Best Self Threading Overlocker

self threading overlockerUndoubtedly, as you will know if you have experience sewing using overlockers, the most complicated things about using these types of machines is the threading process. This is often what puts a lot of people off investing in these great machines, which in turn means that they miss out on the versatility they bring to your crafting and sewing hobby. However, there is a solution in the form of self threading overlockers.

If you are wondering what they are and why you should be interested in them, we will look at these great machines, discussing exactly what is meant by self-threading, how they work and why you should invest in them. To further help you on your search for an easier to thread overlocker, we have put together mini reviews of what we believe are the top self threading overlockers available on the market right now.

What are Self Threading Overlockers?

There are two different types of self threading overlockers, that make the process of setting up this style of sewing machine much easier. The two main types are the:

  • Self-threading lower looper
  • Air threader that works with both lower and upper loopers

How Do These Self Threading Overlockers Work?

Now that we know the two main types of self threading overlockers, it’s time to look a little into how they actually work.

With a self threading lower looper, you just need to lay the thread into a special guide on the machine, turn on a switch and then the lower looper threads itself. When you turn the balance wheel, the guide returns to its normal position automatically and when you want to rethread, you simply lift the presser to release the thread tensions automatically allowing you to draw the thread out slowly and carefully.

With a jet air threading overlocker, depending on the model, you usually just inset the thread into the special threading hole and then press a special button for the air control and then you are done. The machine threads itself correctly using air. Not only that, for both needles on the upper and lower looper, the air pump threading system works perfectly.

Take a look at the video below to see just how self threading overlockers work..

Why They’re Great!

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about self threading overlockers. Not only do they take the mystery and frustration out of the set-up process, making it easier to use the machines in general; they also enable you to focus more of your time and energy on what’s more important and crucially, more fun – overlocking.

Although knowing how to thread an overlocker the traditional way is a great skill to acquire, we understand that many of you don’t have time to faff around like that, and if that is the case, you should definitely consider self threading machines.

Our Best Threading Overlocker Choices

If you are sure you want to buy a self threading machine, and start looking at machines, you will soon discover that there are many to choose from. It can be daunting trying to sift through the variety to find that one overlocker that is most suitable for your needs. To help you further, we have highlighted four machines in particular that we believe are some of the best available right now.

Even if you decide not to pick one of these great machines, it at least gives you a great place to start your search.

Janome 6234XL Overlocker

The 6234XL Overlocker is our first choice of the top self threading overlockers out there and is from the masters of sewing that are Janome. Janome have been at the forefront of the sewing machine industry since they were first established. Over the years, Janome have been responsible for a number of important firsts (first computerised home machine in 1979, first professional at home embroidery machine in 1990 are two great examples).

So it is easy to see why Janome products are loved by sewing enthusiasts the world over. What makes the Janome 6234XL in particular special? The fact that it comes with a self-threading lower looper (as described further up the page), makes it ideal for those new to overlockers or who just don’t like fiddling with the complicated threading process. There are colour-coded thread guides and the lower looper that make threading as easy as pie.

In addition, with the 2 needles you have the choice of doing 2,3 or even 4 thread stitches, allowing you the chance to complete a versatile range of tasks with this machine. Janome have even made it possible for you to switch to rolled hems when you want something a bit more fancy and professional without having to change the needle plate.

Key Features

  • 2, 3, 4 thread overlocking
  • Tension dial with lay-in thread mechanism
  • Easy to use needle threader and thread cutter
  • Easy rolled hemming switch-over
  • Differential feed ratio of 0.5 to 2.2
  • Easy release upper knife
  • 3.1 to 5.1 mm adjustable cutting width
  • Easy threading lower looper
  • Colour-coded thread guides
  • Needle guards at front and back
  • Thread guide that can be changed
  • Presser foot that is snapped on easily
  • Tweezers
  • 4 spool cones
  • 4 spool holders
  • 4 spool nets
  • Lint brush
  • Oil
  • Tutorial DVD

Juki Surjeteuse Self Threading & hands, Metal, White 33x28x31cm Overlocker

Juki are another brand that have a sterling reputation for their additions to the world of sewing. They have been in business since 1945 and produced their first home machines in 1947 and since their humble beginnings in Japan, have expanded to become a global phenomenon. Although they did expand into a giant in the manufacturing of industrial standard sewing machines, at their core has always been home machines. This is why the Juki Surjeteuse, although a little more expensive than the above machine, is worth highlighting.

This machine uses an electric air pump to make it a fully automatic needle and easy to thread. In fact, the claim from the manufacturer is that it is ready to seam in around 30 seconds. This allows you to work with either 2 3, or 4 threads when stitching, so it offers you similar versatility to the Janome above.

Key Features

  • LED
  • Automatic Electric Air Pump needle threading
  • 2, 3 4 thread overlocking
  • Rolled hemming on and off switch for easy switching
  • Differential feed
  • Ready to seam and overlock in 30 seconds flat

Juki mo-2000qvp Surjeteuse Self Threading and Needles Metal/PVC White 33x28x3cm Machine

The third machine highlighted on our list is another Juki self threading overlocker that also utilises the electric air pump system. This has a full LCD display that shows tension settings. You can also use this to do rolled hems without hassle or fuss, at the flick of a switch.

This is much the same in many ways, apart from the colour, to the machine above, which means its still nevertheless, an amazing overlocker that deserves your attention. Even if it is a bit pricey, it could be a great investment if you are going to get extensive use out of it.

Key Features

  • LED
  • Automatic Electric Air Pump needle threading
  • 2, 3 4 thread overlocking
  • Rolled hemming on and off switch for easy switching
  • Differential feed
  • Ready to seam and overlock in 30 seconds flat

Elna 664 Pro Overlocker

The last product we have decided to highlight on this page of self threading overlocker machines is from another of the big names in the sewing world, Elna. They have been in the business of manufacturing sewing machines from 1940 and it all started with the Elna #1 machine. The first ever portable and compact electric powered sewing machine with a free arm. Another first was the colour, it was green – a bold move when most machines were black. Since then, Elna have gone from strength to strength and remained a popular brand with home sewing enthusiasts.

The 664 Pro Overlocker is more reasonably priced than the Juki but provides many of the same key features you expect from this kind of machine. Using the same self-threading lower looper system and colour-coded threading routes as the Janome, you can rest assured that this machine is not too complicated to work. You also have the same versatility as many other machines on the market with the choice of 2, 3, or 4 thread stitching and the electric foot control is an even easier and much appreciated addition.

Key Features

  • Option to sew 2, 3, or 4 thread stitches
  • Panel for Programme Reference to aid you in adapting the machine for each overlocking selection
  • Automatic tension release
  • 2 thread converter built into the machine
  • Needle clamp that tilts
  • Rolled hemming device
  • Lower looper is self-threading
  • Colour-coded thread routes
  • Cutting blade
  • Waste tray
  • Dust cover
  • Accessory box (exclusive from Elna)


We hope you have all the information and advice you need to help you make the best choice when choosing your new overlocker machine. It’s not hard to see why so many people opt for self-threaders, as they help you get on with what you really want to do – sewing and overlocking – without all the faffing about trying to feed thread in the right way, using some complicated procedure. Whether you opt for a Janome, Juki or Elna machine, you can be guaranteed that you will have a high quality system.