Best Tattoo Machines

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 2, 2017
A tattoo machine is a personal brush of a tattoo artist using which he draws his masterpieces on a human’s skin. To do that well, it's essential that a tattoo machine is reasonably chosen, for human skin isn't a canvas but a body part to wear forever. We have selected only the best quality tattoo machines that will help you create fantastic tattoos and artwork. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
BEST FOR
FRAME MATERIAL
POWER SOURCE
PACKAGE
WARRANTY
 
PROS
The Best Pick award is given to Pirate Face Tattoo Kit not without a reason. It suits perfectly well a wide audience regardless of their skills and includes all accessories for use in a long while.
CONS
The included tattoo practice skin is reported to be of rather poor quality.
OUR VERDICT

Pirate Face is one of the best tattoo machines recommended by professionals. This kit has everything that's required to get started right away. 4 tattoo machines and a book with tattoo history are a pleasant bonus.

detailed parameters
TYPE
Coil
BEST FOR
Shaders / Liners
FRAME MATERIAL
Stainless Steel
POWER SOURCE
1.5 - 18V
PACKAGE
4x Tattoo machines (10 wrap coils), 4x Tattoo machine grips / barrels, 50x Sterile Needles, 7x Tattoo Ink, 27x Disposable tips, 8x Stainless steel tips, Adjustable tool kit, Tattoo practice skin, Carrying case, Power supply unit
WARRANTY
6 months
PROS
Easy-to-use ergonomic tattoo gun for novice and pro. Fitted in aluminum frame, it's very lightweight for high focus when detailed patterns are to be made.
CONS
The tip should be tightened firmly.
OUR VERDICT

Generic tattoo gun is surely among the best rotary tattoo machines that can work so fast and with such precision. A must to keep at hand for defining accurate contours and details.

detailed parameters
TYPE
Rotary
BEST FOR
Shaders / Liners
FRAME MATERIAL
Anodized aircraft aluminum
POWER SOURCE
6 - 13V
PACKAGE
3x Connector adapters, 1x Tattoo machine grip, Tattoo machine
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
For a good price you can get this starter kit and master your tattooing skills. The set includes all consumables and so, requires no extra spendings.
CONS
You may want to use a different set of inks for best quality tattoos.
OUR VERDICT

One of the best tattoo machines for beginners! It contains all accessories and consumables to start working right away. Favored by most average users who've just got into tattooing.

detailed parameters
TYPE
Coil
BEST FOR
Shaders / Liners
FRAME MATERIAL
Stainless Steel
POWER SOURCE
0 - 18V
PACKAGE
2x Tattoo machines (10 wrap coils), 2x Tattoo machine grips / barrels, 20x Sterile needles, 10x Tattoo ink, 10x Disposable tips, 5x Stainless steel tips, Tattoo practice skin, Sheet transfer stencil paper ink cups, Power supply unit
WARRANTY
Frame and coils - 1 year, Other components - 6 months
PROS
Boasts 2 hours of continuous use before it needs cooling down, which is definitely an outstanding rate for a rotary tattoo machine in the class.
CONS
The setting isn't exactly straightforward.
OUR VERDICT
Lightweight and ergonomic tattoo gun to go with all needles and tips available on the market. A wise choice in terms of quality-money ratio.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Rotary
BEST FOR
Shaders / Liners
FRAME MATERIAL
Aluminum
POWER SOURCE
0 - 14V
PACKAGE
2x Tattoo machines
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
A nice design along with high quality set of consumables make this tattoo gun a great purchase at a reasonable price.
CONS
The speed for outlining define contours could be higher.
OUR VERDICT
An affordable tattoo machine to use for bright and full-size markings. The minimum vibration level makes it suitable for a long-hour use.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Coil
BEST FOR
Shaders / Liners
FRAME MATERIAL
Cast iron
POWER SOURCE
6 - 8V
PACKAGE
Tattoo machine
WARRANTY
1 year

