How to Compare Embroidery Machines


There are a wide variety of embroidery machines on the market today. Many have similar features, while others have very special features that differentiate them. There are even combination sewing and embroidery machines.

When it comes to comparing them, decide what types of features you want, what you will be using the machine for and what your budget is.

Purchasing a machine is an expensive endeavor so think things through before you make your decision.

  • Do your research. Check out embroidery machines on the Internet. Visit dealers in your area to see the different machines. Ask for a demonstration of the features each machine offers.

  • Decide whether you want an embroidery machine or a combination embroidery and sewing machine. The combination has the advantage of only purchasing one machine for two functions, saving money and space in your sewing room.

  • What features do you need for your projects? Are you doing very large projects or only small to medium ones? Keep in mind that the size of the sewing bed varies from machine to machine.

    Are you producing multiple copies of the same project? Is the stitch capacity sufficient for the size of the embroideries you do? Larger embroideries require the machine to have a higher stitch capacity.

  • Determine what convenience features you may want in your embroidery machine. Consider features such as an auto needle threader; automatic sensors for thread; thread tension and bobbin indicator; foot pedal and pedal-free sewing; or retractable feed dogs for free motion sewing if it is a combination machine.

  • Try out the operating buttons for ease and efficiency. Some machines raise the needle with a push of the button, cut the thread when you finish a color, control the speed of the sewing and sew in reverse.

    Are you able to position the embroidery to a start point quickly and accurately?

    Ask to replace the bobbin. This task can be tedious on some machines, but simple on others.

  • Compare the machines' display screens. Are they touch screens or regular screens? Are the colors of the embroidery shown accurately? Are you able to follow the stitching process on the screen as you are embroidering?

  • Check to see how the embroidery designs get into the machine. Are there built-in designer stitches and fonts? Does the machine have USB connections for you to import designs?

  • Consider whether the accessories are appropriate to your needs. What size hoops come with the machine? Are there other sizes available for purchase? If you are a quilter, ask about the quilting feet that come with the machine and find out if others are available. Ask if a library of designs comes with the machine or if software is included for you to produce your own designs.

  • Finally, when comparing embroidery machines consider price, warranty, customer support, tutorials and free training classes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most stores will demonstrate the features of the machine. Others will allow you to try the machine out in a classroom setting.

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  • Photo Credit embroidery image by Ni Chun from
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