With home embroidery machines available for anywhere from $300 to just under $1,200, it’s no longer such an expensive proposition whether you’re thinking of starting a small home based embroidery business or just want to pursue a hobby. Of course figuring out which is the best brand is harder because they all claim to be the best. Fortunately you don’t have to rely on ads alone, as the following tips will help you find the best home best embroidery machine to suit your needs. So what are the best home embroidery machines? Find out below.
How Do You Intend to Use the Machine?
This is the first question that you need to answer. Wilt this machine be for home and hobbyist use or do you plan to use this to start up an enterprise? The difference between the two involves more than just the price as it also extends to the durability: commercial grade embroidery machines for instance, are made for continuous use and mass production, while those for home use are not.
What are the Essential Features?
Before buying any home embroidery machine you need to prepare a list of features that the unit must have. Deeming what’s essential varies from case to case of course, but at the very least your machine needs to have a needle threader or pressure sensor, bobbin winding and automatic thread cutting.
You also need to check the throat width, which refers to the space between the machine body and the needle. There is no standard here, but generally the greater the space the better because you will have more room to use bigger hoops, more space to move and makes it suitable for different types of quilting.
Some of these machines have the sewing machine separate from the embroidery machine. This is going to be a handy feature if you plan to use the machine for quilting and sewing along with embroidery. If you’re not into sewing however this a feature you can do without this, but otherwise it’s going to be convenient and economical.
While you’re making a checklist of features, don’t forget to assess the hoop sizes available for it. Hoop sizes vary from 100 x 100 to 360 x 350 and larger, and the larger the hoop the better. Essentially the size of the hoops determines the scale of your projects, so if it’s 100 x 100, the size of your stitching projects will be limited.
Accessories and Other Embroidery Designs
With regards to accessories it’s probably not something you need to worry about right now: if you’re just starting out your focus should be on learning how to use the embroidery machine and optimize its capabilities. However it’s important that you use a machine that can be expanded function wise so you won’t need to buy another one. When the time does come for accessories, look for attachments for additional embroidery techniques, a quilting table or other types of presser feet.
The next thing on your checklist should be the embroidery designs and whether they are separate or built in. Some home embroidery machines can only access the designs and patterns in their memory while others let you access more from thumb drives or online. Always go for those machines that allow you to access as many patterns and designs as possible so your creativity doesn’t get stifled.
Older home embroidery machines used floppy disks or CDROMs to store data, but now they USB drives or other types of memory sticks or data cards. If you’re after convenience, make sure connectivity and data transfer are easy to do won’t require messing around with the machine.
The Software and Other Features
At the heart of the modern machine is the software that you’ll be using to design the embroidery. There’s no lacking in embroidery software to choose from, and today’s machines come with programs that let you digitize, edit and customize your creations. The one thing you need to remember is that some designs are in universal formats while others are for a specific brand.
The help features and customer support must not be discounted as well. How easy is the machine to use? Is the customer support solid and reliable? These are features and elements that you will only find out once you have bought the machine so it’s a good idea to read reviews first and get an inkling of what people are saying about it.
One of the nice things about buying these machines today is you can check their warranty and service on the website. Again the length of time varies and depends on your needs, but of course a long warranty is preferable.
A Few More Reminders for First Time Buyers
If you’re going to buy a home embroidery machine for the first time, you’re going to find a lot of these machines online with varying price tags. Those around $350 to $400 might not have enough of the features you’re looking for while those in the $1,000 plus range may be too expensive for a beginner, so look for those in the $600 range (but again what’s more important here is the quality and feature set, so that is your first priority).
A spacious embroidery area is recommended so you can work freely and not grope for space when monogramming. At the same time the larger space ensures you’ll be able to combine different designs without the need for repeated rehooping.
The built-in designs on the machine is going to be important as well because it’s going to determine how quickly you’ll be able to do your work. At the very least the home embroidery machine should have floral designs, quilt patterns, scrollwork, frame shapes, border styles and more.
Another feature that will come in handy is being able to import designs with a USB stick or memory card. The more memory the machine has, the better so you’ll have the storage space necessary to store all your creations. In the end, the combination of good quality software, memory and versatility will make the difference.