The five sergers (also known as overlock sewing machines) featured in this article 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 an excellent, high quality overlocker that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg.
However, if you are a beginner or won’t be using a serger all that often or maybe you want something a little less expensive, then you should consider the Brother 1034D.
Let’s get on with the reviews…
The 5 Best Serger Sewing Machines
1. JUKI MO654DE (My Recommendation)
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. 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.
3. Janome 7933 Horizon Serger
I praised Janome 8002D earlier in this article, and the 7933 is another addition to the list that offers a high-end serger with a bonus bundle (a nice perk). This serger’s extras go beyond the normal thread and needles.
You’ll receive a few great extras: black tote, serger answer guide, thread spools and cones.
All of these items are great additions to your serging machine arsenal. You’ll also receive the Janome 7933 unit. This unit is ultra-fast, and offers 1,300 stitches per minute of sewing to provide you with precision sewing even when you’re on a strict time schedule.
You can control the speeds to go as fast or slow as you wish.
When adjusting the machine’s settings, you’ll find that there are options to set your stitch length to 1 – 4 mm, while the cutting with can be adjusted between 3.1 mm and 7.3 mm. The dial offers quick width adjustments, while the speed of the unit is controlled electronically.
Lay-in tension ensures that the four spools of thread, all pre-threaded I might add, are able to withstand fast serging without breaking in the process. Tension discs will also relax when you go to thread the machine to make the threading process even easier.
When it comes to length of feed, you can also adjust between 1 and 4 mm with a differential feed ratio of 0.5 to 2.25 mm. There is a one-handed thread cutter along with snap-on presser feet, too.
No plate changes are required when you want to switch between a basic overlock stitch and a rolled hem stitch.
When you choose Janome, you’re choosing a high-end warranty to protect your investment along with a 5-year mechanical warranty. This is an exceptional warranty that protects your investment and ensures years of use out of the 7933.
This is a decently priced serger, and while it may be slightly more expensive than some of the other models on the list, it’s a great buy that is often out of stock. If you’re lucky enough to find this item in stock, snatch it up while supplies last – it’s that good.
4. 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.
5. Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger
Brother’s Designio series offers the DZ1234, which is less expensive than the 7933 but still a great overall machine. This product often runs low on stock, too, so this is a consideration when buying this machine.
High demand is a good thing though.
Demand is so high because it’s a great serger. You won’t get some of the extras found in the previous model, but you will receive a $75 value thanks to the included hem stitch foot, gathering foot, 2 sets of start thread and the piping foot.
Couture-level fashion is achieved with the up-to 1,300 stitches per minute that this sewing machine has to offer.
You’ll also find easy, color-coded threading that allows you to quickly and easily thread your entire sewing machine. If you’re like me and always have trouble with threading, this is a great addition to your serger.
No one wants threading to be harder than it already is – I sure don’t.
When you get deeper into this model’s features, you’ll see that it comes equipped with a lot of great extras that help make serging fun again. You’ll enjoy a differential fabric feed that provides a 0.7 – 2.0 ratio on your fabrics.
Consistent stitch quality is provided on thick and lightweight fabrics alike.
You can also adjust the stitch width between 3.0 mm and 7.0 mm to adjust to your project’s specific needs.
Width controls are done through a convenient dial. There is a free-arm and flat bad surface, too, which allows you to access hard-to-reach places on your design. When it comes to design confidence, Brother also includes a 25-year limited warranty.
If the machine happens to malfunction or break, it may be covered under the warranty.
You’ll even receive an operation CD and techniques CD to help you maximize your productivity while shortening the machine’s learning curve.
Brother’s DZ1234 is the ideal choice for a budget-friendly, high-end serger that will offer years of continuous use and allow you to tackle most projects with relative ease. This is a great serger for the money, and it’s also a model that sells out fast.
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. All the features and specifications of this particular product points to it being the best there is today. Since, the Brother models are one of the best companies that makes these types of sewing machines, then you are sure to get the top-most quality when it comes to your serger projects. So, there really is no more cause for a debate here. The Brother 1034D is the top model today!
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. Also, if you are looking to learn about the different types of serger stitches, then click here.
What is a Serger Sewing Machine?
Although we’ve just reviewed a number of serger machines, 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 machine 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. 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 un-bunched 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.