Best Sergers of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

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If you have spent any time sewing, you know that there are some stitches that are just straight up frustrating to make on a sewing machine. That is where a high quality serger can come in and make your life easier.

Read on to learn more about these awesome products and how they can take your sewing game to the next level.

Comparison Chart of the Best Sergers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Our best overall choice for top serger
  • Has the capacity to handle pretty much everything you’d need
  • Stitching functions include narrow, ribbon lock, hemming, and overlock stitches
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  • Our choice for runner-up for best overall serger
  • Includes three sets of feet and two starter thread sets
  • Has adjustable stitch width from three to seven millimeters
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  • Our top choice of best serger for the money
  • Easily transported and simple to store thanks to its size
  • Automatic stitching feature operates at 1300 stitches per minute
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  • Our top choice for best serger for beginners
  • Has a color coded threading chart to simplify that process
  • Built in rolled hem feature eliminates need to change plate
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  • Our top choice for best serger for a cover stitch
  • Has a self adjusting tension feature to reduce frustration
  • Great for trying out multiple different kinds of techniques
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  • Our top choice for the best serger for knits
  • Has multiple sewing features beyond just being a serger
  • Good for making fabric embellishments and flat lock stitches
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What is a Serger and What is it Used For?

A serger is a type of sewing machine. To be honest, it is somewhat of a super sewing machine. Most straightforward sewing machines have a system with only one bobbin and one thread, while sergers have much more complicated systems, with anywhere from three to five different bobbins that can sew multiple different kinds of thread. This quality makes sergers noticeably higher in efficiency and faster overall to work with than your regular average sewing machine.

And its ability to work with multiple different threads at once make it ideal for some of the more complicated sewing tasks. For example, when you are edging your fabric, the process will require sewing a final seam, trimming off all the raw edges from the seam, and then finishing the edges so they look nice. This process would be a tall order to ask of a regular sewing machine, which would involve switching out threads and slowly making your way through the steps, but for a serger, it is possible to do it all at once with a variety of different threads.

What Makes a Great Serger?

Sergers can be difficult to use and to understand, and that can make it complicated to find one that will work well for you. Here are some of the top qualities to look out for in a serger:

Capacity

The whole point of getting a serger is that it will be able to accomplish sewing tasks that a basic sewing machine can’t. With that in mind, make sure you are investing in a machine that actually can accomplish a wide range of different tasks. 

Included Accessories

It is a true fact that there is very little that is more annoying than buying a product and finding out you need to make a ton of additional purchases in order to actually use it. Look for a serger that comes with included needles, sewing feet, a cover, and everything else to get your machine up and going.

Ease of Use

If you have not already picked this up, sergers are complicated! Do not make your experience more frustrating than it needs to be. Find a machine that is straightforward and easy to use.

Quick Take - Best Sergers

Before you get too far, here's a quick take of the best sergers:

  1. Brother 1034D 3/4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed
  2. Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger
  3. Singer 14CG754

Review of the Best Sergers

Now that you know what sergers can do and what to look out for, let’s check out some actual products:

PROS

  • Cuts fabric very cleanly.
  • Stitch width can be adjusted.
  • Threading is simple and easy.
  • Brother provides excellent customer service and phone support.
  • Includes two snap on feet, a soft cover, needles, and both written and video instructions.

CONS

  • Some users report it makes a loud “crunching” noise.
  • Can be a complicated process to get the tension right.
  • Will need to be lubricated upon arrival, so can’t be used right out of the box.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are blown away by the sheer capacity on this model. It can handle pretty much everything you throw at it, including hefty knits and linens. You can feel confident working with whatever on this machine, from craft projects and home décor DIY initiatives to fancy formal clothing, even including bridal gowns.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were big fans of the twenty two stitching functions on this serger. It has both three thread and four thread overlock, narrow stitching, ribbon lock stitching, and hemming stitching.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is one of the best product options on the market today for creating clean, even stitching. You may think, “okay, so what? Can’t most machines do that?” and it is true that professional level stitches can be accomplished with most mechanical sewing operations. But this serger model is particularly adept at creating such stitches even on some of the toughest fabrics to work with, including thinner fabrics where botched stitches are easily visible, fabrics that are knitted and hard to work with, and stretchier fabrics where the stitches really count.

Bottom Line

The Brother 1034D ¾ Thread Serger with Differential Feed is a phenomenal product that has one of the widest ranges of stitching capacity you will be able to find in a serger. Do keep in mind that it needs pretty constant lubrication, though.

Brother Serger, DZ1234, Metal Frame Overlock Machine, 1,300 Stitches Per Minute, Removeable Trim Trap, 3 Included Accessory Feet and 2 Sets of Starter Thread

PROS

  • Can create stitches rapidly.
  • Nice clean aesthetic with a black and white design.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry (only eighteen pounds!).
  • Has a number of safety features to prevent any accidental injury.
  • Color coded threading system makes it simple and easy to switch out threads.

