I’ve been saving up and I’m finally ready to purchase a coverstitch machine! I’ve been doing a lot of research to see which machine would be best for me and one that fits within my budget. There are quite a few options and I’ll cover them for you below!
If you’re not familiar with coverstitch machines, they are mainly used for hemming knit fabrics, but can also be used with wovens. They provide a clean, professional finish with a secure stitch that stretches with the fabric. They are often confused with sergers and while they look similar, they are very different machines. A serger trims and finishes seams with an overlock stitch while a coverstitch is made to finish hems. There are machines that have both serger and coverstitch functions but since I already have 2 sergers, I’m looking for a coverstitch only machine.
The look of a coverstitch can be achieved by using a twin needle, which I’ve talked about in this post. Unfortunately, the inside finish isn’t as nice as I’d like and I’m just tired of constantly changing the tension.
I’m looking for a machine that can use 3 needles, preferably one with auto tension, for around $500. While it’s best to test machines in person before buying, none of my local shops have coverstitch machines in stock. There is also a learning curve for a coverstitch, so don’t write off a machine until you’ve given yourself time to learn how to properly thread, adjust tensions, and remove the fabric from the machine. It might take a few tries and that’s okay!
I’ve narrowed down the choices to the machines below. I’ve listed major features of the machines as well as common complaints. Everyone has a different experience and each machine will have it’s own quirks. Keep in mind, these are just opinions of some owners and what doesn’t work for them may work fine for you! It would be best to get a machine that has a good return policy (like Amazon or a local shop) so you can easily return it if you don’t like it.
Brother 2340CV: This is the entry level model that many people use. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this one but I am strongly considering it because of the price. The threading is supposed to be easy but the most common complaint is the thread breaking and the fabric being difficult to remove. There is no automatic tension release by raising the presser foot, like you would on a sewing machine. The instructions tell how to remove the fabric and it shouldn’t be a problem once you adjust to the removal method. It’s on the slower end with 1100 stitches per minute. If you’re sewing to sell or just have a lot to sew, you may want a faster machine to lower production time. Despite the complaints it’s attractive with a price of only $312!
Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX: This machine can do 3 needles but is not auto tension. I’ve heard more negative reviews of this machine than any other due to skipping stitches but I’m including it because the people that love it REALLY love it! This machine also has a free arm, which many really like. If you’re concerned about stitch speed, this machine is one of the slowest at 1000 stitches per minute. Janome also makes the CoverPro 900 that is a little cheaper, but it only has 2 needles, not the 3 that I’m looking for.
Singer Professional 5 14T968DC: This is a combo serger/coverstitch but it’s one I’m considering because it has auto tension. I’d love to not have to fiddle around with tension every time I switch to a new fabric. I’d like to try out this machine to see how well the auto tension actually works, since it’s the only machine with auto tension within my budget. It also sews up to 1300 stitches per minute. I can’t find any information about this machine on the Singer website, which makes me think it may be discontinued. Most people seem to like this machine and the only complaint is that it takes awhile to change it over from serger to coverstitch settings. If you only want to use it as a coverstitch then after you initially set it up that won’t be a problem!
Juki MCS-1500: This is the machine that I’ve heard the most people say they love and have very little issues with. It’s a little out of my price range so maybe I’ll be able to find a nice used one. The looper is easy to thread and can be lowered by pressing a button. The presser foot also lifts higher than other machines, 10mm, to make it easier to insert the fabric. It is also the fastest machine of these choices at 1350 stitches per minute.
Bernette b42 Funlock: Bernina is the parent company of Bernette so you know you’ll be a getting a solid and well-built machine. I haven’t been able to find many reviews of this machine so if you’ve sewn with it- tell me all about it! It is a fast machine and can sew up to 1300 stitches per minute.
Did I miss a machine that would fit my needs or do you have a machine not listed that you love? Tell me all about it!
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