A sewing machine is known to be irreplaceable in the fashion industry because it can perform all the purposes in one station, but there is a situation whereby a fabric will require quality finishing on its edges to prevent fraying. Hence, the overlock sewing machine’s invention has greatly revolutionized the fashion industry by producing apparel and many more products with edges of quality finishing that can withstand stress and tension.
This article will answer all the questions that might help you decide or consider to invest in the best overlock sewing machine that will serve your needs or make your project attain professional standards.
Why Do You Need Best Overlock Sewing Machine?
Your need for an Overlock sewing machine does not only sew one or two pieces or layers of clothes, but it also depends on the type and texture of the fabric, varied stitch width, density, and the number of threads, which makes it unique for different needs, these include;
• Butt-seaming or end-to-end seaming for textile finishing. The single thread Overlock stitch mostly achieves this type of seaming.
• You can use it for edging and seaming woven fabrics by using a double thread overlock stitch. Besides, the double stitch is also good for attaching elastic and lace to lingerie, finishing seam edges, hemming, and stitching flatlock seams.
• When you need to create a decorative edging on a fabric.
• When you need to sew pintucks and to create narrow rolled hems, for such needs, the triple thread overlock stitch will give the best finishing.
• If you want to seam high-stress or delicate areas, a four-thread overlock stitch is perfect for this purpose since it can mimic a safety stitch in strength while maintaining its flexibility.
• When you need to create strong seams or reinforce heavy fabrics with an additional straight stitch from a conventional sewing machine, five thread overlock stitches are the best for such purposes because they provide a safety stitch.
• Overlock sewing machine provides a professional finishing to your sewing projects.
• It is good for creating a cover stitch on cuffs to cover raw seams and edges.
• It is faster than a sewing machine because it operates at high speed and easy to use in a situation where your work/project involves a lot of seaming, edging, and hemming.
Best Overlock Sewing Machine Reviews
#1: Best Heavy Duty – Singer X5004HD Serger Overlocking Machine with Large Cutting Knife
- Suitable for the dark applications
- Its frame is tougher and stronger
- Some 8 built-in stitches exist for your leverage
- Improper for the complicated stitching activities
Are you just getting started out in the matters of sewing? You have this machine for your consideration and subsequent engagement. It is designed to make sewing easier by reason of being simpler to discern.
Outstanding Features and Benefits
2/3/4 Thread Capability
Its thread capability straddles the 2/3/4 varieties. These varieties give you the freedom to switch back and forth many stitches and ensure a more perfect outcome regardless of the object targeted.
60% Larger Cutting Knife
A larger cutting knife comes in next. You use this to cut through the thicker fabrics with absolute ease and minimal strains on your part. It also expedites the cutting process by a considerable margin.
An LED lighting apparatus also exists as a vital component of the sewing machine. This serves to illuminate the clothing and the stitching activities you engage in at any given time. While at it, the machine does not generate shadows.
#2: Best Portable – JUKI MO654DE Portable Thread Serger Sewing Machine
- Sews all fabrics regardless of the weight thereof
- Packed with safety features that safeguard your handling of the same
- A dedicated drive mechanism expedites the stitching process
- Cannot be used for heavy-duty commercial applications
If you happen to travel around most of the time, you may want to try this portable machine out. It is light enough to carry around and deploy to the remote locale of use without too many strains on your part.
Outstanding Features and Benefits
Automatic Rolled Hem
An automatic rolled hem ranks tops among the many awesome features that the apparatus has to offer to anyone who chooses to make use of the same. It helps a bit to make the hems as it greatly cheapens the exercise.
Exceptional Stitching Mechanisms
Complementing the above are the exceptional stitching mechanisms. These include the color-coded looper, differential feed, and external adjustments. They generate truly enduring stitches for you.
Powerful Knife System
Its cutting mechanism is also not left out either. A powerful cutting knife dominates it. This rips apart the fabrics in ways that are really reliable and devoid of any ambiguities on your part.
