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A serger machine is not a replacement for a sewing machine but an ideal supplement.
Known outside the US as overlocker machines, sergers are pro-grade machines that are also suitable for experienced home crafters.
Used primarily to wrap and trim the edges of material to prevent fraying, sergers can also be used for hems and seams with the right attachments.
In today’s serger machine reviews, we’ll highlight 5 of the best overlockers at a range of price points and functionality.
5 Best Serger and Overlocker Machine Reviews
After that, we’ll focus on what you should look for when you’re hunting for the best serger machine.
We’ll snap to it right now with those serger machine reviews…
First up in our serger machine reviews is the first of a pair of Brothers we’ll look at today.
The classic Designio Series is an affordable overlocker capable of powering through your projects at 1300 SPM. Although this pace means the Brother isn’t exactly quiet, in return you’ll get a flexible serger machine that punches above its weight.
If you’re looking for an affordable entry point into the world of overlockers, the Designio is cheap, highly customizable and capable of delivering a professional finish when it counts.
You’ll get 22 inbuilt stitches including a 4-thread overlock and 3-thread overlock. You won’t be able to buttonhole or work with zippers but you should have most main serging bases covered.
Color-coded threading is fairly straightforward for a serger machine.
There’s a gathering foot, piping foot, and blind hem stitch thrown in. Brother also throws in tweezers and enough accessories to get you going straight out the box.
You’ll be able to control the width from 3mm to 7mm, vital for flat seam finishes.
Aside from kicking out quite a racket, there’s not much we can say to knock the Brother Designio Series. It’s a strong contender for the best overlocker machine at a price you’ll love.
Since serger machines can be notoriously expensive, next in our lineup is another pocket-friendly powerhouse from a stellar brand, the Singer Stylist.
In many ways functionality is similar to the entry-level Brother we just looked at. Speed is the same at an impressive 1300 SPM.
There are 6 stitch types at your disposal on the Stylist serger. Whether you’re working with rolled or blind hems, finishing off raw edges, seaming or flatlocking, you’ll have most reasonable projects well within your grasp using this fine overlocker machine.
Color-coded threading is as simple as any serger machine once you’ve got the hang of it.
A removable free arm gives you further scope if you’re trying to sew in awkward areas.
Thanks to the integrated handle, you can easily carry your serger from car to class and at just 15 pounds, you won’t strain yourself carrying it either.
For a cost-effective and versatile serger machine from a legendary brand, you can’t beat the Singer Stylist.
While Janome don’t make cheap sewing machines, the MyLock 634D is arguably one of the best serger sewing machines on the market and great value despite being pretty pricey.
Let’s face it, if you’re investing in a serger machine, why not pay a little more in return for a seamless and user-friendly experience? If you can afford it, we can’t recommend the MyLock strongly enough.
Initial set-up is simplified no end since the serger arrives pre-threaded. This saves a great deal of fiddling around, and all you’ll need to do is tie off the threads and pull them through.
Despite giving you all the 2-thread, 3-thread and 4-thread stitches you’ll need and the scope to undertake a broad spread of projects, the Janome is fairly small and lightweight.
The only real gripes from users concern a tendency for the machine to shake slightly, in part due to its lightweight nature.
If you’re looking for a dependable and portable overlocker machine to give your projects a slick, professional finish, the Janome MyLock is not cheap but then the best things in life rarely are. Road test a Janome today and you’ll never look back.
Brother dominate the sewing space so heavily we couldn’t help but turn our attention to a second serger from their impressive range of sewing machines, the entry-level 1034D coming in a very reasonable price point.
The 22 inbuilt stitches give you plenty of latitude to deal with most home projects. You’ll get 3-thread and 4-thread overlock along with narrow and rolled hem, ribbon-lock stitches and specialty stitches perfect for bridal projects.
As with most of the best serger machines, the Brother is a pretty user-friendly machine. It’s easy to thread and straightforward to jump in and start using directly out the box.
With a foot controller, a pair of snap-on feet and needles – you can use regular sewing needles – you have everything you need to get going. There’s a soft case included which is a bonus at this price point.
If you want to buy into the giant that’s Brother without bankrupting yourself, this serger machine is well worth popping on your shortlist.
Last up in our serger machine review is the legendary MO-1000 from the titan that is Juki. If you’re looking for a cheap overlocker machine, click away now and reconsider one of the other sergers we looked at. If, on the other hand, you want an uncompromising overlocker and you don’t mind paying for it, read on…
You’ll get plenty of speed with the Juki at 1500 stitches per minute, an aggressive pace that lets you work confidently with speed and accuracy.
Automatic air-powered needle threading simplifies one area that’s always tasky with serger machines.
2-thread, 3-thread and 4-thread overlock and stitch length of 1mm to 4mm offers a wide range of freedom to tackle most reasonable crafting projects.
You can fine-tune the differential feed to get a great finish every time exactly the way you want it.
For a formidable serger machine from arguably the leading brand in this competitive space, the Juki serger is a class above the rest of the opposition.
Now you’ve seen the 5 leading serger machines on the market, what should you look for when you’re on the trail of an overlocker?
What To Look For In The Best Serger and Overlocker Machines
If you’re sure a serger machine makes sense for you, we’ll summarize a few crucial factors to help you get the best overlocker machine the easy way.
Serger vs Overlocker
As we mentioned right off the bat, these specialist sewing machines are known as sergers or serger machines in the US. Elsewhere, the term overlocker machine is standard.
Sergers and overlockers are one and the same.
Take the time to discover how easy the machine you have in mind is to thread.
We have to say this is a question of relative degree since all sergers are slightly tasky to thread, whatever promises are lavished by the manufacturer. We’d suggest you take the time to watch a few video tutorials and you’ll be away in no time. The manual should also help out but video brings it to life.
Unlike sewing machines, sergers do not have a top thread with a bobbin thread below.
There are various stitch combinations available:
- 2-Thread Overlocker: 1 needle thread, 1 looper thread
- 3-Thread Overlocker: 1 needle thread, 2 looper threads
- 4-Thread Overlocker: 2 needle threads, 2 looper threads
You’ll need the tweezers included with your serger machine or an easy threading device.
The assorted threads come with color-coded tension controls.
Make sure the machine you’re looking at doesn’t have a bad rep for being a nuisance to thread.
All full-bore serger machines come with differential feed.
Taking advantage of the differential feed when overlocking stretch fabrics will give you a flatter, neater finish.
Using differential feed will also help you avoid the puckering up of flimsier fabrics.
If you need to use a cover hem stitch, shoot for a dedicated cover hem machine or a machine that’s combined with an overlocker in a 2-in-1 powerhouse.
This stitch allows you to hem and cover a raw edge simultaneously. Double and triple-lined stitches wrap the edge handily under your fabric.
Accessories and Attachments
The vast bulk of decent serger machines give you a generous bundle of accessories.
Since you’ll have everything you need thrown in, don’t obsess about the number of add-ons unless you actually plan to use them.
Presser feet are worth looking at but you should get all main bases covered and you can easily buy additional feet at very reasonable prices.
And price is where we’ll round out.
Settle on a budget before you start your search for a serger and you’ll immediately have your options whittle down and your buying decision simplified.
Think about your intended usage and decide how much you’re prepared to invest. And that’s the way you should think of the money spent on the best serger machine: an investment that should yield years of happy service.
A Final Word
With any luck, these serger machine reviews have give you a clear idea of the best overlocker for your needs.
Take your time to consider what features make most sense for your crafting needs and treat yourself to a new serger machine this summer!