They say there’s a first time for everything, and I concede that this is the very first time I came across a Singer that was not listed anywhere on the Singer website. Nevertheless, I can attest that the Singer 14T970C cover stitch machine does indeed exist.

I hand my hot little hands on it and the folks at the Factory Sew-Vac in Lake Worth, Florida, where I reviewed this particular machine confirmed not once but twice that I have the correct model number.

They were unable to tell me why it was not listed on the Singer website but informed me that they acquired it at a Singer dealers’ conference where they saw a demonstration and were able to test it for themselves before bringing it into the store.

At A Glance

The Singer 14T970C serger looks pretty much like any other serger. It can operate with 2, 3 or 4 threads and has an easy to use lay in threading system. There is also a differential feed control dial on the right hand side of the machine and stitch length and width adjustment dials on the left.

Singer Coverstitch 14T970C

Singer Coverstitch 14T970C

An extremely easy to follow color coded threading guide is on a sticker inside the looper door. It also has a seam guide and a brightly lit work surface that illumines the oversized workspace.

Differential feed control dial

Differential feed control dial

Features

  • 4 Cover stitch – 4 stitch options:
    • Narrow
    • Wide
    • Triple cover stitch
    • Double stitching
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Differential feed
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Large workspace
  • Sews with 1, 2, or 3 needles

Working on the Singer 14T970C

The most positive thing I could possibly say about the Singer 14T970C is that is by far easier to thread than any other coverstitch machine I have ever encountered. The easy to understand and follow color coded threading guide is so simple, I have no doubt a child in the second or third grade could master the task in little or no time at all.

Color coded threading guide

Color coded threading guide

The lay in tension discs, coupled with the simple design of the looper mechanism are definite advantages. A threading system that is as uncomplicated as this one would not only be good for the beginner, but for the advanced home sewer as well… especially one who might be advancing in years and not want to deal with the complex task of threading a more intricately designed machine.

I had a real problem getting the hang of the way the presser foot is controlled. Who would have thought that anyone would install a presser foot control that you push up to lower and push down to raise?

A brightly lit work surface

A brightly lit work surface

That’s exactly what I found on the Singer 14T970C. To raise the presser foot, you must push the lever down. To lower it, push the lever up.

For this review, I sampled the three thread, two needle cover stitch option. The stitches were what I call ‘passable’ when set at the shorter length. However, as I widened the length, the quality of the stitches improved significantly.

When using the shorter stitch option, the stitches appeared to be somewhat buried in the fabric. As I lengthened the stitches, they become more pronounced and more clearly defined. It should be noted here that during the course of this review, I sample both woven and knit fabric with the same results.

Stitch quality

Stitch quality

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

  • Needles
  • Tweezers
  • Oil dispenser
  • Needle threader
  • Lint brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Soft cover
  • Owner’s manual

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The Singer 14T970C is one of the better new Singers I have reviewed in several years, if not the best and it isn’t all that great. Although it is admittedly easy to thread, it is noisy and there is a little vibration as well… not so much as to make using the machine uncomfortable, but a little more than most other coverstith machines.

I am not thrilled with the fact that the shorter stitches are not as well defined as the longer stitches, but the truth of the matter is that we seldom use very short cover stitches anyway.

In my opinion, the seam guide could be better. It is simply made up of raised markings on the looper door. I wonder how much more it would have cost to paint those markings red or black so they could be seen more easily.

Looper door

Looper door

With this in mind, I would say that most people who purchase this machine might be pleased with it if they can put up with just one thing… the presser foot lever.

The only other real issue if have with the 14T790C is the way the presser foot is raised and lowered. To me, if you want something to go up, you move the control lever up not down and vice versa.

If the threading system is my favorite feature on this machine, the way you raise and lower the presser foot is the least desirable feature. I don’t know who came up with that one, but they really need to take it back to the drawing board.

Although I was unable to find the Singer 14T970C cover stitch machine on the Singer US website, I did find it on the internet. Apparently it is available in parts of Europe and Asia, but not widely distributed here in the US.

Aside from the one I reviewed at the Factory Sew-Vac, I was only able to locate one other US vendor and that dealer is located in South Florida as well. It appears to me that the folks at Singer are beginning to make this machine available throughout the US after testing it abroad.

If this is the case, I have only a couple of things to say. First of all, since the 14T970C is better than just about every other new Singer sewing machine or serger that has been sold in the US the last few years, what other goodies are the Singer people reserving for their foreign market?

