If you mainly want a basic serger that can finish the raw edges of seams, you don't need to spend a lot on a fancy serger. Although the Brother 1034D is as basic as they come, hundreds of owners posting reviews to Amazon.com and Walmart.com are almost unanimously pleased with it. Most say they haven't had any big tension issues. We did read some sporadic complaints that the rolled-hem feature isn't consistent enough to be decorative. And although this serger sewing machine includes color-coded thread guides, learning to thread it can be a challenge. It's also questionable whether this Brother serger will work with unconventional threads (such as satin or metallic threads) or heavy/unusual fabrics since most owners aren't using it for anything beyond simple seam finishing. Still, you can't beat the price, and because this serger is easily available in discount stores and online, you don't have to deal with the sometimes high-pressure sales tactics of specialty dealers.
The Brother 1034D is one of the few serger sewing machines that has been extensively reviewed. Because it's available through major retail outlets such as Walmart.com and Amazon.com, owners have several places to post reviews.
There are more than 200 owner-written reviews at Amazon.com for the Brother serger sewing machine, the overwhelming majority of which give the 1034D the highest-possible rating. Of the few poor reviews, some reviewers encountered issues with getting the threading right or had a tension problem that couldn't be resolved, but those problems are few and far between.
Review: Brother 1034D ¾ Lay-In Thread Serger, Contributors to Amazon.com
Almost 300 owners have reviewed the Brother 1034D at Walmart.com, and as at Amazon.com, they are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, only seven people have given it less than a 4-star rating. Highlights in reviews include praise for the instructional CD and easy-to-understand threading guides.
Review: Brother Serger Lay-In Thread Machine, Contributors to Walmart.com
This sewing site has thousands of reader-contributed reviews, most of which are more detailed and critical than the reviews found at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. There are about 30 reviews for the Brother 1034D. While many are happy with it, some reviews from more experienced stitchers say the serger isn't very heavy duty.
Review: Brother Sewing Machines, Contributors to PatternReview.com