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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Elna serger or Babylock Evolve? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Elna serger or Babylock Evolve?
which one would you choose?
leesa
leesa
Intermediate
North Dakota USA
Member since 11/28/05
Posts: 33
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Date: 12/6/05 10:22 PM

I have decided that I need to trade in my Pfaff 4760 serger and get a new serger. I wanted to look at the Huskylock 936, The Janome Compulock, the Elna 945 and 744 and the Babylock Evolve. I thought that since I was getting a new machine, I should take advantage of the newest technology (the coverstitch) even tho I am not sure how much I would use it. I also want something that is easy to use and thread and is not as touchy as my Pfaff. So, I have read everything on this message board about each of these machines, have gone to other websites and read about them, and have gone to the dealers and asked for demos. I have seen the Elna 945, the Huskylock 936, and the Babylock Evolve demoed. Tomorrow I will see the Janome Compulock in action and if I have time I will go and see the Elna 744. I was impressed with the Elna 945 except that I am afraid to get a fully computerized serger (more to go wrong). It was not too terribly hard to convert from overlock to coverstitch. It sewed nice and had the option to sew many different types of stitches. The Elna 945 was $550 used. The Elna 744 might be more my speed because it is not computerized and you can do most of the same stitches as the 945. We'll see how easy it sews. The Elna 744 is $800 new. They didn't have a used one. I am also going to look at the Babylock again. I was so very impressed with the Babylock Evolve. I wish it had the option to tweak the tensions, but other than that it was wonderful. The jet threading is nice but not something I "have to have". I just liked the way it sewed. They were offering a free kit and a double bias binding foot with it. The kit has a rolling tapestry case, a workbook, coupons for money off future accessories, needles, and a scrap catcher. He wanted $1850 for the Evolve. When I went to the Viking dealer to see the Huskylock 936 they also had a Janome compulock floor model that he said he'd sell me for $1200. He did not demo it and said it was just like the Huskylock 936..which I thought was very time consuming to convert. You have to remove the needle plate and install a different one, put on a different plastic cover, move needles around, rethread the machine and the dealer had lots of problems doing this. I am going to a different dealer tomorrow to see the Janome Compulock demoed. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, I would really appreciate if any of you have comments/opinions/recommendations on any of these machines. BTW..I wasn't in the market for a new sewing machine, but when I saw that Babylock Decorator's Choice sewing machine, I fell in love. Especially with the 1-step buttonholes. I will be checking into that one.
__________________________________________________________________
Elna 945--$550--used
Elna 744--$700--new
Janome Compulock:
Dealer 1: $1200--floor model--no trade in
Dealer 2: $2399--new--$600 trade in for my Pfaff 4760 (total $1800)
Babylock: $1850--new--$250 trade in for my Pfaff 4760 (total $1650)
Decorator's Choice Babylock Sewing machine--$800--new

angie.a
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angie.a
Intermediate
Oklahoma USA
Member since 1/18/03
Posts: 851
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Date: 12/6/05 10:45 PM

I know you eliminated the Juki's in your first round (ha!) but I've been shopping for a new serger for 3 months now and finally decided on the Juki 655. I wanted 5 threads(I've always been so jealous of Loes Hinse pattern instructions when she writes...."If you've a 5-thread serger...." Now I've got one!! Well, almost. It's shipping tomorrow!!

I don't personally think I'd use the coverstitch a ton either, so I just decided to wait on that little gem. and if I decide later I want it, I know I'd rather have it "dedicated" coverhem and not mess with converting. I'm also afraid I'm so lazy I'd just as soon use my twin needle, LOL.

I got a super price on the Juki, and really I never did read a bad review, no matter where I looked. They're just great sergers! I bought it from Ken's Sewing Center (Alabama ?) through his ebay store. It's brand new, with warranty, etc. I "made an offer" of $375 (Buy It Now was $419.) Allbrands.com has it for $499 so I think I got a bargain! (Don't tell me if I didn't, haha)

I can't wait for it to get here!

