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Best Commercial Embroidery Machines [2020 Reviews]

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Commercial Embroidery Machine

What is the best commercial embroidery machine on the market today? There’s a lot of options available, and narrowing down the buying decision to get the right one for you can be difficult.

To help you in your search we have selected 5 top-rated machines and put them through their paces. For our findings at a glance just head to the summary box below.

For full, comprehensive reviews of each of our picks keep on reading. (We have also provided an in-depth, commercial embroidery machine buyer’s guide that can be found here).

Commercial Embroidery Machines Reviewed

commercial machine

There are different makes, brands, and models of commercial embroidery machines sold today. Their designs vary from rudimentary digital operation to large, multiple needle industrial style machines.

Nonetheless, the different machines on offer can be appraised based on their design quality, durability, and work-performance.

This appraisal can also be used to filter out the best models. This is exactly what we have done to provide you with this top 5 review round up.

1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Janome MB-4S Commercial Embroidery Machine Review

Janome MB-4S Four-Needle Embroidery MachineThis is a compact, efficient, and high-performance single-head computer-controlled commercial embroidery machine whose machine head comes with 4 embroidery needles and can achieve a maximum working speed of 800SPM.

It also comes with an inbuilt computing device that is pre-loaded with 50 embroidery designs and 10 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum design size is set at 240millimeters (mm) by 200mm.

This maximum size of embroidery design is set by the hoop, and this model comes with 3 hoops of different sizes; the M1 hoop which is 240mm by 200mm, M2 hoop which is 126mm by 110mm, and the 50mm by 50mm M3 hoop that is designed for embroidering hats.

Each of these hoops has 2 frames and 2 setting plates. The inner hoop frame can easily be set on the outer frame and tightened together using a quick-release mechanism.

The setting plates are bolted to the inner frame, one on either side, and the plates allow the hoop to be clipped to a frame sash, which is called the hoop supporter in this machine.

The lowest working speed of this machine is 400SPM, and the needle used is the Number 11 DBxK5Q1-NY model (also recognized using its Janome part number, which is 770811000), which is designed to make lock stitches, as well as minimize skipped stitches.

Regarding the type of embroidery bed, this model has a cylinder bed that is suitable for embroidering flat fabrics and tubular clothes such as trousers and sleeves, as well as allow for embroidering of small three-dimensional products such as hats and caps.

The recommended threads to be used with this model are rayon threads and size 80-120 spun polyester (or even cotton) threads; and the recommended stabilizers are the tear-away, cut-away, and water-soluble stabilizer, as well as the iron-on stabilizer (which is placed on the wrong side of the fabric so that when ironed, it is fused to the fabric).

This compact embroidery machine that is designed for optimized functionality, performance, and power efficiency is made by Janome America, Inc; and its model number is MB-4S.

Apart from the aforementioned Janome hoops, this model can also use standardized Tajima hoops because it is built to be compatible with 6 industry-standard Tajima embroidery hoops.

This machine is best suited for surface embroidery. Still, it can do counted-thread embroidery as well. It can also be used for sock embroidery if a sock hoop-kit is purchased separately.

The recommended thread brands to be used with this model are Gütermann Sulky, Janome, Mettler, Madeira, Pearl Yocht, and Robison-Anton threads.

The rayon, poly-sheen, and polyester threads of each of these brands have been given a unique code, called a brand number, which is hard-coded to the logic head.

These brand numbers range from 1-8, and one only needs to refer to the instruction manual to know which brand number to input for the desired thread, for example (e.g) the poly sheen Mettler thread is assigned brand number 7, while the Gütermann Sulky rayon thread is assigned brand number 2.

Also, one must keep in mind that sewing short stitches is one of the reasons for thread breaks, and to minimize this occurrence, this machine can ignore short stitches.

Relatedly, its working speed can be regulated by choosing one of the 5-speed levels: 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 SPM. This speed selection can be done using a sub-control panel or an LCD touchscreen.

This compact model is shipped in a semi-assembled state in a package that weighs about 64pounds and is 26inches long, 25.5inches wide, and 18inches tall.

If it comes bundled with a bonus value package, then the value package can contain any of these items: a lettering hoop holder, a 100mm by 60mm MB-4S hat hoop, a 121mm by 25mm J8 Number-7 lettering hoop, MB-4 extension table, and a 66mm by 66mm J6 Number-9 lettering hoop.

In the package are the embroidery unit, assembly hardware, and accessories, along with an Instruction Book and an accompanying Instructional CD-ROM.

The key items in the package are as follows:
  • bobbins,
  • needle threader,
  • DB x K5Q1-NY needles,
  • small and large felt rings,
  • hoop supporter,
  • lint brush (for cleaning the rotary hook),
  • spool stand,
  • thread guide pole,
  • spool rest,
  • thread guide bar,
  • spool caps,
  • seam ripper,
  • spool net,
  • scissors,
  • spool pin,
  • large and small screwdrivers,
  • an offset screwdriver,
  • tweezers,
  • oiler,
  • setscrew,
  • power cable,
  • accessory box,
  • USB cable,
  • and M1, M2, and M3 hoops.

It also comes with an optional display device, the 5.7-inch backlit LCD screen called remote-control screen (RCS). The fully-assembled machine is 365mm wide, 520mm deep, and 640mm tall; and it rests on two legs that stand on 4 feet – 2 standard feet and 2 adjustable feet.

