While sewing machines can be found at nearly every store around the country, embroidery machines are a little harder to find.
Since detailed work is the name of the game, quality is especially important for these models – and that makes seeking out trusted brands important. The well-loved Brother company offers the PE800 Embroidery Machine – but is it right for you?
It’s extremely versatile with more than 100 designs, offers a user-friendly touchscreen, and comes with an automatic needle threader. There are some complaints about the cost of the machine, but before you decide if this the correct purchase for you, let’s take a closer look at the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine. It may surprise you.
Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine: The Details
The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine presents a straightforward aesthetic. It has a white exterior with lavender accents. However, upon further inspection, it becomes clear this is far more than a basic sewing machine. The frame around the needle plate ensures that it is perfect for embroidery, while the LCD touchscreen puts it squarely in the 21st century. Size-wise, the machine is comparable to a small television.
- Weight: 16.31 lbs.
- Dimensions: 17.13 x 7.91 x 11.49 inches.
- Stitches: 138 built-in designs.
- Speed: 650 spm.
- Computerized/Mechanic: Computerized.
- Bobbin: Drop-in bobbin.
- Warranty: 25-year limited warranty.
- 5″ x 7″ Embroidery hoop.
- Embroidery foot.
- Needle set.
- Cleaning brush.
- Seam ripper.
- Bobbin cover.
- Screwdriver (small).
- Screwdriver (large).
- Disk-shaped screwdriver.
- Spool cap (small).
- Spool cap (medium).
- Spool cap (large).
- Spool cap (mini).
- Spool net.
- Embroidery bobbin thread.
- Accessory bag.
- Dust cover.
- Manual in English and Spanish.
Brother: The Company
Founded in Japan in 1908 by Kanekichi Yasui, Brother is an electronics company that develops far more than just embroidery and sewing machines. They manufacture everything from printers to computers to fax machines. Their stated mission is to “work to anticipate future needs to deliver technological expertise and innovation through superior, technically user-friendly product solutions.”
The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine offers a 25-year limited warranty. As such, for one year, the entire machine is covered; for five years, the circuit board is covered; and for 25 years, the outer unit is covered.
Within these time frames, Brother will fix or replace parts as necessary to ensure your embroidery machine is in proper working order. If your machine needs to be shipped, you are responsible for paying the shipping fee.
The warranty does not cover abuse or misuse of the machine in any way, nor does it cover the accessory items.
138 Embroidery Designs
The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine features 138 built-in designs with eleven different fonts – seven of which are English, three are Japanese, and one is Cyrillic. You also receive ten different frame shapes and fourteen border styles.
Aside from the built-in designs, you can also leverage editing features to customize what you’re making. You can rotate, mirror-image, increase, or decrease the size of your design however you please.
Even better, the built-in designs can be mixed with ones you find and download from the internet.
This Brother machine also includes a 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen. This allows you to preview your designs in color before embroidering them onto your item. The touchscreen also features editing modes, where you can change the color of your design, rotate it, or otherwise modify it quickly and easily.
Brother named this screen the “Sew Smart” color LCD screen and it is a big upgrade from the black and white screens on found on some older embroidery machines. The addition of the full-color screen allows you to see your design exactly as it should appear on the fabric, true to color.
The included editing mode enables you to change colors of individual threads in your embroidery using the built-in color palette. Picking out the best colors for your project has never been easier!
You can also customize different settings for the machine via the touchscreen. Just scroll through the menu to check out the different options available.
A particularly cool and useful feature of the touchscreen and the editing feature is the ability to change the way the text fits the design you’ve chosen. Of course, you don’t have to add any text to the designs and they are beautiful on their own.
However, the style and shape of names or words added to a design can make or break it, and this machine gives you the ability to style the text shape, font, and size exactly how you like it.
The PE800 machine also has a built-in memory. As such, you can save different designs and have them on hand for your next project – no re-entering needed. It will not only remember the design’s stitches, but also the position they should go in.
For added convenience, you can import designs using the USB slot on the machine’s side. Just connect the PE800 to your computer or plug in a USB stick. You can use designs from iBroidery.com or other sources – just pop them onto the machine using a USB drive and embroider away.
This embroidery machine has an automatic bobbin winding system, which will produce a perfectly even bobbin. It also has a thread sensor, which will alert you to when the bobbin thread is running low.
