For those who want to sew and embellish, the Brother SE-400 is worth a look. This computerized machine is considered suitable for new and experienced sewers, but its easy-to-use embroidery function and availability of downloadable designs make it a star, owners say. Some complain about its one small embroidery hoop, but others say it offers the functionality of machines costing several times more.
Delivers great results with both sewing and embroidery. Users posting to retail websites say the Brother SE-400 is an excellent choice, particularly if your to-do list includes both sewing and embroidery. Many praise the machine's automatic needle threader, automatic thread cutter, embroidery function and USB cable, which allows you to download additional designs and stitches from the Internet.
While there does seem to be a learning curve -- and one user insists that good-quality needles and thread are essential -- owners overwhelmingly call the SE-400 a top performer. Users report completing a wide range of embroidery projects including logos, monograms and other designs, and one says her work compares favorably to that of the "professional embroidery store."
LCD screen promotes fast, easy outcomes. According to reviews, the SE-400 has multiple features that make sewing and embroidery quick and efficient. Users call its LCD screen well designed and easy to navigate, and the automatic needle threader and thread cutter are credited with saving time. Many say that switching between stitches or between sewing and embroidery is a breeze, and switching between feet is a simple task thanks to parts that easily snap in place. One user reports mastering the machine and starting an embroidery project just an hour after opening the box; another says the machine is so user-friendly, even a 7-year-old can operate it.
Nice and quiet. We found just one complaint about noise with the SE-400, from a sewer who finds the machine's hum "annoying." However, most sound-related comments from users are positive, with some calling the machine "quiet." One says its noise level is so low, it can be used near sleeping children.
Review Credibility: Very Good The Brother SE400 earns an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars here, with about 300 users posting positive comments. The highest praise goes to the USB cable, which allows you to download new designs and stitches; a primary complaint is that the 4-by-4-inch embroidery hoop is too small. Several users like the LCD screen, saying it's easy to navigate and very helpful. Others say they enjoy using the machine, with one calling it "shockingly fun."
Review: Brother SE400 Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine with 67 Built-in Stitches, 70 Decorative Designs, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good At Walmart.com, more than 90 percent of nearly 200 reviewers give the Brother SE-400 4 or 5 stars out of 5. One owner says it takes just two button presses to start embroidering. Many like its versatility, saying they use it for everything from blankets and baby clothes to embroidered designs on pillows and shirts. A handful of users complain about needle breakages, tension issues or complete breakdowns, but most reviewers offer nothing but praise.
Review: Brother Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine, SE-400, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Brother SE-400 is one of the highest-rated sewing machines on Viewpoints.com, earning a score of 94 points out of 100 after more than 30 user reviews. In contrast, other machines earn an average of 84 points. Owners call the SE-400 versatile, and they appreciate being able to download additional stitches and designs via the USB port. Some complain about the machine's high price, but most say it's well worth it. Others say it may be too complicated for novice sewers and call the 4-by-4-inch embroidery hoop too small.
Review: Brother Computerized Sewing Machine SE400 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of January 2013