Also, this model features a clam-shell skeleton construction; and its weight and volumetric shape raise its center of gravity, and can cause it to topple if it is placed on an inclined surface, and for this reason, the machine must be placed on a flat and leveled surface.

The initial assembly process involves setting up the spool stand by inserting the 2 thread guide poles into their respective sleeves located on this stand and then screwing this stand to the horizontal arm of the machine.

The thread guide poles hold the thread guide bar, which holds 5 thread guides. The thread guide features a tension leaf and a hole through which a spool thread passes through and is then held in tension (by the tension leaf) before it is inserted into the eye of the needle.

This thread guide thus serves to create a path for the thread as it passes from the spool to the needle. The spool stand has 9 spool pins where thread spools can be fitted.

Each spool pin has a felt ring where the thread spool rests on. There are 8 spool pins in front of the thread guide poles, and this is where thread spools that can be threaded to the embroidery needles are placed, and these threads go through the 4 thread guides at the front of the thread guide bar.

At the back of the rear thread-pole is the spool pin – with a felt ring -- for bobbin winding, and its spool thread goes through the rear thread guide before reaching the bobbin tension disk and ultimately the bobbin itself where it is wound.

As expected, this model can hold 9 thread spools, each of a different color. The bobbin used is 1.4 times larger than the standard bobbin, and this allows it to hold more thread, which translates to fewer disruptions (due to needing to change or rethread bobbins) during stitching.

Also, the bobbin tension disk has an adjustment screw that allows for tension of the bobbin thread to be set manually, while the rear thread guide allows for independent bobbin winding.

There is a thread cutter provided for cutting the bobbin thread after the bobbin has been wound properly.

There are also built-in automatic thread cutters that can cut the embroidery and bobbin threads during the embroidery process, and this allows for threads to be trimmed when the machine has finished embroidering a letter, and needs to perform a jump to start embroidering the next letter.

This automatic thread trimming is usually paired by programmable jump so as to allow flexible stitch travelling. For instance, when embroidering a 3-letter logo, the programmable jump and thread trimming allows the machine to embroider the first letter, then jump to the last letter before returning back to sew the second letter.

Moreover, this is supported by the adjustable hoop positioning which allows for opposite sections of the embroidery area to be stitched in sequence.

Thread tension in each of the embroidery needle can be adjusted using a tension dial, and if the thread kinks, there is a pre-tension dial that can tighten the thread to eliminate the kink.

Because each needle has its own pre-tension and tension dials, this machine has 4 pre-tension dials and 4 tension dials.

Relatedly, this machine comes with a handwheel that is used to raise or lower the needle-bar that holds the embroidery needles. Raising and lowering this needle-bar also changes the thread tension, and this necessitates manual thread tension adjustment.

In this machine, the embroidery head can move, and this is possible due to its precisely-controlled drive shaft that runs on ball bearings.

This model comes with a direct-current (DC) servo motor that is run on 80-240volts (V) alternating current (AC) power supply. This is possible because the motor unit features a rectifier that converts AC power to DC power.

There is a foot pedal that is used to regulate the amount of power reaching the motor. There is also a small motor for bobbin winding, and it runs at 2000 revolutions-per-minute (rpm).

This ensures that bobbin winding is fast, and this winding is done after the bobbin has been secured to the bobbin spindle and a thread is pulled through the bobbin winder thread guide and inserted into the bobbin.

Once an adequate amount of thread has been wound, the winding is stopped by the bobbin winder stopper, and the thread between the bobbin and the bobbin winder thread guide is cut by the bobbin thread cutter.

Thereafter, the fully-wound bobbin is placed in its bobbin case where a rotary hook captures the embroidery thread and pulls it down through the bobbin case where it interlaces the embroidery thread with the bobbin thread. The rotary hook used is the full rotary type.

Machine control is achieved using 2 control systems, the RCS, and the sub-control panel. New embroidery designs can be transferred to the inbuilt computing device by a USB storage device that needs to be plugged to a USB port located at the rear-end of the bottom left side of the upright arm.

Just above the USB port is the RCS connector socket which receives the connector cable of the RCS unit. This RCS unit needs to be mounted on its mounting arm and secured in place by a screw knob. This mounting arm is fitted to the left side of the upright arm.

At the front of the machine are the 2 machine operating push buttons; the START/STOP button and the auto-thread cutter button.

Another machine operating button is the bobbin winder button, and it is located below the bobbin winder stopper. This machine also comes with an ATA PC card port where a PC card containing a memory card can be inserted.

As mentioned earlier, this model comes with an inbuilt computing device that needs to receive input from a peripheral device, which also displays output data relayed by this computing unit.

The machine comes with an inbuilt sub-control panel fitted to the left side of the upright arm, just above the mounting arm of the RCS unit.

This sub-control panel can operate the machine even when the RCS has not been installed, hence showing that the RCS is an optional component.

In this sub-control panel, there is a small rectangular LCD display screen, screen brightness adjustment dial, and control buttons. This LCD screen is 63mm by 12mm.

The control buttons are the MODE button, TRACE button, ENTER button, and the 4 (up, right, down, left) ARROW buttons. The MODE button is used to select one of the six machine modes: embroidery pattern selection, needle-bar number, color section, ready to sew, stitch count. and my-setting modes.

The TRACE button allows for tracing of the design to be stitched on the embroidery area, without actual stitching being done.

