In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best serger sewing machines on the market and help you find the one that will perfectly suit your sewing needs.
A serger is a type of a sewing machine that sews, trims, and finishes the stitch in one step, making it a great machine to have around when you are sewing many hours per week and tend to work with a large volume of fabric. A good serger can save you a lot of time. It's not possible to replace a regular sewing machine with a serger as there are some things a serger can't do, but when you use them together, they make a powerful combination. Both machines are essential for serious seamstresses.
Finding the right serger is no easy task, especially if you're buying your very first serger. There are many models, from many brands on the market, with a huge price range. So beside recommending you great sergers, we will also advise you what to look for in a serger, how to compare sergers, what every serger should have and how to pick a serger that will be fairly easy to master and is adequate for your sewing skills.
Different Types of Sergers
As we mentioned in the introduction, sergers are a type of sewing machines, but they themselves are also divided in two main categories, based on the number of threads they can operate with.
Sergers With Up To 4 Threads
These are the most common sergers on the market and are usually quite affordable. Most of the time they are referred to as 3/4 sergers as they have the option to create 3 and 4-thread stitches. They have two loopers (upper and lower) and two needles. The strongest stitches are done with two needles, but you can also create stitches using only one needle. Most of the popular models are 4-thread sergers and people tend to buy them the most as they have everything an average seamstress needs, for a decent price. They are usually the best choice for beginners who don't know how to use a serger.
They tend to have less features and accessories than sergers with more spools of threads and more needles, but that makes them more user-friendly and easier to master. Their only disadvantage is that the number of stitches you can do with them is limited and it's rarely possible to do a coverstitch with them, unless that's specifically stated. But for everyday use, they are more than capable and will improve your efficiency.
Sergers With 5 Threads and More
Luxurious sergers can have up to 8 spools of thread and provide you with many variations of stitches. However, most sergers will have no more than 5 spools of thread, which still gives you enough creative freedom. Sergers with 8 spools of thread can cost a few thousand dollars, while 5-thread sergers, although more expensive than 4-thread sergers, still have a fairly decent price and can be found for a several hundred dollars.
They are usually more complex than their 4-thread alternatives and are mostly recommended to advanced users who know what they need and already have a considerable experience of working with sergers. Most 5-thread sergers have the ability to be converted into a coverstitch machine, which is another type of sewing machine, specialized in creating coverstitches. So it's very practical to have such serger, especially if you really want to be able to create coverstitches and don't want to buy an entire new machine just for that.
While there are currently dozens of serger brands present on the market, only a handful of them are recognized as manufacturers of top sergers. Some of the most respectable serger brands include Singer, Brother, and Janome.
Probably the most familiar brand in the sewing industry. Even if you've never been in the same room with a sewing machine, it's very unlikely that you haven't heard of Singer. In many countries, it's a synonym for a sewing machine.
Singer is an American brand and was founded in 1851. by Isaac Merritt Singer and Edward Clark. That means that Singer has been around for over 160 years, which is an impressive number of years to stay in business. But Singer did far more than stayed in business. It lead the sewing industry revolution and developed domestic machines that can be used by anyone, not just by skilled seamstresses. In the 1860s, they were the biggest manufacturer of sewing machines in the world.
Today, Singer is a part of a multinational corporation Kohlberg & Company and produces a wide range of sewing machines, sergers and various sewing equipment. Their sewing machines range from low-budget models for everyday use to industrial sewing machines.
Another major player in the sewing industry is Brother. But sewing machines are not the only thing that Brother manufactures. They also design and sell all sorts of electronic equipment, such as printers, fax machines, and desktop computers.
Founded in Nagoya, Japan over 100 years ago, in 1908, to be precise, it took Brother almost 50 years to establish its first affiliate outside of Japan. In 1954 the started doing business in the US, while 4 years later they were present in Europe as well.
