If you have a trained eye, you can comfortably identify a piece of clothing with a flawless, expert finish. On the other hand, if you are the type who can’t differentiate between a first-class design and an average creation, you probably own clothing items which have survived years of wear and washing with no signs of fraying on their seams. Whichever case, you are a witness to the handiwork of an overlocker.
While most sewers swear by an overlocker, many others have found a way never to deal with this wonder machine. Their wariness stems from
- the seeming difficulties in setting up an overlocker and,
- the misconception they have on the usefulness of an overlocker.
To start with, the market is flooded with both the good and the best overlockers among the lot. A general characteristic you should know of the best overlockers is the simplicity in setting them up and running in a flash.
As regards the usefulness of an overlocker, it complements the work done by a sewing machine. Obviously, an overlocker isn’t a replacement for a sewing machine but a necessary addition for expertly finished sewing that lasts for years. Not only does an overlocker lend fabric a professional finish and long-lasting appeal, but it also slashes your sewing time by half. What’s more, it does a superb decorative job which most sewing machines can only dream of.
Choosing The Best Overlocker
As mentioned earlier, the market is deluged with good as well as the best overlockers. Before you splurge your money on any overlocker, find out how comfy it is to be threaded, the speed of its machine action, and the overlocker’s multi-functionality. That said, the following are the essential features to look for in a choice overlocker:
1.Adjustable Differential Feed
An overlocker has a Differential Feed with two feed dogs used for the seam finish on a fabric. The differential feed prevents unevenness in the length of the edge of a seam, amends a stretched out seam, and can be utilised to create neat gathers and scalloped edges. With the aid of a Differential Feed knob, the speed on the front feed dog can be adjusted to work on a variety of fabrics at a desired speed.
2. Colour-Coded Threading Path
To overcome the nightmarish difficulty in threading an overlocker, be sure to settle for one with the correct coloured sketching of its threading path. It’s even better if it isn’t limited to the machine’s instructional manual but also displays a built-in threading chart that can replace the usefulness of a missing manual.
3. Retractable Cutting Knife
A cutting knife in an overlocker trims off edges of a fabric at the same time seams are getting binded. However, there will be occasions when you wouldn’t want any trimming of edges while using the overlocker. In that case, you would need an overlocker with a retractable cutting knife to push back when not in use.
Top 10 Best Overlockers
Janome CoverPro 2000 CPX
The Janome CoverPro 2000 CPX is the spruced-up version of the 1000 CPX. This premium-priced 3-needle coverstitch machine offers only the essentials for decorative stitching purposes.
The Janome CoverPro 2000 CPX is a good buy if you are looking for a straightforward overlocker that delivers exquisite and professional hemming and coverstitching. It is compact-styled to occupy a much smaller space than an industrial coverstitch overlocker.
Experienced sewers will find this solid machine efficient in handling difficult fabrics like a breeze. The Janome CoverPro 2000 CPX has a special lever for adjusting the tension on the looper when you want to have a uniform top and bottom stitching.
- Uncomplicated machine design
- Produces pretty decorative stitching on both the right and wrong sides of fabric
- Can be used to smoothen out wrinkles and unevenness on fabric
- Adjustable stitch length
- Possesses a tension release lever
- Machine skips the first couple of stitches when sewing
- The differential feed isn’t finely scaled, leaving room for trials and errors
- Thread often curls in the presser foot
- No colour-coded threading chart
- Difficult to use for inexperienced sewers
- At 1,000 spm, it isn’t as fast as other overlockers in its class
- Doesn’t have an easily retractable knife
- 1,2 or 3 needles, Unique seam tightening system (STS), 3mm Double needle cover stitch
- 6mm Double needle cover stitch, 6mm Triple needle cover stitch, Double chain stitch
- Colour coded easy threading, Vertical needle drop, Variable stitch length 1.0 - 4.0mm
- Extra large bed space, Differential feed for difficult fabrics, Tension release device
Janome 9300DX Overlocker
Zooming at 1,500 spm, the Janome 9300DX Overlocker is a high-powered machine great for projects with short deadlines. It’s user-friendly with both an easy-to-follow instructional manual and a DVD for visual learners.