This allows one to confirm that the cloth will be embroidered at the right spot and in the right sequence. This embroidery area can be lit using 4 powerful light-emitting diodes (LED).

The ARROW button allows one to set the selected mode to a specific value, e.g set the stitch count, and select the right embroidery pattern, needle bar, and thread color.

For this reason, the arrow button is also described as the jog button. To confirm the selection, the ENTER button is pressed. This sub-control panel allows for 13 colors to be chosen from, as well as set the sequence of embroidering the fabric using different thread colors.

This machine supports automatic color change so that multicolored embroidery designs can be stitched using the 4 needles without stopping the machine to rethread any of the threads.

These functionalities of the sub-control panel can be expanded by the RCS unit. The multi-language RCS unit serves as a substitute for the sub-control panel and machine operating buttons, and this makes it a standalone controller of the machine.

It comes with a large 5.7inch LCD touch-panel, START/STOP button, bobbin winder button, auto thread cutter button, MODE button, TRACE button, ENTER button, and 4 jog buttons, as well as a bobbin winder indicator and an additional USB port.

It also provides additional functionalities using the following buttons: stitch back button, carriage return button, and stitch forward button.

The embroidery arm of this machine is a carriage plate. The hoop supporter is secured to the carriage plate by 2 thumbscrews.

This setup allows the carriage return button to reposition the carriage plate back to its neutral position, or to the position, it was during stitching before the machine stopped because thread breakage was detected (and the issue then resolved).

This is a dubbed auto-return post thread break, and it adds to the adjustable hoop positioning functionality of the carriage operation.

Apart from an alert that the thread has broken, the machine also stops stitching after their thread-break detector notices a broken thread.

This can even be seen on the START/STOP button. This START/STOP button glows red when the machine is stitching, and green when stitching stops.

The embroidery patterns and designs are stored in the memory device of the computing device. This machine can work with Janome-compatible embroidery files, and the inclusion of the RCS allows for editing of design files.

The memory storage capacity of its computing device is 3MB which is enough to store 100 embroidery design files or 1,500,000 stitches.

These design files can be created by the embroidery software, Digitizer MBX V4.5 or later versions, which provide digitizing software capabilities, as well as support editing of design files to produce embroidery files.

Digitizer MBX is used to generate 2 formats of embroidery files: the ‘.Jan’ and ‘.Emb’ master data files, with each format containing the object-based embroidery design data, including object data, fill pattern, thread color, and design dimensions.

The ‘.Jan’ format is specifically made for use by Digitizer MBX software, while the ‘.Emb’ embroidery format is compatible with Wilcom embroidery software, and it allows for designs made using the Wilcom software to be stitched by this Janome machine.

The RCS allows for easy drag and drop editing of the design files, with the following editing capabilities provided: rotation, flip, and design resizing. The stitch data files are saved in ‘.Jef” and ‘.Jef+’ formats, while the machine function data is saved in the ‘.jpx’ format.

This high-performance embroidery machine is supported by a limited 12-month warranty. The manufacturer also guarantees a 25-year warranty against poor workmanship and defective construction, i.e a warranty against defects in machine construction.

Pros of the Janome MB-4S Commercial Embroidery Machine
  • Single-head embroidery machine that has 4 needles.
  • Capable of surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery.
  • Comes pre-loaded with 50 programmed embroidery designs and 10 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming of logos.
  • Comes with 3 Janome hoops of various sizes.
  • Machine can read different formats of embroidery files.
  • Model is compatible with standard Tajima hoops.
  • Has a cylinder embroidery bed that supports hat embroidery.
  • Maximum size of design that can be embroidered in the embroidery hoop is 240mm by 200mm.
  • Comes with a detachable RCS that provides an additional USB port, and supports previewing and editing of embroidery files, as well as for reading on-screen tutorials.
  • Supports automatic change of thread color.
  • Working speed range from 400SPM to 800SPM, and speed can be regulated.
  • Embroidery area can be illuminated by 4 LED lights.
  • Supports embroidery area tracing.
  • Support onscreen editing of embroidery files.
  • Large bobbin.
  • Supports USB connectivity and has 2 USB ports if the RCS is connected.
  • Machine memory storage capacity is 3MB which can store 100 embroidery design files.
  • Supported by a 1-year limited warranty.
The Cons
  • Does not come with a digitizing software
  • Does not come with a work-stand.

Bottom-line

Janome MB-4S is a compact, efficient, and high-performance multi-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that has 4 needles, 9 spool pins, thread tensioning dials, thread guides, adjustable feet, and USB port; as well as comes pre-loaded with 50 embroidery designs and 10 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum design size is set at 240mm by 200mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery, and comes with 3 embroidery hoops; the 240mm by 200mm M1 hoop, the 126mm by 110mm M2 hoop, and the 50mm by 50mm M3 hoop, and each hoop can be clipped to the hoop supporter via setting plates.

The hoop supporter is moved by the carriage plate which is run by the logic head, which provides adjustable hoop positioning and auto-return post thread break.

The embroidery needles can use rayon, polyester, and poly-sheen threads, and the hoop supports use of the tear-away, cut-away, water-soluble, and iron-on stabilizers.

The machine operates at a working speed range of 400SPM-800SPM and supports embroidery area tracing, USB connectivity, and automatic change of thread color.

