Serger vs Sewing Machine – Which is Better Choice for You?

Last Updated on April 5, 2023

Serger vs Sewing Machine: It is essential for those confused between the serger and a modern sewing machine to know that these machines are quite different.

A serger is an equipment designed for the accurate processing of cuts of garments by overcasting and removing excess material. A sewing machine is a technical device for quick and high-quality sewing of various materials.

Therefore, a serger cannot replace a sewing machine, but it can become a multifunctional accessory. For novice tailors, a budget sewing machine is enough that can sew several types of stitches.

It is worth resorting to the help of a serger for large production volumes and for working with various types of fabrics.

What is a Sewing Machine?

A sewing machine has a power-driven needle that stitches or stitches multiple layers of fabric together using thread. The machine sews zigzag stitches, straight stitches, and other intricate patterns.

The sewing process is when the needle pulls the thread from the bobbin and pushes it into and out of the fabric while the machine runs. As the needle is pushed through the bobbin, it uses a special hook to hook the thread and pull the bobbin thread through it.

The process is complete when the threads on both sides are held, which creates stitches in the fabric.

Most people use a sewing machine to sew clothes and things that are easy to make. Indeed, this unit is multifunctional since it allows directly attaching parts and performing types of seams of different complexity.

More expensive models of sewing machines can make decorative stitches that give originality of the finished products. For beginners, a suitable option is electromechanical models with electric motors.

Typically, such devices have no more than five programs installed. But if you do not plan to switch to sewing from heavy or delicate materials in the future, you cannot change such a machine to another model for decades.

A more advanced and complete version is computer models. They have an undeniable advantage – an electronic display on which all sewing parameters are set.

As a rule, replacing the filament or switching the device’s operating mode occurs automatically. It saves time and effort. So, it would be best if you preferred so expensive models for large volumes of work.

There is also a particular type of sewing mechanism – sewing and embroidery are equally good at sewing. Such models are suitable for large enterprises, and they instead perform the function of an auxiliary device.

Moreover, coverstitch machines know how to make elastic flat seams and process the cuts when folding the edges of knitwear. Unlike electromechanical and computer ones, such models have a regular seam (it looks the same from the seamy and front sides) and are durable (carpet lock or chain seam).

However, the sewing machine usually comes with presser feet of different sizes, a waste container, an auxiliary table, and a material feeding sleeve.

Benefits Of Sewing Machine

  • Sewing pieces of fabric together
  • Clothing repair
  • Make stitches regular or small
  • Increasing the strength of the seams.
  • Adjusting clothes to fit better


  • Long neck design gives more room to manipulate the fabric when embroidering intricate designs.
  • It can perform a wide range of tasks, such as sewing hems, hems, buttonholes, zippers, seams, and ruffles.
  • It is designed with dozens of stitches.


  • This is slower when using one spool of thread and one bobbin at a time or a maximum of two.
  • He cannot sew a seam and hem the edge of the seam allowance at the same time.
  • He cannot sew elastic overlock stitch.

When choosing a machine, it is worth remembering that there is no function of working with delicate or, conversely, heavy fabrics in budget models. If you buy it, then it is exclusively for working with light or suiting fabric.

What is a Serger Machines?

A serger is a specialized machine used for overcasting to prevent the fabric from fraying at the edge. It is also called an overlock sewing machine. Overlock takes from 3 to 8 cones of thread. As a result of multiple strands being joined together, the overlock works efficiently and produces professional seams.

The threads are fixed around the seams, which prevents shedding. In addition, it has a blade that cuts off the seam allowance while sewing. This process of trimming seam allowances and closing raw edges reaches approximately 1,700 stitches per minute.

Sergers represent a separate group among devices for sewing clothes. Their primary purpose is to process tissue sections. This function is essential when working with crumbling and stretching materials.

However, some models can beautifully process the cut edge and cut it off at the same time. The price of sergers relies on how many threads they can handle.

Most budgetary models are considered to be able to work with three or four threads. The most costly is two-strand sergers. With their help, you can process the edges of chiffon, silk, and lace.

Among the sergers, there is Coverlock. These devices are an order of magnitude more expensive since they combine the functions of sergers (cut off the edges of materials) and coverstitch (cover-sewing) machines.

This option is most convenient when working with knitwear and sportswear. Unlike a sewing machine, a serger creates a unique chain stitch that can stretch with the fabric.

Benefits of Serger Machine

  • Processing of seams and overturning of edges with a cover seam.
  • Finishing seams
  • Decoration of fabrics by adding braid.
  • Gathering or adding ruffles to clothes


  • It completes tasks quickly due to the many thread paths that can run simultaneously.
  • It offers a number of specialized sewing tasks related to the creation of seams with closed edges.
  • It creates reliable and durable seams that cannot be easily worn out.


