Taking the classic route to make skin art? Then you need the best coil tattoo machine to get you started.
As the traditional device used in modern tattooing, it’s not surprising that even with the many alternatives available, artists are still trying their hand with such equipment. They may have their own drawbacks but they’re still the more established tool for the job, so they have this compelling appeal to those who are interested in the art.
If you want to know more about the tattoo coil machines, this guide is for you. We’ll touch various areas related to these devices, so you can expect to learn everything you need about them.
What is Coil Tattoo Machine: A Brief Overview
Before we go into detail of how to choose and which coil tattoo machine you should get, we should look into what exactly it is first. By doing so, you can have a preliminary idea of whether it’s a good match for you or not.
In the simplest of terms, this tattoo machine is perfectly characterized by the coil component that creates the resistance that is used to regulate the power and speed of the device. They range from single to triple-coil varieties but dual-coiled ones are often considered as the standard.
This, alongside the electromagnetic circuit that moves the needle grouping, are its key components. They’re often made with a wide range of materials in different shapes and sizes as well.
The coil tattoo machine is the most common tattoo device used in recent years. So much so that it’s buzzing and heft are considered as regular tradeoffs for its use. So even if it’s not the most convenient and easy-to-use tool out there, it’s still heavily preferred by many artists.
Why is it so popular, you might be wondering? It’s the best tattoo machine known for its ability to create smooth fine lines without a hitch. This alone already makes it a desirable piece of equipment to own and master if you’re an artist.
Who Should Get the Coil Machine?
Anyone who is interested and willing to put in the work to master the use of the coil tattoo machine will find it beneficial to get one. When it comes to this device, it’s not really about who should get it but who will have the zeal for it.
Despite its popularity, are not the easiest kind of tattoo machine to work with. They require some refined skill to use effectively. They can be a bit tricky to handle, so those who are not patient enough to master their operation might find them difficult to use. However, once you learn the ropes, they will prove to be excellent tools to work with.
Coil Vs Rotary Tattoo Machines
At face value, when you compare coil and rotary tattoo machines, the former may seem a bit outdated and old-fashioned. While it’s partly true since it’s heavier and trickier to handle, it’s still more highly preferred by many tattooists today. Why? Because of its easy control, precision, and the intricate line work.
Rotary tattoo machines are more lightweight and friendlier for beginners to use but those who want to up their tattoo game usually shift to coil machines sooner or later for the said reasons. The fact alone that you’ll find the right machine that is different from a good shading tool guarantees that this type of equipment will let you get the exact results you need.
5 Best Coil Tattoo Machines on the Market
To further establish what these tools really are, here’s our roundup of the top coil tattoo machines available today. By looking closer at these products, you’ll get a better idea of what a coil tattoo machine is and what to expect from the ideal products available.
1. Pirate Face – Best Coil Tattoo Machine for Beginners
Let’s start off with what many consider as the best coil kit, the Pirate Face Tattoo Kit Grinder. While it’s marketed to tattooists of all skill levels, it gained a lot of attention from newbies.
What makes it one of the best for beginners is the fact that it comes to with all of the auxiliary tools and accessories to get the job done. It even comes with an instructional book that will tell you all about the basics of tattooing so it can really be a handy resource for those who are just starting out in the industry. These take out the fussiness from getting started in learning tattooing with coil machines.
It has also surprised many with its performance. For its low price, some folks expected that they might need to adjust and compromise a little but there’s not a lot of need for that with the Pirate Face Grinder Kit. Its 10-wrap coils are powerful enough to provide great output, especially when handled by someone who knows how to work such devices
2. Dragonhawk Complete Kit-Best Cheap Coil Tattoo Machine
From one of the more popular affordable tattoo supply manufacturers comes our second pick, the Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit. Like the item above, this set offers 4 tattoo machines, each made for specific functionality. You’ll get a conventional liner, power liner, soft shader, and color packer machines and more for a very friendly price tag.
The best thing about this product is its solid performance. This makes it one of the best cheap one available since its rather robust and very reliable despite its very low price.
