Sunday, January 12, 2014

Viking Huskylock 936 v. Pfaff Coverlock 4872 and Flatlocking v. 4-Thread Overlocking

So I’ve some time to play around with the two machines. I thought I would give you guys a little comparison between the two. Remember that the Pfaff is new to me and the Viking has been mine for several years. Is it sad I only use about 4 stitches on my serger? I have used the others, just not often. When I did this little experiment, I tried to make the stitches as close to each other as possible.

I should backup for a minute and tell you about these machines. These are both combo machines meaning they can do numerous serging stitches (3-thread overlock, 4-thread overlock, rolled hem, 3-thread flatlock, etc.) and also coverstitches. These both do narrow, wide, and triple coverstitches. The only downside of these machines, in my opinion, is switching them over between the the two different functions. It really doesn’t take that long and it’s not that hard.

Huskylock 936 Pfaff Coverlock 4872 Click to enlarge!
Wide Coverstitch on heavy fabric Worked well with no adjustments. (Great job, Dawn, making the sample black thread on dark fabric!) Worked well but had to tighten right needle thread. compare_5
Wide Coverstitch on thin fabric Left thread broke about 2” after starting (I know from experience this stitch is not great for anything other than thick fabrics). Worked with no adjustments. No broken threads. Some tunneling and a couple skipped stitches. Machine is too fast to be accurate.  compare_6
Narrow Coverstitch Worked well on all fabrics. Worked well on all fabrics. Oops, no picture!
3-Thread Flatlock Makes a sturdy flatlock. Adjusted needle tension to zero. Makes a nice flatlock stitch. Tension at zero was looser than the Viking which makes a flatter flatlock stitch. compare_1compare_2
4-thread Overlock About the same. About the same although I couldn’t seem to tighten up the stitches on the needle thread. compare_3compare_4


Options Huskylock Pfaff
Differential feed Digital, easy to adjust, pretty accurate once you tell it what kind of fabric you are using. Manual knob on the side. Works fine, but I forget to change it sometimes.
Stitch Length Digital, easy to adjust. Manual knob on the side. The panel tells you what it should be and you manually adjust it.
Thread Tension Manual knobs you turn to adjust. Easy to use. Automatically set by machine and then you push buttons to adjust tension. Easy to use. Worried they might break, stop functioning.
Random Thoughts    
  Seems more difficult to thread even thought I’ve had it longer. Super fast and I can’t seem to slow it down! Makes it hard to coverstitch accurately. (big honking annoyance!) There is a speed control on the right side, but it’s slowest speed is my Huskylock’s fastest speed.
  You have to scroll through all stitch options if you accidently pass by the one you want. (minor annoyance) You have to lift up on the carrying handle every time you want to thread it. (minor annoyance)
  Free-arm, although I think I’ve only used it a few times. Brighter light for the sewing bed area.
  More color-coding inside the machine to help you match threads to holes.  
  More room under the foot. Easier to slide in bulky seams when coverstitching.  
  Tension on thread is released every time you lift the presser foot. Tension on threads is released with a button.

Overall, the differences are minimal. Mostly, I forget to change the differential feed and stitch length because my Huskylock does it for me. I think I will set up the Huskylock for coverstitching right now, and set up the Pfaff for the other stuff. It’s going to so nice to have a full-time overlocker and coverstitcher! I’m all squeeeeeeeeeeeeee about it.


Flatlocking V. 4-Thread Overlock

I love the look of flatlocking, but have always heard that the stitch isn’t that strong. I did a few little tests to see if that was all true. I’m a sucker for data collection. Turns out the flatlock did much better in tests than I had imagined. I used the same fabrics, the same thread, and I tried to keep everything controlled.

Test 1) Pull the two pieces apart widthwise as hard as you can (very scientific). Neither one of them popped seams, shredded seam allowances, or pulled apart. I was trying to see if the flatlock stitch would change inside the stitch itself, but no banana.

Test 2) Pull the pieces lengthwise. The 4-thread overlock stretched from 7” to 14” before the threads popped. The 3-thread flatlock never did break. It went from 7” to 17” and the fabric wouldn’t go any further.  

I’m going to make a few garments with the flatlock stitch and we’ll see how it does in real life. It seems to be holding up fine so far.



Both of the machines made nice looking flatlock stitches. The Pfaff was a little looser in the needle thread which makes the stitch a little flatter. I did this flatlock using the knife so the edges where even. My directions for my Huskylock say not to use the knife and to have the stitched go over the side of the fabric, which give it some extra wiggle room. My Pfaff book says you can do it either way.

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