Best Cheap Embroidery Machine Reviewed (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

Embroidery machines and budget don’t really go hand in hand together.

If you want to buy an embroidery machine as a hobbyist, it can be hard to know whether to invest the money if you’re not sure you’ll really love the craft.

It seems like nowadays, it’s hard to find a brand embroidery machine that won’t cost a ton.

A lot of the time, it’s because they come with so many advanced features and gadgets that you just may not need.

After reading lots of reviews, I’ve compiled a list of 6 of the best embroidery machines on the market at the moment for you to check out.

These brand embroidery machines come with plenty of features without breaking the bank.

Which Budget Embroidery Machine Is Best For Me?

Good question! Before we head to the full reviews. I’ve condensed my reviews down further into categories to help you make your decision.

Best Cheap Embroidery Machines

Top Pick

Brother SE600

The high-quality stitching and easy use of embroidery features make it a great choice for beginners.

Brother SE600

The Brother SE600 is my top pick for a budget embroidery machine, as it’s a cheap embroidery machine yet performs very well.

The 80 built in designs are non-licensed so you can embroider freely.

The USB port allows you to bring in your own embroidery designs.

During regular sewing on the Brother SE600, you can select from 103 stitches and sew at top speeds of 710 spm – pretty good for a lower priced sewing machine!

Throat Space

The 4” x 4” might seem restricting, but you can adjust the position of the fabric on the hoop so you can create bigger embroidery designs.

The throat space is large enough for a small quilt or bulkier items like jeans.

Like all Brother products, the Brother SE600 comes with a 25 year limited warranty.

Editor’s Choice

Singer Futura XL-400

An affordable embroidery machine that comes with a wide embroidery field and workspace.

Singer Futura XL-400

My editor’s choice is the Singer Futura XL-400.

Although some customer reviews don’t like that it has to be plugged into a computer, I really like that feature.

When it is plugged into a computer, it means the user gets a larger screen to edit designs, therefore a clearer picture. And, it’s less software and technology to learn as opposed to when using an LCD display.

Portability

Customer reviews comment on how portable this embroidery machine is, yet even and strong enough to stay still during heavy embroidery and sewing.

The wide embroidery field and work space make it a good device for machine embroidery for those who don’t want to be restricted in their creative vision.

Depending on your price point, this might not seem cheap enough, but after reading hundreds of embroidery machine reviews, it’s one of the best budget products available.

Best for Beginners

Brother PE550D

An affordable and easy-to-use machine that comes with a lot of accessories and features.

Brother PE550D

The embroidery-only machine best for beginners is the Brother PE550D.

If you’re a young sewist or a total beginner that wants to take things slow, I really think this is a good Brother brand device for quality machine embroidery.

At its fastest, this Brother machine will sew up to 400 stitches per minute, so you don’t have to worry about huge mistakes being made or any damage being done to the embroidery machine when you first fiddle around.

Features

It still comes with lots of good Brother accessories and features, including a grid sheet and alignment tool so your designs can be perfectly placed every time. It’s easy to use and affordable with consistent results of a high Brother standard.

Design

I presume the D stands for Disney, as this Brother embroidery only machine comes decorated with a Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

For all the die hard Disney and Pixar fans, the 45 built in designs could serve you well!

Top 6 Cheap Embroidery Machines

Brother PE535

A simple, and lightweight entry-level machine with easy to use modern features.

Brother PE535

The Brother PE535 is an embroidery only machine.

It has a USB plug for you to import additional designs and fonts, which can be stored in the built in memory.

You can edit designs on the large 3.2” LCD color touchscreen.

The software has a grid and alignment tool, so you can always find your place in the embroidery area.

Built-In Designs

There are 80 built in designs including floral, holiday, and kids’ designs and an above average nine fonts.

A built in color palette means you can adjust the thread color on your image to help visualize the final embroider pattern.

Extra Highlights

It has a bog standard embroidery field at 4 x 4 inches and will sew at 400spm.

Features include an automatic needle threader, easy load bobbin, and needle up/down button.

There is an adjustable speed setting for embroidering, helping you manage designs in your own time.

Sewing

Customer reviews say the sewing quality is consistently high and even.

Troubleshooting is available on screen if you get any issues during setup and embroidering.

A simple, lightweight machine with easy to use modern features, it makes for one of the best entry-level machines at the best value for those on the beginning of their journey.

It’s a cheap embroidery machine that’s easy to use and may earn you some good money.

Specs

  • Built in stitches: n/a
  • Built in designs: 80
  • Maximum embroidery size: 4” x 4”
  • Sewing stitches per minute: 400
  • Dimensions: 16.5” x 7.8” x 12”
  • Weight: 15lbs

Pros

  • Lettering fonts come in three different sizes.
  • Embroidery on thick fabrics such as denim is possible.
  • Online tech support for life.

