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Sergers & Overlockers

Compared: the 3 Best Brother Overlockers (2020 Review)

I reviewed all 5 Brother overlockers stocked in the UK. See what the differences are between them, which are worth buying, and which to avoid!

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I reviewed all 5 Brother overlockers stocked in the UK today. See what the differences are between them and which are worth buying in 2020.

This guide also includes:

  • Advice from industry specialists like technicians and overlocker salespeople.
  • Videos of the overlockers.
  • A chart to compare the Brother overlockers with each other.

*Note: some models are only sold in certain countries. This guide is for UK and European buyers.*

Let’s jump in.

compare brother overlockers review

I have found the best Brother overlocker to be the 4234D. It will let you create more stitches than the other Brother models, it’s the easiest to thread, and it has the best build quality. Important for those who sew regularly and want a long-lasting machine.


Contents list:

  1. Best overlocker: 4234d review. (Skip to this)
  2. Next best overlocker: 3034dwt review. (Skip to this)
  3. Best budget overlocker: 2104d review. (Skip to this)
  4. Other Brother machines I considered. (Skip to this)
  5. Comparison table. (Skip to this)

Related: 5 Best Overlockers, According to Industry Experts

Related: 8 Overlocker Stitches Explained (with lots of close-up photos!)


The best Brother overlocker:

Brother 4234D overlocker review

Brother 4234D

The best overlocker from Brother

It can do 2, 3 and 4 thread stitches, giving you more stitch options than a 3/4 thread overlocker. Industry specialists have said it’s well-built. It has a needle threader for faster threading; most overlockers don’t. A waste tray and blind stitch foot are included.

Price: typically £419. Check Amazon’s price.

Brother 4234D overlocker review:

The 4234D is a good choice for sewers who want more stitch options, easy threading, and sturdier build quality.

2/3/4 threads

It can do 2, 3 and 4 thread stitches. This will let you create more stitches like the 2 thread overlock, 2 thread rolled hem, and 2 thread mock flatlock. Most overlockers can only use 3 and 4 threads.

Better build quality

Industry specialists I spoke to said the 4234D has better build quality than most budget overlockers.

One salesperson said it’s a “good, solid, quite robust option”. Important for regular sewers who want a more durable machine.

Easy to thread

It’s one of the few overlockers with a built-in needle threader.

When combined with Brother’s “F.A.S.T lower looper threading system” and clear colour-coded guides, this is probably as good as threading gets for the mid-range market.

Can handle thicker fabrics

It can handle a variety of fabric thicknesses thanks to its high presser foot lift (5-6mm) and adjustable pressure.

Cons

Expect to pay about double the price of a budget overlocker for it though.

Also, annoyingly Brother gave its cheaper overlockers more free feet. They’re not essential feet, but if you want you can buy them separately for about £25 to £35 per foot.

Brother 4234D Video:

See it stitching. *Not in English*

Who this overlocker is best for:

I have owned this overlocker since 2018 and definitely recommend it if:

  • You want to invest in a better-built overlocker without buying an expensive premium model. This is especially important if you’re a regular sewer who needs a more durable machine.
  • You want to experiment with 2 thread stitches.
  • You want a needle threader because you struggle to slide a thread through the eye of a needle.

I have a more detailed review of the Brother 4234D if you want to research it more.


The next best Brother overlocker:

brother 3034dwt overlocker review graphic

Brother 3034DWT

So many accessories!

It can do 3 or 4 thread stitches. I like the threading system, price and industry specialists think the build quality is decent (but not as good as the 4234D). It comes with a surprising amount of free accessories: 3 extra feet, a waste tray and an extension table. It would cost about £126 to buy these separately!

Price: typically £309. Check Amazon’s price.

Brother 3034DWT Overlocker Review:

The 3034DWT is a good choice for sewers who just want the main 3 or 4 thread stitches, easy threading, and don’t want to spend too much.

Lot’s of freebies

It comes with an impressive number of free accessories:

  • Free extension table (about £22 if bought separately).
  • 3 extra feet (about £80 if bought separately).
  • Free waste tray (about £24 if bought separately).

