6 Best Tattoo Machines of 2019 - Reviews and Buyers Guide

5 Best Tattoo Machines

BY ROBERT WILLIAMS, JANUARY 27, 2019 11:00 AM


Tattoos have become tremendously popular over the last few decades.  Every time you step out of the house to see and meet a few new people you are very likely to spot a few charming tattoos.  You might even be the proud owner of various tattoos already.   

 

One of the big reasons tattoos rose so much in popularity is due to the fact that they are more affordable and easier to come by today.  More online shops sell tattoo machines and more artists can get ahold of specialty tattoo equipment and start their own businesses. 

 

If you have a deep love for tattoos then this might just be the right hobby or even job for you.  Lots of tattoo artists operate from home or on the go in mobile tattoo shops.  This is a terrific career because you get to be creative and express and be yourself every day or even earn extra money.   

 

One of the first things you need if you want to create tattoos is a tattoo machine and our buyers guide up next will guide you to the right type of machine for your specific need

Buyers Guide when Choosing the Best Tattoo Machine

Before anything else, you need to be aware that there are lots of different tattoo machines available on the market but three major types are the highest in demand and more commonly used. Once you have that information then you can narrow your search further by considering, weight, size of project and materials being used .  Here are the top tattoo machine types you can consider.  

Choosing the Proper type of Tattoo Machines

Rotary Tattoo Machines

Rotary tattoo machine types are hugely popular and as such quite easy to come by.  The machine tip consists of a needle bar that is attached to a nub on top of a cylindrical motor.  Then the motor spins, the needle is moved up and down and results in a smooth and continuous cycle.  These machines are quieter than coil tattoo machines, gentler on the skin and tattoos tend to heal much faster.  The machine is also easy to use and many artists prefer to use this type for colored tattoos.  This guide also includes some of the best rotary tattoo machine on the market today. 

Coil Tattoo Machines

Coil tattoo machines function via electricity that turn internal coils into an electromagnet.  An armature bar attached to the needle pulls the bar towards the coils which pushes the needle into the skin and the moment momentarily breaks the electrical circuits which causes the needle to retract from the skin.  The hammering effect of these machines is more forceful than rotary tattoo machines and as such is more useful for needle groupings, shading and for fine line-work.  Coil tattoo machines are harder to operate and maintain and causes more damage to the skin.  They are however often chosen by specialist tattoo artists for fine detail work.  

Pneumatic Tattoo Machines

Pneumatic tattoo machines are the least popular of the three major types despite the fact that it is the lightest.  Unlike other tattoo machines, this one functions with compressed air.  These guns are terrific for both shading and line work but isn’t as popular because the use of an air compressor can be bulky and expensive.  They are also pretty tough to come by and are a rare find on online shops.  

Consider Size and Shape of the Tattoo Machine

One of the most important aspects to consider when buying the best tattoo machine is the size and shape of the machine.  The bigger and bulkier the machine is the more challenging it becomes to work with it.  You should choose something that matches your hand size perfectly and that has a comfortable hold.

Consider the Weight of the Different Tattoo Machines

It takes a long time to create a tattoo and the bigger the tattoo is or the more fine detail it contains, the longer it will take.  A heavy tattoo machine will prove to be a nightmare to use if you are taking on an extensive tattoo project that has your hands busy for hours on end.  It is important when choosing the best tattoo machine for yourself to choose the lightest possible machine you can find.

Consider the Size of the Tattoo Designs

Some tattoo machines are better equipped for some tasks than others.  For example; coil machines are better for line work but rotary machines are better for color work.  There are also tattoo machines that are best equipped for specific tasks.  Permanent makeup pens are a good example of specific task tattoo machines.  It is important to consider tasks you are most likely to perform with your tattoo machine before you buy. 

Consider the Materials you are Using

There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a machine malfunction in the middle of a tattoo project.  Not all tattoo machines are created alike and paying a bit of extra for a quality and durable machine is always a good idea.  

Consider your Skill Level

Beginner tattoo artists should consider working with something that is easier to operate such as rotary tattoo machines.  Coil tattoo machines are challenging to operate and you do need quite a bit of skill in order to prevent skin damage when using these powerful tattoo guns. 

Consider Appliances need for the Tattoo Machine

Now that you understand tattoo machines and their functions better, it is time for you to find the best possible tattoo machine available on the market. Here are the 5 best tattoo machines to consider buying this year; 

6 Best Tattoo Machines of 2019

Now that you understand tattoo machines and their functions better, it is time for you to find the best possible tattoo machine available on the market. Here are the 6 best tattoo machines to consider buying this year; 

Dragonhawk Raven One Touch Hit Adjuster Rotary Tattoo Machine

"The best of the best!"

