Best Tattoo Machines

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 15, 2018
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 2018
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

4 x Tattoo machines (10 wrap coils), 4 x Tattoo machine grips / barrels, 50 x Sterile Needles, 7 x Tattoo Ink, 27 x Disposable tips, 8 x Stainless steel tips, Adjustable tool kit, Tattoo practice skin, Carrying case, Power supply unit

WARRANTY
6 months
PROS

The set includes 54 ink bottles (5 ml each) of the most popular colors, so you can start your tattoo work right after delivery.

CONS

The guns could be a bit more sensitive.

OUR VERDICT

Solong Tattoo offers you one of the most extensive tattoo kits on the market. It's a beginner and professional tattoo set that will help you grow and become the best tattoo artist in the industry.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Rotary

BEST FOR

Shaders / Liners

FRAME MATERIAL

Steel

POWER SOURCE

6 - 12V

PACKAGE

1 x Power Supply, 3 x Pro rotary tattoo machine guns, 54 x Tattoo inks, 50 x Tattoo needles, 60 x Tattoo tips, 10 x Tattoo grips, 100 x Ink cups, 1 x Ink cup holder, 50 x Rubber bands, 50 x Mixed-color grommets, 50 x Rubber o-rings, 1 x Cleaning brush, 1 x Set of tattoo machine gun adjust tools, Practice skin, 2 x Disposable tattoo gloves

WARRANTY

1 year

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

2 x Tattoo machines (10 wrap coils), 2 x Tattoo machine grips / barrels, 20 x Sterile needles, 10 x Tattoo ink, 10 x Disposable tips, 5 x 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

With a high-quality Japanese motor, the Dragonhawk 102YMX works quieter and vibrates less than conventional tattoo devices.

CONS

No ink and needles in the set.

OUR VERDICT

This ultralight tattoo machine offers you a very close feel to an actual pen. Which makes it a perfect pick for all those who strive for super-precise tattooing performance.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Rotary

BEST FOR

Shaders / Liners

FRAME MATERIAL

Aluminum

POWER SOURCE

6 - 9V

PACKAGE

Rotary tattoo machine, DC cord

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

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

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.

Detailed review of Pirate Face Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit Made in the USA

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Pirate Face tattoo "the Carver kit"
 

Solong Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit

For Beginners and Professionals Alike

Solong Tattoo is a reputable manufacturer of tattoo equipment and one of the pioneers of the tattoo art. So if you want something reliable you can trust, we couldn't recommend the Solong Tattoo TK355 kit highly enough. This tattoo machine comes in a complete set offering you everything many other brands often neglect. In fact, if compared with similar models, the Solong Tattoo TK355 is the most extensive tattoo set, which is nothing short of amazing considering its price tag. Moreover, the set is really good, making it well suitable both for novice tattoo artists and for professionals.

Using the Solong Tattoo TK355 is very easy and can be done by anyone. The guns do not require any guidance to the first use and work well, even though some users say that their sensitivity is not very high and they work slower than professional models. Still, we find it a great option suitable for most users: those who're only getting the knack of tattooing as well as professional artists needing a tool to practice new tricks. What the Solong Tattoo TK355 lacks in speed it more than makes up in the package with its high-quality inks and accessories.

Review of Solong Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit

Comes With ...

The Solong Tattoo company knows the game and offers you everything to let you become the best artist in the tattoo industry.

  • You get not one but three rotary tattoo machine guns for liner and shader.
  • Since the kit is aimed at beginners and professionals alike, it comes with a useful guideline that can help novice artists get started. The guidelines include the new trends and the most popular tattoo designs of this year.
  • 54 radiant tattoo ink colors (5ml/bottle). The kit comes with a wide selection of colors to take your tattoo experience to the whole new level. The ink is high-quality and completely human-safe.
  • The complete package includes 50 tattoo needles, 60 tattoo tips, 10 tattoo grips, 100 ink cups, and other accessories, so you won't need any extra supply. Right out-of-the-box, you are ready to go.

As you see, you get a complete tattoo set that will serve you for long years to come. With the wide assortment of ink colors and a plethora of accessories included, this tattoo kit is a great option both for experienced and novice artists alike.

Solong Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

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.

