Ready to upgrade your embroidery machine? Going from a single needle to a multi-needle machine can save you a TON of time, but which machine is right for you? Here are a few machines you might consider.
Janome MB4 – $5,499
The Janome MB4 is one of the cheapest multi needle embroidery machines around. At just $5,499, it puts multi needle capabilities within reach for home embroidery machine use.
The MB4 is a 4 needle embroidery machine, and it features a 9.4″ x 7.87″ embroidery area. While this is modest as far as multi-needle machines go, it’s likely more than enough for most home embroidery projects. However, there are a few reasons why you might NOT want this machine.
Do you plan to embroider on hats? If so, you may want to skip this machine. That’s because while you CAN embroider hats on this machine, you must do so using a hoop. The MB4 and MB7 do NOT have the ability to use a cap driver, and this will be very limiting for hat making.
A cap driver, as seen below on the Baby Lock Alliance, offers much more utility than a hoop machine. As you can see, it spins, allowing you to embroider all the way around the hat. In addition, it works for structured hats, which can’t be smashed flat. (Try the Tajima Sai if you need a cap driver)
However, if you are fine with the limitation of 4 thread colors and you don’t plan to do advanced hat embroidery, the Janome MB4 is an EXCELLENT machine. It also comes with a good deal of free hoops and accessories, making it an even better deal.
Janome MB7 – $6,799
If the MB4 does not offer quite enough use-able thread colors for you can upgrade to the MB7. This machine features 7 needles for a bit more money, giving you a bit more flexibility if you use a lot of colors.
However, that’s about all you’ll get for the upgrade. Feature-wise, the machine is pretty much identical to the MB4, including the embroidery field which is still 9.4″ x 7.87″.
Sadly, the MB7 also does not allow the use of a cap driver. So, while it’s an excellent machine for most projects, it may not be the right pick if you want to do a lot of advanced hat embroidery or specialty items.
This machine also comes with a couple free bonuses, a hat hoop and a support table, but not as many as the MB4.
Tajima Sai – $9,999
Looking for an affordable machine with a dedicated cap driver? The Tajima Sai allows you to easily embroider on any kind of hat, allowing for advanced embroidery techniques you won’t get on cheaper machines.
However, it’s not just hats that make the Sai a great pick, but its versatility to be used on any garment. It features a slim free arm cylinder, which allows you to embroidery on an endless number of tiny objects other machines may struggle with like socks, gloves, or pockets.
Tajima is also one of the most loved names in commercial embroidery, and it’s easy to find shops that will service them all over the country.
This is an 8 needle machine and it has a 7.8″ x 11.8″ embroidery area. It’s an excellent size for most projects, and the machine even comes with the company’s Tajima Writer Plus software, which allows you to customize text with easy and access embroidery templates.
The only negative to the Tajima is that it is a good bit pricier than the Janome MB4 and MB7, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to be able to embroider on anything. The machine is compact, easy to use, capable, and quiet when running.
Let’s get crafting!