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Showing 1-10 of 2,019 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,222 reviews
on March 15, 2016
I have now owned this machine over a year so I thought I could give it a really full review.
First, I purchased it refurbished through Ken's sewing center. I was hesitant but it was the only way I could afford it. I have not regretted it. I later went back and purchased a refurbished serger from them too. Both have been a great value. They were super nice to work with.
So embroidery-I assume most people looking at this machine are entry-level, as was I. Here are some things you need to know. There is a lot more start up costs involved than just the machine. The thread, bobbins, repositionable hoop, a variety of stabilizers/heat bond will all be necessary and add up quickly so factor this in. Additionally, the machine comes programmed with some designs but they are frankly lame. So you will need to purchase designs. I have actually found quite a bit free online and buying through etsy and different designers during sales keeps that cost relatively low but you still need to factor it in. THEN you need software. I have downloaded free trials of embrilliance and sew what pro and liked both but I plan to purchase sew what pro which is $60-ish dollars (much less than embrilliance and I think easier to use.) There are many videos on youtube that help you get going and if you have basic computer knowledge it's really pretty simple. Mostly a matter of transferring files around. There are also two facebook groups for this machine that are great resources so if you're on social media, join them. The biggest complaint about this machine I see is the size of the embroidery field. Yes, it's small. The repositionable hoop is a must in my opinion. It is only $30 or so but really helps extend your machines capabilities.
SO. Sewing. I am entirely self taught with sewing. For a few years I had a $100 brother and then moved up to this. This machine is like a Cadillac next to my first. So user friendly. Has all the right features. Easy to thread, easy to adjust. A great variety of stitches. It is not going to do heavy-duty sewing for you. (In my opinion that's what you need a vintage machine for.) Comes with a nice variety of presser feet and the thread cutter seems like a silly feature at first but I love it now.
I have really been able to crank out some great projects with this machine and it has really grown with me from beginner to sort of intermediate now. I just love it. It is not my only machine but it is my main machine. I'd recommend it to anyone. My photo shows a set of clothes I just made for my 4-year old. I did all of the sewing, monogramming, and applique on my brother.
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on September 15, 2015
I love this machine! The quality of the touch screen is great for the price and the embroidery is fantastic. This machine is able to make patches, and free standing lace! I work in an industry where I am surrounded by high end Husquvarna embroidery machines and the quality of the finished piece is the same. Embroidery is extremely addictive and this is the perfect beginner machine. I can't stress enough how this is only going a starter machine. If you love embroidery you will end up buying another machine with a bigger embroidery area, if you can afford to spend more then just go with a bigger embroidery area. The 4x4 is very limiting if you want to get serious with embroidery you will find yourself buying another machine.
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on January 24, 2013
Holy crap this is the most fun machine ever. Admittedly, I have only used it for embroidery. Who has time to mend pants when there are so many random things that are just screaming for a logo or design to be sewn on them. I went online and downloaded some free embroidery designs. (That is so fun and addictive... and really easy to do because you just USB the machine to your computer). The first one was a one-color design so I could get the hang of it. Then I went to a multi-color design. It was so simple and easy. Though, I recommend watching a few videos on you tube. That is more helpful than the materials that they provide. Note, most recommend that you not change the bobbin color and just leave it with white. I am too OCD to have my bobbin a different color from my top thread so I actually switch my bobbin color out to match the top.

I saw some complaints about thread breaking in the reviews. I only had that happen once but in all honesty, it was an operator error on my part. I saw some complaints about bobbin thread showing through. Since I use matching bobbin thread that is not an issue for me.

My only complaint is that the accessories (feet, tools etc) just come in a cheap little plastic bag that you have to dump out if you want to find anything. Oh, and it is a pain that you need a screwdriver to change the needle.

I would highly recommend this machine.

UPDATE: I have had this machine for 4 months now. It is still just as fun. Note: all of the problems that I have encountered are from the bobbin thread. I have to make very sure that the bobbin thread is tight enough. I should probably buy professional bobbins. So if you find yourself having problems, check the bobbin first. If you notice the bobbin color sneaking up through, change your bobbin immediately.

