Buying an Embroidery Machine? Top Five Things You Should Consider


Do you have an embroidery machine on your Christmas list this year? If so, they are a considerable investment, so you want to be sure to get the one that is right for you. Here are the top five things you should consider before choosing.

1.    Research, research, research.

Each manufacturer has a website with plenty of information to read and download. Check out the forum here at It has plenty of tips and offers help to users of Brother machines.

Things like design cards and magic boxes are old school. USB hook up direct to the computer is essential. What kind of warranty do you get? Can you resize designs on the machine or do you need a separate computer software program?

Are you buying a machine for business or pleasure? Production machines are quite different than those built for home use. Can you get service locally, or do you have to ship the machine to the factory for repairs?

2.    Don’t buy one without trying one.

This is one item that you do not want somebody else to pick without your input. Once you do the research, try out a machine yourself. Check at your local quilt shop; dealers have models on display. Ask around among your sewing friends. Most are more than happy to show you what they have, what they wished they had, and what they know.

3.    What is the best brand of embroidery machine to buy?

These days they are all relatively good. Obviously, some embroidery machines have more options than others and prices vary accordingly. Just like with vehicles or pets, everyone has their preference. Bottom line, decide on a budget and buy the most options available for the money.

4.    Choose a machine you can grow into.

Be sure you have room to grow. Hoops are getting bigger every year, so you do not want to be limited by only one or two standard hoop sizes. Often, the throat width (space between the needle and machine) dictates how much real estate you can hoop.

What kinds of accessories are available? Different presser feet, quilting capability, even cutwork tools are considerations.

5.    Make sure you can get help when you need it.

It doesn’t matter how wonderful your new machine is if you can’t use it. Whether it is from a friend, dealer, or forum, be sure you have resources you can easily access for help in using your machine.

What advice do you have for anyone buying a new embroidery machine?

Debbie SewBlest

Comments (5) -

Good information, Debbie.  One think to know is that embroidery machine pricing is a VERY closely guarded secret.  Finding out how much they actually cost is not for the faint of heart.  You need to:

1.  act like you have a different machine in mind and you are comparing - don't mention names!
2.  bring a friend with you, upon a pre-determined signal, WALK if you are getting too much pressure.  You can always return.
3.  don't settle for the first offer.  Sellers have a set price that the manufacturer will absolutely NOT allow them to go below.  At a price that won't get the seller in trouble, he has to start throwing free things at you.  Watch for the freebies, then make a tentative offer of - say - $500 less.  Make it contingent upon something like "getting an embroidery contract."  That way, you can back out without making a 'firm' offer.

In a personal comparison with a couple of friends, one paid $12K, the second one paid $11,500 and I paid $9,276.  The reason for the odd amount was I said "can you give it to me for $10K, out the door?"  That means the tax is included.  The others paid tax on the purchase price.  Taxes are too high, bargain, bargain, then turn around and say, "Not good enough."  By the time you hit the door, your sales person is sweating bullets!

Good advice Pat. Did you and your friends purchase single-needle or multi-needle machines?

In this particular case, we purchased multi-needle machines.  Frankly, the multi-needles are not as great as one would think for the amount of money it costs.  

Hi, I'm new to the community and need a lot of help from you. I bought a Pfaff 2140 some years ago and only used it for a couple of months. Due to medical reasons, I stopped doing all my hobbies. We had a couple of flooding in our basement and now I don't know where things are - hoops, CDs, dongle, etc... I contacted the dealer where I bought the machine and was told that they can't help me, that I may not be able to download the CD software to "new" computer, etc... The final analysis was that I have to trade in my machine.
Can anyone help me resolving this issue please? I'm very much appreciate any comments / suggestions.
Kind Regards.

Dear Juste4g - It is likely that your machine is too outdated or has another issue.  You don't mention why your dealer could not help you.

Loss of the hoops, CD's, dongle, etc., will pretty much be much more expensive than getting either a used or a new machine.  Personally, I have several used machines and would love to sell them and the price range would be $400 and up.  However, you don't say where you live.  They are expensive to get from one city to another.  

Check your local dealers, they have trade-ins that may be well worth it for you.  Most local dealers give lessons with your machine even if it is used.  

Embroidery is really a fun craft.  Let us know how you are doing.  We enjoy sharing out ideas as well as our experiences.  

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Please login to comment