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8 of the best embroidery machines for 2021

Which is the best embroidery machine for you? Find out with out pick of the best digital embroidery machines

best digital embroidery machine header

You don’t need a specialised embroidery sewing machine to do machine embroidery. You can use almost any sewing machine for machine embroidery. If you want to use your sewing machine for freemotion machine embroidery – where the machine does the stitching but you guide the fabric – all you’ll need is a sewing machine that lets you keep the feed dogs down so you can manipulate the fabric direction yourself. Depending on the sewing machine, you may also need to change the foot to a darning or a freemotion foot, too. To keep the fabric flat and taut, you typically mount it in an embroidery hoop that you can easily fit and manoeuvre in your machine, mounting the fabric so it is the other way up to how you would typically use an embroidery hoop, so the frame sits above the right side of the fabric.If you only want to work with freemotion embroidery, the best embroidery machine for you will be a sewing machine with the option to lower the feed dogs.

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Take a look at our free motion embroidery with machine embroidery projects to try out this technique for yourself!

Bespoke embroidery machines are a little different. They come with a built in hoop or frame to hold your fabric taut, and are digitally controlled, so it is the machine that moves the fabric as well as making the stitches. Once the user has chosen the design for the machine to create, and mounted the fabric into the built-in hoop, their involvement only usually extends to changing the thread colour their machine is using, and snipping off thread ends in lower spec models without this as an automatic function. Some of the best digital embroidery machines will hold multiple threads so even this user role may not be necessary with the best computerised embroidery machines. If making clothes if your passion, and you want to embellish them with embroidery, but don’t have the time and inclination to add it by hand, the best embroidery machine can add custom detail very quickly. You can buy embroidery sewing machines that have both functions, so they serve as embroidery machines and sewing machines. They are also useful for monogramming or adding custom details to clothing and accessories – no more school name tags!

Take a look at our round up of the best embroidery machines that will work well for the home crafter. We are only looking at the best computerised embroidery machines with a single needle, rather than the multi-thread machines that more suited to a business environment. We’ll flag up if they are embroidery machines or embroidery sewing machines which have a dual function Which is the best digital embroidery machine for you?

8 of the best embroidery machines

1

Silver Wifi embroidery machine CH03

Buy from Hobbycraft

digital embroidery machine silver

This powerhouse of an embroidery sewing machine is designed to be flexible to give you hundreds of options for all your sewing and embroidery machine needs, with 130 built-in stitch patterns, 70 built-in embroidery designs plus 100 extra on the included CD and the ability to wirelessly connect to your smart device, so you can add designs and control the machine via their downloadable app.

Pros

  •  You get two different sizes of embroidery sets – the hoops that hold your fabric in place – so you can choose the right size for your design for the best tension.
  • The embroidery sewing machine can handle embroidery motifs of up to 18 x 12cm
  • The Stitch Pro software app makes it easy to combine motifs for custom design, and you can add more motifs using the included CD, or upload your own
  • Operates at 800 stitches per minute as a sewing machine, or 650 stitches per minute for embroidery
  • The horizontal top loading drop in bobbin system makes it quick and easy to change the lower thread bobbin.
  • Also functions as a sewing machine with 130 stitches

Cons

  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • There are only two built in alphabet fonts included in the machine, so you’ll find more monograming options elsewhere, or you’ll need to add these in
  • If you are not going to use the sewing machine functions, or already have a sewing machine, it adds cost to make this a combined embroidery sewing machine.
  • There is no in-built display screen, so you’ll need to have a smart device to operate this machine
2