  • It is small in shape and has a short neck, which makes it difficult to work with large fabrics when sewing.
  • He has limited tasks, as he cannot perform functions such as sewing on buttonholes and installing a sleeve.

So, even with a slight increase in the size of the material, the visual difference will be almost invisible. There is another version of the seam that does not stretch and prevents the product from stretching.

Serger vs. Sewing Machine – Difference Between a Serger and a Sewing Machine

Serger vs Sewing Machine

The two devices effectively complement each other, but choosing one for operation will not save money. The fact is that each type of equipment has its principle of operation and can perform only certain operations.

The difference between a serger and a sewing machine is, first of all, that it is it that allows you to sweep the edges of parts that are prone to shedding with high quality and beauty.

1. Required Number of Threads 

Sewing machines use one spool of thread. Bobbin to produce seams. Two-needle sewing machines use two spools of thread. On the other hand, overmasters pull three to eight cones of thread at a time to make finished seams that won’t fray easily. 

You definitely cannot do without it if you need to sew a bent edge, make darts or decorate the product with finishing stitches. You can notice the difference between a serger and a sewing machine by paying attention to the number of threads used.

If in the serger, up to five of them are often involved simultaneously, then all operations on the sewing machine are carried out using two working threads.

So, Sergers win, as they use 3 to 8 cones of thread to make finished seams that won’t fray easily, while sewing machines use only one or two spools of thread.

2. Number of Stitches

Sewing machines win, as modern sewing machines are made with dozens of stitches and can perform several tasks that an overlocker cannot. Meanwhile, overlockers have a limited number of stitch types that can be used to complete various tasks.

Only the serger along the way with overcasting neatly cuts the edge of the fabric. Many serger models are also suitable for sewing parts with a very elastic stitch.

3. Performance 

Sergers and sewing machines have different sewing speeds. However, on average, overlockers create more stitches per minute than conventional sewing machines.

Here sergers win, as they can sew between 1,300 and 8,000 stitches per minute, faster than the 1,000 to 5,000 stitches per minute of industrial sewing machines.

4. Sewing Something from a Thin Fabric

It is of great importance to sew something from a thin, “capricious” fabric. Such a unit is indispensable when working with knitwear. Serger seams come in various varieties.

For example, if it is necessary to process a chiffon fabric, a roll stitch is performed, in which the trimmed section of fabric is twisted before overcasting. And so, the edges of the goods are very delicately hemmed and do not crumble.

In turn, the sewing machine explicitly focuses on joining parts, and the processing of their edges acts only as an additional function. This overcasting is carried out on a conventional machine much more slowly.

5. Processing

In addition, it can perform, unlike a serger, not on any fabric but only on a fairly dense one; otherwise, the material will shrink. At the same time, the sewing machine allows you to perform some types of processing that are not available to the serger.

6. Knife for Cutting

The cutting tool on the overlock trims the seam allowances to help create the perfect finish when sewing. Achieving the same on a regular sewing machine involves several steps where the seam is sewn, and the fabric is removed to trim the seam allowance.

7. Speed

Speed ​​refers to the ease of learning to use different machines and how quickly they complete a set of tasks. Sewing machines can be easily mastered and can be a lot of work when threading sergers. To use sergers, you must learn how to use each flow path.

However, when it comes to completing tasks, serger are faster as they can perform multiple tasks at the same time.

8. Design 

Sergers have a stand with high-top thread cones and use looper threads, while most sewing machines use one spool of thread and one bobbin. In addition, sewing machines have a longer necks, while overlockers have a more square shape. 

9. Cost

Sewing machines and sergers have a similar price range. The price varies depending on the complexity of the machine; for example, more stitches would make sewing machines more expensive. 

Which is Better Serger or Sewing Machine?

Learning to sew is easier on an electrically powered sewing machine, with a small number of programs (up to five). In this case, you can safely refuse additional accessories since not all of them will be needed during the operation.

Serger vs Sewing Machine

If you plan to improve your skills, choose a model whose parts are easy to replace on your own, and if you wish, you can buy missing accessories.

A serger should be given preference if you do not plan to sew directly, but you will often have to overcast the edges of the products. For example, hem the sleeves or trim the legs.

Usually, such devices for home use are bought by owners of non-standard figures who have to customize ready-made clothes on their own. Professional sewists often do otherwise – they buy a model that combines the functions of a sewing machine and a serger.

Can a Sewing Machine Replace a Serger?

The serger performs trimming, stitching, and overcasting of knitted fabrics or fabrics that peel off quickly. If we talk about the work of a sewing machine, then it sews the details of the goods, some models can embroider and make serger stitches, but it cannot become a full-fledged replacement for a serger because it only imitates its work.

