Difference between Sewing Machine and Overlocker

Difference between Sewing Machine and Overlocker

Knowing the difference between an overlocker and a primary sewing machine is crucial for exploring the sewing world. When you don’t know the difference between these two machines, it is possible for you to buy the wrong piece of equipment.
For this very reason, you must lure yourself into the differences between an overlocker and a sewing machine, so that you may avoid wasting your money.

If you just started learning about sewing, you might not understand the purpose of an overlocker machine. A sewing machine, on the other hand, is straightforward to acknowledge – it sews. The construction of these two machines is very similar, but there are some differences.

Let’s take a look at the differences between an overlocker and a sewing machine briefly.

Difference between Sewing Machine and Overlocker

Sewing Machine


Uneasy Comfortable
Stitching options Less options
Less threading options More threading options

The Differences

Before we get into the differences between these two machines, it is important to define their purposes first. An overlocker is sometimes known as a serger. The main purpose of an overlocker is to join the corners of two fabrics together by an overlock/overcast stitch and then cut the seam off to continue sewing.
There are some typical sewing machines that contain a built-in overlock function that eliminates the need to buy an overlocker. Other than that, sewing machines contain a lot of features which are not available in sergers.

For example, sewing machines have many decorative stitching options,, and they have presser feet, buttonhole options, quilting, and much more.

Let’s take get into detail about the major differences between a typical sewing machine and an overlocker.

  • As mentioned above, an overlocker is meant to join two cloths together from the edges and cutting off the extra seam. On the other hand, with a sewing machine, you have first to cut your fabric and then start stitching.
  • An overlocker can use five threads at once. With multiple threads, different kinds of overlock stitches can be made. But, a typical sewing machine can only use one thread. However, there are some advanced sewing machine models that can work with two threads at once.
  • Another important difference to consider is speed. An overlocker can provide stunning results quicker than a basic sewing machine.
  • When it comes to the construction, an overlocker contains a telescopic needle bar that lets more than two threads to pass. The needle bar is positioned on top of the neck of the overlocker. On the other hand, sewing machines have a shorter neck.
  • Sewing machines are comfortable to use. This means it is your choice to sew on the right or the left side of the needles. But, an overlocker only lets you sew on the left side.

The Verdict

The bottom line is, you need to consider your sewing preferences. An overlocker is cost-effective, but it helps a lot in your sewing ventures. A typical sewing machine can perform the job of an overlocker as well, but not properly. So, if you sew big projects, then purchasing both an overlocker and a sewing machine would be best.

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