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New serger recommendations please

Delphinium50 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

My old serger needs to be replaced. I know that there have been many improvements and new features added since I acquired by Bernette many years ago. I am asking for suggestions on good features to look for in my search for a new one? Any particular brand? Or is there a really good model of the past that could be recommended for a ‘used’ purchase? thank you very much.


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    What price range are you looking at?  I have a little, very basic Janome 4 thread that does just fine..........I also have a Babylock Evolve that does everything but the dishes and is easy to change and thread.........but it comes with a much higher price tag.

    If money isn't a huge issue, I must say the Babylock is great.  It does a super coverhem and uses up to 8 threads.  The best part, however, is the jet-air threading.  You don't have to stand on your head while holding a flashlight in your teeth to see into the loopers for threading.  Very nice.

    The little serger works just great, does a rolled hem without changing plates and does all the basic 3 and 4 thread stitches........all for under $200 on sale.  It's the Juno and I got it at Hancock.  I know........I preach going thru a dealer but this is my 5th serger so I didn't feel that I needed lessons and I have an awesome repair guy that picks up and delivers..........so, I felt I could safely do what I did.  Wouldn't do it for an expensive one or for an embroidery machine though.

    O.K.........now I've filled your head with all sorts of gobblety-gook..........I hope something helps!  If you have questions........please ask.


    1. Delphinium50 | | #2

      Thank you very much for all the information and suggestions --- not gobblety gook, at all. I am always in a quandry over simple and serviceable, ie lower cost and fewer things to go wrong vs more convenient features and additional features at a higher cost. I usually go with the simpler model, but want good quality. And I must admit that the lower price tags are more appealing -- but again, only if the quality is there.However, air threading sounds wonderful!! -- my Bernette caused me great frustration in threading at times, but I accepted it as par for the course as it was at least easier some others made at the time. How is the Janome for threading?Regarding the Babylock - still a very good name, I assume -- do you use 8 threads often? I see that as 8 threads of torturous threading rather than 3 or 4 -- but that may again just be a reflection of bad, unhappy threading sessions that are now a thing of the past with the newer machines.

      1. Crazy K | | #3

        I'm glad my ramblings made sense.  The Janome Juno isn't too bad to thread.  I try at all costs to tie off when changing colors but every so often the dreaded thread break occurs and then a re-thread is necessary.  Since it's a smaller machine, it may be a little easier and it has little gizmos that carry the thread back to the places you can't reach.......I'm sure that's as clear as mud!

        I have to admit that I have not used the 8 threads at all.........I've had the Babylock for a couple of years but since I have other sergers, I have had it set for the coverhem most of the time.  The chart is very helpful and I think threading for the 8 threads wouldn't be any more difficult that the 4 thread........just more threads!  I got the Evolve when I was looking for a serger for the coverhem.  I have two others that do the coverhem but neither of them is easy to convert.  I was looking at a Coverhem-only machine when DH suggested that the serger would cover more bases...........well, who was I to argue??!!

        If you're looking for a less expensive solution, the Janomes are good.  For the money, they seem to be a good, reliable machine.  No a whole lot to go wrong, either.  The Babylock is more costly but it will do all sorts of decorative things.........if that's what you're looking for.  I guess I figured it would last me a lifetime and if I ever got to a point where dexterity or eyesight was an issue, the Babylock jet-air thing would be a lifesaver.

        My other sergers are a Janome Compu-lock (TOL) and an Elna 704DEX (my first serger 10 years ago) and I also had a Janome 234 that I gave to a friend.  The only machine I would not recommend is the Singer Quantum 5 thread.  I bought one used and it was horrible to thread, wouldn't hold tension.  I spent $100 having it gone over by my repair guy and it still gave me fits.  I ended up donating that to a charitable organization that does sewing for gift baskets for infants.  One of the gals had one similar and was sure she could deal with it............

        Hope this is helpful.........


        1. Delphinium50 | | #5

          Very helpful. I think I need to go to the local sewing store and look these over. Armed with your information it will be a more meaningful trip. Thank you. Ellen

  2. MaryinColorado | | #4

    You can go online to the different companies and look at thier current models.  Such as http://www.bernina.com, http://www.husqvarnavikingusa.com. http://www.babylock.com.  Also, you might want to check http://www.patternreview.com for serger reviews. 

    My Husq/Viking Huskylock 936 is around 10 years old, it runs like a charm and is still like a brand new machine.  I use it regularly and chose it as I love to use thick decorative threads such as Perle Crown Rayon and Glamour and yarns in the loopers.  It took a few tries to learn to switch it to coverstitch and back to overlock, but is easy now.  I love this machine.  Alot of people trade up from the two other Huskylocks so there may be some reconditioned ones available. 

    Good luck on your search!  Mary

    1. Delphinium50 | | #6

      Thank you, Mary. I am going to explore those sights on-line. One question about your Husky-lock ---- how is the threading?

      1. MaryinColorado | | #7

        If you remember that the lower looper thread needs to cross over the top of the upper looper thread, you will have fewer problems threading an overlock stitch.  This should be taught to everyone when they buy any serger.  It makes it easy then to change just one thread/ not the whole routine of UL-LL-RN-LN.  You make sure the needle is at the highest position and press down a lever which moves and lines up the lower looper into position for threading. 

        For chain/coverstitch, there is also a little lever that you push, it lines up the chain looper for threading easily. 

        The "converter" clicks closed for two thread serging.  (On some machines it is a removable piece).

        I think threading it is a breeze, which says alot because I have arthritis in my hands.  Most sergers are well color-coded now too. 

        I think changing needles was the hardest part for me as it was my first coverstitch machine.   The front needles are for chainstitch and coverstitches, the rear needle slots are for overlock.  (I remove the presserfoot and sometimes use a flat mirror to see where the needle holes are.)  

        I was told that they upgraded the Huskylock 936, but I don't know what they changed.  Maybe they made it easier to change the needles.  Hope this all makes sense to you. 

        I would have them demonstrate and teach you to thread, change needles, and switch from overlock to rolled hem to coverlock and then test drive all the ones you like.  You might wish to make an appointment with their "serger expert" or "instructor" to get the best information. 

        I think a beautiful two or three thread rolled hem is absolutely a must!  Flatlock is fun too. 

        I hope this helps, I don't want to encourage one machine over another.  The jet air threading sounds tempting on the Babylock but I don't know what all is available on the latest and greatest sergers these days.  Good luck!  Mary

        1. Delphinium50 | | #8

          Thank you very much for your thoughts and perspectives. The air jet threading sounds really tempting. As I said in another response, I must now go and try some out I think. A appreciate your help.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #9

            You are very welcome, glad to help.  I was considering the jet air threading, but it had just come out when I bought my serger.  I tried the heavier threads in the loopers and they wouldn't go in.  The technology has been around quite a while now, so that might not be a problem.   Or maybe the employees didn't know how to do it! 

            Happy Hunting! 

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