#3: Best For Professionals – SINGER 14T968DC Serger Overlock Sewing Machine with Self Adjusting
- Made by legendary Singer brand
- Supports a whopping four stitch modes conveniently
- Engages many functionalities automatically
- Warranted for use in Canada and the United States alone
Intending to handle and tackle a huge volume of fabrics and cloth? You have a better bet on this specific sewing machine. It adjusts on its own and at the same time tackles many tasks automatically and independently of your own input.
Outstanding Features and Benefits
Ranking tops among the many offerings of the sewing machine is the self-adjusting tension. As its designation implies, this adjusts without requiring that you expend some effort or input.
Awesome Sewing Speed
Overall, its speed of sewing and operation is exceptionally awesome. This comes to about 1,300 stitches-per-minute. With this awesome speed comes the ability to conclude the sewing exercise faster.
4 Built-in Rolled Hems
Its core component also features some four built-in rolled hems. This feature makes the conversion into the hem sewing mode a bit effortless and smooth as it does not require manual engagement.
#4: Best Computerized – SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Portable Sewing and Overlock Machine
- Sews items at speeds that are higher
- Automates many of its functionalities
- Accommodates many extras and accessories
- Not intended for common indoor or home uses
Have some commercial intent? Get your hand on a comprehensive machine of this kind if nodded to the question. As you are about to note, the gadget has every elegant feature you might want to leverage.
Outstanding Features and Benefits
Computerized Sewing Machine
Its character is highly computerized. By reason of this arrangement, you are sure to reap great savings in terms of time expended and the effort employed to operate it. That also makes the task somewhat enjoyable and less of a hassle.
Automatic Needle Threader
Also existing to make your time and experiences awesome is the automatic needle threader. Unlike your ordinary threader, this one operates independently of your own input and effort. That reduces the hassles you may usually face.
Comprehensive Parts and Features
Crowning it all up are the comprehensive parts and features that the gadget contains. These include the 600 built-in stitches, 13 built-in buttonholes, and an exclusive buttonhole underplate. All of them cut down your efforts.
#5: Best Industrial – JUKI MO-6714S 4-Thread Overlock Sewing Machine
- Equipped with the super-tough 110V industrial clutch motor
- Handles medium to the lightweight fabric types
- Available in a compact packaging
- Performs the overlock stitch only
If you are seeking a machine that is to serve large scale industrial purposes, this could be a great one to set your eyes on. Being strong and heavy-duty, the item really manages the strenuous stitching activities that are beyond the scope of your ordinary gadget.
Outstanding Features and Benefits
The machine manages a truly high-speed performance. By virtue of this, it manages to hit the legendary 7000 stitches-per-minute. With this performance comes the ability to conclude all the tasks within the shortest realistic time possible.
Differential Feed Capabilities
Existing to expedite your operations is the differential feed capability. Using this capability, the machine is capable of accommodating a vast range of fabrics from the stretchy to the stiff to name but a few!
When all factors are put into consideration, the machine delivers truly consistent performances and ends indeed. A combination of excellent readability and hassle-free operations exist to make this dream, achievable.
What Is An Overlock Sewing Machine?
An overlock sewing machine is a special kind of sewing machine equipped with comprehensive features, especially its stitch meant to sew over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth. An overlock sewing machine is also referred to as Sergers in North America.
What Is An Overlock Sewing Machine Used For?
The overlock sewing machine is used for edging, seaming, or hemming. Besides, it is featured with automatic cutters that cut the edges of the fabric they are fed through to create a finished seam.
How to Pick the Best Overlock Sewing Machine?
It is essential to pick a Serger/ overlock sewing machine that has adjustable features that would really make your work/project easier to accomplish; for instance; you should consider the following adjustable features;
• Looper air threading and built-in needle threader to save you from trying to poke a thread through the eye of the needle and let you thread the loopers by pressing a button.
