When you’re shopping around for an embroidery machine, you need make sure you’re getting the best machine for your needs and the best bang for your buck.
Home embroidery machines cost anywhere from $600 for a basic model up to $20,000 for a top-of-the-line machine. Commercial machines are even more expensive, with prices that range around $10,000 to $40,000 and beyond.
In this guide, I want to show you how much each type of embroidery machine costs and explain why there’s such a big range in embroidery machine prices.
How much do home embroidery machines cost?
Home-use embroidery machines cost between $600 to $20,000. Higher-priced home embroidery machines typically come with a larger number of built-in designs, touchscreen interfaces, and larger embroidery fields.
A home embroidery machine’s price will usually give you an idea of how basic or advanced the machine is.
Here’s what you should expect to get for your money in each price tier for home embroidery machines.
Basic home embroidery machines: $500 to $1000
Home embroidery machines at this price point are good starter machines. They can embroidery one garment at a time, and perform all of the functions needed to create some great embroidery designs.
The downside with cheaper embroidery machines is that they have a smaller embroidery field and they often don’t work as quickly.
The Brother PE800 is a good embroidery machine in this price range. It retails for about $698 on Amazon and offers the following features:
- 5″ x 7″ embroidery field
- 138 built-in designs
- 11 built-in fonts
- USB port to import your embroidery designs
- 3.2” inch color touchscreen
Mid-range home embroidery machines: $1000 – $4000
For this amount of money, you should expect to find a machine that has:
- An abundance of built-in designs and stitching types
- More embroidery hoops
- The ability to control your machine remotely from your computer
- More than enough features to cover most (if not all) home-embroidery needs
The Janome Memory Craft 12000 embroidery machine is a great example of a powerful, mid-range home use machine. Designed for serious users, it comes with:
- 425 built-in stitches
- 338 design patterns, 10 fonts, and 2 & 3 letter monogramming function
- 9.1” x 11.8” embroidery field
- USB port, 4MB of storage
- Stitch creation program
High-end home embroidery machines: $4000 and up
For this money, you’re able to afford some extremely advanced home-use machines. In this range, machines typically offer more designs, faster stitching speeds, and advanced features that will save you a ton of time and hassle
As an example, check out the features of the Janome MB-4S, a four-needle home-embroidery machine:
- Remote computer screen (RCS) that can display 65,536 colors and power several machines, and a LED light
- On-board control (MB-4s) that can store 1,500,000 stitches or up to 100 designs
- Automatic thread cutter that automatically cuts jump threads, even between letters
- Dedicated bobbin winding motor that can wind new bobbins while the machine is stitching a design
These are some seriously advanced features that can save you plenty of time in the long run. But, as evidenced by that price tag, they come at a cost when compared to cheaper machines.
Some of these machines could be used to run a small home-based embroidery business. But if you’re intending to have a lot of sales, you’ll eventually need to upgrade to a commercial embroidery machine that can handle higher levels of embroidery production.
The most expensive home embroidery machine costs around $20,000!
The Brother XP1 Luminaire Sewing, Embroidery, and Quilting Machine is the most expensive home embroidery machine. According to this online discussion, the XP1 Luminaire machine costs around $20,000.
At this price point, you’re getting some major functionality and features:
- Large 5×13.1” workspace
- Ginormous 10 5/8″ x 16” hoop size
- 1,157 built-in designs
- 821 built-in stitches
- 14 feet included
- A combination machine that offers sewing, quilting, and embroidery functionality
One of the most impressive features of this machine is the addition of “StitchVision” technology. It’s basically a built-in projection system that displays your embroidery designs onto your fabric, so you can see the exact size and placement of your design projected right onto your embroidery area. Pretty nifty! But also: very expensive.
Of course, one of the downsides of this machine is that it’s a combo machine—sewing, embroidery, and quilting, all rolled into one. Which means that you can’t sew while your machine is embroidering, you can’t quilt while you need your machine to sew, and so on.
Some people love combo machines, while others would never buy one in a million years. The best choice is always dependent on your own preferences.
Here’s a quick look at what this machine can do:
How much do commercial embroidery machines cost?
Anyone who tells you you can score a quality commercial embroidery machine for under $10,000 is dreaming.
