13 Best Embroidery Machines: Your Easy Buying Guide

embroidery machines

Browsing through embroidery machines can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. I’m going to jump straight into machine comparisons for those who are only here for that, but if you’re not sure how to choose the right machine for you, make your way down to the end of the article for a breakdown of features and buying tips.

What Are the Best Embroidery Machines?

White embroidery and sewing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great entry machine
  • Trusted brand
  • Includes accessories
Price: $1,198.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Janome mb-7 monogram machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Seven needle embroidery unit
  • Less need to change out colors
  • Color touchscreen interface
Price: $6,499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Large industrial monogram machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Commercial level machine
  • 15 colors without changing thread
  • Package includes hoops, installation, and stand
Price: $12,999.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue and white sewing machine with monogram arm Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted brand
  • Sewing and embroidery combination
  • Color touchscreen
Price: $5,595.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White and blue eversewn machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Combination embroidery and sewing machine
  • Wirelessly transfer custom designs
  • Automatic threading
Price: $799.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Sewing machine with lots of accessories Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tablet-sized color touchscreen
  • Sewing and embroidery combination
  • Bundle comes with lots of extras
Price: $6,499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White Brother embroidery unit with touchscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Embroidery only
  • Affordable
  • Color touchscreen
Price: $299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Silver and black Janome sewing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large throat for quilting
  • Auto-return feature
  • Color touchscreen
Price: $4,999.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Lavender and white sewing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Perfect mid-size embroidery only model
  • Trusted brand
  • Color touchscreen panel
Price: $559.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white and grey singer sewing machines Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted brand
  • Includes software
  • Sewing and embroidery combination
Price: $1,002.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
silver and purple sewing machine with monogram Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Sewing and embroidery combination
  • USB upload port
Price: $536.82 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White manual sewing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • No hoops to deal with
  • Complete artistic freedom
  • Nostalgic feel
Price: $545.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White brother sewing machines with accessories Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Combination sewing and embroidery
  • Comes with loads of extras
Price: $399.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Combo Unit: Brother SE1900 & Grand Slam Package

    Pros:
    • Sewing and embroidery combination
    • Trusted brand
    • Includes lots of accessories
    • Color touchscreen
    • USB upload connection
    • 11 fonts for lettering
    • Create your own stitches
    • Drop and sew bobbin
    Cons:
    • Smaller field to work with
    • Throat too small for large quilts
    • Not many hoop sizes

    This is my top choice for an embroidery and sewing machine combination if you need reliability and ease of use.

    Brother is the most trusted brand in embroidery to create machines that run with fewer hiccups. Anyone who sews knows that you’re bound to break needles and create bird’s nests of thread out of nowhere, but for the process that sewing is, Brother makes solid machines.

    The sewing action is smooth and swift. It’s preloaded with 214 stitches and has a “create your own” custom stitch feature using the color touchscreen. Automatic threading and drop and sew bobbins make the whole process smoother and faster.

    The large touchscreen is great for the embroidery feature as you can simply drag and drop to position your images and use the screen to rotate and resize the design. You can edit the color of your designs right on the touchscreen so you can see an accurate preview of your image before you finalize it. 

    This model comes with 138 preloaded images but this Grand Slam accessory set includes 15,000 more embroidery designs on included disks. There’s also a USB port for uploading your custom designs. 

    Beyond this enormous number of designs, the Grand Slam comes with a box of 64 spools of embroidery thread, embroidery hoop, pre-wound bobbins, stabilizer, Thread Converter Pro III, sock hoop, embroidery scissors, cap hook, pack of needles, and a twin needles. This is all in addition to the standard package of eight different sewing feet and foot pedal that comes with the machine. 

    If you’re trying to save, you can always pick up the Brother SE1900 without the Grand Slam extras.

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 5 inches by 7 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 138 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: Not noted
  2. 2. Best for Home Businesses: Janome MB-7 Embroidery Only Machine

    Pros:
    • Color touchscreen interface
    • Seven needles for seven different colors at once
    • larger field size
    • Less need to change colors
    • USB upload port
    • Comes with useful accessories
    • Accepts several common file types
    Cons:
    • Too much for beginners
    • Cannot be used for sewing
    • Needs more counter space

    For those who are serious about their embroidery or those who are looking to sell their work, the MB-7 is the first seven needle monogram machine that is made for home use. 

