I should mention right from the start that when it comes to recommending my top picks for the best embroidery machine for beginners, there are going to be a lot of Brother machines reviewed.
Frankly, Brother is one of the best manufacturers of embroidery machines for household users. And that makes it the obvious fit if we’re looking for the best embroidery machines for beginners.
Plus, I also love that we can find machines to match all budgets. A testament to that is the fact that I also reviewed quite a few Brother models when I wrote my reviews for the best cheap embroidery machines.
Of course, embroidery machines are absolutely not cheap if we compare them with sewing machines. While I could say that we could buy a sewing machine for $50 or maybe a sewing machine for $100, although for a fantastic model you should consider spending around $200, there’s no way we could talk about such low prices if we’re looking for embroidery machines.
As a beginner who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on your first machine, I should say that you should expect to spend at least $300-$400. Overall, I don’t think that’s bad and we have Brother to thank for that.
When I wrote my comparison on Brother vs Singer, I declared that Brother is the clear winner by far in one particular category: embroidery machines. They’re truly some of the best for all experience levels and price levels.
On the other hand, if someone were to be looking for one the best sewing machines for making clothes or even one of the best sewing machines for wigs, then the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 would be among my top recommendations.
Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners Reviews
One thing you must focus on is how much you’re willing to spend when you’re shopping for the best embroidery machine for beginners.
It can be as little as $300 or as much as $1,000-$1,500. The price differences can be considerable so it’s best to have a clear idea about how much you’re willing to spend because it will make things easier.
Another thing you must decide on is whether you want a machine that is designed only for embroidery and that’s it. That can be the case if you already have an amazing sewing machine that serves all your needs. In that case, only looking for an embroidery machine makes total sense.
Or if you would be happier with a sewing and embroidery machine. This type can both sew and do whatever embroidery designs you want as long as it fits the hoop size.
Those that are only embroidery machines, like the Brother PE535 and the Brother PE800 are slightly cheaper than their respective counterparts that are capable of both sewing and mending clothes, quilts, etc. but they also do beautiful embroidery. These counterparts are the Brother SE600 and the Brother SE1900.
However, if you’re willing to spend just a bit more and you’re interested in a model that does both sewing and embroidery, then you should totally consider either the SE600 or the SE1900. Otherwise, stick to only embroidery models like the PE535 and PE800.
Overall, these 4 models (PE535, SE600, PE800, SE1900) are my top recommendations. And they’re all priced under $1,000, which is pretty awesome from my point of view.
I’ll also review a Janome and a Singer but I’m not in love with either of these two. But we should see what other brands offer.
1. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine: Cheap, Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners
If your focus is to maintain a low budget when you’re looking for the best embroidery machine for beginners, then I don’t think that there’s a better option out there than the Brother SE600.
Before talking about what the Brother SE600 offers, I want to make something clear.
There’s an even cheaper option that we could buy, also from Brother. That’s the Brother PE535, which is almost $100 cheaper than the Brother SE600.
However, I prefer the Brother SE600 as one of my top picks, even if it has a price around $400, because it’s a sewing and embroidery machine so it’s a combination of these two wonderful crafts, which is certainly an advantage for many potential buyers.
On the other hand, the Brother PE535 is solely for embroidery, no mention of sewing. If that would work for you and the price around $300 sounds perfect, then you can check out the PE535 and skip over this review for the SE600.
Small embroidery field (hoop)
One way to immediately understand whether an embroidery machine is cheap or expensive is to look at the embroidery hoop size.
There are two main hoop sizes: 4 x 4 inches or 5 x 7 inches.
Of course, there are also exceptions, like the Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine with an embroidery field of 7.9 x 7.9 inches. If you see a huge hoop like this one from Janome then you can expect that that machine will cost around $1,500. And that’s the case with the Janome 400E.
However, we must also keep in mind that some people, especially beginners, would be satisfied with a small 4 x 4 embroidery space.
Not everyone is going to craft big designs to adorn garments and objects.
If you’re satisfied with a 4 x 4 embroidery field or if you’re willing to look for machines that cost a lot less than $500, then you’ll love the Brother SE600 or the Brother PE535.
As I’ve mentioned, the price difference between these two Brother models is that the SE600 allows us to do sewing & embroidery on the same machine, while the PE535, which is cheaper, is only designed for embroidery work.
