My Huskylock S15 overlocker / serger review:
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The Huskylock s15 (Amazon) is a mid-range overlocker with 2, 3, and 4 thread stitch ability. A technician I spoke to praised Husqvarna Viking as a brand that makes nice machines. However, I found some concerns about the threading, flimsy front cover, and noise level from buyer reviews.
I also wouldn’t buy this model over the Brother 4234D. The 4234D is about the same price and has more features.
Husqvarna has no budget overlockers at the moment, just mid-range and premium (in the UK at least).
If you need something cheaper, check out Brother overlocker reviews instead. I think they have the easiest to thread budget / mid-range overlockers.
Husqvarna Huskylock S15 Overlocker Review:
Price across the web: typically £359. Check Amazon’s price.
Pro: It can do 2, 3 & 4 thread stitches
Most budget overlockers can only use 3 or 4 threads.
The Huskylock S15 will let you create extra stitches like the 2 thread overlock, 2 thread rolled hem, and 2 thread mock flatlock.
These stitches finish lightweight fabrics with less bulk than 3 or 4 threads can.
It’s a useful feature for sewists who want to experiment with different fabric types.
Related: Serger & overlocker stitches explained (with photos)
Pro: It has a free arm
It has a free arm to make sewing tubes of fabric easier. The free arm turns the fabric round the arm as you stitch. This is handy when overlocking sleeves, trouser hems, and children’s clothes.
Not all overlockers have this.
Pro: It has the essential overlocker features
These features are common on modern overlockers now, but still worth mentioning:
- Differential feed. This is essential when working with trickier fabrics. It stops you from getting puckered or stretched out seams.
- Easy to switch to rolled hemming mode. There’s no need to change the needle plate like in the past.
- Colour-coded threading guides printed on the machine. This tells you where to place your threads without having to check your manual every time.
- A retractable knife. You can overlock without cutting the edge.
- Adjustable stitch length and width.
- A high speed. Domestic overlockers tend to sew at 1300 to 1500 stitches per minute (s.p.m). This can do 1300 s.p.m, which is fast.
- Adjustable pressure. You’ll need this to increase or decrease the pressure when overlocking very thin or thick fabrics.
- A waste bin to collect fabric fibres. Overlocking is messy!
- A light above the stitching area to see what you’re doing clearly.
If you don’t understand some of these features, check out my article explaining overlocker terms.
Con: the lower looper is tricky to thread
Modern overlockers tend to have a switch that pulls out the lower looper. This lets you thread it in plain sight.
Older overlockers keep the lower looper hidden and make you reach deep inside to thread it. You have to take the thread back and forth through the machine. It’s not fun.
The Huskylock s15 is in-between. It’s not the difficult design that older overlockers have, but it’s not as easy as the modern switch design either.
“Threading the lower looper is a huge pain!!
#1 The upper knife arm gets in the way
#2 there is no lever like other models to help slot the thread into that teeny notch way behind.
#3 As much as you try and position the looper forwards it still requires a tweezer and a fair bit of thread gym to get it in place.”Hellohippos (2019) on sewing.patternreview.com
Con: it’s noisy
2 buyer reviews complained that it’s noisy.
For context, I would expect any overlocker to make some noise.
“It sounds like a loud screaming truck”Hellohippos (2019) on sewing.patternreview.com
“It’s not quiet. The noises themselves don’t annoy me because I like hearing it work and I know what sounds a machine will make if something is wrong with it. However, I share my home with my mother, and, I only sew when she is not home, because, the machine is that loud…”theartbook35 (2011) on sewing.patternreview.com
Con: the door is flimsy
2 buyer reviews were concerned about how flimsy the door is. They found it tends to get stuck.
“The front cover needs to be handled with care.
I’m afraid of breaking it, or, jamming it and having to take my machine apart to get it unjammed.
Been there, done that, didn’t like it much!”theartbook35 (2011) on sewing.patternreview.com
“The door that covers the inside was a bit sticky! I opened it one day and it got sort of stuck!
I was finally able to get it loose, but I ended up having to take the entire cover off (using tools) to get ti done.
I finally put a small drop of oil on it and it works fine now.
Writing this it occurs to me that maybe I should contact Viking and see about getting this fixed for good.
I know from taking the cover off the inside is solid metal, but the plastic casing on the outside is very flimsy.
As I have said, the door is very flimsy and I would worry about it breaking off, then the serger won’t serge with it open.”guillorypr (2010) on sewing.patternreview.com
Con: there are better options from other brands
When compared to other brands, I’m not sure it’s your best option.
I think the Brother 4234D is a strong contender.
- Priced similarly.
- Can do 2/3/4 thread stitches.
- Have a free arm.
- Waste bin included.
- Same high speed.
However, the Brother 4234D has these advantages:
- Built-in needle threader.
- An easier to thread lower looper. It has a switch to pull out the lower looper for easy access.
- Extra foot included.