    It’s larger than a sewing machine but not so large that it couldn’t fit on your sewing room counter. For the size it is, it is a powerhouse. 

    With seven needles you can create images that are seven different colors without having to change your thread. The MB-7 has an automatic thread trimmer so it can move from one thread color to the next without any pause or need for you to do anything. Watch the video below to see it transition from one color to the next all on its own.

    It also has a thread break sensor and will auto-return to its last position before the thread break to pick up where it left off.  This is a great feature and important since the machine can be left on its own to create the embroidered image so you may not be right there when the thread goes to keep track of when it happened.

    The machine is controlled by a remote computer with a full-color touchscreen. From there you can adjust the size and placement of a design and assign colors for each part of the image. When you select the hoop size you are using the image with automatically center itself.

    There are 50 images preloaded along with 10 fonts for lettering and it’s easy to upload your own images with a USB flash drive. The unit can also be controlled directly by your computer if you wanted to disconnect the touchscreen and plug your PC directly into the machine.

    There’s also an independent bobbin winder on the side as the MB-7 has larger bobbins than its predecessors, allowing for fewer changes. I like that it’s compatible with Tajima hoops which can save you some money. 

    Is this too much machine for some folks? Yeah, seven needles is a lot if you don’t have a lot of sewing and embroidering experience. This is not an entry machine. But if you live for embroidering and are fed up with how long it takes with a single needle, or you’re looking to expand your business potential, this is the best home machine for you.

    This model is also available with a bundle of accessories like stabilizers and thread to get you started.

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: 9.4 inches by 7.9 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 50 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: 800 spm

  3. 3. Best Commercial Model: CAMFive EMB HT1501 With On-Site Installation & Training

    Pros:
    • Package includes two days of on-site installation and one-on-one training
    • Comes with stand, 12 hoops, and voltage regulator
    • 15 colors at a time
    • Large working field
    • Includes thread starter set and maintenance tool kit
    • Digitizing software for custom designs
    • Color touchscreen controls
    • Can even embroider leather, towels, and hats
    • Designed to work nearly constantly
    • Available without package deal
    Cons:
    • Bigger investment upfront
    • Not for causal user
    • Requires space

    For those looking for a machine for their embroidery business, you have to go commercial to turn a profit.

    The EMB HT1501 is a workhorse that can embroider 24 hours a day. It has cyclical embroidery so if told to it will repeat the same design across the working field making it perfect for creating patches and emblems. It’s tough enough to embroider leather and versatile enough to work with hats and finished garments.

    An eight-inch full-color touchscreen makes it easy to resize, adjust, and input text. You can upload your own creations via a UPS drive. You can embroider with 15 different colors before needing to change thread which is truly a lot of colors to work with. 

    You can purchase the machine by itself, but for a little more you can get the Full Package which includes two days of on-site installation and one-on-one training. That alone with worth the price of the full package so that you don’t have to figure out how to set this thing up and to have an actual human in front of you to ask questions about the machine.

    The Full Package comes with a rolling steel stand made for the HT1501, over 10 different hoops including a full field hoop and frames for baseball caps, a maintenance tool kit, Madeira thread starter kit, 1000VA voltage regulator, and Wilcom OEM embroidery software for creating custom designs.

    It really covers everything you need to get started except for the fabric to embroider and is completely worth the upgrade.

    If you’re looking to upgrade your home business, the capacity of this machine will eventually pay for itself. 

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: 22 inches by 14 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: Not stated
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: 1200
  4. 4. Most Preloaded Designs: Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Sewing Machine With Embroidery

    Pros:
    • Sewing and embroidery combination
    • Trusted brand
    • 1,200 stiches and 233 embroidery images pre-loaded
    • Accommodates many hoop sizes
    • Color touchscreen
    • USB upload
    • Click and drag positioning
    • Automatic jump stitch trim
    • Easy help button
    Cons:
    • Only one needle
    • Dual machine isn't as specialized
    • Can have tension issues

    The Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond is a computerized sewing machine with an embroidery arm with a huge field that can create huge designs over 14 by 13 inches. 

