Best Sergers of 2014 – For Beginners and Advanced Sewers

Introduction

April is National Serger Month. This year, I decided to commemorate the occasion by focusing my attention entirely on reviewing segers.

I visited several of my favorite sewing machine dealers and reviewed all of the sergers they had on display.

A little while ago, I posted a list of the top ten sewing machines of 2013. In addition to reviewing sergers all month long, I decided it was time to come up with a listing of my favorite sergers from among the reviews I have done over the last few years.

Since sergers are not as plentiful as sewing machines, and new sergers are seldom released with the same frequency of sewing machines, I decided to limit the list of favorites to the top five new sergers I reviewed in the past two years.

The criteria I use is similar to the criteria used for ranking my sewing machine favorites. When it came to judging sergers, I took a long hard look at the following criteria: ease of threading; quality of stitches; maintenance; vibration; and noise or the lack thereof. Another huge factor is user friendliness.

After all, one of the major reasons people tend to shy away from sergers in general is the misconception that they are far too challenging to use. I labored under that same belief.

This may have been the case when they were first introduced for home use, but that was several decades ago. The sergers on today’s market are far more user friendly.

In fact, the sergers on the market today are much, much more user friendly than they were just ten years ago. Many of the new sergers on the market now can be threaded with the mere touch of a button… making threading some sergers easier than threading any sewing machine.

The final factor I used in choosing my five favorite sergers was affordability. A serger could be user friendly, solidly built and render great stitch quality, but if it is overpriced, I consider it to be a deterrent.

Like sewing machines, sergers have evolved significantly in recent years. It is possible to purchase a computerized serger, one that can do almost everything except pin the pattern to your fabric.

There, are, however, very few such machines available right now. In the interest of keeping the playing field even, I have decided to include basic sergers only in this listing of my favorite sergers.

While it is possible to acquire a serger that is capable of sewing with up to eight or ten threads, all of the machines discussed here are basic 2, 3, 4 thread/1, 2 needle sergers.

5. American Home AH 100

This American made, user friendly serger is great for the beginner. It has a large, easy to understand color coded threading guide and is a solid machine. It is easy to set up and even easier to use.

American Home AH 100

American Home AH 100

The owner’s manual and instructional DVD make this one an ideal choice for someone who has never touched a serger before. American Home is a little known brand that is manufactured and sold by the US based Tacony Corporation.

Tacony has been in the sewing machine business since 1946. These are great machines, simple to operate and affordable. The only real challenge I see with the American Home AH 100 and other machines carrying this brand name is the fact that they are very difficult to find, except on the internet.

4. Janome 1110 DX

This is one of the easiest to thread sergers on the market… that is a serger that does not have an air threading system.

Janome 1110 DX

Janome 1110 DX

The Janome 1110 DX is not only user friendly when it comes to threading, it is also easy to use with on board instructions and aids that simply make working on the Janome 1110 DX a treat.

It has the Janome name and legacy standing behind it and that goes a long way when it comes to quality machines for the sewing room. Bravo, Janome, for maintaining such high standards and making sure every machine that bears the Janome name is representative of that standard.

3. Juki MO 1000

Juki is well known for its workmanship and durability. The Juki MO 1000 is no exception. The simplified air threading system puts this serger high on the list of user friendly sergers for home use.

Juki MO 1000

Juki MO 1000

The stitch quality is excellent and there is no vibration. The affordable MSRP only enhances the value and attractiveness of this workhorse of a machine. To top it all off, the stitch quality is excellent.

2. Janome 8002D

When it comes to perfection in sewing machines and sergers for home use, the Janome brand is always at or very close to the top of the list.

Janome 8002D

Janome 8002D

The 8002D has all of the great workmanship and durability that Janome is known for and it is extremely user friendly. The easy to understand and follow threading system is uncomplicated, user friendly and a dream to use. In addition, the stitch quality is unsurpassable, and it is offered at an affordable price.

1. Baby Lock Imagine

Any time a sewing machine company keeps a particular model on the market through three generations, you know they must be doing something right.

Baby Lock Imagination

Baby Lock Imagination

The Baby Lock Imagine is one of those machines. I am tempted to refer to the Baby Lock Imagine as the perfect serger. It is by no means the least costly serger on the market, but all of the features and the excellent workmanship make this machine worth the investment.

This machine not only has Baby Lock’s exclusive ExtraodinAire threading system, it also has automatic tension adjustment, which is a real time saver and an on board storage compartment beneath the two spool pins on the right hand side.

Nearly all of the basic sergers I reviewed have essential accessories like tweezers, The stitch quality is excellent, and switching from sewing with or without the upper knife, changing the differential feed and stitch length are all as easy as possible.

