Best Overlockers for Beginners
Sewing is a creative, rewarding skill that’s well worth the time and effort. Whether you love to make handmade gifts and clothes for family members and friends or plan to turn your sewing skills into a profitable home business, an overlock machine will put a professional finish on every project. Learning how to master one of these machines takes time but it’s an investment you’ll never regret. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of user-friendly overlock sewing machines that will expand your sewing skills, creativity and flexibility. The following non-digital models are reasonably priced, yet offer a range of versatile features and functions that will satisfy beginners and experienced users.
There are various reasons why Brother is one of the most popular manufacturers of sewing and overlocker machines in the UK. This outstanding model is one of them. In addition to being a leading seller, the M343D is a highly affordable option for beginners and experienced sewists alike.
In addition to featuring 3- or 4- thread overlock stitches, this model is capable of producing even, secure narrow and rolled hem stitches. By purchasing additional presser feet, you can also create pin tucking and blind hem stitches. More handy features include the free arm function, which makes working on sleeves, pants legs, and smaller projects far easier. The F.A.S.T lower looper threading system ensures that learning and mastering the threading process is less intimidating and frustrating, especially for those new to overlockers.
Another plus for beginners is a comprehensive instructional DVD which demonstrates exactly how to use the machine and educate you on each stitch and their ideal uses. The Brother M343D is a well-built, sturdy overlocker available at a very reasonable price. While it does tend to be noisy while in operation, this one drawback can be greatly reduced by purchasing a pad to insert underneath the machine.
The Singer 14HD854 is another reasonably-priced overlocker from a well-respected manufacturer. In addition to its ability to produce perfect stitches on a wide variety of fabric types, this model features an adjustable differential feed system that greatly reduces the chance of fabric puckers and snags. The powerful motor drives this machine to a top speed of 1,300 stitches per minute, which makes sewing heavy fabrics a breeze.
The six built-in stitch options give you the ability to professionally finish a wide array of garments and projects. Being able to adjust the stitch length and width allows you to further customize every stitch choice. This model also includes 3- and 4-thread mock stretch safety stitches, which move with stretchy knits and fine fabrics.
The 14HD854 also includes a free arm function and a retractable upper knife option for when you do not wish to trim fabric ends as you sew. The colour-coded lay-in threading system and the accompanying instructional DVD make it easy to learn to thread this model.
The Janome 9300DX is a sturdy, compact 3-4-thread overlocker with several useful features. In addition to producing excellent stitch quality, this model includes the ability to adjust the cutting width from 2mm to 5.7mm. Additionally, unlike many other overlockers, this machine uses standard needles.
The presser foot has a very high lift height, which makes working on thicker fabrics a breeze. The colour-coded threading paths and the instructional DVD ease the frustration of learning to thread the machine. Another plus is the adjustable differential feed, which has an impressive range of 0.5mm to 2.25mm. This feature ensures precise control over any fabric type – from denim and heavy knits to satins and sheers.
In addition to 3- and 4- overlock stitches, the 9300DX includes several other options, including a flatlock stitch and rolled hem stitches. Converting to a rolled hem stitch couldn’t be easier because there’s no need to remove the needle plate to do so. The weight and sturdy construction of the 9300DX ensures almost whisper-quiet operation, even at top speed. The only drawback to this machine is less than ideal lighting.
This 2-3-4 thread Singer overlocker is very user-friendly and reasonably priced, making it a great entry-level machine. In addition to featuring an adjustable differential feed, this model includes a retractable upper cutting blade and a free arm option. As with most well-equipped overlocker machines, you can quickly and easily adjust the stitch width and length.
This model includes explicit colour-coded threading paths and is capable of reaching a top speed of up to 1,300 stitches per minute. In addition to 2- 3- and 4-thread overlock stitches, the stitch options include 4 rolled hem stitches, 3- and 4-thread mock stretch safety stitches and a versatile and useful flatlock stitch. Unlike other overlocker models in the same class, the 14SH754 allows you to effortlessly convert to a rolled hem stitch with the touch of a lever.
Because this model is far more lightweight and compact than other Singer models, it takes up less space, but may not be able to handle heavier fabrics with as much ease.