    Off the bat, this is a combination machine so if you’re looking to both upgrade your sewing machine and get an embroidery unit, this is a good fit. It has a ton of great sewing features but I’ll only touch on a few since we’re focusing on the embroidery. Husqvarna has a sensor in their machines that helps to adjust to fabric thickness and a straight stick sensor that helps to keep your stitches looking professional. 

    The Diamond uses a large, color LED touchscreen that allows you to access the 1,200 preloaded stitches and 233 preloaded embroidery patterns. The images are nice and they are easy to customize with rotation, resizing up and down, and drag and drop placement on the working field. Your machine will ask you which hoop you’re using and then display that shape and size to scale on your screen so you can easily position and preview what it will look like. 

    It’s only one needle so you can only do one color at a time, but the Diamond automatically trims the stitches at the end, making it easier to switch over to the new color. You also have the freedom of free motion with all stitches should you want to embroider freehand.

    One of my favorite features of the Husquvarna interface is the help button on their toolbar. When you select the help button, the screen will give you helpful tips on the next icon you select. So if you’re not sure what an icon does, click the help button and then that icon and it will pop up with information on what that function is. No more just trying a button to see what it does and ruining your design.

    This makes it very user-friendly and easy to work with. You can keep your machine updated and upload new designs with a USB drive or by connecting it to your computer via a USB.

    The embroidery field is, frankly, huge. Check out this Youtube Video showing a design being stitched onto the biggest hoop allowable.

    The only place where people tend to run into issues with this is the bobbin tension can be a little tricky. 

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 14.25 inches by 13.75 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 233
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Embroidery speed: 1000 rpm

  5. 5. Best Wireless: Eversewn Sparrow X

    Pros:
    • Combination sewing and embroidery
    • Wireless transfer of custom designs
    • Built-in thread cutter
    • Can edit designs and monitor project on the app
    • Automatic threading
    Cons:
    • No touchscreen
    • Tension can be finicky
    • Must be comforable using an app
    • Slower than others

    Eversewn takes a different approach to connectivity with their wifi capable Sparrow X that you can control through the free Eversewn app on your smart device.

    No wires or USB drives needed to upload your custom designs. You just download Eversewn’s free app on your smart device and connect to your Sparrow X. From there you can upload designs, choose from the preloaded bank, as well as resize and edit designs. Once your machine has started working on the design you can monitor its progress on your device when you step out of the room.

    It is a bit slower when it comes to other brand names for monogram machines but for the price and no need to fiddle with tiny touchscreen or jump drives, that’s not so bad.

    It’s a combination machine so you can also use it for your general sewing. The Sparrow X has 120 different stitches and is also a little on the slow side when it comes to stitches per minute.

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: 4.75 inches by 7 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 100 designs
    • Upload method: Wireless transfer
    • Touchscreen: App
    • Max embroidery speed: 650 spm
  6. 6. Best All-Included Set: Janome Memory Craft 14000 Bundle

    Pros:
    • Easy to use interface
    • Sewing and embroidery combination
    • Bundles comes with goodies like wheeled storage bag, thread, and hoops
    • Tablet-sized color LED touchscreen
    • USB uploading with Horizon Link Suite
    • Automatic threading and trimming
    • 350 embroidery designs
    • Handy help button
    • Large throat width
    Cons:
    • Embroidery arm swings to the side
    • A lot of plastic parts
    • Only one needle

    If the idea of a large touchscreen for ease of use sounds good to you, check out the Janome Memory Craft 14000.

    It’s a combination sewing and monogram machine and the sewing machine is certainly nice enough to replace an outdated one if you’re looking to upgrade to a combo unit. There are 400 preloaded stitches and 13 buttonhole options to work with. It has an automatic thread trimmer and automatic needle threader to save you more time.

    There’s a variety of sewing plates to help you sew straighter when you need to and allow for lots of space when you’re doing wide decorative stitches. You won’t be disappointed with its sewing capabilities.