What is a Tattoo Machine

Today you wouldn’t surprise anyone with a bright tattoo mark on your shoulder or back. That’s not a novelty but modern trends that dictate the fashion. For a lot of people having a tattoo is also a way of self-expression in which the image under their skin has a symbolic meaning and often reflects their personal qualities. Tattoo also lies in a base of permanent makeup so popular between girls worldwide. And, obviously, it’s going to become only more and more widespread. Yet, to make a good tattoo that would last and not fade away in the first couple of months, it’s important that a tattoo machine has been chosen properly. Looking for this tool, many people often wonder where to buy tattoo machines. What are the best tattoo machines to buy? How much do they cost? In our review, we’re going to give answers to these questions and tell you about the top rated tattoo machines and how they work.

Since more and more people tend to embellish things around them, you might also get interested in engravers, a hand-held tool used to dent some design pattern on a smooth surface. Using one of them, you can actually personalize your tattoo machine and make it look unique and exclusive.

What Features to Compare

Type

The market offers different types of tattoo machines, so before you go buy a tattoo machine, we offer you to discover some important things to figure out about this device. Among the vast array of tattooing machines, the most widespread and popular are rotary and coil.

  • Rotary machines are based on electric motors and rotary technology to move a needle up and down and incise the ink into a skin. Depending on the current output, the number of rotations may vary so that it’s easy to control a tattooing process. Rotary machines are most popular among novice tattoo artists who just get their hands in this unusual but still beautiful art and beauticians rendering permanent makeup services. The tattoos done with rotary machines look much more define and bright and are unlikely to dissipate quickly.
  • Coil tattoo machines are fallen into two types either, which are Liners and Shaders. So, what is the difference between liner and shader tattoo machines types? Liner machines are mainly used to lay define and dominant lines on the skin, usually contours that are not supposed to spread about the area but look solid and bright. To do contours and lines well, liner machines require making one pass only and so, operate at rather high speeds which may reach 130 pinholes per second. Shaders won’t help in this work, but where they would be truly irreplaceable is when shading the black and saturating the color. They don’t traumatize skin as much and can be used for an extended period of time on the same bit of the skin to achieve darker shades.

Rotary tattoo machine vs coil one? Which type is the best? There’s no right answer to this question. It all depends on your skills and preferences.


    With all that said, it’s important that you understand that you won’t be able to make a good tattoo having only one of the two machines. Professional tattoo artists have several devices to do all sorts of patterns and that’s the only way to ensure brilliant results.

    Performance

    To make a tattooing process easier, it’s essential to use a decent equipment, and so, it’s got to be pretty powerful. You mightn’t need to always use it at the highest settings, for there are certain markings that require complete focus and slow work with high attention to detail, but agree, it’d be much better if you had a choice and an option to vary the speed and set a comfortable one to work at, depending on what you’re currently doing, defining the lines or filling the color.

    Material

    You might just as well want to consider the frame material of the chosen tattoo machine. Why is it important? Well, since now you’re going to spend most of the time, holding it in hands, the device has got to be rather lightweight and cause no fatigue. It also shouldn’t be prone to overheat which often happens to poor quality tools when intensively used. Aluminum frame is probably the quickest to cool down. It’s also extremely light compared to machines made of steel, which in their turn, are more durable and reliable. Now you need to decide which is more important for you - ergonomics, comfort, light weight, high resistance to overheat or grade quality, longevity and reliable performance. The good thing is, you’re no way limited in choices and here in this review you’ll find top rated tattoo machines of all classes and with a varied price tag.

