Currently, best tattoo machines are on demand in market. An increasing number of people are willing to part with their cash to obtain body inks. This has been brought about by the rise in the popularity of permanent body art, due to the increased positive attitudes towards tattooing.
It has made artists to fumble around choosing the right machine to use in the tattooing process. For beginners, there are numerous machines that are affordable, convenient, and quite professional. They come in different types and qualities, and it is good to select the tattoo machine of high quality to obtain better results.
This article has compiled some of the best tattoo machines available on the market today. It provides an essential guide to acquiring the best tattoo machine for beginners.
Coil Tattoo Machine Vs. Rotary Tattoo Machine
As a tattoo artist, selecting the most suitable machine is usually the most challenging task due to the many options available on the market. To arrive at the right choice, it is crucial to analyze the distinct features of the coil and rotary tattoo machines. The two machines are useful in producing awesome and appealing tattoos, though they involve applying different methods.
The armature bar of the coil tattoo machine is driven by an electromagnetic current. In contrast, the rotary machine uses a gentler process. Moreover, the coil machine is the most common of the two machines.
It is available in almost every tattoo machine shop. These two types of tattoo machines have striking features that make them different, both in their functionality and construction, as discussed in the following section.
Apart from the method employed, the coil and rotary tattoo machines differ in the peach of the noise produced by each. The coil machine produces a rather loud buzzing sound, while the rotary machine is comparatively quiet. An explanation for this is that the coil machine emits a constant clicking sound due to the release of the armature bar. In contrast, the inner mechanics rotary machine is more straightforward, making it to be relatively quiet while in use.
This is another difference between the coil and the rotary tattoo machine. The coil machine uses a choppier movement, while the rotary machine has a more fluid needle movement. Therefore, needle range is equally an essential consideration when selecting the best tattoo machine.
The rotary machine is more versatile because it is used to produce both lines and shading. In contrast, the coil tattoo machine is only useful for one or the other.
The differences outlined above are useful in selecting the best tattoo machine for beginners. Moreover, there are several advantages and disadvantages to using either of the two machines. For instance, the rotary machine is quite simple to use and is less damaging to the skin. However, it is less effective with larger needles because it lacks the punch and recoil that is common with the coil machine. The rotary tattoo machine is favoured by many people because of its fast needle movement and maintenance costs. However, the shading process is much easier when using the coil tattoo machine.
Another distinct feature between the rotary and coil machines is that the coil machine requires a high skill level to operate. However, it produces intricate line work as compared to the rotary machine. The coil is beneficial in a number of ways, such as its ability to easily create smooth fine lines, though its maintenance costs are high. From this comparison, it is clear that the choice of a better tattoo machine between coil and rotary is rather individual. However, the option should best suit the personal tattooing style, as well as the preferred method.
The coil and rotary tattoo machines are sold in different brands and models. The most popular ones are the Cheyenne tattoo machines, the Bishop rotary machine, and the Eikon tattoo machines.
Liner Tattoo Machine Vs. Shader Tattoo Machine
In selecting the best tattoo machine for beginners, it is also a dilemma to many when choosing between the liner and shader machines. The liner machine is commonly used in the production of outlines and black works, while the shader is employed in shading and colouring. There are various differences between the two machines, including:
The striking difference between the liner and shader machines is the number of needles and their positioning in each machine. The liner tattoo machine has fewer needles than a shading machine to produce more refined and detailed work. Specifically, liners are usually equipped with between 1 and 7 needles arranged in a circle. In contrast, shaders are packed with more than 4 needles arranged in a straight line to resemble a comb.
Speed and Power.
Practically, liner tattoo machines run faster than the shader machines. Furthermore, liners are designed to use fewer capacitors than shaders, which are equipped with a 47uF to 100uF capacitor. The higher power in the shader machines is used to drive a higher number of needles. The needles are powered to penetrate the skin, creating a vibrant and long-lasting colour.
The liner and shader machines have a staggering difference in weight. With an average weight of between 8 and 10ozs, shaders are slightly more massive than the liners, which have an average weight of between 7 and 8ozs. Beginner tattoo artists should use machines that do not cause fatigue because of increased weight that might be difficult to hold for more extended periods.
