Best Tattoo machine for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

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If you want to be the best tattoo artist you can be, a great tattoo machine certainly helps.

The key word in “tattoo artist” is the word artist. What you’re doing is art. But to make sure you end up with actual works of art, you need the right tools.  These include a tattoo machine that you should actually be able to use, and this means it has to be appropriate to your skill level.

Dragonhawk Mast Pen


  • Low noise
  • Complete Kit
  • Solid coloring
  • Easy to use
FK Irons Rotary Machine

Budget Friendly

  • Hex Drive MotorBolt
  • Low noise
  • Changeable stroke
  • Space-grade body
Stigma Tattoo Kit Pro

Editors Pick

  • Quality construction
  • High power machine
  • One-year warranty
  • Affordable

For a newbie, it means picking from the best tattoo machines for beginners. With a good tattoo machine, you can produce results good enough to satisfy your first clients. In addition, the best beginner guns will help encourage you to continue to become the best tattoo artist you can be.

What Beginners Should Check For

So, what should newbies focus on when they’re reading up on the descriptions and reviews regarding the tattoo machine they’re considering?

How much does it cost?

Many beginners start with a piece of much cheaper tattoo equipment. That’s because some of them aren’t sure if they’ll maintain their interest in tattooing.

How simple is it to use?

Beginners don’t know much, so the design must be very basic without a steep learning curve. The goal for a newbie is to master the art of tattooing, and not really to master the use of a particular tattoo machine.

In addition, sophisticated machines have features that newbies can’t really use. You have to pay for these useless features, which means you’re wasting your money.

Do you get what you need?

Tattoo Kits are very popular since you can get the needle cartridges, ink cups, digital power supply, foot pedal, transfer paper, needles, ink, cotton buds, and instruction manual you need together with the machine. Some kits for beginners even contain several machines for different jobs, such as for line and shade.

However, other newbies like to start from scratch by purchasing tattoo machines and accessories separately. That way, they may get a deeper understanding of how everything works, and they can customize each component to match their preferences and style.

Weight and ergonomics

Even though newbies shouldn’t go working several hours straight right away, it’s best that you start with something comfy and lightweight. You don’t want wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome keeping you from learning and having fun.


Hopefully, it works as it should. What you don’t want is a machine that keeps on breaking down. It’s frustrating, and it can lead to messy results. These may end up discouraging you from continuing your tattooing hobby.

10 Best Beginner Tattoo Gun

1. FK Irons Rotary Machine- Best Tattoo Gun for Beginners

Quick Summary
  • Rotary type
  • Voltage from 4 to 9.5 watts
  • Comes with stroke caps in 3 sizes (2.8, 3.4, and 4 mm).
  • Made from mirror-polished, anodized 6061 T6 aluminum alloy
  • Hex Drive MotorBolt system (interchangeable with Edge X and Direkt 1 motor bolts)
  • Low noise
  • Available in several colors
  • 21 mm grip
  • 85-ounce weight
  • One-year warranty

We start off the list with a great example of the best tattoo gun for beginners what newbies generally need in a tattoo machine.

With the Spectra Direkt2 rotary machine from FK Irons, you avoid having to deal with too many complications that as a beginner you can’t really handle. Here, just about everything is simplified for you. That means you focus on your craft and not on the rotary machines.

You don’t really have to work hard to figure things out. This is a general-purpose rotary machine instead of having a specialized task to do. You get the torque and speed you need from the 4.5-watt motor, though the voltage can actually be adjusted from 4 up to 9.5 watts.

You can use this rotary machine not just for line and shade, but also for coloring. What this means is that you can buck conventional wisdom that tells you that you need 2 rotary machines for tattoo work.

The rotary machine works with every standard tattoo needle and cartridge format, and these include the standard screw-on and back stem cartridge grips. You won’t even need to use an adapter. You also have interchangeable stroke caps in different sizes as part of the purchase.

Even maintenance is not a problem, as you don’t need to lubricate this at all.

1. Versatile

As a newbie, you may have read about how you need 2 different rotary machines. But this shows that this isn’t necessarily true. With this rotary machine, you’re able to use a single machine for lining, shading, and coloring. The changeable stroke caps also permit different setups.

