A sewing machine is a staple, even in the modern household, for quick fixes and simple fabric projects. But, when you need an efficient way to trim and enclose a seam, a "serger" sewing machine is the newest addition to your household staple list—but where to start? One of the main factors separating one serger from the next is the number of in-use threads. Sergers are typically divided into three different categories based on the number of threads: 2 3, 4 and 5 threads. Increased thread overlay leads to a more professional look, but also increases user difficulty. Finding the machine that fits your budget and your skill level can be daunting, but we’ve gathered the best on the market.
Best Overall: Singer Professional 5 14T968DC
If you're up for a challenge that promises a worthy return on investment, the Singer Professional 5 14T968DC might be for you. This model features 2/3/4/5 capabilities, self-adjusting tension, and four built-in rolled hems. This machine can sew a seam, seam finish, and trim excess allowance simultaneously, providing you an efficient experience. While customers note that the difficulty in threading is increased due to the additional looper and threader, they agreed that the steep threading learning curve is worth it considering the professional quality outcome of projects.
Best Value: Singer ProFinish 14CG754
The dream is to get professional results at a home-device price, and the Singer ProFinish 14CG754 might be serving up just that. With two, three, or four thread overlay options, adjustable stitch width or length, and four built-in rolled hems, this serger is the top-performing in its category. Users loved the optional free arm to craft perfect cuffs and easily adjustable tension dials, both which can be rarities where sergers are involved. One customer did mention that the positioning of the loopers and threaders would be an obstacle for a left-handed user, and some found the manual overly technical but the included DVD helpful.
Best for Beginners: Brother 1034D Thread Serger
Sewing is one thing, but if you want to give your new styles some flair, the Brother 1034D might be the machine for you. With 22 built-in stitch functions and the ability to do a three or four thread overlay, you’re free to create ruffles, stitch lace, and finish knits to your heart’s content. Consumers from novice to expert loved the brightly color-coded dials that made threading this serger a sinch. Users pointed out that the vibrant visuals along with access to instructional videos and phone support made this model a safe bet for anyone new to operating a serger. However, this model does need to be pre-oiled before its first use to prevent permanent damage, a detail that is not easily found in the manual by a quick skim.
Best for Formal Wear: Brother Designio Series DZ1234
Create your most sophisticated visions with a most sophisticated serger. The Brother DZ1234 is part of the Designio series and features sleek, navy dials, an easily adjustable stitch width, and the ability to handle the most delicate and lightweight of fabrics. Pre-packaged with three additional feet (the hem stitch foot, the piping foot, and the gathering foot) for an added $75 in value, it’s not difficult to see why reviewers preferred this quality serger! However, be warned that consumers instantly replace the complimentary spools with quality spools as the thread that comes with the serger was reported to break often.
Best for Heavy Fabrics: Brother ST4031HD
A tough job calls for a tough machine, and the Brother ST4031HD is ready to tackle multi-layered denim and heavy knits, using a carbon steel industrial-grade blade that can cut evenly even through the thickest of fabrics. Users, especially those using this machine for business, fawned over the internal components being made of metal which create a more durable and stable machine. One downside to the coveted blade, however, is that it is an expensive replacement if damaged, comparable to the price of the machine itself. Customers loved that this model comes pre-threaded with accurate default settings, allowing you to get started immediately.
Best for Variety: Juki Pearl Line MO-654DE
Professionals rave about Juki machines, and it’s no surprise why. The Juki Pearl Line MO-654DE features a two, three, or four thread overlay option, and is crafted internally with mainly metal parts (which means the machine stands up to even the most serious of tasks). Users collectively felt this package was a stellar value, as it came pre-packaged with eight different feet including: blind stitch, gathering, piping, elastic tape sewing, curve/pearl, beading, cording, and blind hem. Customers loved the creative control this offered them over their designs as well as the variety of bonus thread included in the box.
Best for Cover Stitch: Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch Serger
The Brother 2340CV is an advanced serger featuring a 2/3/4 cover stitch capability. While its maximum stitch speed only reaches 1100 stitches per minute (most models reach speeds of 1300), this machine’s main selling point is that users can produce a variety of cover stitches. This serger is particularly useful for more difficult fabrics, especially ones that are stretchy or delicate. Reviewers raved that this model changed their lives, finally allowing them to perfect the art of necklines and arm holes, easily two of the more difficult hemming tasks. Overall, customers felt like this was a relatively easy machine to thread on, while they wished for a free arm and an automatic tension release.
Best for Durability: Juki MO-50E
The Juki MO-50E , a 3/4 thread capability serger brought to you from the pro favorite sewing brand, is an ideal compact solution for beginners. This model features both an adjustable differential feed and differential knife. Customers mentioned that this machine comes solely with DVD tutorials and not a paper manual, which some felt was inconvenient and not accessible for all users. As is typical for Juki, customers loved that this machine features internal metal parts for increased durability.
Best Ease of Use: Janome 8002D Serger
If you’re a beginner just itching to start your first serger project, the Janome 8002D with 3/4 thread capability is ready to use right out of the box, with a pre-threaded white spool ready to go. The Janome is meant to have an increased ease of use compared to other sergers with its rolled hem changeover and adjustable cutting width. Customers did not like that this model does not have a free arm, leading to increased difficulty with projects such as cuffs and necklines. Overall, customers enjoyed how portable this model was, being relatively small and compact with minimum noise.
Best for Professionals: Juki MO-1000
Reviewers agreed, if sewing holds a special place in your heart, the Juki MO-1000 is here to make that love last forever. Featuring an automatic threader and air-powered threading, this serger's technology makes it one efficient and powerful machine. The above-average reduced distance from needle to knife allowed customers to create their most elegant curves and sewn finishes. For the most enhanced user experience, this model is one of the quietest on the market with a built-in LED sewing light for a best-lit workspace.