The Brother HC1850 is a computerized sewing and quilting machine with a large number of features, for an affordable price.
As you’ll see in this Brother HC1850 review, this machine is a great choice for sewers of all levels, with certain features that set it apart from its competitors.
Product Overview: Brother HC1850
It is the next step up from the beginner-friendly Brother CS6000i, with more stitches, features, and accessories, and a slightly higher price tag. Both models are very easy to use and suitable for beginners, though the Brother HC1850 has more features for novice sewers to grow into.
Brother is one of the biggest names in sewing machines, renowned for reliable, high-quality machines at affordable prices.
Originally founded in Japan in 1908, they today produce a range of electronics, not just sewing machines, but also printers, computers, and fax machines. Their sewing machines are primarily accessible models for home sewers.
What we like:
- 130 built-in stitches with an easy-reference stitch chart on the front of the machine
- Easy bobbin winding
- Simple needle replacement
- Smooth and quiet to operate
What we don’t like:
- Dim, poorly positioned light
- Needle threader awkward to use
- Doesn’t do well with heavy duty fabrics
Features and Benefits of the Brother HC1850
This computerized sewing machine from Brother has a large number of functions and features, especially considering its affordable price tag.
Ease of use
The Brother HC1850 has a drop-in bobbin, with a special threading slot that makes threading the machine much easier compared to a traditional bobbin. This model’s bobbin is also resistant to jamming, helping to avoid tangled threads or the machine locking while sewing.
The machine comes with an automatic needle threader, saving the time and frustration of threading the needle manually.
Easy stitch selection
This computerized sewing machine has a backlit LCD screen allowing you to easily select your desired stitch. The display also shows your selection so you can quickly check the current settings.
The machine’s built-in stitch reference flip chart is a very handy feature, allowing you to easily scan the stitches and choose the most suitable one.
There is also a push-button stitch selector which makes choosing different stitches even easier. This machine’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to program the stitch type, length and width using the LCD screen.
This can be a bit of an adjustment for sewers who are accustomed to manual stitch selection, but once you get used to it, you’re sure to find this system quicker and easier to use.
Push button sewing control
You can choose to use the foot pedal to sew like on traditional machines, or use the start button. This will largely come down to personal preference, although many people find the start button easier and more efficient, especially on intricate projects like quilting and applique.
Great for beginners
The Brother HC1850 is very easy to use, making it a good choice for beginners.
It has an automatic bobbin winder, meaning you only need to put the bobbin in place, slide it across, and then simply push start. A tight bobbin is wound automatically, which is great for beginners who may have issues with winding the bobbin, causing tangled threads and tension problems.
Many of its other features, such as the automatic threader, push button stitch selector, and easy-thread bobbin are also great for beginners, allowing novice sewers to worry less about threading and more about sewing.
The machine runs very quietly, making it ideal for those who are sharing their sewing space with others and don’t want to disturb them with lots of noise.
DVD and written manual
There is also an instructional DVD included with the Brother HC 1850 that clearly breaks down how to use the machine and troubleshoot problems.
You can also access instructional videos on YouTube. This format will be a great alternative for those who struggle to sift through boring instruction manuals.
Naturally, a bilingual user manual is also included.
This machine is a very versatile sewing and quilting machine.
The Brother HC1850 comes with a very respectable 130 built-in stitches, including 55 alphanumeric stitches and 8 automatic buttonholes. There are also decorative and heirloom stitches.
The Brother 1850 has a highly-developed feed system that is suitable for most types of fabric.
It also comes with eight presser feet included, a large enough range to handle the most common fabrics and sewing techniques. These include:
- zipper foot
- buttonhole foot
- quilting foot
You will also find a blind stitch foot among the accessories, which eliminates the need for sewing a blind hem stitch by hand.
Adjustable sewing speed
Sewing speed is adjustable, meaning you can control the maximum sewing speed. This allows you to keep the stitching speed low when doing difficult or complex work.
This is great for beginners, as it means you can easily control the stitching speed without worrying about fine adjustments to foot pedal pressure.
It is also useful for different sewing techniques: slower speeds being better for quilting and intricate work, for example, while faster sewing is needed for long seams.
Needle stop up/down
The needle stop position can be set to either the up or down position, meaning you can adjust this depending on the sewing technique you’re using.
Being able to stop in the down position, for example, is very handy when quilting, or other sewing that requires a lot of manoeuvring.