2. No Complications

This is a paragon of simplicity, which will not overwhelm the newbie at all. You can use regular back stem and screw-on needle cartridges, and you won’t need adapters to accommodate them. You can also switch to a tattoo needle setup with no issues.

3. Easy Handling

You have a nice ergonomic grip, so you can maneuver these rotary machines with no trouble. It’s lightweight as well at just 2.85 ounces so that hand fatigue shouldn’t be an issue when you’re taking your time. You don’t even need to lubricate it.

4. Durable

It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, and it’s expected to last a long while. It helps that it’s made in the US, and it has a 1-year warranty for the motor. Some of the other parts even come with a lifetime warranty.

This has been body-anodized for greater durability. Believe it or not, even the nice colors can help. It looks more professional, which reassures your clients.

  • Versatile
  • Uncomplicated
  • Long-lasting
  • Looks attractive and professional
  • It’s not a kit, so you will definitely need a few more accessories before you can start.

2. Dragonhawk Mast Pen Machine- Best Tattoo Machine for a Beginner

Quick Summary
  • The stick tattoo kit comes with extremely superior quality tattoo machine, cords, digital power supply, foot pedal,  disposable tips, ink caps,  ink cups, paper towels, practice skin, transfer paper, and cartridge needles, 10 radiant colors, along with the case
  • Made from space aluminum
  • Japanese motor with 6-9V working voltage
  • Low noise & low vibration
  • Pen-style tattoo kit

If you’re thinking about being a tattoo creator, you may want to actually practice your artistic skills with pen and paper. The drawback to this approach is that drawing with a tattoo machine may be a very different thing altogether.

However, with this mast rotary pen-style best tattoo equipment, you can transfer your pen on paper skills more readily.

Mast pen is available as a tattoo kit, and if you’re a newbie this the option you should take. This saves you the trouble of finding compatible accessories. In addition, it even comes in a nice travel and storage bag for everything.

1. (Almost) tattoo Complete Kit

The mast rotary tattoo pen machine kit comes with almost everything. These include the individually packaged sterilized needle cartridges and the power supply, and you have a travel case you can also use for storage. All you need extra, is the ink.

2. Versatile

The instructions give you more specific directions on how to use this for lining and shading. It can even be used for solid coloring.

This rotary tattoo pen can work with many different ink brands and with all needle cartridge types. The needles that you get with this are made from medical-grade stainless steel.

3. Easy to Use

First of all, it’s a lot similar to using an actual pen to draw on paper. It’s light-weight (just 120 grams) and comfortable to hold. The advanced gear system offers reliable output without any distracting noise or vibration.

The tip has a clear color so you can see what you’re doing. Cornering is easy as well because the mag is curved at the end. The housing is low profile, and the ink flows nicely.

  • You get almost everything you need
  • It feels like using pen on paper
  • It’s very easy to use
  • Provides impressive results in terms of lining and shading
  • It’s versatile
  • Good digital power supply
  • High puncture power without too much vibration and noise
  • The carrying case is not included need to purchase separately
  • Not really meant for long hours of straight work

3. Dragonhawk Coil Machines Tattoo Kit- Best Entry L Tattoo Machine Kit

Quick Summary
  • Includes power liner, conventional liner, soft shader, and color packer
  • Comes with vegan-friendly, needles, ink caps, ink cups, transfer paper, practice skin, carrying case, digital power supply, foot pedal, paper towels, consistent ink that’s fade-resistant
  • The coil machines comes with certified sterilized needles
  • Fits in special lockable travel case

This doesn’t just give you 2 coil machines. Instead, you get 4 coil tattoo machines. You have a standard one for lining, along with a power liner. Then there’s one suited for shading, and the 4th is for color packing.

The coil machines were the result of the collaboration between Dragonhawk and noted tattooist Gabe Shum. Afterwards, all of the coil tattoo machines were adjusted by hand in the factory to make sure they’re easy to use.

The package actually contains lots of items aside from the 4 ccoil machines. You get a power supply that offers fast and accurate voltage adjustments. You get 50 EO (Ethylene Oxide) Gas sterilized needles, disposable machine grips, pieces of practice skin, US-made vegan-friendly Immortal tattoo inks, a set of adjustment tools, and a large carry case with a key.