Janome Memory Craft 500E Embroidery machine

digital embroidery machine Janome
Here’s a dedicated embroidery machine that many users say is the best embroidery machine for experienced machine embroiderers to try because of its versatility with difficult fabrics. This is not an embroidery sewing machine, it is a dedicated embroidery machine, aiming to be the best digital embroidery machine to help you personalise pillowcases, clothing and accessories.
Pros
  • The digital embroidery machine works with all fabrics, including tricky fabrics like lycra stretch, activewear and denim.
  • Includes six different alphabet fonts, incising ones for large scale letters so great options for monogramming.
  • The computerised embroidery machine has an in-built library of 180 embroidery designs, plus add more via the USB port or with the design tracing feature.
  • Convert multicoloured designs into a single colour with one click, so you can avoid rethreading the machine for speed.
  • Four hoops included in basic model so you can choose the right one for your project, up to a whopping 20 x 36cm.
  • Remaining stitch time is calculated and displayed.
  • 2 year manufacturers guarantee.
  • Larger display screen so less time spent scrolling through designs as more cam be displayed at any time.
Cons
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the embroidery machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • Its amazing array of features may be overwhelming for a beginner, so this may not be the best embroidery machine if it is your first one.
  • Large computerised embroidery machine that needs a large clear working area, especially when using the largest hoop, so perhaps not the best embroidery machine if you have a small craft space.
3

Brother NV870 embroidery machine

best digital embroidery machine brother NV870SE

Buy from Amazon

This machine has one of the best built-in libraries we have seen at this price with 138 embroidery motifs and 13 different alphabets you can use to personalise your projects, and more available for you to add via the Brother website. As you’d expect from these machine, the Brother NV870 comes with a touch screen display, but this machine boasts a colour touch screen, and lets you see a reality preview of your finished design. There are some great features that make this the best digital embroidery machine in this price bracket!

Pros 

  • Large embroidery area of up tp 16 x 26 cm embroidery area, with three hoops included so you can choose the right one for your project.
  • 3 years manufacturer warranty
  • ability to load your own designs onto the machine via USB
  • 850 stitches per minute makes this a fast machine
  • Auto needle threader and programmable jump stitch cutting function make starting and finishing stitching less time consuming
  • Quilting function with 7 built-in quilt designs. The included 150 x 150mm hoop is perfect for embroidering quilt blocks.
  • Preview your designs in full colour with zoom view to see every detail of the design.
  • Automatic frame size detector automatically adjust the size of your embroidery area depending on the hoop you have fitted
  • Thread sensor warns you when the bobbin thread is low
  • Colour screen

Cons

  • Large machine with an 48x25cm footprint
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.
  • Small display screen
  • You might not ever use the in-built quilting function if you are not a quilter
4

Brother Innovis NV2650D Embroidery Machine

 

best digitaal embroidery machine innovis 2650D

Buy from Create and Craft

Hello, Disney lovers! The thing that sets this embroidery sewing machine apart from the rest of the Brother range is the inclusion of a library of 46 embroidery motifs featuring the Disney characters – which makes this the best embroidery sewing machine available if you are looking to customise clothing or accessories with Disney characters for children! As well as the Disney motifs, the machine has additional non-branded embroidery stitch library you can use in your designs, plus 7 different alphabets for customisation. In its sewing machine mode, it has 291 sewing stitches.

Pros

  • Great for kids clothing customisation with in built Disney motif library
  • 3 year manufacturer warranty
  • Large maximum embroidery area of 26 x 16cm
  • Extensive sewing machine functions included
  • 850 stitches per minute makes this afast machine
  • Embroidery hoops in 2 sizes with the machine – 260mm x 160mm and 180mm x 130mm

Cons

  • Cheaper models are available if you don’t want the Disney library or sewing machine functionality.
  • Reports of higher than average thread breaking on this model from some crafters.
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.

 

5

Brother Innovis V3 embroidery machine

best digital embroidery machine Brother V3

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Brother

The Innovis v3 machine could be the best computerised embroidery machine for you if you want to create larger designs but are not quite ready to commit to a multi-needle embroidery machine. It has a large 30 x 18cm embroidery area – and a lovely large colour display screen, too! It has the features of the NV870 but is a bit faster, slightly larger design area and bigger display screen, and with a larger design library. If you are committed to using an embroidery machine, we recommended this higher spec model over the other Brother models here, as its speed, larger size and easy-to-use screen are worth the extra financial investment.

