It takes more than a few extra built-in stitches and patterns ot make a product worthy of calling itself a commercial embroidery machine. We like to use the term professional but whatever you want to call it, these machines should be capable of a lot more than their regular counterparts. With a larger embroidery field and higher speed, these embroidery machines need to be up to the task of delivering fine patterns and designs without slowing the user down.
You might use quality materials and have an ample supply of the finest thread but you are only as good as the machine you use. Even if you are intending to use your new purchase at home, it needs to be a worthwhile investment for your growing business. This is why we have created a list of the best commercial embroidery machines available. Each one should change your life for the better.
- Editor’s Choice
Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000 Embroidery and Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
Brother SE1900 Sewing Embroidery (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Hoops
MakeIT Products and Equipment Commercial Embroidery Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Large Embroidery
Janome MB-7 Embroidery Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Deluxe
CAMFive EMB HT1501 Single Head Commercial Embroidery Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Hats
Janome MB-4S Four-Needle Embroidery Machine with included Hat Hoop (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000 Embroidery and Sewing Machine
Many people consider this to be one of the best commercial embroidery machines because of its compact size and usability. It might not be as big and bulky as some of the larger models but it is capable of working to a high standard and gives you lots of options from the first use. This is partly down to the 338 built-in embroidery designs and the large 4 MB of memory space. Because of this, you can hold and upload lots of your most popular designs and to make viewing each one easier, you can connect the machine to your laptop or PC monitor.
This can give you a break from the LCD display although it is 3.2 inches and easy to navigate on its own. There are also plenty of sewing options making this a versatile machine. With 425 built-in stitches and free arm capability, it can be used to sew garments and you can make good use of the large 15-inch surface. Janome also provides 43 presser feet making it one of the best all-round packages for a commercial embroidery machine.
- Can connect to a laptop or PC
- 338 built-in embroidery designs
- Combination machine capable of sewing as well as embroidery
- Large 15-inch surface
Best Affordable: Brother SE1900 Sewing Embroidery
This might not be the biggest commercial embroidery machine but we like it for its affordability compared to a lot of the other products on our list, and the amount of value you get. It comes with 138 built-in designs to give you plenty of options from the first use and getting started is easy because of the automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin feature that is jam-resistant.
A lot of small business owners like it because it doubles up as a sewing machine. With 240 built-in stitches, there are plenty of options and it can be put to use for personalizing your work with the 11 fonts that are great for monogramming. The 3.2-inch color touchscreen display is easy to navigate and even has tutorials that you can use to learn how to use the different features. Its 5 x 7-inch embroidery field makes it capable of working with a decent size of design although the professional with a larger client base might find that they need a little more.
- Easy for a small business owner to use
- Comes with 138 built-in designs
- 11 fonts for monogramming
- 3.2 inch color touchscreen display
- 5 x 7 embroidery field might not be big enough for some people
Best For Hoops: MakeIT Products and Equipment Commercial Embroidery Machine
This heavy-duty commercial embroidery machine is not as bulky as you might think but it can be out to some serious use. Its motor is capable of putting out 1,200 stitches per minute which is up there with the best you will find for this type of product. The on-screen keyboard makes it easy to navigate between designs and it comes with 15 needles making it one of the most efficient embroidery machines you will find.
It comes with a variety of hoops so you can start different types of projects and work and connects straight to your laptop or PC, making it easy to upload new designs. There is no limit as to what it can be used for and materials it will work on include caps, denim, and more so you can use the on-screen lettering to your hearts desire. This is a commercial embroidery machine for the business owner who has a large customer base or anyone who wants to take the next step, allowing their growing business to take the next step.
- Has an ouput of 1,200 stitches per minute
- On-screen keyboard is easy to use
- Comes with lots of hoops
- Can be expensive for some businesses
Best For Large Embroidery: Janome MB-7 Embroidery Machine
This impressive commercial embroidery machine fits nicely into any at home business space as it doesn’t take up lots of room but is capable of delivering high output. This is partly because of the strong motor that works at a rate of 800 stitches per minute. It can work with a variety of different design formats and comes with 50 built-in. This might not be the most but it is easy to upload more via USB and it also has 10 fonts that are great for monogramming.
Because it is a 7 needle embroidery machine you know it is capable of commercial use and has a large maximum of 9.4″ x 7.9″ for embroidery. The remote computer system means you can control it every step of the way and it has a large memory capacity. It comes with a variety of accessories like scissors and bobbins but it is the quality of the embroidery that is most impressive making this a popular product with serious embroidery businesses.
- 800 stitches per minute output
- 7 needle embroidery machine
- Large 9.4″ x 7.9″ embroidery field
- Lots of memory
- Not as many built-in designs as other brands
Best Deluxe: CAMFive EMB HT1501 Single Head Commercial Embroidery Machine
This isn’t any commercial embroidery machine, it takes its place among the elite options which you might expect given the price. Although the returns will be great, it still needs to have the functionality to make it a good purchase, and that is something you get in abundance here. With a massive 22 x 14” work area and an industrial-strength 1,200 stitches per minute output, this is a machine that works hard. The 8″ LCD display screen is easy to use and makes editing simple. This means you can play around with the design to make sure you have it exactly how you like it before committing.
This heavy-duty machine can also hold a capacity of 100 million stitches in its memory and can be put to work 24 hours a day. It can be used for a variety of embroidery tasks and materials such as t-shirts, polos, caps, work gear, jackets, leather, hoodies, and a lot more. It has a single head, looks the part and is the sort of investment that can allow a small business to take some big strides.
