I bought mine elsewhere and have had it long enough to say I wish I had bought it here at Amazon. The price here is very good, and if you buy it with Prime, no shipping charge. A nice little serger, not too large, not too heavy, but heavy enough not to rock off the table at a fast speed. This is a manual machine, not automatic.
It comes with three additional presser feet, elastic, gathering, blind hem. The presser foot has an extra high lift so you can get thicker fabrics under the foot.
The threading is color coded and easy to follow as the whole front opens up for easy access, just follow the correct order of threading! (Correct order is in a paragraph below) You can get by with two cones of thread for the loopers and two spools for the needles if cost is an issue.
10/3/2013 UPDATE -- there is a short YouTube video of this model with the Viking name on it -- same machine titled: Husqvarna Viking HClass 200S Serger - that shows threading and removing the stitch finger for rolled hem. The Lady doing the demo is quick so you need your manual if you are not sure where the stitch finger is or what it is.
The accessory tools are attached on the inside of the front cover which makes it very handy to keep them at the machine and in front of you.
Raise the thread pole (antenna) up as high as it will go for the correct tension of the threads.
(5/23/2013 New to serging, this workbook may help you. See WORKBOOK info at bottom of review.)
The Singer 14J250 Stylist II is a 2, 3, 4 thread serger, which means it can use two threads up to 4 threads for most basic serger needs. It will Not do the coverhem stitch which is the stitch you see on T-shirt hems that has the double or triple row of stitching. This machine does have differential feed which helps when the fabric tries to curl and you want to ease it flat, or when you want it to have a wavy edge.
It has a thread-chain cutter built in behind the stitching plate so no scissors needed to cut the thread chain to release the fabric from the machine (Love that Feature!!), an adjustable Fabric Guide -- not seen on most other sergers. BTW, the main tools store in the front. Its open threading makes it one of the easiest threading sergers on the market. The cutting knife can be turned off if you don't need to use the cutting feature. The whole front opens up so you can easily get at the loopers for threading, just be sure to thread it in the correct order so the threads lay in there to function properly -- The Singer manual states first Upper Looper, second lower Looper, then your needles, right then left. Follow the manual's instructions for 3 thread and 2 thread.
9/13/2013 Addendum to threading in manual: I called Singer today and found out that the threading order in the book was reversed. The correct threading is as I wrote above, first the Upper Looper, second the Lower looper, third, right needle and then left needle. This is the correct order for all threading except where you are leaving out one of the needles for a three thread or for a two thread.
You'd usually use 2 thread to make the tiny rolled hem on hankerchiefs and dinner napkins or the bottom edge of a tuck-in blouse. Three thread is the most normally used stitch for overcasting and finishing seams or fabric edges. I also use it when I have ravelling fabric and have to wash it, I first serge the edges and then toss it in the wash on delicate. The 4 thread you'd use on stress places like arm hole or the back seam on pants, because it is the three thread with the safety straight stitch along side.
This machine does not have automatic tension adjustment, you get to adjust it in small increments when needed. I'd highly recommend First writing down the tension settings as they are when you get the machine Before you change anything. That way you have a baseline in case stitching is way off and you need to start over to fix the tension.
There is no need to pull the fabric from the back. That causes needle(s) to bend and then break. Just let it feed, guiding only. Keep your fingers to the side. This machine feeds well from the front, just get it to the front edge of the foot and it will take it in, or just lift the foot a bit to put fabric under if you feel the need. If you don't use the adjustable edge guide and find that your serged stitch is wavering, anchor your right hand steady on the front of the machine guiding the fabric through your fingers, or rest your hand on the table edge.
If you need assistance serging with this machine, do an internet search for White Model Sergers group at yahoo as this model is like the White 2900 or the Viking 200S. There is a way to do a mock coverhem stitch using the serger and your sewing machine with a double needle. Ask that group how to do it. While HSN still has the Stylist II serger in stock there is a video under the picture you can watch.
I'd recommend getting a basic serger book with easy projects to help you get started. Singer had a good one and I know there are others. Make a cover for it and your sewing machine. Have fun.
4/26/2013 -- For anyone just starting out, use a good quality serger thread. Best not to use the cheap stuff as it generally has a tendency to cause more lint to clean out more often -- short fuzzy thread fibers. Serger thread is thinner than regular sewing thread due to the machine runing at high speed. The loopers use the most thread. One can get by with two cones of serger thread for the loopers and two spools of matching color thread for the needles. One well known sewing TV personality says basic choices are neutral colors, like grey or charcoal for dark fabric and beige tone for lighter colored fabric. If you wish to get to know which thread does what part of the stitch chain, use colored thread similar to what is marked on the machine. Run some stitching and see which looper thread is on top and which is at the back, and right and left needle threads so you can adjust if one is off kilter. Save your sample for future comparison with the settings marked on the fabric.
I tape a small bag to the edge of the table to catch the cut off waste. If preferred, thread catchers can be bought or made from patterns; some patterns are free on line.
5/23/2013 -- WORKBOOK -- For those who like additional information there is a free downloadable workbook for this model of serger by the original White company, which is now a part of VSP International company (Viking Singer Pfaff). Go to Singerco.com and under support / manuals you can put in the following model number -- Put in 2000 and scroll down to the bottom manual titled "WSL2000 ATS (Part 1)" and "WSL2000 ATS (Part 2)." That is the free downloadable workbook that will work with this serger. I did a quick check and the differences would be the needles -- Singer says use Singer needles -- and the reference to a waste tray which is not part of the Singer 14J250 Stylist II. If this workbook helps you, leave a comment about it here. Thanks.