Cons

  • 4 x inches is restricting.
  • Does not function as a sewing machine.

Brother SE625

A hybrid sewing and embroidery machine that’s easy to navigate and runs well when sewing or embroidery.

Brother SE625

The Brother SE625 is a hybrid sewing and embroidery machine, allowing you to embroider in a field of 4 x 4 inches.

Most parts are made from a lightweight metal to increase the product’s life.

Built In Designs

The 80 built in designs, plus 200 on a DVD disc, encompass decorative fonts, holiday designs, patterns for kids, and sports themes.

The USB port function means you can literally bring in limitless designs from the internet. You can find design and pattern downloads on ibroidery.com, which is the official Brother online repository.

Display

The LCD color touch screen display allows you to edit your best embroidery design with the built-in color palette, rotate, zoom in, and flip functions.

You can view and edit the selected stitch if you are using the machine for regular sewing.

Extra Highlights

The Brother built in memory will remember the settings, so you can comfortably pick up from where you left off after the machine has been switched off.

The embroidery hoop carriage can easily be removed for regular sewing.

Sewists will be pleased with the 103 included stitches, generous for a combination machine.

Accesories

Along with Brother’s large embroidery accessory pack, included are 7 feet, a 4 x 4 inches hoop, and a drop feed dog feature for free motion sewing.

The automatic threader and thread cutter are additions that will save you time when sewing. Customer reviews say it’s easy to navigate and runs smoothly without losing either functionality of sewing nor embroidery.

Specs

  • Built in stitches: 103
  • Built in designs: 80, plus 200 on DVD disc
  • Maximum embroidery size: 4” x 4”
  • Sewing stitches per minute: 710
  • Dimensions: 21” x 16.42” x 15.28”
  • Weight: 25.3lbs

Pros

  • 280 embroidery designs.
  • Free arm for hems and cuffs.
  • Handle and dust cover are included.

Cons

  • Won’t accept larger hoops.
  • Small workspace for quilts.

Top Pick

Brother SE600

The high-quality stitching and easy use of embroidery features make it a great choice for beginners.

Brother SE600

This Brother SE600 is another hybrid sewing and embroidery machine.

It comes with a library content of 80 inbuilt Brother designs for embroidery and 130 different patterns for sewing and 6 lettering fonts – plenty for personalized monograms.

Display

The 3.2 inches screen provides an editing display, from rotation in 1° increments when embroidering to keep designs straight.

The high quality stitching and easy use of embroidery features make it a great choice for beginners in embroidery and appliques.

Software

The Brother SE600’s software is compatible with programs such as SewArt and Amazing Designs, where some of the best embroidery designs can be bought and edited.

The user can navigate around the embroidery hoop to the exact size of the pattern by using the up, down, left, and right directional buttons.

Function

After removing the SE600 arm and hoop carriage, you can use this machine for regular sewing, where the speed will almost double.

At its best, 710 spm is pretty good for the Brother combination machine.

It’s in the running for the best embroidery machine on a budget, with a good size work area for designs.

Specs

  • Built in stitches: 103
  • Built in designs: 80
  • Maximum embroidery size: 4” x 4”
  • Stitches per minute: 710 (400 spm embroidering)
  • Dimensions: 21.1” x 15.5” x 16.5”
  • Weight: 26lbs

Pros

  • 7 Brother accessory feet.
  • Thread color can be changed on screen.
  • Lower price than even models.

Cons

  • Small embroidery area.
  • Slower spm.

Best for Beginners

Brother PE550D

An affordable and easy-to-use machine that comes with a lot of accessories and features.

Brother PE550D

The Brother PE550D is an embroidery only machine, with 125 built in designs and 9 fonts.

Special Designs

If you’re a Disney enthusiast, this machine could be for you! From the 125 designs, 45 of them are your favorite Disney and Pixar related characters (let’s be honest, we all love Disney movies)!

If you’re not an animation enthusiast, you can always upload a design via the USB port and store it in the inbuilt memory for later use.

Features

Further Brother design features include floral, numbers, symbols, and alphabet choices.

While the 4 x 4 inches hoop area isn’t the best embroidery field available, it’s a sizable enough space for you to embroider an eye-catching image.

The Brother PE550D has the power to embroider on an array of fabrics, from denim to satin – although you’d need a stabilizer for finer materials.

LCD

Alter colors with the built in color palette on the 3.2” LCD touch screen.

The background of the alignment can be changed to match the fabric for better visualization. Needle threading is automatic, as is the automatic yarn trimmer.

It’s a cheap embroidery machine with a solid work area for home embroidery.

Specs

  • Built in stitches: n/a
  • Built in embroidery designs: 125
  • Maximum embroidery size: 4” x 4”
  • Stitches per minute: 400
  • Dimensions: 16.5” x 7.8” x 12”
  • Weight: 23.1lbs

Pros

  • Can adjust spacing between letters easily.
  • Automatic threader.
  • Features 9 of the best lettering fonts.

