March 1, 2012
photo courtesy of

I sew, A LOT, and yet somehow I have made it this long without a serger.  We are almost at a point where as a family we will be able to justify the purchase.  And I can’t wait!  But I also do not want to make the wrong purchase.  I am hoping you all can help me.  Here are some of the things I am looking for:

– Preferably under $600
– 4 thread (I would love a 5 thread but think that in my price range I would rather have a solid 4 thread than a low end 5)
– Workhorse – Solid mechanics without bells and whistles

What serger do you have and do you like it?

What do you think is a reasonable price?

Do you think a 4 thread is OK or do you definitely think a 5 thread is needed?

What else should be on my radar when looking for a serger?

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  • Reply Sassy T March 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I didn’t even know there was a 5 thread. I think 4 thread would suffice. I now the more expensive are 2, 3 and 4 thread. Hopefully someone will be able to nudge you in the right direction.

  • Reply dixie March 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I have an old (early 90s) Singer Ultralock. It’s 4 thread and I don’t even always use all four threads. You could totally get away with 4 threads and never even need 5.

    My Singer has definitely been a work horse. I use it with every sewing project. I’m a big proponent of used machines. They’re just as good and if you buy them from a store they’ll probably be cleaned up. Just make sure you get all your pieces. I’m missing a piece on mine that you need for rolled hems. I’ve been too lazy to go track down that piece, though. Some day…

  • Reply Julie March 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I have a Brother 1034D that I got on Amazon on the recommendation of many sewers from Pattern Review. It’s not fancy, but the price was right and it works well for me. It is a 4 thread. I’ve never had a 5 thread, so I can’t speak to that.

  • Reply Sarah March 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    i’m such a novice but i read about how many girls had the brother 1034D serger and i was convinced. for $200 it is hard to beat. it is noisy but it works very well. if you want fancy and you know a little about sergers i would say hunt for a vintage one with all metal parts. i knew nothing about sergers so i went with one i knew i could find advice on. i have been satisfied so far! happy searching!

  • Reply Julie March 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Here’s the link to the Brother:

  • Reply Andrea B March 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Yep, I have the Brother 1034D 4-thread like everyone else in the bloggery world and it’s a great basic machine. Easy to thread because it has illustrations printed right on the inside of the machine. I haven’t tried anything fancy with it (and by fancy I guess I mean use the ruffle or blind hem foot) but it’s been a fine companion for finishing and trimming down seams.

  • Reply kat March 1, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I don’t sew nearly as much as you, but I got the Brother serger everyone else is talking about for Christmas. I am still figuring it out, and this is the only experience I have ever had with serging, but I’m loving it so far.

  • Reply Kelli Ward March 1, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Wow, you guys have me seriously considering the Brother 1034 D. It is crazy cheap. That leaves me skeptical, but you all seem to like it so much.

  • Reply Nikki March 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I sew a LOT too and just finally got a serger a few weeks ago! I went with older, though, a Pfaff from the early ’90’s, but that’s because last year I switched from a computerized sewing machine to a 1970’s semi-industrial Pfaff and have been in LOVE ever since. Newer machines are not as solid, so if you’re looking for a workhorse, I’d encourage you to try old!
    P.S. I paid just over 200 for my serger on ebay and it turns out it’s the same one my mom paid 800 for–and that was 20 years ago!

    • Reply Sue February 25, 2016 at 11:54 AM

      Which Pfaff model did you get and do still like it?
      I am debating between the Husqvarna Viking 905-910, Juki or pfaff. I have a pfaff standard machine that I like.

      Thank you!

      • Reply Sally December 10, 2017 at 9:47 PM

        Don’t buy Husqvarna serger model 936. I am an experienced seamstress.. I started sewing when I was 12. I’ve made bridal gowns, draperies,men’s pants, quilts furniture covers and everything else. I absolutely love my Viking sewing machine from 1976. It is a workhorse! So I imagined their serger would be just as excellent. Oh how wrong I was! I can hardly use the thing it has so much down time due to one part breaking often. It is extremely difficult to thread and the thread breaks constantly…..because of that one part. I have spent 2 hours trying to make that thing work and the thread keeps breaking. It has been in the shop at least 5 times for that same part having broken again. It is also just plain difficult to thread. I hate my Husqvarna serger! It’s so difficult to change the settings to use other types of stitches that I never do. Mine must be an anomaly because I never read anybody else complaining about my issue. Now I’m ready to throw the thing in the garbage and buy a new serger.

        • Reply patty September 22, 2018 at 2:17 AM

          Have one, absolutley love it. This is the serger everyone loves to hate. The stitches on this serger are better than any stitch I have had on any of my babylocks. I also sewn or should say have sewn professionally. In fact looking at buying the 905 to complement my 936 and sell my Babylock Ovation

    • Reply Sue February 25, 2016 at 11:56 AM

      Does your pfaff have a differential feed and a self-threading lower looper?

      Thanks again!

