The fast-fashion clothing industry has started a revival of DIYers making their own garments. And for blouses made with satins and cottons and linens, that’s not too hard. But if you prefer to wear the more comfortable, stretchy fabrics associated with t-shirts and casual clothes, you need a machine that can make those fancy stitched-over edges and seams. That machine is a serger. We’ve compiled this list of the best serger machines to help you find one that can accomplish all of your sewing goals, clothing-related or not.
Our Top Picks
In a hurry? Here’s a quick overview:
|Overall Best Serger: Brother 1034D Serger|
This affordable serger comes with adjustable stitch width, 22 built-in stitches, up to 1300 spm, and 3-4 thread capability – oh, and over 7,000 5-star reviews!
|Best Serger Runner Up: Brother Serger DZ1234|
With 23 stitch options, a wider stitch width range, and built-in storage space, the DZ1234 takes second place only due to price.
|Best Budget Serger: Singer 14CG754|
If the money is on your mind, check out this affordable serger with all the basic features you need at a price you can afford.
|Best Serger for Beginners: Janome 8002D Serger|
Sergers are much more difficult to get the hang of than regular sewing machines, but the Janome 8002D makes the process much easier to figure out for beginners new to the serging game.
|Best Professional Grade Serger: Singer 14T968DC|
For the at-home pro ready to invest time and effort into learning this machine, the Singer 14T968DC has a wider range of capability and auto-adjusting thread tension to make your projects look professionally finished.
|Best Serger with Coverstitch: Brother 2340CV Serger|
Though many sergers come with a single cover stitch, this baby specializes in it, and comes with built-in cover stitch options with adjustable width and multiple thread count options to suit any project.
A Closer Look: The Best Serger Machines
We’ve finely threaded these options into this list for you, and if you look below, you’ll see why.
1. Brother 1034D Heavy-Duty Overlock Serger
The best serger machine overall
Brand: Brother | Threads: 3/4 | Sewing Speed: 1300 stitches/minute | Weight: 16.4 lbs | Price: 💰💰
Our top pick for the best serger sewing machine is the Brother 1034D. It just so happens to be arguably the best serger for the money, and certainly the best serger under $300! The sturdy metal frame is built to last and has a clear color-coded threading system. It handles a wide variety of fabrics and has 22 different built-in stitches, including 4-thread overlock, 3-thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock stitches. With up to 1300 stitches per minute and a choice of 3 or 4 thread stitches, this machine is perfect for a wide range of at-home projects. It’s easy to get the hang of and quick to set up and get going.
The machine comes with three snap-on feet: standard, gathering, and blind stitch. As a bonus, you get a 25-year warranty and phone support for the life of the machine!
- Adjustable stitch width between 5mm and 7mm
- Uses standard sewing machine needles rather than specialized ones
- Differential fabric feed ratio of 0.7 to 2.0 to easily handle stretchy, knitted, and thin fabrics
- Most reviewers report that the machine needs to be pre-oiled before the first use
- Despite advertising easy threading, beginner reviewers warned it takes practice to get the hang of adequately threading the machine
2. Brother Metal Frame Overlock Serger DZ1234
The best runner-up serger machine
Brand: Brother | Threads: 3/4 | Sewing Speed: 1300 stitches/minute | Weight: 18.1 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰
Brother is at it again with their DZ1234, which lost out to the 1034D on price alone. But that extra cost does come with some extra features. Rather than 22, the DZ1234 has 23 built-in stitches to choose from and has a wider stitch width range from 3mm to 7mm. The machine comes with a blind stitch, gathering stitch, and piping stitch foot, as well as a built-in storage space where you can keep them. While you’re working, you can use the storage space to collect trimmed hem. And thanks to Brother’s color-coded threading system, threading is easier than ever!
- One of the best-rated serger sewing machines
- Easily overlocks and cuts through thicker fabrics like denim
- The fabric cutting knives are easily disengaged, and the upper blade can be moved out of the way and moved back into position without fear of cutting yourself
- Many reviewers disliked the white spools the machine comes pre-threaded with
- Though the workspace is lit, the light is very yellow, and the bulb gets hot quickly – most reviewers recommended replacing it with an LED
3. Singer ProFinish 2-3-4 Thread Serger 14CG754
The best budget serger machine
Brand: Singer | Threads: 2/3/4 | Sewing Speed: 1300 stitches/minute | Weight: 13.5 lbs | Price: 💰💰
Singer is one of the most popular and well-known brands of sewing machines, and their 14CG754 serger is probably the best basic serger for those on a budget. With 2, 3, and 4 threading options, you won’t lack flexibility for an affordable price. Like Brother machines, this Singer serger uses a color-coding threading system to help you get things going. Choose from 6 built-in stitches for blind hems, rolled hems, and flatlocking. Both the stitch length and width are adjustable, too, to conform to the needs of your project. And, with Singer’s free-arm design, you can easily sew in hard-to-reach places.