Cons

  • Limited to 4 x 4 inches designs.
  • Built in memory is not very large.

Brother SE1900

A hybrid computerized sewing and embroidery machine that comes with software that lets you create custom stitches.

Brother SE1900

The Brother SE1900 is another hybrid computerized sewing and embroidery machine.

It comes with a plethora of 138 built in designs and 11 lettering fonts for monogramming on a large 5 x 7 inch embroidery area.

The machine can be used to embroider, sew, and even quilt! The feed dogs will drop so you can even use it for free motion work.

Features

The sewing machine and embroidery combination features a jam resistant drop in bobbin and automatic threader that pushes the thread through the needle with just the press of a button. 7 neat easy access buttons sit at the bottom of the 3.2” LCD screen.

Accessories

Brother’s plentiful array of accessories includes 8 feet. You also get a knee lifter, which is useful for no hands work (one of the best features on modern embroidery sewing machines).

Software

You get My Custom Stitch software to create custom stitches and save them – pretty cool! Its features make this a candidate for the best embroidery machine.

It’s a single needle machine, so the yarn has to be switched manually during color change. But, it’s easy to do with the step by step guide on the front of the machine – just follow the numbers around to the automatic threader.

Specs

  • Built in stitches: 240
  • Built in designs: 138
  • Maximum embroidery size: 5” x 7 “
  • Stitches per minute: 850
  • Dimensions: 13.4” x 23.1” x 11.6”
  • Weight: 22.05lbs

Pros

  • My Custom Stitch.
  • You get a built in memory.
  • 11 lettering fonts.

Cons

  • No adjustable embroidery speed settings.
  • Doesn’t have on screen editing such as built in border.

Editor’s Choice

Singer Futura XL-400

A cheap embroidery machine that comes with a wide embroidery field and workspace.

Singer Futura XL-400

The Singer Futura XL-400 is a 2-in-1 embroidery and sewing machine.

An unusual feature is the lack of an LCD touchscreen, which is prominent on similar models. It’s a cheap embroidery machine with a large work area – one of the best on the market.

Display

The sewing machine can plug into an electronic device for embroidery, which is used as the control panel.

Once it has been connected via USB, you can easily play around with the 125 built in designs or customize your own.

The Futura XL-400 doesn’t disappoint with the rest of its features though.

Embroidery Field

It has a large embroidery field, and will embroider on a space 10 x 6 inches – above average for a home use sewing machine.

Bright LED lights illuminate this space so it can even be used in the dark.

Throat Area

The throat area is around 8 inches long, good for larger, bulkier projects.

A drop in and sew bobbin means the bobbin thread doesn’t have to be pulled up manually. Place the cotton in a channel and it will come up by itself. The library of 30 stitches includes a stretch stitch as a bonus!

Specs

  • Built in stitches: 30
  • Built in designs: 125
  • Maximum embroidery size: 10” x 6”
  • Stitches per minute: 850
  • Dimensions: 22” x 9.5” x 13”
  • Weight: 23lbs

Pros

  • Desktop is the control panel.
  • Large hoop area.
  • Decent number of modern functions.

Cons

  • The embroidery machine has to be linked to a computer when in use.
  • Need computer connectivity.

Is a cheap embroidery machine worth buying?

Different Stitches on Black Fabric

This really depends on the purpose of the embroidery machine.

If you want to give embroidering a good go without spending a fortune, then yes, a cheap embroidery machine could be right for you.

Most of them will perform as well as an expensive high-end embroidery machine, but have less features, a slower spm, and maybe even less built in patterns.

Things To Consider

There are lots of things to consider before purchasing any type of machinery.

I’ve rounded up some of the most important points to consider below.

Purpose

An embroidery machine can help to add all sorts of designs to your sewing projects.

You can add fashionable embellishments to clothing, personalize gifts for a child, or turn everyday items or garments into customized gifts for friends or family.

Embroidery machines may earn you money through a small home business, which can be a good way to reimburse yourself.

Types

There are different types of embroidery machines.

You can buy hybrid combination sewing and embroidery machines, or an embroidery only machine. 

If you will be mostly using it for embroidery, but still sometimes for sewing, maybe a combo machine would work well for you.

TIP

If you already have domestic sewing machines, then an only embroidery machine could be the best choice.

Price

While this is a review for cheap embroidery machines, there are new embroidery machines going up way past $1500.

You’ll probably need to budget for an embroidery machine unless you have a lot of money to spend. And, keep in mind that you don’t always get what you pay for.

Accessories

The price of a new embroidery machine is only one thing to consider.

You will still need to get stabilizers, thread, and the price of embroidery designs if you want to outsource them from the built in designs.