I get my designs for free from and have really enjoyed that. However, when you import designs onto the brother machine, do not rely on the color that the machine tells you. For some reason, many times the color description doesn't transfer over right. Also, even though the hoops are 4x4, it won't let me do designs that are bigger than about 3.5 x 3.5 which is a bummer.

I have been working the heck out of this machine and it is holding up.

I am uploading some pictures of little travel bags that I have made for neighbor kids who are moving or going on long trips. I paid about ten cents for the bag and then put on a cute design and it is amazing.
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VINE VOICEon December 6, 2016
I bought this for my mom just about a year ago. She took it out of the box, wound a bobbin, and practiced one pre-loaded embroidery pattern before putting it into a closet. When I was visiting about a month ago, I "borrowed" it. I will say that it has actually inspired the Martha Stewart in me! You'll need a lot of stuff if you're just starting off in the embroidery arena: tear-away backing, thread, a few patterns or monograms, computer software to create and transfer your patterns, and some temporary spray adhesive. Buy all these things because you're going to want to try stuff immediately, and you'll need most of these to do anything! Also, watch some YouTube videos - they were immensely helpful with all the tips and tricks. So, what I like about this machine:
1. You can sew and embroider on this machine, and it's not "too" hard to switch between sewing and embroidery - you have to change out the foot and the base. The foot gave me some issues in the beginning and I would get frustrated, but I've managed to figure it out.
2. There are some pre-loaded fonts, and they're nice.
3. The touch screen is very handy and most of the icons are obvious (some I had to look into the manual for a description)
4. There are a lot of stitch selections for sewing (I didn't know there were that many options!), and when you select the stitch you want, the screen will tell you which foot to use - yay!
5. The self-threading needle - omg this makes the world go round. I have another very nice sewing machine that I never use and partially because it takes me all day just to thread the needle. This machine does it for you. Sometimes it misses, but just keep trying - it will get it.
6. There are numbers on the machine to direct you to threading the machine correctly, and also to help you wind the bobbin. These are uber helpful for newbies like me because I've got a reminder right there.

What I don't like about this machine:
1. The pre-loaded patterns suck. You can use them as practice, but I can't see that I'll ever use them otherwise, and they take up valuable memory on the machine.
2. This is probably true with all embroidery machines (or maybe not), but I was irritated that I had to buy software to be able to embroider things. That annoyed me. There are only a few options - luckily they all have trial periods so you can figure out which ones you like. To be honest none of them are super user-friendly, so once you get use to one, just stick with it.
3. There's very little information (that I could find) in the manual on some trouble I've had. I've had one problem over and over again involving the bobbin thread and I can't find any info in the manual on addressing the issue. From what I've been able to read online, this may have something to do with the tension and I can't find information on when/why to adjust the tension. This is so annoying when it messes up in the middle of a pattern!
4. You're limited to a 4"x4" hoop size. There is a larger hoop you can buy for this machine that gives you 7" x 4", but you'll always be limited to that 4". I would like a larger hoop, but this will do for now.