- Higher presser foot lift for overlocking thick fabrics. It can reach 5 – 6 mm. The Husklylock is limited to 4.5mm.
I would personally buy the Brother 4234d over the Huskylock s15.
Con: presser foot height
A high presser foot lift is helpful when overlocking thick layers of fabric.
You can raise the Huskylock s15’s presser foot to 4.5 mm.
For most people, that’s fine.
I can get 8 layers of medium weight denim under my presser foot when it’s 4mm high.
However, many overlockers today can reach 5 – 6 mm, like Brother overlockers. Some even claim a maximum of 7 mm, like the Husqvarna Amber Air S 400.
If you work with very lofty fabrics sometimes, you might prefer the extra space that other overlockers can offer.
Husqvarna Husklylock s15 Videos:
Who this overlocker is best for:
- You want 2 thread stitches.
- You sew a lot, so you want to invest in a mid-range overlocker.
- You don’t need a needle-threader. (If you do, check out the similar Brother 4234D instead).
Compare Husqvarna Overlockers
Note: this article only covers overlockers sold in the UK. It does not include combination machines that combine an overlocker with a coverstitch.
|—————-||Huskylock S15||Amber Air S 400|
(checked 24 May 2020)
|Typically £359||Typically £949|
|Check today’s Amazon price|
|Stitch Ability||2/3/4 threads||2/3/4 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)||1 – 4||1 – 5|
|Stitch Width (mm)||3.5 – 5.7|
(3 – 6.7 if cutting width adjusted)
|3.3 – 7.5|
|Max. Speed (stitches per minute)||1300||1300|
|Feet Included||Standard foot||Standard foot|
|Easy to use?|
|Looper Air Threading||✔|
|Easy to Thread Lower Looper||Not relevant. It’s air threaded.|
|Built-in Spreader (used to make 2 thread stitches)||✔|
|Easy Rolled Hem Conversion||✔||✔|
|LED / Light Bulb||✔||✔|
|Can Handle Different Fabrics Well?|
|Differential Feed |
(to stretch or gather fabric)
|Max. Presser Foot Height (mm)||4.5||5 – 7|
Husqvarna Amber Air S 400 VS. Huskylock S15:
Amber Air S 400
Price: typically £949
It can do 2, 3, and 4 thread stitches. It’s really easy to thread. The loopers take a few seconds to thread by air, and there’s a needle threader. It has a built-in spreader. This makes switching to 2 thread stitches faster. A waste tray is included, but there’s no free arm.
Price across the web: typically £359
It’s a mid-range overlocker with 2, 3, and 4 thread stitch ability. A technician I spoke to liked Husqvarna machines, so I believe the build quality is good. I found some concerns about the threading, flimsy front cover, and noise level from buyer reviews. I also wouldn’t buy it over the Brother 4234D.
This post was originally published on 26 May 2020. It has since been updated.
If you’re not sure what stitches an overlocker makes, or when you would actually use certain ones, check out my beginners guide to overlock stitches. There are lots of close-up photos.
If you’re not sure what features to look for in an overlocker, here are 21 things to consider. I also explain common overlocker terms (like “differential feed”) with lots of photos and videos for visual learners.
I also asked industry experts what makes an overlocker good or bad quality? This is a really eye-opening read. Learn what sacrifices manufacturers make for cheap overlockers.
Husqvarna Viking. (2019). ‘User’s guide: Amber Air S 400’. [online] Available at: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/SiteMedia/Campaigns/4710583-26D_amber_air_HV_LR.pdf [accessed: 20 March 2020]
Husqvarna Viking. (2019). ‘User’s guide: Huskylock s15’. [online] Available at: http://manuals.husqvarnaviking.com/ [accessed: 20 March 2020]
husqvarnaviking.com. ‘HUSKYLOCK™ s15’. [online] Available at: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/en-GB/Machines/HUSKYLOCK-s15 [accessed: 20 March 2020]
husqvarnaviking.com. ‘AMBER™ Air S | 400’. [online] Available at: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/en-GB/Machines/AMBER-Air-S-400 [accessed: 20 March 2020]
HeirloomCreations. (2019). Amber Air S 400 videos. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/HeirloomCreations/search?query=400+air [accessed: 20 March 2020]
reneedmd0519. (2009). ‘ANYONE HAVE THE VIKING HUSKYLOCK S15??’. [online] Available at: https://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/39002 [accessed: 20 March 2020]
Hellohippos. (2019). ‘VIKING HUSKYLOCK S15 SERGER REVIEW’. [online] Available at: https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/machine/6566 [accessed: 20 March 2020]
theartbook35. (2011). ‘VIKING HUSKYLOCK S15 SERGER REVIEW’. [online] Available at: https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/machine/3903 [accessed: 20 March 2020]
guillorypr. (2010). ‘VIKING HUSKYLOCK S15 SERGER REVIEW’. [online] Available at: https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/machine/3267 [accessed: 20 March 2020]