Brother 1034D vs. 1034DX (12 Differences)

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I’m embarrassed to admit I recently added the Brother 1034DX serger to my sewing room so I could save time by keeping my Brother 1034D serger threaded with black thread and the new Brother 1034DX with white thread.

Upon opening the Brother 1034DX box, I had been led to believe only a few differences existed between the two machines–mainly the stitch control placements.

However, there are MANY more differences.  

Overall, when comparing the Brother 1034D vs. 1034DX, I like the newer Brother 1034DX better!

Why? Let me give you a picture tour of the similarities and differences between these two popular Brother sergers so you can see it all yourself. 

Brother 1034D vs. 1034DX: What's the Difference?

Brother 1034D vs. Brother 1034DX: The Similarities

Let’s gloss over this similarities section before heading to the more significant differences. 

1. Max Stitching Speed

Both sergers stitch up to 1,300 stitches per minute and are controlled with identical foot pedals. 

2. Available Stitches and Parameters

Both Brother sergers have the same stitch options: 3-thread overlock, 4-thread overlock, flatlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, blind hem, and pintuck stitch.

Both machines also have differential feed ratios of 0.7 to 2.0, stitch lengths from 2.0 mm to 4.0 mm, and stitch widths between 5.0 mm and 7.0 mm. 

And, neither serger is a coverstitch machine, so they don’t do a chain stitch or coverstitch. For this, I recommend the Brother 2340CV. (Learn more in my Brother 2340CV review!)

3. Included Accessories and Presser Feet

Brother Serger, 1034DX, Durable Metal frame Overlock Machine 1,300 Stitches Per Minute, Trim Trap, 3 Accessory Feet and Protective Cover Included

Identical accessories are included with both machines, which also use the same type of needles and presser feet.

Of course, you will need to purchase a few additional serger supplies before getting started, like oil. 

I also really like my elastic serger foot, which I purchased separately. 

4. Ease of Use

Once you master the somewhat steep initial learning curve, both sergers are easy to use and tolerable to thread.

However, both manuals stink, so I read many books to learn and recommend these serger books for beginners. Still, I recommend reading the manual from front to back before starting to serge. 

While the Brother 1034DX manual includes more information and is easier to understand, I still think it could use more information for true beginners. (It also has a DVD, but I wasn’t a huge fan of that either.)

5. Not Heavy-Duty

Even with the correct needle and settings, neither machine effortlessly masters more than two layers of thick denim or fleece. It’s no fun to try to disengage a mess of thick, jammed fabric. 

I recommend the Brother ST4031HD serger, which is intended for heavy-duty serging, if you plan to push the limits of your machine regularly. 

What’s different between the Brother 1034D vs. 1034DX?

Now, I’ll include many pictures of the two sergers to showcase their differences!

In the case where pictures are side-by-side, the Brother 1034DX is always on the LEFT and the Brother 1034D on the RIGHT. 

1. Size and Weight

size of brother 1034D vs 1034DX

Technically, the Brother 1034DX is 11.2″ x 11.7″ x 13.3″ and weighs 7.0 kg while the Brother 1034D is 11″ x 11.8″ x 13.2″ and weighs 5.6 kgs. 

Even though the Brother 1034DX weighs more, though, it is easier to carry because there’s a grip on the front left of the machine. 

2. Stitch Settings Locations

settings on the side of the Brother 1034D

The Brother 1034D above has the differential feed, stitch width, and stitch length levers on the machine’s left side. 

These “levers” make loud grating sounds and are not all that easy to move accurately. 

where the brother 1034dx knobs are

For the Brother 1034DX, the differential feed and stitch length are on the right side of the machine. The stitch width knob is in front of the throat, as shown below. 

stitch width dial on the brother 1034DX

In contrast to the levers on the Brother 1034D, the knobs on the 1034DX are VERY easy to turn accurately and are an improvement!

I prefer having the controls on the right side of the machine where I can see them better. However, it took time to develop muscle memory for the handwheel location amidst the three knobs on that side. (On the Brother 1034D, the handwheel is the only knob on the right side, which is helpful if you blindly reach for it frequently.)

3. Lighting Differences

lighting differences of brother 1034dx vs. 1034d

While both lights function adequately for my tasks (I have great vision and don’t sew in low light), they are VERY different. 

The Brother 1034DX has a whiter LED light that only illuminates a small portion of my workspace, while the Brother 1034D has an icky yellow incandescent light that illuminates a larger area. 