• Adjustable pressure with markings to effortlessly change how hard the presser foot is pushing down on your fabric depending on the types of fabrics and their thickness.
• Free Arm; though this is not essential but highly desirable since it allows you to work on tubes and small areas like cuffs and collars more easily.
• Adjustable differential feeds; this feature allows the feed dogs to work independently and can be adjusted to avoid or achieve wavy, fluted, or bunched edges depending on your fabric type.
The modern overlock sewing machines often have ‘lay in’ tension, so the thread tension is controlled inside rather than on the outside with knobs, which you will manually turn. Hence, you can select the type of stitch you want, the machine senses the thickness of your fabric, and then it chooses the tension settings for you.
Therefore, to achieve beautiful rolled hems, perfect for lightweight fabrics and eveningwear, you can use tension controls to force the edge of the hem under as the overlocker finishes the edge to create a subtle and neat finish.
• Materials used for construction
If you are looking for an overlocking sewing machine that will serve you on daily use throughout the year without breaking, it is crucial to check the materials used for construction because it determines the durability and the quality of your project.
For instance, most pocket-friendly sergers are made from low-quality materials that are weaker. Most parts do not perfectly fit together tightly or if metal does not meet certain standards, thereby affecting its durability and performance.
The best overlocking sewing machine’s horsepower greatly impacts your projects’ quality, speed, and flexibility. Therefore, an overlock sewing machine should have a high horsepower to do overlock daily/ regularly, faster with much efficiency and flexibility.
It is capable of handling from lightweight to heavyweight fabrics without breaking or heating up unnecessarily. Materials used for construction both go in hand with the horsepower of the motor.
• Number of threads
The best overlock sewing machine should have about 3 and above threading to provide seams with many stretch capabilities, wider, stronger, and safer.
However, if you get the one with a 5-thread serger, it will provide you with all the seam capabilities you want and make your project perfect and professional.
Furthermore, it can perform all the functions from lightweight to heavyweight fabrics without changing or switching between machines for a strong seam and seam finish.
• Presser foot lift and the Bed.
The best overlock sewing machine should have a high presser foot lift to allow more fabric to fit underneath for stitching since it allows you to work with thick fabrics easily.
Besides, it would be best if you also considered an overlock sewing machine with a wide bed that allows you to easily work on a large number of knitting projects without having to raise the fabric to the surface regularly.
Overlock Sewing Machine Price
The pricing of the overlock sewing machines depends on the type of the brand because they are some of the sewing machines that are trusted and well known worldwide, like; singer and brother, and they have been in the market for a long time. Furthermore, they are factors that will affect the pricing of an overlock sewing machine despite of their brands; these include;
• The materials used for construction – like lightweight sewing machine are cheaper compared to heavyweight}
• The number of the threading system – the more the threading number, the higher the price due to its precision and reliability to work on different fabrics.
• The warranty also plays a big factor in pricing; the longer the warranty period, the higher the price and vice versa.
• The horsepower – most of the overlock sewing machine with higher horsepower are a bit expensive because they work efficiently without breaking or requiring a cooling/heating break.
Overlock Sewing Machine for Different Usages
Overlock sewing machines for home use are basically meant to work with lightweight projects and cannot run for extended hours. This is because most of her features are not automated and comprehensive features. Therefore home overlock sewing machine can be used for;
• Edging, finishing seam edges, and seaming woven fabrics.
• Attaching elastics and lace to lingerie
• Stitching flatlock seams and general hemming.
• Butt-seaming or end to end seaming of a piece of goods like textile finishing.
• Creating narrow-rolled hems and sewing pin tucks.
Contrarily, the industrial sewing machine is has automated and adjustable features because its construction is of high precision that allows it to work on lightweight and heavyweight projects daily without breaking down or heating. Industrial overlock is capable of performing all-purpose of the home/ordinary overlock sewing machined and the following;
• To seam high-stress or delicate areas
• For decorative edging and finishing
• To create a strong seam for heavyweight fabrics such as denim and terrycloth.
