The Best Sergers of 2022

Up your sewing game with a serger that can deliver professional, polished results.

By Steph Coelho | Updated May 2, 2022 12:42 PM

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The Best Serger Option

Photo: amazon.com

The best serger sewing machines offer a few key advantages over conventional sewing machines. They create stronger, more durable seams and deliver professional results. They’re also faster than traditional sewing machines and create multi-thread stitches,  giving garments and other fabrics extra stretch.

Sergers are ideal for hemming, seaming, and edging stretchable fabrics. Unlike other sewing machines, a serger features multiple bobbins and threads. Typically, sergers are the top choice for commercial garment production due to their speed and efficacy.

If you’re someone who foresees taking on a heap of fashion or household fabric projects in the near future, consider investing in a serger machine.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Brother Coverstitch Serger, 2340CV
  2. RUNNER UP: Brother Serger, DZ1234, Metal Frame Overlock
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Brother 1034DX 3 or 4 Thread Serger
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Brother ST4031HD Serger
  5. MOST VERSATILE: Singer | Heavy Duty Serger Overlock Machine
  6. BEST FOR BEGINNERS: Janome 8002D Serger
  7. BEST FOR ADVANCED USERS: Singer | Professional 14T968DC Serger
  8. BEST PORTABLE: Juki MO654DE Portable Serger
The Best Serger Option

Photo: amazon.com

Because they create overlock stitches, serger machines are also called overlock machines. Overlock stitches finish the edges and seams of fabrics, making them more durable. Seams with an overlocked edge are less likely to unravel or fray with use.

Unlike regular sewing machines, sergers use multiple needles and threads to create stronger, more durable stitches. Most of these machines also trim off excess fabric, which speeds up the sewing process and leaves a neat and tidy result. However, these extra features mean that sergers are usually more expensive than regular sewing machines.

Four-Thread Overlock

The 4-thread overlock is the most popular stitch for a reason. This stitch is the go-to for finishing seams. It produces a strong, tough stitch that’s unlikely to unravel or fray.

Three-Thread Overlock

Not as sturdy as the 4-thread overlock, a 3-thread overlock stitch is best for medium-weight fabrics and for creating a blind hem. It’s also ideal for finishing off seams on knits and woven fabrics that don’t see a lot of wear and tear.

Two-Thread Overlock

Use this stitch to finish off the edges of lightweight fabrics. It’s not a very strong stitch, though, so it’s not ideal for seams.

Two-Thread Flatlock

This stitch allows you to join two portions of fabric together with a flat seam. The resulting seam is stretchy, reversible, and pretty durable.

Rolled Hem

This is another option for sheer and lightweight fabrics because this stitch has a barely-there quality. The machine rolls the fabric edge and finishes it off with a thread to create this stitch.

Five-Thread Overlock

This is a very wide seam that creates a super-durable hem. It’s best for medium- or heavyweight fabrics.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Serger

When searching for a serger machine, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the features and terminology. The following list contains the need-to-know information for shoppers browsing for the best serger machine.

Sewing Experience

Those new to sewing may need only a traditional sewing machine rather than a serger. The choice between a serger and a traditional machine mainly depends on the kinds of sewing projects the user hopes to create.

Even experienced sewers must get accustomed to sewing with a serger, which takes practice. However, those completely new to sewing may find that starting with a serger isn’t that different from starting with a sewing machine. That said, most beginners opt for a conventional sewing machine rather than a serger. However, specific projects, such as knit garments, benefit from a serger.

Purpose and Frequency of Use

For those who sew to produce an income, a serger is a worthy investment. It won’t replace a sewing machine, but it adds a level of professional detail that’s impossible with a regular sewing machine. Sergers are useful for frequent sewers who want to create a polished, professional look, prioritize speed, and/or plan to sell their garments.

A serger can be used solely for finishing off projects, but users also can skip the sewing machine and go straight to the serger for certain projects. Unlike a standard sewing machine, a serger is the recommended weapon of choice for specific fabrics, such as knits, because serger-made seams allow for stretch.

But a serger can’t do everything. For instance, sergers don’t work that well to sew zippers, make buttonholes, and/or add decorative stitches. Most professional sewers own both a sewing machine and a serger.

Size and Weight

Only a handful of portable sergers are on the market. Instead, most models are bulky and require a permanent setup. They’re quite heavy, too, but not notably heavier than most sewing machines. Serger machines don’t take up a lot of room, but those who work with large swaths of fabric may require lots of space.

Material and Motor Power

Most serger machines have a metal frame with a metal or plastic outer casing. Units with more plastic parts aren’t as durable as mostly metal ones. Look for a serger that can churn out speeds of at least 1,500 stitches, or revolutions, per minute (SPM). Faster machines typically are more expensive, but they’re also a lot more efficient.

