There are a great deal of embroidery machines on the market. However, how do you find the best embroidery machine for beginners?
Novices – especially those who have less experience with a sewing machine – need to learn the basics of machine embroidery work, and not be loaded with complicated features. We recommend machines that are easy for beginners, and for those looking to market their skills with a home-based business.
As mentioned above, those who are just starting out with an embroidery machine will need something that is easy to operate to take on their first embroidery project. A computerized embroidery machine can be overwhelming, but to make things easier, select a machine with a large workspace, automatic threading functions, good editing software, and a great LCD screen.
This will make your projects more efficient, and designs easier to modify/create. Many basic embroidery machines feature these things, making it easier for you to kick off your embroidery project.
Best Overall: Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850
With 200 built-in stitches available, six buttonholes, 275 embroidery designs, and two fonts, it is easy to see why this embroidery machine is one of the most favored around. The Janome Horizon makes things easy with its one-step needle plate conversion, drop feed, full color LCD with touchscreen, and built-in needle threader.
It has editing functions, and a USB design transfer.
- Memorized needle down/up
- Workspace is 8.1” x 4.7”
- Stitch speed of 60-800 stitches/minute
- Allows you to garment sew, embroider, fabric craft, and do some home décor.
- No instructional video
Best New Release: BAi Embroidery Machine
This embroidery machine was designed with beginners in mind. It has a large embroidery area (4” x 9.2”) and will provide a great deal of space for your patterns. With a 7” color LCD screen, it allows you to fully preview your designs before committing them to your fabric. Individual threads can even be edited prior to embroidering them.
Furthermore, to make things easier, it comes equipped with an automatic needle threader and a smart LED light.
- 96 built-in embroidery designs
- 9 lettering fonts
- USB port for 700 designs
- The workspace may be a bit smaller over other brand
Best Budget: Brother SE600
The Brother SE600 (see our full review) contains 80 built-in designs with 6 embroidery fonts. It has 103 sewing stitches accompanied by ten styles for auto-size buttonholes. It also has a sewing speed of 710 stitches per minute making it an efficient machine.
This machine makes doing embroidery easy by providing an automatic needle threader, drop-in top bobbin, a bobbin that is jam resistant, and a 3.2” LCD touchscreen.
- 4”x 4” embroidery area
- Embroidery arm and hoop
- Seven sewing feet
- Thread may come off inside machine with cutter
- USB may provide inconsistent results
Best Variety of Features: Brother XR3340
Beginners will like the variety of features this machine has to offer. With 140 built-in stitches, it is the most ideal amount for a beginner as it is not overwhelming. The easy-to-read LCD screen displays maintenance and care figures, so individuals can track their machine’s condition.
An automatic needle system makes threading easy as the user won’t have to manually do it. It will save them time and increase overall efficiency. The feed dog nicely grips material, so the person isn’t left combatting layers. It will allow them to focus on their design.
- Variable speed control
- Extra-large black LCD display
- Sews well with multiple thicknesses of material
- Some people find it overwhelming with the variety of stitches
Easiest to Use: Singer Confidence 7640
This machine perfectly balances sewing and embroidery in an all-in-one machine. It is ideal for home and small businesses, and great for crafters of varying skill levels. Those who love to get creative will appreciate the 98 built-in designs which give limitless possibilities.
The SwiftSmart threading system, drop and sew bobbin system, and automatic threader feature permit individuals to sew efficiently and confidently. Additionally, the clear bobbin cover allows users to visually view how much thread is left. The storage area also keeps things neat and tidy when not in use.
- Space extension table included with purchase
- Connects via USB to a PC
- Embroidery and darning foot included
- Doesn’t stitch well with thicker fabrics like canvas, suede, or leather
For a home business, you will be looking for a machine that is efficient to run and provides a quicker turnaround. You will need something with a quicker stitch per minute, and a machine that is durable enough to withstand constant daily use.
Best Overall: Janome 4120QDC
With its adjustable speeds, this embroidery machine has a high product turnaround. It easily fits within any business space and is created to make embroidery designs and sewing effortless. The bright LED light even allows individuals to sew late into the night without experiencing eye strain for those rush requests.
This is the best machine if you are looking to create diverse projects, and it is a high-quality machine.
- 120 built-in designs for embroidery
- 400 built-in stitches with 13 buttonholes
- Automatic threader and presser foot
- For more advanced users
Best Runner Up: Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
This embroidery machine has a variety of built-in stitches, embroidery designs, and buttonhole designs. Users are quickly and efficiently able to generate a personalized embroidery pattern with little effort.
The remote computer screen is very clear and navigates easily through the Singer’s features. This machine is perfect for people who do more embroidery designs as opposed to heavier and larger projects.
See our full detailed review of the Quantum Stylist.
