The Sewing Place

Overlocker recommendations around £350

Helen M

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2020, 14:50:00 PM »
I'd also say stay away from the Huskylock. I've had a Brother for 31 years, they are very easy to thread which is MORE than half the battle.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 11:56:05 AM by Helen M »
Stash Busting 2021
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 0 metres

Acorn

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2020, 14:52:41 PM »
Yes - someone on here ( @Ploshkin ?) calls it 'sewing in the teacup'.

I've never sewn in a teacup.

It was @Kad !!  :facepalm:
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Ohsewsimple

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2020, 17:32:46 PM »
I’ve never felt the need for a free arm either.  I’ve been putting cuffs on long tee shirt sleeves for 1 yr old grandson.  That’s more like sewing in an egg cup never mind tea cup!   :)

Acorn

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2020, 17:49:08 PM »
Yes - the first time I wanted to use the free arm on my normal sewing machine I found it was too big for the sleeve I was hemming.  I reckon that an adult sized sleeve doesn't need a free arm, and by the time a sleeve is small enough to properly benefit from one the free arm is too big for it.   :facepalm:
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2020, 18:48:12 PM »
I'm afraid I don't know anything about any other overlockers except my brother 3034, which I find is great.  It's done all sorts, from mostly jersey, via very thin stuff, through to fleece.  It whizzes along noisily, but maybe they are all noisy, I don't know, and it's dead simple to thread.

Morgan

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2020, 19:14:55 PM »
Like @Ohsewsimple  I've worked with several brands and models of overlocker .
My view is that Juki is hands down the best value for money for the build and performance of the overlocker machines on offer at all 3  price point levels.
Across other brands, many of the mid-range are okay and all brands are okay at the top end.

At the lower price points, all brands overlockers have smaller motors and tend to be built down to a price rather than up to a specification for a robust machine with precision engineering.  They are intended for lightweight to medium fabrics and are not designed to be workhorses.  For lots of people, what these machines can manage is all they want.

At the middle level price points overlockers from all brands are generally better built, reliably produce a good stitch and can withstand heavier use.

At the top end, the overlockers from all brands are usually well built, produce precision stitches and have bigger more powerful motors.  Price across the brands can vary a lot.

My view differs about the Jaguar and other machines that open up both sides at the front.  When overlocking, there are some starting and ending techniques that involve disengaging the cutting knife whilst the work is under the needle.  On this type of machine, the user has to go under the work, open up the side of the machine, twist the knife out of the way and then close the door again before continuing to stitch.  It's a PITA to have to do this, and in my view does not trade off against the open up for threading arrangement.   Most users can very quickly master the threading of their machines.  Also I find the Jaguars and similar machines can be rather noisy but so can some other models.

There are pros and cons for different overlocker models.  We all start somewhere and with practice we get used to our first machine.
If its possible, then do try out some models at a shop. 
« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 14:26:10 PM by Morgan »

Tamnymore

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2020, 19:22:12 PM »
Can I add my vote to the 'you don't need a free arm' pile? I have a fairly basic 4-thread Janome bought for  £150 or £200 (can't remember!)  20 years ago and it's a real workhorse in use on a daily basis. To my mind ease of threading is the main thing. Mine is not particularly easy to thread - it took me a while to realise to thread from right to left ( i.e. loopers first). When I change threads I snip the old thread, tie on the new thread and sew it through. If the tie comes undone then I have to thread that one manually. When I replace this overlocker I'll definitely go for one that's easy to thread.
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde

Marniesews

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2020, 19:51:03 PM »
I've had both Brother 4234D and Juki MO-1000 - both top of the line at the time. There was a big price difference but it was the build quality and stitch quality that was the most immediate difference and the cheapest Jukis share that too but sadly none of them are within your budget.  I soon knew I was going to be using my overlocker a lot so I upgraded in less than a year. If I were in your situation knowing what I know now, I'd look for a used Juki or Bernina 4 years old or more (when they were made by Juki). They are so robust they make an excellent used buy, the best value for money you'll get imo.

