What Is The Difference Between The Brother SE-400 and Brother SE-350?

Brother SE400 USB PortBriefly, the Brother SE-400 Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine is the same as the Brother SE350 with an USB Port for computer connectivity. This USB port enhancement means that you don’t need to buy expensive software and a card reader/writer when you want to expand beyond the built-in embroidery patterns.

The Brother SE350 has been discontinued and replaced with the SE400. Except for the USB port, the Brother SE-400 is identical to the SE-350.

The USB port on the side of the Brother SE400 connects the SE400 directly to your computer with the included USB cable. You can then download embroidery designs from your computer into the SE400 for stitching. You can also upgrade the internal software in the SE400 when Brother releases a system upgrade.

Brother SE400 attached to computerNote: The USB port on the Brother SE400 is the type of USB port that accepts a USB cable and attaches to a computer’s USB port. It is not compatible with a USB thumb drive or memory stick.

Brother SE400 vs SE350 is really a no-brainer. The SE350 has been discontinued, but is still selling new for a price equal to or greater than the upgraded SE400. You can sometimes find a better deal, but remember to include the cost of the software and card reader/writer you’ll need to download additional embroidery designs. No matter how many built-in designs an embroidery machine has, sooner or later, you will want more.

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Our Readers Respond ...

  1. Lynette says

    Hi! I really wanted to purchase the Brother SE400, on ebay and have it shipped to my country. But I’m worried of its ac wattage requirements, will not be compatible with Kuwait’s power outlet voltage 220 – 240. What is “se400″ voltage? Thanks

    • Kamala says

      Hi Lynette, The voltage for the SE400 is US 110v. Both Brother and Amazon advise not to use a step-down transformer with the SE400 to convert from your 220v to 110v. You could try looking for a similar model from the UK or other 220v country, but I don’t know anything about them.

  2. Angie Wingo says

    I am new to the embroidery world and learning more every day. I have bought a used Brother se350. It does a great job on the monogramming and embroidery I am learning to do but I want to do machine applique. I have read the manuel from cover to cover and I”m wondering if this machine does not do machine applique???? Do you know if it has the internal capibilities to machine applique OR can I add that option??? I would appreciate your help. Thanks!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Andie, Welcome to the fun world of embroidery. I’m so glad you’re learning. The SE350 will do appliqué. Have a look at the manual on page 141. You will need an appliqué design which is a special embroidery design with the extra steps for appliquéing programmed in. I suggest you start with one of the built-in designs to test and learn. Look in the Quick Reference Guide for designs with a *. For example, number 40, 43, and 44 are appliqué designs. One thing that confuses many people: in the manual where it tells you to set the thread color display to the name of the color, it doesn’t mean that it will display any appliqué setting right then. It means to set it to the color name, so that later, when you’re stitching the appliqué, it can display the name of each step. If you’ve never done appliqué before, I found this tutorial helpful, http://www.sewswell.com/applique_instructions01.html. Hope this helps.

  3. Judy Abernathy says

    Thanks for your site. Although I am having no problems with anything on my SE-400, I am always looking for new ideas and tips for my machine. Again, Thanks for all your time and effort.

  4. Saundra Jolley says

    What is causing the bobbins to mess up in the middle of a design. I have to start over and it mess up the shirt.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Saundra, Are you sure the bobbin is in and threaded correctly? Also, try taking the bobbin case apart and cleaning it thoroughly. (see p. 152 in the manual for instructions.) Even a tiny bit of dust or lint can cause it. Is the bobbin thread hanging up on something? A burr or scratch or rough spot on the case can cause this. Did you wind your own bobbin and is it smooth and tight? Does it happen all the time or only if the bobbin is near the end where the winding can be especially uneven. It can also be the upper thread tension. Make sure it’s threaded correctly. Just some ideas – hope at least one helps.