- LED surface light for clearer visibility
- Color-coded threading diagram printed right on the machine for easy set-up every time
- Upper cutting knife moves easily out of the way to prevent accidental fabric trimming while you’re sewing
- Some reviewers feel that this model is louder than other Singer machines
- To access the free arm, you have to pull off the detachable table, which some reviewers found difficult
4. Janome 8002D Serger
The best serger machine for beginners
Brand: Janome | Threads: 3/4 | Sewing Speed: 1300 stitches/minute | Weight: 17.2 lbs | Price: 💰💰
Sewing seems like a pretty straightforward process, but it can be pretty complicated. And sergers are even worse, thanks to the complicated threading and stitching processes. So even if you’re a pro at sewing with a regular machine, if you’ve never used a serger before, you want the best serger for beginners. And that serger is the Janome 8002D. This machine uses a color-coded threading system like other sergers. However, it also includes a color-coded diagram printed on the machine that you can refer to whenever needed. Plus, unlike other sergers, you can easily switch over to a rolled hem without removing the needle plate.
In addition to these features that make it the best serger for home use, the 8002D comes with capabilities you need in your serger: 3/4 thread capability, adjustable stitch width, retractable upper blade, adjustable foot pressure, and speeds up to 1300 stitches per minute.
- Noise level is much quieter than other machines
- Easy conversion to rolled hem without removing needle plate
- Clear color-coded diagram on machine makes threading much easier to figure out
- Is not capable of doing cover stitches
- A few reviewers had issues with the tension staying where they set it
5. Singer Professional Overlock Serger 14T968DC
The best professional serger machine
Brand: Singer | Threads: 2/3/4/5 | Sewing Speed: 1300 stitches/minute | Weight: 20 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰
As one of the best sewing machine brands, it’s no surprise Singer makes our list again. The Singer 14T968DC is arguably the best singer serger ever. This professional machine is not for the faint of heart. But, if you’ve got the patience to get the hang of how it works, you’ll be blown away by its capability. In addition to 2, 3, 4, and 5 thread stitching, this baby automatically adjusts thread tension to suit the stitch you choose. It comes with 7 different presser feet for a wide range of projects, and has 14 built-in stitches to choose from.
- Auto-adjusting thread tension based on stitch choice
- Detachable storage compartment to catch trimmed fabric
- Color-coded threading system with miniature diagram printed on machine for easy reference
- You can’t free-arm sew, which makes sleeves/cuffs difficult
- The included manual and CD tutorial are not very clear, and most reviewers recommend watching YouTube videos to figure things out
6. Brother Coverstitch 2340CV Serger
The best serger machine with coverstitch
Brand: Brother | Threads: 2/3/4 | Sewing Speed: 1100 stitches/minute | Weight: 16.5 lbs | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The cover stitch is one of the cornerstones of serging, but not every serger comes with that capability. The Brother 2340CV does, making it possibly the best serger for knits and other loose-knit fabrics. Choose from 2, 3, and 4 cover stitch functions, as well as adjustable stitch length between 3mm and 6mm to suit a wide range of fabrics. At 1100 stitches per minute, you’ll be more confident in your cover stitching without losing too much speed.
It’s important to note, though, that this machine is made specifically for cover stitching. It does create a finished edge, but it doesn’t create seams the same way other sergers do.
- Makes professional edges and cover stitches
- Can handle thin, stretchy, and knit fabric with ease
- Multiple thread options with adjustable stitch length to suit a variety of projects
- Though it does a great cover stitch, it only does cover stitch, making it more specialized than other machines
- There’s no automatic tension release, so you have to remember to release the looper before trying to pull out your stitched fabric
What is a Serger?
Sergers are specialized machines that create flexible seams and edges. Basically, they trim the edges of your fabric and enclose that edge in thread loops, all in one step. For making clothes with stretchable fabric, serged sleeves and seams are almost a requirement so the material can move with you, rather than restrict you. You can also have your serger fold the fabric before sewing everything up. Depending on the serger, you can make ruffles, rolled hems, chain stitches, cover stitches, and other decorative stitches for your seams and edges.
Your machine uses either 2, 3, or 4 different threads to complete these cover stitches. Different projects require different thread options. You can adjust the seam width, the density of the thread weave around the edges, and sometimes the pattern of the stitch. Typically, machines that can serge wider edges with denser stitching have a higher price tag.
Serger vs. Sewing Machine
The best serger machines are designed specifically to sew over the edges of fabric, and that’s pretty much all they can do. Where your sewing machine can sew a variety of stitch patterns through a range of fabrics, your serger is more limited. Sewing machines can also be used to sew buttonholes and other fancy adornments that sergers cannot.
What to Look For in the Best Serger Machines
So what is the best serger sewing machine for you? That depends on a few different factors:
Ease of Use
You can’t get any use out of your serger if you can’t figure out how to use your serger. You want to spend your time sewing, not struggling to put thread through endless loops and hooks. Sergers with more adjustable settings and features may be more difficult to get the hang of, so be sure to consider what sewing goals you have and how much trial and error you’re willing to put into them.
The two main features of any serger are the width of the stitch and the density of the threading. Most sergers will have one or two settings for each of these. Fancier, more expensive machines will have even more options, with more elaborate stitch options like cover stitches, ruffles, chain stitches, and other decorative stitches. Be sure to consider what kind of projects you’re interested in before you buy so you can make sure you pick a serger that can get the job done.
For this guide on best sergers, our team spent 2.5 hours researching the most popular options from over 23 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about fifty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each serger. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 sergers on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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