Best Overlock Machines

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 4, 2020
If you've got a sewing machine and want to bring your projects up to a pro level, then a serger is a must! With the help of an overlock machine you'll be able to prevent clothes edges from fraying and fix many another issues that often lead to ruining your clothes. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Number of threads
Sewing speed
Differential feed
Adjustable presser foot pressure
Stitch length / width
Built-in stitch patterns
INCLUDED PRESSER FEET
Dimensions
Accessories
Warranty
 
PROS

It's a good semi-professional machine that stands out from others with its 5-thread capability. It also features automatic thread tension.

CONS

Some plastic components are rather fragile.

OUR VERDICT

The SINGER 14T968DC overlock machine can be used with literally any type of fabric you need. It's a professional model that is perfect for both home and commercial use.

detailed parameters
Number of threads
2, 3, 4, 5
Sewing speed
Up to 1300 stitches per minute
Differential feed
Yes
Adjustable presser foot pressure
Yes
Stitch length / width

Length: 4 mm

Width: 7.5 mm

Built-in stitch patterns
20
INCLUDED PRESSER FEET
Beading foot, Blind hem foot, Cording foot, Elastic foot, Shirring foot, Taping foot, All-purpose foot
Dimensions

13.5" x 10.5" x 11.5"

Weight: 23.6 lbs

Accessories
Needle set, Tweezers, Spreader, Screwdrivers, Clean pocket, Serging knife, Spool caps, Anti-Spill net, Oiler, Brush, Cone adapters, Soft-Sided dust cover, CD workbook included, Instruction manual with included stitch guide, Foot control
Warranty

25 years - manufacturer’s defects, 2 years - electric and electronic components, 90 days - parts and labor

PROS

It uses the proprietary Seam Tightening System™ that relies on a spring. As a result, the 1000CPX machine produces amazingly tight and smooth stitches.

CONS

Its speed could be a bit faster.

OUR VERDICT

The Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX is a universal machine combining the functions of a serger and a traditional sewing machine. Due to its long detachable arm, it is ideal for working with small as well as large décor projects. 

detailed parameters
Number of threads

2,3,4

Sewing speed

Up to 1000 stitches per minute

Differential feed

Yes

Adjustable presser foot pressure

Yes

Stitch length / width

Length: 1-4 mm

Width: 3-6 mm

Built-in stitch patterns

4

INCLUDED PRESSER FEET

Snap-on presser foot

Dimensions

19.5" x 16.5" x 14.5"

Weight: 19 lbs

Accessories

Adjustable seam guide, Elastic gathering attachment 6-8.5mm, Hem guides, Extension table, Needles, 9-piece scissor kit, Dust cover, Seam ripper, Needle threader

Warranty

25 years - mechanical parts, 2 years - electrical parts, 1 year - labor

PROS

This serger can work with ordinary needles from your home sewing machine. The DVD disc with sewing tutorial is included in the box.

CONS

A small number of included accessories.

OUR VERDICT

This is a super-reliable machine under the renowned brand. It comes with a comprehensive manual, so it's great for those who just learn how to sew.

detailed parameters
Number of threads
2, 3, 4
Sewing speed
Up to 1300 stitches per minute
Differential feed
Yes
Adjustable presser foot pressure
Yes
Stitch length / width

Length: 2-4 mm

Width: 3 -6.7 mm

Built-in stitch patterns
6
INCLUDED PRESSER FEET
All-purpose foot
Dimensions

14" x 11" x 11.5"

Weight: 16.8 lbs

Accessories
Tweezers, Needle set, Spreader, Small screwdriver, Machine Intro DVD, Instruction manual with stitch guide, Foot control, Power cord
Warranty

25 years - manufacturer’s defects, 2 years - electric and electronic components, 90 days - parts and labor

PROS

This thread serger sewing machine has a built-in rolled hemming. Plus, it can be used for two-, three-, and four-thread serging.

CONS

The box includes only one presser foot.

