Adjusting the Serger Cutting Width

Sergers are amazing machines and one of the things we LOVE about the Janome AT2000D is right in the name; Air Threading. A quick flip of a switch and push on the lever and each looper is threaded. If you have ever threaded loopers by hand you will understand what a magical timesaver this is!

But, once you have your serger threaded, what if you want to make some adjustments?

It is easy to become overwhelmed with the dials on your serger as there’s many things, many techniques you can do on a serger. We often talk about tension, stitch length and differential feed, but I want to talk to you today about the cutting width, which is an adjustment made with the knife blade.

On the Janome AT2000D, this dial located just in front of the upper knife and it adjusts how close the knife is to the needle plate. This changes how close your cut edge of the fabric is to the needles so it will affect how your stitches look.

Why does this make a difference? As the Upper Looper and Lower Looper threads intersect around the cut edge of the fabric, the cutting width changes how close the loops of thread are to the edge of the fabric. In a perfect world, you would like these loops to sit right along the cut edge. Too close to the edge and it will scrunch your fabric up, too far from the edge and your loops will be sitting off the fabric completely. 

If your fabric is scrunched then you may be loosing accuracy in your seam allowance and your  seams may roll and be uncomfortable if it is part of a wearable item. Loops that are completely off the fabric can cause issues with snagging and become unraveled if one thread gets cut accidently.

To get the perfect loops you may have to adjust both the cutting width of the blade and the tension of the looper threads. Do not be afraid to adjust both. Writing down or marking settings before adjusting can help you reset everything in case you go way off track.

Why can’t we just set a width for this cutting and leave it there forever? All fabrics and techniques are different. I cut the below fabrics at the same cutting width setting but the stitches are different on both. Having the ability to make these adjustments really helps get the best finish on every fabric. You might make a more narrow cutting width on fine, thin fabrics, and a wider cutting width on thicker fabrics, for example.

Top: Cutting Knife Blade is too close
Bottom: Cutting Knife Blade is just right

We would love to teach you more about using your Janome Serger, whatever the model as all Janome sergers have very similar adjustments. Leave a comment below letting us know what questions you have. They could be answered LIVE during one of our Janome HQ Instagram LIVE presentations! Check out more serger tips and tricks on the Janome HQ You Tube channel!

Stitch On!


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4 Responses to Adjusting the Serger Cutting Width

  1. CherylAnn says:

    Amanda, You explained this so well. I have known this for years, but seldom make any adjustments on my serger. I’ve had a few in the past 40 years, but my favourite is the AT2000 – so glad Janome finally made this model. I’ve been mostly loyal to Janome, but my first was a Singer back in the 1980’s – dreadful machine, but it sewed most of my children’s t’shirts, fleece outfits and the like. When I finally got my first Janome Serger in about 1993 – just before the differential feed, I was thrilled that each time I put my foot down, I knew I was going to get a perfect seam. Later, I got the Huskqvarna/Viking 936 because it had the CoverHem as well. It was and still is a very good serger, but to get to use the CoverHem was such a pain that I very seldom used it. Then my first CoverPro 1000 CP was like a miracle happened and that I upgraded to the CoverPro 2000 and now I have the CoverPro 3000 and it is such a delight in combo with my AT2000 and my Continental M7 and M17 and other Janome sewing machines. I have several sewing machines and sometimes they are all at work in a day – Grandchildren need to sew with Grandma some times – they are allowed to use them all – Janome can handle them with ease.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.


    • AmandaBee says:

      Thank you for your wonderful comment CherylAnn! We often get by with the machines we have access to but when you get the change to step up to a machine that is more streamlined life is so good! I love you sew with your grandkids! I love having my 2 kids in my studio creating with me.

      Happy Sewing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • CherylAnn says:

        Amanda, I had my son, when he was a baby sitting beside the sewing table on the floor while I sewed. I had forgotten about that, but when he was told by his wife that he had to sew his own gifts for his children on his own, he did it and I was amazed. It wasn’t until I really thought about it that I realized that he should be able to do this as he’d been around me sewing all his childhood. Now my 3 daughters, don’t seem to have much interest and that makes me a bit sad. However, they do let me have their children to sew with me, when there is time. Sometimes a generation might be skipped because Mom, who becomes Grandma gets to do that sewing.


      • AmandaBee says:

        How sweet that your son did that! I love that!


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