An added advantage is the very large work space – a true luxury when compared to many other sergers developed for home use.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a serger, there aren’t nearly as many different models as the choices for those in the market for a new sewing machine. The good news is, all of the sergers on the market today are far more user friendly than they were a few years ago.

The home serger has evolved from a complicated machine that intimidated most home sewers to one that people look forward to adding to their sewing rooms and look forward to using more and more frequently.

As you shop for the serger that is just right for you, make sure you are give yourself time to become familiar with all of the features and details of each machine you consider.

Sometimes, the slightest, seeming most insignificant thing can be the most important factor in your decision making process.

All basic sergers may look pretty much alike, and to be honest, I haven’t come across one yet that rendered bad stitches, but each serger has a different feel.

When you get right down to it, the way a serger feels when you sew on it might be the most important factor in deciding which one is best for you.

Happy Stitching.

14 Responses

  1. Carole Schroeder

    I purchased a baby lock/imagine from a private party, it arrived without any instructions. I have a disk, but I would like to have a book. The closet store that deal with baby lock is 80 miles away. Can you help? thank you, Carole

    Reply
    • Dorothy

      Have you tried looking online to see if Baby Lock has a download for the instruction manual in PDF format you could print out? Just a thought

      Reply
      • Mary Lay

        yes they do, you can print the whole manual or just separate pages.

    • Pam S

      i have a baby lock imagine serger. I would be more than willing to make a copy and send it to you. Just email me back and let me know if you still need a copy. I haven’t had the greatest luck with my serger. I think it might have a lot to do with the repair place that my dealer deals with. I also have a Brother Quatro 2 sewing and embroidery machine; not to happy with Brother either. Of course now I know that Brother makes a lot of Baby Lock machines as well. Hope I can be of help.

      Pam

      Reply
  2. Vernelle

    Hello, Carole –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    I checked the Baby Lock website and discovered that the Imagine is not listed as one of the manuals you can order online. I suggest you call the Baby Lock dealer nearest your home. If you explain that you are 80 miles away, perhaps they will be willing to mail you a copy of the manual. You should expect to pay for the manual as well as an additional fee for the postage and handling.

    Happy stitching.

    Reply
  3. Leah

    I’m a little confused! Your review of the janome 8002d says that it I has an air threaders…. But from all I can find this is not the case….can you tell me if this was just a mistake or if it does have air threaders. Very interested in buying this serger and trying to discover all I can about it. Thank you:)

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Leah,

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight and many, many thanks for bringing this to my attention. The Juki MO1000 – the machine I discussed right before the Janome 8002D – is the one with the air threader. I will make the change immediately and alert the webmaster that a corrected review is on its way. Please also read the complete review of both these sergers http://www.sewinginsight.com/juki/juki-mo-1000-review/ and http://www.sewinginsight.com/janome/janome-8002d-review/.

      My sincere apologies for the confusion, and again… thank you for bringing my error to my attention.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
      • Pamela Mathis

        I have an Elna 5 thread surgery purchased approx 22 years ago, the machine will literally sewing thing from blue jeans to lace it has never failed. I do have to say the only stitching it won’t do is a single chain stitch but it’s odd because it will do the five thread. Does anybody know what’s up with that? What am I missing?

  4. Karen

    On your article “Best sergers of 2014”, the BabyLock Imagine is titled as BabyLock Imagination. A simple typo, I’m sure. FYI! Thanks for another great report!

    Reply
  5. Shelly

    The American Home AH100 used to be the Simplicity Frontier SL390. I have one and like using it. I’ve had it about 10 years. Unfortunately, Tacony no longer supports the Simplicity sergers, even though there is very little change in the model other than the name change.

    Reply
  6. Betty Key

    I noticed you didn’t include any Huskylock machines. I, unfortunately, have a Huskylock S21 serger that I hate. It is awkward to use and difficult to keep threaded. Would not recommend it to my worst enemy!

    Reply
    • Peg c

      I got the s21 and the second time I used it,it broke! It took 8 weeks to get it repaired. I am going to get my money back and am thinking of a Juki MO 1000. It’s a lot cheaper than the BL with the wonderful threading system.

      Reply
  7. Ann

    I have an opportunity to purchase a Bernette Bernina overlock serger model 334. I have never used a serger, but I am an experienced sewer. Does anyone have any pro’s or con’s on this machine – would could I expect. How easy is it to get up and running

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Ann –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      Like you, I had never before used a serger until I received one as a gift. Ironically, it was a Bernina Bernette 334… just like the one you are asking about. I can say from first hand experience that this is quite possibly one of the most user friendly sergers for people who have lots of sewing experience but none at all with sergers. Here’s a link to the review I wrote about my own serger while I was sitll in the process of learning how to use it. http://www.sewinginsight.com/bernina/bernina-bernette-334d-serger-review/.

      I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have come to enjoy mine.

      Reply

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