The versatile, user-friendly Jaguar 489 Overlocker is a 2- 3- and 4-thread manual model that’s easier to thread than most others in its class. The front of the machine opens a full 180 degrees, giving you complete access to the colour-coded looper threading system. It’s so easy to thread that tweezers won’t be needed. This feature alone makes this model an excellent choice for those new to overlocker machines.
The control dials for adjusting stitch length and width are conveniently located on the front of the overlocker, and the 8.0Kg weight of the machine ensures stability and quiet operation. The strong LED light provides excellent illumination and the retractable cutting knife is a very useful feature.
While this model lacks a free arm option, the solid construction promises years of use.
The Bernina Bernette B44 is more expensive than other models on this list, but with the added cost come some useful features. It’s more than suitable for beginners, yet advanced enough or those experienced with overlockers.
For example, with 15 built-in stitch options, this model offers you the chance to work on a wider range of creative projects. In addition to 2- 3- and 4-thread narrow and wide overlock stitches and the option to work with a single needle, the B44 includes three rolled hem stitches, flatlock stitches and several decorative stitch options.
The maximum speed is 1,300 stitches per minute, and it includes a very bright LED light that provides wonderful visibility. The colour-coded thread guides aid in the learning process and the adjustable differential feed ensures superior fabric control.
Beyond the price, there’s little to complain about with this model.
The Brother M1034D Overlocker is a 3- and 4-thread machine that includes several useful features and a reasonable price. While most Brother overlockers are known for being user friendly, the comprehensive instructional DVD and user’s manual ensure every step is thoroughly explained. The lay-in threading feature combined with the F.A.S.T. threading system further make the process easier.
The adjustable tension control and adjustable differential feed both ensure you find the perfect settings for the stitches you choose and the types of fabric you plan to work on. The impressive accessory pack includes a blind stitch presser foot, a gathering foot and a piping foot, all of which are typically additional purchases with other models.
The retractable upper knife blade allows you to work on a wide variety of projects and a bright LED screen ensures proper lighting anywhere in the home. This is one of the most popular overlocker models in the world.
You’ll pay slightly more for this Janome overlocker than many comparable models, but its features and solid construction may be worth it. The 2- 3- and 4-thread 6234XL includes an adjustable cutting width feature, narrow and wide stitch settings and an adjustable differential feed. The lower looper includes a slider control that adjusts pre-tension settings and the machine reaches a top speed of 1,300 stitches per minute.
The fabric cutting width can be adjusted between 3.1mm and 5.1mm and the stitch length and width are also adjustable. The colour-coded threading system and guides, along with step-by-step illustrated instructions in the user’s manual significantly reduce the stress and frustration often attached to threading other models.
The one drawback to this wonderful overlocker is insufficient lighting.
This high-speed Toyota model can be operated at up to 1,500 stitches per minute, a speed which comes in handy when the skill is mastered. The instruction manual, which includes directions in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch, is comprehensive and illustrated.
In addition to featuring an adjustable differential feed, the SLR4D includes adjustable stitch length and width options and colour-coded threading. In addition to 2- 3- or 4-thread overlock stitches, this model includes two rolled hem options and a flatlock stitch. The 3-thread stitch choice also includes a wide option.
Despite the clear instructions, some owners report that mastering the threading has a steep learning curve.
This 2- 3- and 4-thread overlock machine includes one of the higher prices on this list, but it contains some unique features. The built-in program reference panel on the front of the machine gives you the proper tension settings for each stitch you select, and this model includes self-threading lower looper.
In addition to adjustable foot pressure and differential feed, the 664 PRO includes a spacious accessory/tool box and the impressive accessory package includes seven snap-on presser feet: a gathering foot, blind hem foot, two cording presser feet, two piping feet and a pearl foot. Excellent construction ensures quiet, smooth operation.
This machine includes no free arm option, no instructional DVD and no light bulb.
When you want to put a professional finish on your sewing projects, an overlocker is an essential piece of equipment. While there are countless styles and options to choose from when deciding to purchase an overlocker, knowing what you need in the way of features and functions is the first step. Learning to master this type of sewing machine will significantly expand your creative and sewing skills.