Best Sewing and Embroidery Machine Combo for Beginners and Advanced

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There are many sewing and embroidery machine combos in the market today. Some of them are designed for experienced users, and some are made for beginners.

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In this review, I’ll look at the best sewing and embroidery machine combo for beginners and experts from among six models from Brother and Singer.

Both Brother and Singer have several models from which you can choose.

By the end of this review, you should be able to pick one that is the best sewing embroidery machine for your needs.

If you are in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability of these models at Amazon, you can click (tap) the links in the list below.

All the links in the list below are via Amazon. 

  1. Brother SE600 sewing machine with embroidery: SE600 is the best for beginners on a budget. 
  2. Singer XL-400 Futura embroidery and sewing machine: It's not recommended, and now it's discontinued.
  3. Brother LB6800PRW combo machine: SE600 is by far better than this discontinued machine.  
  4. Singer XL-580 Futura Combo machine: It's discontinued. 
  5. Singer SE300 Legacy combination machine: It's best for home professionals. 
  6. Brother SE1900 combination sewing and embroidery machine: It's best for intermediate to advanced sewists. It's got better user ratings than SE300. 

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How Do the Brother Sewing and Embroidery Machines Compare to Each Other?

Update: SE600 and SE1900 has replaced the discontinued models SE400 and SE1800 respectively. LB6800PRW is also no longer available for sale.

Let’s first look at the three Brother computerized models side by side so that you can see the major differences and similarities.

The tables below will help you understand this feature by feature.

The first table shows the more basic features of each machine.

Model Brother SE600Brother SE1900Brother LB6800PRW
LCD Size* (in.)3.2 x 1.83 x 1.62.7 x 1.4
Memory card slot?NoNoNo
USB portYesYesYes
Adjust Screen Brightness?NoYesNo
Stitch selection?Touch Touch Touch
LED lightYesYesYes
Auto thread cuttingYesYesYes
Quick-Set BobbinYesYesYes

*Horizontal by vertical

In addition to the features listed above, all three of these Brother models give you on-screen help.

Both SE600 and SE1900 allows you to to do the basic editing of designs. LB6800PRW didn't have that. It's discontinued too.

Although SE600 is only a budget machine, it lets you edit the curved text on the screen. SE1900 doesn't allow that despite it's more expensive.

They all have an “advanced” needle threading system.

SE1900 has upper and bobbin thread sensors. The thread sensors are always active; there is no on/off switch. SE600 doesn't have the upper thread sensor. 

You can also use the computer connectivity feature to update the machine software.

Both the Brother SE600 and LB6800PRW have independent bobbin winding motor. SE1900 doesn’t have this feature. 

Click here to buy the SE600 (latest and improved model of SE400) from Amazon

Click here to buy the Brother SE1900 from Amazon.

The second table below identifies most of the sewing-specific features.

ModelBrother SE600Brother SE1900Brother LB6800PRW
Lettering Fonts(Sewing )None5None
Max. Speed (Stitches per min.)710850710
Knee Lifter?NoYesNo
Built-in Stitches*10324067
Stitch Width / Length (mm)
7 / 57 / 57 / 5
My Custom StitchNoYesNo
Pressure adjustment of presser feetNoYesNo
Quilting YesYesNo
Feet Included?YesYesYes

*Includes ten buttonhole styles

In addition to the above items, all these models have the following sewing features.

  • Speed Control
  • Needle UP/Down Key
  • Start / Stop Button
  • Drop Feed and Free Motion Capability

The next table gives you the embroidery-specific features.

ModelBrother SE600Brother SE1900Brother LB6800PRW
Max. Embroidery Area (in.)4 x 45 x 74 x 4
Max. Embroidery Speed (Stitches per min.)400650400
Alphabet DesignsYesNoYes
Adjustable Design Icon Size?NoYesNo
Built-in Designs8013870
Alphabet FontsYes, 6Yes, 6Yes, 5
Pattern Rotating1, 10, or 90 degrees1, 10, or 90 degrees1, 10, or 90 degrees

As for other embroidery features, you get these.

  • Speed Adjustment
  • SE1900 has the most 10 shapes x 14 stitch patterns, while the other two have 10 shapes x 12 stitch patterns.
  • Trail Position / Layout Function

You'll not find the following slightly more advanced features in these models.