Features

In terms of basic serger functionality, look for a machine that:

Can create three- or four-thread stitches;
Is adjustable and easy to thread, preferably with color-coded guides on the machine (or a built-in needle threader);
Has differential feed, i.e., the bottom stitch feeds faster than the top
Contains a built-in retractable cutting knife.

Those who need more versatility in their machine may want to consider these additional features:

  • Two-thread stitches as well as three- and four-thread stitches;
  • A more powerful motor;
  • Additional serger feet;
  • An adjustable pressure dial;
  • A high presser foot lift for thicker fabrics.

Adjustability 

Adjustable pressure allows the sewer to raise and lower the pressure the machine puts on the fabric. Thick fabrics require more pressure. Most machines have a few settings, but for added pressure control, pick a machine with more levels. Moreover, the best serger machines also allow sewers to adjust the length and width of their stitches.

Attachments and Accessories

Serger machines may come with accessories and attachments, including:

  • Different foot attachments, such as elastic, beading, and cording attachments
  • Tweezers to help thread the machine
  • A trim catcher to capture excess trim before it falls to the floor
  • Mat or padding to go under the machine and prevent it from bouncing and damaging surfaces

Our Top Picks

Each of our top picks is manufactured by a reputable brand and meets all the considerations outlined above. Pull up your sewing chair and keep reading.

Best Overall

best serger brother
Photo: amazon.com

The Brother Coverstitch Serger offers multiple coverstitch options for various types of fabric. The machine features color-coded threading, and sewers can adjust the stitch length easily. It comes with a variety of accessories, including numerous foot attachments, tweezers, and an accessory bag.

Unlike other machines, the Brother Coverstitch doesn’t cut the excess fabric off the seams while sewing, so it can even create circular hems. It’s speedy and easy to use. However, the tension release may be a bit challenging to operate.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Two, three, four, and cover stitches
  • Size: 13 by 15 by 13.4 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Color-coded stitching
  • Adjustable stitch length
  • Can create circular hems
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • Tension release may be hard to use
  • No foot attachments
  • Pricey

Get the Brother Coverstitch serger on Amazon and Sears.

Runner Up

The Best Serger Option: Brother Serger DZ1234
Photo: amazon.com

This compact yet powerful Brother serger features 22 built-in stitches and comes with a mat to keep the machine steady while in use. It’s noisier and weighs more than the top pick, but it’s a little faster. Users can adjust the stitch length between 2 and 4 millimeters.

Sewers also can change the stitch width, and the foot attachments adjust to accommodate thicker fabrics. Its color-coded guides help make it easier to thread by hand. However, this serger may require a more significant learning curve than other machines.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): One, two, three, four, and more
  • Size: 15.2 by 13 by 13.2 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Moderate

Pros

  • Color-coded thread guides
  • Adjustable stitch width
  • Two stitch lengths
  • Foot attachments

Cons

  • Loud
  • First-time sewers may find it difficult to learn

Get the Brother DZ1234 serger on Amazon and Walmart.

Best Bang For The Buck

best serger brother1034DX
Photo: walmart.com

This easy-to-use machine is quick and efficient. Along with three- and four-thread options, it has a bright LED light to help guide users in making their creations. Sewers can adjust the stitch width, its threading system is color-coded, and it has an easily removable trim trap. However, this serger can create only three or four stitches, unlike some more expensive models.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Three and four
  • Size: 13 by 15.2 by 14.5 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • LED light
  • Color-coded threading system
  • Removable trim trap
  • Adjustable stitch width

Cons

  • Fewer stitch types than other options
  • LED bulb replacement may be difficult to find

Get the Brother 1034DX serger at Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Serger Janome
Photo: amazon.com

This affordable, sturdy Brother machine features three- and four-thread options, a heavy-duty metal frame, and multiple foot attachments. Powerful and speedy, it can complete 1,300 stitches per minute. Users can refer to color-coded thread guides directly on the machine.

The wide adjustable table works well for larger projects. For those who started out with a model encased in plastic and want a more durable machine that will last longer, this Brother serger is a quality choice. However, it’s not a good pick for those planning to use elastic thread with their machine.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Three and four
  • Size: 13 by 14.3 by 17 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • Color-coded thread guides
  • Multiple foot attachments
  • Wide, adjustable table surface

Cons

  • Fewer stitch types than similar products
  • Not suitable for elastic thread

Get the Brother ST4031HD serger on Amazon and Sears.

Most Versatile

best serger singer
Photo: amazon.com

This impressively built machine earns its “heavy-duty” descriptor. Its all-metal solid frame is ideal for high-output projects; however, it’s still relatively affordable. It features a two-, three-, and four-thread capacity and a large cutting knife. The handy built-in LED light illuminates the seam. Color-coded guides assist with threading the machine, and the thread tension is fully adjustable. Various accessories, such as tweezers, a lint brush, and a scrap bag, are included.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Two, three, and four
  • Size: 15 by 12.8 by 12.4 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • LED light
  • All-metal frame
  • Suitable for frequent, heavy-duty use
  • Wide cutting knife

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No foot attachments

Get the Singer heavy-duty serger on Amazon.

