Updated: June 8, 2015

Thread Serger Reviews:

Do you really need that new serger machine for your sewing projects? That all depends on what type of fabrics you are sewing with and how professional you want the seams to look when done. A serger will not replace your sewing machine as they are not capable of installing zippers, making buttonholes, sewing in reverse, embroidering, or even doing topstitch. Sewing.org described a sergers basic functions as "to clean finish a raw edge". About.com says the serger "trims the seam and encloses the seam allowance or edge of the fabric .... all in one step". We looked at the top performing sergers including the Brother 1034D, Brother 2340CV, Juki MO-735, Janome Serger 3434D, and the latest Baby Lock. Pricing ranges from $200 up to $1000's. The most popular sergers are the 2/3/4 thread although a 5 thread serger is required if you want to do coverstitching. Many people own a sewing machine and purchase a serger to help when working with stretchy fabrics (swimwear, activewear, etc.). See our buying advice below and which models stand out amongst the rest.
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Choosing a Serger - There are lots of features to consider when looking for a new serger. Ideally you can take a class at your local sewing shop and get a chance to test run some of the serger machines on the market. Hands on experience is the key, that way you can learn what each machine offers and if you like their performance. If you are unable to test a machine before you buy, make sure the product comes with an instructional DVD or video and good manual. More and more videos are appearing on YouTube, so that is a great alternative source to what others using your machine and learning from that. If you are a beginner or expert user, one of the common complaints is the ability to thread the machine with ease. Look for sergers with lay-in threading and color coded thread paths. An LCD screen is a nice touch, but usually only available on the high end machines. The LCD panel provides lots of great information, but it's not necessary for all users. You will see the 2/3/4 thread sergers and those are the best for everday use. Great for basic things like seam finishing and rolled hems. If you are going to be working with stretch fabrics, look for a serger with differential feed. How about coverstitching? You need at least 5 threads to accomplish this, be forewarned. Machines that convert easily from standard serger to a chainstitch or rolled hem are coveted. You may find buttons or dials involved or perhaps having to add a conversion plate. You want the process to be simple and repeatable without problems. Manual vs auto threading? Manual threaders are common on the cheaper machines, but if you want the automatic threading feature expect to pay quite a bit more to get it (some estimates are $500+). Top Brands - Look for Brother, Singer, Juki, Yamata, Janome, and Reliable. Serger Reviews - The best sources for in depth reviews are Patternreview.com, Amazon.com, Hsn.com, Joann.com, and Sergerreviews.org. Amazon.com covers owner comments and feedback on a variety of models and brands while the Patternreview.com website listed more expert opinions from sewing shop owners and professional seamstresses. Read up on performance, features, durability, ease of use, etc. We did search Consumer Reports articles but found nothing related to sergers (only sewing machines). You can browse the best selling serger machines online here.

Best Serger:

RECOMMENDED - The Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger at $210 is the clear winner for the average user out there. The 1034D provides versatile stitch options with 4 thread overlock, 3 thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock stitches. Adjustable stitch width from 5mm to 7mm. With the color coded lay-in, threading is easy and the lower looper threading system is a great design. How fast is this machine? Up to 1300 stitches per minute. If you are up to the task, this serger will save you time without sacrificing quality results. Need to serge cylindrical items like sleeves, slide of the removable arm and away you go. You will be able to create that professional edge finishing with knits, linens and formal wear. Take on projects with narrow sleeves, join laces, create ruffles, do decorative edges, or spaghetti straps. The machine comes with a printed manual and instruction video. Other features include an adjustable on/off knife feature, adjustable foot pressure, removable stitch finger, and 2 snap on feet. What are reviewers saying online? Comments include "great overlock serger" and "works right out of the box". The reason this model is the #1 seller on Amazon is because it's easy to use and - easy to thread - and easy to get great results. .


Best Serger with Coverstitch:

RECOMMENDED - Coverstitch is one thing the Brother machine doesn't do, but the Juki MO-735 5-Thread Serger & Cover Hem. Yes, many of the sergers that coverstitch cost $1000's, but the Juki comes in under $1000. Ok, the top features on this model are the 2/3/4/5 thread capability, differential feed, adjustable stitch length, built-in sewing light, and built-in thread cutter. Some of the drawbacks to the Juki are: owners say it takes time to switch to coverstitch, there is no auto threading feature, and some owners report having control issues with the foot pedal. Overall, though, the feedback is positive and consumers consider this model a great buy for under $1000. The reviews online at http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Juki are pretty good. At last check there are 5 reviews for this model and dozens more for other Juki sergers.