    ...Read more ...Read less

    Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA

    Everything Out-of-the-Box

    Pirate Face is one of the best tattoo machines brands, and this machine completely lives up to its reputation! It comes fitted with all the stuff required for immediate use out-of-the-box. No matter whether you’ve already done a hundred tattoos before or you’re just about to try making one, it will suit you fine. The complete kit includes all consumable materials, including the needles and ink and arranged all in a compact but thought-out storage case. Despite a wide array of accessories that come together with a tattoo machine itself, the whole kit is still pretty portable and can be easily used away from home in mobile salons or at a client’s place. When compared to most available options, Pirate Face tattoo kit features an extensive kit of accessories, thereby eliminating the need to go to the shop for more tools or ink. It’s packed with over 50 needles, 27 disposable tips and 7 color inks. At this point, we can say that this tattoo machine is suitable for use of both professional tattoo artists and amateurs since it allows for color and contour experiments right away. For inspiration, the manufacturer supplied its products with a manual book that contains over 240 pages of step-by-step tattoo markings with high attention to details. Once the needle is injected properly, the machine is pretty easy to set and get to work in a blink of an eye. Use Pirate Face Tattoo Machine to make your and your friends’ life more colorful and exciting.

    Review of Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA

    Some Useful Tips for Novice Artists

    • For comfort work, professional tattoo artists recommend keeping all working materials within hand’s grasp so that you don’t need to reach for anything during the tattooing process. A cloth which is always needed during work ought to be just as well at your hand, and it’d be much better if it’s literally there wrapped around your wrist or elbow.
    • Before starting to incise a tattoo, the designated skin area should be treated properly. Firstly, it’s got to be shaved and secondly, it’s got to be cleaned with alcohol.
    • During the tattooing process itself, you are expected to keep on wiping the marking with 50% alcohol.
    • If the tattoo is multicolored, you shouldn’t forget to clean the needle each time you are about to dip it into a different ink pot, otherwise, the final tattoo may look like a dirt spot. For making complex tattoos, professional artists usually keep about 10 devices at hand so that changing colors is easy and fast. Yet, notwithstanding how good this tip may sound to you it does involve some money investment and unless you plan to make money on tattooing, there’s no need to purchase as many machines.
    • When the tattoo is done, wash it with warm water and cover with an aseptic patch to make sure that no bacteria can get inside and cause any harm. The tattoo is a green wound after all.
    Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA in the use

    More Products to Consider

    Any work related to skin treatment should be done with sterile measures in mind. So, make sure to get these Black Nitrile Powder Free Medical Grade Exam and Tattoo Gloves to have enough pairs for 100 procedures at least.


    VIDEO
    Pirate Face tattoo "the Carver kit"
    Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA
    Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA
     

    Generic Rotary Tattoo Machine

    A Little Monster

    It’s not just a trend but rather a necessity for beauticians today to be skilled in permanent makeup. Girls around the world now look for specialists to have their brows and lips highlighted and more defined. This is where Generic Rotary tattoo gun would help. This small beast is truly one of the best professional tattoo guns on the market! It’s just the right size to fit in hand and powerful enough to penetrate deep into a skin. Unbelievable speed at 10,000 rpm and 4,5W motor are the specs no one would expect from a rotary tattoo pen of such a compact size like this, but here we go - Generic manufacturer did its best to fit such brilliant performance in this little "monster" favored by tattoo artists around the globe. The flipside of this tattoo gun is only that it tends to overheat when used for a long while, however, the same can be easily said about any rotary machine, so, if looking at it from this point of view, this isn’t such a big issue. Besides, due to the aluminum machine frame, the unit cools down pretty fast too, meaning that you can use it for as long as you need making some short intervals during work. You’d have to do them anyway in order to clean tattoo with alcohol or just to give your hand some rest.

    Review of Generic Rotary Tattoo Machine

    The Origin of the First Tattoo Machine

    Thomas Edison was the first one who had brought the concept that further lay in a base of a contemporary tattoo device when created an electric feather device. Designed to make copies of documents that device quickly gained vast popularity among businessmen of those times. The operating principle of the feather was based on a rotary motor that forced injected needle to move up and down so that it could pin paper stencils. Afterward, stencils were covered with paint and recently made holes transformed into readable texts. That’s how the copies were done. And that’s still the way how most tattoo machines operate.

