Bernina L850 Overlocker – A Comprehensive Review

The Bernina brand has long been synonymous with quality, innovation, and precision in the sewing world. With the L850 Overlocker, Bernina once again proves why it remains a top choice for sewers and crafters alike. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the features of the Bernina L850 Overlocker, discuss its value for money, compare it with other models in the same price range, and delve into any potential shortcomings.

Bernina L850 Overlocker Features

The Bernina L850 Overlocker is a high-performance sewing machine designed to cater to a wide range of sewing projects. Combining Swiss-engineered precision with an array of user-friendly features, the L850 is a top choice for experienced sewers and professionals alike. Here’s a quick overview of its key features and specifications, for a full list of the features that come with the Bernina L850, see the feature table at the bottom of the post.

Bernina L850 Overlocker
Bernina L850 Overlocker

Stitch Variations

The L850 offers a total of 18 stitch variations, including 4-thread overlock, 3-thread super-stretch, 3-thread narrow seam, 3-thread rolled hem, and 3-thread picot stitch, among others. This wide variety of stitch options makes the L850 versatile and suitable for a range of sewing projects, from garment construction to decorative finishes.

Comfort Features

Bernina has ensured that the L850 is a pleasure to work with by including a plethora of comfort features. One of the highlights is the one-step BERNINA Air Threader, which makes threading the looper threads a breeze. The machine also boasts a freearm, a generous sewing space to the right of the needle, and an adjustable workspace height. The BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS) with knee lifter, swing-out presser foot, and 2-step presser foot lifter make sewing tasks more manageable and efficient.

In addition, the L850 offers built-in needle threading, automatic needle stop up, stitch-by-stitch sewing, and a colour-coded One-path Threading system. Adjustable thread tension, stitch length, and cutting width while sewing, along with the Micro Thread Control (mtc) and integrated rolled hem lever, ensure the best possible results for your projects.

Technical Specifications

The Bernina L850 features a stitch width range of 3-9 mm, 6-step presser foot pressure, and a DC motor, allowing for precise control and smooth operation. With a maximum sewing speed of 1,500 stitches per minute, the L850 can help you complete your projects quickly and efficiently. Despite its impressive capabilities, the machine weighs a reasonable 27.1 lbs (12.3 kg), making it manageable for most users.

Standard Accessories

The L850 comes with a variety of standard accessories, such as the Standard Overlock Foot #L10, slide-on extension table, cut-offs bin, BERNINA foot control, and a selection of needles, among others. These accessories enhance the overall sewing experience and add value to the machine.

Price and Value for Money

With an estimated UK price of around £1,500, the Bernina L850 is certainly an investment. However, considering its extensive features, quality, and brand reputation, it’s likely to be a worthwhile purchase for serious sewers who demand top-notch performance and reliability from their machines.

Comparing to similar models

When comparing the Bernina L850 Overlocker with competing models in the same price range, we’ll take a closer look at the Baby Lock Acclaim and the Janome AirThread 2000D Professional. These machines are in a similar price range and also offer a range of features that cater to sewers looking for quality and performance.

  1. Baby Lock Acclaim:

The Baby Lock Acclaim is another popular choice among sewers, offering a variety of features that make it a strong competitor to the Bernina L850. Some of its notable features include:

  • RevolutionAir™ Threading: This system allows for easy and quick threading of both loopers and needles with just the touch of a button. While the Bernina L850’s Air Threader is also convenient, Baby Lock’s RevolutionAir™ is more automated.
  • Automatic Thread Delivery (ATD) System: This feature ensures balanced stitches regardless of the type of fabric or thread being used, without needing to manually adjust the tension.
  • 4/3/2 thread overlocking: The Acclaim can handle a variety of stitch types and combinations, similar to the L850.

While the Baby Lock Acclaim offers a range of impressive features, the Bernina L850 stands out due to its Swiss-engineered precision, Micro Thread Control (mtc), and more extensive range of stitch variations.