• To create a lettuce-leaf or wave-like effect on fabrics on fabric edges.
• To provide a professional finishing to sewing projects.
What Brands Produces the Best Overlock Sewing Machine?
The Singer is one of the companies that manufacture the best overlock sewing machines from manual overlock machines and automatic sewing machine. If you want the best overlocker machine that can withstand all elements and handle both industrial and domestic use, it has comprehensive features. It can sew up to 1300 stitches per minute, can support a 4-5 threading system, they have a heavy-duty metal frame, and their bed plate is made from stainless steel that allows the fabric to glide smoothly over the machine’s surface. The internal frame is metal, which provides long-lasting durability.
The overlock sewing machine from Juki incorporates a mechanism and parts optimum for the sewing of extra heavyweight materials. The needle bar mechanism and upper Looper mechanism have been redesigned to require no lubrication. The frequency of stain removal or re-sewing is reduced. JUKI’s dry technology has been adopted to produce seams of delicate quality and feel and achieve excellent cost-effectiveness. This is a semi-dry head overlock machine with a dry mechanism, which eliminates the oil-splashing problem. As a result, oil stains on the sewn products are eliminated.
Sewland is one of the best companies that manufactures lightweight sewing machines suitable for industrial and domestic purposes. Besides, their overlock sewing machine gives you a wide range of overlocking features in a compact machine. It’s a sturdy design, and precise stitch performance ensures a beautiful 3 or 4 thread operation.
Most of them come pre-threaded and has a built-in rolled hem feature (no plate change) for a professional finish. The cutting width is adjustable from 2.0 to 5.7 mm. The differential feed prevents puckering and stretching and can be used for fun special effects, and the upper knife can be deactivated for decorative sewing.
For those searching for a diverse serger with multiple thread options, the Brother is an affordable choice and Perfect for finishing, home décor, and creative fashion sewing. They even allow you to expand your creative options while getting more serging done faster – with sewing speeds of up to 1,300 stitches per minute with either three, four, or five threads, in addition to finishing edges and hems on a wide range of fabrics for decorative edges and gathers or ruffles and use decorative threads for customized details.
Yamato is one of the best overlock machines with High-tech processing parts, which greatly reduce frictions as same as so-called “dry head” machines are introduced on the needle bar and the upper Looper mechanism. Smooth driving is achieved by minimal liquid lubrication compared with the conventional models.
Moreover, high durability and high-speed of 8,000 sti/min are guaranteed because of the unique circulation system’s efficient lubrication. Furthermore, they feature a floating foot that delivers a neat flat finish preventing twisting and slippage during sewing on a wide range of various kinds and weight of materials.
Siruba is one of the best overlock sewing machines that are efficient in energy. They include a lot of features like; a color-coded threading chart, adjustable presser foot, differential feed mechanism, free-arm sewing, and a micro safety switch. This serger is easy to operate for beginners and hassle-free for sewing-lovers. To boost creativity, it sews versatile stitches for a skilled and neat finish. This serger has a micro safety switch to prevent sewing when the front cover is opened. The machine adjustment chart included in the instruction book will help you sew smoothly based on stiffness and thickness of the fabric, thread size and type, and needle sizes.
Gumtree is one of the best overlock sewing machines mostly found in Europe because of its comprehensive features that make it more efficient for performing professional and handling industrial purposes. Besides, it has automatic features that allow you to operate on it easily with a wide range of fabrics. Its frames are made from heavy-duty material for durability and reliability.
Is Cheap Overlock Sewing Worth Buying?
Yes. Acquiring a cheap overlock sewing machine would be a great bargain, especially when other machines available are out of your budget range. Besides, it can also deliver the same professional finishing to some of the projects.
