Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: December 05, 2020
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Coverstitch machines have increasingly grown in popularity in recent years in both industrial and home settings as sewers enjoy the use of these machines that contain needle and thread options and guarantee strong and professional finishes. The market for coverstitch machines has grown with the popularity leading to a huge variety of products. This article will help you choose the best coverstitch machine currently in the market.
In this review article, we have reviewed 7 different coverstitch machines from across different price ranges. Each product reviewed is currently available to purchase online, with the reviews providing links to purchasing websites. Our Editor’s Choice for the best coverstitch machine is the Juki MCS-1500. This product has been rated as the most desirable in our review because of the perfect finishes that it reliably delivers, as well as being user-friendly. Check out the reviews in greater depth later in the article.
In addition to product reviews, this article highlights various factors we consider important when you are looking to purchase the best value coverstitch machine. These factors include the number of needles and threads, dimensions, warranty information and sewing speed. The article begins with a comparison table of all the reviewed products, followed by the 7 in-depth product reviews. This is followed by the buying guide and brief FAQ section. In the conclusion we rate our top 3 best coverstitch machines, leaving you in no doubt when you start the purchasing process.
The Juki MCS-1500 is known for being one of the strongest and most reliable coverstitch machines currently available to purchase. One of the best features of the Juki MCS-1500 is the addition of a presser foot lifter which has multiple positions for it to be based, including 8mm and 10mm. The advantage of this is that it allows you to more easily attach thick layers of fabric into the machine.
Another advantage of purchasing the Juki MCS-1500 is the inclusion of an adjustable differential feed which allow stunning finishes to the different garments that you are sewing. Whether it be a knit or a georgette, the Juki MCS-1500 can deliver perfect finishes. The usability of the machine is enhanced through the simple looper threading, ensuring the machine can be threaded more easily.
Due to the Juki MCS-1500 being a coverstitch machine which sees the lower thread create a chain on the wrong side of the fabric, any material used by the machine will have great stretch-ability. The Juki MCS-1500 is best suited to garments such as waist and sides of pants or necklines.
Further features which allow the Juki MCS-1500 to be one of the most sought-after coverstitch machines include the exterior thread cutter which ensures a smooth release of the fabric and the extension plate which contains seam guidelines to assist you with sewing accuracy. The Juki MCS-1500 offers customers a reliable and user-friendly option for coverstitch sewing.
The Bernette b42 is a medium-range coverstitch machine that delivers high-quality performance and reliability. In total, the machine has 3 different coverstitches from 2.8 to 5.6mm as well as a chain stitch to give extra sewing options. Having this variety of stitches, enables the Bernette b42 to perform most of the tasks expected from a coverstitch machine – namely – hems edges and cuffs. The versatility of this machine ensures it is well-suited to more complex sewing tasks such as swimwear.
Despite being available for a medium-range price, the Bernette b42 can also be capable of performing professional standard stitches, with the machine widely regarded for regularly producing the perfect look. To make the sewing process easier, there is an 87mm working area included in the machine design to give that extra space that sewers desire.
A common issue with the coverstitch machine can be the threading of needles and loopers. The Bernette b42 overcomes these issues by incorporating an easy and straightforward looper threading mechanism. The user-friendly features don’t stop there, with the Bernette b42 also containing a bright LED light to assist you when sewing.
The Bernette b42 has the option for 4 different threads which compares well to the majority of other coverstitch machines. With dimensions of 14.2 x 13.4 x 14 inches, the machine is also relatively compact. On the mechanical parts of the machine, you will get a 5-year mechanical warranty, while the electrics are only covered for 2 years. For those wanting a medium-range machine that is very user-friendly, the Bernette b42 is a fantastic option.
The Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX is a premium range coverstitch machine that delivers professional-quality sewing finishes. This large machine which has dimensions of 19.6 x 16.7 x 14.2 inches can handle the majority of large sewing projects with consummate ease. Due to the innovation from CoverPro®, the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX is essentially a mix between the industrial style machine and a home machine – giving you the best of both worlds.
Combining both industrial and home setting features means the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX can deliver in a variety of facets. Whether it be speed, heavy-duty covers or long arm, the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX can cope. At 1000 stitches per minute, the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX may perform slightly slower than others, but this speed is more than acceptable in a home setting where there is less time pressure.
The Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX is one of the most advanced and innovative coverstitch machines currently available to purchase which is why it fetches a premium price. Product innovations that can be seen in the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX design include a Seam Tightening System, wide trip cover hem stitch and free arm configurations.
