The best serger machines, also known as overlock machines, will give very professional finishes on your sewing projects. A serger trims, sew seams and neatly finishes seams in one action. Your finished project will stand out with serger stitches, giving your seams a professional finish. Sergers provide an overlocker stitch which is not generally available on a home sewing machine and can do some of the stitches of a basic machine. But it won’t replace your regular sewing machine. There are many serger machines available, so doing your research before buying helps you choose the machine that’s right for your needs. As with anything you buy, the more options you would like, the more the machine will cost.
Best Serger Machines 2022[table id=7 /]
What is a serger machine?
Serger machines are also called overlocker sewing machines and are different from traditional sewing machines. They use the help of overlocker stitch to trim and enclose seam edges in a single pass. Most sewers use the serger machine to finish raw edges but there is more you can do with them such as rolled hems, pin tucking and ruffles. The traditional sewing machines may do a similar task, but it doesn’t produce a professional look as serger machines do!
What type of serger machines are there?
Generally, we see serger machines named by the number of threads they have. They threads range from 2-3-4-5 and also 8 thread.
While 3-4 is normal, some high-end machines come with 8 threads. Don’t choose anything less than 4 threads because you’ll only end up producing weak results.
2 thread overlocker stitch gives a weak stitch but if it is just holding the material together without pressure this is ok. It is used on single layers of fabric which you would then turn over and sew, or just to protect the edging from fraying.
3-4 thread overlocker stitch will give some stretch in the stitch. The 3 thread stitch is sewing using 1 needle. The 4 serger thread stitch will give you a wider spread and keeps material smooth and flat. These machines will do a nice rolled hem as well.
5 thread overlocker stitch provides the seam you see in clothing you purchase. Two threads are used for the straight seam and three threads are used to make the overlocked edge. If you do a lot of sewing this would be a machine you would consider.
5-8 thread overlocker stitch serger machines are generally more commercial serger machines.
Serger v’s Sewing Machine
Can I replace my sewing machine with a serger?
You can’t replace your regular sewing machine with a serger as it cannot do many of the functions such as sewing zippers, buttonholes, facings and so on.
Features to look out for in the best serger machine
In addition to the number of threads which differentiate sergers, there are some foundation features.
This allows you to sew different types of materials, and prevent ripples and bunching. The differential feed in serger sewing machines also lets you create different styles like ruffles and different edge finishing for your serging projects. The machine’s ‘Differential Fabric Feed Ratio’ will be from 0.6mm to 2.0mm. With a higher ratio, the machine will push through more material that it will pull.
The better serger machines will sew faster than a regular sewing machine. Look for a speed of 1500 stitches per minute or more. Sometimes speed is recorded as revolutions per minute (RPM) this is the same. Generally the faster the machine the more expensive it will be.
Serger machines come with automatic and manual threading options. It’s better for beginners to buy the automatic version because manual threading isn’t easy to do.
You will need to follow the manual, and thread it in a particular manner. There are also guides online to follow. You will need to use the tweezers supplied with the machine. You will end up with unnecessary problems if you don’t thread the machine properly.
Self-Threading Sergers. This is a real bonus! Automatic threading machines are of course more expensive, but it’s worth the buy. There are two types of self-threading machines to consider. One only threads the lower looper and one threads upper and lower loopers.
The ‘Jet Air’ function – the patented name – and air mean that threading is completed with the press of a button! Companies with self-threading sergers are Janome, Elna, Juki and Baby Lock. Self-threading machines produce a high-quality finish and well as making user experience so much more fun!
Thread tension is also important while looking for serger sewing machines. There is a chance of the thread breaking with too tight tension or you may not get a flat seam if the tension’s low. There are some machines that automatically control and adjust the thread tension while other machines require manual adjustments.
Accessories included with sergers will assist greatly with your sewing.
- The tweezers are essential when you are manually threading your machine both for the interior and exteriors threads.
- Trim catcher – this catches all the material as it cut by the machine, making far less mess!
- Additional foot attachments – some include cording,lace,beading,elastic.
- Mat or padding – to go underneath the machine to reduce both movement and noise.
What can you expect to pay for a serger machine?
Serger machines are available from around $200. As we always say, buy the best machine you can for your budget. You will be getting a better machine when you spend $500 compared to the $200 or $300 machines. Better machines costing $1500 plus feel more industrial and will suit those sewers who already have honed their serger skills.
Is a serger necessary?
No! But it does make your sewing look professional with a great finish to all your seams. If you are a regular sewer, and if you like to have a high quality finish to your work the serger is well and truly be worth the investment.