Looking for an affordable sewing machine that will allow you to also do machine embroidery? The Brother SE600 is a popular combination sewing and embroidery machine that might just be the right fit for your needs! The SE600 is a compact machine that is packed with useful features and is perfect for beginners to embroidery and sewing alike.
To help you decide if the Brother SE600 is the machine for you, I’ve combed through hundreds of reviews to bring you the best and worst features of this machine, all in one place.
Brother SE600 Review
Let’s start with an overview of the basic specifications and features of the Brother SE600 sewing and embroidery machine.
About the Embroidery Half of the Machine
If you buy a combination sewing and embroidery machine, you want to make sure that the machine can do both things well. This little machine performs quite well for small embroidery projects. The stitch quality is very good and it’s relatively easy to use.
The SE600 is an overall good machine if you are just getting started in machine embroidery and are looking for an inexpensive, entry-level embroidery machine.
Based on my thorough research on this machine, there are quite a few perks to the Brother SE600 as an embroidery machine.
- The SE600 includes a range of built-in embroidery designs and fonts to get you started quickly.
- The touchscreen is intuitive and easy to use for making stitch adjustments.
- You can make small edits to your embroidery designs, such as changing the size and orientation of the design, directly on the machine.
- The stitching is high quality and the machine creates beautiful embroidery.
- You can upload custom designs to the machine through a USB port.
- Switching the machine into embroidery mode is simple and quick.
- The SE600 comes with a detailed manual with great troubleshooting tips.
- If you run into issues not covered in the manual, this machine is quite popular, so there are many tutorials on YouTube and elsewhere online to help you out. You can even find Facebook groups focused on Brother machines where you can ask questions and get help from other Brother machine users.
- The SE600 is very affordable for an embroidery-capable machine.
Something to Consider about the Embroidery half of SE600:
While the Brother SE600 is a great entry level embroidery machine, it does have some drawbacks. Depending on your needs, the negative aspects of this machine may not be a big deal – or they may be dealbreakers!
- The biggest drawback of this machine that came up repeatedly in my research is the size of the embroidery area. The SE600 has a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4” – this is enough for small patches and designs, as well as monograms of 3 letters or so. While you can make larger designs with this machine, you will have to split them up into different sections – not an easy process for a beginner! If you plan on doing any larger embroidery or starting an embroidery-based business, you may be better off with a machine capable embroidering a larger area.
- The SE600 doesn’t embroider very quickly. However, unless you’re cranking out a lot of embroidery each day for your business, the slow speed probably isn’t a huge issue.
- As a single-needle embroidery machine, you will have to change the thread colors as the machine embroiders for multi-color designs. This can slow down the process, but unless you will be sewing a ton of colorful embroidery designs quickly, it will likely be a simple inconvenience rather than a major problem.
- The SE600 doesn’t come with an embroidery software. This means that if you want to create your own embroidery designs, you will likely need to purchase your own software, which isn’t cheap! You can find free options available, but they generally come with a steeper learning curve and fewer capabilities than a paid option.
About the Sewing Half of the Machine
If you spend time sewing clothing or other projects as well as embroidering, you’ll find that the Brother SE600 is a reliable and easy to use sewing machine. It has a good straight stitch and includes all the utility stitches you could ever need.
You won’t be disappointed using this machine primarily as a sewing machine – and you’ll have the added bonus of embroidery capabilities.
The Brother SE600 is a great sewing machine. It will carry you through many sewing projects with ease! Here are the pros of this machine when it comes to standard sewing.
- Good stitch quality and lots of useful stitches to choose from.
- The SE600 has an automatic needle threader – always an awesome feature in a sewing machine!
- This machine is simple, easy to use, and the touchscreen makes stitch adjustments easy.
- The SE600 has a stop/start button for sewing if you don’t like using the foot pedal.
- It sews quietly – the sound it makes is described as a purr – great for nighttime sewing or when you live an apartment with neighbors close by.
- There is a bright LED light over the stitching area to make it easy to see what you’re working on.
- This machine has enough power to get through reasonably thick fabrics and will last you for many years of sewing.
Something to Consider about the Sewing half of SE600:
The Brother SE600 makes for a great sewing machine and can do just about anything you would need for most sewing projects. However, as an affordable machine, there are a few drawbacks when compared to higher-end models in Brother’s lineup.