That’s a saving of £126!

Good threading

For a budget overlocker, threading is really good. I like the “F.A.S.T lower looper threading system” and clear colour-coded guides.

Can handle thicker fabrics

It can handle a variety of fabric thicknesses thanks to its high presser foot lift (5-6mm) and adjustable pressure.

Build quality

An overlocker salesperson I spoke to thought the 3034DWT’s build quality was a bit better than the cheaper 2104D, but there are still better built machines out there with more motor power.

If you value build quality more than price, check out the Brother 4234D instead.

Brother 3034DWT Video:

See it stitching *not in English*

Who this overlocker is best for:

  • You’re on a budget.
  • You don’t need 2 thread stitches. You just want the main 3 or 4 thread stitches.
  • You want lots of free feet to experiment with, and the convenience of a waste tray and extension table.
  • You don’t need a needle threader.

I have a more detailed review of the Brother 3034DWT if you want to research it more.


The best budget overlocker from Brother:

brother 2104d overlocker review

Brother 2104D

An excellent budget overlocker

It can do 3 or 4 thread stitches. I like the price, threading system and how many free feet it gets. However, there’s no waste tray and build-quality isn’t the best (like all budget overlockers). This is a good option if you only sew occasionally.

Price: typically £249. Check Amazon’s price.

Brother 2104D Overlocker Review:

The 2104D is a good choice for sewers who just want the main 3 or 4 thread stitches, easy threading, and don’t want to spend too much.

Good price

The price makes it one of the most affordable overlockers on the market. It also gets 3 free feet which would cost about £80 to buy separately.

It’s missing a waste tray though. Expect to spend about £25 to buy that separately.

Can handle thicker fabrics

It can handle a variety of fabric thicknesses thanks to its high presser foot lift (5-6mm) and adjustable pressure.

Good threading

For a budget overlocker, threading is really good. I like the “F.A.S.T lower looper threading system” and clear colour-coded guides.

Industry specialists I spoke to like the Brother brand in general, especially for ease of threading.

Stitch quality

The specialists think you can’t tell much difference in the stitch quality between this and more expensive overlockers.

Cons

Specialists said that there are overlockers with better build quality and more powerful motors than the 2104D. This should be expected of all budget overlockers.

If you value build quality more than price, check out the Brother 4234D instead.

Brother 2104D Videos:

2104D stitch samples *not in English*
How to create a rolled hem *not in English*

Who this overlocker is best for:

  • You’re on a budget and don’t want to spend too much on an overlocker.
  • You sew occasionally. You won’t put your overlocker under pressure with heavy usage or tough materials.
  • You don’t need 2 thread stitches. Just the main 3 or 4 thread stitches.
  • You don’t need a needle threader.

I have a more detailed review of the Brother 2104D if you want to research it more.


Brother Overlocker Reviews Recap:

Brother 4234D overlocker review

Best buy: Brother 4234D

It can do 2, 3 and 4 thread stitches, giving you more stitch options than a 3/4 thread overlocker. Industry specialists have said it’s well-built. It has a needle threader for faster threading; most overlockers don’t. A waste tray and blind stitch foot are included.

Price: typically £419. Check Amazon’s price.

brother 3034dwt overlocker review graphic

Next best: Brother 3034DWT

It can do 3 or 4 thread stitches. I like the threading system, price and industry specialists think the build quality is decent (but not as good as the 4234D). It comes with a surprising amount of free accessories: 3 extra feet, a waste tray and an extension table. It would cost about £126 to buy these separately!

Price: typically £309. Check Amazon’s price.

Budget buy: Brother 2104D

It can do 3 or 4 thread stitches. I like the price, threading system and how many free feet it gets. However, there’s no waste tray and build-quality isn’t the best (like all budget overlockers). This is a good option if you only sew occasionally.

Price: typically £249. Check Amazon’s price.


Download Free Checklist

A checklist of features to look for in a serger or overlocker.

