What Is the Difference Between Overlock and Coverstitch? Easy Guide

Image of coverstich, so What Is the Difference Between Overlock and Coverstitch?An overlock and a coverstitch machine make creative work more manageable, thanks to their unique features. You can use them both on your sewing jobs. However, you need to factor in personal preferences and project requirements before selecting any of the devices. Also, to select correctly, it is prudent to ask the question like what is the difference between overlock and coverstitch?

Overlock and coverstitch machines have primary differences, even though they share similar features and applications. For example, coverstitch units have one looper as they require one bottom thread to make the stitch. On the other hand, overlock devices have a blade for cutting seam allowances and two loopers. Also, compared to coverstitch units, overlocks have very little space between the right-hand needle and the machine housing.

Overlock machines, whose other name is sergers, create overlocking stitches and deliver knitting rather than a sewing effect. As a result, they create professional finishes on the inside of a garment and keep the fabric from unraveling.

On the flip side, sewists prefer to use coverstitch devices for decorative stitches. The units also provide a lovely appearance as they provide chain stitches and can sew knit hems.

Read on to get more information on coverstitch and overlock machines.

Can I Use My Serger as a Coverstitch Machine?

A coverstitch has two stitching rows: one at the front and a serger-like stitch at the back. The stitch gives an expert look to your hem and has stretchability.

For most people, a coverstitch combination serger is sufficient to achieve a coverstitch. The unit combines both coverstitch and serger features to deliver. Also, if you want a double stitch, use two needles and if you prefer a three needles’ finish, consider using three needles.

Should I buy a Serger or a Coverstitch Machine?

The decision of which sewing machine to purchase depends on the nature of your sewing applications. For instance, if you are working on seams on your garments, and overlock garment is your pick. On the contrary, if you only want decorative stitches and sewed knit hems, go ahead and buy a coverstitch machine.

Also, although there are multiple sewing jobs that you can complete with a serger, you need to get a sewing machine.

For example, a serger cannot add buttonholes, zippers, facings, and top stitches. Thus, you need to get a sewing device.

A coverstitch machine specializes in hemming knit and stretchy fabrics such as T-shirts, stretch cotton, and velvet. It gives you a flawless finish to the garment. Therefore, if you want to engage in garment sewing, you can’t avoid using a sewing machine.

Additionally, you cannot use a serger in place of a coverstitch and vice versa, but you are free to get them if you have projects that need both. So, please assess the project requirements before you decide on the most suitable machine.

Can Overlocker do Coverstitch?

Yes, it can! Some overlockers have a cover stitch feature and thus, do an excellent job of making cover stitches. However, we have some overlockers that do not have this feature. In such a scenario, follow the following steps to complete your work.

  1. Set up the machine and thread the needles. Then, rotate the hand heel one turn towards you.
  2. Slip the tweezer’s tip under the presser foot as it helps to drag the needle threads quickly.
  3. Place the cloth you are working on under the foot and with the right side up, begin sewing.
  4. Avoid sewing the fabric to make a chain as the thread will break, forcing you to rethread the machine again.
  5. Before you release the thread, spin the handwheel at the thread’s end until the needles reach their uppermost position.
  6. Raise the presser foot and use the tweezers to pull the needles in your direction.
  7. Cut the threads to create 4-inch tails on both needles. It may require you to invest more time, but it will deliver the right cover stitch.
  8. Pull the fabric from the presser foot carefully to lift the looper thread and cut it off directly. The needle will drag the opposite direction around your cover stitch.

NB: It would be best if you exercised some more patience for an overlocker without the coverstitch option. However, once you master the skills, it becomes more manageable, you can work faster.

What is the Best Coverstitch Machine?

A coverstitch machine performs two functions in one shot. First, it covers raw fabric edges, and secondly, it maintains a material’s stretchability. Therefore, a coverstitch unit delivers a professional hem on your clothes.

Also, it works wonders for people who work on knit fabrics and make activewear or children’s clothing. But first, you need to select the most suitable machine as the market provides numerous options.

