Brother PE525 side view

Brother PE525 Embroidery Machine is an embroidery only machine. It appears on many charts and seems to be quite popular with users. I will take a closer look at it to see what all the fuss is about.

Sewing machines have changed quite a lot throughout more than 150 years of history and evolution. It is only natural that technological progress affected the sewing industry as well. But, when it comes to embroidery machines, changes were radical. The first embroidery machine invented in the early 19th century by Frenchman Joshua Heilman looked nothing alike machines of today. Just to get a glimpse, instead of taking the needle to the fabric, fabric moved to meet the needle that was pointed at both ends with an eye in the middle! It took several men to move it,  but that’s how it all started.

Today, embroidery machines are actually computers that sew. They can be light and portable. Embroidering with modern machines is a breeze even for beginners. Big changes usually provoke dismay and disbelief but you can’t turn back time. Computerized machines probably sound scary to our grandmas, but they really made things easier. Actually, with these innovations, beginners become intimate with sewing, quilting and embroidering much quicker.

Brother is one of the biggest manufacturers of embroidery machines. They strive to produce innovative, more affordable and easy to use machines while maintaining the highest quality. Of course, their line contains machines of all levels, from low-end to high-end industrial machines. Brother PE525 is supposed to have all the aforementioned qualities.

Overview

PE525 needle close up
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Brother PE525 is seductive from the moment you lay your eyes on it. It has a modern design with flower patterns. Well, most of the modern machines have some flower themes, but this one is really nice. Of course, it’s not like it will help the machine perform better. But why wouldn’t you have both, beautiful design and high quality? If you’re into embroidery you most certainly appreciate the beauty. It is relatively small and relatively lightweight.

The first undeniable quality of this Brother PE525 machine is its price. It is an affordable machine and it should attract a lot of beginners or at least embroidery beginners. It is pretty much easy to use and lightweight just enough to take it to your embroidery class. Even though it is an entry-level machine it has some features of advanced machines. Those features make it easier to get into the embroidery with minimum distractions, but more on that later.

It is not a combo machine so it can’t handle sewing tasks. Embroidery is the only activity you will have on this machine. It comes with 4 by 4 inches embroidery area. This size should allow you to take on most of the projects for beginner and intermediate level.

This Brother PE525 machine is easy to use. It is pretty intuitive as well. However, if you get stuck, you can use the LCD touch screen and find tutorials and instructions for most of the tasks. Most of the users are impressed with this machine’s performance. While most of the users aren’t very experienced I can verify that it performs very well.

Brother PE525 Features

  • Smart needle threading system – This machine has a convenient and advanced automatic threading system. While this feature doesn’t seem to be of great importance, once you get used to it you will wonder how could you sew without it. Many small conveniences make the world of difference.
  • Quick set drop in bobbin – Brother’s quick set drop-in bobbin system is easy to use and it is jam resistant. Bobbin winding is a piece of cake as well. Bobbin cover is translucent, so you can see how much thread is left. Simple things like tangled bobbin thread or running out of thread can turn your project into a nightmare. With this bobbin system, you won’t have those problems. As I said, It is all about small conveniences…
  • Automatic thread trimmer – Forget about scissors and just push the button. This machine will do the rest for you.
  • LCD touch screen – Touch screen is sensitive and very useful. It is easy to navigate and access the built-in designs. You can find all that you need on this touch screen. It will show you how to control the process, how to edit designs, it is simply smart. Instructions are clear and understandable. Altogether, the touch screen will help you tremendously to master the art of embroidery much quicker.
  • Built-in designs – There are 70 built-in designs and 120 frame patterns. It is more than beginner needs. Most of them are pretty simple and don’t require many colors. Once you improve your skill, you can import new, and more elaborate designs. I almost forgot, there are five lettering fonts for monogramming as well.
  • Pattern rotation – Instead of rotating your fabric you can rotate designs at 1, 10 and 90 degrees. It is practical and allows for more creativity.