Avoid investing in a machine that isn’t right for you.


Other machines I considered

I also looked at the M343D and 734DS.

I didn’t pick either as one of my Best Buys because:

  • It seems like they are discontinued models. They aren’t on the Brother website anymore, but the Best Buys are. That means they are not being manufactured today and might stop being available to buy in the near future.
  • Both only come with the standard foot and no waste tray. My 3 Best Buys all came with more accessories.
  • Their features are similar to the budget 2104D which is still being manufactured and gets more accessories.

Compare Brother overlockers

——————–M343D2104D734DS3034DWT4234D
————Best budget option————Next best optionBest buy
PriceTypically £238Typically £249*Sep. 2020 update: now unavailableTypically £309Typically £419
Check Amazon’s PriceCheck Amazon’s PriceCheck Amazon’s PriceCheck Amazon’s Price
Stitches:
Stitch Ability3/4 threads3/4 threads3/4 threads3/4 threads2/3/4 threads
4 Thread Overlock
3 Thread Overlock
3 Thread Flatlock
3 Thread Rolled Hem
2 Thread Overlock
2 Thread Flatlock
2 Thread Rolled Hem
Stitch Length (mm)2 – 42 – 42 – 42 – 42 – 4
Stitch Width (mm)2.3 – 72.3 – 72.3 – 72.3 – 72.3 – 7
Retractable Knife
Max. Speed (stitches per minute)13001300130013001300
Feet IncludedStandard footStandard foot
Blind Stitch Foot
Gathering Foot
Piping Foot
Standard footStandard foot
Blind Stitch Foot
Gathering Foot
Piping Foot
Standard foot
Blind Stitch foot
Easy to use?
Looper Air Threading
Needle Threader
F.A.S.T Lower Looper Threading SystemUnknown
Automatic Tension
Colour-Coded Threading
Waste BinBuy separatelyBuy separatelyBuy separately
Free arm
Easy Rolled Hem Conversion
Weight5.6kg5.6 kg5.6 kg5.6 kg6.9 kg
LED
Extension tableBuy separatelyBuy separately
Can handle different fabrics well?
Differential Feed (stretch or gather fabric)
Adjustable Pressure
Max. Presser Foot Height5 – 6 mm5 – 6 mm5 – 6 mm 5 – 6 mm 5 – 6 mm

Note: there are different stats about the weight of the 734DS. John Lewis and Argos believe it weighs 7kg or 7.2kg. The John Lewis manual (which looks very different to the manual from Brother’s support website) claims a weight of 7kg, whereas the Brother manual says 5.6kg. I have chosen the 5.6kg stat because I think it’s from a more reliable source.


Related: 5 Best Overlockers, According to Industry Experts

Related: 8 Overlocker Stitches Explained (with lots of close-up photos!)

Related: How to Choose an Overlocker: 21 Factors to Consider (+ Checklist)

Related: Which Overlockers are Good Quality? (I Ask Specialists)


Download Free Checklist

A checklist of features to look for in a serger or overlocker.

Avoid investing in a machine that isn’t right for you.


Now it’s your turn

I’d like to hear from you 🙂

Do you have any questions about these Brother overlockers?

Maybe I missed something you want to know?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

2 replies on “Compared: the 3 Best Brother Overlockers (2020 Review)”

Hi Fiona,

Here’s what overlocker sellers and technicians told me:

If you’re just sewing 1-4 layers of denim every now and then, all overlockers will be fine.

If you’re doing it regularly, I recommend buying a mid-range or premium overlocker. These are made more robustly, with better motors and metals inside. Here are my top picks: https://threadsmonthly.com/best-overlockers-uk/

I want to manage your expectations though. Even if you buy a premium £1000 domestic overlocker, it still can’t compete with industrial machines. So while the most expensive domestic overlockers will cope better, they will still be worn out over time if you’re sewing through 4 layers of thick denim everyday. Domestic machines aren’t designed for intense use. This is not an issue if you just sew tough materials occasionally.

I hope this helps,

Sara 🙂

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