1. Has Everything

These coil machines include disposable tips, needles, ink caps, ink cups, digital power supply, paper towels, transfer paper, 10 radiant colors, and even some practice skin. Basically, you won’t have to buy anything else to start honing your skills. For a newbie, that’s certainly convenient.

Also, Dragonhawk recommends purchasing better ink for tattooing human skin.

2. High Quality

It’s great that they worked with a real tattoo artists to design the coil machines. They even cared enough to inspect and adjust each unit by hand to make sure that these things can actually be used easily.

The same concern for quality shows in the accessories. This beginner kit isn’t cheap, throwaway stuff. These are good needles and ink.

3. Four Machines

The best tattoo for beginners machine kit may be nice for some, but in general, you tend to get better results with specialized tools designed for a specific task. That’s case here, with separate coil machines for lining, shading, and coloring. There are even 2 types of liners.

4. Excellent Customer Service

Plenty of customers have remarked how the Dragonhawk quickly offers replacements when you get a damaged piece in your tattoo kit. In fact, in some cases they just send a brand-new tattoo kit.[/su_box]

  • Tattoo complete coil tattoo machine package
  • Great for both lining and shading
  • 4 separate machines for different tasks
  • Terrific customer support
  • Durability may be an issue

4. Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machine- Best Starter Tattoo Machine

Quick Summary
  • Weighs 3.8 ounces
  • ERGO-design that makes the tool seem weightless
  • Made from high-quality aluminum and CNC-machined for precision work
  • Anodized for finish and ware resistance
  • Hand-assembled for superior fit
  • Double-sized needle clip
  • RCA cord
  • Adjustable voltage for different tasks
  • Fixed (non-adjustable) give for consistent feel

Do you have a large budget? It’s possible that even if you’re a beginner you may want to start out with the very best beginner rotary tattoo machine you can get.

The particular Rotary liner and shader tattoo machine we got is polished black with the RCA cable. It’s a pleasure to use, even though we were annoyed at first because it didn’t even come with the RCA cable we needed. Obviously, we had to buy the other accessories as well.

But when you use it, you’ll realize that it’s a painless tool to use. Say goodbye to any worries regarding carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist pain problems. It just feels weightless. The build is durable and of high quality, and it can be used for a wide range of tasks and tattooing styles.

1. High-Quality Construction

This tattoo gun is made in California, and they used advanced 5-axis Kitamura CNC machines to work on aircraft-grade aluminum to create this tattoo machine. They polished this by hand, and then anodized to meet aircraft aluminum standards. The Moxon motor is Swiss-made, though some models offer a German Faulhauber motor.

2. Fantastic Weight Distribution

This weighs 3.8 ounces, which isn’t really heavy at all. But when you use it, the weight flow design makes it seem virtually weightless. This lets you work longer hours without pain and injury issues with your wrist.

3. Double-Needle Clip

With this feature, you don’t need rubber bands that are often required with other tattoo machines. You won’t have to deal with any lateral motion with the needle. That’s because the double-needle clip really keeps the needle steady. This means you can practice working on creating fine details in tattoos to hone your skills.

4. Versatile

The voltage is adjustable, which lets you work on lining (8-9 volts) along with shading and color packing (7.5-8.5 volts).

5. Fixed (“Organic”) Give

Some rotary machines have an adjustable give. But here you have a fixed give. This is actually better for a newbie, because you train yourself to adjust your hand speed and hand pressure. This beginner kit will make you a better tattoo creator.

  • Made with superior materials and manufacturing process
  • Can be used for lining, shading, and color packing
  • Weightless
  • No lateral movement, allowing for fine detail work
  • Can be used to train your hand speed and hand pressure
  • Expensive
  • The carrying case, power supply is not included need to purchase separately
  • Bare-bones tool without any accessories (making it really expensive once you get everything).

5. Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Complete Tattoo kit- Best Beginner Tattoo Machine

Quick Summary
  • Made from brass, re-engineered with a special frame
  • Stroke length ranges from 2.5mm to 4.2 mm
  • Adjustable voltage
  • Japanese motor offers more torque with less voltage
  • The high needle speed also enables artists to create a precision work
  • Thee tattoo gun comes with paper towel, clip cord, ink cups, transfer paper, foot pedal, practice skin, and power supply
  • Comes with spring and armature bar to maintain stable frequency and strong rebound

If you’re a big person who can deal with the 135-gram weight (that’s 4. 8 ounces), then perhaps you can use this Extreme X2 complete tattoo kit from Dragonhawk. Actually, this is the result of the collaboration between Extreme Tattoo Supply and Dragonhawk Tattoo Supply.

Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Complete Tattoo kit actually not that expensive, considering that it’s made from a solid block of pure brass using CNC machines. That tattoo starter kits makes this a rather durable machine kit that can last a long while. But it sure is heavy.

This Complete Tattoo kit does come with the RCA cable, but you have to buy your other supplies. This best rotary tattoo machine for beginners 2021 can work with both standard needles and needle cartridges. All in all, it operates smoothly without too much noise, and you can use this for lining, shading, and even coloring in large areas.

1. Durable

The brass construction makes this an eminently durable Complete Tattoo kit, and that applies to the Japanese motor as well.

2. Versatile

You can use this Complete Tattoo kit starter gun for lining, using different stroke lengths to match with types of needles. You can use this to color in large patches of human skin as well. You can use standard needles here or needle cartridges.

3. Easy to Use

It’s ergonomic so it feels comfortable in your hand. It can work very smoothly without making too much noise. You can also set it at a lower voltage without having to stall.

  • Durable
  • Can be used for various tasks
  • Comes with quality power supplies allow the artist to adjust the voltage
  • Perfect for lining and shading
  • Simple enough to use
  • Can work with standard and cartridge needles
  • It’s a bit heavy
  • Lacks accessories
  • May not be meant for heavy-duty work involving several hours

6. Dragonfly Tattoo Machine- Best Starter Rotary Tattoo Machine

Quick Summary
  • Rotary tattoo machine
  • 4-10 volts
  • Weighs 200 grams
  • Low-vibration frame
  • Quiet operation
  • 3.5mm stroke length
  • It can be used as a liner and shader
  • Free replacement service along with one year warranty

Now if you really have a tight budget and you just want the best tattoo equipment for beginners 2021 you can try out, you may want to check out the Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine.

This is incredibly affordable rotary machine, so much so that at first you might think that it’s some sort of disposable accessory. It’s not exactly durable, but you can use it long enough to find out if you really want to be a tattoo master for real.

What you have to understand is that this is a Chinese brand rotary machine specializing in tattoo products. The Dragonfly machine doesn’t come with accessories, but at this price point that’s certainly understandable.

When you use this, just go for an hour. Then you have to rest it for maybe 10 minutes before you resume. What you do get is an easy-to-use rotary machine that should let you find out on the cheap if you have the talent or the continuing interest for tattooing. You can use this for small designs as well.

1. create body art at an affordable price

It costs about the same as 2 tickets to the cinema. It’s seriously cheap, which means it’s a trial tattoo machine you can use every now and then (or daily for a few months).

2. Stable

It doesn’t vibrate, so that you can hold it steady to create your design without mistakes.

3. Quiet

It’s not all that noisy either.

4. Easy to Use

It’s not really all that complicated. You can use this mainly for lining, but it can work with color packing and shading as well. You can use this with standard tubes, needles, power supplies, and grips. It’s small at 3.54 x 2.95 x 0.79 inches, while it’s not really heavy considering you’re not supposed to use this for too long.

  • Super cheap
  • The brand offers lots of accessories that you can use with this
  • Quiet
  • Stable and easy to use
  • You can use it 1 hour at the most before you need to rest it
  • This won’t last long before it breaks down
  • Given the price, there’s no real quality control so you might get a bad unit

8. Danny Robinson’s Coil Machine- Best Coil Tattoo Machines for Beginners

Quick Summary
  • Coil machine
  • Built from copper
  • Bit heavy at 366 grams (about 13ounces)
  • Working volts at 7-8V
  • Can do both lining and shading
  •  Complete solution to create great body art

Are you looking for the best tattoo machines on the market?

This is another coil machine of those tattoo machines with ridiculously low prices. It’s the kind of price that makes you wary. But when you simply keep your expectations in line with the price, you’d be pleasantly surprised.