Pros

  • Easy threading, auto tension and thread sensors alert you to any problems
  • Fast 1050 stitches per minute embroidery speed
  • Big colour screen simple user interface and touch screen, for on the spot editing.
  • Automatic thread cutting for a tidy and professional finish
  • Over 200 built in embroidey designs
  • Independent bobbin winder lets you spool up your next thread colour while the machine is stitching the previous one.
  • The horizontal top loading drop in bobbin system makes it quick and easy to change the lower thread bobbin.
  • 3 year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Just a single needle machine means user input in requited to create designs with more than 1 colour.
  • The extra long arm gives you a large workspace (111/4”, 285 mm) which could benefit from a wider range of hoop sizes included in the pack – only 2 are included

 

6

Janome Memory Craft 550E

best digital embroidery machine Janome 55oE

Buy from Amazon

The Janome 550 E bring you a larger working area of 20 x 36cm – larger than the Innovis v3 and the machine has a lower retail price too – as well as 4 different embroidery hoops! But it also has fewer feature than the Innovis v3, and a smaller inbuilt library of embroidery motifs. But if you favour a larger embroidery area over choice of motifs, this could be the best emboidery machine for you.

Pros

  • Adjustable embroidery speed 400-860SPM – change to suit the thread you are using
  • Four hoops are included with the machine: RE36b Hoop 200 x 360mm (7.9 x 14.2”) RE20b Hoop 140 x 200mm (5.5 x 7.9”)SQ20b Hoop 200 x 200mm (7.9 x 7.9”)  SQ14b Hoop 140 x 140mm (5.5 x 5.5”)
  • Design time and stitch counter indicator
  • Maximum embroidery area 200 x 360mm (7.9 x 14.2inches)
  • Design software is available which can convert artwork into stitches to make and load your own designs
  • large full colour display screen
  •  Built-in 180 embroidery designs, plus 6 embroidery fonts
  • Auto return post thread break so the machine can continue after a break

Cons

  • Louder machine than the Innovis V3
  • There is only 1 thread colour in the machine at a time, so user imput will be required to embroider designs with more than 1 colour.

 

7

Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine

Best digital embroidery machine PCS535

Buy from Joanns

Here’s a deal dedicated embroidery machine deal that will make you smile if you are baed in America, but make you unhappy if you are in the UK – we are sorry! But when Joannes started selling the Brother PCE535 digital embroidery machine at 33 percent off at the beginning of 2021, we just had to add it to our roundup. This is an older model now, but has some brilliant features at a very affordable price. If you are looking for a low-price, entry level machine to help you learn the ropes of computerised embroidery machine, this could well be the best embroidery machine for you.

Pros

  • Full colour large display screen makes it easy to see what your finished design will look like
  • Touch screen function on display screen for user-friendly interface
  • Low entry level price point
  • 25 year limited warranty
  • 80 built-in designs, 10 frame patterns, and nine font styles
  • You can add more design via the USB port

Cons

  • Small 4x4in embroidery area. You can purchase larger hoops to expand this
  • 3 of the font styles are in Japanese, which is not useful if you won’t use Japanese fonts
8

Brother FS100WT Free Motion Embroidery/Sewing and Quilting Machine

embroidery sewing machine FS100

Buy from Amazon

This embroidery sewing machine is geared up to excel at free-motion embroidery too. This is something you can do with most sewing machines, but this machine comes with a dedicated free motion embroidery foot. This makes it especially useful for quilters who want a combine embroidery sewing machine for a real wealth of sewing machine functions. However, although this is an embroidery sewing machine, with an alphabet set for monograming included in the machine, that is the limit of its embroidery machine functions. There is no hoop included, and no option to purchase and add one – monogramming uses a dedicated monogram,in foot. So this is more of a specialised quilting sewing machine, with some limited embroidery options.

Pros

The basic pack includes an extension table, giving you a larger working surface for sewing, great to help you control quilts when sewing or free motion embroidering

  • Brilliant machine for quilters and free motion embroiderers
  • 100 stitches including loads of options for decorative stitching
  • 8 buttonholes for sewing
  • 3 year warranty included

Cons

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  • A single alphabet set with upper case letters only comprise the only embroidery options
  • No embroidery hoop function, only a monograming foot
  • No option to use for any digital embroidery designs beyond the included upper case alphabet set