PE535 vs PE800 Brother embroidery machine

By on June 24th, 2022
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If you If you are thinking about investing in your first embroidery machine or  buying one from someone else, you have probably looked at the Brother PE535 vs PE800 embroidery machines. These are two of the most popular entry level embroidery only machines. But how do they compare?

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How are the Brother PE535 and the PE800 embroidery machines similar?

The PE800 and the PE535 are very popular embroidery machines and have earned the reputation of being great beginner machines.  

Functionality

Before we start digging into the differences between these machines, let’s first talk about how these machines are similar.

First of all, the PE535 and the PE800 Brother embroidery machines are consumer-grade embroidery machines designed to be used in the home. These are not commercial machines. 

They are also NOT combination machines, meaning that they are designed to be used strictly as embroidery machines.

Brother also makes the SE series machines where the embroidery module pops on and off when you want to do machine embroidery and are marketed as an all-in-one combination sewing and embroidery solutions

Both the PE535 and PE800 embroidery machines are obviously made by the same company, and it’s a reputable one, Brother Sewing and Embroidery. 

Brother has been in the business for over a hundred years, so they know at this point know what they are doing. They offer a 25 year limited warranty on these embroidery machines. 

Technical Specifications

The PE535 and the PE800 have very similar technical specifications.

Both the PE535 and the PE800 embroidery machines stitch out embroidery files in PES format.

If you are new to embroidery you may not know much about embroidery file formats, however once you start buying embroidery designs you will see that almost every designer offers embroidery design in PES format.

It’s a very popular embroidery design file format.  In fact, you can download any of my designs as well as my free designs in PES format. 

Both machines required the same weight bobbin thread: 90 wt.  You can either buy 90 wt bobbin thread on a spool and wind the bobbins yourself of buy the pre-wound bobbins suitable for the Brother PE535 and the PE800

Limitations

One limitation of both the Brother PE800 and the Brother PE535 is their inability to trim jump stitches.

Jump stitches are the stitches between stitched out portions of embroidery designs.  More expensive embroidery machines now have the capability of trimming these annoying stitches as it is stitching out a design.

With both the PE535 and the PE800, you will need to go back and trim your jump stitches after you finish stitching out a design. 

New Features

One great new feature of the Brother PE800 and the Brother PE535 is the machines ability to remember where you left off.  So if you turn off the machine while stitching out a design, e.g. there is a power outage, or you run out of thread and want to turn off your machine until you are able to get more, the machine will remember where you left off. 

In addition, both machines allow you to back up stitches in increments of 1, 10, or 100 stitches which helps when you make a mistake and need to go back and resume stitching. 

Availability

The Brother PE800 and the Brother PE535 are all available on Amazon. So, if you are strategic about when you make your purchase you can probably obtain one for a great price, for example when Amazon is running one of its specials.

With that said, if you buy your embroidery machine online, you don’t get the support and the training that might be provided by a brick and mortar retailer.

But, to be honest, machine embroidery is not rocket science. And these machines are very popular, so there are plenty of resources online to help you get started with your new embroidery machine. In fact, there are even Facebook groups dedicated to the Brother PE800 and the Brother PE535

Brother PE535 vs PE800 embroidery machines: how are they different? 

Being that Brother has designated the PE800 and the PE535 with different model numbers, and there is a clear price difference between the two, there are undoubtedly differences between these machines.

When deciding which Brother embroidery machine you should buy, it’s important to understand the differences between the models.

Number of Designs and Fonts

Both of the machines come with some fonts and embroidery design. The PE800 comes with 11 fonts and 138 embroidery designs, while the PE535 is sold with only 9 fonts and 90 embroidery designs.

In my opinion, this is really not a huge difference. The designs that come with the machine are usually pretty tacky and are only useful for testing purposes. Plus, embroidery designs and fonts are not expensive. Just buy what you want.

On Screen Editing

Both of the machines have display screens where you can preview the design you are stitching out. They are both color and approximately the same size. Both machines allow you to flip, rotate, duplicate and resize a design on the screen.

