Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine Review: The Next Big Thing

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While this Brother PE800 review is not intended as a full comparison of this machine versus the PE770, I will mention a few items along the way about the PE800’s older, lesser sibling.

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The Brother PE800 computerized embroidery machine is just that - an embroidery machine.

If you are looking for a machine that you can use to sew as well as embroider, you’ll have to look at reviews of other models - not this one.

If you’re in a hurry right now and just need to check the pricing and availability of the PE800, you can click the links just below.

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What Are the Main Features of the Brother PE800?

Let’s take a quick look at the main features and specs of the PE800. Then we’ll check out some of the details and answer questions you may have.

You may have already noticed in the link above that this is a 5x7 machine. In this case, this means that both the embroidery field and the included hoop are 5 inches by 7 inches in size.

I noticed that a representative from Brother mistakenly said online once that the hoop you get is 4x4. If you see that too, just ignore it.

Built into the side of the machine is a display screen that measures 3.2 inches wide by 1.8 inches high. That’s a decent size and is especially nice since the LCD display is in color. Most modern machines now have a color display, but the PE770 did not; it was still shades of gray.

You get 138 designs built into the machine’s memory. Most of these are floral patterns. Depending on how you count, there are either 7 or 11 fonts. Brother says there are 11 “font styles” and 7 “embroidery lettering alphabet fonts.” In any case, there are probably more than you will ever use.

On the other hand, if you don’t like any or all of the 138 designs, you can import your own from a variety of different sources. There is no way to connect the machine to a computer directly, but you can use a USB flash (aka thumb) drive (aka stick) and plug it into the USB port. All but a very few brands of the flash drive will work. Brother provides a detailed listing of those that do.

The machine can read these formats.

  1. .pes
  2. .dst
  3. .phc
  4. .pen (from iBroidery.com)

In addition to the designs already mentioned, you get 24 frame designs. Ten of these are shapes, and the other 14 are stitches.

What Can You Do with the Display Panel?

You use the color LCD display to select stitch patterns and to perform drag and drop editing, such as rotating (one, ten, or 90 degrees at a time), flipping, or increasing and decreasing the pattern size.

This editing capability (along with a larger number of designs and fonts) is the other main difference between the PE800 and the PE770.

There are tutorials built into the machine as well. The screen is large enough to make it worth your while to access these lessons when you need help.

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Who Should Use It?

Current users of this machine don’t seem to have any complaints about it being difficult to work with. That, combined with the built-in tutorials and manuals (which also come in Spanish), should make this suitable for beginners and intermediate level embroiderers.

If you consider yourself an advanced or pro user, this machine may be too basic for any specialized needs you may have.

To get started quickly, Brother provides a Quick Reference manual. It includes sections for parts and activities such as these.

  1. Accessories
  2. Winding and installing the bobbin
  3. Upper threading
  4. Preparing to embroider
  5. Selecting a pattern

Can You Embroider Hats with it?

That’s an interesting question. It’s one that is often asked online.

The short answer is yes! In fact, we recommend this for hat embroidery. 

Whenever Brother answers this question, they simply say that Brother doesn’t make a hoop for hats (that is, baseball-style caps).

Other users, however, say that, if you get a cap hoop (from another source other than Brother, obviously), you can embroider hats with the PE800.

Besides the 5x7 that comes with the machine, you can use 12x5, 4x4, and 1x2.5 inch hoops. I believe these are all made by Brother.

Especially with the 12x5 size, realize that the usable field is still just 5x7 inches.

What Size Needles Can You Use?

Included in the box are three 75/11 needles and one 90/14 needle. In addition, you can use any size from 75/11 through 100/16.

For normal embroidering, you’d likely use a 75/11. If you need to work with thicker fabric, like denim, just move up to the top and use a 100/16 needle.

On a related note, the bobbins are SA156, class 15 type bobbins. One comes on the machine, and you get three additional ones.

You also get four spool caps - a mini, a small, a medium, and a large.

Additional Specs

The PE800 runs at 650 (incorrectly reported elsewhere as 850) stitches per minute. That’s not extremely speedy, but it won’t take you all day to complete your work either.

It has an automatic thread cutter, Brother’s “Advanced” needle threading system, a quick-set bobbin, and bobbin and upper thread sensors.

Besides the accessories I already mentioned, you get an embroidery foot (yay!), seam ripper, cleaning brush, bobbin cover, three screwdrivers, spool net, scissors, accessory bag, and dust cover.

There is no carrying case for this unit that measures about 17 ½ inches by 9 ½ inches by almost 12 inches. It weighs just over 17 pounds, so while it’s not light as a feather, you should be able to tote it around as needed using the built-in handle.

The warranty is called a 1/2/25 warranty. This means you get 25 years overall, one year on parts and labor, and two years on the electronic components.

Unboxing Video:

This one is an unboxing and setup.

How to use it?

This video shows more in detail how to use the PE800.

Conclusion

It’s tough to find anything negative to say about the PE800 embroidery machine. The only thing you might accuse it of is not being a regular sewing machine. That’s partly why I mentioned that fact at the opening of this review.

This is simply a solid, dependable machine made for virtually anyone who wants to embroider quickly and easily. It’s no more difficult to use than other embroidery machines.

If you’re a beginner and still unsure, try to find someone in your area who can guide you through the initial setup and creating your first design. YouTube videos such as the above can also be a great help.

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