This is coil machine that’s designed for use as a liner. That’s it. That’s why it’s not expensive, and that’s also why it’s suitable for many newbies. Drawing outlines is kind of one simple way for newbies to start out.

By the way, if you’re wondering who Danny Robinson is then wonder no more. He’s an English tattooist and he’s actually quite popular. That’s because he starred in an MTV UK tattoo TV show.

1. Inexpensive

This coil machine has to be mentioned since plenty of beginners are only wondering if they can make go of tattooing. With this, they start of without too much of an investment

2. Durable

This coil machine is made of pure copper for the frame, with red copper for the spring contact and pure copper for the wing nut. The thumb nut screw is made from brass.

3. It Looks Great

The coil machine really looks authentic, with the name prominently featured. The “client” can ask you who is, and you can talk about him like a pro. Even the box that comes with the tattoo machine is gorgeous.

4. It Works Really Well as a Liner

This coil machine works very hard, and it doesn’t bog down at all. You’ll find the lines sinking in so that the result somehow looks professional, while the tattoo also offers a terrific throw. Even a pro won’t mind using this as a daily lining machine.

It may seem limited, but it makes sense for you if you’re a newbie. You want to start with the most basic skill, and that’s lining. Done well, such tattoos can look great.

  • Long-lasting
  • Serious aesthetics
  • Works well for lining
  • Affordable
  • A bit heavy
  • Limited to lining
  • No power supply included
  • No accessories

9. Solong Complete Tattoo Kit- Best Entry Level Tattoo Machine

Quick Summary
  • 1 coil machine for lining, shading
  • 10 wraps coil
  • 1 digital power supply
  • Foot pedal and clip cord connection
  • 1 grip
  • Transfer paper
  • Needles, Ink caps, ink cups
  • Needles and tips
  • Other attachments, accessories, and supplies
  • Practice skin
  • One-year warranty

Another great complete tattoo kit choice for people looking for the best tattoo kits, solong tattoo contains everything to get started in tattooing, proving it to be a very convenient stick tattoo kit choice.

Featuring 1 coil machine, all of the attachments, accessories, and supplies needed to make the tattoo machine work, as well as 14 bottles of tattoo ink for practicing. With these, tattoo kit can let you skip the hassle of looking for and purchasing important bits and bobs separately.

1. Excellent price

The most striking thing about Solong Tattoo’s starter kits is the fact that they’re very affordable. This is why it’s a go-to brand for budding tattoo artists on a budget. But despite being cheap, their products are quite reliable.

Aside from the friendly price tag, Solong tattoo complete starter kits is also famous for its dupes. Solong tattoo offers affordable alternatives to more expensive models so they quickly made a name for themselves with the budget-conscious crowd. As not everyone can afford Stigmas and FK Irons but are still looking for the same quality and performance from their tattoo machines, Solong’s clones were able to win many hearts all over the world.

2. Suitable for beginners

Most starter kits for beginners are marketed towards beginners for a reason and it’s mostly because it will quickly provide everything you need to start tattooing. This solong tattoo kit is a good example of such as it has all of the necessary accessories, attachments, and supplies you’ll need to start practicing your inking techniques and knowledge.

Having a coil machine as the central item in the tattoo gun also makes it very beginner-friendly. While coils may seem intimidating, they are preferred by many professionals. So if you’re going to be an apprentice to one with such a preference, you’ll need to use a coil machine as well.

However, since this particular tattoo kit is both a liner and a shader, it’s quite versatile. This also makes it easier to get the hang of instead of having to learn how to handle several tattoo machines for beginners at once.

3. Comes with the essentials

What makes us consider this as the best tattoo kit for beginners 2021 set is the fact that it comes with what you need to get started in tattooing. It may not have a lot of inclusions but what this package contains are already enough for you to begin practicing right away.

You’ll already get a machine and every accessory and attachment necessary for it to work, inks, and even a practice skin. So as soon as you get this package, you can quickly set it up, tune it, then start practicing on the fake skin immediately.