Investing in a cheap overlook sewing machine is profitable, especially when you are a seasonal seamstress or need it for domestic use while indoors. Possibilities of enjoying the worth of your investment are faster. It could serve you for a long time if you understand how it should be handled due to its quality rather than investing in an expensive one that might take longer to see or enjoy its worth if you intended to use it for domestic purposes.
Cheap overlock sewing is perfect for beginners since they do not possess complicated features; hence, giving them an easier time to operate and quickly learn how to seam.
Why Buying a Portable Overlock Sewing Machine?
A portable overlock sewing machine is made from lightweight materials, and some can be easily be dissembled and installed with basic knowledge, making it versatile and portable. Besides, they even occupy or save on space compared to a heavy-duty sewing machine which requires a permanent space for installation, and it will force you to rent extra space to secure it.
A portable sewing machine has features that are easy to operate, and due to its lightweight nature, it makes it perfect for beginners to use and learn to sew some of the most complicated projects. Therefore, making it suitable for both beginners and professionals.
Since the machine is portable, it will make you more reliable and flexible when your services are urgently required, like in certain events like weddings and fashion shows.
Furthermore, it would help if you preferred a light sewing machine since they are pocket-friendly and capable of handling both lightweight and heavy-weight knitting projects at high speed with professional seam finishing.
Best pick portable overlock sewing machine for outdoor use:
Who Needs the High-speed Overlock Sewing Machine the Most?
The high-speed overlock sewing machine is well known for its high horsepower motor that is capable of stitching about 9000-10,000 stitches/minute, therefore is mostly recommended for industrial products like the fashion industry, woven and many more for massive production to meet or deliver the demand on time.
Secondly, since high-speed overlock sewing has automated features and most of them are capable of supporting 3-5 threading systems they are useful for knitting stretch fabrics that are always difficult to sew on sewing machines and provide a professional finishing.
Lastly, the high-speed overlocker machine is vital for urgent projects from your clients since they can sew quickly with precision within a limited time.
Choosing the high-speed overlock sewing machine for professionals or heavy-duty fabrics:
Should Beginners Choose a Heavy-duty Overlock Sewing Machine?
Beginners are not limited to choose a heavy-duty overlock sewing machine since they possess features that are complicated and automated, which will require a professional sewer to help or guide them on how to use it. Besides, using a heavy-duty machine will provide them with the advantage of adapting to or mastering it faster on how to handle delicate and heavy projects with much precision.
The reason why beginners will require a professional sewer to guide or oversee them while using heavy-duty overlock machine is because they run at high speed which might be dangerous for the beginners especially when they have not adapted to its mode of operation.
Manual Overlock Machine Vs. Automatic Overlock Sewing Machine.
These are two different machines, but they perform the same function; however, their mode of operation has a great impact when it comes to sewing, like for instance;
An automatic overlock sewing machine has automated features that require a power source of energy like electricity to run it. Still, a manual overlock machine has manual features that make it easier to operate it by yourself with your own energy to run it. Hence, making it tiresome to operate it for extended hours than the automatic one which offers you the possibilities of using it for industrial use.
Since a manual overlock machine is physically operated by your feet, it is hard to make a lot of stitching with much strength and precision, especially on heavy fabric projects.
Contrarily, the automatic sewing machine has a motor with greater horsepower that allows it to make about 1100 stitches per minute which is perfect for seaming heavy fabric with much precision. Therefore, a manual overlock machine is capable of handling lightweight fabrics while automatic is recommendable for delicate, lightweight, and heavy-duty fabrics and offers professional results.
Manual overlock machine comes with many options for types of seams like rolled hem and speciality stitch functions. In contrast, automatic overlock sewing machines have fewer options for seaming types and need additional gadgets to produce different types of seams, thereby adding advantage to investment.
A manual overlock machine does not take much more space than an automatic overlock sewing machine, which comes with a separate stand and pedals. Besides, it will even require extra space to install it permanently, resulting in another expense of paying rent.