Their sewing machine factories are mostly in China and Taiwan, while in Vietnam they own the world's largest sewing machine factory. In 2012., they reached a total number of 50 million manufactured sewing machines and sergers, which is no surprise, because they currently have several top rated sergers on the market
An interesting fact about Brother is that in the 1980's and 1990's, they sponsored Manchester City, one of the most successful soccer clubs in the world, for a total of 12 years, which is considered one of the longest continuing sponsorships among the UK soccer clubs.
Janome was founded in 1921 under the name "The Pine Sewing Machine". In 1935, the Janome trademark was created and in 1954, the company's new name was Janome Sewing Machine Co. Janome means "snake's eye" in Japanese and it got its name after an advanced bobbin system which replaced an outdated long shuttle system in 1935.
In 1964., they invested in a research facility in Tokyo and started doing some impressive breakthroughs in the sewing industry. In 1971., they placed the first programmable sewing machine with computerized functions. In 1990, they invented the first sewing machine for domestic use capable of creating professional-looking embroidery, while in 2003 they were the first to design a quilting machine with a long arm, also for domestic use.
Their continuous efforts to create more and more advanced sewing machines and sergers for an everyday user, made Janome's models very popular.
Brother 1034D is a 3/4-thread serger and it currently goes for $190. It comes with 22 different stitches, in 3-thread and 4-thread variations, including the rolled hem. Its differential feed allows you to work with any type of fabric you want, while the adjustable stitch width is here to offer you more creative freedom and make a perfect stitch in every type of project.
Another great feature is its free arm which can be removed to give you more space and allow you to easily sew sleeves and similar cylindrical items. Its speed is 1300 stitches per minute, which is a standard speed for this price range.
If you own a sewing machine as well, you will love the fact that Brother 1034D uses regular sewing machine needles so there's no need to buy a different set of needles.
When you compare it's many possibilities with a very decent price, it's easy to conclude that Brother 1034D is the best serger for the money.
Brother DZ1234 currently goes for $232.22 and is considered by many to be the best affordable serger on the market. This is mostly due to the fact that this serger, besides being of high quality and versatility, comes with plenty of extra accessories that you don't get with most other sergers.
Included in the price, along with the standard foot, you get a piping foot, gathering foot, and blind hem stitch foot. Together, they offer an incredible amount of possibilities.
Its 3/4 thread system offers 23 built-in stitches. The length and the width of the stitches can be easily adjusted and range from 5 to 7 mm (length) and 2 to 4 mm (width). Adjustable differential feed is here to gives you even more freedom when working with delicate fabrics.
It has a speed of 1300 stitches per minute, which is a standard speed in this price range, and the free arm, which is not so standard, that offers more freedom when sewing challenging parts of garments.
Brother 2340CV is a 2-3-4 thread serger with a current price of $380. It offers 2, 3, and 4-thread stitch varieties. It's able to do a coverstitch as well, which is a popular stitch that can't be found on just any serger. In addition to that, since it has 3 needles, as opposed to the usual two needles, it offers a great variety of stitches, including the chain stitch.
Almost everything on this serger can be adjusted to fit any type of fabrics and sewing projects. Stitch length can be changed from 2 mm to 3 mm, and stitch width from 3 mm to 6 mm. Differential feed can be set as low as 0.7, or as high as 2.0, depending on how stretchy is the fabric you are working with.
It's much cheaper than Juki MO-735, even though they come with similar features, although, Juki's model has more speed (1300 stitches per minute as opposed to Brother's 1100) and a bit more power.
Singer 14J250 Stylist II currently costs $470 and is one of the most expensive models in this serger reviews. Even though there are some sergers on the market with similar features but for a lower price, such as Siruba HSO-747D or Toyota SL3335, Singer's model is much heavier (23 pounds, as opposed to Siruba's 16 pounds), which means that there is more metal parts in Singer's model which makes it more sturdier and capable of handling tough fabrics, so the price difference is more than justified. And, it's still cheaper than Juki MO-655, which is also a heavy-duty serger.
