Are Sewing Machine Needles the Same as Serger Needles?

17 min read

No matter if you’re a professional seamstress, or this is just a hobby for you it is likely that a serger can be an essential tool in your toolbox

. Although it’s not mandatory to have one, it is believed to help make life easier. Along with being speedy the serger will add lots of strength to the seams. This is especially true of children’s clothingsince they are very active.

Sergers and sewing machines actually look similar to an uninitiated eye.

They all share a common mechanism, and each use thread and needles. However, when you look at their uses and their functions, they’re entirely different. Therefore, we cannot imagine that both machines are equipped with interchangeable components.

Additionally that, it would be easier to use the needles of their sewing machine in their serger

because it as it means that the tailor doesn’t have to buy additional needles. In turn, this helps them save not only money , but also time and storage space. While it is said that modern sergers are able to utilize ordinary sewing machine needles but this isn’t always the scenario. Many experts in the field find it difficult to reach a consensus since it is dependent on the model of the serger, its brand and specifications, along with the model. In spite of that some serger makers prefer to design their own needles and including specialty needles into the mix. To this end, we decided to conduct some investigation and try to understand the distinctions between two kinds of needles. Additionally, we will be discussing related subjects in the process. We should begin by getting acquainted with the various types of needles, aswell in the “anatomy.”

Needle Anatomy 101

Needle Anatomy 101

If we opt for the top-down strategy beginning with the needle


. This is the portion of the needle is inserted inside the sewing machine. To avoid faulty needle insertion, it is fitted with a flat side. Then comes the needle.


This could be described as”the “body” of the needle. The shaft runs along this shaft can see the

needle groove

This is the part that holds the needle thread. Then, there’s the

needle blade

The needle’s size is determined by the size. Additionally, the


The needle’s design allows the hooks to grab the threads easily of the needle, which allows for a perfect stitch. Finally, the

Point (tip)

The needle’s diameter varies of the needle between needles of different types. As far as


Concerning the issue with three aspects: three:

  • Universal needles are equipped with an slightly more rounded edge and are utilized for sewing general purpose.
  • Jersey needles are equipped with an average pointed ball tip making them ideal for knit fabric.
  • They also have the medium ball point however, they differ from Jersey needles due to having an eyes and scarf specifically designed for use with elastic and stretchy fabric.

There are needles that are specifically designed to stitch other fabrics like leather, denim and suede. You can also make use of needlepoint needles specifically designed for topstitching, or embroidery. Let’s have a look at sewing machines and needles that they employ.

What Are Serger Needles?

What Are Serger Needles?

Sergers, also referred to as overlockers, are devices that tailors utilize to create one of the stitches known as an overlocker. Although they have some similarities with sewing machines, their work is much more like knitting than sewing. When a tailor is able to overlock two seams, they do it to keep the fabric from unravelling. In rare instances you might need to employ a serger to complete edges or embellish outside seams. However, tailors usually employ sergers for construction work but less frequently in adding finishing elements. Apart from knitting, which is more than sewing sergers differ from normal sewing machines in another manner. Instead of threading just one serger, sergers thread three or four pathways, with two loopers in addition. The loopers in these are the ones responsible for knitting portion that takes place. So, serger needles come with distinct characteristics as well. They are sharp and have a point that is able to cut through all kinds of fabrics. The manufacturers recommend that tailors should use Ball Point needles when performing knits. This is due to the fact that the needles

Intersperse the threads

instead of puncturing the instead of piercing the. As an example the needle shank could differ in the shape and the thickness. Of course, there’s also the variation in length. If you’re wondering if you could make use of sergers instead of a sewing machine simple answer is that they can’t. In fact, they cannot always. Although a tailor can complete entire projects using an iron, they’d require a traditional sewing machine to sew zippers, facings, buttonholes and topstitching.

How Many Needles Does a Serger Have?


Ergers could be equipped with either two or one needle.

While older models had one needle, modern sergers feature two needles. If you want to, you can take out one needle, however the serger will operate by using 3 threads on both situations. The position of the needles is difficult for users, particularly those who are only beginning their journey.

It is odd that the two needles aren’t in line with one another.

