The Best Commercial Embroidery Machine for Your Business Is…
We don’t know. No, really, we don’t.
Just like we can’t write a definitive article about your favorite ice cream flavor or the right color for your bedroom, we can’t tell you which embroidery machine will best fit the needs of your small business. It’s a personal thing, dependent on the needs of you and your clients.
However, what we can tell you is what questions to ask when it comes time to buy a commercial machine or embroidery programs. Therefore we give you:
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying
1. Does it do what I need it to do?
This seems like an obvious question, but it’s important enough to mention. If you are big into monogramming, you should focus on researching the best single-head or two head models. Planning to embroider on thick fabrics? Make sure the embroidery machine is up to the task. Specialize in baseball caps? If cap frames are included, make sure that they are the type you need. If an aftermarket cap frame will serve your needs best, leave the cap frames out of the deal and save a significant amount of money to put toward the ones you want. Which leads us to the next question…
2. What’s included in the package deal?
There ought to be a plethora of hoops included with the machine. Commercial machines typically include two of each hoop size so you can avoid downtime by hooping ahead. Check to make sure there is a start up kit with plenty of basic embroidery supplies to get you started. Also check to see if embroidery designs and software are included. Some machines will come with thousands of pre-programmed designs…not too shabby! You may also be able to get extra embroidery software programs when buying a new machine! This is an area where the vendor often has the most ability to sweeten the deal.
3. Can it be upgraded? What about a warranty?
Some companies will allow you to “trade up” to other models of commercial embroidery machines, which is a great option for a growing small business. Ask about the ability to upgrade the machine’s software or firmware during its lifetime. Also look at the warranty available for the machine. Does it include parts and labor, or just parts? Is there a service plan available? Warranty plans and service agreements are one big advantage to purchasing a new machine rather than a used one.
4. What about Training?
Who will train you on the machine, and what does the training cover? Some companies have dedicated trainers who cover all aspects of operation, while others use machine technicians, who do a great job teaching about tensions and “button pushing” aspects, but without much emphasis on basics like hooping and stabilizing. Also ask whether the training will be on site at your location or in a training center. Each has its advantages and the best choice for you could depend on your ability to travel or the need for a trainer to see your workspace.
5. What happens if it breaks?
Most qualified sewing machine technicians can work on the mechanical sewing aspects of an embroidery machine regardless of brand. Today’s machines have solid-state electronics that generally allow the owner to remove and replace these parts. A telephone support person can walk you through the troubleshooting and repair for many simple problems and online videos are available for all machine types. Some videos are provided by the manufacturer and some by users, so do a search and watch a few to determine whether you want to try the repair yourself or request a qualified technician.
Photo Source – Tajima 2 Head Embroidery Machine
If you ask these questions before buying, you will be on the way to getting the best machine for you and your small business. Just remember, there is no perfect machine. But there is a machine out there that will be just right for you!
After getting your machine, check out our selection of quality embroidery supplies that will help you get the best out of your new machine!