Moreover, this model has an inbuilt computing device that needs to be connected to a peripheral device to receive input and send output data.

The built-in peripheral device is the sub-control panel, and its functionalities can be taken over by the RCS unit, which also features capabilities that optimizes the operations and capabilities of the embroidery machine.

Its embroidery files come in two formats; the ‘.Jan’ and ‘.Emb’ formats, while the stitch data files are saved in ‘.Jef” and ‘.Jef+’ formats and the machine function data is saved in the ‘.jpx’ format.

These aforementioned features and the high-performance-to-cost ratio of Janome MB-4S makes it the best commercial embroidery machine in this review.

2. Bernette 70 DECO Commercial Embroidery Machine

This is a compact, efficient, and high-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a drop-in hook system, touchscreen pen, auto-adjustment of press foot pressure, semi-automatic needle threader, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 208 embroidery designs and 7 lettering fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum size is set at 260mm by 160mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery, and comes with 3 embroidery hoops; the 260mm by 200mm L B70/B79 hoop, the 180mm by 120mm M B70/B79 hoop, and the 70mm by 50mm S B70/B79 hoop, and each hoop can be clipped to the embroidery module.

An embroidery module is a unit that contains the embroidery arm and pantograph that holds the hoop, as well as the guide rails where the arms slide the pantograph when moving the embroidered material sideways. This machine has a raised embroidery bed.

This compact and well-designed embroidery machine are made by Bernina International AG as part of the Bernette 7X series of embroidery machines; and its model identifier is 70 DECO. Moreover, this model comes with a free embroidery software called Bernina Toolbox, which has 300 embroidery motifs.

The type of needle to be used in this machine is the Crewel or Jersey embroidery needle, and the felt needle. The needle used could be size 70 or 75 for light-weight fabric, size 80-90 for medium fabric, and size 100 for heavy fabrics.

Also, the embroidery needles can use rayon or polyester threads, and the hoop supports use of the tear-away, cut-away, and water-soluble stabilizers.

Moreover, it has a spring-tensioned embroidery foot that is fitted to the needle bar so that it can press down on bulky clothes such as a Terrycloth to allow the needle to make stitches.

 

 

Additionally, Bernette bobbins come with a self-tensioning mechanism that maintains tension in the bobbin thread. Of note is that this machine operates at a working speed of 850SPM and supports USB connectivity.

Moreover, this model has an inbuilt computing device that is connected to a control panel that features a 5-inch LCD touchscreen that is used as a display device and to input instructions to the computing device.

This model features automatic hoop detection which detects the hoop secured to the embroidery module and then displays the appropriately-scaled embroidery area on the LCD screen. It also supports the onscreen editing of embroidery files.

Moreover, one can access Bernina Cloud to preview and download 300 embroidery designs and 100 lettering fonts that are compatible with this model, and then store them in a USB drive that can be connected to the machine so that any of these designs and fonts are loaded into the machine.

This compact model is shipped in a semi-assembled state in a package that weighs about 22pounds and is 23inches long, 21inches wide, and 19inches tall.

 

Unlike Janome MB-4S that requires extensive assembly, for this model, one just needs to place the thread on the spool pins, insert the needle, and connect the embroidery module to the machine bed.

In the shipping package of Bernette 70 DECO are 3 bobbins, a spool net, 4 spool discs (large, medium, and 2 small discs), felt disc, brush/seam ripper, lubricator, spare spool pin, needles, dust cover, screwdriver, and power cable, as well as an English instruction manual.

The fully-assembled machine is 509mm long, 200mm deep, and 314mm tall; and it rests on the machine bed. The vertical throat space (space between the underside of the horizontal arm and top surface of the raised bed) is 5inches which is enough to hold the quilted fabric. The color scheme for the fully-assembled model is white and black; and it features a clam-shell construction.

This machine supports automatic thread cutting using its thread cutter, and allow the machine to perform jumps during stitching.

As expected, this automatic thread cutting is usually synchronized with programmable jumps so as to allow flexible stitch traveling.

To wind its bobbin, one needs to pace the bobbin on the winding unit at the front of the machine, and then pass a spool thread through a thread guide and onto a thread pretension before inserting it to the bobbin.

To stop bobbin winding, a bobbin winding stopper is used, and the thread cut for the bobbin to be transferred and placed in the bobbin case under the throat plate (hereby called the stitch plate).

This machine requires an input voltage of 100-240V AC to run. It uses a servo motor. Also, it has a handwheel that is used to raise or lower the needle-bar that holds the embroidery needles.

Unlike Janome MB-4S, this model does not feature a detachable controller, and its touchscreen display screen and sub-control panel are built into the control panel.

At the front of the machine are the 2 machine operating dials called the upper and lower multifunction knobs. Next to the front plate of the embroidery head are the START/STOP button, auto-thread cutter button, presser foot UP/DOWN button, and the sewing light button for turning ON or OFF the sewing light that illuminates the embroidery area.

There are also 4 controls that are used alongside the LCD touchscreen, and they are the CHECK motif size button, NEEDLE up/down button, MOTIF center button, and a button for centering the needle on the embroidery area.
Embroidery designs and stitch patterns can be stored in the memory device of the computing device in this machine.

This machine can work with design files that have been loaded using the ART-Link or Bernina Toolbox software.

These design files can then be edited to generate 2 formats of the embroidery files.