The right needle is said to be a bit higher than the other needle this means that they aren’t identical. However, one shouldn’t think of them as twin needle that a normal sewing machine has. The serger machine is equipped with two needle clamps which hold each needle. To change the needles, just unscrew the ones you have used and discard them. When inserting the new ones insert them into the slot, making sure that the flat side of the shank is facing the front. After that put those clamp screws in the slot and then test the serger.

Serger Needle Sizes

Each manual for sergers outlines the kind of needle to select for a specific model. Therefore,

It is highly recommended that you follow this guideline

and make use of the needles listed in the instruction manual included with the serger. As I mentioned before, certain serger needles come with different shanks. While some sergers have round-shank types of needles, many of the latest models feature flat shanks like the one that sewing needles come with. Furthermore, needle shanks differ in their size and thickness. While sizes 60-65 are typically used for silk satins and thin silk sizes 75-80 are employed to make cotton jerseys as well as cotton fabric. In the case of medium-weight fabrics, such as woolen, cotton, or denim fabrics, they generally require sizes between 75 and 90. In addition, there are heavyweight fabrics which require sizes between 90 and 100. They are made up of thicker wool, denim as well as canvas. To get the most precise results, you can make use of a magnifying lens to identify this distinction. In terms of length, it is easy to take measurements using an appropriate ruler. Let’s look at the distinctions between serger as well as the sewing machines’ needles.

Serger Needles VS Sewing Machine Needles

Serger Needles VS Sewing Machine Needles

Naturally, it’s easy to recognize serger needles inside the packaging.

However, one may struggle to differentiate between the two kinds in the event that they both are kept in a storage box. This can be particularly difficult as one must take into account some minor distinctions. Of course the naked eye can quickly recognize needles that are distinct in form. What about the other kinds like the ones that look similar to any other sewing machine needle? If this is the case you should be equipped with a magnifying device. Let’s look at the ways to differentiate between these two kinds. We have previously classified the regular machines needles let us concentrate on

What is it that makes serger needles unique.

What to Look For

In the beginning, we will search for differences in grooves for needles


Although universal sewing needles have straight shafts, the serger type needles could have a short groove in both directions or on the front. Instead of focusing on an opening, you may utilize a magnifying device to find a small groove that is near an eye on the needle.

We will also try for the company name was engraved onto the shank.

The typical company names we seek include “Elna,” “Bernina,” “Pfaff,” “Janome,” and the most well-known maker “Organ.” In addition to the name of the company the manufacturer could have inscribed”Serger,” or the words “serger” on the shank and on the needle itself. In contrast universal sewing needles might include the words “Schmetz” or “Singer” printed on the shank just next to the size marker. One thing that we have found that among tailors is that

Serger needles are usually shorter than sewing machine needles.

Furthermore, between the needles that a serger employs the other is usually curving.

Additionally, the needle shanks are identified with unique numbers, however they are separated by an slash mark on serger needles.

Although a universal sewing needle will typically be marked with a number , such that of 11,14 or 16 serger needles can be marked 11/75, as an instance. Let’s take some time to look over the specifications of three widely-known brand names of serger needles.

Schmetz Serger Needles

Schmetz Serger Needles

The most popular needles are the ELX705 the ELx705CF SUK, ELx705CF, and the EL705CF. They differ from the home sewing needles in this ways:

  • Each model has the benefit of a strengthened blade, which increases their strength and stops that the needle breaks. In turn, stitch lines are straighter.
  • With ELx705 and ELx705CF the tips are slightly rounded for use in all applications.
  • With ELx705CF SUK The center point of the ball is moderate which allows it to be used with many knit fabric.
  • Each ELx705CF as well as ELx705CF SUK are more durable and have greater wear resistance because of their chrome-plated finish.

Singer Serger Needles

Singer offers three other popular models: Universal (0524-42), Ball Point (2054-06) and Chromium (2022). The distinctions in these three models are similar to those of Schmetz models. Schmetz models:

  • The Universal needles can cut through any thread in weave fabrics.
  • It is important to note that Ball Point needles have a pointed point which lets the needle pass through by splitting in the middle.
  • It is believed that Chromium needles can be designed to work with Schmetz EL 705 or ELx705 needle systems. But, Singer doesn’t recommend making use of them in sewing machines.