  • Convenient option
  • Comes with all the necessities
  • Very friendly price tag
  • Great for lining and shading
  • Good power supply
  • Creates solid lines and makes light work of color-packing
  • Ink is only for practicing

10. Stigma Complete Tattoo Kit Pro- Best Affordable Tattoo Machine for Beginners

Quick Summary
  • 10W motor
  • 12V maximum voltage
  • RCA/clip cord connection
  • 20 pcs tattoo needles in 5 different sizes
  • 3.5 mm stroke length
  • 5 quality inks
  • Needles, Ink caps, ink cups
  • Transfer paper
  • Carrying case
  • Practice skin
  • Power supply
  • Disposable silicone grips

Here’s another one of the best tattoo starter kits, the Stigma Complete Tattoo Kit Pro Tattoo Machine Kit. With Stigma-Rotary tattoo kits for beginners being one of the biggest names in the industry, its entry-level offering can certainly be a good tattoo kit pick.

The basic tattoo kits for beginners offers smooth and reliable performance, quality construction, and versatility so beginners will find it to be a great tool to learn with.

1. Great value for your money

Not all best tattoo machine brands offer an affordable tattoo starter kit for entry-level users, much less a solid tattoo complete kit that are practical options for beginners. This is why the MK648 tattoo starter kit is such an exciting option because it will give you a taste of what the brand can offer without making you spend a paycheck on it.

Aside from its performance, the fact that this starter kit comes with just about everything to get started on tattooing makes it a really convenient and practical pick.

There’s no more need to spend hours searching for the right needles, attachments, accessories, or even tattoo inks because the beginner tattoo kits already got you covered. It can help you get tattooing right away as long as you have something to work on like a practice skin or a fruit.

2. High-power machine

For its friendly price tag, this tattoo-complete device can handle up to 12V of power so that’s pretty great. Its wide range of voltage guarantees that it can perform an equally wide range of tasks, promising great versatility.

This complete tattoo kit might seem daunting for beginners but it can still come in handy as you won’t need to get familiar with various rotary tattoo machines to complete a piece. You’ll only need one device with the Stigma Rotary tattoo kits and you can still get great results.

Note: Don’t use tap water either, Just use a disinfectant spray.

  • Friendly price tag
  • Will let you start tattooing right away
  • Made by a highly reputable manufacturer
  • Free replacement service and one-year warranty
  • Good for Lining and Shading
  • Great for lining, fine dot work, color packing, shading, realistic black and white
  • Good quality accessories
  • Requires regular oiling
  • Power supply might need to be replaced after a while.

The Buying Guide– What to Know When Buying Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners

What Makes A Tattoo Machine Best?

Here are the characteristics of the best tattoo machines for beginners

  • You can afford it.
  • You can use it easily. That means it’s simple instead of complicated.
  • It has features that let you practice the task you want to master (such as lining or shading).
  • It arrives at your doorstep without any damage or malfunctioning parts.
  • It lasts long enough for you to practice until you’re ready to step up to a more sophisticated machine.

Benefits of a Tattoo Machine

Choosing the Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners

What do you have to do to make sure you get the best tattoo machines for the money and for your rookie-level skills? Here are some questions and factors you need to keep in mind?

1. What’s Your Skill Level?

You have to remember that you’re still a beginner. This means that you don’t need a tattoo machine with complicated advanced features that you won’t be able to use and understand. It’s like buying a Ferrari or a Lamborghini when you’re still trying to learn how to actually drive.

So, keep this in mind when you read coil or rotary machines reviews and descriptions. It’s better to stick to simpler models, so you save your money while you practice your tattooing skills.

2. Are You novice artists or Is It a Hobby?

Professional tattoo designers have different requirements than hobbyists do. Hobbyists want to have fun when they’re trying to perfect these skills. There’s no real money in it, so they don’t really have a way of recouping their expenses.

With a tattoo designer, the right tattooing rotary machines are an investment. This means they plan on recouping the money they spend on the machine so they come out making a profit. Getting the right tattooing machine isn’t about what’s fun for them to use, but what’s best for their business and for their clients.

3. Rotary Vs Coil Tattoo Machines

Rotary machines has a motor that rotates in a cycle, so that the energy moves the needle in a linear motion. It’s a very simple design that can be quite versatile, as the best ones can be used for line and shade, or even for coloring.

It’s very easy to use, with less pain for the hand due to the lightweight and the minimal vibration. There aren’t too many adjustments to make, and a rotary tattoo machine may not need lot of maintenance at all.