A higher wrap coil is the most effective for use in a tattoo machine with more needles. This is mostly applicable when setting up a shading tattoo machine, which should have between 10 and 12 wrappings in the coil. In contrast, the liner machine works more effectively when having 8 coil wrappings. The electromagnetic force that moves the needs is strengthened by the increase in the number of wrappings in the coil.
Movement and Strength.
Beginner tattoo artists are taught to avoid stopping when outlining a tattoo drawing. Therefore, to produce smooth lines, liner machines are designed to move faster with less power within them. In contrast, shaders have less power that is just sufficient enough to later on flesh out the tattoo.
Gun Tattoo Machine Vs. Pen Tattoo Machine
The gun and pen tattoo machines differ in appearance, construction, and transmission. While the pen tattoo machine is driven by a motor, the gun machine uses electromagnetism to move the needles by spraying and sucking the solenoid. In the pen tattoo machine, the motor is used to drive the drive rod, moving the needles up and down to distribute the power evenly. The needles used by the two machines are also different. The needles used in the gun machines have longer handles and are comparatively inexpensive. In contrast, the pen machine needles are shorter, easy to replace, and slightly more expensive. Although the two machines have different functional and structural qualities, they both have various advantages and disadvantages.
The gun tattoo machine needles are well-coloured and controlled. Therefore, they produce light transitions that are natural and easy to master with traditional large-area colouring. However, they have disadvantages in the change of needles, troubles in adjusting the machines, the weight, and the poor control of the machines. The gun machines are further divided into secant fog and fogging. In order to work effectively, at least two machines are to be combined. The pen tattoo machine is stronger in the skin and easily makes a mark in light skin. Though it requires special skills to adapt to its usage, the pen machine has a light body, and the needles are easy to change.
The above section has elaborated on the different types of tattoo machines that are best suitable for beginners. The various features explained are a good consideration when planning to acquire a tattoo machine. However, the machines have specific qualities, including the pros and cons that should be adequately considered by beginners, as described in the following section.
Best Tattoo Machines Reviews
This section examines different types of tattoo machines based on various reviews highlighting the pros and cons of using the machines.
1. Dragonhawk Complete Coil Tattoo Gun Kit
This is one of the best tattoo kits available on the market today. The machine is designed into a combination of high-performance ability, value, and sold at a lower price. These are among the qualities considered when choosing the best tattoo machine for beginners. Some of its best specifications include:
- Six (6) individual tattoo machines.
- This machine has extra wrap coils for lining and shading.
- The power supply works in 7-10V.
- The Dragonhawk machines are generally lightweight.
- They come with the USA made inks.
- They are sold together with practice materials.
- The kit is professionally designed.
- The Dragonhawk machine has multiple guns with different features.
- It has a powerful power supply.
- It produces quality shading and lining.
- The machine is designed with the USA made inks that produce good results.
- It has a carry case with accessories.
- The kit is professionally designed.
- It has coil tattoo guns.
- Maintenance could be challenging for newbies.
2. STIGMA Complete Rotary Tattoo Gun Kit Pro
This tattoo machine consists of a high-quality rotary gun and other accessories. The tattoo gun is equipped with a 10w motor, easy to handle, and can work with large-sized needles. The machine is equipped with extra needles, a power supply, DC Cord, colour inks, disposable grips, and other accessories that enable it to perform to its maximum productivity. Basically, the Stigma tattoo has the following main features:
- An excellent starter Kit.
- A well-performed rotary tattoo machine.
- The power supply is of good quality.
- It is useful even with large size needles.
- It comes with better-fabricated accessories.
- The Stigma machine is a powerful and excellent rotary tattoo gun.
- It has a strong 10w motor with a power supply.
- It is favoured because it handles big size needle.
- The machine has additional accessories for practice.
- It has CE Certification.
- The tattoo machine comes with practice inks.
- The machine is not compatible with power above 12 Volt.
- Professional ink is not included.
3. Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
When choosing the best tattoo machine for beginners, this product is highly considered because of the several unique features that make it sell huge on the market. The rotary gun is designed with a quality Aluminium frame and Japanese motor. The machine performs lining, skin colouring, and shading. Also, there are additional cartridge needles for professional results. Other features of this tattoo machine include:
- The machine has an essence rotary pen.
