The Sewing Place

3 or 4 spools

Syrinx

3 or 4 spools
« on: August 28, 2020, 15:34:17 PM »
I'm in the very early stages of researching overlockers in the "I might get one next year" kinda way.

I've seen a few over the years and can't work out why 3 or 4 spools. Is one better? Do they do different things or basically fine for sewing.

My main machine is a Janome, my embroidery is a Brother. I like both. Unsure what brands do the best overlockers, or is it brother, janome, bernina, singer and which you choose is personal brand preference?

I'm happy to pick up a second hand one too, I just don't really understand what I'm looking for as there are so many. I'm sure using it will be much simpler than finding and buying!

Thought I'd ask for your opinions to go along with my research to help me make a good choice and to help narrow down the search.

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 15:51:03 PM »
My overlocker is a Brother 3034D, it's about 5 years old I think.  It gets used all the time as I sew lots of jersey.  It's chomped it's way through loads of fleece fabric too, and a few pins (oops!) and still cuts and sews ok.

So Chic

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 15:57:47 PM »
I had a 3-thread but traded it in for a 4-thread as they are more versatile.  I have a Bernina 800DL and have heard good reports of both Janome and Brother overlockers.
So Chic
Bernina Artista 630, Bernina 800DL, Janome Cover Pro 1000CP with  elderly Singer Touch & Sew 720G and Pfaff Overlocker 788 hiding in loft

Helen M

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 16:08:30 PM »
I didn't think you could get 3 thread versions now. Mine is, but it's circa 1989 and the extra thread cost £100 more! I went for the 3 with a differential feed which is more important. You can just take out one of the needles if you only want 3 threads (think neatening off before hand or machine hemming).

I think Brother are the easiest to thread unless you are going for an air thread version.

Mine is a Brother and as much as I love Janome sewing machines I prefer Brother (I've tried older Janomes and newer ones a course with Janome) so I'd suggest them.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 9 metres

sewingj

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 16:20:25 PM »
@Acorn  did some excellent research into overlockers - look back to June last year on this thread.
She almost convinced me to get one!
Attempting to be a Tailor of Gloucester

BrendaP

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 17:21:39 PM »
I too started with a 3 thread but upgraded to a four thread.  Really the choice nowadays is 4 thread or 5 thread, though the 5 thread machines are a lot more expensive. 

They all have different ways of setting them up and you can skip one (or two) threads depending on what you are doing.

4 thread machines have 2 loopers and two needles, the right needle thread acts as a security stitch down the middle of a wide overlock stitch.  You don't have to use that one, or you can omit the left hand needle and make a narrow overlock.

On a 5 thread machine there is a 3rd looper.  The left needle and that looper make a chain stitch whilst the right hand needle and 2 loopers make a wide overlock.  On some of those machines the knife can be disengaged to make it do cover lock stitches.  I made a definite decision to buy a 4 thread machine and later on added a cover stitcher.

Both 4 and 5 thread machines should be able to do flatlock and rolled edge.

I use 4 thread most of the time, for seams in stretch fabrics.  If I am finishing edges on plain seams sewn with a regular machine I use 3 threads (narrow) and occasionally I have done a rolled edge.

https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2011/12/01/choose-the-right-serger-stitch-for-your-project

https://threadsmonthly.com/serger-stitch-types/

https://grandmalikestosew.com/types-of-serger-stitches/
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

SkoutSews

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2020, 10:30:44 AM »
I use the four-thread option as often as the three-thread, so definitely go for four - not that I came across any three-thread models when I was looking to upgrade my overlocker a couple of years ago.

After looking at the info on this site and elsewhere, I went for the Juki MO 654DE. It's been every bit as good as everyone said it was and I'd recommend it wholeheartedly.

So Chic

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2020, 12:50:40 PM »
I also use the 2-thread option (one needle and lower looper) for overlocking or rolled edges on very lightweight fabrics. You won't regret buying an overlocker and will wonder how you managed without one.

My Bernina is very forgiving on threads as I can use a mixture in the loopers but I always use a good quality thread in the needle(s), also it's a good way of using up different colour threads
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 12:55:49 PM by So Chic »
So Chic
Bernina Artista 630, Bernina 800DL, Janome Cover Pro 1000CP with  elderly Singer Touch & Sew 720G and Pfaff Overlocker 788 hiding in loft

Lilian

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2020, 14:49:06 PM »
I have an elna 4 thread overlocker. I use it mostly for finishing seams and sometimes for construction.  The main difference between 3 and 4 thread is you can't construct with a 3 thread but you can with a 4 or 5 thread.  I would go for at least a 4 thread  :)
Willing but not always able :)

Gernella

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2020, 14:55:28 PM »
I've got a Bernina 1150MDA, which has 4 threads.  I have to admit I've only used a couple of times with three threads, I just like seeing the full house. Threads, I've used cheap and cheerful, Gutermann overlocking threads and just Gutermann 120 sewing thread, never falls out with anything going through.   

Stash extension 2020 - 19.8 meters
Left at the end of 2019 - 39 meters

BrendaP

Re: 3 or 4 spools
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2020, 17:52:45 PM »
I've got a Bernina 1150MDA,

Same here.  I don't think they are made now, but it's been worth every penny I spent on it.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.