The owner of one of our favorite sewing machine repair and sales shops invited us review the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 because it was traded in while still brand spanking new.
The woman who originally purchased this machine said she bought it because of all of the features. In a way, those same features prompted her to trade it for a serger that is simpler to operate.
At A Glance
When you first look at this serger, you are impressed by the great look. However, the great look, 16 pre-programmed stitches and functional LCD screen are just about the only likable things about this complicated machine.
The Viking Huskylock 936 has tons of great features that any home sewer would love to have.
They include an instructional video – which as it turned out is possibly the most valuable feature of all. Other, more traditional sewing/serger features include:
- Electronic speed control
- A free arm, which is a bit uncommon on sergers
- 16 pre-programmed stitches
- Automatic differential feed
- An LCD display that is programmed to operate in 14 different languages
With those features alone, few people who really enjoy sewing would be able to resist the temptation to purchase this serger.
Then when you consider that the Huskylock 936 also offers two on-board lights; automatic stitch length and with adjustment and a built in thread cutter, there is little wonder that the original owner purchased this machine.
Working on the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936
Threading the Huskylock 936 is more challenging than any other sewing machine or serger this reviewer has ever encountered.
Even the owner of the sewing machine repair/sales shop was challenged by the threading process for this machine. The color coded threading guide on the looper door is completely useless.
We watched the instructional video and read the threading guide which proved to be far more helpful. It soon became abundantly clear that if one were successful in understanding and mastering the threading process, they would be probably be comfortable with sewing on this machine.
There are six completely different threading processes for the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936: chainstitch; 5 thread safety stitch; 4 thread overlock; wide 3 thread overlock; triple coverstitch; and 2 thread narrow edge.
The threading process is so complicated the manufacturer even has video demonstrations of each threading process on its website.
The day we decided to look no line for the animated video on line, however, we had extreme difficulty finding it through the search link on the Husqvarna Viking website.
We did, finally get to the instructions link by Googling the machine by manufacturer and model number.
We decided to use three and four different thread options for this review. In an attempt to navigate the intricate threading process as easily as possible, we opted to use different color threads on each spindle.
After overcoming the threading challenge, the next hurdle was setting the tension. As we changed stitch options and re-threaded the machine, we discovered that adjusting the tension was no day at the beach.
It took more than a few attempts to find the right tension setting for some of the stitch options.
Once we got that under control, sewing on the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 was about average. For all the work that it took to get to the point where we could actually sew, the stitch quality was somewhat disappointing.
We tried the four thread overlock stitch primarily because it is the one of the main stitch selections used in many clothing manufacturing factories.
The stitches were clean and well formed. However, when we attempted the 3 thread overlock stitch option, the stitches were uneven and loose… even after many attempts to adjust the tension.
No doubt, the problem was with the tension adjustment, but after numerous attempts we finally gave up.
The most ironic part of the whole situation is the fact that we used the same tension settings with two other stitch options and it worked fine. There was no apparent reason why they would not work with the overlock stitch.
The Husqvarna Viking Huskyock sews with remarkable speed – approximately 1,000 stitches per minute. The on-board lights make working with the most intricate projects easy to see and the free arm makes it easy to work with the smallest items, including cuffs and collars.
The thread cutters and waste basket are ideally situated, making finishing off seams clean and easy.
The screwdrivers are essential, not only for removing and inserting needles, but also for changing needle plates and performing some of the routine maintenance tasks.
However, for major servicing tasks, the manufacturer recommends that the Huskylock 936 be taken to an authorized repair professional.
With all of the challenges we encountered in setting this machine up and using, we strongly recommend that owners of this machine take it to authorized service and repair professionals at least once a year whether they encounter problems or think it needs servicing or not.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 comes with the following standard accessories:
- Cloth dust cover
- Five spindle caps
- Owner’s manual
- Instructional video tape
- A separate book detailing all of he different threading options
- Five mesh thread nets
- Three snap-on presser feet
- Additional needle plate
- Screwdrivers, oil dispenser
- Lint brush
- Extra needles
The machine is made with only four thread spindles, but the accessories include an adaptor to accommodate the fifth thread. It also includes add-ons to convert the free arm into a work table.
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean loopers and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 is not only difficult to use, threading this machine is so challenging that most people will give up on even trying to use it.
This statement is evidenced by the fact that the woman who traded it in didn’t even open the sealed plastic pouch containing the dust cover.
Several other components were still in sealed pouches as well, and the machine and all of its accessories were still in the original box and in pristine condition.
With six different sets of threading instructions to learn and remember, the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 is quite possibly the most difficult to thread machine we have ever encountered.
Little wonder that when one goes to the manufacturer’s website, it is not even listed as an available model.
The search link on the webpage was not operating properly on the day we visited the site and tried to find information on the 936.
However, when we did a Google search, we landed on a Husqvarna Viking page detailing all the features and benefits of the 936.
From there, we were even able to locate a link to a series of animated threading instructions for all six options.
Obviously, the manufacturer knew that threading would be a major drawback. Why else would they devote so much space on their website to threading after including an instructional video tape as well as a separate book containing a complete threading guide with the sale of each Husqvarna Viking Husylock 936?
The Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 is definitely one of those machines that you either love or hate. No doubt, there are people out there who are not challenged by the intricate threading process and are very happy with this machine.
After all, there are plenty 936’s still in use out there. We do not, however, recommend that people with challenges like arthritis or low vision attempt to use this serger.
Nor do we recommend a machine this intricate for people who do not have a lot of experience working on sergers.
Even some home sewers with decades of sewing and serging experience might need a good deal of hands on coaching before mastering this one.
If you have many years of sewing and serging experience, are nimble fingered and are not easily intimidated by things like complicated, intricate threading maneuvers that must be changed every time you decide to use a different stitch option, the Huskylock 936 might be an ideal addition to your sewing room.
If, on the other hand, you are in the market for a serger that is simple to operate and does not require a lot of work before you get down to actual sewing, then we recommend that you continue shopping around.
It goes without saying that people who are new to sewing and serging should not attempt to use this machine.
There is a strong likelihood that if the first serger they work on is the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936, they might decide that working on a serger is entirely too complicated and never attempt to use a serger again – even shy away from ever trying to sew on the simplest, easiest to use models.
That would indeed be a huge tragedy because they would miss out on the pleasures that come with working on a serger.
We do not recommend the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 for use by intermediate sewers either. It is easy to understand why beginning and intermediate sewers could easily be discouraged from using this serger.
However, the manufacturer has other machines in their line of sergers that may be more compatible with their skill levels and more suitable for their sewing and serging needs.
That’s the beauty of the whole thing. Regardless of skill level, personal preference or budget, there is a large variety of sewing machines and sergers on the market.
Finding the right machines to not only fit in your sewing room or suit your own personal needs and tastes is never a major challenge.
All it takes to locate the perfect machine is to spend a little bit of time and energy shopping around until you find the right machines.
Shopping for sewing machines and sergers is possibly one of the most delightful ways for a sewing enthusiast to spend an afternoon.
Just imagine the fun you could have as you look over all the different machines on the market and learn about what they offer.
Sewing machine retailers run the gamut from the relatively small number of toney, high priced needlecraft boutiques, to the cookie cutter sewing emporiums like JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts and even include the growing number of mass merchandisers, such as K-Mart, Sears and Target or even the big club stores like Costco and BJs.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- 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 – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- 2, 3, 4, 5 thread sewing
- 16 pre programmed stitches
- Complicated threading process – Different threading pattern for each different stitch option
- Too many steps to execute simple operations
- Very challenging even for advanced sewers