    The color LED touchscreen is huge at over seven inches tall, giving you tons of space to easily see your icons, designs, and options. It takes up a lot of space on the machine, but I love the big screen because I hate squinting and accidentally hitting the wrong button when they’re so close together.

    The embroidery arm attaches to the side instead of the front and swings out which can either be a big plus or a major minus depending on your space. You need a sewing area that is deep as well as wide to accommodate this, but not as wide as others front-loading embroidery machines. The Memory Craft comes preloaded with 350 designs and you can add your own through a USB or directly connecting to your computer.

    Horizon Link Suite is software that connects to your Memory Craft where you can design, alter, and customize embroidery designs before sending them over to your machine with its 4MB or storage.

    This special bundle set includes a wheeled travel case, bobbin spools, hoops, thread, 50 bonus embroidery designs, instructional DVD, along with all the essential parts.

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 11.8 inches by 9.1 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 350 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: 1000 rpm
  7. 7. Best for Beginners: Brother PE535 Embroidery Only Machine

    Pros:
    • Embroidery only
    • Color touchscreen
    • Trusted brand
    • Affordable
    • 25 year warranty and technical support
    • USB port
    Cons:
    • Smaller embroidery field
    • Cannot work as a sewing machine
    • Smaller throat for quilters

    If you’re looking for an embroidery unit for your personal use that doesn’t need to replace your sewing machine go with the Brother PE535.

    It’s especially perfect for folks on a budget looking for a machine that can add small embroidered details without going overboard and paying for more machine than you need.

    The PE535 is simple to operate with a color touchscreen interface where you can resize, reposition, and edit the colors on your image preview before embroidering. It comes with 80 preloaded designs and eight different fonts for lettering. There’s a USB port for uploading new images as well.

    Brother has an entire other website called iBroidery that sells thousands and thousands of different patterns that you can easily upload to your new machine.

    If you’re nervous about learning a new machine, the PE535 has built-in tutorials to get you started and customer technical support (by phone or emails) is covered by the 25-year limited warranty.

    This is not the machine for you if you want to do elaborate designs that cover a large area but if you want to dabble in monogramming without shelling out four-figures for a bigger machine, this is a great choice.

    For a larger working area, check out the very popular PE800.

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: 4 inches by 4 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 80 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: Not noted
  8. 8. Best for Quilters: Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000

    Pros:
    • Plenty of space for larger projects like quilts
    • Auto-return feature if a thread breaks
    • Combination machine
    • Speedy machine
    • Preloaded with lots of stitches and designs
    • Large embroidery field
    • Option for free-motion quilting
    • Automatic threading and tension control
    Cons:
    • Embroidery arm doesn't come pre-attached
    • USB drive must be 4G or under
    • Not many pre-loaded fonts

    For quilters who are looking to upgrade as well as have the added bonus of embroidery, consider the Memory Craft 12000 with its 11-inch throat.

    The design of the machine leaves plenty of room for working on large projects like blankets, quilts, and curtains. Its full-color touchscreen makes the machine very user-friendly and makes it easier to access all the preloaded goodies. The sewing machine side of the Memory Craft 12000 has 425 preloaded stitches, 13 one-step buttonholes, and an auto-threader.

    Once you connect the embroidery arm you can take advantage of the 338 preloaded embroidery images. It’s simple to add your own custom images using a USB drive. It works through an embroidered design faster than you’d expect and has a large working field at almost a foot long.

    While it’s not a commercial embroidery unit or sewing machine, it’s edging into the top of the category for private home use.

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 9.1 inches by 11.8 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 338 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: 1000
  9. 9. Best Mid-Size Model: Brother PE800 Embroidery Only

    Pros:
    • Easy to use color touchscreen
    • Nice mid-size machine
    • User-friendly design
    • Preloaded with 138 designs and 11 fonts
    • Affordable for its features
    • Incluces needle set, dust cover, and maintenance tools
    Cons:
    • Not a combination machine
    • Not for commercial use
    • Need to space for a dedicated machine

    Not satisfied with your entry-level machine but don’t want to jump up to the big-ticket models? This might be for you.

