How to Change an Overlocker Needle

Written by camela bryan
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How to Change an Overlocker Needle
Most overlock machines use standard sewing machine needles. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Most overlock stitch sewing machines have two needles that move up and down together. You can sew with only the left needle for a wide stitch, only the right needle for a narrow stitch or with both needles for a sturdy double-needle stitch. The needles are a bit tricky to replace because the screws which hold them in place are small and placed very close together. An overlock stitch machine is sometimes called a serger.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Small sewing machine screwdriver
  • New sewing machine needle

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  1. 1

    Loosen the screw located directly over the needle with a tiny sewing machine screwdriver. If you do not have the screwdriver that came with your machine, you may use the screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit.

  2. 2

    Pull the needle straight down 1/2 inch. Note the position of the flat side of the top or shaft of the needle. It will usually be on the back of the needle.

  3. 3

    Remove the needle.

  4. 4

    Position the new needle with the flat side of the shaft in the correct position.

  5. 5

    Insert the needle into the machine by pushing it up as far as it will go.

  6. 6

    Hold the needle in place with one hand while you tighten the screw with the other hand.

  7. 7

    Replace the other screw in the same way, if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • For best results replace your needle frequently.
  • A few types of machines are designed so that it is easiest to remove both screws before you remove the needles.

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