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To buy or not to buy an overlocker…

The overlocker (or serger as it’s also often referred to as)…. Understandably, we get many questions about it. What it is, what to use it for, if you should invest in one, how it works, and so on. And we understand you! 

Therefore, we have gathered some pros and cons, an explanation of what it is and does, and finally a checklist you can go through before buying one. We hope you’ll get the knowledge needed for making the right decision, if it’s time to purchase one or not. 

What is an overlocker? 

In short: An overlocker can sew, staple, and cut off fabric at the same time. A very efficient machine when you want a sharp and nice edge that doesn’t fray.

An overlocker is characterized by having a knife mounted to cut off the edge of the fabric. This way you ensure a sharp edge. However, due to the knife it isn’t possible to have safety pins in the fabric when sewing with a serger, as you risk cutting a needle, but also destroying the knife. If you feel you can’t do it without safety pins to guide the fabric, they can be put a good distance from the edge and vertical; that way, they won’t come under the presser foot, nor the knife. 

Pros of an overlocker
  • Faster than zigzag on a sewing machine
  • Nicer and more professional finish on the edges
  • Prevents the fabric from fraying
  • Easily sew in jersey fabric (because of the 
Cons of an overlocker
  • Another machine to get to know
  • An investment that might be too big for your use case
  • The need to have patience in learning both how to thread it and sew with it 
  • Cuts away excess fabric, so you risk cutting into your fabric
Consider this before buying an overlocker

1) Your previous experience with sewing

If you are new to using an overlocker (maybe even new to sewing in general), you may not be aware of the difference between an expensive machine and one without so much hustle and bustle. Spending a lot of money on an overlocker that has more than 50 different sewing functions may not be the best idea in the beginning. A standard model will give you all the features you need. 

2) How often will you be using a overlocker?

Overlockers aren’t designed to be independent sewing machines. They are intended to be used with sewing machines. Therefore, you need to consider the investment, because you will need both a sewing machine and an overlocker. So if you don’t sew that much, it might be too big and investment for you. 

3) Don’t let the price determine your choice of overlocker

Everyone loves a bargain. But remember – you probably get what you pay for. No matter what it looks like, the most important thing is on the inside, the mechanics. Machines that cost a bit more are often made with metal parts, and not plastic. And this is where the difference lies when considering a good, long-lasting machine, and one that may risk having to be replaced after a short time. So here, a used machine may be a better investment than a new, poor-quality model.

 

Can’t stop thinking about that overlocker? 

Then we recommend starting out by buying a pre-owned machine. It’s a great way to get good quality for less money. If you choose to shop privately on one of the various trading platforms, we recommend making an agreement with the seller to have it checked before buying. That way, you are sure that there are no serious damages to it. Most can’t be seen from the outside. 

While it may result in spending some money fixing it, it will probably be cheaper than buying a similar new machine.

In addition, many retailers have also started selling used overlockers. Here, the machine will be checked for defects before sale, giving a form of security. 

All that’s left now, is for you to decide if you should invest in a serger, which one, and maybe if you might want to start off with a used one. Happy sewing (overlocking…)!
puffandpencil
PUFF AND PENCIL laver symønstre uden indforstået sy-lingo, og med visuelle manualer og video guides. Prøv vores Kjoledesigner, hvor du selv sammensætter din kjole og får mønsteret tilsendt.
puffandpencil
PUFF AND PENCIL laver symønstre uden indforstået sy-lingo, og med visuelle manualer og video guides. Prøv vores Kjoledesigner, hvor du selv sammensætter din kjole og får mønsteret tilsendt.