Brother mentions that the SE600 allows us to embroider and sew with ease. Being capable of both is one of its strengths.
The 4 x 4 hoop is small but it can satisfy beginners who aren’t into personalizing garments and objects with big designs.
We can view our designs on a 3.2 inch Sew Smart color LCD touch screen display. Thus, we’ll be able to clearly see our designs on the screen before stitching.
We also get editing features that allow us to change individual thread colors, place lettering in an arc, move designs on the touch screen display, etc.
Another thing that I like is that the workspace expands to 6.4 x 4.1 inches. It’s great if we want to include quilting among our crafts or if we want to work on bulkier projects.
The automatic needle threader is another feature that I always appreciate.
Plus, we get am automatic thread cutter, which is really nice.
Plus, the LED light to illuminate our work area is always a nice touch.
Of course, it also offers speed control.
80 embroidery designs
We get 80 designs that are built in. If you’re a complete beginner you can have some fun first with the provided 80 designs that the SE600 comes with.
However, you’ll quickly want to import your own designs via the USB port that the SE600 comes with. A USB port is something that embroidery machines include so that we can import whatever designs we desire.
Thus, pretty much all of us are not interested in the embroidery designs that a machine comes with. Everyone is going to be interested in the designs they will import for the machine to then embroider.
Among these 80 designs, we don’t get a lot of colorful designs. There’s no surprise there and remember that we can import whatever designs we want as long as they match the 4 x 4 hoop.
There are 9 built-in fonts: 6 English fonts and 3 Japanese fonts for monogramming and lettering.
If you want to know how importing designs happen, you can watch this YouTube tutorial. There are a lot of tutorials online, which can be of great help for complete beginners.
103 sewing stitches
For the sewing part, unlike embroidery designs, we’re actually interested in the sewing stitches that a model provides.
However, most machines will include so many sewing stitches that a lot of them will remain unused forever.
For example, we will get very expensive sewing machines, like the Juki TL-2010Q, that only comes with the straight stitch only. And it was a top recommendation from me as one of the best sewing machines for making clothes.
Of course, the straight stitch is the most frequently used one and there are many people who love the Juki TL-2010Q even if it only is capable of sewing straight.
Another example is the Janome HD-3000 that only includes 18 stitches but it’s still a favorite of mine as one of the best sewing machines for leather and much more.
While it’s great that the Brother SE600 has 103 sewing stitches, you should also know that you’re not going to need that many for your sewing projects.
What I do appreciate a lot are the 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes.
The SE600 can sew 710 stitches per minute. That’s quite impressive.
There are heavy duty machines that can sew 1100 stitches per minute but I’m totally satisfied with how fast the SE600 can be. It can be more than good enough for any beginner, no matter which projects you want to do.
The SE600 comes with 7 sewing feet, all great: buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, spring action zigzag, blind stick and button sewing feet.
2. Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine: The Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners
My top favorite is the Brother SE1900.
It’s really amazing, highly popular, quite highly rated, and it can be the dream machine for quite a lot of crafters, even for beginner ones.
Of course, whether you prefer the SE600 that I reviewed above or you might actually consider buying the SE1900 it’s a matter of how much you’re willing to spend.
The price difference between these two amazing sewing and embroidery machines is quite high.
The Brother SE1900 is about two times more expensive than the Brother SE600. They’re considerably different in this area. Of course, there will be noticeable differences in other areas, too.
Overall, the SE1900 is more versatile, more complex and it basically has a larger embroidery field (hoop).
Large embroidery field (hoop)
One important feature that makes the SE1900 stand out is the 5 x 7 inches embroidery field (hoop).
Obviously, a bigger field offers more versatility. We can import bigger designs to personalize whatever object we want. It can be great.
On the other hand, if you don’t see the appeal of having a 5 x 7 hoop, then you can consider the much cheaper Brother SE600 that I reviewed above.
With a bigger hoop comes a bigger screen. We get a 3.7 inches color touch LCD screen to visualize our design. And it allows us to make changes to our designs and to see these changes better.
The usual are also present: automatic needle threader, LED light, and other features that define an excellent pick as the best embroidery machine for beginners.
