So you are left out there in the cold, looking for the best coverstitch machine to give your finely tailored fabric a befitting finish?
Until I completed my search for the top six most affordable and efficient coverstitch machines.
No denying, the coverstitch is a masterstroke in sewing.
A friend once told me it’s the only reason he buys a garment from the store.
In a market where a variety of models exist with needed and unneeded features, different operation speeds, affordability, and durability. It’s easy to fall into confusion over which is most preferable.
I got you covered anyway, so you may make an educated decision.
Before that allow me to clarify what the difference between a coverstitch machine and a serger is.
A serger does seam alliance, this is not the limits of its capabilities but it pretty much sums up its function.
A coverstitch machine on the other hand…
…it does decorative stitches and hemming like those double or triple stitches seen on the sides of a pair of jeans, but it has no knife.
Using this machine you’d have a neat row on the topside while the stitches on the underside look like that from a serger. This is what makes the serger and coverstitch machine similar.
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Has 2-3-4 thread capability
- A variety of accessories are included
- It has 2-3-4 thread capability
- Has a self-adjusting tension system
- It has 25 Year Limited Warranty
Brother 2340CV Coverstitch, Advanced Serger
This is a regular-looking coverstitch machine with great features such as a presser foot dial, snap-on feet with a clear foot, and a 3 needle capacity.
It offers the benefit of certain upgrades with the flexibility to create and remodel hems to perfection, such as wide and narrow coverstitches. It also has tri-coverstitch capability with an easy looper threading system.
The serger is needle specific for the needle size; HA x 1 for smooth stitching.
Now get this, this machine cannot be used as a usual serger and people say the fabric is for this reason difficult to remove. You will need to release the tension on the thread and doing this requires a hold-down on the tension dial followed by an extension of the thread, then cut before the fabric may come out.
The most exciting feature for me is the advanced serger that allows you to adjust easily your desired stitch and trims off the raw edges at the same time especially for non-stretching fabrics, brilliant for T-shirts.
This is a great machine for people that like multitasking, I mean, you could have a coverstitch machine and a serger combined. A little ‘screwdriving’ here and there and your serger becomes a coverstitcher, that easy.
Click here if you like the advanced serger.
Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX Coverstitch Machine
Just as the name implies, this guy right here helps you make that hem like a pro.
It’s a hybrid of an industrial and a home machine.
People say its biggest benefit so far is that it offers fluid-like free-flow, no skipped or broken stitches.
Let’s break it down:
It’s equipped with tension dials, So it works well with both neat and woven fabric.
The neat setting has a slightly looser thread network so it will effectively stretch out if needs be.
There are 3 knobs on the side, the biggest one being the traditional hand wheel of course, as seen on all sewing machines.
The next knob (on the lower side) changes the differential feed while the last knob adjusts the stitch length…similar to a serger in that sense.
It can be used as a center guide foot or as a transparent foot depending on your preferences. I like the transparent foot better since it lets you see what you are stitching. Should be about 30-50 bucks, you could check here.
It gets better; the machine has a free arm to accommodate things like pant legs, necklines or sleeves.
Finally, the Janome Cover Pro 1000 CPX comes with the best accessories, has the usual screwdriver and tweezers, but also has this great tool; the Needle Threader, this thing saves you the time spent on focusing the eye of the needle.
People complain it has quite a high tension while sewing even after an appropriate adjustment of the differential feed.
A friend also complained it had skipped stitches while sewing a jersey but then we found out he had a different sized needle in it. So please when using this machine, always use the needle size E.L X 705.
Find them here.
This machine also can be used for chain stitches, which in effect only reinforces the weave on the underside. Chain stitches make sure your fabric doesn’t pop out while stretching and allows it to recover well after an elastic stretch.
It is thus perfect for jerseys and other stretchy fabrics (so long its sacred needle rule is followed).
Using this machine, you would also enjoy the advantage of an easy attachment of needles. Depending on what number of needles you want to use for a particular hem; 1, 2 or 3. To add or remove a needle-thread set, you wouldn’t need to remove the remaining needle-thread sets.
If this were done with the regular serger you know you most likely will end up dealing with entanglements.
This machine has also been said to have no backstitching capabilities or auto-tension. Don’t feel sad, I got more to cheer you up.
Juki MCS 1500 Coverstitch and Chainstitch Machine
Now, my personal favorite.
My colleague calls it the granddad of coverstitchers.
It offers a stretching stitch, therefore appropriate for stretching fabric.
