1. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 Embroidery and Sewing Machine

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This high-quality embroidery machine comes with 200 stitches built into it with 175 exclusive embroidery designs, six one-step buttonholes, two fonts with European characters, and much more that all help you personalize your projects. The automatic thread tension ensures that you don’t accidentally snap something or have it too loose when you work, and the LCD full-color touchscreen makes it easy to see which patterns you have before you start working.

There is an editing function and flexible stitch traveling in units of 1, 10, or 100, and you can transfer designs via USB to create more complicated projects. You get a seven-piece feed dog, free arm, one-step needle plate conversion, and drop feed with this unit to increase your flexibility, and it has a very compact design that makes it easy to slip onto your sewing table without being awkward to maneuver. This is a very user-friendly machine that works well for people new to embroidery, but it has enough features for professional use.

Features

  • Designs – 200 stitches with 175 embroidery designs
  • USB Connectivity – Yes
  • Warranty – 25 years

Pros

  • Has a very long warranty attached
  • LCD touchscreen included
  • Has hundreds of stitches
  • More compact design

Cons

  • Accessory case is small

2. Brother SE600 Sewing & Embroidery Machine for Hats

Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine, 80 Designs, 103 Built-In Stitches, Computerized, 4" x 4" Hoop Area, 3.2" LCD Touchscreen Display, 7 Included Feet

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This is a computerized machine from Brother that comes loaded with 80 designs and six embroidery lettering fonts that allow you to quickly and easily personalize your projects. The automatic needle threader on this machine will push the thread through the needle without any interference from you to prevent unnecessary interruptions, and there is a drop-in bobbin that resists jams to help you keep your projects looking crisp and clean. The slightly more compact design makes it easy to maneuver as you work.

You also get 103 sewing stitches built into this machine with 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes that allow you to tackle a broad range of projects, and the maximum speed of 710 stitches per minute will let you fly through larger projects. There is a 3.2-inch LCD color touchscreen that will show you your designs before you start them so you can make adjustments, and you get a four-inch by four-inch embroidery field with an embroidery arm, hoop, and seven sewing feet in each purchase.

Features

  • Designs – 80
  • USB Connectivity – Yes
  • Warranty – 25 years

Pros

  • LCD screen lets you preview designs
  • 710 SPM to move through projects
  • Drop-in bottom won’t jam

Cons

  • Need special software to convert your designs

3. Janome Memory Craft 400E

Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine

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Janome’s machine gives you a slightly larger 7.9-inch by 7.9-inch embroidery field so you can work on bigger projects at one time, and the built-in USB port makes it quick and easy to transfer designs from your computer to your machine to create custom projects. You get 160 designs with six fonts that you can switch in and out as you work, and there are two and three letter monograms built into it that allow you to personalize your hats and create unique gifts.

This is a user-friendly embroidery machine because you can alternate the speeds from 400 to 860 stitches per minute if you want to go slower as you start and increase the speed as you get more confident. You’ll get a programmable jump thread with adjustable speed to embroider flexible stitches that travel in units of 1, 10, or 100, and it has an advanced needle threader, an auto-return feature if your thread breaks, and an automatic thread cutter. The detailed instruction manual will ensure you get off and running without a problem.

Features

  • Designs – 160
  • USB Connectivity – Yes
  • Warranty – Six Months

Pros

  • Slightly larger embroidery field
  • Includes four hoop sizes
  • Alternating stitch speed option

Cons

  • Has a short warranty for the price

4. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects

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This sewing machine comes loaded with a host of features that allow you to create dozens of projects, and you get a large selection of stitches like basic, stretch, or decorative with fonts. The automatic needle threader is very easy to use, and it’ll help to eliminate eyestrain while keeping your project moving along at a nice pace. It’ll have your entire machine threaded from the needle’s eye to the spool in a matter of seconds, and you get 600 built-in stitches, 13 one-step buttonholes, five alphanumeric fonts, stitch elongation, and mirror imaging.

This product comes with a maximum speed setting of 850 SPM, and you can complete both small and large projects in a short amount of time with it. This machine comes with a broad range of accessories when you buy it, including an all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot with an underplate, zipper foot, blind hem foot, button sewing foot, open toe foot, satin stitch foot, darning and embroidery foot, overcasting foot, cording foot, even feed or walking foot, and more. It runs on a standard 110-volt plug.