Best For Beginners

The Best Serger Janome
Photo: amazon.com

This Janome 8002D is easy to use and compact. It’s a good choice for users who aren’t quite ready to commit a ton of space for a serger. Threading the serger may be a bit difficult in the beginning, but it shouldn’t take long to get the hang of it.

The Janome is versatile enough to handle a variety of fabric types. Like most user-friendly models, it features a color-coded threading guide. Moreover, it has an accessible tension dial and comes with a handy workbook, tweezers, needles, and other accessories.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Three and four
  • Size: 15 by 13.5 by 14.5 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Color-coded thread guide
  • Multiple accessories included
  • Workbook
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Some users report a loud operating volume

Get the Janome serger at Sears and Amazon.

Best For Advanced Users

best serger SINGER1300
Photo: amazon.com

This high-quality Singer Professional Serger is a very versatile machine that’s built for high output. It features two- to five-thread stitches, including cover stitches, that users can adjust in both length and width. Unlike a normal sewing machine, this serger automatically adjusts the thread tension. A built-in LED light keeps work visible.

It’s fast, quiet, and, with its metal frame, built to last. The price is notably higher than the price of some other models, but shoppers get what they pay for. However, the machine must be threaded manually.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Two, three, four, five, and cover stitches
  • Size: 11 by 12.5 by 14 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,300 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Moderate

Pros

  • LED light
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Automatic tension adjustment
  • Metal frame

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Requires manual threading
  • Heavy

Get the Singer professional serger on Amazon and Sears.

Best Portable

best serger JUKI
Photo: amazon.com

The easy-to-use Juki serger is a portable machine with two-, three-, and four-thread options. Users can adjust both its stitch width and length. The serger includes multiple foot attachments and has color-coded threading guides. The differential feed allows users to work with a variety of fabrics. It comes with a safety switch to protect working fingers. Despite its compact design, it’s a powerful machine that performs as well as full-size models.

Product Specs

  • Stitch Type(s): Two, three, and four
  • Size: 10.6 by 13.6 by 11.6 inches
  • Motor Speed: 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Adjustable stitch width and length
  • Multiple foot attachments
  • Color-coded thread guides
  • Safety switch

Cons

  • Some users report difficulty with threading

Get the Juki serger on Amazon and Sears.

Our Verdict

Sergers can be intimidating machines, but they allow users much more flexibility for professionally hemming, seaming, and edging stretchy fabrics. We recommend the Brother Serger DZ1234 since it has a great stitch-per-minute rate, includes accessories, and does well at consistently creating beautiful overlock stitches. Moreover, it’s compact and lightweight enough to move around your sewing space. Alternatively, if you need a heavy-duty serger, the Singer Heavy Duty serger is ideal for frequent use with its all-metal frame; fast 1,300-stitch-per-minute motor speed; and built-in LED light.

How We Chose the Best Sergers

We researched the most sought-after serger sewing machines in their respective categories. The best models are determined by their stitch types, size and weight, motor speed, ease of use, and the other special features included in top brands.

For sewers with various needs, we included serger sewing machines that offer one-, two-, three-, four- stitch options as well as cover stitches that can be stitched at rates of 1,100 to 1,500 stitches per minute. Many of these sergers include color-coded threading systems, easily adjustable stitch lengths, widths, and trim traps, and even foot attachments, making them easy to use for both beginners and pros.

Select serger sewing machines also come with LED lights, safety switches, wide table surfaces, workbooks, and accessories, such as fabric scissors and tweezers, for added convenience. To ensure you can use these segers anywhere in your home or workshop, many are lightweight and compact enough to fit on desks, sewing tables, or even shelves for storage.

FAQs

If questions still linger about quality serger machines, keep reading to find some of the most frequently asked questions about these useful machines.

Q: How is a serger different from a sewing machine?

A serger is a specialized type of sewing machine that does one job very well: creating polished hems. Unlike a regular sewing machine, sergers have multiple bobbins, needles, and threads. They’re faster than sewing machines and ideal for finishing off edges.

Q: Do I need a serger and a sewing machine?

It depends entirely on the projects you intend to work on. A serger can’t do certain things that a sewing machine can. It’s useless for sewing zippers, for instance, and isn’t the machine of choice for topstitching.

Q: How do I choose a serger?

Your most important considerations should be your budget and the projects you intend to complete with your new machine. Once you’ve determined these, look for a quality serger machine from a well-known company like Brother or Singer.

Q: What is a good serger for beginners?

Try the Janome 8002D Serger. It’s compact and inexpensive. If you’re just starting out with a serger machine, you might not have the desire to invest a lot in your first machine. You may also lack a dedicated space for sewing projects if you’re entirely new to the hobby. That’s why a compact, easy-to-use unit is your safest bet. This one should still have enough stitch options that you’re not constrained when attempting new projects.