Although I’ve been sewing since I was a wee child and my grandma taught me how to make my first pair of potholders, I’ve always been a little bit terrified of sergers. All the threads, all the dials, it just seems like there is too much that could go wrong.
Plus they can cut the fabric! So the margin of error just seems so small, I’ve avoided them thus far. And yet, I want one!
For sewing clothing and finishing edges, they’re kind of necessary once you want to go beyond the basics and make a more professional looking, durable product. When I first began making my own clothes and whatnot, sergers just seemed totally inaccessible from a financial standpoint, but now since they’ve come way down in price, and in size, I am even more drawn to the idea of getting one and upping my sewing game.
Because I’m new to the serger world, I’ve done a bunch of digging to come up with my list of the 5 best sergers for beginners.
What to Look for in a Beginner Serger
- Ease of use: let’s be honest here. If you are a beginner serger user, you’re going to obviously want to get one that is easy to use. Easy to thread and easy to understand how to use is the name of the game here and I’m giving bonus points for any product that comes with instructional videos!
- Price point: sergers have come down in price so much in the past few years but if you are new to using them, you still don’t want to be making a huge investment in something that you aren’t sure if you are going to love. Finding the right serger that isn’t so expensive that it breaks the bank, but so cheap that it brings quality into question is the fine balance we are looking for here.
- Extra accessories: added accessories give extra value to the serger in my books. If you get some bits and bobs included that you would otherwise have to buy separately, I think this is just dandy. With extra feet and attachments you can do a wider of variety of projects and you’ll get more use out of your machine.
- Differential fabric feed: okay, I admit, at first I didn’t know what the heck this meant. But since I had to do a lot of research to figure out which serger is right for me, I learned that you want a machine that has differential fabric feed. Basically what this means is that you can do fun things like ruffles and cool edges, and use your machine with a variety of fabrics and always get a smooth edge.
Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger with Easy Lay In Threading
What attracts me to it the most, apart from the great price, is it comes with an instructional video and a manual which I think is awesome because I am way more apt to learn something if I can see it in a video, rather than read a how-to manual.
I love the colour coded parts and dials which basically tell you exactly how to thread it and the common “thread” here is, (get it? get it? thread!) if you can thread a regular machine, you can thread this serger.
I also liked that you can use regular size spools of thread with it so you don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of huge spools that are just for sergers.
It offers 22 different stitches and with a Differential Feed offers a lot of options for handling different fabrics and textures. It comes with 2 feet and a 25-year warranty which I think is just amazing. For the price, this product offers a lot and handles whatever you throw at it.
- Really easy to learn using their how-to videos
- Was able to get the hang of the machine within 15 minutes
- Worth the cost for the performance and ease of use alone
- Cuts my sewing time in half because of how efficient it is
- Works well even with a lot of daily use, no problems with consistency
- Manual is extremely detailed and informative, unlike many machines
- Offers great ideas of projects and home crafts
Singer 14CG754 ProFinish 2-3-4 Thread Serger
I don’t know about you but in my family a Singer machine has always been a part of the house since way back in the day of my great grandmother. So the brand name holds a lot of clout in my mind. The Singer 14CG754 ProFinish 2-3-4 Thread Serger falls in the same price range as the previous Brother machine and also comes with an instructional DVD.
It uses the larger spools of thread, unlike the Brother but also has the color coded threading which I really love. It has a removable cloth plate that allows for easy arm-hole construction or small space stitching and it has a bunch of hem options that can accommodate a variety of fabrics, with that differential feed option that you’re going to want.
One thing I really liked about this product was that it has a carry handle, making it portable in case I don’t want to keep it on my table all the time and yet it feels heavy duty and sturdy and the 25 year warranty supports this.
- Super easy to thread and sew with
- Great price for what you get
- Spent much less time on overlocking and other areas that were taking up a lot of my time
- Will buy again if needed
- No frills – just start it up and sew away, so easy to get the hang of
- Perfect for first-timer using serger but with experience on a regular sewing machine
Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger
Another totally great choice, at a slightly higher price point is the Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger. This bad boy comes with a bunch of accessories including a Blind Hem Stitch Foot, a Gathering Foot and Piping Foot but doesn’t seem to include that all too useful instructional DVD.
No worries, though, the manual makes things clear and simple and the all blue dials offer a little bit of subtlety and sleeker look than the other models that have the bright and colourful dials.
This machine is a little bit quieter than some of the other machines on offer, including the Brother model above and has the nice option of being able to raise the knife so you don’t have to cut fabric if you don’t want to.
You can do piping and a range of hems with this sucker and it can work with many layers of varying fabrics with no hiccups at all. It really gives your sewing that professional finish that makes it look store bought instead of a homemade product. A great option at a great price!
- Ideal for beginners of all skill levels
- Seams are beautiful and come out looking great every time
- Very capable machine that lets you do a lot of stitches and lines
- Easy to thread for all four threads
- Functional and practical – all at a great price
- Does a lot of things my normal sewing machine cannot
JUKI MO644D Portable Serger
Though maybe not carrying the heft of the brand recognition that Brother and Singer have, I include the JUKI MO644D Portable Serger because of it’s ease of use for beginners and it’s portability. I love that it has that built in handle that means I can just stow it away when I’m not using it and yet it is heavier than some of the other models I’ve mentioned, which means that even though it’s portable, it’s still durable and heavy duty.
I love that it comes with tweezers and a feeding tool to get to those hard to reach places, and the threading is made simple with the colour coding. It’s also easy to switch from 4 to 3 thread stitching and like the other machines it comes pre-threaded so a lot of people just tie on another thread to the included spool so you don’t even have to thread it yourself.
For a heavy-duty machine that can handle even a few layers of medium weight felts and other fabrics, this machine is really impressive. Because it’s so compact and portable, it gives the impression that it’s delicate but it can take on the big guys no problem.
- Lightweight, great for small work spaces
- Great price for quality and construction received
- Would highly recommend to any sewing enthusiasts
- Works great for heavy materials like thick cotton and canvas
- Knife is sharp, stays effective even after a lot of use
- Use several times a week for years and have not had any problems
- Does all sorts of hems beyond a normal serger stitch
- Comes highly recommended to sewers of all skill levels
Janome 8002D Serger
Another great option that comes with an instructional video to make that first time threading easy. The Janome 8002D Serger is another great choice for folks that want a sturdy long-lasting machine that allows you to do a tonne of different stitches for different projects.
It’s ready to go right out of the box and easy to switch from stitch to stitch. The manual clearly shows all the things you can do with the Janome and it is a clear favorite for many for a first time option that will have you happily sewing clothes for you and all your friends’ dogs for years to come!
With the all to important differential feed and adjustable cutting size, the Janome boasts a sturdy 17.2 lb weight that means that despite it’s size, it packs a lot of punch! Consistent stitches on a variety of fabrics, this thing can do hems, ruffles and a bunch of other exciting edgings.
- Extremely reliable, company has great reputation and this machine holds up to that
- Have made dozens of projects and never had any bad experiences with seams
- Used right away, didn’t have much of a learning curve for beginners
- Simple design and construction, but above-average performance and results