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What to Consider When Buying an Embroidery Machine

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Embroidery machines are amazing machines! Here are the key things to consider when buying an embroidery machine for home use.

If you’ve been thinking about buying an embroidery machine but not sure where to start, let me help you figure out exactly what to consider.

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What to Consider When Buying an Embroidery Machine

Embroidery machines can be expensive and it can be a little confusing to know what features to even consider when buying an embroidery machine.

There are different types of embroidery machines and even some sewing machines that are also embroidery machines. Here are the things to consider:

#1 – Price

Embroidery machines can be quite expensive, so you will have to consider the cost of the machine. My best recommendation is to buy the machine with the largest hoop size and features that you can afford. Here are some examples:

#2 – Embroidery Field Size

One of the things you’ll want to consider when buying an embroidery machine is the size of the embroidery field. Some machines can only embroider designs up to 4″x4″. I recommend you purchase an embroidery machine that will at least embroidery a 5″x7″ area.

In fact, bigger is better; but, bigger is also more expensive. As you can see by the above list, the larger the embroidery field size, the more expensive the machine.

#3 – Usage

How do you plan to use your embroidery machine? If you plan on running a home business using your embroidery machine, then you’ll want to select a machine that can handle the workload and with multiple needles.

Ask yourself this, “I would like to be able to embroider ____________.” This will help you to determine how you will use your embroidery machine and decide what features might be most important to you.

For example, if you want to embroider hats, some embroidery machines come with an attachment that make it easy to embroider hats.

#4 – Throat Width

If you plan to use your embroidery machine for quilting, it will be especially important to pay attention to the throat width. The throat width is the space between the embroidery machine needle and the body of the machine.

Having a wide throat width will allow you to use larger hoops and move your fabric around more easily.

#5 – USB Port

You will need a way to load embroidery designs into your embroidery machine. A machine with a USB port will allow you to do that easily. Be aware that some machines come with designs pre-installed and they are the only designs you can use with the machine. So, stay away from those types of embroidery machines and simply look for one that has an easy way to install or load embroidery designs.

#6 – Automatic Thread Cutting

Most embroidery machines come with an automatic thread cutting feature. How this works is that when the machine is through embroidering a specific color, it will automatically cut the thread, and then prompt you to change the thread. This is a really nice feature. And, like I said, comes standard on most embroidery machines. You just need to be aware that not all machines come with an automatic thread cutting feature and it may be a feature you want.

#7 – LCD Screen

My embroidery machine does not have the best LCD screen. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to tell what the design looks like on the screen. It’s the only negative thing I have to say about the Brother PE700 machine. So, if you want to be able to truly see the design that you’re going to embroider on the LCD screen, be sure to take a look at the screen.

The screens also come in different sizes on the different machines. If at all possible, look at the machine in a store before you purchase it. You don’t have to purchase it from that particular store, if you don’t want, but it will give you a real look at the machine you’re about to purchase.

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#7 – Embroidery Designs & Software

Most embroidery machines come with embroidery designs pre-installed. And those designs are great for getting you started. But, you will want to buy or create your own designs as well. Each embroidery machine manufacturer uses a different stitch data file type for their embroidery designs. For example, Brother uses .PES format and Janome uses .JEF. So, make sure you know that file type for your machine and that you purchase designs from a reliable source. You can read about my recommendations here.

If you are planning to sell your embroidered designs or want to create designs to sell, you’ll want to purchase embroidery design software (to avoid copyright issues). Embroidery design software will also allow you to edit embroidery designs. There are a variety of embroidery software programs. They are not a part of the embroidery machine and you will need a computer (usually laptop or desktop) to run the software.


These are just a few of the more important features to consider when buying an embroidery machine. The purpose of this blog post is to make you aware of the important features to consider when purchasing an embroidery machine for home use.

I use the Brother PE700. The machine has since been discontinued by Brother. A comparable machine would be the Brother PE800. This machine has a 5×7 embroidery area, automatic thread cutter, USB port, and a much improved LCD screen. It’s a great beginner machine and I highly recommend it.

So, just be sure to consider how you think you’ll use your machine, how large an embroidery design field size the machine has (I would stay away from 4″x4″), the throat width, whether the machine has a USB port or not (you definitely want one), automatic thread cutting, and the size/quality of the LCD screen.

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You’ll also find a playlist of all the embroidery machine tutorials on my YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to my channel so you’ll be the first to know when new video tutorials are made available!

Learn how to embroider on a cotton clothesline basket


There are certainly other features and functionalities, but these are the features you’ll want to consider when buying your first embroidery machine. If you have questions or recommendations, feel free to leave them in the Comments field below.

Til next time…

Pam Baker from The Birch Cottage

And be sure to pin the below image to your favorite Pinterest board to save this for later or to share it with family and friends!

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Sunday 27th of February 2022

Great article!! Some day I’ll buy one of these and now I know what to look for. Thanks!

Pamela Baker

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Marie, that’s great to hear!! Let me know when you do!!

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