This section will discuss four coverstitch machines that deliver beyond user expectations.

  • Brother 2340CV Coverstitch Machine

The machine features a tri-cover stitch, narrow and wide cover stitches, and easy-to-follow color-coded threading instruction. It also has a 3 to 6-millimeter cover stitch capability to accommodate thicker materials. In addition, brother 2340CV maximizes a sturdy metal frame that assures you of durability.

The coverstitch machine is easy to thread, thanks to the fast thread looper system. You will also enjoy an impressive sewing speed of up to 1,100 stitches per minute.


  • The unit is durable.
  • It assures the user of high performance.
  • You can easily thread it.
  • Brother machine offers a 1,100 sewing speed.
  • It has included accessory feet.


  • The product has a complicated manual tension release.

  • SINGER Professional 14T968DC Serger Overlock

Singer professional devices have a self-adjusting tension system. They require you to turn the tension settings dial to select the chart and choose your preference. The tool has a maximum sewing speed of up to 1,300 stitches per minute.

Also, you can work on multiple project types as the tool has a 2-3-4-5 thread capacity that gives a wide stitch option selection.

The sewing machine easily converts to the rolled hem sewing mode and has an easy-to-access lever that moves the stitch finger to the rolled hemming position.


  • The device self-adjusts its tension settings.
  • It effortlessly switches to the rolled hem sewing mode.
  • Singer professional has a 1,300 impressive sewing speed.
  • You will enjoy a wide selection of stitch options.
  • The tool accommodates multiple sewing projects to offer professional results.


  • It isn’t easy to thread.


  • Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX Coverstitch Machine

This coverstitch machine has an easy-to-read sticker that guides you in selecting colors and stitch sizes. The sticker gives you an easy time working on projects as you do not need to read the user manual. Also, the device provides color-coded threading that helps you set it up quickly.

The unit is easy to work with, thanks to the free arm construction. This feature allows you to work with garments and is perfect for waistbands and cuffs.

Janome Coverpro 1000 delivers 1,000 stitches per minute, enabling you to work faster and yet offer professional finesse. It also has a foot pressure adjustment with valuable guidelines for precise sewing results.


  • The unit has color-coded guides.
  • It has a free arm configuration.
  • Janome Coverpro 1000 offers an excellent 1,000 stitches per minute speed.
  • You get professional results, thanks to the foot pressure adjustment.
  • The product provides other accessories such as a seam guide, spool holder caps, five needles, screwdrivers, and tweezers.


  • It skips stitches frequently.


  • Juki MCS-1500 Coverstitch and Chain Stitch Machine

Juki MCS-1500 provides an easy looper threading system. Therefore, you prepare and get into sewing as soon as possible. Also, you can lower the looper just by dialing a button, making the sewing process effortless and quick.

The tool provides a differential feed that accommodates a variety of fabrics such as knits and georgette. In addition, it has an efficient thread cutter, which offers professional and neat finishes.

On top of that, you can quickly raise the foot lifter by an additional 8 to 10 mm. Thus, you can quickly work on thick fabrics.


  • The device is easy to use.
  • It offers 1,350 stitches per minute speed.
  • You will work with a three-needle system.
  • Juki MCS-1500 is suitable for multiple sewing applications.


  • It is heavier than other coverstitch machines.

After reading the above, you may wonder which machine you should choose to achieve your project deliverables? Please continue reading to see what you should consider before committing your money.

Considerations to Make Before Purchasing a Coverstitch Machine

  • Application. Your job requirements will always dictate the device that you will buy. For example, you should consider the Juki MCS-1500 Coverstitch and Chain Stitch Machine working on thick and heavy fabrics.

Therefore, once you check your project needs, you will choose the correct machine features and functions.

