*** This post was updated on: September 5, 2021 ***
Table of Contents
- Comparison of the Best Sergers of 2020
- Best Overall: Brother 3234DT 2, 3, or 4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed
- Best Advanced: SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 5-4-3-2 Serger
- JUKI MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine (Best for Beginners)
- JUKI MO644D Portable Serger (Best Basic Model)
- Brother Designio Series DZ1234 (Best Budget Serger)
- Janome 8002D Serger Review
Are you looking to give your homemade clothes and sewing projects that professionally finished look? Look no further!
When I first started my sewing business I spent countless hours trying to perfect the seams on my napkins, pillow cases and homemade clothes.
While my skills improved with practice, it was still taking WAY too much time.
Then I read about sergers. After A LOT of research, I decided to bite the bullet and give one a try.
With just a bit of practice I cut my production time by over 30%. It also produced a finished look that was impossible without a serger.
Here are just a few things sergers can do that sewing machines won’t:
- Secure and finish seams in a single pass
- Overcast raw edges
- Make perfect rolled hems
- create flatlock seams
- create stretchy seams that are more durable
My Favorite Serger Sewing Machine
There are literally dozens of sergers on the market with new models coming out all the time. I spent hours researching and returned several models before settling on my favorite. To save you some time I’m going to highlight the most important features and which models give you the most bang for your buck!
Comparison of the Best Sergers of 2020
|Specialty Feet||Our Rating||
Just like anything else, the more you’re willing to invest in your serger the more features and functionality you’ll get. That’s not to say you should just rush out and buy the most expensive model, but you should consider what features you’ll be using on a consistent basis and decide if the price is worth it.
Advanced Users (Higher Priced)
Sergers in this price range will perform the same basic functions as the less expensive models, and will sometimes offer more than five threads. They will offer 2, 3, 4, or 5-thread stitches, they will trim the seam allowance, and will have differential feed to prevent unwanted puckering or stretching.
Where these machines rise above the rest is in durability, stability, and reliability,
Some have additional features, including automatic threading and coverstitch capability. Threading a regular machine can be a major source of frustration, so you can only imagine the frustration of manually threading four threads in a more complex serger. Automatic threading can be a much appreciated feature!
The Brother 3234DT is all about ease of use and reliability, producing a professional finished edge on all types of fabrics, including knits and wovens.
This high performance serger will perform the same basic functions as less expensive models, but has a number of bonus features including a removable tray for clippings, automatic threader, an instructional DVD, extra feet, and an extension table that doubles as accessory storage.
The large extension table is helpful when working with large pieces, and keeps the fabric from falling off of the side of the machine. This piece also contains storage spaces for accessories, keeping all of the parts handy and organized.
Sergers produce huge amounts of shredded fabric, that usually ends up on the floor. If you have a rolling chair, you will end up with strips of frayed fabric wrapping around and sticking in the wheels. This machine comes with a removable tray that catches the clippings, making cleanup a snap.
The presser foot lever is easily accessible; instead of on the back of the machine, the lever is located on the right front side. In addition to the standard multi-purpose presser foot, this machine comes with a blind stitch foot and a gathering foot.
While this model does not include auto-threading capability it is relatively easy to thread. If you’re looking for something that includes an auto-threader you should be prepared to spend a bit more.
The included instructional DVD has all kinds of handy tips for using the machine.
Finally, this machine is sturdy and stays in place, where other machines might bounce and slide around while working.
Best Advanced: SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 5-4-3-2 Serger
I mentioned I would review coverstitch machines in a separate article, but I included this one in the serger article because it does both!
The Singer 14T968DC has a 5-4-3-2 thread capability and will achieve a narrow coverstitch, triple coverstitch, double chain stitch, or wide coverstitch in addition to serger stitches.
The serger stitches include a five or four-thread safety stitch, four or three-thread ultra-stretch mock safety stitch, three-thread overlock stitch, three-thread flatlock, two-thread wrapped-edge overlock, and two-thread overedge.
There are also four built-in rolled hems.
Not for Beginners!
But with this complexity comes…complexity! Though there is a helpful CD workbook included, this machine is not recommended for beginners. Learning to use a basic serger takes some time and practice, and learning to coverstitch is another skill that will need to be learned. Threading will be more complex with this machine than with a standard serger because there are five threads instead of just four.
The downside of owning a machine that offers both serger and coverstitch capability, is that there is a process involved with switching from one to the other. This process involves replacing needles and re-threading the machine.
Though the threading is manual, it does come with a color-coded guide to help eliminate some of the guesswork. Additionally, the tension system is fully automatic and self-adjusting, which is a huge bonus!
A removable trimmings tray keeps threads and scraps confined, instead of all over the floor and workspace. As an added bonus, this machine comes with accessory snap-on presser feet including a multi-purpose foot, beading foot, blind hem foot, cording foot, elastic foot, shirring foot, and taping foot.
This machine comes with an all-purpose foot, needle set, tweezers, spreader, screwdrivers, clean pocket, serging knife, spool caps, anti-spill net, oiler, brush, cone adapters, soft-sided dust cover. Also included is a CD workbook and instruction manual with stitch guide, foot control and power cord.
JUKI MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine (Best for Beginners)
This JUKI MO654DE is a step up from the less expensive starter sergers. Though the features are not much different, the general quality and ease of use is an improvement.
At 1500 stitches per minute, this machine is faster than some of the lower priced models. A micro safety switch prevents the user from serging while the swing cover is open.