For those who want strong consumer protection, the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX will cover the mechanical elements with a generous 25-year warranty agreement, leaving you with peace of mind when purchasing. Do check the terms and conditions so that you are aware of what elements you are covered for under the warranty agreement.
The Juki MO-735 is renowned for being of the best industrial range coverstitch machines currently available in the market. Known for its supreme speed and thread capability, the Juki MO-735 is perfectly suited to businesses or factories who have to get through large quantities of fabric each day. At 5 years, this machine has a good warranty length, leaving businesses with sufficient purchasing protection.
The Juki MO-735 can stitch with 2-3-4-5 threads which rival the market leaders in the thread quantity. Having larger thread capability tends to result in a greater variety of sewing options, ensuring the Juki MO-735 is well-equipped to cope with the ever-changing demands of industrial sewing settings. The 2 and 3 needle options also ensure the coverstitch is both strong and efficiently sewn,
A feature that makes the Juki MO-735 perfectly suited to industrial settings is the presence of a chainstitch mode. The chainstitch mode adds an extra degree of quality to the performance of the machine, ensuring fabrics passing through the machine can also have the ancient chain pattern embroidered. The multi-function presser foot further adds to your sewing options when using the Juki MO-735.
For industrial coverstitch machines, efficiency is arguably the most important design concept to ensure the machines can cope with huge demand. The Juki MO-735 delivers efficiency in abundance. Firstly, at 1500 stitches-per-minute, the Juki MO-735 has one of the fastest sewing speeds in the market. Also, the addition of a well-designed chain looper threading system ensures speedy threading of the machine.
The SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 is widely regarded as one of the best professional coverstitch machines currently available to purchase. Purchasing any Singer sewing machine, is an investment in quality, with the company globally renowned for producing top-quality and affordable machines.
The SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 is placed into the professional coverstitich category because of its capability to use 2-3-4-5 threads at any one time, leaving you with a huge variety in stitch options that give professional results. An advantage of the SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 is the self-adjusting tension system. This reduces wasted time on you personally having to adjust the tension, with the machine naturally adapting based on the position of the dial.
One of the best features of the SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 is sewing speed. At 1,300 stitches-per-minute, the machine is one of the fastest in the coverstitch market. For those who seek a machine that can get through many garments in a day, the SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 is certainly a good choice. The 4 built-in rolled hems also aid the sewing process to make it near effortless. By using the easy to operate the lever, the position of the stitch finger can be moved without fuss to allow for rolled hemming.
The SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 also offers fantastic variety in sewing options. Whether it be decorative edges, seams, rolled hems or cover hems, the machine is more than capable of delivering efficient, good quality finishes.
The Brother 2340CV is a fantastic budget pick option for those who want to coverstitch but are unwilling to fork out a super larger sum. Despite being a significantly lower price, the Brother 2340CV still matches the performance of more expensive machines. An example of an innovative feature is the advanced serger, which allows you to use the machine to sew a variety of different cover stitches on a range of different fabrics.
Designers of the Brother 2340CV have also put the user at the forefront of the product design with the addition of a color-coded threading guide. This guide assists you when seeking to sew precise stitches, maximizing your chances of a top-quality finish. The fast looper threading system also enables quick and easy threading of the machine. The Brother 2340CV can also complete 2-3-4 thread stitches.
Compared to other coverstitch machines currently on the market, the speed of the Brother 2340CV performs slightly slower than some of the premium range products. That said, at 1100 stitches-per-minute, efficiency is not a real issue. The Brother 2340CV also contains adjustment dials so that you can alter the stitch length by changing the speed in which the material goes through the machine. This adds to the range of sewing options.
One of the best features when purchasing the Brother 2340CV is market-leading warranty agreement. A 25-year limited warranty is very generous and provides you with a fantastic purchasing protection. Do check out what the limitations to the agreement are before purchasing.
The Janome CoverPro 900CPX can be seen as the slightly older and less powerful sibling of the Janome CoverPro 1000CPX. Available at a marginally cheaper price, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX contains the benefits of CoverPro engineering, while it lacks some of the more advanced features to ensure it retails and a medium-range price.
Compared to the 1000CPX, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX has only 2 available needle types and 3 thread options. While this may be sufficient for many sewers, for those seeking a wide range of sewing options, this medium-priced machine has fewer options. That said, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX contains features such as adjustable foot pressure, free arm and a chain stitch option which allow the machine to comfortable sew a variety of different garments.