A tip I learned online: use the spray adhesive instead of hooping your fabric for embroidery. Hooping will cause puckering of some fabric. If you hoop the tear-away backing then the temporary adhesive spray keeps everything in place but doesn't pull the fabric. It gives a much nicer finish.
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on June 4, 2011
I purchased the brother SE400 from Amazon last year. I waited till now to review it, because I was a little scared about doing embroidery, and I wanted to have fully used it before I wrote a review.
I love this machine. At first I did only mending, because I couldn't afford material for making clothes. It worked very well, easiest buttons I have ever sewn on a garment. Fixed tears and hanging hems with ease. It was so quiet my son asked me if it was working when I was fixing a hem on his coat.
Next I made costumes for a haunted house last October, this machine worked well on a variety of materials.
I decided then to try the embroidery. I hadn't bought any special machine embroidery thread, but I decided to put my initials on the cloth cover that comes with the machine. It worked fine, but would have been less puckery if I had used some stabelizer (sic). I did some of the embroidery patterns that come with the machine on scrap cloth and really liked what they had. I also downloaded some patterns from the internet. It was very easy with the usb connecter, to add them on the machine. I wanted to do some of my own designs, so I looked on the internet for digitizing software. I found 2 that I have used, one that you can use for free anytime, but it mostly resizes and changes formats of previously digitized designs. The other one can be used for free anytime, but you have to be connected to the internet when you use it. I have digitized the Logo for my Husband's Magic show. He is always finding another thing he wants me to put it on. I made an embroidered table cloth, and napkins for my daughter-in-law's birthday present. I digitized a photo of my bosses newborn daughter, and embroidered it in monochrome adding her birthdate, weight and length. I framed it and gave it to him and he was absolutely thrilled. I have done some freestanding lace on water soluble stableizer and it turned out so beautiful.
This machine will only embroider a 4x4 area at a time, but you can break larger embroidery into sections and do them side by side, and no one would know that you didn't do it all at once.
I am having such a good time with this machine that I almost forgot to do a review!

okay has it been 5 years since I bought this machine? Where did the time go. I have sad news, part of the automatic needle threader broke, I can still manually thread the needle easily. But I did look on line to see how much a replacement would cost. Nope not hundreds of dollars not even fifties of dollars, just $14.95. if that's all I have to fix on this machine after 5 years I say it is a great bargain.
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on May 30, 2010
This sewing machine is a dream!!!!I already own a viking and wanted to try embroidery so the price was right to see if I liked the world of embroidery. It is such an easy machine to use. A good suggestion is to watch a video on it's features and use ,first. Also, purchase thread and stabilizer at the same time. I am really pleased with it so far.
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on May 16, 2016
***UPDATE!!!*** 1 Year Later after my 1 Star Review...

It has been almost exactly a year since the purchase of the SE400. It was a wretched machine to me for a while at first- having the problems it did from being thrown together by whoever put it together (read below)... I wanted to come back and say that my crafty husband that he is, looked online for a complete repair manual on the machine=we found one for $5.00. We bought it, immediately downloaded it and immediately found a sewing machine parts online store that we as regular people could buy from... It's not as easy as it sounds. You have to look for a good one if you have issues and take this route like we did. Well we got the parts, he put them on, easily I might add with the manual. It needed an entire back plate cover-$13.00- for where it was all cracked and then after using it a bit more after the first review a spring just popped out and it would not perform any of the stitch functions other than straight. So it needed a tiny spring also-it was under $1.00 from the online store.

The machine works great now. It was fixed for under $30. by hand(my husband's :)) and I am incredibly pleased with it. I still cannot give it a 5 star because of the condition it arrived to me in but and it's a big BUT.... It does a wonderful job stitching embroidery and I am so pleased with it now. If you have issues with it, try to fix it yourself before spending hundreds... we bought this machine to save money right??? We did anyway or I would have gotten a Viking :) My husband did fix it but after watching him and being able to look at the repair manual myself, if it has anymore problems I am confident I am going to fix it myself. The repair manual literally tells step by step how to fix any issue including motor issues. It is what the professional you will take it to will use to fix your machine. It is a great machine for the money... Hands down. With the terrible and I mean terrible time I had with it- Yep Bessy made me cry a time or two... It is a really good machine and works like a charm now. Getting some nice digitizing software this coming week and am very excited about it. I made a rag quilt two weeks ago after cutting out several hundred squares on my new big shot pro sizzix machine(awesome btw) and this machine went through 16 layers of flannel with only 2 complaints(beeps& then stops) the whole quilt.

I was SO excited about getting this model! My husband bought it for me for by birthday... I work from home making kids clothing and baby items so I can stay with the kids and be a stay at home mom while also making a bit of cash... I needed this machine to make my production time faster and so I could make personalized items for my business.

