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Used sergers – help?

tourist | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi all – I am frustrated with my old (early 1990’s or earlier) Singer serger and have found a few used locally. Can anyone give me any idea of what these machines might be like? I haven’t had much luck finding anyone who has owned one.

– Singer Quantam Lock 5 – asking $250
– White 734DW superlock electronic serger – asking $175
– White Speedylock (awaiting model number) – asking $100



  1. Crazy K | | #1

    In my humble opinion I would stay away from the Singer  Quantum.  I bought a used one and it was a nightmare to thread.........I ended up giving it away to a charity.  One of the gals that was in that group had a similar model and was familiar with all its quirks.

    The Whites are very basic machines but if that's what you're looking for, one of them may fit the bill.  Janome has some new basic models out......the Juno is one.....sold at Hancock Stores and is on sale right now (I just got a flyer in the mail!) for $199.00.....and that's brand new.  I have one and it does 4 thread, 3 thread and a rolled hem without changing the needle plate.  I know some of the other brands have basic machines that don't cost a fortune as well.  I have other sergers so mine is a back-up but it works great.

    Hope that helps..........not a lot of info but maybe some food for thought.


    1. tourist | | #2

      Thanks - I am starting to get the idea that until I can afford a really nice, new machine (with air puff threading - ooh la la!), it is probably better to stick with the devil I know:-) The old Singer is a real pain to thread, but if I start at the beginning and thread it in order, it really is quicker than wrestling with it trying to "speed" it up. It does everything I want it to do and a friend told me about the rolled hem, which I had never tried. I do have to change the plate, but frankly that takes about 20 seconds, so I shouldn't complain!

      1. Crazy K | | #3

        I also have a Babylock with the jet-air (air puff!) threading and it is a dream.  I also have an Elna and two models of Janome.  That used Singer was bad.......and it didn't want to hold tension so I had to constantly fiddle with it.  I even had it serviced and that didn't help.  I just didn't have the time (or mostly, patience!) to deal with it.  All my sergers are a bit persnickety about threading order but nothing like that Singer!

        The rolled hem is nice.........Now, non of my machines require plate changes.....just move a lever and the stitch-width finger moves out of the way..........nice feature.

        Good luck and have fun...........


  2. Ckbklady | | #4


    I would agree with the White endorsement. Also, you may want to go to http://www.patternreview.com and read reviews of each of the machines you're considering. They sort them on the site by make and model.

    Happy serging!

    :) Mary

    1. tourist | | #5

      Thanks - I have been looking at PR and not found anything. My fury at my old Singer is waning a bit and I am less eager to toss it out the window. I may pursue one of the White's for my DD, though....or give her my old one if the new one is better behaved:-)

      1. Ckbklady | | #6

        That's funny - I know that serger fury! I found that the best way to fight it is to find a nice, humble and cheap machine in a thrift shop as a backup machine, so that it's no problem if the regular one acts up.

        Used sergers aren't as common in thrift shops as sewing machines, but they do appear now and then. If you want to go that route, try local thrift shops, your local Craigslist online, or even your area Freecycle.org (I'm guessing you're in the US).

        The Whites do sound like a good buy.

        :) Mary


        1. tourist | | #7

          This was not the fault of my poor machine. It is just old and a bit tricky to thread. I was trying to thread just the looper that had broken without going through the whole rigamarole - it takes dental floss threaders and many times of taking my glasses off and a bit of cussing, but it is easier to do the whole thing than a "quick" fix. My mother gave me the serger a year or so before she died in 1994. It was the fanciest machine she had ever owned, though she sewed on commercial machines at work. She was still sewing on an old portable Singer that was used when she got it in the 50's. No zigzag or anything. So I am pretty attached to the serger and honestly, it has never needed anything more than a drop of oil every 5 years or so. I'm afraid to take it in to be serviced!I'm in Canada, but our local online used site has the two Whites. I am going to take a look at them as backups. Thanks again!

          1. Ckbklady | | #8

            Oh, you mustn't worry about taking your serger in for service. There is no happier feeling than getting a clean, oiled, smoothly running machine back when it's done. It feels like you've bought a new machine!

            That said, it can be pricey. You can usually bring it in, show the problem and ask for an estimate for the repair so that you can decide what's right for you. Consider this -even though it might sound pricey for a repair, it might be less than a new machine. It's a personal choice. I just had my very humble 1990 White sewing machine serviced and cleaned, and the foot pedal rewired, and the whole shebang was $150, which is as much as a new machine, but not as much as a GOOD machine. I love ol' Fred (the White) so the price was worth it to me. Old is good - heavier machines with stronger parts - there is no bad "old".

            I hope you have a happy ending and can get back to sewing soon!

            :) Mary

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