The 7 Best Sergers

Updated February 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

7 Best Sergers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Sew, trim and finish seams in a single step with one of these versatile sergers, each of which is capable of a wide variety of stitches. Whether you are a home hobbyist or a professional seamstress, these machines can help you make durable and decorative edges and trims, and are especially great on tough-to-finish stretchy fabrics. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best serger on Amazon.

7. Brother Designio Series DZ1234

The Brother Designio Series DZ1234 is an affordable option with color-coded threading guides that help even novice users avoid mishaps. It includes blind hem, gathering, and piping presser-feet so you can create a wide range of customized, high-end finishes with ease.
  • two sets of starter thread supplied
  • 23 stitch options
  • not suitable for thicker fabrics
Brand Brother Sewing
Model DZ1234
Weight 18.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Juki Pearl Line MO-655

The Juki Pearl Line MO-655 features two, three, four, and five-thread options for increased stitch variety. The machine's precision is enhanced by color-coded guides, a multifunction presser-foot lever, and an adjustable differential feed.
  • heavy duty blades
  • lower knife adjustment knob
  • instructions are difficult to read
Brand JUKI
Model MO-655
Weight 20.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Janome Magnolia 7034D

The Janome Magnolia 7034D is a cost-effective utility machine delivering professional results. It is simple to use and has reliable electronic speed control, variable tension, and a cutting width adjustment dial for precision work.
  • heavyduty 3 and 4-thread capability
  • up to 1300 stitches per minute
  • difficult to thread lower looper
Brand Janome
Model 7034d
Weight 17.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Juki MO644D Portable

The Juki MO644D Portable is a basic model that can produce exceptional, durable finishes despite its diminutive size. Its advanced features include the ability to make an automatically rolled hem and an adjustable differential feed.
  • great option for beginners
  • lightweight but sturdy
  • up to 1500 stitches per minute
Brand JUKI
Model MO-644D
Weight 18.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Brother 1034D

The Brother 1034D is a reliable, high performance 3-4 thread machine capable of delivering professional finishes on a wide range of fabrics, from knits to linens, thanks to its differential feed. It's ideal for overlock, rolled hem, flatlock, and blind hem stitches.
  • very easy to set tension
  • compatible with standard needles
  • easy to disable trimming knife
Brand Brother 1034D
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Singer 14T968DC

With its fully automatic self-adjusting tension system, the Singer 14T968DC keeps stitches balanced and even, regardless of what type of fabric you're using. Its two- to five-thread capacity means it's capable of a wide variety of stitches.
  • time saving easy threading diagram
  • includes six bonus presser feet
  • 25-year limited warranty
Brand Singer
Model 14T968DC
Weight 23.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Janome 634D

The Janome 634D ranks as the most advanced in their MyLock series. With electronic precision controls, it offers lower looper pre-tension for optimal rolled hemming. This is a professional grade tool that won't let you down, no matter how complicated the project.
  • capable of 2 3 or 4-thread stitching
  • lower loop is self-threading
  • suitable for all fabric types
Brand Janome
Model 634D
Weight 21 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

The Serger Advantage

A serger is a special type of sewing machine that is designed to perform a specific task. It will not replace your regular sewing machine, so don’t think that you can buy a serger and create full garments.

Sometimes known as an overlock sewing machine, the serger creates a special stitch on the hem or seam of nearly any type of fabric you can imagine. It is a great choice for sewing with knit fabrics because the material is stretchy and often difficult to manage by hand or with a regular sewing machine. It is especially useful if you want to get fancy and add decorative details to your fabrics.

There is a wide range of special stitches that can be performed with a serger. Some sergers are capable of one or two of these stitches while the higher end models can do it all. These stitches are the four-thread overlock, the three-thread overlock, rolled hemming, ribbon lock, narrow hemming, pin tucks, blind hemming, and flat lock. The final three require an optional foot to achieve.

At this point, you might be wondering if you even need a serger. If you are just picking up sewing as a new hobby and don’t plan to sew complicated pieces or stitches, you probably will be fine with a regular sewing machine.

However, if you sew frequently and if you enjoy creating new pieces, or if you sew costumes for your child, a serger is going to make your life much easier. If you are a professional seamstress or have aspirations of selling some of your creations, a serger will give your work a professional look and save you a great deal of time. Some sergers are capable of sewing up to 1500 stitches per minute.

Don't Skimp On Quality

Once you have established that you do, in fact, want to purchase a serger, trying to decide between the available options can be daunting to say the least. Obviously, the features you need will hinge on your purpose for the serger. Decide on your intended use, and then you will have a clearer picture of what you need.

First, consider the number of threads. We recommend that you look for a serger that has at least four threads because this is going to make for stronger, more reliable stitches. This is especially important if you are sewing garments. If you are simply stitching some pillowcases, sheets, or the occasional hem, the thread count is not quite as important.

Second, check for adjustable settings such as stitch length and width and adjustable sewing speed. The more adjustment options available, the more versatility you will have when sewing hems and edges. Also make sure that it is easy to adjust the seam width on your chosen machine.

Third, make sure that the presser foot is easy to adjust so you can thread more easily. Threading a serger requires a bit of a learning curve, and the easier you can make the process, the better. Also ensure that the pressure on your presser foot is adjustable so you have a wider range of sewing options and that the thread tension is released when the foot is raised.

Next, check for color coded threads. This will make your life much simpler. Because serging requires three or more needles, it can be difficult to track exactly what threads go where. A color coded threading path will take some of the guesswork out of it, especially if you are a beginner.

Some other options to look for in a high quality serger are a sewing light, seam gauge, a high quality blade., and a built-in thread cutter. All of these elements add convenience and simplicity to what could otherwise be a time-consuming, tedious job.

Finally, as with every product you intend to purchase, consider your budget. A serger can be an expensive purchase, especially if you are a novice. While the higher-end sergers tend to have the most features, more expensive isn’t always better. Depending on your intended use, you might be better off with a less expensive serger that can provide the basics while you learn the ropes.

A Brief History of the Serger

The Merrow Machine Company invented overlock stitching or "serging" in 1881. J. Makens Merrow and Joseph Merrow, father and son, opened a knitting mill in Connecticut in 1838. They invented a wide range of machines to aid in sewing and garment making including a machine that could be used for crochet stitching. This later evolved into the overlock machine which Joseph Merrow patented in 1889.

Instead of using a bobbin like many sewing machines, the overlock machine creates loops through which the needle can thread and create a strong stitching similar to what happens when crocheting. The company spent time through the years creating a wide variety of sergers that produced many different types of overlock stitches.

Japanese engineers and middle managers working for a Japanese company in 1964 developed an idea to design and market smaller sergers for at home use. Their idea was shot down by their current company, so they left their jobs to form the Juki Corporation. This is when the Baby Lock was created giving the average person the convenience and ability to produce a manufacturer’s quality overlock seam in the comfort of their own home.

The Tacony Corporation, under the guidance of founder, Nick Tacony, introduced the Baby Lock to the United States so the average person could avoid the inconvenience of trying to finish seams with an average sewing machine and save a lot of time and frustration.

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Last updated on February 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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