Ok, so I was no help whatsoever to you, was I?

I guess the one thing I notice from your posts about the serger hunt is that you don't really need that Evolve. It's snazzy, but it doesn't seem like you're in love with it, so maybe you can eliminate it? It's overpriced (IMO) anyway because of the threading gizmo (which you don't really care about anyway).

And you know, Janome has a great little serger that is being discontinued that I know you can find for $300 or so, the 634D I think? It's got metal parts (versus the newer model's plastic) and a lower looper threader (not air threaded, but helpful). It's got fabulous reviews here and on another board. Just a thought!

angie

------
When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. --Henry J. Kaiser

http://jemimabean.blogspot.com/

Plantwizard
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Plantwizard
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 2/14/03
Posts: 334
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Date: 12/6/05 11:16 PM

I had an Elna 905 DCX computerized serger. It was a POS. After years of frustation I traded it in and got a Babylock Imagine. I'm in LOVE! I'd stay away from the Elnas if I were you.

Jan

leesa
leesa
Intermediate
North Dakota USA
Member since 11/28/05
Posts: 33
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In reply to Plantwizard


Date: 12/6/05 11:46 PM

Thanks for your opinion, Jan. I have heard mixed reviews about the Elnas. What does POS mean?

Betakin
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Betakin
Advanced
Arizona USA
Member since 4/22/04
Posts: 7282
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In reply to Plantwizard


Date: 12/6/05 11:57 PM

Jan, I have heard owners complaints with that particular Elna model and how people didn't care for it. The newer models are quite different and even take different feet etc. My coverhem Elna is not computerized and is only a 4 thread with 3 coverhem stitches and has the triple seam coverhem that I wanted. The 945 is computerized and a 5 thread with pro cards. I was wondering if it is the "New" Evlove that is in question with the wave stitch and you can just stitch off the fabric using coverhem. That is one thing I like about my Elna 744 it has easy removal of coverhem stitches and wondered how the New Evolve handled it. I believe it is only the new Evlove and not the older Evolve that has the stitch off feature plus the wave. My dealer quoted $2400 for the new model. I didn't see the demo I stopped as soon as I heard it run. It was very noisy but it looks like a great serger with nice capablilites. I am a big Babylock fan. I used to sell them years ago when the air threading came about and my older Babylock served me well for years.
-- Edited on 12/7/05 0:59 AM --

leesa
leesa
Intermediate
North Dakota USA
Member since 11/28/05
Posts: 33
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In reply to angie.a


Date: 12/6/05 11:59 PM

Thanks for your comments Angie. You were very helpful. I didn't mention the Juki because I don't know anything about them. I hadn't even heard of them until yesterday when I went to the Viking dealer and they had some. Unfortunately, I wouldn't buy anything from that dealer. They were dirty and unorganized and not very friendly. I liked the Babylock dealer and the Janome dealer. The Janome dealer was the one that had the used Elna 945. I wish I could find a used Elna 744 at either of those two dealers. Jan cautioned against Elnas, but I have heard good things about the 744. It has the cover stitch and is not computerized. I can't remember if it's a 5 thread tho. I do want a 5 thread. And the more I think about it, I do want the cover stitch. I am pretty sure that I will get some good use out of it. For decorative stuff and also undergarments and Pj's. The reason I am attracted to the Evolve was ease of use, the coverstitch, and reliability. All of the things that my Pfaff 4760 did not have. I may keep it as a backup if I can't get much for a trade in. It isn't a horror, but it was quite frustrating. And it cost me $1000 new. I could at least give it to one of my kids if nothing else. Does Juki make a coverstitch? I have to say that it is tempting to buy a dedicated coverstitch and also have a nice serger. If I had lots of money to burn, I would get the Evolve and the Babylock coverstitch and I also would buy the Babylock Quilter's Choice or Decorator's choice sewing machine. (dreamer) I wonder if I should wait until after Xmas and maybe there would be some trade ins and I could find something used. I have never seen a used Babylock..anything..serger or sewing machine. That one step buttonhole is really cool. I wonder if other machines have that?