With dimensions of 19.5 x 16.5 x 14.5 inches, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX is large compared to other coverstitch machines currently available to purchase. Often larger sized machines can be easier to operate due to extra workspace. If you prefer a more spacious coverstitch machine, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX could be a greater buying option.
Similar to other CoverPro products, the Janome CoverPro 900CPX also has a 25-year warranty on the mechanical elements of the product. This ensures your purchase will be very well protected over many years of use. There is also a softcover included in the purchasing package to help maintain the machine.
What we liked:
Great for medium range
Pretty large in size
What could be better:
It is a bit old in model
Things to Сonsider
There are a lot of coverstitch machines available in the market and the top picks are reviewed above. Choosing the best coverstitch machine is very important to get value for your money. The following buying guide will give you the necessary information that you need to choose the right coverstitch machine suitable for your needs.
Advantages of having your coverstitch machine
A coverstitch machine is mainly used for thick aerobic wear, knit fabric, fleece, sweatshirt fabric, lycra and other materials that are very stretchy. With just one pass, it covers all the raw edges protecting them from mechanical stress.
The following are the benefits of owning a coverstitch machine:
It saves a lot of time when topstitching clothes for sports, elastic underwear and swimsuits as well as sewing hems.
It finishes any type of fabric without any stress, including the thick and bulky ones. Some models are useful for heavy materials because they have adjustable presser foot.
Some models combine two options in one, which enables you to switch between overlock and coverstitch so that you get the best of both machines at an affordable price.
Coverstitch and overlock machines – what’s the difference?
Both overlock and coverstitch machines are used to finish garments. But the main difference between the two is that a coverstitch machine is mostly used for hemming because it does not have blades to trim the excess material. An overlocker is designed to serge the edges of fabrics while trimming them, making it a time-saving machine.
A coverstitch machine a strong and stretchy seam which makes it irreplaceable when sewing a lot of stretchy garments and knitwear. It sews fabric like the traditional sewing machine but it produces a double line of stitches that provides a visible finish on hems.
Coverstitch machines have three needles while an overlocker has only two needles and the old models of overlockers have only one needle.
Features to consider while buying the best coverstitch machine
Before purchasing the best coverstitch machine, you need to consider the following features so that you can get value for your money:
How many threads
Coverstitch machines can have one, two or three threads and underneath, there is a looper for threading a chain. The number of threads in a coverstitch machine will enable you to create many rows of parallel seams.
For most hemming projects, only two rows are enough to achieve strong stitching while for super stretchy swimwear and strong hemming on elastic materials, three rows are suitable. You can make four rows for design aesthetics.
Big and large coverstitch machines are easy to thread just like the regular sewing machine. They are not complicated or fiddly like the overlockers. Some models give automatic jet-air threading which can be crucial if you have visual or fine motor control issues.
If sewing to you is a hobby for your pleasure and joy, then stitching speed is not that important but for professionals’ speed is very crucial. Their income and the number of projects to be finished depending on how fast they can get the work done.
Therefore, it is important to choose a coverstitch machine depending on how you are going to use it. If you are using it for business then a faster unit such as the Juki MO-735 is ideal, but if it is for your use, a model with an average stitch speed will do the work.
Size and weight
The size and weight of a coverstitch machine will affect its portability. If you are carrying your machine around you will need a lighter one. A portable machine is also important for professionals as they are more convenient and flexible. Carry handle and carry covers are also useful features. Lightweight and smaller designs are useful for you to move your machine from one place to another.
This feature is for identifying the different threads of the coverstitch machine, depending on the machine and the number of needles it has. Color coding is also useful in case there are entanglements or when using different colors on the same seam.
A smooth running of a coverstitch machine will ensure that the engine does not produce noise. A good selection and precise adjustments of threads and needles will ensure that your machine works well. Oiling your machine will also lubricate the moving parts to ensure smooth operations.
Noise level can be difficult to detect before trying the machine for yourself. The best advice would be to read customer reviews for a product and highlight the word “noise” to narrow down your search. Alternatively, you could ask an expert if you prefer to visit a store.
How to feed
Coverstitch machines have two sets of feed dogs located under the presser foot that moves the fabric through the machine. The differential feed controls the movement of the front and rear feed dogs. This ensures that you get a perfect hem every time you stitch with no waviness and puckering.
The durability of a garment will be influenced by the length of the stitch. A shorter length will result in a stronger stitch. Longer stitches are used for decorating masterpieces and when sewing heavy fabrics. Choosing a coverstitch machines that allow you to control the stitch width and length is important because you can customize the design of your project easily.
