Home Community What Needles Can Be Used With a Serger?

What Needles Can Be Used With a Serger?

written by Sarah March 22, 2013

Sergers can be pretty intimidating and difficult to understand. One of the questions commonly asked centers around needles. Let’s dive in.

Question: Can I Use Home Sewing Machine Needles on My home Serger?

From my research, not all sewing experts agree on this and it really depends on your machine. Most people say, “Use whatever your machine recommends.” Is this true? Eh, not always. For example, my Singer ProFinish recommends only using Singer Serger Needles, but I’m a Schmetz lover and they work wonderfully with my serger. I’ve used Schmetz Universal, Ballpoint, Stretch, Topstitching, and Jean needles in my serger and all worked perfectly. I switch the needles to fit my fabric, which I have found to be beneficial and produce a better end product. Overlock machines less than 10 years old can, for the most part, be use with home sewing machine needles.

Think about it like this; have you ever gotten a new medical prescription? There’s the brand and the generic. The generic has the EXACT same active ingredient as the brand, it just had to wait so many years for the brand patent to run out. Or you buy a new frizz-control shampoo and it says only to use their frizz-control conditioner. Nothing bad will happen if you use a different brand of frizz-control conditioner. It’s all the same.

So, go ahead and install your favorite brand of sewing machine needles. When you insert the sewing needle, it should fit the same as if you were installing it in a home sewing machine. The round end of the shaft faces you and the flat side of the shaft should slide in easily.

serger needles copy

Do a few slow turns manually with the hand wheel and see if everything looks good. Anything explode?  No? Great! You’re good to go. Remember, the right needle will extend down further than the left. Completely normal.

4 thread overlock copy

Is your serger more than 10 years old? You can still test out universal home sewing machines using the above mentioned method. If the needles don’t fit easily  or  the stitches aren’t forming as they normally do, your best bet is to stick with what your manual suggests. Anything older than 20 years definitely needs to use a needle specifically suggested by the user manual.

Question: What Needles Do I Use With an Industrial Serger?

Definitely not regular home sewing needles. Home sergers have a completely different needle holder. The needle holder for an industrial machine is either completely rounded, has a notch, or other special shape specific to that machine. Industrial sergers  can reach 9500 stitches per minute, which is much faster than the average household serger of around 1500 stitches per minute. That’s a lot of heat and wear on a small piece of metal. Use what your manual recommends, such as Industrial Sewing Machine Needles, just to be safe.

We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions about your serger, feel free to leave us a comment in the message section below and we’ll be sure to get back to you immediately!

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Milton Skinner May 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm

I have a knitking King Lock 900D. Regular needles are too big to fit. Can you suggest a needle that might fit? And where I can get them? Thanks

Ellen May 23, 2016 at 8:55 am

Hello Milton. I’ve been doing some research and unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find any information on a Knitking King Lock 900D.

Sue Wilson May 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

I have an old My Home 234D serger, a White Speedylock 1600 serger, and a fairly new Janome 634D serger. They all use HA-1 needles. Can you tell me if the singer 2054-42 or the singer 2022 needles will work with these sergers? I was recently given several unopened packages of these different needles and wondered if I could use them? Or will they work on my Husqvarna sewing machines? Also, how do I tell the difference between ball point and regular point HA-1 needles? And, what does the SP mean? I hesitate to use these needles without checking because I don’t want to cause any problems! Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

Ellen May 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hello Sue. The Singer 2054-42 and 2022 needles are different than the HA-1 needles. I wouldn’t recommend using them in your 234D, 1600 or 634D. What is the model of your Husqvarna sewing machine? I can look it up and see what needle system it takes. The difference between ball point needles and regular needles is that the ball point needles are made with a more rounded tip making them ideal for sewing on stretchy fabrics such as knits. The SP stands for “Sharps”. Sharps needles are made with an extra sharp point, they’re ideal for use on tightly woven fabrics.

Terrie February 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I have an baby lock protege model BL5370ED and can’t figure out what needles i need. It’s not working properly so I assume it’s the needles. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ellen April 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Hello Terrie

These Organ DCx1 Needles should work for your Babylock BL5370ED: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/needles-organ-type-dcx1-10pk.aspx

Roz November 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

I’ve been reading all the posts and your replies – I just want to say ‘thank you’ for all your advice which I have found extremely useful.

