Which Brother Embroidery Machine Is The Best?

Brother Embroidery Machine with Large Hoop

An embroidery machine is a major investment! Nobody wants to buy a machine only to find out later that they didn’t get the right machine for the job, or worse, one which doesn’t perform well. Fortunately, You’re off to a good start, because Brother makes quality embroidery and sewing machines! BUT, which model should you pick?

Fear not crafter, because in this article, we’ll be talking about the best brother embroidery machines! We’ve hand-picked 5 different models we think are worth your money across several different price ranges. This means there should be something to fit nearly any budget. Let’s jump in!

Editor’s Pick!

Our top pick is for the excellent Brother Innov-Is NQ1600E. This fantastic machine is not only great at what it does, but it also comes with a special bonus that most other embroidery machines don’t!

which brother embroidery machine is the best
The NQ1600E comes with FREE digitization software and fantastic features!

If you choose this Brother embroidery machine you’ll also get the Stitch Express embroidery software for FREE.

Yes, most embroidery machines will allow you to import your own custom designs, but they also don’t come with the software you need to do it most of the time!

That’s not the case for the Brother Innov-is, and it’s why it’s also at the top of our “best embroidery machine for custom design” list, too! Purchasing this software separately would cost you about $140.

However, there is, of course, more to love about the NQ1600E. This includes the huge 6″x10″ embroidery area for your projects, generous 8.3″ throat space, and its fast sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute. You’ll also enjoy premium and quality of life features with this machine like an automatic thread cutter, and needle threader, automatic thread tension, quick set bobbin, USB Port for importing custom designs, and an upper thread sensor which alerts you when the thread is running low.

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This machine also features a large, color, LCD touch screen. With this you can edit your designs on-screen and a realistic preview of them before the machine starts stitching. You can use this to drag and drop, rotate, create curved text, change thread colors, etc.

In short, while the NQ1600e is a little pricier than some other machines, it’s definitely worth it. Especially if you plan on doing a lot of custom embroidery designs. It offers a generous working area, and gives you all the software you’ll need. Click here to check prices, availability, and read consumer reviews for this machine.

If the NQ1600E is a bit more than you’re willing to spend, we understand. Not everybody has the budget, or even the need for a machine of that level. If that’s you, then you may want to look at the more affordable, yet still very capable Brother SE1900.

brother pe800 vs se1900
The Brother SE1900 is a great combination sewing/embroidery machine at a fair price.

If the NQ1600E is a bit more than you were wanting to spend, or if you’re looking for a brother sewing machine that embroiders, then our next pick may be a better fit. The Brother SE1900 is equally as capable, but it’s about $500 cheaper, AND it’s a combination sewing and embroidery machine!

Embroidery machines with 5×7 hoop sizes, like this one, are still sizeable enough to work for most projects. This machine also comes with a USB port for importing your own custom designs, and a slightly smaller (3.2″) LCD screen for editing and previewing your designs before they are created by the machine.

This machine also comes with some surprisingly nice premium sewing and embroidery features for the price tag! This includes a little over 7 inches of throat space, free motion sewing capabilities, an automatic needle threader, a USB port for importing custom embroidery designs, and the ability to create and save your own custom stitches!

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You’ll also get some nice extras with this machine, including 138 built-in embroidery designs, 240 built-in stitches, 10 one-step button holes, and plenty of accessories. However, this machine does not come with the Stitch Express software for creating embroidery designs. (Though you can purchase it separately here for $140 if you’d prefer to get this machine over the NQ1600E.)

So, while the SE1900 is lacking some of the more premium features of the NQ1600E, like automatic tension, and it does not come with the embroidery software, it’s still a great machine! Click here to check prices, availability, and consumer reviews for this machine.

If you’re looking for a combination sewing/embroidery machine but you can’t make room in the budget for the SE1900, then our next pick will be a little more palatable.

While it’s not as fancy as our top two and the embroidery area is smaller, it’s still a solid machine with a lot to offer.

Especially if you’re looking for cheap embroidery machines that connect to computer so you can upload your custom embroidery designs. While this one does not come with any software, it does offer a USB port, allowing you to upload designs you’ve purchased or made yourself.

This allows you to easily customize shirts, backpacks, towels, etc. with your own designs, but these machines also come with some free embroidery designs you may want if you’re a Marvel or Star Wars fan! There are a couple models of this machine, and the LB5000M will come with 10 Marvel super hero designs. While the LB5000S will comes with 10 Star Wars designs. This is, of course, in addition to 80 other built-in embroidery designs which come with the machine, ready to use.

The LB5000 series also comes with some great quality of life features for the price, which includes an automatic thread cutter, speed control (great for beginners!), needle up/down, automatic bobbin winder, free motion sewing capabilities, foot pedal control, and an on-screen drag & drop editor for adjusting your embroidery designs before you sew.