    Yet, the original tattoo machine was created by a different person, Samuel O’Reilly, who took Edison’s idea for a base. He didn’t change much but added an ink pot and a few more needles to the main one. That was the first tool used for tattooing at that time. Pretty soon, O’Reilly acquired a patent for his invention which grew in popularity more and more each day. He did the right thing to get it on time, for in a short while, tattoo machines started to emerge everywhere. Today, they all look so unlike and yet, deliver the same functionality. We still have a needle and ink that ought to go under our skin to leave a color permanent marking.

    Generic Rotary Tattoo Machine in the use

    More Products to Consider

    You may want to get TattooStar Dual Digital Tattoo Machine Power Supply to adjust output current in the range 1.5-18V and connect two tattoo machines (liner, shader) with clip cords.


    Generic Rotary Tattoo Machine
    Generic Rotary Tattoo Machine
     

    Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color

    Start With Dragon Hawk

    Dragon Hawk produces pretty good tattoo machines for beginners, and this set is a wonderful example! For a good price, you can get a full starter kit, including two superior tattoo machines (liner and shader). Possibly, the kit won’t fit for a professional use where tattoo artists spend hours on outlining elaborate markings of intricate patterns each day, but for occasional use if you’ve got a handful of clients, it will surely suit fine. Right out-of-the-box you get two machine units - a powerful Liner unit for defining contours and a Shader for filling skin with the color. Despite such a moderate price, the set has all needed accessories to get started right away. Besides, it’s shipped to customers with CDs on which professional artists share their experience, describing the whole tattooing process step-by-step. The included tattoo practice skin is also provided so you can practice on it first before actually pinning a real skin. If you’re a starter, this Dragon Hawk set is what you need, for at first it doesn’t cost a fortune, and for second, if it gets out of order for inaccurate use you wouldn’t regret it much. After all, when you master your skills, you’re very likely to get in this art seriously and be eager to upgrade your machine anyway.

    Review of Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color

    Back to the First Permanent Markings

    To say for sure when the first tattoo was done isn’t that easy since tattooing was wide too popular around the globe for over 60,000 years. According to researchers, the first trace of tattoos was found during excavations of Egyptian pyramids. Yet, even that cannot be counted as an outset of tattoo art, for the mummies at the time aged around 4,000 years had already had their bodies tattooed. So, what actually stands behind a tattoo? Why are people of so many generations eager to have one? To give answer to that isn’t as simple, the reasons may vary from person to person. In the ancient time, though, tattoo wasn’t perceived exactly as a body embellishment but rather as an assignment to a peculiar gens so that people from the same group could easily identify strangers.  

    Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color in the use

    More Products to Consider

    Once you start to use a tattoo machine, you’d need to get quite a lot of ink. We’d like to offer you to get the Millennium Moms PRIMARY set of 14 ink pots, 0.5 oz each, for professional use.


    Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color
    Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color
     

    Yuelong Rotary Liner Shader Body Art Tattoo Machine

    Need-handed Professional Tattoo Gun

    This model is a bright representative of famous Chinese tattoo machines! Yuelong tattoo gun is very easy to set to work! It comes with detailed tattoo machine setup instructions that will walk you through the assembly process. After that, you wouldn’t spend more than a minute to select the needed options and get started. The machine isn’t only user-friendly and easy-to-adjust, it’s also extremely lightweight and simple to control. With its mere weight 80 g, handling it will be a breeze and making intricate patterns which require a lot of concentration will be no problem at all granted that you don’t forget to vary speeds. Those users who’ve ever hold a pro-grade tattooing device in hands would feel a difference right away. This tattoo gun feels like a feather yet, it’s not far behind to expensive models in performance. Yuelong Rotary Tattoo machine operates on a high-performing electric-driven motor and provides 3.7mm needle shot. For permanent makeup, you would need to adjust the needle length so that it would go no more than 1.0 mm under the skin. That’s also possible to be done. Speaking of permanent makeup procedures, Yuelong electric tattoo machine set will suit beauticians just fine, for it comes with two custom tattoo machines and allows for all types of works that require contouring and shading with color. It’s one of the cheapest professional tattoo machines available on the market. A win-win choice!