  • Reply Sew Brunswick March 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I have a Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 905 which I inherited from my grandmother 6 years ago. So this machine would be nearing 15-20 years old. As long as I get it serviced and blades sharpened every year it works like a charm. I sew a LOT and use it on every project. When it finally dies, I’ll consider a Pfaff as I love my Pfaff sewing machine. So heavy duty and reliable.

    Also to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! Check out for more info.

  • Reply Sara March 1, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    I have a Viking Husqvarna 936 5-thread machine that I got used from my mom. With 5 threads you get coverstitch (the double-needle-type hem on most t-shirts) and chainstitch. They don’t make 936’s anymore, but I found a great local sewing shop to help me learn the ropes on the machine, and a yahoo group that is also excellent. The local Viking dealer considered the 936 a terrific model, and confessed that the new Viking sergers aren’t as good.

    It’s a great machine. However: it’s kind of a pain to switch to coverstitch. I’ve been considering a coverstitch-only machine, either a good Juki or a second 936 that’s always set up for coverstitch.

    There are several bloggers that swear by the Brother 1034D + a separate coverstitch machine. Were I buying new, I’d consider that route, too.

    • Reply Cathy April 1, 2017 at 7:15 PM

      Can you tell me what thread works best for this machine. I just picked one up and want to start out learning right.

  • Reply Crissy March 2, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    I have a prehistoric 4-thread babylock that is a work horse. that thing can serge! however, it is so old that they don’t make certain parts for it anymore and my feed dogs are worn down so it’s time for a new one. I have been looking at another babylock, a lauren, model BL450A. It’s $399 at my local sewing store, it is basic, but sturdy, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

  • Reply Nat March 2, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I have a Bernina 800D and just love it, only a 4 thread, I have a Coverpo which I am yet to work out how to use.

    The Bernina does a lovely rolled hem and is super easy to thread.

    I agree that sometimes older is better, but just make sure its not so old that it doesn’t have differential feed or else it will be harder to sew knits on it.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee March 2, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I also have the 4 thread Brother 1034D – its a good price, super easy to thread (color coded!) and makes a nice stitch and I’ve never really had to fiddle much with the tension. I’ve only had it for about 2 years but I’ve never had a problem with it.

    I’d love to get a 5 thread coverlock for finishing knits nicely but they’re all just so out of my price range and I can’t justify 3 machines at this point in my life! but my serger definitely gets the job done. I love that little machine πŸ™‚

  • Reply Sue March 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    I have had my Juki serger for 25+ years. It has never given me a bit of trouble and I sewed for 6 daughters. It was an investment that paid for itself over and over and over. Don’t be afraid to check out other brands that might not seem popular to you younger girls. I will keep my Juki forever. It is the best!

    • Reply Sue February 25, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      Which Juki do you own (model), do you know if it has a differential feed, a self-threading lower looper?

  • Reply Chris March 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I just got a Brother 3034D Lock for Christmas. It’s a 4thread, easy to thread and reasonably priced. I just use it for finishing seams and love it.

  • Reply grainline March 4, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I’ve got a Bernina 700D that I bought new 12 years ago and it works and looks like new. Definitely love this machine and when you buy a Bernina it usually comes with a free class to learn how to use the different functions.

  • Reply Gail March 6, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    If you have the money I recommend the Babylock Evolve. Mine has air pump threading and automatic tension. Makes life a breeze. Had old Elna before this – junk.

  • Reply Sewing Princess March 6, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    I had considered the Brother 1034D for its price and reviews. Eventually I went for a Bernina 800DL for the lower looper threading which seemed easier. I have had it for one year and have been loving it. I don’t find it hard to thread and adjust the tension. So I am happy I didn’t spend extra money on the Babylock. I bought it in the UK which was a lot cheaper. I also considered Juki: some of their machine are made at the same factory as the Berninas. One thing…I never used the two-thread option. Regarding the 5-thread, most people seem to say that it’s better to buy a coverstitch and a serger. The price comes down to the same. If you would like to see a Bernina working or threading, I could show you via Skype/video. I made this short video

  • Reply Anonymous September 7, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Have a Babylock Imagine for about 13 years now. It has the auto lower looper threading but that can sometimes get stopped up. You can use the long skinny wire thing to get it going again but that can be a pain too. Just wondered has anybody ever done a cover stitch with a regular sewing macine using a double needle?

  • Reply creationsbypaula September 20, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    What did you end up with??

  • Reply Eleanor James September 23, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Yes, I’m curious to know too! πŸ™‚ I have a husqarna viking opal 670 and it’s a dream of a sewing machine. I upgraded from a 10+ year old brother sewing machine that had never had maintenance, poor thing. I didn’t know. πŸ™ My new machine is a dream, so I would immediately recommend any husqvarna machine even though I haven’t used their sergers. I’m keeping my eyes open for a good deal on craigslist or ebay. *Fingers crossed*

  • Reply Corky August 4, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    I have purchased a Huskylock 905 Yes, older machine no LED Screen thank goodness!
    But the older machines are where the quality is………

    I bought a Huskavarna Emerald 118 sewing machine
    $399 on sale 2014 model
    Bought a Sears Kenmore at a yard sale $30 that came out in 2000
    The Kenmore and Huskavarna do exactly the same thing……
    I bought the Kenmore to teach Grandchildren to sew….