This high-performance embroidery machine is supported by a limited 24-month warranty on electrical components, and a 10-year warranty against poor workmanship and defective construction.

Pros of the Bernette 70 DECO Commercial Embroidery Machine
  • Capable of surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery.
  • Comes pre-loaded with 208 programmed embroidery designs and 7 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming of logos.
  • Comes with 3 hoops of various sizes.
  • Maximum size of design that can be embroidered in the embroidery hoop is 260mm by 160mm.
  • Automatic thread cutting.
  • Working speed of 850SPM.
  • Embroidery area can be illuminated.
  • Support onscreen editing of embroidery files.
  • Supports USB connectivity.
  • Embroidery module automates movement of pantograph, embroidery arm, and clipped hoop.
  • Access to Bernina Cloud allows one to preview and download 300 embroidery designs and 100 lettering fonts.
  • Comes with a free embroidery software, Bernina Toolbox, which has 300 embroidery motifs.
  • Supported by a limited 24-month warranty for electrical components.
The Cons
  • Flat embroidery bed is suitable for embroidering flat fabrics, but not tubular clothes such as trousers and sleeves.
  • Does not come with a work-stand.
  • Not capable of stitching multiple colored needles at the same time.

Bottom-line

Bernette 70 DECO is a compact, efficient, and high-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a drop-in hook system, touchscreen pen, auto-adjustment of press foot pressure, semi-automatic needle threader, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 208 embroidery designs and 7 lettering fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum size is set at 260mm by 160mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery, and comes with 3 embroidery hoops; the 260mm by 200mm L B70/B79 hoop, the 180mm by 120mm M B70/B79 hoop, and the 70mm by 50mm S B70/B79 hoop, and each hoop can be clipped to the embroidery module. It also has a raised embroidery bed and a spring-tensioned embroidery foot.

Moreover, this model operates at a working speed of 850SPM and supports USB connectivity, as well as features a 5-inch LCD touchscreen.

3. BEST BUDGET: Janome Memory Craft 400E Review

This is an affordable compact, efficient, and high-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a top-loading full rotary hook bobbin, touchscreen pen, thread guides, USB port, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 160 embroidery designs and 6 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum design size is set at 200mm by 200mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery, and unlike the 2 afore-reviewed models, it only comes with a single square hoop – the 200mm by 200mm SQ20b standard hoop.

Still, one can fit any of the following 3 optional hoops to this machine; the SQ14b 140mm by 140mm hoop, a rectangular 200mm by 140mm hoop, and the RE10b 100mm by 40mm hoop.

This compact and well-designed embroidery machine are made by Janome America, Inc; and its model number is MC-400, with the MC standing for memory craft and the E indicating that it is a dedicated embroidery machine.

This model is a dedicated embroidery machine that debuted in 2016 and is not suited for sewing, and just like Bernette 70 DECO, it comes with an embroidery module where the hoop is clipped into, and its embroidery bed is the raised type.

This embroidery module contains the embroidery arm and pantograph, as well as the guide rails where the arms slides the pantograph when moving the embroidered material under the needle.

It also has a spring-tensioned embroidery foot. Additionally, this model operates at a working speed of 400SPM-860SPM and supports USB connectivity, as well as features a large full-color LCD touchscreen fitted in the top-section of its upright arm.

Unlike Janome MB-4S, it lacks an optional RCS and a sub-control panel as most of its control functions is done by onscreen buttons. This makes its touchscreen the machine controller, and its computing device can read and edit embroidery files formatted as ‘.Jan’ files, which contain stitch data files saved in ‘.Jef’ format. This model does not support the ‘.Jef+’ format.

Its embroidery module supports adjustable hoop positioning and auto-return post thread break. The embroidery needles can use rayon, polyester, and poly-sheen threads, and the hoop supports the use of the tear-away, cut-away, water-soluble, and iron-on stabilizers.

The recommended thread brands are Janome, Mettler, Madeira, and Robison-Anton threads. Also, like Janome MB-4S, this machine supports adjustment of working speed and flexible stitch traveling.

Moreover, it supports onscreen editing of embroidery files with the following supported editing functionalities: enlarge or reduce the design size, rotate or flip design, drag and drop, arc monogramming letters, combine multiple embroidery designs, copy and paste designs, the grouping of designs, corner layout of the design, and single color sewing because it has only one needle in the embroidery head.

Unlike Janome MB-4S, this Janome Memory Craft 400E is shipped in a fully-assembled state in a package that weighs about 25pounds and is 26inches long, 22inches wide, and 22inches tall.

In the shipping package is the Janome MC-400E and the following accessories: high-tension bobbin holder, embroidery foot, SQ20b embroidery hoop, bobbins, felt disc, brush/seam ripper, horizontal spool holder, lubricator, spare spool pin, needles, dust cover, and power cable, as well as an instruction booklet and instructional optical disks. Its vertical throat space is large enough to hold the quilted fabric. The color scheme of this model is white; and it features a clam-shell construction.

Like Bernette 70 DECO, this machine supports automatic thread cutting using its thread cutter, and allow the machine to perform jumps during stitching.

As expected, this automatic thread cutting is synchronized with programmable jumps so as to allow flexible stitch traveling.

Also, there is a thread cutter provided for cutting the bobbin thread after the bobbin has been wound properly. It also supports the easy setting of the bobbin and features a bobbin thread sensor.

