love.
The best value for money is the Brother PE800 embroidery machine.
It comes with extensive features while being accessible for a beginner to learn embroidery on.
It’s a great hybrid embroidery sewing machine without suffering in its functionality of either sewing or embroidery.
Best Computerized Embroidery Machine
The best computerized embroidery machine for heavy duty work is the Brother SE1900 embroidery and sewing machine.
It comes with the extra high presser foot, a large extension table add on, and has a sewing speed up to 850 spm.
This Brother embroidery device is heavy duty and great for businesses. It comes with a 25 year limited warranty.
I find it useful to make a list of my top features, think about what I want now in a product, and evaluate what I might want in the future before making an initial investment.
Good luck finding the best computerized embroidery machine for you!