It also includes an automatic thread cutter, which is great.
We get speed adjustment and speed control for both the embroidery side and the sewing side.
With everything that it offers, the Brother SE1900 is not only amazing for beginners but it’s also a favorite choice for experienced crafters, too.
138 embroidery designs
We get a higher number of embroidery designs that come with the SE1900, which is to be expected when we consider that this model costs almost $1,000.
Of course, everyone is pretty much interested in the designs they can import and not the designs that are built-in.
The SE1900 has a built-in memory for importing embroidery designs, which also comes with a memory card reader.
There are also 11 built-in fonts.
The SE1900 also includes built-in tutorials.
And we get 10 frame designs.
240 sewing stitches
Brother certainly goes out when it comes to the sewing stitches it included for the SE1900.
Well, the straight stitch remains the most frequently used but I’m sure that you’ll come to appreciate a few others, depending on the kind of projects you’ll end up sewing.
We can also design our own sewing stitches with My Custom Stitch feature.
There are 10 buttonhole styles.
And it’s a quite fast machine with a sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute. It’s almost as fast as a heavy duty.
This is another impressive area for the SE1900.
We get 8 sewing feet: buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, stitch guide foot, adjustable zipper/piping foot, non-stick foot, open toe foot, embroidery foot, blindstitch foot.
As you can see, there’s a non-stick foot included among these wonderful sewing feet. That means that it can be used for projects that involve leather, suede and vinyl.
It also comes with a knee lifter.
3. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
The cheapest recommendation for the best embroidery machine for beginners is the Brother PE535.
If you only want a model that will do embroidery and you have a budget around $300, I think you’ll be interested in this one.
However, keep in mind that we can’t do any sewing with the PE535, like the SE600 offers.
That’s pretty much the only difference between these two affordable options. Otherwise, they’re quite similar.
There’s a 4 x 4 inch embroidery hoop, which is pretty much the smallest size.
We also get 80 built-in embroidery designs but we can import a lot more via USB and that’s the thing that truly matters.
There’s a built-in memory for importing embroidery designs from USB, which is typical of these types of models.
There are also 9 fonts for lettering and monogramming. 10 frame patterns.
And built-in designs.
4. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine
This is a great model for people who are only interested in a model that solely does embroidery, no sewing, and that comes with a 5 x 7 inches hoop, and costs under $1,000.
If you want both an embroidery & sewing machine in this price range, I recommend the SE1900 that I reviewed above.
The 5 x 7 inch embroidery hoop is the main feature for the PE800. And this is the primary spec that establishes the huge price difference between this PE800 and the above PE535.
There are 138 designs included. Of course, we can import whatever designs we want via USB, as long as they have a size up to 5 x 7 inches.
And there are 11 fonts.
5. Brother SE2000 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
With the SE2000 we’re entering the land of models that cost around $1,500.
Including the Brother SE2000, there are 3 such models. The other two are the Janome 400E and the Singer SE300.
Are these three expensive models perfect picks for the best embroidery machine for beginners?
Frankly, no. I don’t love any of the three all that much, especially when it comes to recommending them to beginners.
First of all, they’re just too expensive for someone who doesn’t have that much experience. I much prefer the much cheaper options that I reviewed above.
Another thing is that the Janome and Singer models come with a significant number of negative reviews. Well, we should always check out a few negative reviews, no matter which model we might decide to take a chance on. That’s mandatory.
As for the Brother SE2000 in particular, I just don’t understand what makes it so special that it’s almost double the price for the Brother SE1900. Maybe it’s just me and I don’t see what makes it so much different to justify such a higher price.
Embroidery field (hoop)
We get a 5 x 7 inches embroidery field. In the same price range, the Janome 400E offers a bigger field but that won’t matter much if you don’t actually plan on doing big designs.
What the SE2000 brings to the table that is different is the fact that it is compatible with the Brother iBroidery platform.
And it is also compatible with the Brother 4 x 7 inch magnetic hoop. However, this is not a cheap accessory, if you consider buying it as you gain more experience. It can cost as much as $200.
Another thing that makes the SE2000 different is that we can connect this machine to our wireless network. If our laptop or other devices are also connected to the same wireless network, then we can establish a WiFi connection between the SE2000 and our PC, laptop, phone, etc.