- It is equipped with a charge protective and speed adjustable power supply.
- The Japanese motor ensures a longer gun life.
- It is loaded with cartridge needles.
- It is easy to use.
- People fancy this machine because of the pen style rotary gun.
- It has a quality power supply.
- It is loaded with tested cartridge and needles.
- The machine has a voltage adjustment facility.
- The product comes with no practice materials.
4. HAWINK Complete Coil Tattoo Kit
This product is equipped with the necessary accessories for optimum performance. It is fitted with two tattoo guns, gel grip tubes, and needles. Moreover, there is an additional instruction guide for beginners. Among other features, the HAWINK complete tattoo kit:
- Has a beginner’s level two tattoo guns.
- Comes with inks and grips.
- It is controlled with a foot pedal.
- It is sold with relevant test materials.
- Comes with an instruction guide and support service.
- This sophisticated machine comes with two separate tattoo guns for lining and shading.
- It has good quality ink for practice.
- There are a foot pedal and grips for better comfort.
- Extra needle caps and coils are provided.
- The instruction guide provided is easy to understand.
- The coil-based guns are unsuitable for more extended periods of use.
5. Solong Tattoo Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
The Solong Tattoo machine consists of the rotary and coil machines for both lining and shading. The rotary gun is driven by a 10w Motor, while the Coil tattoo gun has 10 coil wrappings for better performance. Moreover, the Solon tattoo kit consists of a separate foot pedal and clip cord, 50 additional 50 needles, and grips. These machines are long-lasting and with better quality because they operate under 12V power. Other features of this product include:
- Two individual pens, rotary, and coil gun.
- Well-performed power supply.
- Extra needles.
- Foot pedal.
- 28 colour inks.
- The product comes with two individual guns, rotaries and coils.
- It has CE Certification.
- It is packed with a huge ink collection.
- There are a foot pedal and power supply.
- Extra needles and other accessories are provided.
- An allergic test has to be conducted before using the tattoo machine.
6. Mast Tour Rotary Tattoo Pen Machine
This tattoo machine is comparatively powerful than any other machine. Regarded as the best tattoo machine for beginners, the Mast Tour Rotary is operated with a 6-12 V DC cord connection, and there are other DC Clip cords for precise tattoo making. According to its name, the machine is equipped with a pen, power supply, and other needles to work perfectly for professional tasks. Moreover, it has the following features:
- An adjustable Rotary Gun.
- A high power output.
- Extra needles.
- A Professional level needle set.
- It is a stylish pen tattoo gun.
- It has an adjustable needle.
- The power supply is much better.
- It has a strong and powerful motor.
- It comes with extra needles and other accessories.
- During purchase does not come with inks.
7. Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Gun Tattoo Machine
This product comes with an ergonomic design for professional tasks, such as black filling, colour filling, and skin shading, especially in tattoo parlors. The machine has different power modes for lining and shading perfection. It is lightweight and runs in 7.7-8.5 and 8-9 volt. Among other features, the Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine has the following specifications:
- Rotary tattoo guns.
- Sterile Needles.
- A dual-mode power supply.
- Necessary accessory attachments.
- The lightweight machine gives long-term work output.
- Brand warranty.
- It has a well-performing rotary machine.
- It produces good shading and lining results.
- There are two different power modes.
- It comes with excellent accessory attachments.
- The machine is equipped with a sterile EO Tattoo Needle.
- Risk-free operation.
- The machine requires professional handling
8. HAWINK Rotary Tattoo Machine
The Hawink tattoo pen machine is carved by an aircraft Aluminium alloy enclosure and a 35mm Aluminium alloy sleeve. The rotary pen tattoo machine, with German Faulhaber Motor, strong power, super stable, is pretty quiet and relatively easy to master. It has the following specifications:
- The machine has a weight of 128g (0.28lbs), a stroke of 4.0mm.
- There is an RCA Cord connection with a Start voltage of 4 V, a Stitch Frequency of 25 -160 Hz, and continuous operation.
- This machine features a powerful German Faulhaber Motor.
- It is lightweight, super-stable, with a powerful motor and exquisite appearance.
- It produces a smooth, soft, and quiet operation that is ideal healing results.