  • Reply Cindy December 24, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Beware of buying a 900 series Viking serger!! They have no replacement parts for them. I just too my $$ 936 in for service. The part for rolled hem is broken, so it will never make a rolled hem again ( poor thing). Same is true for some of their older machines.

    • Reply Sarah March 26, 2015 at 9:35 PM

      I bought aa huskylock Viking 900 on craigslist. Great machine until the needle plate cracked
      NO parts anywhere
      I keep looking for a parts machine

      • Reply susan April 30, 2015 at 10:32 PM

        I just found a Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 905 on Craigslist for $200. WOuld you recommend I not buy it because of the ‘parts issue?

        • Reply True Bias May 5, 2015 at 9:02 AM

          its so hard to say. i dont have that model so it’s hard for me to give a good recommendation either way. i would look on they have a ton of reviews of specific models so that you can hear more from people who have that exact machine. and you may be able to message them directly. sorry i wan not more help. good luck! having a serger is so great.

    • Reply Rose December 16, 2016 at 8:28 PM

      I just bought one 936 today old version so you think its not a good choice?:(

  • Reply Debbie February 4, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    I have the 3034D and it is a piece of crap. Breaks thread all the time. I would not recommend this to anyone

    • Reply Coni January 6, 2016 at 8:14 AM

      I had that problem with a brother serger and come to find out it was not thread correctly, even came back from repair man thread incorrectly. The thread didn’t break right away so they didn’t find the problem since they typically just stitch a few inches.

      • Reply Letitia April 22, 2016 at 12:34 PM

        Haha. I woke up down today. You’ve chereed me up!

      • Reply July 8, 2016 at 8:04 AM

        1 – Jenson Button tem mesmo um faro para oportunidades como neste final de semana quando deciciu andar com mais downforce do que todo mundo? ou ele apenas arrisca e acerta muito?

      • Reply July 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM

        You have all the qualities of a great writer. I don’t know what kind of education you have, but it’s obvious that you’re intelligent and you have a talent for writing, especially on this subject.

  • Reply Valerie February 12, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    My husband bought me a Babylock in ’92 or ’93. It was a solid built workhorse. (He had done his homework.) However, it didn’t do differential feed and was a serious pain when threading the lower looper. When HSN had a sewing day featuring the Euro-Pro, I was sold. Put my Babylock on eBay and bought the Euro-Pro. (2003) You do get what you pay for. The Babylock was top of the line and well built. The Euro-Pro has the differential feed and free-arm, however, it is cheaply made, runs loud and I’ve never been able to make the narrow rolled hem feature work. The switch just will not move. I recommend looking for a well-made machine that will give you years of use. It may mean spending a little more, but it won’t be a “throw away machine” that so many of the “cheap” machines are now days. Go to a dealer. If they are good, they will help and offer classes for free. Get one that has the differential feed, a self-threading lower looper, and solidly built. You’ll be happier in the long run. I regret giving up my Babylock. (except for the threading part!) I am currently looking to buy a new one or old reliable one. Not wasting money on a “cheap” one again.

  • Reply Debora February 1, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Have had my Elna 704 DEX for 20 + years – the best. Still going strong. It is a 4 thread serger but also does the Coverhem and is easy to thread. There is also a forum out there for Elna sergers if you need support for these older models. I believe they are one of the most solid/reliable machines out there. I also have a 15 yr old Sears Kenmore 4 thread serger which is fine too, but can’t do a cover hem. Just a back up serger to my Elna!

    • Reply Charlene March 27, 2016 at 9:50 AM

      Hi. I bought my dex704 new. This is the first time for me to use the coverstitch. I am having problems threading it. Do you have any suggestions?

      • Reply Cynthia May 27, 2020 at 10:03 PM

        Having trouble getting my Elma DEX 704 repaired. Needle carrier broke off at the shank. There is no-where remotely close to me that can repair it. That’s the problem with a 20 year old machine.

  • Reply Kelley April 1, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    I have 2 sergers being offered to me at the same time. One is a Babylock about 20 years old.. The other is Bernina 004D Funlock unfortunately I don’t know anything more about them. Any suggestions as to which one I should pic.. Both are asking $75.

  • Reply Ann K April 7, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    I’m thinking of getting a Craig’s list Viking Huskylock 435 Serger but I can’t find any info on it. Does anybody have any ideas on this machine. I’m new to sewing and am working my way into it with old equipment. I had a Simplicity serger that I unfortunately damaged with naive inexperience. …then tried to fix with the same sort of inexperience and now I need to have a funeral for it. Now that I’ve made all my mistakes, I’m ready to start over and behave with my machines and get married to a serger I can spend my life with.

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