Sarah November 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Thank you for visiting us! I’m glad we have been helpful 🙂

danae November 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

I have an old janome my lock 234 and it’s just not sewing right it misses the entirety of one whole stitch so rather r than 4 it only sews 3. I think it’s the needles, do you know what type I should be using?

Sarah November 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Hi Danae! These are the needles that are compatible with your serger: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/serger-needles-schmetz-hax1sp-5pk.aspx

B Lake November 10, 2015 at 5:25 am

what size needle for bl097

Sarah November 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Hi! Your manual lists these needles as compatible: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/serger-needles-schmetz-hax1sp-5pk.aspx

Pam September 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm

I have a Juki MO-644D. Can you tell me what type of needle I can use on this serger.
Thanks in advance for your time.

Sarah September 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Hi Pam! Your serger uses standard household needles 130/705H, which we sell here: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/universal-needles-schmetz-5-pack.aspx
Your manual recommends using size 75/11.

Rocio August 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Need to replace Serger weaving needle do you carry it?

Sarah August 27, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Hi Rocio! I’m not familiar with a serger weaving needle, but I’ll look under the needles for your machine – what is the make and model of your serger?

Connie August 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

I have a Pfaff Coverlock 4772 that I purchased in 1999. My dealer has closed shop and I need to purchase needles. It requires overlock El X 705 cat. No. 2002. I like the size 14 the best.
What can I substitute ? Thank you

Sarah August 21, 2015 at 9:28 am

Hi Connie! I have these needles listed as compatible with your coverlock machine: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/singer-2054-serger-needles-10pk.aspx

Stacie July 24, 2015 at 7:26 am

I have a singer 14cg754 serger, what needles should I use for sewing knit fabrics?

Sarah August 7, 2015 at 7:17 am

Hi! Ballpoint needles should work well.

Liz July 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Bought an older Toyota 4 thread overlock serger. It only had one needle in it. When I put a needle in the left side it hits the plate/metal tab thing. Any thought on what adjustments need to be made? I am new to using a serger. The shop want $129 plus parts if it needs any to clean it up. Thoughts?

Sarah July 17, 2015 at 8:20 am

Hi Liz! Give our customer service a call and ask for Dennis – he is our machine technician and will be the best source of information. Good luck!

Robin Clark July 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I have Janome MyLock 634D serger, need needles for it I was told made sure they sp after the size having a hard finding them

Sarah July 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Hi Robin! These are the needles you need for your machine. http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/serger-needles-schmetz-hax1sp-5pk.aspx

Sarah June 28, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Hi! I have an old Singer Ultralock 14u234 (b, I think? it doesn’t say so on the machine but that’s the manual i found and use for it) and whoever sold it to me failed to include any of the accessories. I’ve been able to find everything listed in the manual in stores near me like Jo-Anns and Michaels EXCEPT for the extra 2054 #10/#14 needles….and just my luck, the tip of one of the needles decided to hit the throat plate and bend on me tonight. I’ve ordered new ones from you but I can’t afford any faster shipping than USPS Priority and I need them NOW for a project that absolutely needs to be finished by next week. Are there any other brands/styles/sizes that are found in stores that could be used as placeholder needles so I can get my work done?

Sarah July 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I’m so sorry I missed this comment. I hope it’s not too late, but you’re next best place to look would be a sewing repair shop. They’re usually listed as “Sew and Vac” in the yellow pages (or google search).

Mitzi Dixon May 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm

I have an older White Speedylock 1634 Serger. Can you tell me please what needles I need to be using?

Sarah June 1, 2015 at 11:57 am Reply
Kate April 2, 2016 at 6:36 am

This helped me, too! I have had a White Superlock 1934D for more than 10 years and have just used the same pack of needles until they were all completely dull, because I just wasn’t sure what I should buy as a replacement. I’m finally going to do it, after reading this. I thought I needed something specialized, phew. Thank you!

Anita Marchena April 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

I have a serger overlook machine #14 u46, the needle is 2450, but It is hardto find that needle. Can I use other #?

Sarah May 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Hi Anita! I just want to clarify – your asking about needles for a Singer 14U46b, right?

Luis April 4, 2015 at 6:00 am

I have a Brother 834DP serger and i can’t find needles that fit. Please help!