Features

  • Designs – 600 Stitches, No Designs
  • USB Connectivity – No
  • Warranty – 25 Years

Pros

  • Has a host of footplates included
  • Can sew 850 SPM
  • Automatic needle threader

Cons

  • No USB port

5. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine

Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine, 138 Built-in Designs, 5' x 7' Hoop Area, Large 3.2' LCD Touchscreen, USB Port, 11 Font Styles

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This is a slightly more affordable embroidery machine that features a simple and lightweight design with a color touch LCD display on the front panel that lets you preview your designs. There is built-in memory and a USB port that allows you to expand your creativity by uploading designs, and you can store them for future reference before recalling them on the LCD screen when you need them. There is an expansive embroidery field with this model, and you can take on a large project without having to rehoop it in the middle.

There are 138 embroidery designs included with this product with 10 frame shapes, lettering fonts, and 14 border styles that let you create unique projects. The compact design allows you to maneuver around it without a problem with larger projects, and you can easily switch colors to see the design better on the LCD screen to ensure it looks nice. There are seven English fonts, three Japanese fonts, and two Cyrillic font styles that allow you to letter and monogram as much as you want.

Features

  • Designs – 138
  • USB Connectivity – Yes
  • Warranty – 25 Years

Pros

  • Comes with several fonts and designs
  • Slightly larger LCD screen
  • Dust cover keeps it clean between uses

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a hat hoop

Verdict & Review

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850
4.8 / 5 SewPoints
Pros
  • Has a very long warranty attached
  • LCD touchscreen included
  • Has hundreds of stitches
  • More compact design
Cons
  • Accessory case is small
Summary
The Janome 9850 comes with 175 embroidery designs and a host of other exclusive features that allow you to let your creativity flow and easily take on projects of all sizes. The LCD screen comes in full color, and this makes it easy to pick out your designs and preview them to see if you like how they look before you start working.

The editing function was another large bonus with this machine, and we liked that it was a user-friendly design that both professionals and beginners could use. Finally, the slightly more compact design allowed us to put it in almost any space in our sewing rooms without being too bulky or restricting our movements.
Ease of Use
Capabilities
Design
Price/Value

Buying Guide

A high-quality embroidery machine will come equipped with detailed and specific features that allow you to work on caps and hats while giving you even stitches, beautiful designs, and a host of fonts. These machines excel in the technical side of embroidery, and many of them come with a special hoop that allows you to embellish, decorate, personalize, and create hats that are unique. We also have a top list for the best commercial machines for embroidery if you are interested in that.

Get Started with These Tips

At first glance, an embroidery machine for hats looks intimidating because it comes with far more options than a traditional sewing machine. However, there are several useful tips you can bring into the fold when you start working with this piece of equipment to ensure your projects come out neat while you learn what your machine can do.

  • Never Stop Learning – You should constantly be learning new skills and tricks on these machines because there are dozens of stitches, designs, and patterns they can tackle. Start off easy until you get used to your particular model, and then start looking at more complicated options to push the machine a little.
  • Give Yourself Space – When you embroider something, you want to give yourself a good amount of space to work with so you can maneuver. These machines usually come with extension tables and larger hoops, so consider picking a spot in the middle of the room where you can move all of the ways around the machine without having to stop, get up, and change your location.
  • Start Small – It’s always a good idea to start small and simple if you’re new to embroidery and these specialized machines. Once you start growing your skills, you can move to more complicated projects without getting frustrated. In turn, you won’t risk losing your enjoyment of this machine.
  • Learn Your Machine – When you first get your machine, start off slow until you get to understand how it works. Many of the machines come with several accessories that many people never use, but you can start with one and work your way through all of them to see how they impact your projects.
  • Perform Test Stitches – If you’re not sure what a specific type of stitch is or what it looks like, don’t be afraid to perform a few tests. Many machines come with hundreds of stitches, so you want to take the time to try them all out. It might surprise you how much your machine can do, and this expands your crafting horizons.