CONS

  • On the louder side.
  • Presser foot is resistant and will require a strong push.
  • Included instructional DVD is only compatible with Windows operating systems.

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers love everything that comes included with this model. It has three different sets of feet, including a blind hem stitch foot, a piping foot, and a gathering foot. It also comes with two sets of starter thread for getting yourself going.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We appreciated the option on this model to adjust the stitch width. You can set it anywhere from three millimeters to seven millimeters.This flexibility in stitch width is great because you will be able to transition easily to different kinds of stitches; for example, moving from a straight stitch to a zigzag stitch will be a simple and straightforward process.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a model with a large number of built in stitches, you literally will not be able to find one better that the Brother Designio Series. It has the highest number of built ins out of all brands, with twenty three in total.

Bottom Line

The Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger is an all around excellent product option with some excellent features such as an adjustable stitch width. Some users report that the included instructions are difficult to understand, which may not make it the best choice for beginning sewers.

Best for the Money:
Singer 14CG754

SINGER | ProFinish 14CG754 2-3-4 Thread Serger with Adjustable Stitch Length, & Differential Feed - Sewing Made Easy,White

PROS

  • Can sew both sleeves and cuffs.
  • Has eighteen built in stitch functions.
  • Safety features prevent any level of risk or harm.
  • Has two, three, and four thread stitching capabilities.
  • Comes with an all purpose foot controllers, tweezers, a needle set, a small screwdriver, and a power cord.

CONS

  • On the heavier side.
  • Not the best option for thick fabrics.
  • Singer does not provide good customer service.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are big fans of the compact size of this model. Since it is smaller, it is easier to transport, and also easier to set aside and store when you want to switch back over to your regular sewing machine.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We could not believe you could purchase a serger from a high quality, well respected brand such as Singer for such a low price. But it is not too good to be true, it is one hundred percent real!

Who Will Use This Most

This machine is fairly versatile. It would be great for business use thanks to its ridiculously high stitch speed, but it is also good for beginners due to its differential fabric feed.

Bottom Line

The Singer 14CG754 is a top notch machine that you will not be able to believe you can get for such a great deal. But when it comes to the instructional DVD, you do kind of get what you pay for: users report that it has low resolution, making it difficult to understand how exactly to work the machine.

Best for Beginners:
Janome 8002D

Janome 8002D Serger

PROS

  • Extremely quiet.
  • Capable of both three and four thread locking.
  • One of the sturdiest sergers on the market today.
  • Has a high pressure foot lifter and an electronic foot.
  • Good on a wide range of fabrics with a variety of thickness levels.

CONS

  • Very heavy.
  • Threading process can be difficult.
  • Not capable of creating a cover stitch.

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers really enjoy the built in rolled hem feature. If you are sick and tired of constantly needing to change out the plate, this feature could be a game changer for you.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We liked the multiple aspects of this model that make it more accessible for beginners to use. These features include a color coded threading chart to simplify the threading process, as well as included packs of high quality needles that are built to last.

Who Will Use This Most

As mentioned above, this machine is particularly great for beginner use, but anyone who is looking for a rock solid, steady serger will also enjoy this machine, since it is designed specifically to resist jostling and other movement.

Bottom Line

The Janome 8002D is an amazing product with a number of great features, such as a color coded threading chart, that make it particularly awesome for beginner sewers. It is a little picky when it comes to needles, though, and will only accept certain types.

Best With Cover Stitch:
SINGER Professional 5 14T968DC

SINGER | Professional 14T968DC Serger Overlock with 2-3-4-5 Stitch Capability, 1300 Stitches per minute, & Self Adjusting - Sewing Made Easy,White

PROS

  • Has an adjustable cutting width.
  • Durable enough to hold up to excessive use.
  • Included instructions are thorough and quite helpful.
  • Comes with cone adapters, sewing feet, and a stitch guide.
  • Decorative stitching options allow users to show off their creativity.

CONS

  • Does not have a free arm.
  • Has some plastic components that are more easily broken.
  • Switching between the multiple functions is time intensive.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers absolutely adore the self adjusting tension feature. Say goodbye forever to the constant struggle to set the tension properly on your machine!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This machine has some of the most options for overlock stitches available on the market today. You can work two, three, four, and five thread overlock with this bad boy. As a result, this machine is an excellent option for trying out multiple different kinds of sewing techniques.

Who Will Use This Most

Professional users say this model is a great option because of its adjustable cutting width, and casual users of both beginner and advanced status also report enjoying this machine.

Bottom Line

The SINGER Professional 5 14T968DC is an excellent machine that has a wide range of options for different types of sewing techniques. However, it does not include any sort of video instruction option, so it can sometimes be more complicated to put some of those techniques into practice.