In addition to the machines, you’ll also get everything you need to get started in tattooing – from the machine’s accessories to inks and practice skins. So if you don’t want to make separate purchases or you wish to start tattooing right away, this can be a solid choice.
3. Dragonhawk 2pcs-Best Professional Coil Tattoo Machines
Not in need of a beginner’s kit? Then check out the Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine. As its name suggests, it’s a 2-piece tattoo machine kit that will help you get started with coil tattoo machines as it comes with a liner and a shader unit. So if you don’t really need a lot of accessories to go with your “starter kit” in using machines, this can be worth looking into.
Compared to the other Dragonhawk item listed above, this seems like a pricier option since it only comes with two items. But since the devices themselves are a step up from the beginner models, it makes a lot of sense that it’s priced a bit higher. It’s very much worth the investment, however, as its performance can be compared to more expensive models’.
4. Yuelong -Best Coil Tattoo Machine Brands
If you’re after the professional coil tattoo machines, give the Yuelong Tattoo Machines 2 Brass Professional Tattoo Gun a try. This item may not necessarily be from one of the most or the best coil tattoo machine brands right now but it’s proving to be a worthy option for its solid performance.
Featuring a lovely brass frame that gives it a nice vintage vibe, this coil tattoo machine product is also a set of 2 like the Dragonhawk item listed above. One is an 8-wrap coil liner and the other is a 10-wrap coil shader. Both promise accuracy, stable working speed, and high quality that will keep it from overheating even after 8 hours of continuous use.
5. Redscorpion Cast Iron-Ideal Coil Liner Tattoo Machine
Another hidden gem that pleasantly surprised many tattooists is the Redscorpion Cast Iron Liner Coil Tattoo Gun 8 Wrap Coil for Tattoo. This affordable cast iron pick is so good that many agree that it’s possibly one of the coil tattoo machines for lining.
What makes it so great is its accuracy. With a frame that is made with a precision line cut, this device was crafted with exactitude in mind. As a result, tattoo artists get the exact results they want, proving it to be very easy to work with as well.
Aside from being spot on, this device is also very consistent. Thanks to its high magnetic and electric conductivity, you don’t have to worry about it cutting in and out.
Buyers’ Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Right Coil Tattoo Machine for You
After getting to know the ideal picks for coil tattoo machines, there are still quite a number of details that you have to know in order to make the right pick. To help you cover all of your bases, here are some of the most crucial points that should help you with your search.
Types of Coil Tattoo Machines
The first topic that we want to discuss is the different types of coil tattoo machines that are available today. In general, there are three: liners, shaders, and color packers. Their name explains their purpose so they’re quite easy to differentiate.
However, there are still a few sub-types out there, especially for liners. They can be conventional liners or power liners, it’s up to you to choose which one to get.
It’s important to get all the different types of tattoo machines as they all work differently. Sure, some machines are versatile and can work for both lining and shading but if you want precision, opting for separate units could be a better choice.
How to Use a Coil Tattoo Machine
Using a coil tattoo machine can be rather tricky, especially if you’re a first-timer. It’s different from using other kinds of illustration tools as it’s not necessarily shaped and works like a pen. Sure, there is a grip where you can hold itlike you would a pen but the heft and vibration of the main unit require some getting used to.
If you’re curious as to how you should use a tattoo machine to help you decide whether such equipment is a good match for you, here are the basic steps that you should know:
- Prepare yourself for the assembly. Wash your hands thoroughly and wear latex gloves to prevent harmful bacteria from getting into the device and especially the needles.
- Prepare the parts. Check the needles and make sure they’re sterilized, from an unopened package, and without any flaws. If they’re bent or damaged, don’t use them as they can cause unnecessary skin damage.
- Assemble the unit properly. Follow its manual’s instructions to make sure that you’ll put it together properly.
- Make sure to set the proper needle length. This will help you get the results you want. Most experts recommend setting it to 0.04 to 0.07 inches.
- Add an elastic or rubber band to the tattoo machine if you want it to vibrate less.
- Hook it up to a power supply and you’re ready to go.
Are Coil Tattoo Machines Really Better?
