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Forum > Sewing Machines > Serger voes: Viking vs Babylock vs Juki vs Janome ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Serger voes: Viking vs Babylock vs Juki vs Janome
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vitusya
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vitusya
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Subject: Serger woes: Viking vs Babylock vs Juki vs Janome Date: 11/13/05 9:33 PM

Hi all,

I am sure you heard the same question many times on this bulletin board - which serger to buy?

I want to spend not more than 2000 CAD (including GST). I want a quality serger and am considering getting a coverstitch machine later (Janome coverstitch 1000 CP) additionally.

I would like to get the following features in a serger :

1) reliability - should sew fine and thick fabrics equally well ;

2) ease of setting it up;

3) options of quick service and repair (if necessary);

4) maximum number of various stitches;

5) speciality stitches - very fine rolled hem for delicate fabrics, for example;

6) free arm and container for scraps (which are cut by a knife of a serger);

7) 5 thread serger and up;

8) stitch advisor would be nice.

I read all reviews on this and other bulletin boards and am considering the following models now:

Juki 735 - a few people commented on how easy it is to use and how stable it performs. But it seems to have fewer stitch combinations than other models. It still costs about 1200 CAD plus GST;

Husqvarna Viking 936 - I like how many stitches it can produce, and I already have a Husqvarna machineI like its size and can probably pick it for about 1600 CAD plus GST.

Babylock Evlolve - the price is close to what I want to pay, but is it worth it? Plus I read that Babylocks do not always handle seam and thick areas well. Also, I am not quite comfortable with air threading - if for whatever reason it is out of order, will it be easy to fix at all?

Janome 644 D - I read recommendations for this machine if one wants to buy an additional coverstitch machine. But they don't seem to be stellar, that's why I am catious about this one.

So far I tend to like Huskylock 936 the most. What would you advise me in this situation? I will appreciate your feedback a lot!

Also, I would appreciate advice from fellow Canadians on possible online sources of purchase, or reputable dealerships. I am in Calgary, Alberta.
-- Edited on 11/13/05 10:35 PM --
-- Edited on 11/13/05 10:36 PM --

Mary Beth Loup

Mary Beth Loup
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Date: 11/14/05 7:40 AM

My own biased opinion is that the Baby Lock Evolve is the serger least likely to languish in a closet. It is not perfect: I wish the engineers would find a way to shift the motor housing to the right to make more room for coverstitching. But it is a joy to thread and the stitch quality is consistently excellent. The jet air system is so simple that it's unlikely anything could go wrong with it. All sergers require attention to details that make them different from sewing machines. But if you take care to learn right from the start, you will not go wrong. And having just returned from a two day "serger university" dedicated to the Evolve, I am more convinced than ever that the machine can do anything a serger is built to do. But try out a lot of them for yourself, if you have dealers nearby. Can't help you with sources, since Baby Locks are not sold over the Internet. But check www.babylock.com for dealers in Canada. Good luck!
Mary Beth

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/05 8:52 AM

Take your own fabric to the dealers and try them out. That's the only way you can make a fully informed decision on any of these models. You'll also be test driving the dealer. How easy to work with are they? Do they have time for your? Will you get free lessons (most likely yes if you buy from them). Each machine feels different and behaves differently so you just have to sew on them before you buy, even if you do eventually buy from mail-order.

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and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

marya

marya
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Date: 11/14/05 9:14 AM

My first serger was the viking. The stitch quality was so variable, and took so much time fiddling, that after a year I bought a babylock evolve. There is no comparison. The stitches are amazing and effortless.
Also, I bought the Viking thru a shop set up in a Joane's fabric store. Service was unimpressive, to say the least.
For me, the difference bt. viking and babylock is no contest.
That said, if I could do things differently, I'd go for a separate coverstitch machine. Rethreading is a hassle, especially if you need to go back and forth between stitches in the middle of a project.
Good Luck!

dee688
dee688
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Date: 11/14/05 10:19 AM

finally think I have my choice of serger narrowed down to the Evolve by Babylock or the Bernina 1300DC. I keep flip flopping due to indecision. Never had a serger, do have a Bernina 180E sew machine and want a serger. Not even sure how much I need a coverstitch but if I don't get it will I regret it? If I were not to get coverstitch I would choose the Imagine Wave. Can anyone help? Great web site by the way, just found it.

Mary Beth Loup

Mary Beth Loup
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Maryland USA
Member since 12/13/02
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Date: 11/14/05 10:41 AM

If you aren't sure you want a coverstitch, then the Imagine Wave is a great choice. It has a great integrated needle threader and a shorter distance between knife and needle, which gives you a shorter turning radius, hence more fabric maneuverability. And of course, the cool wave stitch. Later on you could add a coverstitch machine and have the benefit of all the attachments that it and the Evolve can use. Hope you can try them out to help in your decision-making.
Mary Beth

vitusya
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vitusya
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Date: 11/14/05 10:49 AM

Thank you everyone for the feedback. Marya, what Viking did you have? I read that lower-end Vikings are not as good as upper-end machines, and that 936 specifically is a very good machine.

I am going to buy a coverlock as a separate machine anyway, so the ease of converting to coverstitch is not that important to me.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/05 11:53 AM

The 936 has a coverstitch, the 910 does not but has the sewing advisor. The 905 is the same as the 910 without the advisor. The Viking serger is very heavy, so it doesn't bounce around on the table....the lower babylocks are very bouncy. The free arm is a nice feature but not necessary.
Babylocks are known for the ease of threading. Jukis are a nice solid machine, but I prefer a recessed knife. Janomes are another solid machine, but they have a clackity sound when sewing instead of a smooth sound.

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vitusya
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vitusya
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Date: 11/15/05 7:13 PM

So I looked at Babylock and Huskylock today ... and to be honest, I am intimidated by EvolveIt's bulky, makes the sewing table shake and is very loud. Though the regular seams look fine, the rolled hem on fine fabric I brought with me looked inconsistent and bulkier than I thought it should.

Huskylock, on the other hand, produced a finer rolled hem. I also liked that it was not moving while serging, and it was pleasantly quiet and smooth. I did see, however, how much time it took to change it from coverlock back to serging - it took more than 5 minutes, unscrewing of stitch plates, etc.

So right now I haven't decided yet what I will get. My mind says: get a Babylock (and I could afford it if I really wanted), but my heart is inclined towards Huskylock.

I also want to be able to influence the thread tension if I have to (Huskylock can allow it, can't it?) while Babylock's tension is automatic and I don't have much control over it. Also, a dealer in another dealership said it takes up to 8 months to repair and/or service a Babylock and that air pumps get often clogged by lint, etc. I am not sure if these claims are true, but that's what I was told.

I think I will be using the 5-thread safety stitch a lot, that's why I have to consider a 5-thread coverlock instead of getting a serger coverstitch. I may get a separate coverstitch machine in the future, as it is relatively inexpensive.

Liane M
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Date: 11/15/05 7:43 PM

I have had my Evolve for almost 2 years and love it. It's a mechanical machine. I have never had anything stuck in the jet ports. Threading is SUPER easy. As my over 40 eyesight gets worse and worse, airjet threading keeps the machine simple to use. Tensions are automatic but there are adjustments. Changing to coverstitch is not fun, but it takes less than a minute.

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