Overlockers - advice please!

Hi, I am considering getting a second hand overlocker to recycle old clothes and possibly make up some new ones, but I'm not quite sure what the different models do, ie 3 spool or 4 spool etc. Does anyone know, or know of a good website that could explain.

Also, what makes are good in your opinion? I notice that Sewland seem to be the cheapest on ebay, are they rubbish or acceptable for a beginner?

I have owned and used a sewing machine for years, so am very confident with that, just have no real idea about overlockers.

Any advice greatfully accepted!
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  • npsmama
    npsmama Posts: 1,277
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I've got a Stitchmaster overlocker which is brilliant. It's easy to thread and is very well made.

    TBH, I think it's better to get a new one.

    A couple of more knowledgable people than me told me this when I was looking to buy - they said most second hand ones have been hammered so it's not worth it. Also some of the older ones are so difficult to thread it's a real nightmare, this has been a real problem in the past with overlockers. As far as I know most new ones are very easy to thread.

    I paid £180 for mine I think and apparently it should last for 12 years - even with heavy daily use (not that I use it to that extent!).

    It pays to shop around. I got mine from https://www.jaycotts.co.uk.

    Lastly, I would definitely go for a 4 spool.

    "Finish each day And be done with it.
    You have done what you could.
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  • Rikki
    Rikki Posts: 21,625 Forumite
    Which overlocker would you recommend?

    Secondhand or new?

    All advice grateful. :)
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  • haley_2
    haley_2 Posts: 20 Forumite
    Hi. Aldi have them on sale at the moment, not sure of price, £129.99 I think.
    Best of luck.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Oh, OK, this is a topic about overlockers, not overclockers...I'll get me coat :)
  • csarina
    csarina Posts: 2,557 Forumite
    I have used an overlocker for many years, a 3 thread will just edge to prevent it unravelling. A 4 thread will also lock a seam.

    Have a look on ebay.................personally I have always had Janome, but then I am baised I used to work for them............ You should also be able to adjust the feed through the machine, the width of the stitch and move the knife down so you do not cut, just overlock the egde.

    You can also do narrow hems, etc..........
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  • Zed42
    Zed42 Posts: 908
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have an Elna 744, which is a 4 thread.

    I bought this a couple of years ago, and advice that I was given then, was try out the model you want. Do not buy without trying one.

    I went on an overlocker course, where we all took our own machines.
    One lady spent all day attempting to thread hers and failed. Just goes to show that some machines are complete pigs to thread :(

    I'm not sure I'd be happy to buy one from eBay, as you won't have the chance of trying it.

    Good luck with your hunt :)
    GC - March 2024 -
  • Right, I'm going to be the brave one who's asking: What's an overlocker??? :o
    He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
    Chinese Proverb
  • bernina is the best. Try for the 007 second hand perhaps from a reputable shop. Where do you live?
  • dannahaz
    dannahaz Posts: 1,068
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Another person who has to ask: What is an overlocker? How does it differ to a sewing machine?
  • an overlocker is a 'finishing off' machine really. If you look inside your t shirts at the seams you will see a row of loops on both sides of the seam which enclose the edges of the fabric. An overlocker does this, it trims off the edges and neatens them with the stitches at the same time. Some can also do the double row of stitches round the hem of t shirts and other knitted articles (this is called a cover stitch).

    It's a bit like having a microwave in your kitchen as well as a cooker, not absolutely necessary (you can't sew a whole garment with one) but really nice to have (when they work properly :p ) saves time when finishing off seams and it looks professional.

    I have quite an old Elna 704DEX which is temperamental and quite tricky to thread but when it's working well, it's fine. If I was going to get another one (fat chance!) I would buy a Bernina, I have a Bernina sewing machine and guard it with my life :rotfl:

    Mrs F xx
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