Even though Brother HE1 and SE400 might look similar from the outside, both machines are poles apart. Both belong to two different segments.
If you are out for an entry level embroidery machine, you are bound to come across Brother SE400. It is the most popular entry level embroidery machine in US. While searching, you may also have come across Brother HE1, which looks very much like the SE400. You may be wondering what is the difference between the two. To add to the confusion, both machines come in the same price band as well. Let us see which one offers more value for the money.
Brother HE1 Vs SE400 – Features Comparison
In simple words
- SE400 is a sewing and embroidery combo machine
- HE1 is an embroidery only machine
What does that mean? On SE400 you can do regular sewing along with embroidery, which means you don’t need to invest on a sewing machine for tasks other than embroidery. It is a kind of 2 in 1 machine. Whereas HE1 is an embroidery only machine, which cannot do the tasks of a regular sewing machine.
Both HE1 and SE400 are identical if you take the sewing functions out of SE400. Both have the same 4″x4″ embroidery area, 70 built-in embroidery designs and so on. The extras you will get with SE400 are listed below
- 67 built-in sewing stitches
- 10 one-step buttonholes
- Variable speed control
- Programmable needle up/down
- Free-motion quilting
All other features are given in the table
|Machine Features||Brother HE1||Brother SE400|
|Stitch Selection & Controls||LCD Touch Display||LCD Touch Display|
|Automatic Needle Threader||Yes||Yes|
|On Screen Help||Yes||Yes|
|On Screen Editing||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in LED Lights||Yes 1||Yes 1|
|Bobbin System||Top drop-in||Top Drop-in|
|Independent Bobbin Winding Motor||Yes||Yes|
|Motor Speed||400 stitches/min (Embroidery)||400 stitches/min (Embroidery) & 710 stitches/min (Sewing)|
|Automatic Thread Cutter||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in Stitches||70 Embroidery Designs||70 Embroidery Designs & 67 Sewing Stitches|
|Buttonhole Styles||NA||10 1-step|
|Max Stitch Width||NA||7mm|
|Max Stitch Length||NA||5mm|
|Programmable Needle Up/Down||NA||Yes|
|Pattern Rotating||1,10 or 90 Degrees||1,10 or 90 Degrees|
|Built-in Frame Designs||10 Shapes x 12 Stitch Patterns||10 Shapes x 12 Stitch Patterns|
|Warranty||25 year limited warranty||25 year limited warranty|
Brother HE1 Vs SE400 – Performance Comparison
Take the sewing features of SE400 out and you are looking at identical machines, so there is no difference in their performances. Both are quality embroidery machines. They have a lot of advanced options. One thing I really liked about these machines is their user-friendliness. You tend to get the chemistry right on the first use itself. A person with reasonable experience with smartphones will find these machines very easy to use.
From the extras list of SE400, it is pretty clear that the extras alone account for a sewing machine that may cost between $130 – $150. So you must expect SE400 to be that much ($130-$150) more expensive than HE1, which is not the case always. At times I have seen HE1 priced higher than SE400 in some retail stores, so don’t get fooled.
You must compare the prices of both SE400 and HE1 and go with HE1 only if
- It is around $130 cheaper than SE400
- And you already have a regular sewing machine at home
Other than the above said scenario, Brother SE400 is always the better deal. As far as value for money is concerned, SE400 is one of the best I have ever come across. Its quality is top notch, which is the reason why it features in our list of ‘Machines You Can Buy With Your Eyes Shut’.