Best Self-Threading Sergers
Investing in a home serging machine can expand your creative possibilities far beyond the capabilities of a standard sewing machine. Whether or not you have experience operating a serger, you’re probably familiar with the chief complaint about these machines: the time-consuming (and often-frustrating) threading process.
Luckily for beginners and experienced serger users, there is an expanding selection of self-threading serger machines available to you. Each model offers its own unique range of additional features that will add decorative and professional finishes to any of your sewing or crafting projects. Not all self-threading sergers are high-end, expensive machines, but this time-saving function will cost you more than a basic serger. If you’re ready to make the creative leap into serging or want to upgrade your current machine, here’s a look at how self-threading sergers work, why they’d make a productive investment, and how they’ll make a great addition to your home sewing room.
Types of Self-Threading Sergers
While choosing the best serger depends on personal preferences, how often it will be used, budget, and additional features and accessories, a self-threading serger is a bonus by itself. Mastering the art of manually threading a serger is a good skill to have, but wanting to avoid that complicated process is worth the extra expense to many serger users. Because self-threading sergers vary in their features and capabilities, it’s best to do some research and compare machines to choose one suited for your needs.
There are currently only two different types of self-threading sergers on the market: one type threads only the lower looper and the other threads both the lower and upper loopers.
Threading a lower looper serger is as simple as laying the thread into the threading guide and flipping a switch. Turning the balance wheel slightly will return the guide to its regular position. To change the thread, lifting the presser foot releases the thread tension, enabling you to remove the thread from the machine.
Self-threading sergers featuring the patented Jet Air function are even easier to thread. After inserting a specified length of thread into the threading opening, all you have to do is press a button. A short but powerful burst of air threads the machine in seconds.
Self-Threading Serger Manufacturers
If you plan to invest in a self-threading home serger, take the time to research and try out the machines that interest you. Much of the advanced technology that makes these machines so user-friendly was developed and patented by a limited number of manufacturers. The only companies currently producing self-threading sergers include Juki, Baby Lock, Janome and Elna, but this great feature is available on several of each company’s models.
Even though the cost of some of these machines can be intimidating, the level of user-friendliness and the number of additional features and functions – including extra-large work areas, an adjustable differential feed, multiple built-in stitch options, automatic tension adjusting, multiple lights, and being able to use up to 8 threads – often justify the investment for those who plan to use the machine on a daily basis.
The Best Self-Threading Sergers
Convenience isn’t the only plus in a self-threading serger. These advanced machines offer the best options for everyone from beginners to professionals. They’re well known for producing smooth, even stitches that put a professional finish on all types of hand-made garments and sewing and craft projects. Plus, they’re capable of easily handling a wider range of fabrics, multiple layers and thicknesses, and natural materials such as leather. Here are a few self-threading serger models that consistently receive the best reviews from experienced users.
Juki MO-1000 Serger
The Juki MO – 1000 Serger is a user friendly machine with a patented push button Jet-Air threading feature to make set up a breeze. Users will find this machine packed with features rivaling more expensive models, a variety of stitch options, and a long knife for flawless, professional cuts.
There are seven built in stitch options and the machine operates at a top speed of 1,500 stitches per minute. Stitch options include a 2- 3- or 4-thread overlock, a 3-thread narrow overlock stitch, a 3-thread rolled hem stitch, a 3-thread flatlock stitch and a gorgeous 3-thread, lettuce edge rolled hem stitch. The machine includes color-coded threading guides for easy threading and the adjustable differential feed accommodates a variety of fabric thickness and textures.
The Juki Mo-1000 is a high-quality machine that doesn’t skimp on features or technology and is paired with quiet operation and ease of use. Read the full Juki MO-1000 serger review.
Baby Lock Eclipse DX Serger
The Baby Lock Eclipse DX operates at a top speed of 1,500 stitches per minute and features the patented Jet-Air one-touch threading system to offer users a productive and easy-to-use machine. The Eclipse also features a tubular looper system to prevent threading errors and tangled threads, an adjustable differential feed, and an exclusive fabric support system for smooth and balanced stitches on all fabric types and styles.
Stitch options on the Eclipse include a 4-thread overlock stitch with an integrated safety seam, 1 needle, 2- and 3-thread overlock, flat lock, and rolled hem stitches. Standard stitch widths produced by the Eclipse include a left needle width of 5 mm and 7.5 mm, a right needle width of 3 mm to 5.5 mm, and a rolled hem stitch width of 3.5 mm. The standard stitch length on the Eclipse can be adjusted between 1 mm and 4mm and the rolled hem stitch length is between 0.75 mm and 4 mm.
The Baby Lock Eclipse DX is compact and portable, but capable of handling a variety of fabrics from very sheer to heavyweight denim and leather. While the Eclipse DX is considered a basic model, it offers users a variety of stitch options and features that make this machine a great choice. Read the full Baby Lock Eclipse DX Serger Review.
Elna 664 Pro Overlocker
The Elna 664 Pro Overlocker offers a variety of features at a mid-range price with strudy construction and quiet operation. It features twelve built-in stitch options and runs at a top speed of 1,300 stitches per minute.
The Elna 664 Pro includes a self-threading lower looper with a pre-tension setting lever. Stitch options and features include include 2- and 3-thread rolled hem stitches, 2-, 3- and 4- thread overlock stitches, 2- and 3-thread flatlock stitches, 3-thread wide and narrow hem stitches and 3- or 4- thread chain offs that can be used for decorative purposes. The stitch length on the 664 Pro can be adjusted between 1 mm and 5 mm.
Additional features include an adjustable differential feed with a 4-piece feed dog system to accommodate a variety of fabric styles and thicknesses, a tilting needle clamp for easy threading and needle changes with the puch of a button, and adjustable cutting knives for clean and smooth edges. This easy-to-use manual machine is a great choice for home sewists and comes with a built-in storage area and a generous accessory package. Read the full Elna 664 Pro Overlocker Review.
Janome 6234XL Overlocker
The Janome 6234XL Overlocker is a well-constructed machine that is easy to thread and learn to use and offers a variety of features that create professional quality results. The 6234XL produces 1,300 stitches per minute and includes an accessory package with a selection of useful tools.
The Janome 6234XL comes pre-threaded and includes a color-coded lay-in threading feature and self-threading lower looper to simplify the threading process. Stitch options and features include 2-, 3- and 4 overlocking stitches, decorative overedging stitches, and a fine, 2-thread picot edging stitch option. Seam width can be adjusted between 1mm and 5mm, and seam length is adjustable from 2.0mm to 3.3mm for narrow stitching to 7.5mm for wide stitches. The machine comes with an adjustable differential feed to handle fabrics of varying types and thicknesses, a rolled hem change-over feature, and adjustable cutting width with a built-in retractable upper knife.
The 6234XL is solidly constructed with a powerful motor that offers smooth operation with very little vibration. The machine does not have a huge selection of automatic features, but it is easy to use, and an excellent option for beginners. The included DVD is extremely beneficial for new users and the accessory package comes with tools and extra parts making the 6234XL a great value. Read the full Janome 6234XL review.
There are obviously plenty of reasons to consider purchasing a self-threading serger. In addition to making the set-up process faster and easier, they produce superior finished garments and projects. Best of all, you’ll have more time to expand your sewing and crafting creativity.