- 600 built-in stitches
- Contains automatic threader
- 850 stitches per minute
- 10 feet
- Durable (metal construction)
- Not the fastest machine available – more intermediate
- Extremely heavy use may lead to parts failure
Best for Starting Out: Brother PE535
Accompanied with 80 built-in embroidery designs, users will enjoy being able to create delicate scrolls, classic quilt patterns, detailed florals within ten frame shapes. The six fonts are ideal for lettering and monogramming as well.
Designs can be uploaded by using a USB port and comes equipped with a 3.2” LCD color touchscreen. The embroidery field is 4” x 4” and comes with a hoop great for larger designs.
Best for Professionals: Janome MB-4S
With a remote computer screen, you have total editing and set up control with over 65,000 colors available. One RCS will power several machines saving you money. The lighting on this machine is very precise. It also comes with 3MB (memory) that stores 1,500,000 stitches (100 designs).
The Janome MB-45 makes doing embroidery easy with an automatic thread cutter- even between letters. The dedicated bobbin winder will wind a new bobbin while the machine is stitching its design.
- Monogrammed software
- Superior editing capabilities
- Automatic thread cutter
- Doesn’t come with digitized software
- Doesn’t scan
Best Industrial: JUKI TL-2000Qi
The JUKI TL-2000Qi (see our full review) provides the best versatile machine for a home business. What makes it the perfect embroidery machine is that it is created to handle heavy uses and is durable. It has the quickest stitches per minute and can handle very thick materials with ease. Users will have complete creative freedom and a quick turnaround.
- Includes extension table
- Aluminum construction has low work vibration
- Does 1500 threads per minute
- Avoid rocking back your foot too early – it can cause you to accidentally cut the thread
- Not for beginners as the stitches are very elaborate
- Instructions aren’t very detailed
Features to Consider for a Small Business
If you are looking for an embroidery machine for a start-up, you are probably an expert and are familiar with how to use the machine. At home, these machines are great at producing decorations for beach towels, napkins, linens, baby cloths, tablecloths, jackets, and a variety of clothing items.
Look at special types of embroidery machines if you are looking to do clothes with a special/unique shape, stiff hats, or clothing that is unable to be fully opened.
If you want your machine to last a long time, you need to purchase one that has a sturdy frame, is made of quality material (usually steel), the threader quality, and one with a good warranty. You will need one that can withstand daily use, and from a manufacturer with a good reputation.
This is important for a home-based business as you want to be as efficient as possible with your work. The number of stitches per minute is important as it will affect your ability to meet deadlines and finish projects in a timely manner.
Experts recommend purchasing a fast machine as you can also slow it down if needed.
The Number of Needles
Beginners should buy a single-needle machine. It will be enough to match your needs and skill level. The pros of a single-needle embroidery machine are that they are more affordable over multi-needle, easier to use, and readily available.
However, the detriment is that they do not do complex designs. If your project requires the usage of many colors, the time to complete it may be lengthy. You will have to change threads every time a different color is used.
Differences Between Industrial and Home-Business Embroidery Machines
The most obvious difference is the number of needles. An industrial machine is equipped with a vast number of needles. Each head has 10 plus needles, and each of the needles has a different color. Industrial machines can operate with one plus heads and work 100% automatically after the design is set. The machine will change color and cut off ends by itself.
For a home business, a single needle machine is slower. The machine will fully complete one color and will partially/completely stop and wait for the next color to be inserted. Then, it continues.
Multi-needle models for a home business are more complex over industrial machines and tend to have four to eight needles. Color changing is automatic, they are precise, and fast. The only negative is that they tend to be more difficult to locate and more expensive over single needles.
Area for Embroidery
The size of this area is also something that needs to be carefully considered. Efficiency will be your primary concern, and the embroidery area has an important role to play regarding pace. Embroidery machines for small businesses are equipped with extra-large areas which is something that needs to be looked out for.
Another factor regarding whether the machine is suitable or not is the throat width. This is the space between your needle and the machine’s body. Selecting a machine that has a wider throat also has a larger embroidery area. Larger hoops can also be used with these machines.
Most manufacturers have several embroidery designs built-in to their machine. Many embroidery machines are equipped with 250 different designs. Yet, new technology and different ways of connecting/media transfers further enhance the way embroidery machines are used as well.
USB Ports/Internet Downloads
These are popular ways to utilize designs that have been previously created aside from built-in designs. To transfer an image, it needs to be prepared in a certain format. While most people associate it with photo formats, this is not the case with embroidery designs.
The difference with an embroidery machine is that the formats contain an order of operation with the machine link, number, method, and point type. If composed of different colors, the format is used with a particular program.
The machine works by finishing one color, then switching to the next. If it supports PES, then the image needs to be converted to the appropriate format for your machine, then transferred.
Transferring your image is done via USB, original memory cards, sticks, or CDs. Newer machines can directly connect to the internet so designs can be easily downloaded and easily formatted to your machine.
Other machines can connect to a computer and use the advanced features available.
These machines all do an incredible job when it comes to doing embroidery. Before choosing one, consider your skill level, and what you require in terms of the projects you will be completing.