Embroidery-only vs. Combined Machines

Embroidery-only vs. Combined Machines

Embroidery-only vs. Combined Machines

We often get asked by customers:

“Which is better: an Embroidery-only machine or a Combined Sewing and Embroidery model?”

There isn’t one that is better than the other. It just depends on each customers personal preference/circumstances, and there are pros and cons to both types.

Combined machines are great for saving space – you have both an embroidery and sewing machine built into one. If you have limited sewing space at home, then a combined machine is perfect for you. They can also save you a lot of money as the sewing-side of combined machines are usually versions of advanced sewing-only machines, with a great selection of features and stitches available.

Most Brother machines in their range come in groups of three: a sewing-only model, an embroidery-only model and a combined sewing and embroidery model, for example, the Brother V-Series range. This consists of the sewing-only VQ2, the embroidery-only V3LE, and the combined V5LE (pictured above). The VQ2 is currently Brother’s top-spec sewing-only model, with a large throat area suitable for quilting, and hundreds of built-in sewing stitches. The V3LE is one of our most-popular sellers; an embroidery-only machine with an extra-large hoop size and very user-friendly. The V5LE is both the VQ2 and V3LE machines combined into one. The prices for each machine are:

VQ2                      £2299.00

V3LE                     £2399.00

V5LE                     £3499.00

This means you can have two fantastic machines in one and save £1199.00 by purchasing the combined V5LE – that’s a hefty saving!

One misconception is that combined models have more to go wrong with them, but this is a myth. All machines need routine maintenance by a machine service engineer to ensure they keep running at their best. It’s also wise to keep on top of cleaning your machines, as dust, lint and thread can gather inside every time you use them. Just remember that most modern machines do not require oiling, so always check before applying any lubricants to your machine.

The downside of a combined machine that you can only use it for one purpose at a time. If you’re embroidering a big design that is going to take a few hours to finish, your sewing machine is tied up for all that time and cannot be used. This is when, if you have the space, owning separate sewing and embroidery machines can be better; you can set an embroidery machine going and still be sewing on a separate sewing machine.

Embroidery-only models are also perfect for those not needing a high-spec sewing machine, or perhaps not needing any sewing machine at all! There’s no point paying extra for a combined model when you know you will never use the sewing side of the machine. For example, if you only want to do embroidery and have a budget of around £1500-£2000, you can put that money into getting a bigger embroidery machine, rather than a smaller combined machine. The following machines are a great example of this:

F580                     £1699.00

NV880e                £1599.00

The F580 is a small combined model, with a maximum embroidery area of 5x7 inches. However, for £100.00 less, you could get the NV880e (pictured below), an embroidery-only model, but with a much bigger hoop size of 6.25 x 10.25 inches. If you didn’t need a sewing machine, the NV880e would be a much better option. If you did need a sewing machine, but not a larger, high-spec machine, you could always get a separate, smaller, basic machine, such as the A16 for less than £400.

If you’re thinking on purchasing your first embroidery machine, or would like to upgrade your current model into either a combined or stand-alone machine, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Lords Sewing. We look forward to helping you find the perfect machine. We would like to point out at Lords Sewing, we always like to take the time to ensure that you are getting the correct machine for your needs. If you have a larger budget, we won’t always recommend spending the whole amount if a smaller, less-expensive machine will be suitable for you. It is about finding the correct machine for you, not spending as much as you possibly can.

Machine models listed correct at time written, March 2023.

Kirsty Lorna Procter for Lords Sewing – March 2023