Most of the manual overlock machine has features that are manually operated which consumes a lot of time while fixing them; thus, making it slow and more tedious as compared with the automated overlock sewing machine that has automated features like automatic tension, Looper air thread, built-in needle threader, adjustable pressure, free arm and many more that easily adjusts to projects requirements to make your work easier and faster.
Should I Get 2 in 1 Sewing Machine and Overlock?
Yes. 2 in 1 sewing machine and overlock machine has a great advantage over an overlock sewing machine. Most apparel or projects require straight stitching to reinforce the fabric or outfit, minimizing the need to switch between machine stations.
Besides, investing in such machines would be ideal if you cannot afford a serger or enough space for an additional sewing unit. Furthermore, it is important to note that an overlocker should be used alongside an ordinary sewing machine and not in place of one.
However, it would help if you kept in mind such machines may be a cheaper alternative. Still, the overlock produced by a dual needle system sewing machine cannot match a serger when it comes to stitching quality since it will lack that stretchiness and strength.
Differentiate Between an Overlocker and a Sewing Machine?
Basically, there are differences between these two machines even though some sewing machine comes with an overlock stitch function, making it possible to perform hemming and edging tasks. But for a quick comparison, below are the different factors between a sewing machine and an overlock sewing machine.
• Overlock sewing machine binds together and cuts excess seam allowance simultaneously. Still, the sewing machine will require you to cut the fabric or projects first before sewing since it lacks built-in blades for trimming excess fabric sitting before the needle.
• The overlock sewing machine is not flexible because it can only serge on the left side of the needles compared to an ordinary sewing machine that allows you to turn your project and sew on the needle’s left or right side.
• The overlock sewing machine can make about 9000-10000 stitches per minute, making it faster than a sewing machine; hence, it can produce professional finishing in about half the time it would take you to complete the same project using the sewing machine.
• Basic sewing machines only use one thread, but some sewing machines support a dual needle system to utilize on two threads. Still, an overlock sewing machine can use between 3-5 cones of thread at once to create various types of overlock stitches.
• The neck of the sewing machine is typically shorter than the neck of an overlock machine.
For decorative stitching
• The overlock sewing machine makes the decorative stitching technique looks so much easier and simpler. Still, the sewing machine can make decorative stitching but not that easy as the overlock machine does.
Can I use an overlock stitch on a regular sewing machine, and how?
Yes. It is possible by using the guide bar that allows you to sew right up against the edge of the fabric, so the zigzag portion of the stitch swings off the fabric, enclosing the raw edge. Therefore, your stitching will run parallel to the seam allowance’s edge without the overlock foot because it is not enclosed.
How to overlock on a regular sewing machine
The regular sewing machine has an overedge foot known as an overcast foot or an overlocking foot, which allows the thread to wrap around the fabric’s edge to prevent unraveling; hence it gives you an edging similar to that of an overlock machine. Below is how to overlock on a regular sewing machine;
• First, you would have to trim the bottom part with a rotary blade or scissors to remove the extra fabric.
• The next step is to zigzag the bottom to prevent the fabric from unraveling.
• Then fold over the seam allowance, iron, and fold the seam allowance again.
• Finally, the hem would be sewn with a straight stitch on a dual needle system sewing machine.
How to use an Overlock stitch on a sewing machine.
Below is how to use an overlock stitch on a sewing machine.
• Remove Your Regular Presser Foot.
• Attach the Overcast Foot.
• Choose an overcast stitch.
• Place the fabric underneath the foot, put the threads on the bridge’s right-hand side, and align the edge up against the guide.
• Hand crank first to make sure the needle passes the bridge, left and right. Your zigzag has to be wide enough. If all is good, you can start sewing.
• When you are finished, do not pull your fabric to the left or the right to cut the threads, or your stitches will be damaged.
Suppose you are not familiar with the overlock sewing machine. In that case, it is important to check on the features above to avoid purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine because they almost look similar. Still, the difference is there the number of threads, presser foot, neck, and the differential feeds.