OUR VERDICT

This portable thread serger has a comfy carry handle, color-coded guides, micro-safety switch, and many other useful extras. So, if you need a super convenient overlock machine, it's your choice.

detailed parameters
Number of threads

2,3,4

Sewing speed

1500 stitches per minute

Differential feed

Yes

Adjustable presser foot pressure

Yes

Stitch length / width

Length: 4 mm

Width: 7 mm

Built-in stitch patterns

15

INCLUDED PRESSER FEET

All-purpose foot

Dimensions

13.5" x 12.5" x 7.7",

Weight: 15.5 lbs

Accessories

Foot controller, Lower knife, 2/3 thread converter, Nets, Spool caps, Tweezers, Cleaning brush, Needle threader, Needles in needle box, Small screwdriver, Large screwdriver, Oiler, Accessory bag, Dust cover

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The threading process is very easy thanks to a needle threader and looper threading mechanism. Plus, the color-coded threading paths prevent you from making any mistakes.

CONS

The tweezers are lacking in quality. 

OUR VERDICT

Suitable for professional sewing jobs, the Bernette b42 Funlock works equally well on heavy, thin, or stretchy fabrics. It's easy to control and has a large working area with LED lighting for serious projects. 

detailed parameters
Number of threads

2,3,4

Sewing speed

1300 stitches per minute

Differential feed

Yes

Adjustable presser foot pressure

Yes

Stitch length / width

Length: 4 mm

Width: 2.8 - 5.6 mm

Built-in stitch patterns

15

INCLUDED PRESSER FEET

Snap-on presser foot

Dimensions

11.8" x 15.7" x 7"

Accessories

Standard presser foot Cover, Screwdriver (large size), Oiler, 4 x Spool net, 4 x Spool cap, Brush, Needle set (ELx705), Needle threader / inserter, Allen screwdriver (small), Tweezers, 4 x Spool holder, Dust cover

Warranty

5 years - mechanical parts, 2 years - electrical parts, 1 year - labor

SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5-4-3-2 Thread

5-thread Stitch Machine

If you would like to get an overedging machine and a reliable helper in pursuing sewing goals all in one, the SINGER 14T968DC will definitely meet your demands. The combination of technical performance along with the company's time-proven reliability makes this device a real workhorse on all levels. The SINGER serger combines the features of an overlock and a cover stitch machine in one neat device.

To begin with, the SINGER 14T968DC is the only model on our shortlist that features 5-thread stitch capability, ensuring a perfect seam with rolled hems, cover hems, chain stitching, and other built-in stitch patterns on different fabric types, making all your garments look professionally done.

Such high-efficiency machines are mainly used for a commercial apparel manufacturing, yet it is not the reason not to buy it for home use. Wondering how the 5-thread stitch looks like? Look at how the pockets on your jeans have been edged and you'll be able to recognize it right away the next time.

Review of SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5-4-3-2 Thread Overlock with Auto Tension

Designed for Comfortable Work

Besides the unique 5-4-3-2 thread capability, the SINGER serger machine features a wide variety of extras to make sewing an easy job. First of all, we'd like to draw your attention to a fully automatic self-adjusting tension system that ensures perfect seams on all types of textile. You should simply turn a dial to select the chart, and the machine will automatically adjust tension settings for that stitch.

Secondly, threading the serger is as easy as a pie owing to the automatic looper threader and a color-coded lay-in threading system. The color-coded diagram ensures easy threading even for novice users.

With no shade of a doubt, you'll give justice to an attachable clean pocket on the machine that will capture all trimmed bits in it, leaving your working place clean and neat.

What's more, the SINGER overlock machine offers 20 built-in stitch patterns to choose from and 7 different presser feet that can be snapped on in accordance with your sewing needs. While working with different types of fabric, you'll have an option to adjust the width and the length of a stitch, fitting all clothes you've got to edge.

In sum, this is definitely one of the most versatile and adaptable overlock machines. Owing to the 5-4-3-2 thread capability and other nifty features, it'll deliver you very professional-looking results.

SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5-4-3-2 Thread Overlock with Auto Tension in the use

VIDEO
Singer 14T968DC-How I Demystified -5 thread Safety Stitch(1/3)
 

Janome CoverPro 1000CPX

Time-Saving Option

The Coverpro 1000CPX is a revolutionary machine that offers sewers all the power and features of commercial-grade sewing machines. It has been designed to give users great versatility, help save their time, and allow them to make garments, accessories, and home decor elements with additional flair and finished appearance. It is a coverstitch machine that is far less complicated than any other type of overlock machine you can find today and is far easier to thread than a sewing machine or a serger. That said, we wouldn't really compare them since the Coverpro 1000CPX is mainly meant for topstitching and pintucking fabrics and is limited to use only on the following fabrics: natural fibers, fine pieces of fabrics, knits, synthetic kinds of blends and fabrics, upholstery, twill, and canvas.