A great choice for a small business or for high volume home use, the Juki MO654DE has been dubbed an “incredible bargain” by many users. It is our third place pick for all-around value!
Great for Beginners
This is another great machine for beginners who are working with a slightly higher budget. It is a stable machine and does not move around when sewing. Though the machine is threaded manually, the color-coded threading makes this task easier.
Another feature that helps with threading is the disengaging looper; the thread is simply slid into the slot before the looper is snapped into place.
This machine will produce a 4 or 3-thread overlock, a 3-thread flatlock, 3-thread narrow overlock, a 3 or 2-thread rolled hem, or a 2-thread overcast. This machine does not have a coverstitch, nor does it offer a free arm, which means that serging small pieces may be a bit more challenging.
Tensions are easy to set; normal tensions are highlighted right on the dials, saving the user time from consulting the manual.
The knife system is powerful, with it’s own dedicated drive mechanism, and cuts smoothly. We even managed to stitch up to six layers of cotton batting and two layers of denim using the JUKI MO-654DE. Crazy!
The unit includes a multi-purpose presser foot, large and small screwdrivers, spare lower knife, spool caps, oiler, thread nets, vinyl dust cover, pack of needles, brush and needle inserter, guide bar, 2/3 thread selector, accessory pouch, light bulb, instruction manual, and foot control / power cord. Want more information? Read our full review of the Juki MO654DE.
Intermediate to Advanced (Mid Price Range)
Sergers in this price range will perform the basic stitches of a serger, but offer a bit more quality and reliability than the lowest price tier. There ill always be a bit of a learning curve with sergers, especially when it comes to threading and adjusting tension, and these sergers are no exception.
That being said, these are all great options for beginners. With less automation and complexity, you will quickly need to learn how to thread, adjust tension, and use differential feed. Most machines come with a manual; and where the manual falls short, there are ample books, YouTube videos, and more resources online! The more you learn about your machine, the more use you will get out of it.
JUKI MO644D Portable Serger (Best Basic Model)
The Juki MO644D is a great option for beginners and experienced seamstresses, this serger has been noted for its speed and ease of use. It’s high ratings and happy owners have led us to choose this as our top pick!
The multi-function presser foot allows the user to easily add tape, elastic, ribbon, or sequins. Creating overlock stitches is a breeze. Color-coded threading guides make manual threading as easy as possible.
Built-in seam guides allow for consistent and accurate seam allowances. A heavy duty knife with it’s own dedicated drive provides easy and clean cutting for heavy or lightweight fabrics.
Easy cutting width adjustments help create beautiful seams and rolled edges, while the stitch length adjustments can be changed for specialty thread or overlock techniques.
The differential feed knob can be adjusted to keep seams even and clean, or create funky lettuce edges.
This machine is basic and powerful, and is highly recommended for beginners or for those that crave simplicity in a machine.
It comes standard with a multi-purpose presser foot, screwdriver, spool caps, oiler, thread nets, vinyl cover, needle pack, tweezers, brush and needle inserter, looper threader, accessory pouch, light bulb, instruction manual, and foot control / power cord.
Brother Designio Series DZ1234 (Best Budget Serger)
The Brother Designio DZ1234 is a great all-around serger for basic clothing and home decor applications. It comes ready-to-use, straight out of the box. The machine comes pre-threaded with basic serging thread.
This can be helpful for users who are new to serging- threading can be complicated, and seeing the machine threaded will help you understand how to thread the machine yourself.
Some users may prefer to immediately switch the thread out to a higher-quality serging thread, as the included thread has been reported to be thin and easily broken.
A color-coded threading guide simplifies the process of threading the machine. This machine doesn’t require fancy, specialized needles; basic sewing needles will work, provided they are appropriate for the fabric being sewn.
Adjustable differential feed of .7mm – 2mm for most fabric types ensures consistency and durability. Stitch width can be adjusted between 3mm and 7mm, and stitch length from 2mm – 4mm, allowing further customization. Finally, the user can choose to use three or all four threads.
This serger comes with four accessory feet: a basic multipurpose foot, a blind hem stitch foot, a gathering foot, and a piping foot.
The gathering foot easily gathers, connects, and finishes the raw edges of fabric. Pins are not needed to keep fabric connected, as a special channel on the foot does that for you.
The piping foot is used to guide and/or hold narrow piping. You can also create your own custom piping using fabric strips and piping cord. Also works for zippers.
The blind hem and stitch foot works on a variety of fabrics and allows the user to create edge stitches, attach lace or fabric, or join edges. This foot is adjustable and has an open toe.
A free arm and flat bed convertible feature makes it easy to hem and finish sleeve openings and other cylindrical pieces.
Note: This machine is similar to the Brother 1034D, but with the addition of accessory feet. Some users prefer the dark blue tension dials of the DZ1234 vs the pastel dials of the 1034D.
Janome 8002D Serger Review
The Janome 8002D is a great serger for beginners! Basic, compact, and lightweight, it is perfect for the at-home seamstress and is our 2nd pick for all around value!
This machine has a built-in rolled hem feature, meaning the user will not have to change any plates.
It will achieve a three or four-thread finish, quickly and easily. It is ideal for joining and finishing seams for all kinds of applications – home decor, clothing, accessories, and for working with knit and stretchy fabrics.
While beginners might struggle when first learning to use a serger sewing machine, it is actually fairly common when first moving to a serger.
Sergers are somewhat difficult to use the first time, and will require some learning and studying. Keeping that in mind, this machine is relatively easy to use and re-thread.