Single-head commercial embroidery machines cost between $7,000 and $20,000. Multi-head commercial machines cost upwards of $20,000 and some are truly massive in size.
It’s hard to list exact pricing for commercial embroidery machines, because retailers don’t usually display their pricing online.
Instead, you typically need to request a custom quote and start a conversation with the seller to know how much they’re selling and what else is included in the pricing (e.g. software, maintenance, support, etc).
To help you get a general feel for commercial machine retail pricing, here are some of the prices I found on retailer websites and online forum discussions.
Single-head commercial embroidery machines
Single-head commercial embroidery machine pricing starts at around $10,000 for a quality machine.
These machines can embroider one garment at a time, so they’re a good choice for sole traders and businesses just starting out in embroidery.
Here are some of the prices for single-head commercial machines that I found online.
SewingMachinesPlus.com is selling a Melco machine for $9,999. It’s important to note that the price will go up if you also decide to purchase any optional add-ons (hoops, software, fast clamp, cap frame, etc).
At the time of writing this post, the Happy HCD2 – 1501 was being sold on Ebay UK for £11,000 (roughly $13,300 USD).
Tajima Single-Head Commercial Machine — $15,995 and up
While I couldn’t find any retailers listing prices for Tajima machines, a user on TShirtForums.com said that the Tajima compact “starts out at $15995 and goes up from there”.
According to this discussion on Reddit, the Bernina E16 single-head machine costs $16,000 USD. The Reddit user says this machine is good for commercial use. Bernina claims it can also be used for personal use.
Multi-head commercial embroidery machines
A two-head commercial embroidery machine will generally cost between $30,000 to $40,000. A 15-head commercial embroidery machine will cost you much, much more.
I’m always amazed at how big and powerful commercial embroidery machines are. I mean, just check out how enormous and advanced Happy’s HCR3 multi-head machine is!
Secondhand commercial embroidery machines are much less expensive
If your wallet is hurting at the mere mention of these price tags, I don’t blame you. The good news is that there are usually some great deals to be had on secondhand commercial embroidery machines.
This user on Reddit scored two single-head machines for $15,000:
“In exchange for 2 Melton Amaya XTS 16 needle single head machines and a ton of hoops (these get expensive) supplies (blanks, thread, backing, topping, needles,spare parts etc), setup, software, client files and 2 weeks of training we paid $15K.”
And this user on Tshirt forum says they saved $40,000 by looking around for secondhand deals:
“Consider buying a used Tajima – I found mine on craigslist (from a home hobbyist not a big corp) and it was a great decision. That’s also how I bought my 4 head, as well as another single head. I’ve saved, literally, $40K buy purchasing used. If you’re investing a good bit, take a mechanic with you to give it a good once over, once negotiations are over and you’re ready to buy – that will give you great peace of mind.”
Why are commercial embroidery machines so expensive?
Commercial embroidery machines are more expensive because they can do so much more than home-use machines. Commercial machines are designed to embroider a high volume of items.
They can operate for hours on end without a problem, which is incredibly important for embroidery businesses that need to embroider a high volume of products day in, day out.
And commercial machines also have more needles, multiple heads, and operate at higher embroidery speeds (e.g. 1200 SPM) than home embroidery machines.
Home Embroidery Machine vs Commercial Embroidery Machine: What’s the Difference?
The difference between a home-use embroidery machine and a commercial embroidery machine is in the machine’s maximum output, functionality and, of course, the price.
Commercial embroidery machines are designed to work faster and longer than their home-use counterparts, and multi-head commercial machines can embroider several items simultaneously.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison to show you how home-use machines and commercial embroidery machines compare.
|Home Embroidery Machine||Commercial Machine|
|Cost||$600 to $20,000||$10,000 and up|
|Durability||Designed for personal projects. Do not run for hours on end.||Designed to run all day and perform well with high-volume embroidery.|
|Volume||One project at a time.||Multi-head machines can embroider multiple items at a time.|
|Speed||Single-needle embroidery machines have average speeds ranging from 300 to 1000 Stitches Per Minute (SPM).||Commercial embroidery machines have average speeds ranging from 600 – 750 Stitches Per Minute (SPM) but some machines can go up 1200 SPM.|