The Juki MCS 1500 also has chain stitch features. The lower thread forms the chain on the underside, so if needed on the overside, all you need to do is turn your fabric over then make that hem.
This technique produces a pretty strong stitch, makes the Juki MCS 1500 ideal for stretching waistlines and side seams, while still giving the decorative neckline stitches.
It also has an adjustable differential feed which makes it usable on stretchy fabric like jerseys.
It gets better – there’s an extension plate attached to the machine. A good number of sergers and even coverstitch machines lack this feature which in many cases comes in handy.
It makes seam stitching easier to guide.
A bunch of accessories comes with the package, examples being presser foot with guides, and standard domestic size sewing needles.
It is ideal for necklines, sleeve cuffs, stretching fabrics and chain stitches.
But here’s the kicker, it has no compatible binding foot, so you may need to visit the hardware store and find some fitting screws and attach a baby lock edge guide, which is a bit expensive.
It has an overstitch foot though if that redeems it in any way, it’s color-coded and comes pre-threaded with a 2-year warranty.
Click here to take a look for yourself.
Janome CPX 900 Coverpro Coverstitch Machine
I’ll be honest; this right here would have been my top pick for its durability. It is the kind of equipment that ends up becoming a family heirloom.
It also is relatively cheap and easy to operate.
It’s a 2 needle coverstitch machine with three threads but has no upper looper. This by no means limits its abilities, it’s a great coverstitch machine too.
But the common complaint about the machine is its lack of a guide marking from the needle plate across the surface.
This means that the sewer would have to scale out a measurement by imagination.
The coverstitch width is not adjustable but if you need to chain stitch, try using a single needle.
The tension is adjustable though, so latex, spandex, and other stretchy fabrics are also welcome here.
You may check it out here.
Singer Professional 5 14 T968DC Serger
Singer has been a timeless classic in the production of sewing machines. Highly recognized and respected across the globe.
This company offers this sewing machine, Singer Professional 5 14 T968DC Serger, at a pocket-friendly price.
It has up to 5 threading systems which are kind of a big deal if you ask me.
It offers a wide selection of stitch choices for whatever material you are feeding the machine. It’s like the ironman around here.
It has a cheat sheet for all five loopers printed on the machine alongside a color coding system.
Like the classic serger, it comes with a cutter. So it can offer a 3-in-1 service as it sews the seam to finish, cuts excess allowance and wraps it in an inbuilt dirtbag, keeping your workspace tidy. The cutting width is adjustable.
This serger has an auto-adjustable tension system and a stitch length control.
But there’s a bad side too.
It has no free arm so sewing necklines, cuffs and pant legs require that sewing expertise.
Also, people often complain of the clutch button that switches the serger between overlock and coverstitch modes getting stuck on either position. You can remedy this by simply changing the angle before trying to switch again, do this using the handwheel.
You may wish to add some oil to the lever and move it up and down a little to avoid future occurrences.
Click here to see this serger for yourself.
Singer 14SH764CL Stylist Serger
If what you want is a combination of affordability, lightweight, heavy duty, durability, and speed,
Then welcome home. This serger is a must have.
It has the dual quality of a perfect serger and a perfect coverstitch machine.
Sewing at an epic rate of 1300 stitches per minute, which gives you that professional looking hem in no time.
Just like the previous, this Profinish Stylist serger also has the 3-in-1 capability. Trims off fabric edge easily with both a lower and an upper blade.
It can be used to give a 4-thread stitch which often is applied for ribbon and elastic. Also allows a 3-thread stitch application as an alternative to the usual zigzag seam finish.
The 2-thread stitch is notorious for providing a flatlock stitch.
The differential feed is able to stretch or gather the fabric depending on your momentary preferences.
And finally the big gun.
It has a wide array of presser foot options such as the shirring foot, the blind hem foot, the beading foot, lace application foot yarn application foot and a bunch of others.
Having this machine is a great plus for you if you are into custom made items, such as pillow covers, lamp wraps, and household items in that group,
You’d have a great number of decorative designs to choose from.
Click here to view the serger.
What’s your budget?
Now, down to business, you have your mind made up but you are still in doubt if you have the right ‘financial tackle’ for your decided purchase? Well, I would be candid here;
Money is a resource, constructed to add value to your lifestyle and that includes business and household. Therefore whatever comes in as an asset should not suffer the same fate of hesitant purchase like those labeled as a luxury.
That said, let’s see which machine suits you best.
The obvious most expensive covestitch machine here is the Janome CoverPro 1000CPX which goes for a whopping $600, likely due to its added features and bonus kit. This doesn’t make the machine the best anyway, especially when it’s designed for very specific needles.