leesa
leesa
Intermediate
North Dakota USA
Member since 11/28/05
Posts: 33
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In reply to Betakin


Date: 12/7/05 0:07 AM

Klynne I am not sure what you mean by "stitch off" feature. I also was not aware that there were two different types of Evolve. The Babylock dealer I went to didn't say anything about the wave on the Evolve. The other Babylock dealer (owned by the same guy but in a different town) showed me the wave on the Imagine. I was quoted two separate prices for the Evolve..$1699 and $1850. The brochures I picked up at each place are different too. I just figured maybe one had old literature. I would love to see the Elna 744 in action. i think I would feel much more comfortable with the non-computerized Elna. I would like a 5 thread tho.

Plantwizard
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Plantwizard
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 2/14/03
Posts: 334
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Date: 12/7/05 12:11 PM

POS is Piece of ----(insert word Deepika doesn't allow-I think you get the idea)

My 905DCX was a computerized card model. If you're considering the 744 you might try to find out who actually makes it. Elna, and most companies, don't actually make their own sergers-they buy from one or two manufacturers and put their name on it. If the 744 is made by a different company it may be a completely different deal. If didn't have problems with the machine's electronics but with the mechanical aspects of the machine. That's why I stayed far away from the Elna's and the Pfaff's that looked like they were made by the same company.

Maybe the 905DCX was just a bad model but I wasn't going to take a chance again.

Jan

Betakin
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Betakin
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Arizona USA
Member since 4/22/04
Posts: 7282
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Date: 12/7/05 6:33 PM

Jan, you might be right about the Pfaff and Elna's being made by the same company. They are both manufactured in Japan and take the same feet for the coverhem models. I don't know about the other models. Elna's are distributed by Tacony however. Leesa, as for the 744 it is only a 4 thread serger not a 5 thread. The 744 does have 3 coverhems and 15-16 different serge stitch programs and chain stitch. It does a narrow and wide double seam coverhem and a triple seam coverhem. Some 5 thread models of different brands do not do a triple seam coverhem. As for Juki..I think it was Bill who is very knowledgable posted there is more than one Juki company now. It was Juki of Japan that made industrial sergers in 1967 developed a "Baby overlocker" for tailors etc. The tailors brought them home, wives loved them and they caught on for home sewers. They were introduced to the USA and the Home Econimics Assoc and people were trained to sell, repair and give seminars on the Babylocks..hence they caught on and now almost every major brand has their own sergers on the market. Juki makes fine sergers. Tacony has always had the exclusive distribution rights for Babylocks and continued to upgrade models.
-- Edited on 12/7/05 7:35 PM -- Yes, there is a "New" Evolve advertised to have the wave stitch like the Imagine Wave and it also states you can stitch off fabric using coverhem. Some sergers are harder to release coverhem stitches than others and you have to remove the fabric in different ways and multiple steps and turn the hand wheel to release threads. One of the features I like about the 744 is the thread tension release button and you can stitch off.
-- Edited on 12/7/05 7:43 PM --

rhoda bicycle

rhoda bicycle
Intermediate
Saskatchewan CANADA
Member since 6/26/05
Posts: 1148
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Date: 12/7/05 7:24 PM

A local Calgary dealership that sells Babylock, Pfaff, Elna, and Husqvarna sells a lot of Babylock Evolve's to Hutterite colonies. (Like the Amish, but with better sewing machines.)
They also buy German-made mechanical Pfaff sewing machines such as the 1500 series with the built-in walking foot. Apparently they choose these machines because they are heavy-duty workhorses that just go on and on for farm sewing without needing a lot of mechanical attention.
Another big advantage of the Babylock is the vertical drop of the needles. Having sworn and cursed at and finally given up on the coverlock stitch on my Hobbylock 4850, I'm enjoying the greater power of the vertical drop needles in a Janome 1000 Coverpro. If you can afford it, go for the Babylock.

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