Stitches can be done in 2, 3 or 4-thread variations with the standard speed of 1300 stitches per minute. Stitch length can be easily adjusted, as well as the cutting width, giving you lots of room for customization.
It will appeal to both beginners and intermediate users as it's simple enough to operate while still offering a decent amount of possibilities.
5. Janome 7933
Janome 7933 currently goes for $269, which is not the cheapest price you can find, but it's still affordable compared to what it offers and still cheaper than Elna 664 Pro which has similar possibilities.
It's a 3/4 thread serger that allows you to create 3 and 4-thread stitches, including the rolled hem.
The length of the stitches can be adjusted from 1 mm to 4 mm, while the differential feed ranges from 0.5 to 2.25. Cutting width can also be modified from 3.1 mm to 7 mm and accommodate any kind of sewing project.
The threading on this model is very easy and it comes with all the necessary instructions and color-coded diagrams, which makes it a great buy for an inexperienced user. It doesn't come with lots of accessories and it's certainly not the best serger on the market, but it's a good choice for someone who is looking for a user-friendly serger to do some simple sewing projects. For an even simpler, and also cheaper serger, you can try with Janome 8002D.
Other Quality Sergers
SINGER 14T968DC costs $388.42 and has the following features:
2/3/4/5 stitch variations
Can be used as a coverstitch machine
4 styles of rolled hem
Tension system is self-adjusting
Speed of 1300 stitches per minute
Janome 9300DX costs £269.00 and is equipped with:
3/4 threading system
Built-in rolled hem
Adjustable cutting width
Upper knife can be removed
Singer 14SH754 costs £237 and comes with the following features:
2/3/4 threading capability
Additional feet (Gathering and blind stitch foot)
Removable free arm
Large extension table
9. Janome 3434D
Janome 3434D is a 3/4-thread serger and has the following characteristics:
All working parts are made out of metal
Standard needles can be used
Adjustable stitch length and width
Extra-high presser foot lifter
Adjustable cutting width
10. Janome 8002DX
Janome 8002DX costs £199.00 and has the following features:
3/4 thread capability
Rolled hem included
Gathering and elastic gathering attachments
Blind stitch and cording feet
Adjustable differential feed
How to Pick the Right Serger/Overlocker
When buying your very first serger/overlocker, make sure that it's suitable for your needs, as well as your skills. Here are some of the features to take into account:
Brand. It's a good idea to buy a serger from a well-known brand. Brands such as Singer, Brother, and Janome, offer years of limited warranty, phone and online support, as well as online tutorials. Also, it's easier to find extra accessories for when you want to upgrade your serger, as well as an authorized repair shop in your vicinity.
Number of threads. More threads means more variety and more combination of stitches. Some stitches, such as a coverstitch, require a 5-thread serger, so if you want more possibilities, make sure that the serger has at least 5 threads.
Speed. Most sergers can do between 1300 and 1500 stitches per minute. More speed means more efficiency. If that's an important factor for you, make sure that your new serger is able to do 1500 stitches per minute.
Easy threading. Threading is by far the most difficult part of setting up your serger. Some sergers come pre-threaded, which is a great way to see how it should look. But sooner or later, you will have to thread it yourself and then an easy-threading system will come in handy. Look for sergers with practical lay-in threading that have all the necessary diagrams and instructions printed on them.
Power. If you plan to work with lots of tough materials, such as denim or leather, you'll want a serger that can handle that. Not all sergers are capable of dealing with heavy fabrics so make sure that yours can handle it. The only way to know for sure is to check the reviews from other users and read their experience.
We presented you some of the best overlock machines on the market. Some of the sergers in this review are affordable, basic models, suited for beginners and seamstresses with a tight budget or anyone who doesn't need a more advanced serger. But we also covered more expensive models with more power and more possibilities.
We also included a guide to help you pick an adequate serger for you so you don't end up with a machine that's too complicated for you or lacks the necessary features.
We hope this article helped you find the best serger sewing machine for you. No matter which kind you prefer, they are all made out of quality components, by respectable brands.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com