How to buy a Serger

A handy checklist from Bernina

Overlock sewing represents one of the greatest time savers since the sewing machine itself! Using a serger you may be surprised at how much you can accomplish in your sewing room when you stitch and trim seams in one easy operation.

The many practical and decorative finishing possibilities on sergers allow you to make lingerie, designer sweatshirts, scarves & sweaters in half the time. Sergers help you easily achieve professional results and allow you to have more fun along the way.

When buying a serger you want to look for a model that offers you advantages in four key areas: Versatility, ease of operation, safety and long term satisfaction.


- Can the machine sew through multiple layers of denim?
- Can the machine sew without skipping or puckering on nylon lingerie fabric?
- Can the machine sew with a variety of specialty threads with minor tension adjustments for decorative work?
- Can the machine sew on all fabrics with only minor, if any tension adjustment?
- Can the machine sew a professional rolled edge with a few simple changes?
- Can the machine sew an invisible blind hem fast and accurately simply by changing the presser foot?
- Can the machine guide a stabilizing ribbon automatically while you serge over it?

Ease of operation

- Does the threading path have a different color for each thread?
- Do all normal sizes of thread fit well on the machine?
- Are the tension dials numbered?
- Do the dials revolve only one revolution for easy tension and adjustment?
- Does the presser foot swing out of the way when threading or changing the needle?
- Can you turn the knife up and still sew when you don't want to trim?
- Are built-in accessories always at hand?
- Is a thread cutter attached to the presser foot for quick and easy trimming of threads without scissors?
- Is a light built in to provide illumination over the entire working surface without blinding the user?
- Is the foot control comfortable and easy to use?
- Is the machine self lubricating so there are few oiling points?


- Does the presser foot have a special finger protector?
- Do the needles have front and rear protection for safety?
- Does the machine have suction cups on the base to ensure stability?
- When the knife is swung out of the way does it lock into position safely?

Long term satisfaction

- Does the manufacturer offer a warranty on all mechanical parts? Electrical parts? Electronics?
- Is factory authorized full service available on the premises?
- Can the dealer give detailed information on what the buyer's information course will include? Are lessons "hands on" ?

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