    The Brother PE800 is an embroidery only machine with a larger working field than the Brother PE353 and has a nicer, more user-friendly color touchscreen interface. It’s perfect for those who want the freedom to create larger images but don’t need too many bells and whistles.

    The touchscreen makes it easy to select, resize, rotate, and flip images and you can upload new images with its USB port. Some neat features they did include in this upgrade are an automatic needle threader and LED light to illuminate your work.

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: 5 inches by 7 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 138 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: Not noted
  10. 10. Best No-Touchscreen Model: Singer Futura XL-550

    Pros:
    • Sewing and embroidery combination
    • Machine accepts a wide range of file types for embroidery images
    • Large throat space for quilting
    • 125 preloaded images with extra fonts
    • Bright LED lighting
    • 215 preloaded sewing images
    • Easy editing on your computer screen
    Cons:
    • Software is for PC
    • Need a CD drive
    • Must be connected to computer to operate

    Instead of working with a smaller touchscreen on the machine itself, the Singer Futura XL-550 connects with your PC and you can control its function right on your computer. 

    Working on the larger screen with the included software makes it exponentially easier to edit the 125 preloaded images and to upload your own designs. You can work comfortably with your mouse and keyword without messing with buttons.

    Do keep in mind that because it needs to be connected to your computer to operate the embroidery function, that will affect how much space it will take up on your counter and how easy it is to travel with. 

    The unit comes with two embroidery hoops and using your PC and work through multiple hoops and create even larger images.

    Automatic threading features, drop and sew bobbin, and lots of throat space makes this a good machine for quilters and those looking for a steady sewing machine.  

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 18.5 inches by 11 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 125 designs
    • Upload method: Connected to PC
    • Touchscreen: No
    • Max embroidery speed: Not noted
  11. 11. Best Budget Machine: EverSewn Hero

    Pros:
    • Sewing and embrodery combination
    • Affordable
    • Automatic needle threader
    • 400 stitch options
    • 40 preloaded embroidery images
    • USB uploading port
    Cons:
    • No touchscreen
    • Not many preloaded designs
    • Smaller field than others

    If you’re looking for an entry machine on a budget, this one is worth a closer look.

    The Hero may be more low-tech but with its buttons and lack of touchscreen but it still embroiders at a third of the cost of fancier models. It’s a combination sewing machine with 400 preloaded stitches and several fonts of the alphabet. As long as you don’t need to embroider large designs this is a perfectly serviceable machine. 

    There are only 40 preloaded images but the Hero has a USB port for importing new designs and there is free downloadable software on the EverSewn website that will help you convert images to the correct format to be uploaded to your Hero machine.

    I like that it does have features like automatic threading and a bobbin sensor that will alert you when your bobbin is running low on thread.

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: 6.6 inches by 4.3 inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 40 designs
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: No
    • Max embroidery speed: 800 rpm
  12. 12. Best For Freehand: Worlden Manual Chainstitch Machine

    Pros:
    • Ability to freehand without computer files
    • No hoops so you design can be huge
    • Old-world feel of using a manual machine
    Cons:
    • Freehanding isn't easy or for everyone
    • No computer or built-in designs
    • Does not come with table or motor
    • Heavy

    If you’re looking to embroider the old-school way and have complete freedom in your designs, this is for you.

    There are no computers, no touch screens, no pre-loaded images, and no hoops. This is freehand embroidery using a traditional chainstitch machine. Chainstitch machines are single needle models that create a looped stitch that forms a chain.

    With no hoop, your designs can be as big as you want with no interruption. Since there are no computers, the embroidery designs are entirely up to you. If you’re an artist who loves to freehand this is for you. For those of us who don’t feel excited about that, should stick to machines who can do it for us. 

    This unit does not come with a sewing table or with a motor. It operates on a wheel for complete control over speed. It can be adapted to use a motor but that’s personally beyond my skill. 

    I’ve used a completely manual antique Singer before, and there’s something really satisfying about it. There’s a lot of pride in a garment that you made completely yourself. That said, this is definitely not for everyone.