The Raven One Touch is the best tattoo machine on the market today. With its sleek design and its versatility with bigger and smaller tasks it out beats the rest in the market.

Overview:

Dragonhawk has a reputation of creating the best tattoo machines available and they certainly outdid themselves with the Dragonhawk Raven.  This terrific machine has no equal because it features an IC chip design with a corelessmotor that makes various tasks such as lining, shading and coloring a lot easier. The Japan corelessmotor increases torque with less voltage.  The tattoo gun is incredibly light at only 88 grams and the design of the Raven is completely different from other Dragonhawk tattoo machine designs. 


This one offers a futuristic vibe thanks to the cool design and the LED light.  The Raven is incredibly easy to use thanks to a hit adjuster that allows you to set the speed of the tattoo gun with ease.  Many tattoo artists prefer this machine because it is balanced out with a comfortable feel that eases your ability to perform precise line work.  The tattoo gun is also pretty functional for line and packs on difficult skins and places.

The Good Stuff:

  • IC Chip Design: The special chip design allows for more variation in sizes of needles, makes it easier to adjust with soft and hard hit lines, creating smoother and more detailed designs easier to complete.


  • Hit Adjuster: The Raven One Touch tattoo machine has a hit adjuster that allows you to quickly switch from hard to soft.

  • Variable Voltage Range: This tattoo machine can operate over a variety of different voltage ranges depending on personal preference.

The Bad Stuff:

  • Pricier: The Raven One is more expensive than other tattoo machines on the market, however for what you get, this machine is far superior then the others on the market.


Pros

  • IC Chip design that enhances stability and ease of 
  • Hit adjuster that allows you to change speed or depth with ease
  • Strong materia
  • Lightweight
  • Works well with various tubes and needles
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • A bit on the pricey side but worth the extra amount if using it a lot.
                         Our Rating

Pinkiou Permanent Makeup Tattoo Pen

"The best tattoo machine for salons and cosmetic tattoo artists"

The Pinkiou Permanent Makeup Tattoo pen is a small, quiet, compactable tattoo pen that is a perfect tool for anyone looking to get into the cosmetic tattoo industry.

Overview:

The Pinkiou Permanent Makeup Tattoo Pen is at the top of our list because it isn’t just a handy tool for all tattoo artists but also for professionals in the cosmetic industry.  Permanent makeup is becoming increasingly popular because it saves people lots of time and money in the long run and is highly recommended for correcting deformities and flaws.     

 

This little tattoo machine is a terrific pick for your salon or tattoo kit because it enables you to create permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, lips and hairline strokes or dots or even to cover scars.  The machine is powerful, offers stable work, has a low noise level and allows you to work for hours on end without becoming hot.  The pen is also pretty light which makes it easy to use on those delicate areas such as eyebrows.  The machine has adjustable speed settings that range from 10,000r/m to 15,000r/m, is made of strong aluminum alloy and has a great overall look. 

The Good Stuff:

  • Easy to Operate: The Pinkiou Permanent Makeup Tattoo Pen is lightweight making it very easy to operate.

  • Three Different Settings: The pen has 3 different speeds between 25000-35000rpm, so you can easily control the speed of the tip easily.

  • Low noise and stable operation: This pen is very stable and has hardly any vibration making it easier to control, which is good when doing your eyeliner or brows. 

The Bad Stuff:

  • Takes a bit to get use too: Practice and skill is essential in order to avoid scarring, skin damage or tattoo errors

  • Good for small projects: Not suitable for extensive work or elaborate tattoo designs. This is mostly only used for makeup tattooing.

Pros

  • Simple to clean 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not suitable for extensive work as its only made for small cosmetic tattoos
                         Our Rating

The New Star Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine

"The best rotary tattoo machine on the market "

The New Star is a great beginner tattoo machine. The device is compactable and lightweight and wont break the bank account to test out and try for those looking at getting into the industry.

Overview:

This is one of the best rotary tattoo machines you can possibly buy.  It is a perfect pick for beginner tattoo artists because it is so affordable and it is also a handy tool for professional artists.  The first thing you will notice about the tattoo machine that it is available in various colors and has a beautiful design.  This tattoo machine is light weight and is perfect for both lining and shading tasks.  It is pretty easy to use, silent to work with and the low vibrating enhances precision lining.  The tattoo machine functions with standard needles, tubes and power supplies and can be used on different rotating speeds that vary from 20,000 – 25,000 r/m.  It is recommended to take frequent breaks at least once every hour when using this machine in order to prevent overheating.

The Good Stuff:

  • Standard Needles and Tubing: The New Star is built to take standard sized needles and tubing, making it easier to get the required supplies. Please note that the product does not come with needs and tubing and will need to be bought separately.

