Brother SE-400 vs. Brother HE-240

Brother SE400Many people are asking me to compare the Brother HE-240 and the Brother SE-400. Actually, it’s confusing because there aren’t that many differences between the SE400 and the HE240.

The Brother SE 400 Sewing and Embroidery machine is a newer machine that is identical to the older Brother HE240.

In short, here are the major differences:

  • The HE-240 is sold only by HSN. The SE-400 can be bought many places online and in retail stores.
  • HSN’s price for the HE240 is a lot more than Amazon’s price for the SE-400. Amazon has the best price that I’ve found.
  • HSN does include some extra accessories for the higher price. See below.

The Brother HE-240 is an exclusive model sold only by HSN. Brother made the HE240 by adding an USB port to the SE350 before the SE400 came out. I don’t know if Brother added any tweaks to the newer SE400, but there are no essential differences between the two models. The SE400 does have the ability to upgrade the internal software through the USB port.

HSN does throw in a few extras such as a cording foot, narrow hem foot, piecing foot, and a very nice accessory case. But HSN charges $130 more than Amazon. If the extra accessories are worth the extra money to you, than buy the HE240 from HSN. But be sure to check the price of the accessories separately. If you only need one or two, you’ll be better off buying them separately. Another advantage of the Brother HE-240 is that HSN offers a monthly payment plan. Otherwise your best buy is the Brother SE400 from Amazon.

Either way, they are both great little machines, offering a lot of value for the money in a combination sewing and embroidery machine.

>>> Here’s My Current Recommendation For The Best Value <<<
Click here to see today’s price.

Click here to check out the HE240 from HSN.


Our Readers Respond ...

  1. Maxine says

    I am looking at getting a Embroidery sewing machine and was looking at the he-240 (or even the se400). From what I have read it seems like most people say that the 4×4 embroidery aria is too small to get much done, can you use a 5×7 hoop with these models?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Maxine, No. You really need a larger, more expensive machine if you want to stitch designs larger than 3.94×3.94″. The maximum embroidery area is a physical limitation of the machine in all components. You could research software to split the design into 3.94×3.94″ blocks or tiles that you stitch separately. I have only theoretical knowledge of this, because I think it’s very difficult or impossible with many designs to get the pieces lined up for beautiful, neat embroidery.

  2. Christina says

    Hi Kamala,
    I have the brother He240 & am wondering how to line up initials when using the alphabet that is in the “picture” section of the machine. Not the 5 fonts that come with it, but you can choose an individual letter, one at a time, in the picture section…any idea on how to embroider initials this way? and not have them be crooked?
    Thanks so much for you help!

  3. Edith Reardon says

    Bought the HE-240 from Costco and surprised to read it is an HSN model? Better return policy with Costco. Costco is selling this machine right now for $110 supposedly off the reg. Canadian price. The price I paid with shipping was $461.99 can. delivered to the door in 2 days. Though not the $110 off I figure I saved about $70 off the cheapest price I could get it for. Wish it came with a hard cover and storage. I might have to look for something that will work with this machine. I want to keep all the cords & attachments with it. I have a Janome that I can store a lot of stuff into the cover.

    Make sure you update your drivers if you need to off the brother’s page. I just bought my machine and the drivers are up to date.

  4. Sassy1 says

    I just purchased the PED Basic software and memory card for my HE 240 sewing machine as I thought I needed the software in order for the memory card to work. However, I noticed on one of the emails below that the software is not needed since I have the USB port. Is this accurate; I hope I’ve not wasted $90 for nothing.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Sassy,
      If you want to use memory cards to organize and transfer designs, then you need software and a card writer. You don’t need this software to load memory cards that you purchase with embroidery designs already loaded on them–only to write designs on the card.

      You can use the USB port instead and just organize all the designs on your computer. This is what I do.

      However, some people prefer to use cards instead of the USB port. Maybe they don’t have a laptop or it’s not convenient to move the laptop or computer close to the sewing machine. It’s really a personal choice in those cases and they would need software and a card writer box.

      • Sassy1 says

        Thank you for your prompt response, Kamala,
        One more questions, please forgive me if my questions seem redundant. I’ve order the software and card writer, but have not received them yet.

        I purchased and downloaded two images from a website last night. My sewing machine is out of memory at the moment and I don’t want to delete any of those images.

        How can I save my new images into my pc? I did download the PED Basic from Brother; however, I am not able to copy the images into that software. I tried to place them on my C: drive to no avail.Is this possible without having a memory card?

        • Kamala says

          Hi Sassy,
          I don’t quite understand. Maybe because I use a Mac and know very little about PCs. Or maybe there’s a difference with the HE-240 I don’t know about.

          If you purchased and downloaded two images from a website, why aren’t they on your PC when you downloaded them? When you download files from a website, Windows puts them somewhere on your C drive or lets you say where. This depends on Windows. They must have gone somewhere but I can’t tell where.