- Huge capacity of 100 million stitches.
- Large 22 x 14″ work area
- 1,200 stitches per minute of power
- 8″ LCD display
- True commercial emrboidery machine
- Can be a bit pricey for small business owners
Best For Hats: Janome MB-4S Four-Needle Embroidery Machine with included Hat Hoop
Anyone looking for a commercial embroidery machine they can use with hats will appreciate the strength of the MB-4S and its hat hoop that comes included. More than that, it comes with a remote computer system where you can stay in control of the embroidery process from the design to the stitching, using the large LCD display screen. The 3MB memory capacity means this machine can hold up to 100 designs or 1,500,000 stitches. A neat feature is in the bobbin winding system that winds new bobbins even as the machine continues to work on the current design. This is something you rarely find and it helps to save you time between jobs.
Its 800 stitches per minute output mean it is going to work faster than a lot of commercial embroidery machines. When you purchase, you get additional hoops so you can work with different sized designs, an LED light, automatic thread cutter, 50 fonts, 4 needle capability and more.
- 3MB memory
- 800 stitches per minute output
- Remote control system for complete control
- Drag and drop editing
- Not for the beginner
With any business, the tools you use will go a long way towards the sort of quality you put out. This is never truer than in the embroidery business. This is why so many people agonize over upgrading and purchasing a commercial embroidery machine. It’s no easy task but when you know what the best machines should be capable of, it can make it a lot easier.
We have created the following buyer’s guide to make this a simple purchase and by the end of it, you’ll be able to select a machine that can help your business grow and ensure your customers are impressed by the results.
A commercial embroidery machine is going to need to be big enough to work on larger projects. Whether this is the back of a t-shirt or a jacket, the machine you choose needs to be able to accommodate the design. This is where an embroidery field is so important. A beginner’s machine will only give you 4 x 4inches of space. Although this is great for a growing business owner, it isn’t as well suited to commercial use.
Even a 5 x 7-inch field is going to become limited before too long. The best commercial embroidery machines will be able to work on a much larger area, as well as the smaller designs.
The hoops are what keeps everything in place, leaving you with a satisfyingly straight and perfectly embroidered design. The more hoops you have, the better your options are. Although some brands include one or two, a commercial embroidery machine should come with as many as possible.
Large LCD Screen
Some machines will only give you a small screen to work with and this is fine as some people want a compact machine to work with. The larger, industrial-sized commercial embroidery machines will give you more room on the LCD screen.
Beyond the size, it should be easy to navigate and the more editing features it has the better. Even some basic machines let you choose between colors so the bigger the business, the more editing options you should look for.
A commercial embroidery business will need a large stock of designs with plenty saved on a laptop or USB that can be uploaded at any time. Built-in designs tend to be more important to small business owners but they can be useful.
Storage space is important as it means the machine can hold more designs at one time. You don’t want to keep having to reupload old designs because the commercial embroidery machine you choose doesn’t have a lot of memory.
It isn’t always a case of the more the spend the more you get when it comes to memory but there is certainly a trend that shows you get better value in this area when you increase your budget. Always save the designs you buy rather than delete them, even if making room for new ones as you never know when you might want to use them again.
Number of Needles
The number of needles the commercial embroidery machine is capable of using will determine how fast it can operate and what sort of projects you can use it for. You will also need to change the needles depending on the material you are sewing so make sure the product you buy either comes with every you need for the work you are doing, or you can get the right ones in advance.
Wide Range of Materials To Use
Some of the beginner-friendly embroidery machines are great for hobbyists and smaller projects but they aren’t always as flexible when it comes to the materials they can work with. A heavy-duty commercial machine will make light work of denim and tougher fabrics so if this is the sort of work you think you will be using it for, make sure it is up to the job.
Hats are another material that can be tricky to embroider so if this is something your business offers, make sure the machine you like the look of can embroider different types of hats.
Because we are talking about commercial embroidery machines, it is even more important that you buy one with a substantial warranty. The more you spend the more you will want to protect your purchase and if your business depends on the use of the machine, this is even more vital.
Any machine that is used for commercial purposes is going to be put through more wear and tear than others which is why you need to check for a warranty.
Easily Available File Format
There are many embroidery machine manufacturers and each one will be compatible with different file types. Some are more readily available than others so check the machine you are getting accepts the right file types for the designs you have in mind.
This will depend on the type of business you run. An at-home business with a modest customer base might not need to upgrade to such a high-quality machine. In which case, an investment of $800 – $1,500 can land you a reliable machine that takes up less room but has lots of features.
Those running a larger operation will be looking for a machine that has industrial strength, a wide range of features and a large embroidery field to work on. This will mean an investment of anywhere between $5,000 – $10,000 but they can keep up with the greater demands and some can work 24 hours a day.
Although starting out can be tough, with acquiring new clients to keep things ticking over just one of many challenges, the at-home embroidery business can be very profitable. This might mean you need to upgrade your machine unless you are ready to invest heavily from the start.
Because supplies are cheap and there is still a lot of demand for quality garments and personalized items, many people turn an embroidery business into a profitable one.
It is difficult to say that one machine will suit everyone because a beginner’s embroidery machine might be better suited to a growing business with a modest client base than a large industrial type.
For something in between, we found the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000 Embroidery and Sewing Machine to be the most versatile and with over 300 built-in patterns, a large memory base and the ability to use it for sewing it is certainly a quality product., The results are great and it can be connected to a laptop or PC to use the screen or upload new designs.
With a 15-inch surface and 43 presser feet included, you get a mix of value and features.