- 1 About Janome and the Janome MyLock 634D
- 2 What Makes a Great Mid-Range Serger?
- 3 Features and Benefits Review of the Janome MyLock 634D
- 4 Alternatives to the Janome MyLock 634D
- 5 Final Thoughts
When making any large equipment purchase, especially if it’s your first time, it’s always tempting to look for a bargain. Budget sergers abound, and most of them will get the job done. However, the Janome MyLock 634D will cost you more, but you may find its advanced features to be well worth it.
We’ll show you exactly what you get for your money in our Janome 634D Review and give you our final verdict by the time we’re done.
Let’s get started!
About Janome and the Janome MyLock 634D
Full disclosure: When I was shopping for my first serger, the Janome MyLock 634D made my short list. I ended up going with a different machine simply on the basis of price. But part of me will always look back at this model, wondering what might have been.
Janome is a respected manufacturer of high-end sewing machines, sergers, and quilting and embroidery machines. Their products tend to be soundly made from quality components. Often they focus on a few very useful, well-chosen features rather than on bells and whistles.
But, for a well-made machine that will do a great job and provide many years of faithful service, it’s hard to do better than a Janome.
Janome means “snake eye” in Japanese and the company took the name from the shape of the round bobbin they pioneered. 
In its nearly one hundred years of operation, Janome has introduced quite a few other things, including:
- The first sewing machine with programmable computerized functions (1971)
- The first computerized sewing machine for home use (1979)
- The first professional grade embroidery machine for home use (1990)
- The first longarm quilting machine for home use (2003)
Innovation and quality don’t come cheaply. Janome makes expensive machines. But for the right sewist, their particular combinations of features may be exactly what’s called for.
The Janome MyLock 634D
Sergers come at a huge range of price points. You can find stripped-down models that may cost you what you’d pay for a lower-end computerized home sewing machine. The mid-range is vast, and models come with a striking diversity of features combinations. And there really is no upper limit.
The Janome MyLock 634D sits at the higher end of the mid-price spectrum. It doesn’t have a wide range of features like many Brother machines and it’s not self-threading like many Baby Lock models, but it does have a few things that you won’t find on a lot of other sergers.
- Two, three, and four-thread stitching
- Built-in picot edge stitch
- Extra-high presser foot lift
- Decent accessories pack
- Slightly stingy selection of built-in stitch designs
- Not-exactly-built-in rolled hem
- No free arm
Who is the Janome MyLock 634D For?
I see two solid markets for this serger.
The first is the intermediate or advanced sewist who knows what they want to do, and understands the equipment needed to do it. I say this, because, although this model will do just about everything you need it to, it’s a bit thin on the labor-saving features that make a serger beginner-friendly.
This isn’t to say that the Janome MyLock 634D wouldn’t make a top-notch first serger. It absolutely would. It has a range of conveniences, like simplified threading, that make it fun and easy to start sewing.
Perhaps the one category of sewist that could make the most use of the Janome MyLock 634D is the first-time serger user looking for a machine to grow with them and stretch their skills.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the Janome 634D, include:
- Two screwdrivers
- Serger tweezers
- Four thread nets
- Two-thread converter
- Set of needles
- Four spool caps
- Extra upper knife
- Dust brush
- Needle/looper threading tool
- Dust cover
|3||COLOR CODED THREADING||Yes|
|4||NUMBER OF NEEDLES||2|
|5||MAX SEWING SPEED||1300|
|6||STITCH LENGTH (mm)||1 to 5mm|
|7||STITCH WIDTH (mm)||3.1 to 7mm|
|9||RETRACTABLE CUTTING KNIFE||Yes|
|11||DIMENSIONS (inches)||13 x 16 x 15|
What Makes a Great Mid-Range Serger?
When you’re buying a budget serger, you’ll often have to sacrifice features for price. When you step up to the mid-range, however, you’ll get all of the necessary features, and often a few useful extras.
So, what should you expect from a mid-range serger like the Janome MyLock 634D?
Number of Threads
Sergers use multiple threads to create strong, flexible overcast seams and decorative edges. Many budget models sew with three and four threads, or occasionally two and three. This is good enough for a lot of types of projects, but if you use your serger enough, you may eventually find this limiting.
The majority of mid-range sergers sew with two, three, and four threads (some premium models can go up to eight!). This is more than enough to do just about everything that a home sewist wants to do, from delicate decorative edging on light fabrics to strong seams on blue jeans.
Sergers, like any sewing machine, come with a selection of stitches built in. This can vary from machine to machine. Almost every serger can do three-thread and four-thread overlock stitches. However, other built-ins that you might want include:
- Flatlock (two, three, and four-thread; narrow and wide)
- Rolled hem
- Mock safety stitch
- Decorative stitches, such as wave stitch or picot edge
To name a few.
Built-in Rolled Hem
A rolled hem adds a decorative finish to a single layer of fabric. You’ll find rolled hems on scarves, sleeve edges, and more.
To create a rolled hem on some sergers requires a few adjustments. You have to move or disengage the cutting blade, for one. For another, you may have to switch out your regular needle plate for a rolled hem plate. You may also have to move, remove, or replace the stitch finger.
A built-in rolled hem allows you to make the necessary adjustments with the flick of a switch. It’s darned convenient.
Threading your serger can be tricky. Keeping it threaded can sometimes be a chore. And if your stitching suddenly goes awry, chances are it has to do with some small error in, yes, you guessed it: threading. This is why serger manufacturers have come up with a few different ways to make threading easier.