Serger vs Sewing Machine

And you can also highlight the fact that sergers can process fabrics with two, three, and five threads, unlike a sewing machine that only works with 2-threads. Professional tailors and sewists prefer to use two devices at the same time.

Can You Use a Serger as a Regular Sewing Machine?

No, a serger cannot be used as a regular sewing machine. While both machines are used for sewing, they have different functions and capabilities.

A serger is specifically designed to finish edges and seams by trimming and encasing them with thread, while a regular sewing machine is used for a wider range of sewing tasks, such as creating buttonholes, zippers, and decorative stitching.

While a serger can be used in conjunction with a regular sewing machine to achieve professional-looking finishes, it cannot replace the functionality of a regular sewing machine.

Is a Serger Easier to Use Than a Sewing Machine?

No, a serger is not necessarily easier to use than a sewing machine. While a serger can make certain tasks, such as finishing edges, faster and more efficient, it also requires a higher level of skill and knowledge to operate.

Sergers have multiple threads and blades, which can be intimidating for beginners. On the other hand, sewing machines are more straightforward and easier to learn.

So, choosing between a serger and a sewing machine depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re new to sewing, starting with a sewing machine and working your way up to a serger as you gain experience is best.

What Does a Serger Do That a Sewing Machine Does Not?

A serger, also known as an overlock machine, has several functions that a sewing machine does not perform, or at least not in the same way. Some of the unique capabilities of a serger include the following:

  • Overlocking: Sergers are specifically designed to create overlock stitches, which bind fabric edges together while simultaneously trimming the excess seam allowance. This creates a clean, finished edge that resists fraying.
  • Faster sewing speeds: Sergers generally have faster sewing speeds than sewing machines, allowing you to complete projects more quickly. They can sew between 1,300 and 8,000 stitches per minute, compared to the 1,000 to 5,000 stitches per minute of industrial sewing machines.
  • Differential feed: Sergers have a differential feed system that adjusts the rate at which the fabric is fed through the machine. This feature helps prevent stretching or puckering of the fabric, particularly when working with knits or other stretchy materials.
  • Multi-thread capability: Sergers use multiple threads (usually between 3 and 8) to create a seam, providing a more robust and durable finish compared to the single or double threads used by sewing machines.
  • Integrated cutting: Sergers have a built-in knife that trims the seam allowance as you sew, creating a clean and professional finish. To achieve the same result with a sewing machine, you would need to manually sew the seam and then trim the seam allowance.
  • Chain stitching: Some sergers can create chain stitches, which can be used for basting or decorative purposes. While some sewing machines may have a chain stitch function, it is more commonly found on sergers.
  • Seaming, trimming, and finishing in one step: Sergers can simultaneously seam, trim, and finish a fabric edge in one pass, streamlining the sewing process and saving time.

While sergers excel in these areas, sewing machines are more versatile and generally cannot perform tasks like buttonhole stitching, zippers, or intricate decorative stitches. Each machine serves a unique purpose, and many sewists choose to have both a serger and a sewing machine in their toolkit to take advantage of their distinct capabilities.

Can You Sew Clothes With Just a Serger?

Yes, you can sew clothes with just a serger, but there will be some limitations compared to using a sewing machine. Sergers are excellent for creating clean, finished edges and seams, especially when working with knit or stretchy fabrics. They can help you achieve a professional-looking finish and sew more quickly due to their faster sewing speeds.

For example, a serger may not be able to sew zippers, buttonholes, or hems. Additionally, some fabrics may not be compatible with a serger, and you may need a regular sewing machine to handle certain materials.

That being said, if you are skilled with a serger and have experience sewing clothes, you can create a garment using only a serger. However, for most people, having a serger and a regular sewing machine is recommended to ensure you have all the tools you need to create a high-quality garment.

Is a Serger the Same as an Overlocker?

Yes, a serger and an overlocker are essentially the same things. Both terms refer to a sewing machine that creates finished edges and seams on the fabric. In the United States, the term “serger” is more commonly used, while “overlocker” is more commonly used in other parts of the world. However, the machines themselves are essentially the same and perform the same function.


Women are always trying to look beautiful and stylish with the help of various jewelry and accessories in their clothes. Now there is much beautiful clothing available for women.

But either they are expensive, or they are sewn mainly for women with model parameters. Women have solved these two problems by opting for self-tailoring.

Therefore, they need to choose between two units: a sewing machine and a serger. The differences between sewing machines and sergers lie in their work performed.

In this article, we have answered the question, what is the difference between a serger machine and a sewing machine, and what is better to choose. We hope you will find our write-up helpful and worthy indeed.

Read More – Overlocker VS Sewing Machine

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