Clear, easy to read screen on the Brother PE535 embroidery machine
Clear, easy to read screen on the Brother PE535 embroidery machine

Hoop Size

Hoop size is the biggest differentiator when comparing the Brother PE535 vs PE800 embroidery machines

The PE535 has a maximum hoop size of 4″ x 4″ which means the maximum stitch area is about 3.8″ x 3.8″. This can be VERY limiting. While most embroidery file designers usually offer a design that will fit in this size hoop, you still can’t stitch out large designs.

The PE800 comes with a 5″ x 7″ embroidery hoop which allows you to create much larger designs. For this reason alone, the machine is worth the extra couple hundred dollars.

Many people advise buying an embroidery machine with the biggest embroidery hoop that you can afford. However, I wouldn’t shy away from purchasing a PE535, especially if you can find one used. The resell value on these machines is quite good.

So, if you decide you love machine embroidery and want a machine with a larger hoop, you can pretty easily sell your embroidery machine for not much less than what you paid for it.

Frequently asked questions about the Brother PE535 vs PE800 Embroidery machine

Can you sew with Brother PE800?

The Brother PE800 will only embroider. It cannot be used for sewing. It does not come with a sewing foot or any of the other accessories that are necessary for sewing.

Can you sew with the Brother PE535?

Like the Brother PE800, the Brother PE535 is an embroidery only machine and cannot be used for sewing.

Does Brother PE535 have a USB port?

Yes. And so does the Brother PE800. Learn how to transfer your embroidery designs from your computer onto your embroidery machine.

What type of thread does the Brother PE535 use?

The Brother PE535 uses standard machine embroidery thread.

What type of needle does the Brother PE535 use?

The Brother PE535 can use a variety of different machine embroidery needles, the size and shape should be dictated by the material you are embroidering on.

Is the Brother PE800 worth the extra money?

Yes, in my opinion, the Brother PE800 is worth the extra money. If you want to stitch out larger designs, it’s an absolute must.

What types of designs can the Brother PE535 stitch out?

The Brother PE535 can stitch out any type of design that will fit in the 4″ x 4″ hoop. The design must be in PES format.

What if I want to stitch out an embroidery design that’s bigger than the 4″ x 4″ hoop?

If you want to stitch out a design that’s bigger than the 4″ x 4″ hoop, you’ll need to purchase an embroidery machine with a larger hoop, like the Brother PE800.

What’s the difference between the Brother PE535 and the Brother SE600?

The Brother SE600 is a computerized sewing and embroidery machine. It’s basically a Brother sewing machine with an embroidery module bolted on. Some people report that the PE machines do a better job embroidering because they were designed solely for that purpose.

What’s the difference between the PE770 and the PE800?

The PE800 is a newer version of the PE770. It offers some new features, most notably its color display. However, the PE770 has a 5″ x 7″ hoop. You may be able to find a used PE770 for a great price from someone wanting to upgrade to a PE800 .

So, what Brother embroidery machine should you buy: the Brother PE535 or the PE800?

Before you limit yourself to these two machines, you may want to consider some other embroidery machines that are great for beginners.

If you are sure you want one of these two machines (either the PE535 or the PE800) but are still not sure which one you should get, think about the size of the embroidery you want to create.

The 4″ x 4″ hoop size of the PE535 can be quite limiting. But, you can always sell the machine and upgrade down the road.

If you are looking for a great deal on either of these machines, you may consider buying a used machine. There are many people who might have started embroidering with a 4″ x 4″ hoop machine and now want to upgrade. If you are just starting to dip your toes into the embroidery world but don’t want to drop $500 on this new hobby, it might be a good idea to look for one of these machines second hand.

If you are interested in other strategies for buying an inexpensive embroidery machine, check out my previous post on this topic.

Good luck and happy stitching and shopping,

Julie

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1 thought on “PE535 vs PE800 Brother embroidery machine

  1. Hi, a correction you may want to make is that both the PE535 and PE800 have the same design editing capabilities. The only difference is the hoop size and the larger machine to hold the larger hoop. A slight exterior style difference always exists between the 4×4 hoop and 5×7 hoop machines.

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