  • Thread Wiper
  • Thread Anchor
  • Appliqué Creator

Brother SE1900 has the resume function (ability to restart from the same stitch number and color).

SE1900 can save the current settings for later resumption, while the other two lack this advance feature. 

In each carton of these Brother sewing and embroidery machines, you get accessory storage space for keeping items such as these feet, which are also included in your purchase.

  • Buttonhole
  • Blind stitch
  • Monogramming
  • Zipper 
  • Button fitting
  • Overcasting
  • Embroidery 
  • Zigzag (not available with LB6800PRW.)

Brother specifies an extensive list of accessories for both the SE600 and the LB6800PRW. Here's the full review of LB6800PRW (Discontinued).

For SE600, you get these items.

  • Embroidery arm
  • Three pre-wound bobbins 
  • Scissors
  • Power cord
  • Dust cover
  • Presser feet, as discussed above. 
  • Twin needle
  • Needle Set(6-piece)
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Foot controller
  • Darning plate
  • Spool net
  • Screwdriver
  • Spool caps(4)
  • Embroidery Hoop (one 4x4 inch)
  • Operation Manual, etc

The list for the SE1900 is significantly shorter but does end with “and more.” I wouldn’t doubt that many of these items are included with that machine too.

The shorter list for the SE1900 gives you the following.

  • Bobbin case
  • Embroidery 5x7 hoop
  • Knee lifter
  • Grid sheet set

All three Brother machines have a 25-year limited warranty, are UL/CSA listed, and have quick reference stitch guides.

While connected to a computer, you can import .pes designs or designs purchased from ibroidery.com (and other websites).

In case you are concerned about the space needed for these sewing embroidery machines, here are the dimensions of each.

Measurements are for height x width x depth in inches.

SE600: 12.1" x 7.7" x 16.5"

SE1900: 13.43 x 23.19 x 11.54

LB6800PRW(Discontinued): 10.95 x 6.89 x 15.55 

Which of the Brother Combo Machines Is Best?

You probably already know that the SE400 and LB6800PRW were very similar machines. Brother is no longer producing both of these machines.  

SE600 and SE1900 are way better than these discontinued machines. 

As you might have expected, choosing one of these as best sewing and embroidery machines for beginners depends on how you intend to use it and how much you can spend.

If it were up to me, I’d start with the SE600.

If I liked it well enough but decided I wanted other features like those found on the SE1900, it would be an easy step up from the one to the other.

Click here to buy the SE600 (latest and improved model of SE400) from Amazon

Click here to buy the Brother SE1900 from Amazon.

How Do the Singer Combination Machines Compare to Each Other?

While Brother does a nice job of giving us comparable data, Singer somewhat  lacks in this area.

It doesn’t mean that the Singer machines are automatically worse than the Brother models. It’s just harder to compare them side by side here.

In the table below, I’ve compared what little I could to give you a fair picture of these three machines.

To get the complete picture, you’ll have to read the descriptions following this table.

ModelSinger XL-400Singer XL-580Singer SE300
Needle threader?Yes*Yes*Yes
Speed control?YesYesYes
Needle Up/DownYesYesYes
Lighting6 LED bulbs6 LED bulbs3 LED bulbs
Presser foot extra high lift?YesYesYes
Stitches30215250
Embroidery designs125250200
Drop feedYesYesYes
One-step Buttonholes2614
Thread cutterManual on left sideAuto, touch buttonAuto, touch button
USB cable?YesYesNo**

*SwiftSmart Threading System **USB stick provided instead

Singer XL-400 Futura - Discontinued

Besides the features mentioned above, the Singer XL-400 comes with many feet for doing the various stitches. Some of those are:

  • General-purpose
  • Zipper
  • Blind Hem
  • Darning and embroidery
  • Satin stitch
  • Button sewing
  • Walking Foot
  • Buttonhole
  • And many more, click here for the complete list on Amazon.

Among the 30 stitches included are these.

  • Six Basic
  • Two Automatic buttonholes
  • 17 Decorative
  • Five Stretch

You can do letters in five different embroidery fonts. You can rotate, sized, and play with 30 lettering frames. 

You get two snap-on hoops - a large (10x6 inch) and a small (4x4 inch) - to hold your embroidery fabric. For larger designs, the XL-400 also has a multi-hoop capability.