To give you an idea, here’s a short video about good embroidery accessories to have…

TOP 10 EMBROIDERY SUPPLIES FOR YOUR AT HOME BUSINESS / ETSY SELLER / EMBROIDERY BUSINESS

Investment

Although initially, even the budget embroidery machines might seem costly, you could assess how long it will take you to pay off.

If you spend a few hundred dollars on a machine, you could pay it off quickly by stitching monograms or embroidery designs for people you know at a reasonable price.

NOTE

You can find a good second hand embroidery and sewing machine, it will be cheaper than buying brand new. If you do, find a helpful seller that might train you on how to work it and give you information about the warranty.

Warranty

You definitely don’t want to invest in an embroidery machine without any type of warranty or service agreement.

It’s important that the machine that you choose comes with the support you need for your machine and that you understand the terms properly.

Bear in mind, if you buy from a retailer instead of a machine dealer, the warranty might not be covered.

TIP

Find out where your nearest repair person or shop is, and check if the warranty will cover it to be repaired there. It’s hard to wait for replacement parts when all you want to do is work!

Skill level

It doesn’t take long to get your head around an embroidery machine even if it’s your first, and you can certainly be a complete novice and still own one.

New embroidery sewing machines usually come with on-screen aid to help troubleshoot any issues.

NOTE

Whilst most machines say they work well with first time users, do your research and see if you can test drive a machine to match your skill level.

Machine type

There are different types of embroidery machines.

Embroidery only machines work well for someone who already has a sewing machine, or at least is only interested in embroidery.

You can purchase combination machines that can be used for both sewing and embroidery, which make good choices for those who both love to sew and want to embroider.

TIP

Make sure that neither side suffers from the dual functionality.

Stitches per minute

Machine Stitching with Orange Thread
Machine Stitching with Orange Thread

Stitches per minute vary from 400 in budget machines, all the way up to 1400 spm in new industrial embroidery machines.

If you have a combination machine, it will sew faster than it will embroider as standard, as the machine will only be moving forward and backward.

Project Duration

Most machines will tell you how long a project will take based on the spm and stitch count, and how fast it is moving during embroidering.

You don’t want to spend a lot more money on a machine that will embroider faster, just because.

Features

Embroidery machines come with a host of features.

When you’re looking to buy one, make a list of features that you must have and think about your current needs and your future needs.

Some of the best features are:

LCD Screen

Not all sewing and embroidery machines have an inbuilt LCD screen, but if they do, consider the size of the display you require.

This is where you will do all of your editing and designing work, so the bigger the better.

Built in Designs

Inbuilt embroidery designs are really useful when you’re having a creative block, or don’t want to purchase additional designs online.

Quality Embroidery Designs

While almost all devices for embroidery will come with designs built in, you should pick a machine that has the best ones for your tastes.

You can always request to see the catalog of built in color designs before you buy.

Memory

A built in memory will save your imported color designs ready for next time. It means you can pick up from exactly you left off!

Hoops and Embroidery Field

Sewing a Truck Pattern on Red Cloth
Sewing a Truck Pattern on Red Cloth

Embroidery machines are limited in the area the needle can work.

While some customer reviews think 4 x 4 inches can be restricting, you can still adjust the fabric and stabilizer to continue the design.

RECOMMENDATION 

I recommend choosing a machine compatible with multiple hoop sizes.

File compatibility

You need to be mindful of which files you are trying to import.

Most embroidery machines can only import .pes, .dst and .phc data files onto the machine.

TIP

If you try to apply an alternative file via USB, it can cause malfunctions on your machine and you don’t want to have to budget for software errors.

Conclusion

So, that’s my list of the best embroidery machines on a budget I could find! Just to recap:

Top Pick

My top pick is Brother SE600 as I really like hybrid machines.

This ticks all the boxes with its automatic features, large work area, and 103 inbuilt designs to play around with.

I like Brother and think the SE600 is one of the best embroidery machines on a budget.

Editor’s Choice

Editor’s choice is the Singer Futura XL-400.

I like the computer connectivity plugin feature, meaning designs and editing will always be the size of whatever screen you are using instead of a LCD display. 

The Singer Futura XL-400 is made by a solid brand for a budget price.

Best for Beginners

The machine best for beginners is the Brother PE550D.

It’s a simple first machine, and the low stitch per minute count makes easy sewing for a first timer and those who like more control when sewing.

It gets consistently good user reviews for a reason!

Learning Process

When buying your first embroidery machine, you don’t need to spend a lot of money.

It makes sense to start small to make sure you enjoy this craft before making a serious investment.

Spend time researching the brand while shopping for your machine – you can always get one for a good price!

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Kris Daub
Kris Daub
[email protected] byCurated I'm a maker at heart! I love to create and tech others to create. I particularly sewing and hand crafts like ebroidery. I also love larger home decorating projects. ✂️ 🧵