The Janome 9300DX is one of the simplest to thread given its colour-coded threading chart. You can work on different textures of fabric successively without adjusting this overlocker’s machine tension. Also, it does an accurate job in slicing off edges progressively, all thanks to its sharp retractable upper knife.
The beauty of this machine is that it’s noiseless and so creates no disturbance when in use. It’s lightweight for sweatless mobility and firmly built to last. The 3 or 4 thread overlock of the Janome 9300 DX provides a taut overlocking on seams. It comes pre-threaded, thus, you can start sewing once you unpack the machine.
- The in-built colour-coded threading chart allows for fast threading
- Convenient to use by both beginners and experts
- Powerful motor speed
- Delivers smooth and uniform stitching
- The machine could get jerky at high speeds
- 3 Or 4 Thread Overlocking
- Easy Rolled Hem Conversion
- Differential Feed Ratio 0.5 – 2.2
- Lay In Thread Tension Dials
- Instructional DVD included
The Brother 2104D is ideal for occasional, basic overlocking purposes. It boasts of a riveting cutting knife that shaves off raw edges at an impressive pace. Unlike many other overlockers, you can use your standard sewing machine needles to operate it.
The free arm convertible on the Brother 2104D lets you sew tubular pieces without hassles. With a step-by-step explanatory manual and DVD, in addition to the F.A.S.T Lower Looper Threading System and foolproof lay-in threading, this machine is one of the most friendly overlockers to set up. Your large sewing projects are taken care of with the detachable extension table on this overlocker.
Furthermore, it displays 3 or 4 overlock thread that can be used to secure both medium weight and heavyweight fabrics. It comes with a trimming tray to catch trimmed pieces of fabric.Trimming tray also serves as a storage container for accessories.
- Has a retractable knife
- At 1,300 spm, it is a fast machine
- Has an adjustable differential feed that prevents puckering and can be used for creating special effects on fabrics
- Has a bright LED lighting
- Threading is smooth as silk
- Lightweight with a carry handle
- Recommended for beginners and sewing hobbyists
- It’s noisy
- 3 or 4 thread overlocker with free arm and LED light.
- 4-thread continuous stitch, 3-thread continuous stitch, 5 mm or 2.8 mm, rolled hemming.
- Adjustment of length and width, differential, adjustment of foot pressure.
- Removable upper knife, simplified threading, protective case, instructions in French, instructional...
Jaguar Overlocker Advanced 099
Many advanced overlockers do not have a 2 thread overlocker. Not so with the Jaguar Overlocker Advanced 099 which features a 2,3,or 4 thread overlocker. The 2 thread overlocker provides a sophisticated finish with no extra strength on light/flimsy fabrics like the table napkins and lingerie. The 3 or 4 thread overlocker does a professional work with an added strength on the seams of medium, heavy and stretchy fabrics.
This compact machine can be disassembled effortlessly when you want to clean the inside part. At a rate of 1,300 spm, it does an incredible job at binding edges quickly and smoothly. It has a detachable blade that cuts ragged edges off while overlocking. With the aid of its built-in thread cutter, threads on fabrics are trimmed after overlock stitching. The LED lighting on the machine supplies sufficient illumination for working on dark-coloured fabrics.
- Colour-coded for fast threading
- An all-round machine for different fabrics
- It comes with a trimming tray to minimize messiness in work area
- Clearly stated instructional manual
- Has a built-in rolled hem for sleeves and other tubular sewing
- Stress-free maintenance
- Its size is small for large projects
- It’s noisy
- Jaguar Advanced 099 Overlocker - 2/3/4/ Thread Overlocker, with Built-in Rolled Hem
- Built-in light upgrade, 2019: This product has now been upgraded from a 'Jaguar Advanced 097...
- The Jaguar Overlockers are a favourite amongst sewers, easily producing professional finish; far...
- Stand-out tensions for fine needle setting. Lay-in tensions with tension release for easy looper...
- Adjustable foot pressure. Pre-threaded. Up to 1,300 stitches per minute. Detachable blades. Cutting...
If you are a beginner sewer who is searching for a portable overlocker that fits into a small space, the Singer 14SH754 is recommended for you. It is a practical machine for light projects and presents with less difficulty in manipulation than most other overlockers.
