What’s the Difference Between a Sewing Machine and a Serger?

A serger is a special type of sewing machine that can sew and finish seams at the same time. It uses three to four threads that interlock to create the seam. Sewing machines typically only handle two threads — one on top and one in the bobbin. A serger is a great time-saving machine, but there are a lot of tasks it cannot perform that still need to be done on a sewing machine.

Here is a basic comparison chart of the functions each machine can perform:

Feature

Serger

Sewing Machine

1. Stitching straight seams

X

X

2. Different speed levels that are controlled by a foot pedal

X

X

3. Two needle option

X

X

4. Sewing over multiple layers of fabric X X
5. Trimming off seam allowance

X

6. Overcast stitch used to finish off seam allowance

X

7. Stitches don’t break when stretched

X

8. Decorative stitches

X

9. Ability to make button holes

X

10. Ability to insert zippers

X

11. Top stitching

X

12. Hemming

X

13. Quilting

X

Most people that do a lot of sewing like to have both a sewing machine and a serger. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but are a great team when used together. Of course, there is also a product that can convert a sewing machine into a serger. You can read more about it in our article: Cheap Alternative to a Serger: Convert Your Sewing Machine.


One Comments

  • Tomas Tom

    11/2013

    The serger could get up to the 1600 stitches per min. That’s six hundred stitches more than a regular sewing machine. However, it cannot entirely replace the traditional sew appliance, because it is incapable of completing more complex sewing tasks. In details, the machine does not have the feature of topstitch that the sew machine has and it is designed for making buttonholes.

    Reply

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