    • Combo: No
    • Field size: Unlimited
    • Preloaded embroidery: None
    • Upload method: None
    • Touchscreen: No electronics
    • Max embroidery speed: Manual
  13. 13. Best Cheap Combo: Brother SE600 Bundle

    Pros:
    • Combination sewing and embroidery
    • Affordable
    • Color touchscreen
    • Comes with accessories including hoop and seven presser feet
    • Includes $100 gift card to embroidery design site
    • USB port for new designs
    • 103 sewing stitches pre-loaded
    Cons:
    • Small embroidery field
    • Not as many features as higher end models
    • Smaller throat than others

    If you’re on a tight budget, the SE600 is a cheap combination machine that can cover both sewing and embroidery. 

    It’s a computerized sewing machine with a color touchscreen that helps you select your stitches and set up your embroidery with the user-friendly Brother interface. The machine sews well though it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles you can get if you invest a bit more. However, the simplicity makes it a good choice for beginners since you need to learn to walk before you run.

    As far as embroidery, the SE600 comes with 80 pre-loaded designs and a USB port for importing new or self-created images. This bundle comes with a $100 gift card for Brother’s embroidery design site so you can have fun shopping for new images from more than 800 eligible designs. The LCD touchscreen allows you to edit and position your images making it easy to create stunning monograms on this simple little machine.

    • Combo: Yes
    • Field size: Four inches by four inches
    • Preloaded embroidery: 80
    • Upload method: USB
    • Touchscreen: Color
    • Max embroidery speed: Not stated

Many historians believe we've been embroidering fabric for about as long as we've had fabric. It's a style of decoration that goes back thousands of years and spans the globe from B.C.E China to Vikings.

Important things to consider when choosing a monogram machine.

Embroidery only or a combination unit.

This may be your biggest question. Some machines are completely specialized for embroidery and others are multifunction so it works as a sewing machine with one attachment and embroiders with another.

Embroidery sewing machine combination. 

Pro: you save space by replacing your sewing machine with a device that does both jobs. It also is great if you want to be switching back and forth between functions without going to a different machine or if you are a quilter.

Con: anytime something is a multi-tasker it is going to be compromising on certain aspects that a dedicated embroidery unit doesn't. You may be limited in field space, throat width, number of needles, or ability to create your own designs.

Specialized embroidery unit.

Pro: the device is exactly that--it's dedicated to this one task so you know it's going to do it well. With a specialized machine for embroidery, you won't have to relearn a whole new sewing machine if you're in love with your current model. 

Con: you have to have space for a whole other rig in your crafting area and be willing to switch stations when you need to sew.

Business or personal. 

If this is a personal hobby, you have some more leeway in terms of how much lower on the budget scale you can get away with. But if you're going to be embroidering product to sell en masse than you need something with speed and multiple needles.

Size of field.

Pay attention to the field size when choosing the right machine for you. This refers to the maximum amount of space that the machine can embroider. A fairly standard number is around four inches by four inches. 

You'll see larger hoops and frames on these units, but it's the field size specification to look out for.

Level of customization in designs.

A far cry from sitting by the fire doing needlepoint for hours on end, today's machines are computerized and able to complete designs in a fraction of the time.

All quality machines have a variety of designs preloaded onto them. There should be plenty of images as well as fonts to choose from for lettering.

Where it can get tricky is if and how you are able to upload new images that didn't come with your machine. These days many can be connected via USB to upload new designs which is the most convenient and easiest way, but some older or cheaper models use image card or physical connections to your computer. 

If you're not super tech-savvy take note of the upload method as they could be a deal-breaker.

Throat width.

Depending on your type of projects, throat width can be a huge deal or not an issue at all. If you tend to work on quilts are large, preassembled clothing items, you want a long throat width so you have room to work. 

Budget.

We can't pretend that your budget doesn't play into this decision. These machines aren't cheap and you can easily drop $600 on what's considered an entry-level model. The sticker shock is real.

If you're buying a machine for a business, be prepared to be pushing into the $6,000 and up range for a machine that can perform the tasks needed in a business setting. 

Hobbyists can generally stay below the $6,000 mark for a model suited to your projects.

If the price has you wide-eyed, keep in mind that these machines are small computers that can sew for you. And keep in mind, whether this is a business venture or not, there is money to be made at fairs and events for embroidered items.

See Also:

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