What Needles Can Be Used With a Serger?

Mar 22, 13Learning Center14 Comments

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!

  • Ursula

    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.

    • http://www.sewingpartsonline.com Sarah

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

  • HENRIETTE SASSON

    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR E MAILS AND ADVISE IT IS ALLWAYS HELPFULL
    PLEASE CONTINUE SENDING THEM

  • M

    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!

  • Cristina

    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 :)

    • http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/ Sarah

      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

        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 :)

  • Jade

    Hi!
    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?

    • http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/ Sarah

      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!

  • Rachel

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

    • http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/ Sarah

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

    • Diana

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

      • http://www.sewingpartsonline.com Sarah

        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.

  • Lindajean

    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




About
Our Policies
Customer Service
Your Account


Sewing Parts Online
189 Beasley Dr
Dickson, TN 37055
Email Us Here

Questions?
(888) 824-1192
© 2012 Sewing Parts Online. All Rights Reserved. All prices listed are in USD.