This model requires an input voltage of 240V AC to run. It uses a servo motor, and also comes with a handwheel for raising or lowering the needle-bar that holds the embroidery needles.

As mentioned earlier, the control buttons are touch buttons displayed in the LCD screen, hence there are no push buttons and control dials on the front face of the machine, apart from the START/STOP button and auto-thread cutter button.

The LCD screen also allows one to read onscreen tutorials. As expected of computerized embroidery machines, this machine can store embroidery designs and stitches in digitized form in its inbuilt storage device.

With the USB port supporting the expansion of this storage capacity by allowing one to plug a USB thumb drive that contains additional embroidery designs and stitch patterns. Even so, this machine does not come with Embroidery software.

This high-performance embroidery machine is supported by a limited 12-month warranty. The manufacturer also guarantees a 25-year warranty against poor workmanship and defective construction.

Pros of the Janome Memory Craft 400E
  • Capable of surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery.
  • Comes pre-loaded with 160 programmed embroidery designs and 6 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming of logos.
  • Maximum size of design that can be embroidered in the embroidery hoop is 200mm by 200mm.
  • Working speed range from 400SPM to 860SPM, and speed can be regulated.
  • Support onscreen editing of embroidery files.
  • Uses a top-loading full rotary hook bobbin.
  • Supports USB connectivity.
  • Automatic thread cutting.
  • Embroidery module automates movement of pantograph, embroidery arm, and clipped hoop.
  • Supported by a limited 24-month warranty for electrical components.
The Cons
  • Does not come with a digitizing software.
  • Comes with only 1 embroidery hoop.
  • Does not come with a work-stand.

Bottom-line

Janome MC-400E is a compact, efficient, and high-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a top-loading full rotary hook bobbin, touchscreen pen, thread guides, USB port, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 160 embroidery designs and 6 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum design size is set at 200mm by 200mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery and comes with a single square hoop – the 200mm by 200mm SQ20b standard hoop.

This dedicated embroidery machine features a raised embroidery bed and comes with an embroidery module that operates the hoop through its inbuilt arm, pantograph, and guide rails.

Also, this machine operates at a working speed of 400SPM-860SPM and supports USB connectivity, as well as features a large full-color LCD touchscreen fitted in its upright arm.

It can read and edit embroidery files formatted as ‘.Jan’ files, which contain stitch data files saved in ‘.Jef’ format. This model does not support the ‘.Jef+’ format. These aforementioned features along with a high performance-to-cost ratio makes Janome MC-400E the best budget commercial embroidery machine in this review.

4. Brother PE800 Commercial Embroidery Machine Review

This is a compact, efficient, and medium-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a jam-resistant bobbin system, auto-adjustment of embroidery foot pressure, automatic needle threader, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 138 embroidery designs and 11 lettering fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum size is set at 178mm by 127mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery and comes with a large 178mm by 127mm embroidery hoop that can be clipped to the embroidery module.

Its embroidery bed is the raised-bed type and it features a spring-tensioned embroidery foot. Moreover, this model operates at a working speed of 650SPM and supports USB connectivity, as well as features a full-color 3.7-inch LCD touchscreen.

This compact and well-designed embroidery machine debuted in the market in 2018, and is made by Brother International Corporation as part of its Professional Embroidery (PE) series of commercial sewing and embroidery machines; and its model number is PE800.

This machine has an LCD touchscreen that is 3.2inches long and 1.8inches wide, which gives it a diagonal length of 3.7inches. Normally, the touchscreen size is determined by its diagonal measurement, not its length.

Relatedly, this machine uses size 75/11 needle for light fabrics and size 90/14 embroidery needle for medium fabrics. Unlike Bernette 70 DECO, this model is not well suited for embroidering heavy fabrics that need to be stitched with size 100 embroidery needle.

Also, Brother PE800 also features LED lighting of the embroidery area, which is quite useful if one is embroidering dark-colored fabrics.

It also comes with 3 pre-wound bobbins; each being wound with an embroidery thread. This makes this machine more suited for embroidery than sewing, even though one can still wind the bobbin with a sewing thread.

Likewise, its embroidery needles can use rayon or polyester threads, and the hoop supports the use of the tear-away, cut-away, and water-soluble stabilizers.

Moreover, its quick set bobbin allows for quick adjustment of (bobbin) thread tension, while the tension of the thread fitted to the embroidery needle can be set and maintained using an automatic thread tension system.

This compact and well-built model is shipped in a fully-assembled state in a package that weighs about 30pounds and is 22inches long, 19inches wide, and 19inches tall.

In the shipping package are as follows:

  • 3 bobbins (and there is another bobbin already fitted in the machine),
  • the 7inch by 5inch embroidery hoop,
  • a needle set with 3 size 75 needles and a size 90 needle,
  • a spool net,
  • embroidery foot,
  • 4 spool caps (large, medium, small, and mini-cap),
  • bobbin cover,
  • embroidery bobbin thread,
  • cleaning brush,
  • a small and a large screwdrivers,
  • seam ripper,
  • accessory bag,
  • dust cover,
  • disk-shaped screwdriver,
  • and power cable,
  • a bilingual manual written in English and Spanish.

The fully-assembled machine is 17.48inches long, 9.48inches deep, and 11.81inches tall; and its weight is 17.64pounds. The vertical throat space is enough to hold the quilted fabric. This model features a clam-shell construction.