As we have just mentioned, threading the 1000CPX is an easy job. Thanks to the color-coded threading guide and setup illustrations on the machine itself, you can quickly figure out how to set up the tension dials and position needles correctly. In the front side of the machine, you can also find graphics on how the machine performs different stitching options. All this makes the 1000CPX coverstitch machine a great assistant for home sewers who want to achieve professional results easily and quickly.

Review of Janome CoverPro 1000CPX Coverstitch Machine

What's So Special?

The 1000CPX can work with up to three needles and use up to four spools of thread simultaneously. It offers three types of stitching options and has a free arm, an additional table for large projects, a differential feed, and a built-in thread cutter. The machine also comes with a generous set of accessories that are meant to assist users in completing their projects. The kit includes an adjustable seam guide, hemming guide, three types of presser feet, elastic gathering attachments, additional needles, tweezers, a screwdriver, and a needle threader. There’s also a casing for all these accessories included.

Yet, the main benefit of the 1000CPX is the STS (Seam Tightening System), an exclusive feature found only in Janome’s sewing machines. While other coverstitch sewing machines use a standard looper to keep the tension tight, the STS relies on a spring. As a result, the 1000CPX machine produces amazingly tight and smooth stitches. Due to the implementation of the STS, the machine can be used even on thick fabrics like denim or wide wale corduroy. This feature makes the machine one of the most user-friendly models you can find on the market.

So, if you need a universal machine combining the functions of a serger and a traditional sewing machine, the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX is a sound choice. Due to its long detachable arm, it is ideal for working with small as well as large décor projects.

Janome CoverPro 1000CPX Coverstitch Machine in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

This machine saves me time and does a beautiful job, absolutely zero missed stitches! I wish I had bought it a long time ago!

Features

It was either this or the Brother, and what ultimately made the big difference is the free arm option and the wider neck space between the needles and body of the machine that Janome offers and Brother doesn't.
 

SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish

The Best Model For Beginners

Right out of the box, the SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish Overlock machine comes already threaded and ready-to-use, and that’s what you’ll definitely like about it right away. It is also the reason why this model is so popular among beginners looking for a simple-to-use appliance requiring no long learning curve. Interesting enough, while being so easy-to-use, the Singer 14CG754 is big on features, providing all the essentials expected from a high-quality appliance.

In the Singer 14CG754, all sewing components are adjustable, giving you flexibility in terms of fabrics that it can be used with. And it has a high presser foot lifter which besides giving a spacious working area allows placing more than one layer of cloth, a feature that is practical and helpful for quite a big number of sewing jobs.

Though rather intuitive in use, the Singer 14CG754 comes with easy-to-understand manuals: a DVD disc and a printed version. They both give users very detailed and comprehensive instructions on how to thread and adjust the machine. So, in case you have difficulty figuring out how to use the device, the instructions will come to help.

All in all, the Singer serger is a perfect machine for beginners who want to unleash their imagination and creativity in sewing projects.

Review of SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish Overlock Machine

Inventor of Genius

Isaac Merritt Singer is an inventor of Singer sewing machines that are currently recognized as the most popular sewing machines on the market. The reason for such immense popularity of Singer sewing equipment is explained by the introduction of innovative sewing methods no one has used/seen before. Understandably, at the time Singer sewing machines cost a fortune and few people could afford them. Things have changed when the prices decreased, adding appeal to Singer's product line and bringing it upfront of the competition. Another reason would be the professional skills of Isaac Merritt Singer. Not only did he invest one of the best sewing equipment in the world but also he was the first one who started to promote it by cooperating with other sewing companies.

SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish Overlock Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish 2 3 4 Thread Serger With Machine Intro DVD
 

JUKI MO654DE

Final Perfect Look

This Juki serging machine was made to bring your sewing projects to perfection! Designed for two-, three-, and four-thread serging, it allows you to work with both light and heavyweight fabrics to create smart clothing and stylish decor items. With that, the unit is quite simple in use. It has color-coded guides for convenient threading; after some practice, it won't take you long to prepare the machine for work. Ergonomic dials ensure simple thread tension adjustment.