Threading the Singer 14SH754 is like walking on air, thanks to its colour-coded threading path. The precise cutting blade on the machine ensures that you end up with a neat trimming on your fabrics. It has a satisfying built-in rolled hem plate which allows you to carry out rolled hemming without manually changing the stitch plate.
With the provision for flatlock stitching on the Singer 14SH754, you can add decorative touches that can show on both sides of your cloth. It possesses the 2,3,4 thread overlocker capacity to handle a wide range of fabrics. It is a swift machine and a time-saver at about 1,300 spm.
- Runs quietly and smoothly
- Has a brilliant LED light
- Permits free arm sewing
- Sharp cutting blade
- Easy for beginners
- Delicately built and may not last for a long period of time
- Not for heavy fabrics
- Produces uneven stitching at times
- Occasional tension problems
- Vibrates at high speed
- OVERLOCKER with differential
- 4 Count
- With pasahilos
- Arm Open
The Janome 6234XL is recommended for sewers who wish to experiment with a stylish overlocker. It is a solid machine customized for years of regular use. This is another advanced overlocker that features a 2,3,4 thread overlocker for multifunctional purposes in designing fabrics. It works perfectly on difficult fabrics and removes puckering and stretched edges with the help of a scaled differential feed.
Threading this machine is undemanding since it has a colour-coded threading path and comes pre-threaded as an additional guide. The Rolled Hem Lower Looper Pre-tension Conversion feature facilitates a swift switch to rolled hemming without changing the stitch plate. The Janome 6234XL is delivered with an exhaustive manual and a DVD for clear instructions on how to use it.
- Dependable to deliver
- Runs noiselessly
- Convenient to maintain
- High-powered machine
- 2, 3, or 4 thread overlock
- Seam width: 1 - 5mm, Seam length 3.3mm (narrow), 7.5mm (wide) 2.0mm
- Adjustable cutting width: 3.1 - 5.1mm
- Differential feed
- Lower looper pre-tension setting slider
PFAFF Sewing Machine (Hobbylock 2.0)
The PFAFF Sewing Machine (Hobbylock 2.0) doesn’t sound like an overlocker. But it does the job of one. With a step-by-step manual provided as well as the colour-coded threading guide, you can have this machine up and running in less than twenty minutes. It features a safety lockout that prevents the machine from sewing when its front cover is open.
As a functional overlocker, it has a differential feed which forestalls wrinkles, stretching, and delivers a remarkable flat finish on the fabric. It sews at 1,300 spm, which is a pretty fast rate for quick results. The free arm feature is necessary for sewing trousers, sleeves and tubular pieces.
- It is a handy machine that is easy to use
- Weighs light
- Great for beginners
- Compact and space-saving
- Multifunctional for different kinds of fabrics
- Ideally for knits and thicker fabrics
- Poor tension control
- No DVD
- Serger with 4 threads, 2 needles.
- High quality, durable material.
- 15 types of stich: rolled edge, overlock, flatlock.
- Perfect finish.
- Easy wiring.
The Brother 3034D is another overlocker to consider if you are a newbie to the world of overlockers. It is a solid worker with no added features as found in sophisticated overlockers but powerful enough to deliver awesome results. It boasts of a F.A.S.T Threading Lower Looper System to make threading a breezy experience.
Once you’ve unpacked this overlocker from its carton, you can start trying it out immediately since it comes pre-threaded. The smooth and easy-to-manipulate controls on this machine could be addictive. Bring on any form of a large sewing project to the roomy working space on this overlocker. It has in-built lighting to illuminate dark areas on your fabric.
With the detailed instructional booklet as well as a DVD, familiarizing yourself with the Brother 3034D is a piece of cake. The adjustable differential feed qualifies the machine for versatile sewing designs on assorted fabrics.
- Handy and user-friendly
- Great for both beginners and experts
- Roomy free arm for large projects
- Downside knife drive for precise shaving of edges
- Runs at an even pace
- Produces even stitchings
- F.A.S.T Threading Lower Looper System for speedy threading
- Customised to last for years
- DVD for audiovisual learners
- No auto thread cutter
- The Brother 3034D is an easy-to-use overlock machine for all common applications and well suited for...