Its LCD screen supports the onscreen editing of embroidery files, and additional designs and fonts are loaded to the machine using a USB thumb drive that is plugged into its USB port.

Also, this model supports automatic thread cutting using its thread cutter, and allow the machine to perform jumps during stitching, and these jumps can be automatically synchronized with automatic thread cutting.

It also has a handwheel that is used to raise or lower the needle-bar that holds the embroidery needles. Likewise, it is driven by a servo motor and it requires an input voltage of 100-240V AC to run.

Unlike Bernette 70 DECO, this model does not feature machine operating dials. Instead, machine operation is done using the START/STOP button, auto-thread cutter button, presser foot UP/DOWN button, and the sewing light button for turning ON or OFF the sewing light.

These buttons are placed on the front plate of the embroidery head, horizontal arm, and upright arm. There are also Touchscreen control buttons that are used alongside the touch buttons on the LCD touchscreen.

Like other computerized commercial embroidery machines, this model comes with an inbuilt memory that stores the embroidery designs and stitch patterns as files that can be edited, programmed, and executed by embedded software that comes hard-coded in its firmware.

Also, the provision of onscreen editing of embroidery files allows for non-compatible source format of design files to be processed into compatible embroidery files.

This medium-performance embroidery machine is supported by a limited 24-month warranty on electrical components, and a 25-year warranty against poor workmanship and defective construction.

Pros of the Brother PE800 Commercial Embroidery Machine
  • Capable of surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery.
  • Comes pre-loaded with 138 programmed embroidery designs and 11 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming of logos.
  • Maximum size of design that can be embroidered in the embroidery hoop is 178mm by 127mm.
  • Automatic thread cutting.
  • Working speed of 650SPM.
  • Embroidery area can be illuminated.
  • Support onscreen editing of embroidery files.
  • Supports USB connectivity.
  • Embroidery module automates movement of pantograph, embroidery arm, and clipped hoop.
  • Supported by a limited 24-month warranty for electrical components.
The Cons
  • Comes with only 1 embroidery hoop.
  • Medium-performance model whose performance is incomparable to that of Janome MC-400E.
  • Does not come with a digitizing software.

Bottom-line

Brother PE800 is a compact, efficient, and medium-performance single-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that features a jam-resistant bobbin system, auto-adjustment of embroidery foot pressure, automatic needle threader, and thread sensors of embroidery and bobbin threads; as well as comes pre-loaded with 138 embroidery designs and 11 lettering fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos whose maximum size is set at 178mm by 127mm.

It can be used for surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery and comes with a large 178mm by 127mm embroidery hoop that can be clipped to the embroidery module. Its embroidery bed is the raised-bed type and it features a spring-tensioned embroidery foot.

Moreover, this model operates at a working speed of 650SPM and supports USB connectivity, as well as features a full-color 3.7-inch LCD touchscreen.

5. BEST PREMIUM: Melco Amaya Bravo 16 Commercial Embroidery Machine Review

This is a premium-grade compact, efficient, and high-performance multi-needle, single-head computerized embroidery machine that has 16 needles, 16 spool pins, thread guides, wheeled Deluxe Melco work-stand, and proprietary Acti-Feed thread control that features automatic thread tension, as well as 2 embroidery beds with the main embroidery bed being a flatbed that can hold a 360mm by 300mm Jacket Back Hoop.

It is designed to embroider fabrics with 16 colored threads. The other embroidery bed is on a small cylindrical lower arm, and its suitable for embroidering small tubular apparel like shirt sleeves and pockets on shirts, bags, and trousers, and it comes equipped with its own pre-wound L-style bobbin.

Four embroidery hoops are provided; the aforementioned jacket back hoop, and 3 circular hoops whose diameters are 150mm, 120mm, and 90mm.

This model also comes with a digitizing software called Design Shop Pro+ that features the Dakota Quick Click program.

This digitizing software comes pre-loaded with 500 embroidery designs, 160 basic monogram fonts, and 25 advanced (complex) embroidery fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming in logos, as well as an Applique Tool, Auto Vector Digitizing, Photo Fill, LogoExpress, and Auto-Digitizing functionality.

It also supports the incorporation and conversion of user-designed alphabets into monogram fonts. Relatedly, this machine is designed and built for embroidering blankets, bags, trousers, jackets, jeans, leather, hats, and shirts. This premium, durable, and ultra-high-performance machine is made by Melco International, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. It is designated the Amaya Bravo model.

The maximum size of embroidery design that can be stitched by this model is 360mm by 300mm. This model also supports networkability, as it can take commands from a central server whose operating system allows for operations of 4 machines belonging to this model.

For this reason, it comes with an Ethernet crossover cable. Even so, this networkability is achieved using a PC that can serve as a server.

This allows one to create a networked multi-headed embroidery system using 4 Amaya Bravo machines. Also, depending on the package chosen, the model can come with a Laptop that features a customized operating system called Bravo OS for running this computerized embroidery machine.

One can also install Melco OS which is provided in the website of the manufacturer. Relatedly, this machine supports USB and Ethernet connectivity via its inbuilt downstream USB and Ethernet ports.

This machine features aluminum construction, which makes it heavier than the 4 afore-reviewed models. Another notable feature of this model is its use of laser positioning system that allows for pre-sew laser tracing of the embroidery area and accurate positioning of the hoop on the embroidery bed and then precisely position the needle on the garment area to be sewn. Also, the embroidery area can be illuminated.