Next, when will it be widely available on the US market and when will it be listed on the Singer US website so we can read all about it and compare it with other machines in the Singer line?

In the meantime, you can do what I did… google Singer 14T970C and scroll down to a link that allows you to translate the text. This process can be a bit time consuming, but well worth it if you are genuinely interested in the 14T970C.

I made every attempt to include everything you might want to ask about this machine here in this review. However, it was impossible for me to download a manual for this machine. While attempting to get a good translation online, I did discover that it is also available for sale via amazon.com in Germany, but not the US.

I like the fact that this machine is so very easy to thread. The way it is built makes cleaning the loopers very easy. Let’s face it, a lot of us don’t use our sergers or cover lock machines as much as we might because threading and cleaning them are such tedious chores.

I am not overly enthused about the way the Singer 14T790C feels, however. It does feel like a solid machine, although not as solidly constructed as perhaps some others in its class, but it’s better than many of the newer Singers I reviewed over the last couple of years.

When compared to other Singers the 14T790C is light years above just about everything Singer has produced for the US market in quite some time. Hopefully, this is a sign that we can begin to expect Singer sewing machines and sergers to start to improve and attempt to reclaim the reputation that Singer had for so many years before its decline.

Anyone who has been sewing for any length of time know that Singer was the go to brand for sewing machines. Singer was the first company to produce sewing machines for home use and set a standard that every other sewing machine company strived for.

After so many sales of the company from one corporation to another, the Singer name has fallen to the bottom of the heap in terms of quality and workmanship. Those of us who learned to sew on Singers and came to love and respect the Singer name can only hope that the 14T790C is the first step toward turning that around and restoring the Singer name to its rightful place in the world of home sewing.

Singer Coverstitch 14T970C Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Performance
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • Excellent stitch quality
Cons
  • Cover stitch only
  • Limited clearance beneath the presser foot
  • No information about this machine available on the internet
4.2Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)

9 Responses

  1. Andrea

    Thank you so much for the review. I am planning to get this coverlocker, but it is nearly impossible to find information on the web.

    Reply
  2. MaryEllen

    I checked our other brands of the cover stitch machine. This review has convinced me to buy the Singer brand. Normally I stay away from Singer because their reputation has dropped. I have several other Husquvarna machines including their serger.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca

    Thank you for your review! I was also looking at this machine at my local JoAnn’s, but comparing against a BabyLock overlocker/coverlocker in one. Any insight on the Singer 14T790C versus a BabyLock Evolution, outside of price? Do I want two machines in one or a dedicated coverstitch machine?

    Reply
    • Lisbeth

      Hi Rebecca,
      I own a BabyLock Evolution over/coverlock. This machine is so nice and so stable, that I compare it with a Mercedes Benz.
      Never a slip stitch – it sews through anything.
      However, the only only thing is the change from serger to coverstitching. This is a trouble, because you need to move the needles, and I am worried about dropping the tiny Little screws.
      I therefore am looking at a separate covermachine as a supplement. But realise that none of the other brands will ever sew so beautiful and steady as my Babylock.
      The Price is heavy, but it is worth all the Money.

      Reply
  4. pamm

    Hi Vernelle,

    Is there one great serger on the market that does a cover stitch as well??
    I read your review on the Pfaff hobby lock 2.5 , but it doesn’t do a cover
    stitch, does it?? Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Pamm

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      To my knowledge, the machine you are asking about does not exist. My experience has been that the best, most reliable cover stitches are produced by a single purpose cover stitch machine.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
  5. Monica G.

    Thank you for this wonderful review. It was very thorough and helpful in making my decision to purchase. I saw one of these marked down to $250 clearance at Joanne Fabrics, in the Viking/Singer shop. The salesperson explained to me that the Joanne customers prefer serger/coverstitch combo machines than stand alone coverstitch machines, so they will discontinue carrying these. I, however, wanted and have space for a separate coverstitch machine. I read your review, went back and purchased it this weekend. I loathe my serger because it is too hard to thread, but this coverstitch machine is quite easy and straightforward to thread and use. I look forward to finally sewing knit hems which professional.

    Reply
  6. Thinking Person

    That machine looks a lot like the MerryLock 009 machine from Taiwan. And that one is also distributed mostly in Europe.

    Reply

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