The Juki MO654DE is equipped with a multipurpose presser foot that will come in handy in case you need it for some sophisticated sewing projects. What makes the unit a perfect device for surging almost everything is a heavy-duty knife system that professionally cuts both light and heavyweight fabrics. Using ergonomic seam guides on the guard cover, you'll be able to serge extremely precisely. And the adjustable cutting width will help you get perfect results each time.

The overlock has a handy dial for adjusting stitch length. There is even more: using a differential feed dial, you can give a special touch to your clothing with lettuce edges on sleeves. All in all, we can definitely recommend the Juki MO654DE portable thread serger to those people who want to give their projects a perfect, finished look.

Review of JUKI MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine

Easy Start

The good news is that the JUKI MO654DE machine arrives already pre-threaded, and we highly recommend you to take the photos of the machine with the panel open right after delivery. This will help you understand better how the machine is threaded. Afterwards, you'll be able to refer to your detailed photos rather than instruction illustrations (they might seem a little inaccurate). If you follow the manual step-by-step guidance along with your photos, you'll easily get the hang of threading the serger. Easy!
JUKI MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Bernette b42

Designed with Professional Sewists in Mind

If you don't want to spend a fortune on a professional-grade machine, you may like this one produced by Bernette. Being a subsidiary of Berina, the company is true to the same prime standards but offers more affordable products. So, we would definitely recommend this machine to those who want a well-built machine at reasonable costs.

To begin with, the Bernette b42 arrives threaded but tied off. Mastering the threading process is quite easy and mostly frustration-free owing to the color-coded threading paths. What also adds to the convenience of use is the adjustable differential feed. This feature will let you get more control over such tricky fabrics as slippery satin or silk and very delicate fabrics like lace. Plus, you'll be able to easily work on smaller sewing projects as well as create perfectly even ruffles.

That said, larger sewing projects also won't be a challenge for this workhorse. It provides you with a generous work area and ensures you have plenty of space for manipulating. In addition, the bright LED light will illuminate the whole work area and make it well-visible even when the lights are out. This way, you'll be able to sew bridal gowns, curtains, or drapes with no issues.

Review of Bernette b42 Funlock Coverstitch Machine

Stitch Options

Since the Bernette b42 Funlock is a coverstitch-only machine, the stitch options are purposely limited here. It's intended mainly for finishing edges on sewing projects, yet offers a few decorative options as well. To be more precise, it offers 3 coverstitch patterns and a 2-thread chainstitch (adjustable between 2.8 mm and 5.6 mm). The combo of 4 threads and 3 needles ensures very strong yet flexible stitches suitable for active outwear, kids’ clothes, and swimwear. Even on such intricate areas like knees, elbows, or underarms, the stitching produced by this machine will hold up really well.

In all, if you're looking for a real workhorse that makes hemming look beautiful and professional, you should seriously consider this one. It's a frills-free machine designed for putting a clean and durable finish on all types of sewing projects. It works equally well on heavy, thin, or stretchy fabrics. And the top speed of 1,300 stitches per minute ensures fast results.

Bernette b42 Funlock Coverstitch Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is an Overlock Machine?

Overlock machines were originally used for industrial sewing. Today, however, thanks to the progress and advanced technologies they've made their way to the houses of regular people. So, what is a serger and why do we need one? Let's answer these questions. A serger, or an overlock machine as it's also called, is a device used to overlock stitches and enclose raw edges of materials to prevent them from fraying. A serger is also used to trim off excess seam allowance eliminating the need for you to do it manually later, when the sewing is done. Sergers do a great job of edging, hemming, and seaming, and are used to add a professional look and finish to your clothes. Though you could argue that a regular sewing machine can do the same thing, it would not be completely true. Unlike sewing machines, a serger uses loopers to feed several thread cones, and it also makes stitches much more elastic, which is essential if you want your clothes or some decorative elements to serve you longer.

With that said, a overlock machine is still not a stand-alone machine, and some projects simply cannot be done properly without using a sewing machine. So if you haven't got one or you wish to upgrade your old model to a more advanced one, make sure to look through our brand-new selection of sewing machines.