  5. Saundra Jolley says

    When doing an appliqué, it says to press the button that looks like a piece of paper with some writing on it and to set the color display to NAME OF COLOR so the “Appliqué material, appliqué position and appliqué are displayed. Once I set the color display what do I do to get the appliqué stuff to show up on the display I’m getting nothing?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Saundra, It’s confusing because the manual is badly written. It means to set the color display SO THAT LATER when you’re appliquéing a design it can display the instructions. Just select your appliqué design and start the stitching and you’ll see the steps come up. If you need help with the process, have a look at this tutorial: http://www.sewswell.com/applique_instructions01.html.

      • Saundra Jolley says

        I know this should be easy but I guess my question is how do I start? I don’t know how to select my design for it to be an appliqué. Or how to stitch.

        • Kamala says

          Hi Saundra, I don’t know how to answer because I don’t know where you are. Have you stitched out any embroidery design? If not, I suggest you start with a regular design before doing an appliqué as it’s simpler and you will need to learn the basic skills of embroidery like hooping and positioning for both.

          If you can do a regular design, then you can’t just select that the design be an appliqué. You have to start with an appliqué design which will have the special steps for appliquéing built in. For an example of a built-in appliqué design, look at the Quick Reference Guide that came with the machine. #40, 43,44 are appliqué designs. They are marked with a * and you can see the extra steps (the first three) for appliqués. I would suggest that you start with one of them on a scrap fabric to learn. Appliqué designs look like regular designs except they have the extra steps. You select them and stitch them the same way. Look at the tutorial link I gave you to see where the machine stops and what you do at each step.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Saundra,
      The SE400 is a combination sewing and embroidery machine. I’ve never heard of an SE400 that wasn’t a combo. Maybe they just didn’t give the full name in the title?

    • Kamala says

      Hi Kelly, Yes, I have a Macintosh and only use it. Love Macs! Have a look at my post on downloading designs and you’ll see pictures of my MacBook Pro connected to my SE400.

      Brother says it’s not compatible, but it works and I’ve never had any problem with it.

  6. Kim says

    This site is a Godsend. I just got the se-400 for Christmas and not only want to read the manuals online but need help just getting started as I haven’t sewn in about 10 years. Im ashamed to admit that anything kept me away from my passion for that long. But Im back and thank you for this amazing site to go to when I need it. Happy Holidays!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Kim, thanks so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I know what you mean. I used to make most of my own clothes and many things for the house, but with work and other life, I stopped for many years. It’s never too late to start again. The machines are a lot fancier, but the basics haven’t changed. Happy Holidays and best wishes for sewing and embroidery in 2014! :-)

  7. Olivia Weathers says

    I love your site it give so much useful information. I use the brother SE350 and have the SA434
    but I didn’t know how to use it until now thank you so very much for this information.

    olivia Weathers
    FortWorth TX

  8. shirley says

    what kind of fonts does the 400 and 350 have? i want to make quilt labels and want a machine that will embroider them.

  9. Kris Pritfchard says

    I have the Brother SE-270 D. it sounds like the Brother SE-400 is very similar to the 270 except the 270 doesn’t have a USB port, The 270 also uses cassettes for threading the machine and has some Disney designs built into it. I am considering purchasing a 400 now that the price is less than $300.00 primarily for the USB port and its upgradeability..

    Can you compare the machines? I have read machine reviews on the SE-270 D on Pattern Review. and many of the reviews said the machine had tangle issues and tension problems. Does your machine have any such issues?

    Many thanks,

    • Kamala says

      Hi Tina,
      I don’t know much about the SE-270D except what you said. It’s an older machine, more like the SE350. One thing I read is that people had a lot of trouble with the cassette thread system and Brother changed it for the SE350 and SE400. My SE400 threads basically like my old sewing machines except the thread spindle is horizontal instead of vertical. I haven’t had problems with the thread tangling or anything. I did have a problem with some cheap thread breaking. But it wasn’t the machine’s fault. The spools were rough and had burs that caught the tread. I smoothed them out and haven’t had any problem since. I haven’t had any tension problems. I ran the test in the manual and the factory setting worked just fine.

      The SE400 doesn’t include any Disney designs. But it doesn’t really matter because you can buy and download just the ones you want from Brother’s iBroidery. The USB port make the whole process of getting designs a lot easier.

      I saw Amazon is selling the SE400 for under $300. This is an amazing price. Amazon does this once in a while, but it usually doesn’t last long. You can check it out here.