- It is the best product with the best after-sale service.
- It has strong power, super stable, is pretty quiet, and relatively easy to master.
- The machine is much quieter and vibrates less than conventional tattoo devices.
- It is very easy to clean.
- It causes less irritation on the skin and hurts less.
- The tattoo machine has high puncturing power and frequency.
9. Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine
This newly designed Extreme Rotary Tattoo machine pen works with cartridge needles and produces smooth fluid movement. It proves accurate with fine strokes allowing the artist surgical precision. The machine is carved with ultra-light, high-hardness space aluminium material. The Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine has the following specifications:
- It has 2 pcs of cartridges.
- It comes with one pack stencil stuff transfer gel.
- The machine has 2 pcs soft tattoo ink cups in a safe, steady, and broad base.
- There are 2 pcs immortal tattoo inks.
- It is comparatively light.
- The machine is equipped with multiple needle cartridges, and it is easy to switch between the liner and shader.
- The movement of the ink is effective, producing fine results.
- It makes no noise when being used.
- It is comparatively expensive.
- This machine requires professional skills.
10. Mast Tattoo Handmade Coil Machine
This machine is an excellent all-around liner and appreciated for the smooth lining. It has the following features:
- A solid brass binding post and contact screw.
- Medium running speed with a long throw and hard hit.
- The machine has 10 black wrap coils with a 47uf capacitor.
- An iron frame construction Fitted with standard tube vise.
- The machine packs colouring without overworking the skin.
- It is a consistent and robust machine that is well-built, and nothing slips while using.
- It handles a pretty thick needle pack with no problems.
- This is definitely the machine for beginners.
- The contact screw and the binding post are not effective.
11. HAWINK Handmade Coil Tattoo Machine
This product is powered by 12 coils. It has a carbon steel frame that gives the much-needed strength to this coil shader. The machine has the following specifications:
- It has a magnetic wire coated with 24-gauge enamel.
- The machine has a wide needle capacity.
- The machine has a tremendous front spring.
- It has good grip mechanisms.
- It does not get overheated.
- The product has a compact and portable design.
- It has excellent speed.
- The machine is a heavyweight.
- It is not versatile.
12. Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine
It is often considered the first choice among other premium-quality coil machines and competing for the position of the best tattoo machine for beginners. The tattoo machine is lightweight and compactly designed, making it loved by many people. The Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine has the following specifications:
- The shader comes with 10 wrap coils, while the liner has 8 wrap coils.
- The machine has CNC cut billet brass frame with patterned coils.
- The coil device is lightweight, weighing 1.6 pounds.
- This machine performs both lining and shading.
- The machine is stylish.
- The tattoo kit is portable and very light.
- Beginners would find this machine easy to use.
- Tattoo beginner artists would be confused in using the machine since the shader appears similar to the liner.
- It works at lower voltages.
13. YILONG ‘L’ Rotary Tattoo Machine Tattoo Gun
Yilong Tattoo kit is a professional set with a 2 in 1 Best Rotary Tattoo Machine that does both lining and shading. The machine is very useful for skin artwork, with a mild feeling. Although not the best tattoo machine for beginners, the Yilong Tattoo machine is designed for comfort and safety and is easily assembled and used. It has the following features:
- A high-performance Rotary Gun.
- Sterile Needles for safe practice.
- A powerful power supply.
- The machine comes with a Rotary Gun that does both shading and lining.
- It has a 14000-rpm powerful gun for better artwork.
- There are sterile needles for safety.
- It has a quality performance set.
- The product lacks installation guidelines.
14. Stigma Tattoo Kit Rotary Tattoo Machine Pen
This machine features a powerful motor and an advanced gear system that guarantees reliable, quiet operation without any vibration. It has the following specifications:
- The machine has a weight of 2 Ounces, a specification of 2.7×1.2×0.9 inches, a capacity of 1500 mAh, and an Output Voltage of 4.5-10.5V.
- It has a service time with a full charge of 3-6h, depending on the output voltage.
- A rose gold pen with DC connector, made of Space Aluminum frame and Japan motor.
- There are 20 pcs cartridges E.O Gas Sterilized and individually packaged.
- The machine has an ergonomic, lightweight pen-style.
- It is light, re-usable, and is easily interchangeably used.