  • Budget. Since various coverstitch machines have different price tags, assess your finances. Also, ensure that you go through the devices with your preferred features and narrow them down based on how much your budget can allow.
  • Additional accessories. Some manufacturers provide additional attachments such as more needles, tweezers, and seam guides in the package. Therefore, if you want more tools in the kit, select a manufacturer that provides such an offer.
  • Online reviews and ratings. Experts’ recommendations on the best coverstitch machines to consider will help you make an excellent selection. Furthermore, the product reviews will show you various features, pros, and cons of different units. You can also consider checking out various online product ratings which reveal customer views on the units.

How Much Is a Babylock Coverstitch Machine?

Babylock coverstitch machine prices vary based on product features. The prices range from $899 to $2,650. However, if you want a moderately priced device, you can get the Baby Lock BLCS Coverstitch – 2, Cover lock, or the Baby Lock – Baby Lock – Coverstitch BLCS Cover Stitch Machine Sewing Machine at $1,775.

What Is the Best Serger with Coverstitch?

The best serger with coverstitch in the market are as follows:

  • Singer Profinish 14CG754 Serger

This serger is the most suitable alternative for amateurs. It is user-friendly and offers diverse machine stitch options. The unit also has an easy-to-understand detailed manual that enhances its maneuverability.

Additionally, Singer Profinish 14CG754 is affordable and yet provides high-quality cover stitches. Wow! What a way to begin your sewing ventures.

The product provides rolled hems to add versatility to your projects. It also allows you to work faster, thanks to the 1,300 SPM and auto-trimming feature.


  • The machine is user-friendly and suitable for beginners.
  • It has a free arm that collar stitches effortlessly.
  • You will enjoy a high stitching speed of 1,300 SPM


  • The unit is very noisy during sewing.

  • Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger

The Brother Designio Series is most preferred because of its impressive features. It also has more impressive features than other units and offers a perfect balance between quality and price.

The tool has a heavier cutter and a sturdy structure yet light enough for mobility and easy portability. Besides that, its stitching speed of 1,300 stitches per minute does not disappoint, and you will complete your work in record time.

You will also enjoy 3 or 4 standard stitches. However, you can have other stitches such as pintuck, rolled edges, flatlock stitching, and blind hems. Additionally, creatives can use fabric combinations and threads for stylish designs.

Allow me to add the easy-to-control and snap on feet foot pedal as bonus features. They help you operate the device quickly as you sew.


  • Steady and easy to control foot pedal.
  • The unit is durable and robust.
  • It has a color-coded thread design; thus, threading is more manageable.


  • The product has a noisy motor.

NB: We have other sergers with Coverstitch such as Brother 2340CV Coverstitch Machine, Singer Professional 14T968DC Serger Overlock, and Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX Coverstitch Machine.

We discussed them earlier in the Best Coverstitch Machine section. So please go back and check them out to see which tool works best for you.

Are Serger and Overlocker the Same Thing?

A serger and overlocker refer to the same thing. They are different names for the same sewing machine. Also, while nearly everyone else calls the machines overlockers, Americans prefer to refer to them as serges.

Moreover, a serger delivers an overlocking stitch which is more of knitting than sewing.

What Thread Should I Use for the Overlocker?

The overlocking thread should be smooth, refined, and relatively strong. It needs to run at the machine’s high speeds and work on the looper and overlocker needle.

  • T120s General Purpose Overlocking Thread

You can get this all-rounder on 1,000m and 250m bobbins. The manufacturer also provides a 7,500m thread cone as overlocking uses more thread than regular sewing applications.

  • 80s Bulk Thread / Woolly Nylon Overlocking Thread

This thread spreads and fluffs out as it passes through the machine. This feature creates a raw edge coverage or complete seam. 80s Bulk Thread is perfect for knitted fabrics such as Lycras.

It stops fraying and provides a soft finish for clothes whose inside will be in contact with the skin. Therefore, the thread is extensively helpful in making babywear, lingerie, and nightwear.

Please note that additional knowledge on overlock machine types will help you decide on the best thread to use for the machine. Therefore, check out the following list of overlock machine categories.