      Hope this helps,

  10. says

    This website is AMAZING, thank you so much!! I’m still having tons of trouble saving my pes files in the actual machine, but I think I’m getting there. I just wanted to say that if you’re still looking for something like embird but for the mac, I’ve been playing with stitch buddy all day, and I think I really like it. Basically, you just drag a bunch of letters that you buy into one screen and arrange them to say your name or monogram. Or at least that’s what I’ve been doing. ALL DAY. Now if only I could get them to stay on the machine instead of having to export them EVERY SINGLE TIME…

    Anyway. Thanks so much, this website really is awesome. Oh, and at stitch buddy you can do a free trial, you get to use it like fifty times before you have to pay.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. I love embroidery and I love to share it.
      Thanks for the tip on Stitch Buddy – I’m going to try it.
      Did you see my tutorial, How To Download Designs To The Brother SE400? Down at the bottom, it shows how to save your pes files in the SE400′s permanent memory. You can save up to 12 designs depending on how large the files are. If the instructions aren’t clear, let me know and I’ll clarify it.

  11. kathy says

    What software program could I use to help my computer and Brother SE-400 talk to each other. I am able to download embroidery designs, but am unable to open them. My machine was purchased through a private sale.

    • Kamala says

      You don’t need software for your computer to talk to the Brother SE400. It’s all built in to the computer and the SE400. But they only talk to transfer the embroidery designs to the SE400. You don’t need to open the designs to do this. See my post, How To Download Designs To The Brother SE400 for detailed instructions and pictures on how to do this.

      To open and edit the designs on your computer, you will need software. Which one depends on what you want to do. There is a vast range from simple cataloging to design and digitizing. Many people like Embird or SewWhatPro. I have a Mac so I’m looking at other solutions.

  12. Cindy says

    I am doing a fleece baby blanket, and I want to do a “blanket stitch for the edge. My problem is I can’t seem to find a stitch that is close to it…HELP!! Thanks!!

    • Kamala says

      Hi Cindy, I can’t find anything like a true blanket stitch either. I’ve always done blanket stitch by hand. You might try a wide overcast or buttonhole stitch, but it won’t really look the same.

  13. Becky says

    I am having trouble with my new Brother SE400 and uploaded designs. I have read in multiple places that they can be saved to the macine’s memory, but I can’t find how to do it! I have tried to figure it out, but to no avail. Can you email me the steps to take? Also, is it possible to delete some of the images that came on the machine that I will never use, so as to add more space to save uploaded designs. One more question, is it normal for the uploaded image to be distorted? Some are unrecognizable. I am afraid to even try to embroider them.

    • Kamala says

      Hi Becky,

      You save designs to the SE400′s memory by selecting the design on the LCD screen and pressing the Memory button. The memory button looks like a pocket with an arrow going in it. Have a look at my other post, ”How To Download Embroidery Designs”. I just updated it with clearer instructions and a picture for you.

      It’s not possible to delete any of the built-in images. You can only save 12 new designs into the memory.

      About the image of the design, I guess it depends on what you mean by distorted. The LCD is small, black&white and low-res compared to the actual stitched pattern. So it’s not going to tell you how it’ll really look. I think you just have to try one on some scrap fabric and see. Also, the quality of downloaded designs, especially free ones can vary widely.

      Best regards,

  14. Carmen Mercado says

    If you look the side of the se 350 machine, it hava a little cover, if you take it out, you would see a usb connector. but it does’t function at all.

    • Kamala says

      That’s very interesting. So they must have designed the USB port into the se 350 hardware, planning to release an upgrade later. So really the only difference in the models must be software or maybe a little switch inside that makes the USB connector function. I wonder if it’s possible to somehow make the USB work on a SE 350? I searched a lot of places but haven’t found anything. Thanks for the information. Kamala

  15. Mary Anne says

    Thanks for the explanation. I was all set to buy the SE350 when Brother discontinued it. Then when the SE400 came out, I didn’t understand exactly what they meant by “computer connectivity.” So many choices, it’s a bit overwhelming.