    Review of Yuelong Rotary Liner Shader Body Art Tattoo Machine

    Where to Get a Tattoo

    Those who’re about to go have a tattoo done should read this before they actually do it. There are some precautions that oughtn’t to be neglected and here they are. The skin area where a tattoo has just been done becomes much more sensitive to the sun and so, shouldn’t be exposed to direct sun rays. According to the research conducted by the American dermatology academy, the UV rays when they get on the skin react upon the ink and may easily cause a real burn (red and orange colors are the most vulnerable). This is where you need to think of the place carefully and treat it with care. If you’ve got moles, make sure that you don’t have them tattooed. But of course, if the artist is good enough, he’d be able to avoid them, filling the nearby area with color and making them blend.

    Yuelong Rotary Liner Shader Body Art Tattoo Machine in the use

    More Products to Consider

    200 needles is a great pack for both liner and shader tattoo machines you would still need in the future, so make sure to get it now in store.


    Yuelong Rotary Liner Shader Body Art Tattoo Machine
    Yuelong Rotary Liner Shader Body Art Tattoo Machine
     

    Handmade DM-8

    Handmade to the Teeth

    Handmade DM-8 tattoo machine was called so for a reason. Once you look at the pictures of this tattoo machine, you wouldn’t be able to say how much it costs. A frayed but posh design makes it look way more expensive than it really is. So, with no shade of a doubt, you’d like to this cheap tattoo machine! What about performance? It’s not a fracture worse than its beautiful appearance. Most components are manually attached to provide high quality and efficiency during use. The spring features a composite material which is recognized for its high rigidity and durability, so even in several years of intense use, it won’t lose its springiness and will deliver great performance.

    Review of Handmade DM-8 Tattoo Machine Liner Shader

    Need to Know

    Having a tattoo done is a half work done! Tattoo is done forever, but the same can be said about many things. Tattoo means a bit more. Tattoo becomes an integral part of our body and so, requires constant care. The sun is the number one enemy you should avoid the moment you’ve got it done. Without proper protection, the chances that your tattoo will fade away pretty quickly are enormously big. That’s why you’d need to cover it with clothes all the time and if sunbathing, use sunscreen-cream. Quite a lot of fuss, isn’t it? In the first two weeks it’s vitally important that you follow all recommendations of the tattoo artist, for any tattoo, even that done on a face, is a green wound and so, it does require proper treatment. After all, you deal with the ink under the skin and the consequences may be quite sore if neglected with scorn.

    Handmade DM-8 Tattoo Machine Liner Shader in the use

    More Products to Consider

    For those who are seriously engaged in a tattoo art, having reserves of ink is compulsory. Consider getting this set of Tattoo Ink Cups 500 and worry not that you may run out of the ink in the nearest future.

    Detailed review of Handmade DM-8 Tattoo Machine Liner Shader

    Handmade DM-8
    Handmade DM-8
     

    Sources:

    1. Laura COIL VS. ROTARY TATTOO MACHINES, Painful Pleasures. October 6, 2014.

    2. Tattoo, Wikipedia. September 3, 2016.

    3. Laura Choosing the Best Type & Brand of Tattoo Machine for You, Painful Pleasures. October 7, 2014.

    4. Tattoo Machines: a Guide to Start, Tattooers.

    5. Your Guide to Purchasing a Tattoo Machine, eBay. May 12, 2014.

    6. 7 Tips for Buying Tattoo Supplies on eBay, eBay. December 4, 2014.

    7. How to Make a Temporary Tattoo, wikiHow.

    8. Josh Goldsholl The Pros and Cons of Having Tattoos, Tatoo.com. June 4, 2015.

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