Once you get to know rotary machine and coil tattoo machines, choosing between them can be quite a feat. Rotary tattoo machine offer so many conveniences that, if not for their price, they would surely be more widely used right now. They’re just easier to handle and work with, especially for beginners, so there’s a significant appeal to them.
However, they haven’t really dethroned coil tattoo machines as the most popular types of tattoo equipment, so many are wondering which one is the true superior machine. Is it coil or rotary?
Both have their advantages and setbacks so it’s really tough to make a call. If you want convenience, quiet operation, and ease of use, rotary machines are definitely it. However, if you want more control and precision, this tattoo machines will be more suitable options.
Choosing between the two depends greatly on your skill and style in tattooing, so it’s hard to give a black and white answer to the lead question. If you find coil machines more suitable for your style, then it’s the better pick for you. If you find rotary tattoo machines handier, then they might be a better pick for you.
How to Choose the Right Coil Tattoo Machine?
The trickiest thing when shopping for a coil tattoo machine is in choosing just one out of the many great options available. There are lots of amazing choices out there, especially on paper. So how do you make a choice? Here are a few crucial pointers that can help you.
Always read reviews.
Reviews offer insight and accounts of people who actually used the product so they’re great sources of information that you won’t find in marketing materials and online listings. They’re not foolproof as some can be fake but it’s not impossible to find reliable feedback. You just need to compare and be discerning about the tone of the review and its content and you can be sure to get something out of product feedback.
Consider your needs and preferences.
As mentioned before, tattoo machines come in different shapes and sizes so you should also look into those details when choosing one. If you’re on the big side, opt for something with bigger grips and accessories. If you’re small, go for smaller ones. This way, you can be sure that your device will be manageable easy to handle.
Keep in mind the functionality of the item as well. The tattoo machine liner is often different from the coil shader tattoo machines, so you should also know what you need before you start looking.
Only go for something made with high-quality materials.
The material of your equipment is also essential if you want it to perform well and last a while. For tattoo machines, brass, copper, and cast iron are highly recommended because of various reasons.
Brass is corrosion resistant so it tends to last long. Cast iron is highly conductive so it boosts the performance of the device. Keep such details in mind and you’ll surely find a great match.
Take your budget into consideration.
To be fair, there are tons of high-performing tattoo machines that are affordably priced. However, in many cases with these devices, the more you pay, the better the product can be. So set aside a solid budget as well.
What Makes a Good Coil Tattoo Machine?
If you want to be absolutely sure that you’ll end up with the tattoo machine, look at its performance. If it’s accurate, then you’re good. Accuracy is a must if you want to gain full control over your device so you should make sure to look for something with this trait.
Quality is a must, too, as these devices tend to work for long hours. If it’s made of poor build and materials then its performance will be greatly affected, too.
What is the Popular Brand for Coil Tattoo Machine?
There are actually lots of great brands for tattoo machines that choosing just one is nearly impossible. There are quite a few options for every price point as well. However, as our list above proves, Dragonhawk is certainly one of them.
How to Know if You Need a Coil Tattoo Machine?
If it’s up to us, we believe that every tattoo artist should give coil tattoo machines a shot. Even if they’re a bit more challenging to work with, the experience will be worth it. You can certainly learn a lot about your skills, techniques, style, and preferences if you give these devices a go. You might even find out that they can be a better fit for you as an artist, so they’re definitely worth looking into.
How to Care for Your Tattoo Machine for Long Life Use?
Maintaining a coil tattoo machine requires a bit more work than with rotary tattoo machine but they’re definitely worth it. Follow these tips and your device might just last you years and years.
- Follow the maintenance tips recommended by the manufacturer. They know what their products need, so take note and follow their recommendations.
- Clean your device after use, even if you bag your tattoo machine, it’s still crucial to clean it right after for hygiene and safety purposes as well as to avoid corrosion.
- Follow the setup instructions for your tattoo machine to the dot. You don’t want to make a mistake in its assembly and damage it carelessly.
- Understand how your coil tattoo machine works. This way, you’ll be able to easily spot issues so you can remedy it right away and not overwork your device unknowingly.