Use Software

No matter what type of embroidery you are planning to make, you need to use a software program to help you design it to perfection. Make sure you check our top list for that.

Buying Considerations

When it comes to embroidery machines, each model will usually offer you something slightly different. However, there are several important criteria you can use to sort through the different models and find the best one to help you complete all of the projects you have waiting.

Single Purpose or Combination Machines

The first thing you have to decide is if you want a pure embroidery machine or if you want an embroidery & sewing machine combination. The former will allow you to work on straight embroidery projects, but a combination machine lets you embroider and sew or take on specialized projects. This choice will depend entirely on what you want to do with it, and whether you’re planning on sticking to just embroidery or also have the odd sewing project tossed in for good measure.

Hat Hoop

The main purpose of an embroidery machine for hats is to customize caps and hats, but not all of these machines will come with a hat hoop. It should have at least a standard hoop included in the purchase because they’ll give you much cleaner results than trying to customize a hat without out. If it doesn’t come with it, make sure you can buy a branded one and fit it to your machine.

Design and Font Number

For many people, the number of designs and fonts that come built into the unit will be critical because this makes customizing your hats and projects much easier if you have a higher amount. Every machine on our list came with over 50 designs, but some have well over 100 stitches, designs, and fonts available. If you have specific ones in mind you absolutely have to have, check that the machine you’re considering has it available and ready to use.

USB Port

Many computerized embroidery machines come with a USB port that allows you to take designs from your computer and put them into your machine so it’ll stitch it into your hat. You do have to have specific software to convert the designs to the right format, but the USB port also allows you to save various designs and recall them at a later date. Not all machines have this capability, so you want to keep an eye out for it if it’s an important feature to you.

Field Size

Since embroidery is so intricate, you want to have more than enough room available to place your material and work around it. Look for models that offer things like extension tables or longer arms that increase your reach, and this is a nice feature to have if you’re going to work on bigger embroidery projects. The easier it is for you to move around your project, the quicker you’ll get it done because you’ll spend less time stopping to reposition.

Automatic Threading

Having a machine that will automatically thread a needle for you without any input on your side can greatly reduce your frustration levels and your eyestrain. Most of the machines on the list offered this feature, and it helps you keep your project moving along with minimal interruptions. Double-check and see that your machine has this feature.

Warranty

Embroidery machines can be a very expensive investment, and you should have a warranty on it to help protect you from damage or defects. Since it’s such a high-priced item, many of the warranties will last for over 20 years on the machine itself, but there are usually shorter warranties attached to each part. The manufacturer lists the warranty, but you want to know exactly what it does and doesn’t cover before you buy it.

FAQ

While a hat hoop may not be 100% necessary for embroidering hats, it’s strongly recommended to ensure you get the best outcome you can. Without this hoop, you’ll have a much harder time ensuring you get the results you want, and it’s a high possibility that your design is centered and straight from start to finish. If you don’t have one, but you plan to embroider hats, we recommend you buy one or use one if it comes with the machine.

It is possible to embroider on a standard 2 1/2-inch by 6-inch design on the bill of a hat as long as it’s a flat-bill design. The biggest problem is that many hats have their bills bent during production, and it’s almost impossible to get them flat enough to embroider on them again.

No. It’s not possible to embroider on the mesh of your hat while still producing high-quality results. Unless you sew a patch or panel over the mesh, you should avoid trying to put it through your machine because there isn’t enough material for the needle to grab.

Most companies recommend that you replace your needle in your machine around every eight hours of embroidery time. If you’re working on a tough fabric that will dull your needle quicker, it’s a good idea to replace it each time you finish the project before going to the next one.

The time will vary depending on your stitches-per-minute, the complexity of the project, and the logo’s size. Say you have a 2,000 stitch design, and your machine runs 500 stitches every minute. This means that it’ll take roughly four minutes to complete it. If you had a 10,000 stitch design on a machine that runs 50 stitches every minute, it’d take 20 minutes to complete.

Yes. You’ll need a seam cutter and a pair of tweezers. You have to slide the seam cutter’s blade under the thread and gently pull up to cut them. You’ll get your tweezers and gently pull the cut threads out a section at a time until you finish.

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