- This machine has a thread cutter – a super useful feature! But, the thread cutter tends to leave little bits of thread in the machine that will need to be regularly cleaned out. This can be a hassle, but if you add it into your regular cleaning and maintenance routine, it should be manageable!
- Some Brother SE600 users have reported tension issues. Spend some time learning about how to properly adjust thread tension for different fabrics and you should be able to handle any tension issues that pop up!
How easy is it to make the switch?
Switching between sewing and embroidery mode is simple and fast – it’s barely an inconvenience! All you need to do to go from sewing mode to embroidery mode is:
- Switch the presser foot for the embroidery foot
- Remove the sewing flat bed
- Replace it with the embroidery unit
To switch back, just reverse the process. Easy peasy!
What embroidery needles do I need to buy to use this machine?
Brother recommends using 75/11 size needle for embroidery. A 75/11 embroidery needle is usually your best choice, though you can use other types of 75/11 needles if needed. For example, you may want to try a ballpoint needle if embroidering a t-shirt.
What hoop sizes can I use with this machine?
The SE600 comes with a 4” x 4” embroidery hoop. However, you can use other compatible hoop sizes on the machine. For tiny embroidery projects, try a 1” x 2.5” hoop. For larger projects, many people like the 4” x 6.75” hoop – but keep in mind, this machine will still only be able to embroider a 4” x 4” area at a time.
Brother SE600 Embroidery Designs
The SE600 includes 80 built-in embroidery designs and 6 fonts. You can see all of the designs included HERE. These designs are a great place to start, and you can make small edits to them (such as size and orientation) through the touchscreen.
However, as I researched this machine, many reviewers mentioned finding these designs limiting. To add more designs, you can purchase them online – there are a lot of cool embroidery designs on Etsy! You can also design your own through embroidery software. Just keep in mind that any design you create or buy needs to be in one of these 3 file formats: .pes, .phc, or .dst.
Brother SE600 Embroidery Software
Since the SE600 doesn’t come with embroidery software, you will have to find your own if you want to create original designs. Any embroidery software that can export files as .pes, .phc, or .dst will work with this machine. Also, keep in mind that .pes is the preferred file format as it gives the machine the most information.
SewWhat-Pro, Embird, and Hatch Embroidery 2 are all great embroidery software options. I recommend you try the free trails of several different software brands before settling on your favorite. You can use a free, open-source embroidery software if you prefer, but these are typically difficult to learn and don’t have the same functionalities as a paid software.
Brother SE600 Price
The price of the Brother SE600 machine can vary quite a bit depending on where you purchase it. Often, purchasing online will get you the best price, especially if you time your purchase with sales. Try Amazon or the family-run business SewingMachinesPlus to get your new machine delivered right to your doorstep.
Another option is to get your SE600 at a local quilt or sewing shop near you. These shops often list machines at a higher price than the big online stores, but sometimes they have great deals on floor-model and used machines. Also, local shops often include a few of free lessons and support with your new machine, which can be very valuable, especially for a beginner!
Brother SE600 on Sale
If you want to add the Brother SE600 to your sewing space, but don’t have the budget to pay full price, try to find it on sale or secondhand. Check your local thrift shops, Facebook marketplace, and sites like eBay for used SE600 machines.
If you can’t find a used one and aren’t in a hurry, it can be worth it to wait for a good sale, especially around holidays. There are usually great deals on sewing machines on Black Friday in November!
Brother SE600 Manual
The user’s manual for the Brother SE600 machine is in-depth and includes everything you need to know to use this machine properly. It even includes a section on troubleshooting tips in case you run into any issues as you start using your new sewing machine. You can find the manual below.
Brother SE600 Tutorial
The SE600 is a very popular Brother machine, so there are quite a few YouTube videos out there on the machine. Check out this great tutorial to get familiar with the Brother SE600 and how to use it!
The Brother SE600 Compared to Main Competitors
Brother SE600 vs SE625
If you’re wondering what separates the Brother SE600 from the SE 625, it can be summarized as the following:
- The golden front of model SE625,
- An included CD with 200 extra embroidery designs.