What Features to Compare

Sewing Capabilities

Before you decide on any particular model of overlock machine, you should firstly determine what you are going to use it for. If you need a device for home use, we recommend you to opt for a serger that can be used with 2, 3, and 4 threads. Such models show great results in stitching light and medium weight fabrics and accept almost all tread types. But you should look for a 5-thread machine if you need it for commercial use. These are considered to be the most professional and sophisticated machines in the industry. They create strong seams required for lacing heavyweight fabrics and also eliminate the need to reinforce the seams with a sewing machine additionally.

Sewing Speed and Usability

If compared to sewing machines, overlockers operate at higher speeds, reaching 1300-1500 stitches per minute. And obviously, the faster the serger is, the quicker it can complete its tasks. However, it shouldn't be out of blue that such high-performing machines are usually more expensive, too.

Also, we recommend you to opt for a serger equipped with lower looper threaders and needle threaders. They will make the process of feeding threads to the machine easier and quicker.

Technical Peculiarities

An adjustable differential feed function is what differs overlock machines from other sewing equipment and allows users total control over the speed of feeding fabric through the needle area for the best results. This feature is of utmost importance when stitching stretch fabrics and is a guarantee of no wave-like effect on the edges.

Extras

Lastly, don't overlook the features that can make using the machine more enjoyable. Opt for models that come with a generous range of accessories. It's nice when a bundle includes both a blindstitch foot and a gathering foot at least. Other welcome additions are sets of needles, screwdrivers, tweezers, nets, spool holder caps, lint brushes, needle threaders, accessory boxes, and the like.

A built-in color-coded threading guide will be a helpful addition for novice users. It'll provide precise stitching and ensure a high-quality finish each time.

Did you know?

The Brief History of Sewing Machines

The first sewing machine was invented in 1790 by the English inventor, Thomas Saint. The sewing machine was meant to be used on canvas materials and leather. It used a single thread to make stitches in the fabric. However, Thomas Saint couldn’t market his invention, since it required steady improvement. It was in 1874 that William Newton Wilson, a sewing machine manufacturer, finally built a successful machine. He found Saint’s drawings and made some improvements to the looper.

The first electric sewing machine was manufactured by Singer Sewing Co and introduced to the mass market in 1889. It was just a standard machine with a motor strapped on its side. After some time, the motor was embedded into the casing. By 1905, electric sewing machines were widely used at homes and factories.

Overlock stitching was created in 1881 by the Merrow Machine Company. This stitching technology became a starting point for the invention of an overlock machine. The first one was patented by the owner of the same company, Joseph Merrow, in 1889.

Interesting Facts About Sewing

  • The archaeological records show that people sewed some pieces of fur, skin, and bark together to make clothing about 25,000 -30,000 years ago. They used thin strips of animal hide to stitch together large pieces of fur. Sewing appeared even before weaving. Actually, it’s the first form of textile art.
  • The earliest needles were made from bone and ivory, while early pins were made from fish bones. It was not until the Bronze Age that metal needles and pins were invented in Europe.
  • During the 20th century, over 4,000 different sewing machines were produced.
  • An average lifespan of cotton fabric is somewhere about 100 years.
  • China is the leading fabric producer and exporter in the world. It’s followed by India, Italy, and Germany.
  • Originally, zippers were invented for shoes and boots. They could speed up the buttoning process, which was especially important for the laboring class. Soon after, zippers were adapted to pants, skirts, and jackets.
  • The Singer company has always been creating the most successful sewing machines compared to competitors. The secret of their success lies in the superior durability of their sewing machines. And here is an interesting fact - the first Singer sewing machines made of cast iron were some of the strongest machines ever invented. The Singer company worried that their machines might serve for several hundreds of years and be passed down for generations, which could lead to the loss of revenue. That’s why the company began to produce flimsier sewing machines. Singer also launched a buyback program for their cast iron machines and then destroyed them with sledgehammers.
  • A recent survey in the USA has shown that 51% of sewers own as many as three sewing machines, and overlock is one of them.

Sources:

1. Overlock, Wikipedia. August 27, 2016.

2. Debbie Colgrove Understanding a Serger or Overlocking Sewing Machine, About. September 2, 2016.

3. How to Hem, wikiHow.

4. Serger Thread – Types and Benefits of Using Sergers, Create For Less.

5. Millie Schwandt Choose the Right Serger Stitch for Your Project, Threads.

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