The following three sergers (also known as overlock sewing machines) are models that I have had a chance to use during my time teaching sewing. All of them are excellent sergers, but as you will see in the reviews below, the Juki MO654DE is my choice if you are looking for high quality overlocker that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg.
If you are a beginner or just starting our with sewing or want the least expensive, but still reliable serger, then you should consider the Brother 1034D.
Let’s get on with the reviews…
Which is the Top Quality Overlock Machine?
- JUKI MO654DE
2/3/4 Thread Serger - Automatic Rolled Hem
- Most Expensive
- Highly Recommended - Best Choice
- Brother 1034D
3/4 Thread Serger
- 22 Built-in Stitch Functions
- Best For Beginners
- Janome 8002D
3/4 Thread Serger
- Easy Rolled Hem Changeover
- Best Option if Price is Biggest Factor
#1 – JUKI MO654DE (Highly Recommended)
As far as I’m concerned the Juki MO654DE is one the best serging machines you will find and these reviews will reflect that.
Juki’s are well-known for their reliability and durability. They create very high quality home sewing machines as well as industrial products you would see in many clothing factories.
This is the latest serger that I decided to purchase to replace my older Juki model that was on its last legs. I’m so glad that I settled on this one. I heard good reviews from my sewing friends and tried one for myself. You will have to invest a little more money in a Juki serger than some of the other brands, but it is well worth it as it is a joy to use. It is super easy to thread and very easy to operate. Even for beginners.
One thing you’ll hear is that sewing with an overlocker can be noisier than usual, but this one is nowhere near as noisy as my old one. My cat doesn’t go running when I’m using one anymore :).
Juki’s have a color coded thread system, adjustable stitch length and width and a multi-purpose foot that you can use for many different projects. You can also purchase many other presser feet as well if you want to expand upon your stitching options.
This is one of the best overlock machines I have used and I really can’t recommend this model highly enough. You will not be disappointed!
#2 – Brother 1034D
(#1 Serger For Beginners)
The Brother 1034D serger is an excellent choice if you are looking for a one that has the perfect balance of price, features and performance. It is also surprisingly easy to use, which is probably why it has been the #1 serger sold on Amazon for quite some time.
For such an inexpensive product, the Brother 1034D does an outstanding job of creating seams, hems and finishing edges on your sewing projects. It is very easy to use and you will likely learn all you need to know within a few hours of using it.
You will gain confidence in it quickly thanks to the helpful tips and instructions on the nice set of how-to videos and manual that are included. The video and manual both do a great job explaining the most intimidating aspect of these machines – how to thread it. With the instructions I had no issues setting it up in less than 5 minutes.
Once I had it up and running I noticed that it ran quietly for such an inexpensive piece of equipment. It also handled all of the basics that I tried and handled them beautifully. I was very impressed with the results.
The 1034D really is a tremendous value and I think it is the best one for beginners. if you are looking for a less expensive machine and aren’t going to be using it very often then I would buy this one in a heart-beat.
#3 – Janome 8002D
This 3 or 4 thread overlock also comes with a very good DVD that will help you learn all you need to know about the Janome Serger. The dial and color coded threading chart make it a breeze to thread. If you are looking for something that can finish off your threading projects with excellent seams or hems you can’t go wrong with this product. It also works great on all types of fabrics.
Janome sewing machines are known for their durability and quality and after using this one I can say that it does hold up to those high expectations. Between this one and the Juki serger, these are the best buys in the category, but they are both a bit more expensive than the Brother 1034D.
Final Thoughts – Which One Should I Buy?
If you are a beginner I would go with the Brother 1034D. It is inexpensive and very easy to use. If you aren’t going to be using it every day then you really can’t go wrong with this one.
However, if you are going to be using an overlocker daily or multiple times per week you should consider the JUKI MO654DE or Janome 8002D. They are both an amazing value for what you get and the time you save on your projects is invaluable. I hope this post helped you decide which best suits your needs.
Although we’ve just reviewed these you might not know exactly what these are and what they are for. A serger, otherwise known as an overlock machine, is a powerful and efficient type that makes FAST and professional work of hems, seams and edges. As the fabric is fed through the overlocker multiple spools of thread create the seams and cut, trim, sew and finish them in one single step. Because it can do so much in one pass you can greatly decrease the time it takes to complete a project and the final product has a professional, finished look like you would find in a store.
Here is a list of some functions these wonderful machines can do:
- Finish seams – a 3 thread overlock stitch creates a strong, seam that isn’t going to come apart anytime soon
- Gathering – you can use the gathering foot to create ruffles for clothes or other things like pillow sham covers
- Coverstitching – most clothing you buy in a store is finished with a coverstitch. Some come with this feature, some to not, but it sure is handy if you make clothing
Sergers are in the “nice-to-have” category because you definitely don’t NEED one, however they make sewing easier and a lot faster. They have the reputation of being a little difficult to use at first, but once you get the hang of them, you wouldn’t dream of sewing without one.
Overlockers are great, but they don’t handle all sewing jobs very well (eg. button holes or zippers). However, what it does do, it does incredibly well. A reliable sewing machine, like the Brother CS6000i, and serger make a formidable pair.
What Should I Look For in an Overlock Sewing Machine?
Some sewing machines can create an imitation overlock stitch. It isn’t a true overlock stitch that you would see on a piece of clothing in the store because a sewing machine only uses two threads to create the stitch. On the other hand, serger sewing machines can use anywhere from three to five threads to sew a perfect overlock stitch. To increase speed as you serge, you’ll find blades on the top and bottom of the machine that trims as you work.
If you aren’t familiar with these finishing machines, it can be difficult to decide which one is the right one for you. There are a lot of features and price points to take into consideration. Choosing the right one comes down to figuring out what you want to do with it. The following features are ones you should keep in mind while comparing these machines:
If you are wanting to simply finish edges of your clothing or other projects, then you will do just fine with a 2/3/4 or 3/4 thread serger. If you definitely want to do coverstitches then you should be looking at machines with 5 threads.
All sewing machines and overlockers come with tension adjustment controls. Tension is crucial when trying to get the perfect stitch. If you want worry-free serging, then a machine with automatic tension control would be a great option.
If you work with knits, spandex or other fabrics that stretch then you’ll know how important differential feed is. This component keeps the material even and unbunched as you work and helps with creating ruffles. Most models do come with this feature, but there are a couple that don’t so check before you make your final decision.
If you are purchasing a one for use in your home, you’ll likely want a machine that is easy to use. Unfortunately, most of the easiest machines, with automatic needle threading, are only found in the expensive industrial models. However, you will find that some makes and models are easier to use than others. Read the reviews and make sure it comes with adequate instructional materials or better yet an instructional DVD or video series.
Although it is a highly specialized piece of equipment, buying one does not have to be overwhelming or complicated. Read our product overviews to help you explore and compare features.