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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Need Advise, Brother SE-400 vs Brother PE-500 ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Need Advise, Brother SE-400 vs Brother PE-500
Embroidery Machine Advise
acnewtosewing
acnewtosewing
Member since 1/3/11
Posts: 4
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Date: 9/26/13 12:47 PM

I'm looking to buy a beginners embroidery machine. The two models I'm looking at right now are (both Brother) SE-400 and PE-500. I already own a basic sewing machine, so it wouldn't bother me to have the embroidery machine that's dedicated to embroidery only. As a beginner I'd like to know if there are any features that are a must-have between these two that would break the tie. I checked the reviews in the site, the SE-400 has glowing reviews but I couldn't find anything for the PE-500.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks!!!

The price difference (walmart website): SE $340 vs PE $298

Czedwards
Czedwards
Member since 12/2/11
Posts: 41
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In reply to acnewtosewing <<
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Date: 9/27/13 7:22 PM

I don't know about the PE-500, but I have had an SE-400 for almost two years (and a innovis 40 for almost a year.) the SE-400 works well as a sewing machine, and it has a lot of useful features. It does have a tiny hoop size (100 mm x 100 mm, 4 inches square), but as a first dip of the toe into machine embroidery, that was sufficient. I am happy with it and I use it for both embroidery and garment work pretty regularly. I plan to keep it until I have a couple spare thousand bucks to throw at a bigger hoop machine.

However, before you buy, make sure you have a Brother dealer within your driving orbit because it will need maintenance. The tension and the X/Y axis control will need to be tuned from time to time. Mine go in annually, but they see heavy use.

My closest dealers are a snotty Bernina and a dismissive Janome, who, despite their "we service all makes and models" claim, rather than *listening to me* tell them what I needed in terms of maintenance, tried to upsell me on one of their machines and pretty much called my machine junk. (Which to me, is a sign of a bad shop -- if they're more interested in a single big ticket sale than in getting a long term customer, they won't be there when I need them.) The machine is not junk -- it works beautifully, it just needs annual tuneups like every other sewing machine. if you don't have a Brother service center within your personal radius, you might have to deal with shipping your machine away for several weeks.

Note: I'm a heavy user -- I produce at least one garment a week, often 2-3.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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USA
Member since 12/3/06
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In reply to acnewtosewing <<
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Date: 9/27/13 8:03 PM

If you go to th Brother site, click here you can review the features of each machine and the nearest dealer.

Either one would be a good starter.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

tkdnrun
tkdnrun
Intermediate
Missouri USA
Member since 12/15/10
Posts: 88
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Date: 9/28/13 11:15 AM

Funny I don't usually check this board, but this morning I did. I was in your situation looking at the PE-500 and the 400 earlier this year. My advice is to the Simplicity/Brother 7050E. It is basically a brother with simplicity label on it and it is made for the dealers to have an entry level machine. And it works, I'm hooked now.
It is made by Brother and has all the features of the PE500, but here's the best part...it can also take a USB stick. I have it and have been having an absolute blast with it. It comes with lettering software-PElettering that can do monograms and has a ton of fonts. (around $50-$100 value if purchased anywhere else) and a bunch of designs. The only thing I would recommend is simple editing software so you can size your designs to fit the hoop. It is a fabulous starter machine. As for the 4x4 size it saves on stabilizer and thread. I think it has the best of all worlds as the technology won't go a way. I love having it stitch something out while I'm sewing on my other machine.
I paid $499 for mine. It has to be purchased at a dealer. Some will give lessons which was great for me. I just saw it at the local sewing expo for $399.
Good luck with your decision. Hope this helps.

acnewtosewing
acnewtosewing
Member since 1/3/11
Posts: 4
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Date: 9/30/13 9:16 AM

Thank you ladies for your advise! I will check out the Simplicity 7050.
I do have a couple of dealers close to me, so that's a plus!
I might wait a couple of months until close to Christmas, I read somewhere that you can get great prices for SM's around that time, although I'm itching to get my hands on one already!!! I've been checking amazon everyday and the prices seem to be going up (??) hopefully they'll go down for Christmas or black friday.
Thanks again!!

tkdnrun
tkdnrun
Intermediate
Missouri USA
Member since 12/15/10
Posts: 88
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In reply to acnewtosewing <<


Date: 9/30/13 11:54 AM

I'm sure whatever you choose will be fun! Let us know what you find and go with, all of the ones you are looking at are good little starters.

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