  • Compactable device: The machine is small, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. This machine would be good if you do a lot of house calls and need to take your machine with you.

The Bad Stuff:

  • Overheating: Reviewers have mentioned that they have had issues with the tattoo machine overheating. The manufacturers do recommend that you do not use it for more than an hour at a time without letting it cool down.
  • Material: The machine seems to be built from a cheaper plastic type material, making it less durable than other machines listed in this guide.

Pros

  • Uses standard needles and tubing 
  • Low noise level
  • Different speed settings
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Material is not the most durable
  • If used for long periods of time, it tends to overheat
                         Our Rating

Dragonhawk Complete Coil Tattoo Kit 

"The best coil tattoo machine kit on the market "

The Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo Kit is great for those that are looking for multiple tattoo machines to help create the tattoo. Comes with 4 different machines that all have seperate purposes from shading to a color packer.

Overview:

If you are a complete beginner then this is one of the best tattoo kits you can possibly buy.  This kit consist of 4 DragonHawk coil tattoo machines;  A Conventional liner machine, a power liner machine, a soft shader machine and a color packer machine with copper coils and a steel frame. The kit also includes a digital tattoo power supply system, tattoo needles, practice skin, tattoo machine grips, attachments, 10 tattoo inks, a big carry case and other supplies.  This is the ultimate tattoo kit for new tattoo artists because it consist of everything you need for getting started as a tattoo artist.  

The Good Stuff:

  • Complete Set: The Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo Kit comes with everything you need when getting started. Comes with 4 different tattoo machines​; conventional liner, power liner, soft shader and a color packer to help with all different varieties of tattoos.

  • Minimal Vibration: The tattoo machine  is built with a special frame that helps to increase the sturdiness and reduces the vibration level, allowing you to have a steadier hand for finer tattoos.


  • Comes with Ink: The tattoo kit also comes with a variety of 10 different ink, so as soon as you get the kit you can hit the ground running creating your tattoos.


The Bad Stuff:

  • Not good for beginners: Usually coil tattoo machines aren't great for beginners and would be better suited with a rotary tattoo machine.
  • Heavier machine: If you don't have a good grip strength then you may have issues operating this tattoo machine for long periods of time since it is a heavier build than others on the market.

Pros

  • Full kit with everything you need to get started
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Comes with 4 different tattoo machines

Cons

  • Not great for beginners
  • Heavier machine
                         Our Rating

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit 

"The best rotary tattoo machine kit in 2019 "

The Dragonhawk Mast Pen is a flawless tattoo machine that would be great for anyone for a high functioning tattoo device that can handle a variety of different tattoo types.

Overview:

Most tattoo artists agree that rotary tattoo machines are easier to use than coil tattoo machines since they cause less skin damage.  Dragonhawk has a fabulous Mast pen rotary tattoo machine available in kit form.  You can buy this terrific tattoo machine along with other supplies such as a carry case, power supply, needles, cartridges, and more.  This is the ultimate starter pack for rotary tattoo lovers.  The Dragonhawk pen rotary machine is quitter and vibrates less than coil tattoo machines.  It offers 3.5mm to 2.8mm stroke lengths, weighs only 120g, is easy to use and enables you to create a wide range of tattoo types. 

The Good Stuff:

  • Full Kit: The Dragonhawk Mast Pen comes with not only the rotary tattoo pen but also a variety of cartridge​ and needles to allow you to get creating as soon as you get your product.

  • Interchangeable Stroke Length: This rotary tattoo pen's design allows for you to interchange your stroke length from 3.5mm to 2.8mm which allows you to accomplish a wide variety of styles and techniques on your designs.


  • Comfortable Grip: The grip and feel when holding the machine emulates that of an actual pen. The machine allows for a more comfortable grip and precise tattooing than other machines.


The Bad Stuff:

  • Bigger hands: Some users have mentioned that although the grip is comfortable, if you are holding onto it for a longer period of time your hands start to hurt if you have a smaller hand.
  • Needs to rest after an hour of use: Reviewers have mentioned that after about 45mins to an hour, the tool will sometimes overheat so they need to turn it off and let it cool down for a few minutes before continuing to use it.

Pros

  • Full kit with everything you need to get started
  • Functional for lining and shading
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • Good for bigger hands
  • Overheats with excessive use
                         Our Rating

TattooWorld New Cast 10 Laps Coil Tattoo Machine

"Best coil tattoo machine for the price. "

TattooWorld New Cast 10 Laps is great for anyone looking to use a simple coil tattoo machine that is lightweight, affordable and easy to use.