Klasse Serger Needles

To simplify the selection process of the right needle Klasse advises that tailors utilize the Klasse”Type G. This applies to needle systems such as 130/705H, 15×1, the HAx1 and 2020. However, since certain models use different needle systems,

Klasse also manufactures five additional systems to be able to cover the most popular serger models.

Here’s a list of the six kinds Klasse has to offer:

Can You Use Sewing Machine Needles In a Serger?

As we’ve mentioned previously that many tailors are difficult to come to an agreement on this matter. We do know that manuals for sergers are something that one should follow. The manuals offer a variety of overlock needles that are compatible with the specific serger. If, however, following the manuals isn’t what you prefer and one should think about the following.

Possible Risks

We now know that serger needles don’t work identical to sewing machine needles, a second issue arises: can you utilize sewing machine needles in sergers? Be aware that two aspects are at stake -security of the tailor as well as the product that is created. Utilizing parts that are not compatible with the machine can be hazardous for the person using it. Because needles are particularly hazardous, it is advised to take care. In the words of the old saying: “It is better to be safe than sorry.” In a completely different way,

Using parts that don’t meet the specifications almost always leads to an unfinished product.

This product is ineffective, meaning your time and energy are being wasted. In the search for an answer that was definitive we decided to talk with experts on the subject. While there are those who agree it’s possible to utilize sewing machine needles within sergers, their views are somewhat different.

Serger Models Known to Use Sewing Machine Needles

Many specialists agree that a recent serger (less than 10 years old) is good enough with needles from a sewing machine. The only thing they recommend however is to manually turn the wheel several times to make sure that nothing is stuck and there aren’t any odd noises emanating through the sewing machine. While the Singer ProFinish sewing machines are designed to employ Singer Serger Needles some users have reported having had success using Schmetz sewing needles. Actually, this isn’t limited to those using the Schmetz Universal, but also Stretch, Topstitching, Jean and Ball Point needles as well. This Tiny Serger model also takes regular sewing machine needles (style 2020 size 14, style 2020). However,

This isn’t the scenario for the majority of Singer models, as certain models require specific serger needles.

Babylock users agree that needles from regular sewing machines perform just as well and do not cause any issues.

Babylock serger

The same applies to Bernina sergers which are the typical type of needle that is compatible with the majority of sewing machines 130/705H. However there are some exceptions. The JLx2 along with Bernina 5 are not the same. Bernina 5 are exceptions. In addition there are some users who use the Bernina 5 report having been restricted to Bernina needles as some tend to constantly break threads. Although it is true that sergers are able to use regular needles from sewing machines however, it is dependent on the type of serger. Keep in mind that one type of serger needles isn’t necessarily compatible with all models of sergers. The most important thing is to take care when operating sewing machine needles in serger. Any odd motions or noises should cause you to stop right away.

A Quick Note On Maintaining Sergers

While it is important to cleanse their sergers but there are less steps to take for general maintenance. It is essential to use a big brush to scrub the lint off. Angles smaller than that can be addressed by using Q-tips. Actually, the lower part of your serger believed to hold a lot of dust. It is also possible to employ cotton or dental floss thread to wash those tension disks. After cleaning,

A hair dryer or air compressor will blast the remainder of the dirt off.

Oiling always comes after cleaning. Additionally, it is essential to make sure to use serger-specific oil and to not go overboard using it. The table that the serger uses should be spotless and, while working there, one should be sure to clean the floor.

The Bottom Line

Both serger and sewing machine needles come in various designs and shapes. Although their uses may differ based on the kind of fabric, there is one thing certain — serger needles and sewing machine needles aren’t the same. They are used with different machines to perform different tasks. While it is feasible to utilize sewing machine needles inside a serger, tailors are of the opinion that there are some exceptions. However,

We recommend that you read the book thoroughly.

If you do choose to try something new, do so cautiously and have fun! Make sure that your sewing experience goes as smoothly as it can. We hope this article has been beneficial If you did, please share the article with us and let us know what types of needles you are using for your serger by leaving a comment below.



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