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You’ll also get lots of accessory feet for sewing, 103 built-in stitches, 10 one-step button holes, 9 embroidery lettering fonts, 6.4″ of throat space, plus some extra designs you can download. Plenty for the average hobbyist or beginner to get creative!

So, what’s not to love about the LB5000? Well, for many people the 4″x4″ embroidery size is simply not big enough. If you think you’ll need larger embroidery capabilities for your projects, then you may want to invest a bit more in the SE1900. Also, while this machine does sew smoothly, it is a bit loud.

The machine is fairly strong, and it should handle up to 6mm of fabric (for sewing) and it can embroider up to 1mm fabrics, but it’s likely not strong enough for heavy duty projects like leather or very thick fabrics.

You’ll also miss out on some of the fancier features of a pricier machine, like the NQ1600E, and it does not come with digitization software for making embroidery designs. However, this is one of the most affordable ways to get started with embroidery, and it’s a great deal for everything you get. Click here to check prices, availability, and consumer reviews for this machine.

best brother sewing machine for embroidery

Okay, but what if you need a high-quality machine which you could use for a home embroidery business?

While a lot of cheaper machines work fine for occasional projects, they might struggle to keep up if you need to work at a faster pace.

If that’s you, then the Brother NQ3600D is certainly worth a look. This machine is awesome, but it certainly isn’t cheap. However, it features a huge 6″ x 10″ embroidery area, and it also has 8.3″ of throat space from needle to arm, allowing you to more easily work on larger quilting projects.

This machine is also a combination sewing and embroidery machine, offering you all the benefits of both machines and giving you tons of options to create your own projects or create things to sell on Etsy. This machine allows you to do a lot of cool stuff besides embroidery and regular sewing as well. This includes the ability to create and save your own decorative stitches, adding a professional touch to commissioned goods, free motion sewing capabilities, and it sews and embroiders at up to 850 stitches per minute.

In addition, this machine comes with a lot of great time saving quality of life features. This includes automatic height adjustment, which senses the fabric and makes adjustments for smooth stitching. A pivot function which makes working on corners more precise, and an upper thread sensor which alerts you when the thread is running low so you can change it out. That’s, of course, in addition to the regular expected features like speed control, automatic feed thread cutting, drag and drop editing on the 4.85″ LCD screen, a USB port for importing custom embroidery designs, and an included knee lift.

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You’ll also get tons of add-ons and accessories for this machine. Since this is a Disney branded machine, that also means 233 built-in embroidery designs, including 35 Disney characters. It also comes with 291 built-in stitches, 10 styles of automatic one-step button holes, 140 frame patterns, 11 embroidery lettering fonts, and plenty of accessory feet to get you started.

So, what do we not like about this machine? While the NQ3600D has a lot to offer there are some things missing from the package which we think should’ve been included for the price. This includes a lack of embroidery software, and automatic tension is also missing. However, if you purchase from this link you’ll also get a FREE $130 Disney thread kit for your embroidery designs. Overall, it’s a good machine with a few missing features, but for many people, those omissions will not be a deal breaker.

Okay, so what if you have almost no budget but you still want to get into embroidery?

While this is definitely going to be a tougher demand to meet – it is possible.

However, if you want to spend less than what we’ve mentioned you’ll likely need to find a refurbished machine.

Availability is iffy on these, of course, and you may need to be patient to get one, but if you can wait then you can pick up a refurbished Brother SE625 for as little as $319! These are great machines, BUT they are capped at 4″x4″ for embroidery. This is a great size for making patches, customizing pocket tees, and even doing some small hat designs, but it will be limiting for many projects. (Hence why people sell them and later upgrade to a machine which allows for bigger designs.) It’s also a good bit slower than the other machines on our list.

If you can live with these restrictions, then the Brother SE625 is a great machine with good stitching quality and features for the price tag. It’s also a combination machine and it will allow you to both sew and work with custom embroidery on a budget, thanks to the included USB port.

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Though you’ll also get 80 built-in embroidery designs to work with if you can’t afford embroidery software at the moment. Because like most other machines, it does not come with embroidery software and if you want to make custom designs you’ll need to buy it yourself.

However, this machine does come with some great quality of life features for the price. This includes 3.2″ color LCD screen which allows you to preview your designs before stitching, create curved text, change thread colors, etc. You’ll also get free motion sewing capabilities, needle up/down, speed control, 103 built-in stitches, 8 one-step buttonholes, and plenty of sewing accessories to get you started. Click here to check prices and availability for refurbished Brother SE625s.

Video: Patches made with the Brother SE625

By Tanya Womack

Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.