This model is suitable for both surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery, and its circular hoops come with prefabricated setting plates that allow them to be clipped to the hoop supporter.

This hoop supporter is moved by the embroidery arm that is operated by the logic head of the machine, and this allows for adjustable hoop positioning and auto-return post thread break.

The embroidery needles can use rayon, polyester, and poly-sheen threads, and the hoop supports the use of the tear-away, cut-away, water-soluble, and iron-on stabilizers. The machine operates at a working speed range of 300SPM-1100SPM and supports automatic change of thread color.

Moreover, this model comes with a control panel that has 15 push buttons, and it can run the machine just like the sub-control panel of Janome MB-4S.

Even so, to take advantage of the full capabilities of this model, one must use a PC running Bravo OS to operate this machine. Using a PC allows one to create source formats of design files, or convert existing design files into machine formats that are compatible with this model.

The supported file formats are ART, GNC, EXP, DST, JEF, EMD, HUS, OFM, SHV, XXX, VP3, PES, PCS, SEW, PAT, and VIP. Additionally, use of Bravo OS allows one to update the firmware of the machine via the internet, as well as download additional embroidery designs and access authorized proprietary cloud data provided by the manufacturer.

In Bravo OS, the main embroidery bed is represented as the Full Sewing Field with its dimensions set at 16.1inches by 15.7inches.

This compact model is shipped in a semi-assembled state in a cart that contains the work stand. In the package are the embroidery unit, assembly hardware, and accessories, along with a starter kit.

The key items in the package are the 4 embroidery hoops, 25-feet long crossover ethernet cable, Deluxe Melco Embroidery Stand, and power cord with an attached 110V US-style top plug.

Also provided are Dakota Quick Clicks Designs and Action Illustrated 1,000 Design Start-Up Pack that comes with 1000 embroidery design files, as well as link to a PDF file, the Small Business Start-up Guide.

The accessories provided are a trimmer knife, 2 spare thumb screws for the embroidery arm, a spare red thread feed roller, a spare bobbin case, a 4mm Allen driver, an Allen wrench set, grease for metal and plastic components, brush for applying the grease, offset screwdriver, oiler with spout, and a bobbin case screwdriver.

Also provided are a 0.4mm gauge for supporting the rotary hook in its bracket, and a plastic cord to be used for threading tubes.

The starter kit includes a guide to using the selection (push) buttons in the control panel, as well as website links that allow the owner to undertake a webinar training on how to operate the embroidery machine and run its software.

If it comes bundled with a bonus value package, then the value package can contain a laptop and a 16.9inch diameter round hoop.

The fully-assembled machine is 724mm wide, 737mm deep, and 951mm tall; and it weighs about 165pounds. This makes this model the largest and heaviest embroidery machine in this review.

When it is fitted to the Deluxe Work-stand, then its height increases to 1584mm, and its depth increases to 944mm, while its weight increases to 210.3pounds.

This makes this machine heavy to be lifted, and for this reason, its work stand has wheels that allow one to move the machine around the workshop. The color scheme for the fully-assembled model is grey and black.

This machine has a mechanical wheel for adjusting the height of the presser foot, and it features an automatic thread cutter, thread guides, thread break detector, automated bobbin winding, and automatic thread trimming during embroidery.

It also supports programmable jumps and allows flexible stitch traveling. Moreover, its control panel features a keypad that controls machine operations, as well as regulates the embroidery process.

Relatedly, its working speed can be regulated by choosing one of the available speed levels. This speed selection can be done using the control panel keypad or via Bravo OS.

This model has a servo motor that is run on 110-240V AC. Its power consumption ranges from 100-250 watts. As mentioned earlier, machine control is achieved using 2 control systems, the PC equipped with Bravo OS, and the control panel.

New embroidery designs can be transferred to the inbuilt computing device by a USB storage device that needs to be plugged to a USB port, or transfer can be done using the PC.

Among the key push buttons in the control panel are the START/STOP button, separate START SEW and STOP SEW buttons, and the machine SELECT button, as well as the 4 (up, right, down, left) ARROW buttons.

As mentioned earlier, this machine supports automatic color change so that multicolored embroidery designs can be stitched using a maximum of 16 needles without stopping the machine to rethread any of the threads.

This high-performance embroidery machine is supported by a limited 36-month warranty.

Pros off the Melco Amaya Bravo Commercial Embroidery Machine
  • Single-head embroidery machine that has 16 needles.
  • Comes with a flat embroidery bed and a cylinder bed.
  • Capable of surface embroidery and counted-thread embroidery.
  • Comes with Design Shop Pro+ software suite that offers 500 pre-programmed embroidery designs and 185 monogram fonts for 2-letter or 3-letter monogramming of logos.
  • Comes with 4 Janome hoops of various sizes.
  • Machine can read different formats of embroidery files.
  • Comes with a wheeled work-stand that makes the machine mobile.
  • Maximum size of design that can be embroidered in the embroidery hoop is 360mm by 300mm.
  • Machine can be operated using a proprietary Bravo OS that is installed in a PC.
  • Supports automatic change of thread color.
  • Working speed range from 300SPM to 1100SPM, and speed can be regulated.
  • Embroidery area can be illuminated.
  • Supports embroidery area tracing.
  • Support onscreen editing of embroidery files.