The connection is established via Design Database Transfer.
It means that we can send our designs wirelessly. But I don’t see any problem with using an USB to important my designs so this wireless connection might be something truly exciting for some people but it might leave others feeling neutral.
Plus, we can also access the Artspira App that has embroidery patterns we can download. We can download 50 free embroidery designs.
And we can create our own designs by drawing on our mobile device. With that we’re certainly heading into superior creativity territory.
All designs must be up to 5 x 7 inches to match the hoop.
We can use Color Sort, which adjusts the order in which multi-color embroidery designs are stitched. It reduces color changes and makes it more efficient. It’s an interesting feature but I’m not sure that beginners will be interested in it.
We also get the Jump Stitch Trimming function that automatically trims any excess thread jumps within the color.
We get 193 built-in designs. And the new option to wirelessly transfer new designs from devices.
There are also 241 built-in sewing stitches, 10 styles of one-step auto-size buttonholes for the sewing side of the Brother SE2000.
There are a lot of accessories for this expensive model.
The 8 feet included are: zigzag foot, monogramming foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, blind stitch foot, button fitting foot, buttonhole foot, embroidery food. This matches with the SE1900.
The other accessories we get are: needle set, twin needle, bobbin (4), seam ripper, scissors, cleaning brush, eyelet punch, screwdriver (3), knee lifter, foot controller, embroidery bobbin thread (60 weight, white), and many other accessories.
6. Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine
It’s not that I don’t like the Janome 400E. I just think that it’s a bit too expensive for many of us.
And I can say that it’s not going to be the first pick for many beginners.
Plus, there are a few reviews that speak of defective models, which scares me a bit.
One thing that absolutely stands out for this Janome is the embroidery field of 7.9 x 7.9 inches.
I can see more experienced crafters getting excited by such a large embroidery space but I don’t think that many beginners are going to react to it with the same level of excitement.
We also get 160 built-in designs.
And 6 fonts for monogramming.
Of course, what truly matters is that we can import our own designs via USB.
Of course, since the Janome 400E is such an expensive model, there are many other features that are included.
We will come across: programmable hump thread trimming, adjustable speed while embroidering, flexible stitch traveling by units of 1, 10 and 100, direct jump to stitch point, auto return post thread break, and adjustable hoop positioning.
This Janome is built solely for embroidery, no sewing side for the 400E.
7. Singer Legacy SE300 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
This Singer certainly knows how to impress potential buyers. Of course, the expensive price will match everything that it offers.
Is it a good pick as the best embroidery machine for beginners?
I think it can be a nice option for more experienced users who want versatility, quality, and who have high expectations. However, there are a number of negative reviews that we should also keep in mind.
The most impressive thing about this Singer is the inclusion of two hoops.
We get a large embroidery hoop: 10 ¼ x 6 inches, which is amazing.
And there’s a small 4 x 4 inches hoop.
These two hoops are more than enough to accommodate from small to extra-large embroidery designs.
There are 200 embroidery designs. And 6 font options.
Surprisingly, we will also receive a USB embroidery stick. It’s not something we come across often but I like it.
The available software lets us access even more designs (Windows compatibility only).
There are 4 individual memories for saving unique sequences for sewing later, even after turning off the machine.
The sewing space measures 7.25 inches with a 3.9 inches height. It’s enough for quilting and other larger projects.
For the sewing side, there are 250 built-in sewing stitches.
These also include 13 buttonhole styles: bartack, round end, keyhole, stretch, etc.
Once we select the stitch, the machine automatically sets the optimal length, width, balance, pressure and tension.
The sewing feet included are: general purpose foot, satin stitch foot, overcasting foot, blind hem foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot with underplate, straight stitch foot, button sewing foot, open toe foot, embroidery foot, parallel sewing foot.
We also get a quilting bar, thread spool net, spool pin felt, screwdrivers, seam ripper/lint brush, bobbins, pack of needles, USB embroidery stick, etc.
The Singer Legacy SE300 is another example of a machine that might appeal to more experienced crafters with generous budgets.
However, when it comes to choosing the best embroidery machine for beginners, the 4 first Brother models that I reviewed can match a variety of budgets and needs and any of those 4 can be the perfect first model for you.