The bobbin is visible through the clear cover, but having the alert is a nice touch. Even if you aren’t paying attention to it, you’ll still know when the bobbin is getting low.
The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine comes with a built-in LED light, centered over the sewing area. If you’re working in a dark room or are sewing dark fabric, the light will ensure you can enjoy clear views, and if there’s a mistake or a problem, you can see that right away and fix it.
The bright LED also helps with positioning your embroidery design within the hoop, especially if you are using multiple designs in the same hoop and need to make sure they’re arranged properly.
Automatic Needle Threader
With the automatic needle threader, there’s no need to thread the needle yourself; the machine will do it for you. Just press a few levers, hook the thread around a guide and a hook, and the thread will slip right through the needle’s eye. No more frustration!
This is particularly useful with embroidery designs that have many different colors incorporated. Changing the thread constantly for the different colors would be a lot more difficult without the automatic needle threader.
It also saves you from having to squint and strain while threading the needle. Let’s be honest, nobody’s favorite part of sewing is threading and rethreading the needles, especially not during embroidery with many different colored threads. With the automatic needle threader, you don’t have to worry about it.
Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine Review
Easy to Set Up
While this sewing machine may appear complicated, it’s easy to get started. With the automatic needle threader, the intuitive touchscreen, and the clear buttons and levers, you can have the machine operational within just minutes. There is also a manual in two languages, should you need extra guidance or an update along the way.
Easy to Use
The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine is just as straightforward to use as it is to set up. Once it’s threaded, simply use the touchscreen to choose your embroidery design, set the tension, pick the stitch width and length, and finalize any customized options before beginning. After that, just press the “start” button to let the embroidery process kick off.
With this versatile machine, you won’t be limited to basic designs or simple stitches, nor will you struggle to translate outside designs into your crafts.
Considering its 138 built-in patterns, you can get started right from the box. Match that to the editing feature and you can develop numerous combinations for those designs. You can change the colors, which way the design is facing, or even rotate the design to perfectly fit your project.
Basic monograms are popular and easily done, as well as names and dates. This can be expanded into infinite possibilities once you add in all the built-in designs that can be personalized with the text.
Additionally, since you can also import designs from your computer, the possibilities really are endless.
For Embroidery Only
While this machine is great at embroidery, it’s not a traditional sewing machine. You can’t sew on a button, hem a pair of pants, or put together a bag or a piece of apparel. It’s for embroidery only. If you’re looking for a machine that handles both (even in small measures), you’ll need to seek out other options.
Some people purchased this machine thinking they’d use it for both embroidery and traditional sewing and they were disappointed. Unless you are planning to join fabric using an embroidered design (which may not work!), there are no settings for normal sewing. This machine doesn’t stitch seams – it’s purely for beautiful decorations.
Some felt this machine was too expensive for just embroidery. At more than $500 on Amazon, it’s definitely not cheap. However, with the number of designs built in, the computerized touchscreen, the automatic needle threader, the amazing digital editing capabilities, the LED lighting, and all the other features, you’re getting quite a lot for that price.
Customer Support Issues
You may encounter issues with Brother’s customer service. Some users emailed or called customer support and received an answer, but it wasn’t one that helped them figure out their problems. One user emailed multiple times with the same issue and was given a similar response over and over again. Brother is known for their quality machines and generous warranties, but if you’re looking for basic troubleshooting, you may be dissatisfied.
After looking over all the positives negatives, we recommend the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine. With its versatility and computerized features, this machine will suit most – if not all – embroidery projects. So long as you’re aware that it only does embroidery and not sewing, you should have no issues with this Brother model.
Where to Buy The Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine
The Brother brand is a popular and well-known brand that is widely available. As such, we’ve found the PE800 Embroidery Machine on several different sites.
Brother USA ($729)
Mr Vac and Mrs Sew ($799)
Ken’s Sewing Center ($699)
And of course, the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine is available on Amazon.
That’s our review of the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine. Are you interested in trying it out?
For more reviews, head over to our complete archives of machine reviews.
Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine Review
Ease of Use
Craft Sewing Specs
We recommend the Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine for its versatility, ease of use, and impressive technology. As long as you know it’s not for basic sewing, just embroidery, you’ll more than likely be pleased.