Best for Knits:
SINGER 14SH6540

Singer Finishing Touch 14SH654 Serger

PROS

  • Has a differential feed function.
  • Comes with a twenty five year warranty.
  • Well made of high quality, heavy duty steel.
  • Can sew at a speed of thirteen hundred stitches per minutes.
  • Offers six different types of stitches with four different thread types.

CONS

  • LED light works intermittently.
  • Not the best for really advanced projects.
  • Only recommended for use in the United States and Canada.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that this is an excellent machine for some of the more complicated sewing techniques. These can include flat lock stitches, fabric embellishments, and even something as complex as ruffles! There really is not much this machine will not be able to handle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We appreciated that, unlike many of the other serger models elsewhere on the market, this model incorporates both serging and sewing features, so you will not need to constantly be switching out between the two different types of machines.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is an excellent choice for those users seeking an efficient sewing experience because it can sew extremely quickly. This quality also makes it a great option for professional projects.

Bottom Line

The SINGER 14SH6540 is a fantastic machine that can process thicker, heavier fabric, as well as handle the complicated sewing embellishments we all know and love. But, perhaps due to these qualities, it can be an extremely intimidating and overwhelming machine to work with at first.

Perks of Getting a New Serger

If you have not upgraded your serger in a while, you are really missing out. Here are the biggest reasons why you should invest in a newer model:

Video Instructions

Forget the days of poring through tiny instructional manuals with cramped font and ineffective illustrations – today’s sergers come with video instructions on DVD so that you can actually see the best way to work your machine.

Sewing Speed

If you are working with an older model, you will be stunned when you switch over to a new machine at how much faster your sewing goes! Sergers on the market today have an amazing stitching speed that will enable you to finish your projects in no time at all.

Noise Levels

Anyone who has ever worked with a serger knows that they can be significantly louder than your average sewing machine. Today’s models have been specifically designed in order to reduce the noise they produce.

Types of Serger Stitches

Since sergers can do so much, how can you keep track of all the different stitches they can make? Here are the most common kinds:

One Thread Stitch: Butt Seam

The one thread stitch is the most simple process you can use your serger for. This type of stitch is known as a butt seam because it is used to merge the edges of your fabric together, typically in a zigzag pattern.

Two Thread Stitch: Flatlocks

Two thread stitches are also referred to as flatlock stitches. They will create two different edges to the ends of your fabric, a flat edge and a thin edge. This technique works particularly well with fabric that is intended to stretch slightly.

Three Thread Stitch: Rolled/Blind Hem

Three thread stitching begins to use the overlock technique. This type of stitch works excellently both in making decorative hems, also known as rolled hems, and it will work just as well to make blind hems in addition.

Four and Five Thread Stitches

If you are trying to ensure your fabric’s edge will never, ever tear and become ragged, four and five thread overlock stitching is the best option for you. Four thread overlock is often used to finish fabrics and five thread overlock is used as an additional layer of precaution.

How to Clean a Serger

Sergers require proper, regular maintenance in order to work correctly. One of the most essential ways to keep your serger running well is to clean it. This process will involve removing lint from all of the sergers crevices, which is best done using small vacuum attachments to suck it out, along with a small duster which you can fit into the cracks and use to guide the lint along.

Make sure you also remove the lint from your tension disks to ensure they do not become sticky over time. One of the most effective ways to make sure they are fully clean is to spray Windex or another type of glass cleaner on a paper towel and run it through the disc slots.

Windex is a good option for wiping down the exterior housing of the machine as well, though you will want to use water instead of Windex on the paper towel to clean your serger’s electronic screen if it has one. For a more comprehensive overview of what was described here, along with helpful visual aids, please refer to the video below.

Conclusion

Sergers are some of the best machines out there for handling complicated stitches such as hems and edges, as well as thicker fabrics such as knits. If you want to become a truly accomplished sewer, you are not going to be able to get very far without investing in a high quality serger. We promise that you will not be able to go wrong with any of the fantastic products from our list here.

People Also Ask

Sergers can be complicated machines. Here are some of the most commonly asked additional questions regarding sergers:

Serger Machine vs. Sewing Machine: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, sergers are basically a more efficient, more adept version of a sewing machine. While most sewing machines can only use one thread and one bobbin at a type, sergers are able to utilize multiple threads and multiple bobbins to sew many different types of stitches at once.

How to Oil a Serger Sewing Machine

Make sure of two things before you start to oil your machine: that it is fully cleaned, and that you are using the correct oil, also known as the one the manufacturer of your machine recommends. Oil should go everywhere on your serger where there are two metal pieces that touch each other as they move.

What Should I Buy First – a Sewing Machine or a Serger?

If you are just starting out with sewing at home, it is probably a good call to invest in a sewing machine first, since they are easier to use and therefore more accessible for a beginner sewer. However, keep in mind that you will likely progress fairly quickly to feeling like you need a serger as well, so start saving your pennies!