Overview:

If you are looking for a simple coil tattoo machine that is durable, easy to use and lightweight then you can definitely consider this coil tattoo machine by TattooWorld.  This tattoo gun has an ergonomic design, is functional for both shading and lining, is made of a highly durable cast iron and is incredibly light in weight. The machine is relatively affordable and is styled in lots of fine graphics for a brilliant overall look.  It is one of the best coil tattoo machines you can possibly own since it will function with all of your other needles and tubes.  

The Good Stuff:

  • ​Stable body: the stable body on the TattooWorld New Cast 10 Lap allows for smooth vibration ensuring your designs are able to be executed without a lot of movement.

  • Liner and Shader: This tattoo has the ability to perform both liner and shader for tattoo designs.


The Bad Stuff:

  • Only the machine: When purchasing this tattoo machine, you only will get the machine. So you will need to ensure you buy the pedal, tubes etc. separately.

  • Not for beginners: Since this is a coil tattoo machine, its not very friendly for beginners. If you are a beginner, look at getting a rotary tattoo machine.

Pros

  • Quality material that will last a while
  • Affordable pricing
  • Lightweight
  • Stable machine with minimal vibration

Cons

  • Not good for beginners
  • Only comes with the machine no other supplies
                         Our Rating

And the winner is...

All of these tattoo machines are highly popular on the market right now because of their extreme capabilities and their high durability.  While we are sure that you will love all of these, the fact remains; you can’t buy them all.  So how do you choose the best for your need?  Hopefully the following advice can help you make up your mind.

WINNER

Dragonhawk Raven One Touch Hit Adjuster Rotary Tattoo Machine

Why wait? Get the product now!

The overall best tattoo machine: The Dragonhawk Raven is the overall best machine on our list because it is modern, stylish, easy to use, light weight and is fitted with an IC chip design that eases tattooing and enhances stability.  The Hit adjuster that allow you to adjust from soft to hard make this one of the easier tattoo guns to handle.  The Raven is also a perfect pick for various tattoo jobs such as lining, shading and coloring and it is even perfectly suitable for extremely delicate tattoos, fine lining and for tattooing on complex areas and on challenging skin types. Overall, this is one of the best tattoo machines you can possibly own.  

The best tattoo for salons and cosmetics: Specialized tattoo artists often use their basic tattoo machines for cosmetic tattooing purposes but the best tattoo for fixing skin problems such as scaring, pigmentation marks or for applying permanent makeup is the Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit.  This is because the design of the tattoo machine is much finer and thus allow you to perform more delicate works such as hairline brush strokes as needed in eyebrow tattooing or hairline tattooing.  The machine is also less likely to cause skin damage since it functions a lot softer than normal tattoo machines.

The best tattoo machine for beginners: When you are only getting started in the tattoo world then it is probably best to consider a full kit.  These kits contains all the basics plus often has a few extra accessories that you can try.  The best rotary tattoo kit you can consider is the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit.  Rotary tattoo machines are easier to operate than coil tattoo machines and are probably a better pick if you never gave tattooing a try before.  It is however wise to also invest in lots of practice skin since these kits don’t always have enough.  If you want to try coil tattoo machines specifically or simply plan on creating tattoo son a more advanced level then the Dragonhawk Complete Coil Tattoo Kit is probably a wise option.  These kits contain lots of coil tattoo types, all the inks you need, needles, power supply and much more.

The best rotary tattoo machine: The New Star Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine is one of the highest in demand rotary tattoo machines and if other tattoo artists love it this much then so will you.  This tattoo machine is incredibly light weight and is a perfect addition to your tattoo studio if you need something sturdy for lining and shading.

The best coil tattoo machine: If you love coil tattoo machine and need something durable and beautiful to add to your tattoo kit then we highly recommend the TattooWorld New Cast 10 Laps Coil Tattoo Machine.  This tattoo machine is made of strong materials and is highly recommended by various skillful tattoo artists that love to try affordable tattoo machines.  

It might take some time for you to develop your tattoo skills and as you become a more skillful tattoo artists you will naturally start growing a personal preference towards certain tattoo machine types and designs.  When it comes to professional tattoo skills, time and experience is the most important factor because only these two elements will enable you to quickly find the best product and deliver the most powerful work. 

 

When you are buying a tattoo kit it might be wise to also invest in training.  Tattoos should never be taken lightly.  Yes, you can get them removed through laser tattoo removal but it is a painful and time consuming process.  Don’t experiment on your own skin or on the skins of others when you haven’t perfected your skills just yet and especially if you are trying out a new tattoo machine for the first time.  Tattoo training seminars will also help you maintain a hygienic work environment and can help you prevent skin damage and infections to your customers.  When it comes to permanent ink, it is always best to play it safe by investing in safe inks, quality products and by taking the time you need to perfect this skill.  

If you have any products you would like us to take a look at please contact us and we would be happy to write an honest review on it!


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