  1. Janome AirThread 2000D Professional:

The Janome AirThread 2000D Professional is another strong competitor in the same price range as the Bernina L850. Here are some of its key features:

  • One-Push Air Threading System: Similar to the L850, the Janome AirThread 2000D Professional offers a convenient air threading system that makes threading loopers a breeze.
  • 2/3/4 thread overlocking: The 2000D Professional can handle a range of stitch types and combinations, making it versatile for various projects.
  • Built-in needle threader: This feature allows for easy threading of the needles, comparable to the L850’s built-in needle threader.
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure: The 2000D Professional enables users to adjust the pressure on the presser foot, catering to different fabric types and thicknesses.

While the Janome AirThread 2000D Professional shares many features with the Bernina L850, the L850 edges ahead with its BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS), which provides additional control and efficiency during sewing, as well as the Micro Thread Control (mtc) for precise thread adjustments.

In conclusion, while the Baby Lock Acclaim and the Janome AirThread 2000D Professional are both strong competitors with impressive features, the Bernina L850 sets itself apart with its Swiss-engineered precision, BERNINA Air Threader, and a more comprehensive set of stitch variations and comfort features. This makes the L850 an excellent choice for sewers who demand top-notch performance and reliability from their machines.

The only potential drawback to the L850 might be its price, as it may not be suitable for those on a tight budget or beginners who are just starting their sewing journey. However, for those who can afford it, the L850 is a fantastic choice that delivers exceptional results.


The Bernina L850 Overlocker is an impressive machine packed with features and capabilities that cater to a wide range of sewing projects. With its extensive stitch variations, user-friendly comfort features, and technical specifications designed for precision and efficiency, the L850 is a top choice for experienced sewers and professionals. Although its price may be on the higher side, the value it offers in terms of performance, quality, and included accessories makes it worth the investment.

In comparison to other models in the same price range, the L850 stands out due to its Swiss-engineered precision and the BERNINA Air Threader. While it may not be the ideal choice for beginners or those on a strict budget, the Bernina L850 Overlocker is a reliable and powerful machine that can elevate your sewing experience to new heights.

Feature Table

FeaturesL 850
Stitch Variations
Total number of stitches18
4-thread overlock1
3-thread overlock (wide/narrow)2
3-thread super-stretch1
3-thread flatlock (wide/narrow)2
3-thread narrow seam1
3-thread rolled hem1
3-thread picot stitch1
2-thread overlock (wide/narrow)2
2-thread flatlock (wide/narrow)2
2-thread rolled hem1
2-thread wrapped overlock (wide/narrow)2
2-thread blanket stitch (wide/narrow)2
Comfort Features
One-step BERNINA Air Threader (for looper threads)
Sewing space to the right of the needle55∕8" (143 mm)
Workspace height33∕8" (86 mm)
BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS) with knee lifter
Swing-out presser foot with auto swing back
2-step presser foot lifter with front-foot-lift
Built-in needle threader
Automatic needle stop up
Needle up/down with BERNINA foot control
Stitch-by-stitch sewing
Color-coded One-path Threading
Adjustable thread tension while sewing
Thread tension release when presser foot raised
Micro Thread Control (mtc)
Adjustable stitch length while sewing
Stitch length fine tuning for rolled hem
Adjustable differential feed while sewing
Adjustable cutting width while sewing
Rolled hem lever integrated under stitch plate
Easy to engage and disengage the knife from outside
Integrated upper looper converter
LED sewing light
Thread cutter
Speed selection switch
Safety switch for open cover and raised presser foot
Accessories in the threader cover
Technical Specifications
Stitch width 3–9 mm
6-step presser foot pressure
DC Motor
Maximum sewing speed (stitches per minute)1,500
Weight of machine27.1 lbs/12.3 kg
Standard Accessories
Standard Overlock Foot #L10 (with Tape Guide)
Slide-on extension table
Cut-offs bin
BERNINA foot control
Right seam guide
Manual needle threader/inserter
Set of ELX705 CF needles, assorted
Accessories box
Dust cover

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