That’s it. The actual machines are exactly the same and, besides, it’s probably easier nowadays to find new designs online than to download them from a CD, so you can simply buy any model available as the price is also pretty much the same. (see comparison chart)
Brother SE600 vs SE630
The Brother SE600 and SE630 are very similar sewing and embroidery machines. Both have a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4” and have 103 built-in sewing stitches. There are a few differences between the machines. The SE630 has a slightly larger touchscreen and 480 included embroidery designs, whereas the SE600 only has 80 built-in embroidery designs.
Brother SE630 vs SE625
The Brother SE630 and SE625 are almost identical machines. Both have the same sewing and embroidery features and look almost exactly the same – other than a different color design on the faceplate. The key difference between these two machines is that the SE630 comes with more embroidery designs, 480 versus the 280 included with the SE625.
Brother PE535 vs SE600
The Brother PE535 has the same embroidery capabilities as the SE600. Both have 80 built-in embroidery designs and a 4” x 4” maximum embroidery area. The main difference between these two machines is that the PE535 is an embroidery-only machine and the SE600 can be used for both sewing and embroidery.
Brother SE600 vs LB5000
The Brother SE600 and the LB5000 are both sewing and embroidery combination machines with the same basic functionalities and maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4”. The real difference between these two machines is that the LB5000 comes in a StarWars-themed version (LB5000S) and a Marvel-themed version (LB5000M), while the SE600 is not themed. The LB5000 also comes with 10 additional themed embroidery designs.
Brother SE600 vs PE800
The Brother SE600 is a sewing and embroidery combination machine with 80 built-in designs and a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4”. The PE800, on the other hand, is an embroidery-only machine – it can’t be used as a regular sewing machine. In addition, the PE800 has a larger embroidery area (max 5” x 7”) and more built-in designs (138).
Brother SE400 vs SE600
The Brother SE400 is basically an even more affordable, “mini” version of the SE600. Both have a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4”, but the SE400 has fewer built-in designs and a smaller touchscreen. In addition, the touchscreen on the SE400 is only a black-and-white display, while the SE600 has a full color display.
Brother SE600 vs SE1900
Both the Brother SE600 and the SE1900 are quality sewing and embroidery combination machines. The SE1900 is the big brother to the SE600, with a larger embroidery area, more built-in designs, and more built-in sewing stitches. The SE1900 has a 5” x 7” maximum embroidery area, while the SE600 has an embroidery area of 4” x 4”. (see comparison chart)
Brother PE550D vs SE600
The Brother PE550D and the SE600 both have a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4” and the same basic embroidery features. The biggest difference between the two machines is that the PE550D is an embroidery-only machine while the SE600 can do both sewing and embroidery. Also, the PE550D is Disney-themed, with a cute Disney design on the front and built-in Disney-themed designs. (see comparison chart)
Brother SE600 vs LB7000
The Brother LB7000 and the SE600 are both sewing and embroidery combination machines with a maximum embroidery area of 4” x 4”. Both have 80 built-in embroidery designs and 103 built-in sewing stitches. The key differences between the machines are that the LB7000 has a slightly larger touchscreen and is a Project Runway themed machine, with a Project Runway design on the front.
Brother SE600 Comparison Chart
Let’s compare the Brother SE600 to its most similar models SE625, the discontinued SE400, and bestseller SE1900, so you can have a quick glance to all its features.
*Speed Per Minute: referring to the number of stitches a machine can perform in a minute.
**Area: referring to the maximum embroidery area that an embroidery machine can reach.
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The Brother SE600 can be used for just about any sewing project – from clothing to home décor items, and more. It can also embroider small designs with a max embroidery area of 4” x 4”. This is a wonderful dual-purpose machine to add to your sewing space.
Unfortunately, the Brother SE600 does not cut jump stitches, so you will have to cut these stitches yourself as the design is being embroidered to eliminate puckering. It is pretty standard for an entry-level embroidery machine not to cut jump stitches, as you’ll find this feature mostly in higher-end embroidery machines.
The Brother SE600 is a low shank sewing machine, like most Brother machines.
The SE600 can handle 3 file types: .pes, .phc, and .dst. Try to create and purchase designs in the .pes format whenever possible, as it is the preferred file type of the three and gives the most information to the machine.
Check out the embroidery designs that Brother SE600 includes.