Brother PE525 Performance

PE525 lcd displayModern machines have more and more cool features, but it is all in vain if it doesn’t execute the basic tasks properly. When it comes to performance Brother PE525 won’t let you down. Even though it is a low-end machine, it is not the performance that will give it away. It really produces good quality embroidery designs.

However, there is an aspect of the performance that could be better in Brother PE525. It is speed. Speed of 400 stitches per minute is OK for beginners, but for more advanced users this is a little bit slow.

One thing that I particularly like is the possibility to import new designs. This feature really gives an edge to computerized machines. 70 built-in designs are great to start with. Brother company has a site called iBroidery to provide thousands of new designs for your embroidery machine. All you need is a USB cable.

Accessories

Embroidery machines don’t need as many accessories as sewing machines. This is a list of accessories that come with this machine:

  • 4 x 4 inches embroidery hoop
  • Seam ripper
  • 4 bobbins
  • Needle set
  • Cleaning brush
  • 3 spool caps (large, medium and small)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • 2 screwdrivers
  • Touch Pen
  • Embroidery foot
  • Dust cover
  • USB cable
  • Instruction manual
  • Accessory bag

Pros

As you can see this machine has a lot of qualities, so let’s sum it up.

  • It is computerized machine – Computerized machines allow precision, limitless import of new designs, and the machine does all the work almost by itself.
  • Performance – Good performance and satisfying results are basic requirements for a good machine. As I said, Brother PE525 promises a high quality and delivers.
  • It is affordable – It is a good value for the money.
  • User-friendly – Actually, some users have complained that it took some time to figure things out. I don’t buy it. You can’t really expect that everything is easy as pie. But, in my opinion, this machine is easy to use and the instruction manual is very clear, understandable and thorough.
  • LCD touch screen – Touch screen is excellent. It is the brain of your machine and it helps you to control every part of the process.
  • It is quite – Another nice feature. I like to work late hours and it can be a problem for your family or even your neighbors. With this machine, it is not.
  • LED light – Speaking of working late, you need to have good light for your working area. Low-end machines often have bad light. This one has an excellent bright light to enjoy your late night sessions.

Cons

Each and every machine has some advantages and shortcomings as well. Considering that this is an affordable, entry-level machine, I think that positives strongly outweigh the negatives. So, these are my objections:

  • Small hoop – 4 x 4 inches is not actually small, but in my opinion, it is a  limiting factor. You can work around this, but I think it could be bigger.
  • Speed – 400 hundred stitches per minute is a good speed for beginners. For advanced users, it is just slow.
  • Embroidery only – I don’t think that this is a shortcoming but some users would like to do both sewing and embroidery with the same machine. If you are one of them you can check out Brother SE425, Brother SE625, and Singer Futura XL-580 combo machines.
  • Takes time to learn – This is not a con at all, but I had to mention it as some users did complain about it. However, embroidery machines are more difficult to operate than sewing machines. Many options require learning as well. So, there is something to learn, but it is not so hard.

Conclusion

The final verdict is easy – this is an excellent entry level embroidery machine. It has all the features that one need to embrace the art of embroidery and then some. It is not the best choice for advanced users, though.

So, considering the price, performance and features this Brother PE525 machine is a great choice for beginners.

Brother PE525 Embroidery Machine
  • Embellish your creations with embroidery! Easy to learn and use embroidery-only model from Brother
  • 4 x 4 inch embroidery area
  • Easy-to-view back-lit touch screen LCD display accesses 70 built-in embroidery designs, with 5 lettering fonts
  • Computer connectivity for importing thousands of embroidery designs purchased from iBroidery.com and other sites, and for updating your machine in the future.Bilingual user manual, 25-year limited warranty, and free phone technical support for the life of the product.Built-in designs - 70 designs, 5 font styles for lettering and monogramming and 120 frame pattern combinations
  • LCD size(inches): 2.7 x 1.4