Know Your Machines – Domestic & Commercial Embroidery Units

Whether you are a startup business trying to make your mark in the embroidery industry or a person who enjoys embroidery as a hobby, you should learn the difference between a commercial embroidery machine and a domestic unit. As a business owner, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a domestic machine if you are going to use it for commercial purposes.

Understanding the Difference 

When looking to buy a new machine, you should understand the difference between a commercial embroidery machine for sale and a domestic or consumer model.

A commercial embroidery machine is made for continuous operation, it is a heavy-duty unit that can work without any problems for long hours every day. You’ll sometimes see industrial embroidery machines for sale, they are the same as commercial, the seller just uses a different name to describe it.

A domestic embroidery machine isn’t as well-built as a commercial unit. Although they are good, they won’t be good enough for someone who is trying to run a business. Their parts and accessories are designed to withstand moderate use, if you use them in a commercial setting they won’t last very long.

The two different categories of embroidery machines exist to meet different demands. One is for a busy embroidery business, while the other is for personal use. If you are going to be using the machine for up to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, a commercial unit is your best option.


You’ll find that a commercial embroidery machine has up to 16 available needles. A domestic machine won’t have near as many needles as a commercial unit. Having multiple needles at your disposal allows you to use a variety of colours at one time, this also allows you to rapidly change when required. A domestic unit will only have 1 to 4 needles available; this makes embroidery projects a lot slower.

Finishing Time

You cannot compare the two embroidery machines when it comes to output. A commercial embroidery machine is a lot quicker than a consumer model. A commercial machine will finish tasks in less than half the time it takes a domestic unit, meaning you can produce more units in a day. This improves your output and increases your profit margin. Most domestic embroidery machines only run 800 stitches per minute, whereas a commercial unit will do up to 1,500 stitches per minute.


A commercial embroidery machine is built with longevity in mind, they are designed to work for long hours without running into any issues. You’ll find top quality components on important parts of the machine, such as the:

  • Sewing heads
  • Motors
  • Electronics
  • Frame rail

Once you properly maintain them, they’ll far outlast a domestic unit.

A consumer machine isn’t designed for heavy-duty production, so don’t waste your time using one if you are starting off a business or looking to increase your inventory. Commercial machines provide greater output rates by using larger sewing fields, durable components, faster speeds and flexible framing options. If you are investing for business purposes, always go for a commercial machine.

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