4. Trim Trap Size and Function

trim trap comparison in size

The removable trim trap on the Brother 1034DX has more depth and volume, thus catching more fabric scraps!

Also, it is much easier to attach the 1034DX’s trap to the serger than to do the same on the Brother 1034D serger. To secure the Brother 1034D trap, you have to lift the machine slightly to push it under, which is NOT the case on the Brother 1034DX. 

5. Free Arm Shape and Utility

free arm comparison

When you remove the flatbed attachment on the left of either machine, you reveal a free arm, which is helpful for serging small, tubular projects. 

My coverstitch doesn’t have a free arm, so I’ve gotten used to not using this feature on my serger sewing machines either for the most part. 

However, I prefer the free arm on the Brother 1034DX because the curve at the front of the machine produces easier feeding than the squared corner on the Brother 1034D. Also, the flatbed portion falls out less easily on the Brother 1034DX. 

6. Threading Order

threading order on brother 1034d

Since I despised changing threads before purchasing a second serger, I often didn’t and procrastinated contrasting colored projects.

With infrequent threading, I had to write the threading order on my Brother 1034D in permanent marker! It’s not intuitive as you have to thread the upper looper before the lower looper (see the numbers above). 

threading order on the brother 1034dx

Now, on the Brother 1034DX, the threading order is more intuitive. You thread the lower looper before the upper looper, which means you thread from right to left. No need to mark on here to help me remember! 

Thankfully, once you get the threading order down, further instructions for color-coded threading are visible on both machines. 

7. Thread Guides at the Telescoping Thread Tree

thread tree orientation differences

At the top of the poll, the Brother 1034D has only one circle to pass threads through.

Often, when I reextend the poll top from its depressed state (which is how the poll has to fit in a dust cover), the threads curl around the poll. If I don’t realize this before starting to stitch, my thread will break and I am sad because I have to rethread. 

The Brother 1034D has a hook AND a hole, which has kept my thread from tangling as much. It’s one extra step in the threading process remembering the direction you thread the hook, but this has decreased oversight errors on my part. 

8. First Thread Guide on the Machine Body

thread guide differences

Even when rethreading by knotting on the Brother 1034D, my knots would occasionally get stuck at the first small, metal thread guides, causing them to break. I would then have to rethread the whole stinking machine. 

Instead of metal thread guides, the Brother 1034DX has big plastic holes. Let me tell you, no thread knots get caught in those! (Instead, they get caught later on.)

Also, if you notice, there are no thread tension release buttons on the Brother 1034DX serger machine, which makes threading easier as well!

9. Internal Looper Threading Differences

There are also subtle differences in the thread paths of the Brother 1034DX vs. 1034D. Neither is better or easier, in my opinion. 

threading brother 1034D serger

As shown above, step 9 of threading the Brother 1034D involves sliding the appropriate looper piece out using a plastic slider. 

threading brother 1034DX looper

Meanwhile, this same step is accomplished by switching a lever on the Brother 1034DX, as shown above. 

10. Knife Release Location

knife at lower position

You have to use a lever on the Brother 1034D’s left side to release the knife to the lower position.

In contrast, to release the blade on the Brother 1034DX, you open the front panel and flip a plastic piece. 

Both are easy enough, and I don’t have a preference here. 

11. Presser Foot Pressure Markings

presser foot pressure adjustment

For certain out-of-the-norm fabrics, adjusting presser foot pressure can fix poor stitch quality. 

One issue with the Brother 1034D is there are no quantitative markings on the presser foot pressure knob. Once upon a time, I made a mark for default settings, but it has since rubbed off. I thus have no idea what the factory default presser foot pressure is. 

In contrast, on the Brother 1034DX, the presser foot pressure knob has numbers on it, so you know what to put it back to once you’ve finished with each project!

12. Tool Storage

tweezer holder!

See this sorcery above on the Brother 1034DX?!

There are holders for tweezers, needles, screwdriver, and stitch finger inside the front cover! To help figure out what goes where there are even very slight impressions of the tool shapes. 

Now, on the Brother 1034D, I still have no idea what goes in its one holder (maybe the stitch finger?), but I can assure you, my tweezers and screwdriver do not fit. As such, they live in my trim trap for easy access. 

The Brother 1034DX is much better suited for convenience in this aspect!

Brother 1034D vs. 1034DX: In Summary

These two sergers have identical functions and similar setups but differ in small ways, such as the location of knobs, trim trap size, and threading order.

Overall, I like the small improvements of the Brother 1034DX serger more and have now made this my preferred serger!


