Thinking about upgrading your embroidery machine? There are a lot of great machines out there, but there are a few that are a step above the rest! Here are our top picks.
Janome Memory Craft 400E – $1,340
My top pick is for the Janome Memory Craft 400E, because this machine offers excellent features for its price. It features a large 8″ x 8″ embroidery area, which is large enough to impressive do custom embroidery on sweatshirts, hoodies, and jackets.
In addition, this machine also boasts 11 inches of throat space. If you don’t know, is the space under the arm of the machine. Having more space here makes it easier to maneuver bulky items under the needle and the large work area makes using the machine more pleasant.
However, it also has a ton of other great features for an entry level machine! This includes adjustable speed of 400-860 stitches per minute, which allows you to both complete projects quickly, or slow the machine down for detail work or specialty threads, like metallic.
You’ll get your standard features, such as on-screen editing for changing thread colors or resizing and rotating designs, and a USB port for uploading your own custom embroidery designs to the machine. However, this machine also has automatic jump stitch trimming, a feature which is not present on most machines in this price range!
All in all, the Janome 400E is an excellent value for the money, and it’s a great large design embroidery machine for the money. With this machine you’ll be able to easily do jacket back embroidery, t-shirts, hoodies, dad hats, and even larger projects like costumes for cosplay.
So, what is this machine NOT good for? Well, since this is a flat bed machine, it will be very difficult to embroider on things like sleeves or socks if you plan to do projects like that, and it also won’t be a good choice for structured hats that can’t be smashed flat in the hoop. (For that, I’d recommend the Brother PRS100)
Janome MB4 – $5,499
Have you been dreaming of a multi-needle embroidery machine? The Janome MB4 is the cheapest multi needle around, but that doesn’t mean its not a serious machine.
This 4 needle embroidery machine will allow you to load up 4 thread colors simultaneously without re-threading, and that’s a great place to start if you plan to dip your toe into home business embroidery.
With this machine, you’ll get a 9.4″ x 7.9″ embroidery area, and the machine has an adjustable speed of (600-800) stitches per minute – perfect for personal projects and running a small Etsy store.
In addition, the machine comes with pretty much everything you need to get started – including $550 worth of free hoops you can use with it to make hats and do lettering projects.
In short, the Janome MB4 offers a ton of features for its price point, and if you’re looking for a machine that’s easy to use, reliable, and doesn’t cost a fortune – this machine is a fantastic pic.
The only bad thing about the MB4? Well, like most home machines, this machine is also a flat bed. That means it will struggle or even fail to embroider on items like socks, sleeves, or anything that can’t be smashed flat. (If you’re planning projects like this… head to the end of the article for a better suggestion!)
Husqvarna Jade 35 – $1,399
We don’t often recommend a combination sewing/embroidery machine here at Romney Ridge Farms & Crafts. That’s because, normally, it’s just not a very good deal and you’d be better served purchasing a separate cheaper sewing machine. However, for this machine… it’s worth it to combine!
The Husqvarna Jade 35 offers a large 9 1/2″ x 6″ embroidery area, and still coming in at a significant discount compared to other comparable combination machines, like the Janome 9850 and the Bernette B79. It’s also cheaper than many larger field embroidery only machines like the Brother Innov-is NQ1700e!
When it comes to features, the Jade 35 also has some interesting ones – including their “Sewing Advisor” which instantly selects the appropriate settings for you when you select the fabric type.
It also offers speed control, automatic thread tension, automatic thread cutting, needle up/down, start and stop buttons, and it even includes a free embroidery software package. However, this is NOT a digitizing software. You will be able to use it to resize, rotate, and manipulate existing designs you want to use though.
All in all, the Husqvarna Jade 35 is a fantastic machine for the price, especially if you need a combination machine, and/or a machine which is lightweight and portable to take with you to classes or events.
Brother PRS100 – $4,999
Looking for a embroidery machine that works more like an industrial machine without the $10,000 price tag? In that case, you may want to have a look at the Brother PRS100. This machine offers advanced embroidery capabilities at home embroidery machine prices.
Unlike the MB4, this machine is not a flatbed. Instead, it has a free arm, which basically means that the room you have underneath the needle is ‘unlimited’.
This allows you to shove bulky things under it like large bags, but it also allows you to embroider on things which a flat bed machine could never do! Suddenly, embroidering on sleeves, pockets, socks, and even shoes is now possible.
However, a machine like this one also allows you to do advanced hat embroidery. By using a cap driver, you can embroider on hats without having to smash them in a hoop, and you can embroider all the way around the hat! That’s because the cap driver spins, giving you more embroidery coverage and a more professional result.
In addition, this machine offers an 8″ x 8″ embroidery area, which is perfect for nearly any project, and it’s quite fast at 1,000 stitches per minute, allowing you to complete projects quickly.
That makes this a fantastic machine to consider if you’re planning to start a small clothing brand, or if you are doing one off customization for customers on Etsy. However, this is NOT a multi-needle machine, and if you’d prefer a machine that can load up multiple thread colors to save time in the same price range, I’d recommend the Janome MB4 instead. (But keep in mind the MB4 can NOT use a cap driver if you need to do hats!)
Let’s get crafting!