The coverstitch machines reviewed above have different warranty periods. A long warranty period will ensure that your investment is secure and safe. The above coverstitch machines have a warranty ranging from 5 to 25 years. It is important to note that warranty agreements for coverstitch machines normally cover specific elements. For example, the 25-year warranty for the Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX only covers mechanics.
If you are a professional, then you already have the skills of dealing with thread tension and the system in general. On the other hand, if you are a beginner you may need a model which is easy to use and one that has a self-adjusting thread tension.
Adjustable presser foot
The main purpose of an adjustable presser foot is to properly feed through the heavy fabric to ensure that the stitching is accurate. Ensure that you purchase a coverstitch machine such as the Brother 2340CV that has an adjustable presser foot as it will make your sewing experience much more convenient.
Coverstitch and overlock combination
This is another feature to consider as you do not want to purchase coverstitch and spend money again buying and overlock. If you feel that you might need an overlock at some point, buy a machine that has a combination of both a coverstitch and overlocker. This will save you money and give you more flexibility when sewing.
A free arm is required when sewing cuffs, sleeves and pants. If your coverstitch machine does not have a free arm, it will be difficult to blind hem or coverstitch long meters of fabric. This is not a problem for beginners but for professionals it is important to choose a coverstitch machine with a free arm.
The accessories that come with a coverstitch machine are very important. A manual should be included in the package when purchasing a coverstitch machine to guide you in using and troubleshooting it.
Other accessories include cleaning and repair kit as well as a seam guide. Attachments are tools that enable the coverstitch machine to achieve their optimum performance. They include the following: accessory screws, thread spool nets, thread spool caps, schmetz needles, tweezers, needle threader and screwdrivers.
Depending on how much money you want to spend, there is a coverstitch machine available for you. A coverstitch machine will only be worthy if it meets your needs. It is a waste of money if you will buy an expensive coverstitch machine that you will not use regularly. However, if you are looking to produce high-quality seams, an expensive heavy-duty model such as the Juki MO-735 will be very valuable.
The coverstitch machines reviewed above range from $300 to $900. This large range in prices gives you a great deal of choice to choose from. The best advice is to know your budget before starting the purchasing process so that you have a narrower focus. As the coverstitch market is large (and growing) the more ways you can narrow down your search, the better. Compared to the other factors, the price tag is one of the quickest and easiest ways to sort through the field.
How to use a coverstitch machine – beginner’s tips
The following YouTube video will help you learn how to thread and use coverstitch machine:
The following questions are frequently asked by customers and owners of coverstitch machines:
An overlocker is suitable for seaming as it uses multiple threads to lock each edge while preventing fraying at the same time. Stitching with an overlocker will depend on the type of fabric you are using, whether you just want to seam or finish an edge and the strength and stretch that you need.
Cleaning your coverstitch machine is important in ensuring its longevity. When you are not using your machine ensure that you use a cover to reduce the chance of moisture and dirt in accumulating on it. Moisture can greatly affect the moving parts of the machine and insects and dirt are not good for the circuit boards.
Even if you cover the machine, dust and thread strands from materials will still accumulate in the machine. Ensure that you clean it after every use. The manual that you get when purchasing the machine should have a section on how you can clean it without damaging the parts.
As there are three needles positions in a coverstitch machine, you can choose to remove the right or left needle to achieve twin rows of stitches, which will be close to each other. The narrow coverstitch is suitable when sewing smaller garments such as children’s clothing or fabrics that are lighter in weight.
Removing the central needle will create wider stitches which is ideal for sewing adult clothing and sturdier fabrics. The needles you choose to use for your coverstitch machine will depend on your final desire.
Large conical spools are suitable sewing threads for coverstitch machines because these machines use a significant amount of thread, hence a small coil is enough for a maximum of one product. The coverstitch machines can also be used for decorative finishing which uses contrasting threads for finishing seams. Coverstitch machines are often used to stitch rubber bands in making shirts and sports trousers.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information you need to know when looking to purchase a coverstitch machine.
Our verdict on the top three best coverstitch machines is:
The Juki MCS-1500 finishes top of our rankings due to its user-friendliness, generous warranty and guaranteed a professional finish.
The Bernette b42 comes second in our rankings because of the compact design and variety of sewing options.
The Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX finishes third in the rankings due to its hybrid between industrial and home settings as well as the highly innovative design features.
When you are looking to purchase the best coverstitch machine to suit your sewing needs, it is vitally important that you take your time to research all the different available options to maximize your chances of purchasing a great value machine that can last many years.