  1. Thank you so much for this thorough comparison. I was in the market, and this review helped me decide (on the DX).

    Unfortunately, now that it’s purchased and has been shipped, I now see that there’s a new model 1634DX that’s only available at JOANN. I’ve been scouring the web to learn the differences, but I haven’t found much info. Even the comparison feature on Brother’s web site doesn’t seem to offer much clarity (and some of the feature fields are left blank or appear to be incorrect).

    It’s possible there are no differences at all. Perhaps JOANN simply rebranded the 1034DX as the 1634DX for their exclusive distribution. But that’s speculative.

    Since your comparison is marked “last updated” in October, 2021, I can’t tell when you actually first published this article. As far as I can tell, the 1634DX was released in (approximately) late 2020.

    I know I’m getting a good machine either way, but having finally decided to “take the plunge” and buy a serger, I wish I had at least known about the existence of the newer model before purchasing the 1034DX. But there was (and remains) very little info about it on YouTube, etc., so I made use of the info I had at the time. 😊

    1. Muchas gracias por la información, compré la 1034dx pensando que no había hecho una buena elección ya que en Youtube solo había información de la 1034d pero ahora estoy súper contenta con mi elección por su reseña súper bien explicada, muchas gracias. Saludos.

      1. I don’t have my manuals in front of me to verify 100%, but they look identical when I look between the two machines.

    2. The 1634DX is a “JoAnn’s” only model; it is identical to the 1034DX (available many places). I have them both.

  2. Thank you! I am a beginner and do not know what to purchase, well I mean with what little funds I have available. I spend hours going back and forth between the two D and DX. Your article helped me make up my mind, as I will be purchasing the DX. God bless you and Happy New Year!

    1. Glad this was helpful! They’re both great machines, and I love how they don’t cost an arm and a leg. Happy New Year to you as well!

  3. Hi, I have the brother 1034d and my friend has the 1034dx and she is able to lift her pressure foot and pull out her fabric so that her thread is not chained at the end. IS that something that can be done with the 1034d or only 1034dx

  4. Thank you so very much you helped me make up my mind and save me $100 … you were very thorough with your review… I really appreciated that👍

  5. Talking about #12-Tool Storage. On the 1034D, inside the door of the machine, there is a yellow marking on tab to the left to pull a piece of the machine out and it stores in this spot when not in use. It is only pulled out to do a rolled hem. So you know what that spot is for.

    1. It is use to store the stitch finger, which you don’t use for a rolled hem. But it is easy to forget where you put it!

  6. I really like how you thread the DX. Unfortunately, JoAnn’s has the 1034D and 1634dx only. I could only find the machine on Walmart’s or e-Bay’s website.

  7. Hello, Aly! So I’ve seriously been considering purchasing a serger for a while, and the Brother 1034DX sounds perfect! I did have a question, though- the majority of the fabric that I work with is faux fur. Do you think the Brother 1034DX would be able to handle two layers of faux fur? I use luxury shag and it work fine on both my regular and heavy duty Singer sewing machines, I just want to be sure the Brother 1034DX can handle trimming excess seam allowance and finish the seam properly. If it can’t I’d probably purchase the Brother ST4031HD since it’s more heavy-duty.

    1. Hi! I absolutely love these machines, but one of my biggest gripes is they just don’t cut it as well for the super thick fabrics. (I don’t sew much faux fur, but I do work frequently with thick denim and thick fleece, and these sergers groan a bit about it when I get to serging 4+ layers.)

      The only faux fur I have around my house right now is alpaca faux fur from Fabric Wholesale Direct, which is 383 GSM weight and .55mm thick per their site. I just ran two pieces of it through my 1034D and it didn’t give me a problem forming a good-quality stitch on that double layer. Things did get a little fluffy and crowded around the serger knife, but any serger’s going to be crowded in that area if the fabric’s seam allowance is wide and full of long fluffs!

      I hope that helps a little for reference!

    1. Not sure if you’re US-based, but I use for most of my machine parts and have always been pleased. Sometimes, I do have to go in to my local dealer to purchase parts I can’t find online, though.

  8. thank you so much i was about to return the dx to get the more expensive 1034d but after reading this i’ll keep the dx and save $150

  9. I’ve got my credit card in hand, ready to purchase the DX, when I noticed some differences between it and the D. So, with one quick search, I found your exquisite, informative site and am going ahead to purchase the DX. Please accept my sincere thanks for your very clear comparisons. You’ve given me the peace of mind I needed – and just in time!!

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