I got it, it worked okay... The thread broke more than on any other machine I had... but I thought it was just the thread, the run of the mill thread I use in my serger and my $50 Brother PRW6800. As I used it more and more and realized the thread is breaking more and more and wondered why... I bought more expensive thread- $9.00 a spool mercized cotton thread for sewing and 40 weight embroidery thread for embroidery. Still, every time I sewed I will have broken threads. So I thoroughly inspected my machine and found these tiny little scratches in my machine where the thread goes through. This is a defective unit that I received. Yet I must leave a negative review because my 30 days return policy is up on Amazon. Also the lady at the Brother company said I can drive an hour and a half away to take my machine to the Brother certified repair shop/dealer and they can fix that for me but she did not have pricing... So all of this is because I did not notice these tiny cuts in the machine until just a few weeks ago because they ARE TINY! Never less they seriously effect the performance of my machine. I placed my order the last day of February, now the middle of May and I just noticed the cuts 1 month ago. The problem is worsening, they look more like cracks now and are very pronounced when you look at them closely and I am actually afraid that this part may, at some point, break off now.

My tension is never right, it can never be right because the thread will continue to break for the lifetime of the machine because of these tiny cracks that my machine came with. This part of the machine obviously got scratched or fell or something, in China, when it was being put together and nobody thought it would be a big deal but it was to me, it is to me. Because now I fight with this machine every single day to get it to sew properly and it doesn't sew right. The integrity of the thread is compromised from the cracks that the thread constantly gets caught in and and just breaks my expensive thread and ruins my pieces and forget being able to embroider a design without having the thread break, its just a joke. My embroidery designs look AWFUL because it constantly breaks mid design. It just is very disappointing. This machine is a complete disappointment.

Another problem that my machine has is the thread cutter, the automatic thread cutter does not work half the time. this is okay but it was supposed to work every single time, not half the time. I did, however, need this machine to sew and when it is shredding the thread in these cuts right in the second step on the threading guide, how can it sew properly.

I am going to social media the face off of this thing until this company makes it right. I have spent good money on Brother products, we also just bought a $200 Brother laser printer.

My suggestion to anyone that is buying this se400 machine is thoroughly inspect it as soon as you get it because if you don't and find a problem if there is, within the first 30 days of buying it, you WILL NOT be able to do a thing about it. In my personal opinion it was $315.00 down the drain. I am incredibly surprised that the company has done nothing about it. I will be sending the pictures to them also and hopefully get something done about it. I wish my time did not run out with Amazon because this was an expensive machine and it is so obviously defective from the manufacturer, there is no way someone at home could make these marks... I just want to return it and get a different machine. So many problems with a machine that is only 2 and a half months old.
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on August 2, 2012
I wanted a travel machine that was small, light weight, and will fit inside a carry-on luggage, while still being a pleasure to sew on and solidly built. Amazon shipped this machine in 3 days and I put it through the paces.

Sewing & Embroidery test)
I was very happy with my test results on utility sewing, decorative stitching, and embroidery. Machine feels solid and of high quality. Bobbin winds better than my $3000 ULT. All tensions were solid performers at the default setting, again better than my ULT. Feed dog seem to have strong traction, even on heavy decorative stitching. Top and bottom fabric fed evenly. Machine had a factory tested seal on the bobbin door, and it felt like it was thoroughly tested, much better than usual even for expensive machines. I am glad I waited so long to buy this, because the SE400 seems much more sturdy than previous similar models from Brother and Janome. My friend had 2 previous models that I tried, and at that time I was not at all happy with them. Those earlier models had felt flimsy. Those machines also weighed a few pounds less, so probably had less metal inside. Slight redesign makes it better than previous models. During embroidery, the non-color screen shows an overall image of the current and next up element, so it's a little easier to see where I am without having a color screen. The snap points where the embroidery hoop attaches has been redesigned to make it easier to operate. I like the bigger bobbin design which holds more bobbin thread. The auto needle threader and thread cutter worked perfectly.