- Two tattoo batteries, when one is at work, the other is recharged.
- The STIGMA EM125 tattoo pen is compatible with all the cartridge needles.
- The two batteries are used interchangeably to make tattoo work more efficient.
- It comes with a CE certification and a one-year warranty.
- The batteries could not be long-lasting.
- The needles provided dull faster.
- It only works if you’re pushing lines away from you.
- There is vibration while the machine is running.
15. BIGWASP Cartridge Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
The Bigwasp rotary tattoo machine pen is made of a Space Aluminum frame and Japan motor. The machine allows the production of different styles using various techniques. Moreover, the procedures used are more comfortable to follow, compared to traditional machines. The machine has the following specifications:
- This Pen Style of Rotary Tattoo Machine is Powered by Japan Motor, Motor speed of 12000/m.
- The Recommended working voltage is 5-8V and a standard 3.5mm stroke.
- It is designed from solid aircraft aluminium by Precision CNC.
- Designed with a long grip for stability and comfortable handling.
- The pen is easily disassembled and assembled, with no need for any technology.
- Upgraded Swash Pallet to make sure the needle drive bar never sticks.
- The machine has to run at a high voltage.
This machine gives the closest feel to an actual pen that you can get with a tattoo machine. It has the following features:
- The Body is designed from an Aircraft Aluminum and weighs 154g (5.43oz).
- No-load starting voltage of 4V dc.
- Operating voltage of 5V~12V DC, while the recommended voltage is 6V.
- The machine has a stroke length of 3.5mm.
- It has an adjustable stroke range of 4.5mm.
- The machine has long-lasting stability, powered by a reliable Swiss motor.
- Offers an excellent work environment with a lightweight, low-noise machine.
- Runs smoothly between 5-7 Volts DC and has an RCA Cord Connection.
- In some cases, the machine runs and stops after a short while.
- The motor doesn’t sound as smooth as any of my other machines.
Tattoo Machine Accessories
When shopping for the best tattoo machine for beginners, there are many accessories that should be obtained to make the purchase a success. Moreover, one must conduct regular maintenance on the item by getting all the supplies needed, including ink, power, needles, tubes, and first aid kit. Additionally, most tattoo kits come with a footswitch, electrical supply, and a couple of tattoo guns. Some of the most essential accessories are discussed in the following section.
The needles serve to drive the ink into the skin once it gets in contact with it. Needles come in varied sizes. Therefore, as a beginner, endeavour to have a wide variety of needles to accommodate many customers. Moreover, another trick is to use a tattoo machine loaded or comes with many needles that are easy to switch to.
Tattoo tubes serve to hold the needles in their place and support them when in contact with the skin. The tubes could be purchased either in their reusable or disposable condition. Reusable tubes and needles should be cleaned using an autoclave and regularly sterilized, especially between tattooing sessions or when serving different customers.
During tattooing sessions, the tattoo machine ink is combined with metal content and a carrier liquid, such as alcohol or water. The combination is aimed to engage the colour from the tattoo machine to the skin. However, as a beginner that wants to save some coins, it is better to mix their own colours or buy the pre-mixed ones from tattoo stores. In most cases, the FDA regulates the distribution of tattoo ink to protect customer well-being. Therefore, to avoid such inconveniences, it would be wiser to improvise own palette that sufficiently meets the necessary design requirements.
The best tattoo machine for beginners should be accompanied by an extra tattoo power supply to guarantee continuous tattooing. Sufficient power supply is necessary for the proper and effective running of a tattoo machine. Power supplies are available with analog or digital displays. Moreover, they display the current power load and foot pedal status, facilitating a more effortless adjustment of the machine to the desired speed. The features of the power supply kit and voltage should complement the tattoo machine and art specialization.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a necessary accessory in case of emergency cases. It comes with other medical supplies, including sanitizers, furniture disinfectants, and other cleaning tools. It is essential to maintain a hygienic and sterilized work station to protect the health and safety of visitors and customers.
Best Tattoo Machine Buying Guide
Purchasing the best tattoo machine for beginners requires a substantial guide, ass discussed in this section.
For beginners, it is good to start with a much cheaper model. As the interest in tattooing grows, more complex and costly machines are acquired. Moreover, more affordable tattoo machines are easy to maintain for beginners.