Although not designed for embroidery, you can certainly do basic embroidery tasks like monogramming on this machine. The in-built stitches include all letters, numbers, punctuation and special symbols.
Along with the extended sewing table which gives quilters plenty of room, the Brother HC1850 has a host of other features quilters will love.
It comes with a spring action quilting foot that works with the up and down motion of the needle to keep the fabric from lifting up with the needle as you sew. This is great for keeping multiple layers of fabric neatly lined up when you’re quilting.
The Brother HC1850 is also equipped with a wide table that is ideal for sewing larger projects such as quilts.
It is also set up for free-motion quilting, being able to retract the feed dogs, allowing you to move the fabric freely.
This model can sew 850 stitches a minute, making it fast and efficient for sewing long seams and large projects.
The Brother HC 1850 has a 25-year limited warranty, much longer than most sewing machines. In addition, Brother offers free technical support for the life of the product, even when the warranty no longer applies. This is great for troubleshooting problems and issues with your machine, even if they were caused by user error.
This is a lightweight machine, making it portable and perfect for taking to class or to events.
Despite its light weight, this machine doesn’t shift or move while sewing, unlike some other lightweight models.
Problems and issues
Although a versatile model that can handle most sewing techniques and fabrics, it should be noted that this is not a heavy-duty machine. The Brother HC1850 is not ideal for sewing heavy fabrics, even with heavy-duty needle.
Another small issue with the Brother HC1850 is that its automatic needle threader is awkward to use, requiring some practice to get this working properly.
On the other hand, the machine is quite easy to thread by hand, so many sewers may prefer to use this as a work around to the clumsy automatic needle threader.
The LED light could be brighter and it is not well-positioned. It is set so that your hand blocks the light when threading or changing the needle, which is rather inconvenient.
Finally, unlike many comparable models, the Brother HC1850 does not come with a hard case for transport and storage. However, this standard-sized machine will fit most universal sewing covers, so it is easy to find a case for it.
Alternatives to the Brother HC1850
The Brother HC1850 is an affordable, computerized sewing machine with a range of features. There are a number of models in this category, so it is worth comparing your options to make sure you choose the best machine for you.
Brother HC1850 vs Brother CS6000i
The Brother HC1850 already comes with an affordable price tag, and the CS6000i from the same brand is even more affordable still.
Both are easy-to-use computerized sewing machines suitable for sewing or quilting. Both have a range of features such as an automatic needle threader, large quilting table, push-button sewing control, and bobbin winder.
The major difference is that the Brother CS6000i is squarely aimed at beginners, and it may be a little limiting for intermediate to advanced sewers. It only has 60 built-in stitches compared to the HC 1850’s 130, and it also cannot do monogramming.
Read our full Brother CS6000i review.
Brother HC1850 vs Singer 7258
Singer and Brother are undoubtedly each other’s biggest competition in affordable sewing machines for at-home users. Both brands are well known for producing quality, affordable machines that are packed with features.
Singer’s equivalent to the Brother HC 1850 is the Singer 7258 model. These models are very similar in price and have many of the same user-friendly features for versatile sewing and quilting.
The Singer 7258 only has 100 built-in stitches compared to the Brother 1850’s 130. On the other hand, the Singer 7258 comes with ten presser feet, whereas Brother 1850 has only eight.
Both of these machines share many of the same features, such as an automatic stitch selector and programmable needle stop up/down. One big asset of the Brother 1850 is that it can do monogramming whereas the Singer 7258 cannot.
Read our full Singer 7258 review.
Brother HC1850 vs Singer 4452
Computerized sewing machines are a great choice for many people: they’re easy to use and have a large number of features to help you improve the quality of your sewing and quilting.
However, if you want a more heavy-duty machine at an affordable price, you may prefer a mechanical sewing machine. In this case, the Singer 4452 is a great option. This is a completely different machine to the Brother HC1850: it is entirely mechanical, meaning all stitch types, sizes, and so on need to be selected manually.
The Singer 4452 has only 32 built-in stitches compared to the Brother HC1850, but it is able to sew through heavy fabrics such as upholstery and denim with ease. On the other hand, the Brother HC1850 struggles with these, often producing an imperfect finish.
Read our full Singer 4452 review.
Wrapping it up
The Brother HC1850 is a versatile, affordable machine suitable for beginners to more advanced sewers. It has a large number of features and functions for the price, making it ideal for garment sewing, quilting, and basic monogramming.
Despite some minor issues, overall this is a solid, high performing machine that will suit the needs of most sewers.