Most sergers at any level will have color-coded thread guides and a color-coded thread map. For a lot of us, simply knowing the path the threads are meant to follow makes all the difference.
You might also find a serger that allows you to move that pesky lower looper into a position that makes it easier to access. Likewise, some serger models open to the left as well as to the right to make the lower looper more accessible.
Some manufacturers also include special tools such as serger tweezers or a looper threader that make it easier to fit the thread into tiny holes and tight spaces.
And a few premium machines have self-threading technologies that reduce threading your serger to the press of a button.
Stitch Width Adjustment
Most sergers are mechanical, rather than computerized. And, like a manual sewing machine, sergers generally have a knob or dial to adjust stitch length. Adjusting stitch width, however, can be a different matter.
There are a few ways you can do this on a serger:
- Move, remove, or switch out the stitch finger
- Adjust the cutting width
- Sew with either the right needle or the left needle
Some of the best sergers, though, come with a knob or dial that makes all the necessary adjustments for you. And that can be a wonderful thing.
Generally speaking, the accessories packs that come with sergers can be a little on the thin side. However, there are a few extras that can make your serger easier and more fun to use.
Serger tweezers make it easier to reach awkwardly spaced thread guides and poke your thread through tiny holes.
You might also find a needle threader similar to what you’d use to thread a hand sewing needle. This can make quick work of threading both needles and thread guides.
Two-thread stitching involves one needle thread and one looper thread. This means that you need to disable one of your loopers. A two-thread converter is a small, simple part that you can attach to your loopers to make them move as one.
Some sergers will take regular sewing machine needles. Others use special serger needles. Either way, it’s a very nice touch when a manufacturer throws in a pack of needles with your accessories.
Sergers use a lot of thread. For this reason, it’s more cost-effective to buy thread on giant cones rather than use the spools you’d use with your regular sewing machine. The problem is, if that much thread comes loose, it can mean waste and a big mess.
Thread nets hold your cone thread in place when you’re not using it.
You can use spool thread as well as cone thread with a serger. For this reason, the spool pins are small and thin, in order to fit through the small hole in a thread spool. Unfortunately, the hole at the middle of a cone of thread is much larger.
Cone converters are small, plastic pieces that slip over your spool pins and hold your cones in place while you sew. Simple and inexpensive, but also very effective.
Few sergers come with any sort of cover, so it’s always nice to find one that does.
Features and Benefits Review of the Janome MyLock 634D
As we’ve already mentioned, this machine has some nifty extras for the intermediate-to-advanced sewist. Here are some of the features we like best.
Built-in Picot Stitch
We dinged the Janome MyLock 634D for its small selection of built-in stitches. However, it redeems itself with this quirky, unexpected extra decorative stitch.
Quick-Change Rolled Hem
We have to be clear: this model’s quick-change rolled hem is not the same as a built-in rolled hem. You still have to go through a few steps to prepare your machine to make a rolled hem. However, the Janome MyLock 634D has a switch that will move the needle plate to a rolled-hem-friendly position, so that’s something.
The Janome MyLock 634D has colour-coded thread guides and a thread map. It also comes with both serger tweezers and a separate needle threader. Even better, though, you can move the lower looper into an easier-to-access position.
Lower Looper Pretension Setting Slider
This feature allows you to make a rolled hem without changing your thread tension. Simply switch the slider to the “rolled hem” setting, and your tension is sorted.
Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
For most types of sewing, standard presser foot pressure is fine. But sometimes, for example when working with very light or very heavy fabrics, you’ll want to change it. Most Janome machines come with this feature.
Alternatives to the Janome MyLock 634D
No review would be complete without a look at the competition. Here are a few models that we think are worthy competition to the Janome MyLock 634D.
The Juki MO-8CB is a straightforward mid-range serger. In addition to two, three, and four-thread stitching, its features include:
- A free arm
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Lower looper threading lever
- Built-in rolled hem
It’s a high-quality, industrial-inspired serger at a very decent price.
Bernette Funlock B44
Bernette makes straightforward, stylish machines with a high quality build. The Funlock B44 is no exception. Its features include:
- 15 built-in stitches
- Built-in rolled hems
- Lower looper threading mechanism
This is an easy-to-use and affordable serger.
Singer Professional 14T968DC
If you’re up for a challenge, and that challenge includes finding maximum features for your money, then the Singer Professional 14T968DC may be one to check out.
This is a combination serger and coverstitch machine. It can sew with two, three, four, and five threads. It also has automatic tension adjustment and four built-in rolled hems.
Best of all, it costs just slightly less than what you might pay for the Janome MyLock 634D. You can read more about it in our full Singer Pro 14T968DC review.
Budget machines can be a great way to experiment with a new technology with minimum risk. But if you know what you want, you shouldn’t skimp on features. And a budget serger will almost always skimp on something.
Paying a bit extra for a mid-range serger like the Janome MyLock 634D will get you all of the necessary features, plus a bit more.
The Janome MyLock 634 is a full-featured mid-range serger. It has some nice extras, especially for the experienced user. At the same time, it lacks a bit in the overlock stitch selection stakes, and at this price point, a proper built-in rolled hem (or even more than one) isn’t too much to ask.
Still, if this combination of features appeals to you, this could prove a durable, easy-to-use, high quality addition to your sewing room.
Do you have experience with the MyLock 634D? We’d love to hear about it!
- Janome US | The Founding of a New Home | https://www.janome.com/about-us/history/