My one qualm is that I smelled burning machine oil after 8 hours of sewing, but there is no place to oil in these new machines. Even a non-oiling machine usually does need oiling in heavy friction areas. I will have to open it up after a month or so to see where it needs oiling and a small amount of lubing. I think it would have been better if the designer had left a few holes where sewing machine oil can be added. They were eliminated in new models to prevent user error, so it's a form of dumming down the design. Traditional machines have holes to add oil after 8 hours of sewing. If you are thinking of oiling, use only sewing machine oil, which evaporates and does not gum up the parts. The embroidery speed had been decreased from 600 stitches per minute in earlier models to 400. So, it takes longer to stitch out the same design. This was probably done to reduce user error, again a form of dumming down. Maximum sewing speed is a little slower, around 700 stitches per minute. This seems adaquate for a portable. I have a Juki quilter's machine that sews 2000 stitches per minute, and I feel a rush when that baby is going, but I only use it for large projects such as a curtain or a sofa cover. Most good home sewing machine speeds are 850 stitches per minute.

The machine weighs 19 lbs with all accessories and fits comfortably inside a hardshell carryon 24"x15"x9.5". I attached the embroidery unit and lay it on its side. There is plenty of space for extra sewing tools after all machine accessories are enclosed. I will use towels to wrap the machine and each component so nothing gets scratched during transit, but it's the perfect size. I wanted a combo unit because once I was using a borrowed sewing machine while visiting my brother and found myself wishing I had even the smallest embroidery capability. Therefore, the 4"x4" embroidery field is perfect for that. I have 3 other machines, 2 of them are huge and weigh 45 to 50 lbs. The embroidery attachment and accessories on my ULT are huge too. I used to lug them around when I went to visit my mother-in-law, but it will inevitably get banged against a door or car, because it was so heavy and unwieldy. Now I will be able to travel in style and still get to work on my sewing projects. I am super happy with my purchase.

Long-term durability)
About 10% of users have said that their machines broke down after a couple of months, though they loved the machine while it was working. I was worried about this point and will update in 6 months with my own experience. However, after examining this machine, I feel comfortable that this is a very well made machine. Generally, if you use your machine for a few hours everyday, you will either need to take it to a servicer every 6 months or learn to service it yourself. This is true of all home sewing machines. Service cost of $60-$100 is normal. I service all of my own machines, because I think this cost is outrageous, but you do need to be a mechanically comfortable person to do this. Most important part is to clean out the bobbin/feed dog area thoroughly with q-tips everyday. The race should be oiled every few days with sewing machine oil. Every 1-6 months, you can open up the head and oil or lube friction areas where the vertical metal moving bars touch other gear or shafts. Once a year the bottom plate can be completely removed and all stray thread removed from below the feed dog and feed dog gears can be lubed. Use silicon sewing machine lube for the gears, but don't use too much. Your warranty will be voided when you remove the bottom plate, but you will no longer be covered under full service warranty after one year, so this is no biggie. Your limited warranty should still cover you if the motor or computer part burned out, but it's probably a good idea not to tell the servicer that you opened up your machine if this were to happen all the same. Even so, there are lemons, so I will report back if mine happens to break within 6 months. Happy sewing :-)