This Windows-compatible machine comes with a USB cable to connect to your computer for running many software programs and transferring designs and updates.

Other features worth mentioning here are Trace Design, which helps you accurately position your embroidery design within a hoop, an electronic twin needle function, and a presser foot sensor that lets you know when the presser foot is not down.

The XL-400 has two accessory trays. Among the several items, you get that you can store in them are screwdrivers, the usual bobbins, needles, etc. are included as well.

According to the mix reviews online, people have had issues with breaking thread and needles. However, it comes with a 25 years limited warranty.

Singer XL-580 Futura - Discontinued

With the XL-580, you get the following feet:

  • All-Purpose Foot
  • Zipper Foot
  • Button Sewing Foot
  • Embroidery Foot
  • Blind Hem Foot
  • Buttonhole Foot with Underplate
  •  Satin Stitch Foot

You get many more (215) built-in stitches, especially the decorative type, including the following.

  • 10 Basic
  • Six Stretch
  • 192 Decorative
  • Seven Buttonholes (Six automatic, One endless)

You can use 20 different fonts for lettering.

You get three embroidery hoops - the same large and small sizes as with the XL-400 mentioned above, plus a 6 ¾ x 4 inch endless hoop.

Software programs include AutoPunch, which lets you convert the images of your choice to embroidery and HyperFont, which does the same for TrueType fonts found on your computer.

AutoPuch and HperFont are only basic, and can't be the replacement of the digitized designs or a digitizing software.

Click here to check the availability of Singer XL-580 Futura from Amazon

Singer SE300 Legacy Sewing and Embroidery Machine

With this Legacy model, you get the following presser feet.

  • Blind Hem
  • Buttonhole
  • All-purpose
  • Parallel sewing
  • Overcasting
  • Open Toe
  • Zipper
  • Satin
  • Button sewing
  • Straight stitch/patchwork
  • Embroidery

You also get a few more stitches than with the Singer SE300.

  • 10 OneTouch basic
  • 118 Decorative
  • Eight Basic
  • 30 Heirloom
  • Seven Stretch
  • 18 Satin
  • 23 Elongation
  • 22 Quilting
  • 14 Fully-Automatic Buttonholes

Apparently, the speed at which you can stitch is quite high - 800 sewing or 700 embroidery stitches per minute.

There are 200 built-in embroidery designs and six lettering fonts.

For embroidery hoops, you get the large (10 1/4 in X 6) and small (4 x 4 ) snap-on hoops. 

Something different about the SE300 is that there are two buttons, one for slower speed and other for faster speed instead of sliding lever as found on Futura machines. 

Singer provides a screwdriver as well as many of the more common accessories.

One difference here is that, instead of a USB cable, you get a USB stick (thumb drive) for transferring designs and so on between your machine and your computer.

Click here to buy Singer SE300 Legacy from Amazon

Which Is the Best Sewing and Embroidery Machine for Beginners?

Choosing from these six Brother and Singer models is quite difficult. If I only had the Brother models from which to make a selection, as I said above, I would likely pick the SE600.

Click here to buy the SE600 (latest and improved model of SE400) from Amazon

When you add the Singer models into the mix, especially the XL-400 Futura, getting Xl400 could be a gamble to take, as it has not got the best of reviews from the owners.

For the cost and peace of mind, I would still be more likely to choose the Brother SE600.

Which Is the Best Embroidery and Sewing Machine Combo for Intermediate and Advance sewists?

If you are an intermediate to advance sewist or want a machine you can grow into, then you might just get the Singer SE300.

You'll get the most number of built-in sewing and buttonhole stitches with this machine. However, it's got mix reviews online. 

Click here to buy Singer SE300 Legacy from Amazon.

If you need more embroidery designs and endless hoop than SE300, then Singer XL580 is a machine to pick.  

Although you can get unlimited designs from the internet since all these machines are computer compatible, still endless hoop was a good plus point with the XL580. It's discontinued now. 

SE1900 is your best bet if you are intermediate to advance sewist and want to buy something that's got better user ratings than XL580 and SE300.

Click here to buy the Brother SE1900 from Amazon.

Both SE300 and SE1900 are best sewing embroidery machine combos for home professionals. Ultimately, it will depend upon your combo needs.

Related:

Read my review of the SE1900.

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