          How can the sewing machine be out of memory if you don’t have the memory card yet? Or have you transferred designs using the USB port already.

          You can download and save embroidery designs to your PC without a memory card, writer, or software. I do it all the time. You cannot open those files on your PC without embroidery software.

          For working with embroidery designs without a memory card, see my tutorial.

          I think you need to wait until PED Basic arrives, so you can follow the instructions in the manual. I’m not sure what you downloaded from Brother.

          I do hope you mean embroidery design files (.pes) and not images. If you really mean images such as .jpg, that’s a whole other thing.

          The files you downloaded could be zipped. You have to unzip them. Please see my tutorial on download embroidery designs.

          Hope this helps some. I’m a little confused about how you can download files from websites and PED Basic from Brother and not be able to place them on your C: drive. Where else could they go?

          • Sassy1 says

            All of this is new to me so I may be using the wrong terminology at times. I do mean files and not images. I looked at a tutorial on downloading files on a pc and saw what I was doing wrong and I saw how to save them.

            I do appreciate your help with all of my issues. Thank you.

          • Kamala says

            Hi Sassy, I’m so glad you’re talking about embroidery files and not images. I thought so, but just wanted to be sure. We were all new once and there’s a lot to learn and the terminology is often confusing. Congratulations on solving your downloading and saving problems. I think you’re doing great! :-)

  5. Susan England says

    I’ve had a Brother SE-240 for approximately 4 yrs. and it’s worked perfectly until two weeks ago. Over about three days the touch screen stopped working. When I touched a letter to monogram, the next letter would pop up, ( as in the i would come onscreen instead of the h). Then the () forward and back buttons wouldn’t work, but as I kept touching the screen I found I could press the key in a different place (outside the designated area) and it would work. However, almost all the touchscreen buttons will not work now, nor can I adjust the length or width of the stitches. As long as I sew one of the 6 stitches that pop up when it is turned on, it sews perfectly, but I can’t adjust them. It seems like my screen needs to be recalibrated, but I can’t find anything online from brother that will tell me how to do that. Although I can find recalibration info on other models. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

    • Kamala says

      I’m sorry, Susan, I just don’t know anything about this problem. If you can’t find recalibration instructions online or by calling Brother, I can only suggest you take it into a repair shop. Good luck and blessings, Kamala

    • Kamala says

      Hi Jill, No, you don’t need the PED-Basic software. Both models have USB ports that allow you to transfer embroidery designs directly from your computer. If you want to combine designs or put alphabet designs together to make words, you’ll need embroidery editing software such as Embird or SewWhat Pro or Brother’s PE-Design depending on what you want to do.

  6. Christine says

    Hi Kamala!

    I have been looking at embroidery machines for the past several weeks, and the Brother SE400 and HE240 are at the top of my list. I was so happy when I found your blog tonight while trying to find the differences between the 2 models. I used to sew several years ago, and now I am looking to take up embroidery (mostly for baby items). Is there any way to find out what the fonts and embroidery patterns look like that come with the Brother SE400?

    Thank you in advance for any information that you can provide!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks for asking. I have been planing to add the fonts and embroidery patterns to the site, but haven’t had time yet. In the meantime, here’s a picture that might help you.

      Brother SE400 included embroidery patterns

      Most of the designs aren’t to my taste and there aren’t many for baby items. But you can find a lot more choices on Brother’s website and other places on the internet that you can download into the Brother SE400.

      Enjoy your new machine and hobby,

      • ashley says

        HE-240/SE-400/LB-6800. I was looking at this model on craigslist. They are asking $399 for it. Is that a good price or should I buy one brand new?

        • Kamala says

          Hi Ashley, no, that’s a very high price. The new price has dropped this year, so if it’s used, they probably paid a lot more when they bought it. Amazon’s price today for a new SE300 is about $337. It changes all the time so check it out out here: SE400 at Amazon. That’s where I bought mine. I prefer to buy new machines because of the warranty and you know what you’re getting and how it’s been taken care of. A new LB68000 at Amazon is currently about $390.

  7. FATHONY luthfillah says

    Hi Kamala,
    my problem to get brother se400 is no reseller/distributor in indonesia (my country).
    Or i can’t find one of them.
    So, can you help me how to get it?
    I feel from amazon (minumum prize) would be appreciate, but another way is okay.
    –excuse me for my bad english :D }–

    • Kamala says

      Hi Fathony,
      Amazon will ship to some countries outside the US, but I don’t know if Indonesia is one of them. You could try buying it from Amazon and checking out. I think that it would tell you when you fill in your shipping address, before they charge you anything. Or you could email their support. The SE400 is available from other places, but I don’t know their shipping policies. You could also contact Brother at and ask if there is a deal near you. But in the US, the SE400 is not sold in Brother dealers — only online and in big-box stores like Walmart.

      Brother USA’s parent company is Japanese. So maybe you could find out something there or in Asia.

      I’m sorry, I can’t be of more help. I don’t really know anything about shipping outside the US.
      Good luck,

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