Update 9/29/2012 after two months:
Still works really well. Machine feels sturdy. Have transported it in a small suitcase by car, and plan to take it on its first airplane ride. Have finished several sewing and embroidery projects, all came out well. Minor problem with bobbin thread sometimes not locking with top thread during embroidery. Only way to fix it is to remove hoop, manually pull up the bobbin thread about 6", rehoop, then sew slowly while holding the top thread with fingers until threads lock, about 6 stitches. Then continue with embroidery as usual. Another minor problem is that I now have a large burr (groove) on the throat plate at leftmost needle position. I am pretty sure this happened when I was sewing neoprene to make a camera case for a friend. I don't have burrs on any of my other machines even though I sewed on them for many years. I think this machine cannot feed stretch material well, such as neoprene or nylon/lycra sports fabric. I must be pulling the fabric towards the back to coax it to feed because the burr is behind the needle. A solution would be to use a light stabilizer (or tissue paper) under the fabric to provide a little traction for the feed dogs. Embroidery hoop seems too tight and puckers fabric around the embroidery edges, even with cotton. It was much better with hydrostick stabilizer, which does not hoop the fabric. Also the slow embroidery speed of 400 spm instead of 800 spm on my ULT is getting to be a drag. I timed embroidering a flower topiary (14th built in design), which shows 20 minutes sewing time. Actual time to embroider with 8 thread color loadings was 35 minutes, which comes out to 1 minute 52 seconds per thread loading. It may be possible to get thread loading time down to 1 minute if I am less careful. The 20 minutes of sewing time seems accurate. I wish Brother had kept the embroidery stitch speed at 600 as in my small embroidery only machine, PE150. Happy sewing :-)
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on March 6, 2011
I decided on the Brother SE400 after reading all the rave reviews and the price was right. I have a new sewing machine that works fine so I was mainly interested in this machine for the embroidery function. So far I've owned this machine for 2 days and have stitched 6 designs (5 from the internet and 1 preloaded) added some lettering and sewn 1 pair of shorts for my granddaughter.

The good parts:
-The instructional CD is helpful, once you're smart enough to stick it in your computer and not your DVD player.
-It is easy to set-up and get started.
-It works, my friend who just purchased a $1000 machine (not a Brother) has had much difficulty getting her machine to work and has ruined several articles of clothing in learning, where this machine stiched out every design without so much as breaking one thread.
-It is easy to download designs from a computer, but I haven't been successful yet at "saving" a design into the machine, which means if I didn't have a laptop I would be sewing in my office to hook to the desktop.
-The adjusting function, to move the location of the design within the frame is helpful and works well
-The resizing function works well, as does the rotating feature, both of which I found very useful.

The bad parts:
-The quick start guide is not helpful, it is only pictures with confusing flow lines, if it was all I had I would not be able to use the machine. It only makes sense AFTER you learn to use the machine. It should be titled Quick "Reference" Guide. But it does have the color pictures of the built-in designs.
-Of the 70 built in designs, 26 of them are the Alphabet for using to monogram, of the other 44 I will probably only use about half of them. Be prepared to get on the internet to get useful designs
-I've only tried so far to stitch out one font (but on more than one project) and the results were quite sub-standard, even after increasing the density, hopefully the other fonts will be more functional.
-while I understood how to thread the machine and was able to do so successfully, I found it consistently "difficult" to thread in a couple areas - maybe arthritic fingers are to blame?

The wish list:
-as an entry level machine it would have been helpful to have a little more instruction on using stablizer and hooping skills. The information given is basically "use stablizer - put stuff in hoop". It assumes the operator has some knowledge of the zillion stablizers on the market and can automatically figure out where to put the hoop to get the design where it is desired on the garment. Obviously, this is slightly beyond the scope of machine operation, but these are two skills that you must master to be satisfied with the results - and everyone knows if I can't get the design centered and upright - it's the machine's fault! (she says facetiously)

You should plan for:
Budget another $100 to buy thread, stabilizer and stuff to stitch on.

The bottom line:
The machine is as advertised, it is easy to use. The designs it can stitch out are acceptable and wearable. The internet if full of free and low cost designs that will fit in the 4x4 area of this machine. If you are like me and couldn't justify spending the "big bucks" this is the perfect little starter machine to see if you really do want to get started in a new phase of the sewing craft. If you start to regret not being able to stitch more than a 4x4 area without rehooping (that regret comes to play really fast), just get out your checkbook and look at what you paid and it will be easier to move the hoop!
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on February 6, 2016
After using the SE400 for a few weeks now, overall I’m happy with my purchase. For the price, I think it would be hard to beat. While there are some shortcomings, I’m still giving it 4 stars. Some people have commented about it being plastic and not very durable … that should be no surprise if you check the weight of the machine. Yes, it is comprised of a lot of plastic, but with some reasonable care, I think it will serve the purpose.