Next to it is the SINGER | Professional 5 14T968DC Serger, goes for $411 with a 25-year warranty. This is the highest number of years most sewing machine manufacturing companies offer.
The best to buy, all factors considered, is still the SINGER 14CG754 ProFinish Serger, with this machine you’d have the perfect synergy of $172 price, a 25 year warranty, 1300 stitches per minute and custom adjustable tension, number of threads (1 – 4) to give various stitch width and lengths. It also has unique accessories.
Your most probable alternative should be Juki MCS 1500 Coverstitch and Chainstitch Machine for it has similar features but it is more expensive and would require an additional part.
What To Look For in An Ideal Coverstitch Machine
The ideal coverstitch machine should have these basic features;
- A replaceable presser foot. Oftentimes this is the first machine part to wear out, depending on your rate of sewing, a replacement might comes in handy.
- Color coding to identify different threads. Depending on the number of needles, and machine. This would be helpful in cases of entanglements or while using different colors of threads on the same seam.
- Easy quick-fix accessories. Won’t be nice to have a bunch of those without knowing where they fit or how to use them.
- A warranty with a reasonable span.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a coverstitch machine?
It’s ok to ask, no need to feel odd about it, self-honesty is after all a major quality.
I must have relatively been more hesitant when I had this choice to make. Here I am today though, telling you “yes you really do”.
Are you a commercial sewer? Or just in it for private benefits?
It’s all the same in this context, we all desire the best outcomes.
Saw this on a review posted sometime time last year “If you are into sewing and you are not enjoying the final touch of coverstitching, you are killing your passion for sewing in bits”.
I did not believe this then, because I thought well, being interested was mine to decide.
But alas the natural pressure of not doing enough weighed me down, then I pulled myself back up by adding a coverstitch machine to my arsenal.
My point is: lack of time, apathy or a slim budget may incline you to believe a coverstitch machine is not needed now, but you soon will feel the pressure to get one.
By then you would hate the fact that you refused to make your mind up and get it now because your entire stock would be lacking the fine finish of coverstitch, which if commercial, would be priced for less than its worth, or just remain in stock forever.
The only remedy to such a situation would be to go over each item again and give that seam a fine finish. Back to where it all started right?
Well, make it work now instead.
How much does a coverstitch machine cost?
The prices vary per manufacturer and model, and they all range between $150 and $600.
This doesn’t mean the cheapest is of poor quality or the most expensive is the best quality. Like I said it depends on the manufacturer.
Take a look at our guide to see which descriptions suits you best and compare that against the prices. With this, I believe you would make the best purchase decision.
Is it a good idea to buy a used coverstitch machine?
No! That would be more trouble than it’s worth. Outside of the sewing community, used items are ok; let’s say cars, phones or computers, but a coverstitch machine? No.
You scarcely see an ordinary need to sell such except that it constantly gives a fault that’s unsolvable by the previous owner, so for your own good, steer clear.
In some cases though, owners may wish to trade their current coverstitch machine for a more sophisticated one. This is ok but we all know the natural karma of wear and tear would catch up with it. So I’d say you just get yours anew.
Can I use a standard serger to coverstitch?
A standard serger doesn’t have the cover stitch option.
Can I buy a serger machine with a coverstitch option?
Yes, you can, and in fact, I’ll advise you to, especially if you are an expert in sewing. This gives you a wider range of choices for your decorative finishes.
Just make sure whatever machine you are buying with such duality, you are well acquainted with the process of making the switch.
Two of those were reviewed in this article though, scroll up to read.
How does a coverstitch machine compare to a serger?
Ok, as earlier explained in this article, these two, are like two parts of the same coin.
A serger is used to join and trim off seams so that the fabric doesn’t fall loose, it often has a blade to perform this operation and it’s not usually used for decorative designs.
A coverstitch machine, on the other hand, is able to sew seams with a decorative finish. Its responsible for the decorative outer stitches found on the seams of garments. It also is useful in sewing stretchy fabrics.
With all that has been said, I’ll advise you to take your time to think it over, which machine best suits your need.
So, these were my top picks for the best coverstitch machines of the year, and overall the best is the Singer Professional 5 14 T968DC. It’s a flawless design for such a reasonable price. I’m used to the Juki MCS 1500 and its flaws anyway so I’ll pick it as a second option anytime, but only because it costs a little bit more.
Feel free to share this piece and add your comments below if you still need some help making the choice.