Beginner tattoo artists should start off with simple designs of the machines that require less learning period. The goal is to master the art of tattooing and not master the use of a particular tattoo machine. The best tattoo machine for beginners should not be sophisticated with more complex features that are not easily mastered, and paying for them would be a waste of money.
It Should Meet the Needs
Since the tattoo machine is overly popular, one should purchase the machine that meets their needs, such as lining, shading, or both. Beginners should buy tattoo machines and their accessories separately. This enables them to learn about tattooing and how everything works before starting off.
Weight and Ergonomics
The best tattoo machine for beginners should be lightweight and comfortable to use. This reduces the risk of developing wrist pains and carpal tunnel syndrome, hindering learning, and having fun.
Select the tattoo machine does not break down easily when in use, resulting in messy results. Moreover, this could discourage beginner form continuing with their learning process.
User Guide for Beginners
Beginner tattoo artists may need to conduct some maintenance on their machines. The following are some essential tips that could be useful:
- Read the instruction manual on the proper maintenance of the tattoo machine.
- Do not clean the tattoo machine using bleach because it may cause rust and destroy springs.
- Tap water is not really an effective cleaner as it may get into the wiring.
- Use a disinfectant spray that is not too strong for cleaning the machine.
- During cleaning, the machine is not disassembled. However, it could be disassembled when water or ink accidentally drops into its internal parts.
- Regularly cleaning the tattooing machine eventually makes it fade away. To avoid the rusting, consider lubricating the machine often, using olive oil.
- Use a clean paper towel to oil the surface of the machine, and cotton buds for more challenging to reach areas.
- The carbon deposits under the armature bar, as well as the contact point between the front spring and the screw, are removed using 1000-grit sandpaper.
a) Should I get a rotary tattoo machine or coil machine as a beginner?
That depends on the current skill level. However, beginners should stick to a rotary for some time. This is because beginners lack the skills and experience to make easy adjustments, especially based on the noise, and how to customize these machines properly.
b)Can I use a professional tattoo machine as a beginner?
Beginners need to start off with simple tattoo machines that are not sophisticated. Professional machines require a high level of skills and sufficient knowledge, usually after practicing and learning to use simpler models.
c) Should I buy a tattoo kit or equipment piece by piece?
Beginners should purchase tattoo machines and their accessories separately. This enables them to learn about tattooing and how everything works before starting off.
d) How to start tattooing from home?
It is possible to begin tattooing from home for beginners. One only has to purchase a simple machine and the necessary accessories. Using the user manual, it is easier to assemble the machine and start learning the simple tattooing tricks form home.
e) Is it good to buy a tattoo machine online?
Yes. There are many perfect tattoo machines that are purchased online. Moreover, one is provided with the relevant user guide when purchasing the machine from online stores.
f) Are error chances more with rotary tattoo machines?
Yes. Most people find it challenging to work with the rotary machine because it is less fast in tattooing. Moreover, it is not effective in the lining.
g) How to choose the best tattoo ink?
The best tattoo ink for beginners should be economical. Moreover, the best inks should have high pigment concentration, sterilized for safety, and vegan friendly. The ink should serve the purposes of both lining and shading for increased convenience.
h) Do rotary tattoo machines hurt much more?
No. Rotary machines are extremely simple to use and less damaging to the skin. However, they do not offer punch and recoil. Therefore, rotary models are less effective with larger needles.
i)How long would it take to become a professional tattoo artist?
It depends on the commitment towards mastering the skills in tattooing. Depending on the type of machine in use, people have different learning periods within which they become professional tattoo artists.
Tattooing requires several tattoo tools and equipment, as discussed in this article. Moreover, many accessories come with a tattoo machine. Beginner tattoo artists cannot find all accessories at a time, but they need a full kit.
There are many types of best tattoo machines for beginners on the market today. The best tattoo machine enables one to become perfect in tattooing and proceed faster to professionalism. This review minimizes the pain of surf the internet for many choices.
These machines come in different models depending on the needs. It is wise to start with simpler models as beginners, learn the basic tattooing tricks, and proceed to more complex and sophisticated machines. Moreover, using the best ink ensures the production of better artwork.