Automatic needle threader -- so far it has worked satisfactorily.

Available Stitches -- the number of stitches is certainly sufficient for most work. Other models have more, but I haven’t found anything that I’d like to do that I can’t find a stich to accomplish.

Embroidery Unit -- the embroidery unit is impressive for a machine in this price range. And while the card used in this machine is ‘old school,’ there are less expensive alternatives to the Brother card writer/reader. Check out the Little Max by Amazing Designs.

Automatic Reinforcing Stitches and/or Automatic Thread Cutting – very handy option. With the touch of a button the LCD screen, you can turn on reinforcing stitching at the beginning and ending of sewing a seam. The thread cutting can added as well.

Start/Stop Button – I didn’t think I would care for this option and didn’t think I would use it, but after a few times trying it out, I now rely on it almost exclusively.

Needle Up/Down – This was an option I had on my old machine and could have been a deal breaker if the new machine didn’t have it. Very handy.

Machine will accept generic presser feet. Machines that use proprietary feet usually charge much more than generic. Kudos to Brother for avoiding that.

Speed Control – love being able to control the sewing speed.

The screw driver to tighten/loosen the presser foot ankle is ingenious! Finally a screw driver that won’t slip out of the groove in the screw. Makes changing from the regular ankle to the embroidery foot or walking foot very easy.

Unless you have a laptop or notebook computer or your sewing machine is very close to your desktop computer, the USB connection is not a viable way to transfer designs from your computer to the SE400.

Others have commented on the automatic thread cutting not working properly. I have found it to be very ‘finicky’ … it works most of the time and I find it a nice feature. When it begins to act up, I have discovered that cleaning out the bobbin area and/or race and under the feed dogs will usually get it back working properly. I’m not sure why it is so sensitive to lint build-up, but at least there’s a way to get it working again.

When replacing bobbins, sometimes things just don’t jive … more than once I’ve had to remove the new bobbin, put it in again (and, yes, it was inserted correctly the first time). Usually that will take care of bad stitch formation. Other times I’ve had to turn the machine off then back on and things start working as they should. I now keep scraps close by to do a small test sew after changing bobbins.

The needle clamp screw is meant to be tightened only with your fingers. A couple of times after a few hours of use, it will work loose enough to let the needle drop. So I try to remember to re-tighten it often.

To remove the needle plate there are two screws that need to be removed. There is a small screwdriver included for those, but to get the back screw loosened enough to turn with your finger, the pressure foot ankle needs to come off. And since to thoroughly remove lint, it’s necessary to remove that needle plate it becomes annoying after a while.

Even with a larger needles, sewing thru several layers with a batting or thick interfacing is a challenge. I’ve had to hand crank it thru straps on tote bags.

It’s certainly not marketed as a quilting machine and for good reason. The throat space is very limited and it would be very difficult to quilt anything larger than placemats or perhaps a table runner. There are 3 quilting stitches available … 2 for piecing and 1 to produce what looks like hand quilting. It’s a really neat stitch, but without the ability to quilt large items, I’m not sure there’s a lot of benefit to having it.

If a needle breaks or some other malfunction while sewing, the machine stops and a message is displayed (forget the exact wording). Both times this has happened for me, the needle threader would not work properly. I found that by turning it off and then back on, something gets reset and things start working again as they should. So I guess it’s like our work computers … sometimes they just need to be rebooted.

No presser foot pressure adjustment. I was used to having this on my old machine and found it very helpful. But on a low end machine, it’s not surprising that this isn’t an option.

Even though my list of negatives is longer than the positives, I still like the machine a lot. And I would buy it again. I don’t expect it to last 20 years like my last machine, but I didn’t pay $3,000 for this one either. If I can use this machine for even a couple of years, I’ll feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.
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