The drawbacks of the rotary machines include the notable lack of durability. The machine doesn’t really have a long lifespan, and in some cases, you can’t even use it for several hours straight without resting it in the meantime.

Some people find the quiet operation as a drawback, and that’s because these novice artists are used adjusting the tool simply by the noise it makes. The rotary machines are generally not as fast when it comes to finishing a tattoo, and many find it a bit more difficult to do lining with a rotary machine.

Coil tattoo machines have coils (hence the name) that produce an electromagnetic circuit. This EM circuit causes the needle of the machine to go up and down. You then set it to the coil machine to get the needle in and out of the human skin while applying the tattoo ink. Typically, you have 2 coils in the machine, but some have 3 coils or even just one.

Professionals tend to like the coil more. For them, the loud buzzing sound it makes isn’t a bad thing at all. They find it easier to regulate the speed and power. It’s easier to control, especially due to the heavier weight adding to the pressure. You can use it for several hours straight with no trouble.

In general, you get a better result with a coil tattoo machine if you know what you’re doing. Coil machine even easier to customize so that the parts you get suit your style and preferences.

Beginners, however, find the loud noise distracting (or even intimidating). They don’t find it easier to use, and in fact they won’t like how they need to make a lot of adjustments and tuning. The greater need for maintenance is also a turn-off, even for some pros.

4. Do I Need A Rotary or Coil?

That depends. Again, we ask that you take note of your current skill level. If you’re a newbie, stick to a rotary for the meantime. You simply don’t have the skills and experience to make easy adjustments, especially based on the noise. You also won’t know how to customize these machines properly.

Now if you’re a pro, you certainly don’t need us to tell you that a coil tattoo machine is generally the better option. You should know this by now!

Understanding Tattoo Machines

A tattoo machine has either a motor or a set of electromagnetic coils powering an armature bar to go up and down. Attached to this bar you have a barred needle grouping that applies the tattoo ink to the skin. It’s really that simple.

However, to really understand your tattoo machine is a different matter. You have to read the manual carefully. You should have a good idea of what each and every component is working. By having a deeper understanding of your tattoo machine, you can customize it by replacing certain parts with new parts that work better for you. Your understanding also helps you pick better tattoo machines in the future.


What about pneumatic tattoo machines?

These are tattoo machines that have an air compressor moving the needle. These aren’t mentioned anywhere on this list, since they’re simply too expensive for a beginner. It’s like getting a new teenage driver behind the wheel of a McLaren F1.

Which needles work best for which jobs?

Use round tight needles for outlining. For covering large areas of skin, go with magnum tattoo needles

After lining, shading, and coloring, what else should I practice?

Go learn about lettering. You’d be amazed at how many people want words for tattoos. Now you have to learn about different fonts!

What is a practice skin?

Instead of practicing on fruits, you can practice on skin tone sheets. These are made of silicone or leather. You can even get silicone body parts like hands and feet so you get a clear idea of how your tattoo will look like on a real person.

Why does my tattoo kit come with medical tape?

You use the medical tape to secure the bandages over the new tattoos. The tattoos have to be bandaged—they’re open wounds!

When to Apply tattoo aftercare to a New Tattoo?

The best time to apply aftercare like hustle butter or olive oil is about three to five days after the tattoo session. At this time, your newly-tattooed skin will have a thin yet hard layer, perhaps a few peeling parts. It looks like sunburn peeling except that the skin takes on the colors of your tattoo. Try not to use WD-40 or silicone lubricant.

Keep applying the hustle butter lotion or olive oil for the next two weeks, perhaps longer if you like tits effects. Your skin will be moisturized and, thus, less prone to cracking and peeling, among other signs of irritation.

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Picking the Best Beginners Tattoo Machine for You

Our recommendation is that while tattoo kits are great, you learn more by doing research and making your own tattoo kit yourself. The foundation of your tattoo kit is a terrific tattoo machine, and you’re the best judge of which one that is.

But if you want a single recommendation, we say go with the Hummingbird Rotary V1 Tattoo Machine.

It’s incredibly easy to use, and you can use it for lining, shading, and coloring. It’s extremely lightweight as well at just 80 grams. With this, you can concentrate on actually learning about tattooing, and not spend too much time learning about your tattooing machine. You need to focus on your craft, and not on your tools.