If you really don't want a used machine I'd try out a Janome but I suspect their lowest budget priced models are more similar in build quality to Brother than Juki. Bernina is out of course and Bernette don't make any within your budget either, I'm afraid.

Don't get me wrong, my Brother gave acceptable results but the body was worryingly flexible, the plastic parts felt flimsy, it felt as though it had more play in movement and the vibration and noise were bad, especially for their top machine. It's just above your budget in price too.

Sorry to be so negative but I think if you can try out the different machines you will see and feel why I'm advocating buying a used Juki (or Bernina or high spec Janome) rather than a brand spanking new one with a longer guarantee.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50m
So far: 6m fabric; approx 40m crin (horsehair braid)

Sewbusy

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2020, 11:11:54 AM »
I have a Bernina Bernette 800DL, it's identical to Bernina 800DL. Bought used around 10 years ago it was part of an Ebay purchase so not purchased specifically. It has been used by me lots and has needed nothing but new needles and still performs exceptionally well.

Already had a Babylock Evolve which I sold on because I preferred the 800DL.

Don't shy away from purchasing a used machine, if you do your homework there are some real bargains to be had.

Mike (Tiggersew from old TSF) has quite an old Toyota and he finds it very suitable for his needs despite its age and its relative simplicity.

BrendaP

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2020, 11:38:08 AM »
@Kayfersmum

My sewing machine is Husqvarna but I wouldn’t have one of their overlockers.  They aren’t made by Husqvarna but Toyota I believe.

When I bought my overlocker about three years ago I expected to at least try a Husqvarna but the local shop didn't stock them, although they had Husqvarna sewing machines.  I was told that they didn't think the Husqvarna overlockers were much good!  I came away with a Bernina and have been very pleased with it (but a bit over the £350 budget). 

Interesting that Husqvrna overlockers are made by Toyota - I was replacing an ancient 3 thread Toyota overlocker which sounded like a bag of bolts and was a pig to thread.
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.

Helen M

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2020, 12:07:36 PM »
Something else I'd add of and it's only my personal experience with overlockers.

Mine (Brother) which I've had for 30 years (I have another much newer Brother as a standby) is not computerised. Right from the start, when I was probably only neatening off woven hems of all thicknesses, I found that it is a 'flying by the seat of your pants' experience and a computerised setting (I used a Huskylock and didn't care for it) does not always give a satisfactory stitch and for me it's a case of moving perhaps one of the dials just a little to get it right. I then make a sample with the 3 or 4 settings on a card for if I'll use it again (eg lining fabric, which is not an easy one!)

The cheaper models are not computerised but for me it wouldn't be a must have. More often than not I can set the dials to 'normal' and put a piece of fabric under and the stitch is fine. Don't over complicate things especially as you have a lovely regular sewing machine @Kayfersmum.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 13:07:30 PM by Helen M »
Stash Busting 2021
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 0 metres

So Chic

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2020, 12:44:43 PM »
I have a Bernina 800DL which I love and is made by Juki but I think another company now makes Bernina overlockers.  I’ve heard good reports of both Janome and Brother machines and the prices are reasonable.  Babylocks are lovely but are so expensive.
So Chic
Bernina Artista 630, Bernina 800DL, Janome Cover Pro 1000CP and an elderly Singer Touch & Sew 720G as a back up

Kitten

Re: Overlocker recommendations around £350
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2020, 19:19:10 PM »
I have a Brother 4234D and find it's absolutely fine for everything I've ever used it for, toweling, jersey tops, sweatshirt fabric etc.
I know it's noisier than my sewing maching but don't feel it's that loud.
I find it pretty easy to thread.
The above said, it is the only overlocker I've ever used so have nothing to compare it against.

Am I happy with it - yes.
Would I like one of the air threading Juki - Oh Yes!