- Compact, lightweight top lock machine with handle Professional processing for all types of fabric...
- The four-thread ultra-stretch seam follows every movement and guarantees absolute tear resistance!...
- Cutting and overcasting ... ... in one step. The knife can also be switched off if desired. NEARLY....
- The most important accessories are always ready to hand in the gripper cover. Cover! The cover (soft...
Elna 664 PRO Overlocker
The Elna 664 PRO Overlocker is a 2,3,4 thread overlocker you can use on both the flimsiest material and the thickest fabric. Its pre-tension setting lever allows you to shift from the standard overlocking to the rolled hem setting without changing plates.
On the machine is a tilting needle clamp which you can bend to an inclined angle for snappy threading. Decorate as much as your creativity allows you with the 12 built-in stitches on this overlocker. Also, the machine provides a storage area for all your sewing accessories.
The comprehensive manual delivered with the Elna 664 PRO Overlocker is explained in a straightforward manner for easy understanding. Its lower looper self-threading power requires no effort from you to thread. It is a noiseless machine that glides smoothly through fabrics like a charm. Displayed on the front side of the Elna 664 PRO is a stitch chart that displays and guides you on the stitch to use and the setting.
- The colour-coded threading path and self-threading lower looper makes threading quick to do
- Bright LED lighting
- 4-piece feed dog system for a wide array of designs for different fabrics
- Has a titling needle clamp
- Ideal for professionals
- Does not come with a DVD
- No free arm
- Number of Threads : 4/3/2
- Automatic tension release
- Built-in program reference panel
- Telescopic thread antenna system
- Pre-tension slider ( 3/4 - 2 thread )
The Brother 4234D is a strong overlocker recommended for sewing hobbyists, experimenters and for difficult fabrics. It didn’t compromise on threading comfort with its F.A.S.T Lower Looper Threading System, an easy-to-thread lower looper and correct colour-coded threading path. Its built-in needle threader helps you to thread the needle without hassles.
It is a quiet machine which you can work with in the dead of the night. Also, you will find it ready for work as it comes pre-threaded. This 2,3,4 thread overlocker delivers the sturdiest binding and seaming on edges. Sewing blind hems are possible with the blind stitch foot feature on this overlocker. It also features an adjustable tension dial that facilitates a fine, flat, and even stitching on fabrics. You’ll enjoy working on large pieces on the wide extension table this overlocker provides.
- Comes with an instructional manual and DVD
- Easy to thread
- Free arm
- Sews blind hems
- Built-in needle threader
- Wide extension table
- Poor lighting
- Replacing needle on this machine could be difficult
- Lightweight, compact machine with carry handle
- Differential feed for perfect seaming on virtually any fabric type
- Free arm flat bed
- Presser foot pressure adjustment
- Instructional DVD included
Generally, what you could term the best overlocker is dependent on your level of expertise and your budget.
If as a skilful sewer you own a sewing machine but no overlocker, you’ve only got half the story told. But if you haven’t done up to six months’ worth of work on a sewing machine, you don’t quite need an overlocker yet. Unless you will give it a shot with one of the best overlockers for beginners reviewed above.
In summary, here are our top three picks:
- Janome 6234XL
- Brother 3034D
- Janome 9300 DX Overlocker
Why We Like Them
Janome 6234XL: Best For Experienced Sewers and Experimenters
This overlocker is built with special features that unlock your creative potentials as a professional sewer. It is trusted to manipulate the toughest fabrics and delivers an assorted type of designs on your garments. It is also easy to maintain and user-friendly.
Brother 3034D: Best For Beginners
The Brother 3034D is customized to accommodate beginners who could get discouraged by complex threading. You can get accustomed to using it in no time with the clear-cut instructions on its instructional booklet and DVD. The sharp-cutting downside knife drive gives you the wonderful feeling that at last, you’re working on an overlocker!
Janome 9300 DX Overlocker: Best For A Fast-Paced Sewing Environment
This overlocker is one of the fastest to work with at 1,500 spm. It is easy to work on different textures of fabrics with it and not adjust the machine tension at all. The Janome 9300 DX Overlocker is simple to understand and use by experts and beginners alike.