  • 2-thread Overlock Machine

This machine uses a flatlock stitch to finish and secure sewing threads on lightweight materials. It also finishes scarf edges and works well on lingeries, sportswear, and sweatshirts.

The 2-thread overlock unit is firm and light enough to keep the fabric from tearing during the overlock. It also creates decorative stitches on garments.

  • 3-thread Overlock Machine

The tool uses one needle and three threads to create hemstitches. It gives stronger stitches than the 2-thread overlock machine and works on both woven and knit fabrics. You can also use it to finish blouses, shirts, and swimwear as it can also make decorative stitches.

However, you should avoid using the device in area clothes that experience lots of stress and use.

  • 4-thread Overlock Machine

This unit uses two loopers, two needles, and four-thread spools to create a tight seam stitch. It is also best described as a safety stitch as it keeps the seams together. Also, the machine keeps your sewing firm for as long as possible, making it a superb choice.

  • 5-thread Overlock Machine

The 5-thread overlock machine features three loopers and two needles and is superior to all the other overlock devices. It also provides stronger stitches and accommodates heavy fabrics.

Besides that, the unit combines a chain stitch and a three-thread overlock stitch to enhance firmness and strength.

Can You Coverstitch on a Sewing Machine?

You can coverstitch on a sewing machine. However, please follow the following tips to get a perfect touch.

  • Change your needle and presser foot_you need a twin needle and a zigzag foot to do the job.
  • Thread the thread pool and ensure it moves in a clockwise motion. The thread will go behind the needle bar guide the same way it does on an ordinary needle. Next, pull the thread, place it into the correct needle, and then pull it through it.
  • Get an extra thread and pool pin and add it into a different machine slot. Thread it and ensure it moves in a clockwise direction. Note that the thread does not go behind the needle guide but instead, it moves through the left needle. Also, cut any excess thread.
  • Finally, check the manual to determine the specific stitches that the needle can produce. For example, a regular straight stitch creates the cover stitch. Thus, when you look beneath, you will see a lovely and professional zigzag stitch.

NB: Always check and test the tension settings before beginning the sewing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are There Specific Hems That I Can Cover Stitch on my Serger?

The number of needles and the desired finish dictate the hem that you will achieve. Therefore, if you need high-end detailing, three needles are your go-to hem. Two-needle hems will provide quick finish hems, and the chain stitch will provide decorative hems or temporary easy-to-remove seams.

  • Do I Need a Cover Stitch Machine When I Have a Serger?

It would help if you considered getting a coverstitch machine as switching over between serger functions and cover stitching is tedious. Additionally, you can consider having the two machines for added convenience as they will serve you better in the long run.

  • Is A Coverstitch Machine Worth My Money?

A coverstitch unit helps you create professional apparel and handles applications such as attaching neckline finishes, elastic, creating decorative seams effortlessly, and making jeans.

Therefore, if you are into full-time sewing and intend to make it a career, the machine is worth it! It is also a perfect addition to your work tools for a DIY enthusiast with excellent sewing skills.

  • What Is the Difference Between Overlock Machine and Serger With Coverstitch?

Overlock machines lock your material in one place during sewing to give a better finish. They provide more intricate stitches and are an excellent choice for experienced users.

On the other hand, sergers with coverstitch features are more suitable when you want more hand control. They come in handy when carrying out coverstitch hems and have the upper hand if you want more threading options.

Additionally, unlike overlockers, sergers do not require you to depend on additional attachments.


If you are asking which of the two units is the best, there is no definite answer_Both machines are helpful for various projects. For instance, the overlock machine deals with garment construction, and a coverstitch creates decorative effects.

Also, a coverstitch needs multiple threads as it can use up to three needles, unlike the overlock, which has one looper and uses a blade. Even so, you cannot choose the most suitable sewing device if you don’t ask,

What Is the Difference Between Overlock and Coverstitch?

On that account, focus on what you want to achieve with the machine_the features of a coverstitch or overlock machine will either enhance quality results or hinder your project deliverables.

Once you understand what your project needs, choose the most suitable machine and start sewing!

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