Detailed review of Dragon Hawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Machine 10 Color

VIDEO
Unboxing The Dragon Hawk Tattoo Kit Amazon Prime
 

Dragonhawk 102YMX

Extremely Powerful, Extremely Quiet

Looking for an extremely lightweight, maneuverable, quiet yet powerful tattoo machine? You've just found it. Featuring a powerful Japanese engine that can work under the varying voltage from 6 to 9 volts, the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine deftly combines high power power and whisper-quiet operation. Plus, compared to many conventional tattoo machines, it uses advanced gear system which keeps it from vibrating too much. Of course, you might still feel a weak vibration as you work, but it's nothing compared to what you normally get with rotary machines. Powerful as it is, the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine doesn't tend to get hot during use and quickly cools down so you can comfortably touch it by its aluminum body when you need to clean a needle. Our only complain is that this tattoo machine is not the whole kit and you will need to purchase needles separately. That said, this should be easy to do: the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine is compatible with all the cartridge needles types. Additionally, it has an interchangeable 3.5-mm to 2.8-mm stroke length, which allows you to accomplish a variety of different styles and techniques.

Review of Dragonhawk 102YMX Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine

Extra Portable

The Dragonhawk Mast tattoo machine isn't only ultra-quiet and ultra-powerful but ultra-portable as well. With only 11.7cm length, it sports a pen-style design. Resembling the grip of an actual pen, the DRAGONHAWK mini tattoo maker delivers you the utmost accuracy and control. Needless to say, it brings more precision compared to traditional tattoo machines. It's perfectly balanced as well. With 120 grams of weight, it's not so light to shake like a leaf but not so heavy to be taxing to use. It will allow you to do everything from lining to shading without hand fatigue.

The machine offers you a very close feel to an actual pen, boosting your comfort drastically. Regardless of whether you're making eyebrows, lashline, lips, or something else, you'll get a feeling that you're actually doing it with your own hand. So, if you want to perform super-precise tattooing procedures for long hours without experiencing hand fatigue, the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine is your perfect pick. It's ultimately ergonomic and accurate.

Dragonhawk 102YMX Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

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

 

Infographics

Comparison of Tattoo Machines

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, a 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 decent equipment, and so, it’s got to be pretty powerful. You mightn’t need to always use it at the highest settings, since 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.

Did you know?

Who Is More Tattoo Addicted?

According to a recent survey, 59% of women compared to 42% of men in the US have tattoos. Moreover, 40% of tattooed women have got inked with their friends or loved ones.

Women are also more likely to remove their tattoos. The most effective removal technique is laser surgery. And here is one more interesting fact - black is the easiest ink to get rid off, while green and yellow are the trickiest colors to remove.

The Most Popular Tattoos

Angels and hearts are the most popular skin images in the world. The images have a huge variety of designs and meanings - for example, angel wings typically represent freedom, protection, and closeness to God, while broken wings symbolize a struggle with one's faith. The image of angels represents everything good, as angels are the servants of God. Many people choose a Cupid angel as he is known as the "angel of love." But some people choose to have a devilish angel. The variations are endless.

As for the heart images, they also represent a multitude of things. They can express love, grief, loss, unity, faith, passion, suffering, the memorial to the deceased and many other meanings.

Holes!

Did you know that an average tattoo machine pierces your skin from 50 to 3000 times per minute? The machine reaches the second layer of the skin, the dermis, because its cells are more stable than cells of the epidermis.

The Most Tattooed Person

Gregory Paul Mclaren, or as we know him today - Lucky Diamond Rich, is the most tattooed person in the world. He holds the Guinness World Record for being 100-percent tattooed. Numerous tattoos cover his entire body. Even the inside of his eyelids, ears, mouth, and foreskin are inked.

The second most tattooed man is Tom Wooldridge, an ex-soldier known as the Leopard Man of Skye. The tattoos took 99.9% of his skin. He had leopard skin patterns from head to toe and no wonder, he got a nickname - Tom Leppard. Unfortunately, he died in 2016 at the age of 80.

The Oldest Tattoo Found

The oldest known tattoos were found on the skin of an Iceman who lived somewhere between 3300-3200 B.C. He was found in the Alps and had 61 tattoos all over his body. They were simple lines or dots in carbon ink. When scientists X-rayed him, they found some joint diseases under those tattoos. Probably, the tattoos were meant to relieve pain.

The earliest-known tattoo that has some meaning represents the Bes, the Egyptian God of revelry. The ancient tattoo methods involved chisels, rakes, or picks. And urine was used to mix colors.

Sources:

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

2. Tattoo, Wikipedia. September 3, 2016.

3. 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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