Sarah April 17, 2015 at 5:34 am

Hi Luis! Your machine uses standard home sewing machine needles. You can purchase them here: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/universal-needles-schmetz-5-pack.aspx

Susan Hall December 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I have an old baby lock protege. My manual doesn’t give me the needle to use just the sizes for different fabric. I have looked online and am getting mixed answers. Can you help?

Sarah December 28, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Hi Susan! Your machine uses the following needle types: 15×1, 705, 130 in sizes 11 and 14. You can find them here http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/needles-organ-type-15×1-10pk.aspx
Please let me know if I can help with anything else! Happy holidays!

Melanie November 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Hello I have a Brother Lock 1034D Serger I am having issues finding twin needles, so I put in just normal serger needles and it isn’t working! My twin needles that were in the machine were not uneven like these are? Can you help any?

Sarah November 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Here is the link for the needles that are recommended for your machine: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/lookup.html?keywords=SCHMETZ+130%2F705H.
You can use regular home sewing machine needles on your serger but the B needle (AKA left needle) will always be a 1/2 mm. shorter than your A needle. It might seem strange but this is totally normal. You don’t really notice it until you change the needle. Make sure flat back of the needle faces the back of the machine. You will also have to use that tiny screwdriver to loosen the needle screws to insert the needle to make sure you get it in all the way. I hope this helps and please let me know if this doesn’t resolve the issue.

Lindajean July 12, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Hello I’m having a hard time finding the right needle for my serger, it’s a Brother Model 634D I know its an older machine but I’m working on my Wedding dress and my machine is not working well at all and I think if I replace the needles all will be better. The first owner of the machine made notes on the back of the book but I dont understand them so maybe you could help.. Notes: Organ 16 x 275 / size 10 – 20
Ball Pt. 12-16-18
Please Help

Sarah July 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

Hi Linda! I thought I had responded to this before, but I must have never pressed the “reply’ button – I’m so sorry for the delay! Your machine uses these needles – http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/needles-organ-type-16×257-10pk.aspx – congratulations on your wedding!

Rachel March 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Can you tell me what type of a needle I can use with a SergeMate 5040?

Sarah March 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hi! The recommended needles are Organ Needles. We have them here: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/serger-needles-organ-type-dcx1-10pk.aspx

Diana June 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I have that model and only Schmetz Universal works on it. Mostly, I use the 90/14 needle.

Sarah June 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

The only schmetz needle I haven’t used on this machine it leather. Do your stitched not form correctly with other needle types? I feel like me stitches look between I used fabric specific needles.

Jade February 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I’m new to serging and am wondering if I need to buy a new needle to serge mesh other than the needles that came with the machine? Also what kind of stitch do you recommend for mesh?

Sarah February 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Hi Jade! You’ll want to use a smaller needle size, anywhere from a size 60 – 75. Also, you might want to stabilize the seams with a light stabilizer. Either a rolled hem or 3 thread overlock will work well. Also, I recommend watching our tutorial on how to serge a rolled hem, because it shows how to use stabilizer. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY9tUcIoLy4 Good luck!

Cristina December 3, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hello, could you tell me if I can use a double needle on a 4 thread Singer serger, please? I would like to “fake” cover stitch on knit fabric… – maybe is it a silly idea?! Thanks for your help 🙂

Sarah December 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

Hi Cristina! I don’t recommend using a twin needle on a serger, how ever there are others ways to fake a cover stitch. Have you seen this video from craftsy? http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2012/12/how-to-use-twin-needle-to-mimic-cover-stitch-hem/

Cristina December 3, 2013 at 10:53 am

Thanks Sarah! I won’t but could you tell me the reason why you do not recommend a double needle on a serger? It’s just for info. Thanks for link, I will see it soon 🙂

M June 29, 2013 at 2:44 am

I was looking everywhere online to see if someone had an experience in using regular sewing needles in a serger! Thank you for the advice this helped me out a ton!

HENRIETTE SASSON April 6, 2013 at 2:01 am


Ursula April 6, 2013 at 12:20 am

I have a problem with my serger. Only the right needle sews and not the left.
Any idea what the problem could be?
I have tried all kind of needles.

But the left needle just does not stitch.

Sarah April 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Hi Ursula,
Has it always done this or did it just start?


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