If you are a tattoo artist and love to create beautiful patterns on your skin, you would definitely know how important it is to use the proper tattoo machine. While most people are unaware of such devices’ application procedures, almost everyone knows the significance of a quality instrument.
And choosing from the best rotary tattoo machines will be wise for you regardless of your skill level. Being an expert tattoo master is every tattoo artist’s dream, but becoming one can be more complicated than your imagination. If you aim to improve your skill, you need to choose your tattoo machine carefully.
Because using an unsuitable tattoo machine can be hazardous as well as dangerous. You will find hundreds of brands that produce quality tattoo devices every year. While most of these tattoo machines are built following a standard procedure and guideline, they are not equal when it comes to performance and quality.
Therefore, you need to check the features, price, customer feedback so you can make the right choice for your tattoo-making career.
Best Rotary Tattoo Machines: 12 Models Compared
Before you go through each product’s individual reviews, how about we go over all the features these rotary tattoo machines have? This will also help you to compare which one possesses the qualities you desire in your device.
|Dragonhawk Atom Cartridge Kit Pen||135 gm||DC cord||Aluminum||Dc motor||3.5 mm||6-9 v|
|Dragonhawk Cartridge Mast Pen||120 gm||Dc cord||Aluminum||Mast Motor||3.5 mm||6-9 v|
|Dragonhawk Extreme||175 gm||Clip Cord||Carbon Steel||Japanese motor||3.5 mm||4.5-18 v|
|Stigma Tattoo Kit||112 gm||Dc cord||Aluminum||Brushless motor||3 mm||7-10 v|
|Solong Tattoo Kit||169 gm||Dc cord||Aluminum alloy||German motor||4 mm||6-11 v|
|Hawink Rotary Short Pen||128 gm||RCA cord||Aluminum alloy||German Faulhaber||4 mm||5-10v|
|YILONG ‘L’ Rotary Tattoo Machine||115 gm||RCA cord||Aluminum||Faulhaber motor||3.5 mm||6-9v|
|Kwadron Equaliser||130 gm||RCA cord||Aluminum||Japanese motor||3.5 mm||7-11v|
|InkJecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite||45 gm||RCA cord||Carbon fiber||Nano tech motor||3.25 mm||4.5-18v|
|Cheyenne Sol Nova||150 gm||Jack connection||Aluminum||Brushless motor||3.5 mm||4.7-12.6 v|
|Cheyenne Hawk Pen||130 gm||Jack connection||Aluminum||Dc motor||3.5 mm||6-12.6 v|
|Cheyenne Sol Terra||85 gm||Jack connection||Aluminum||Brushless dc motor||4 mm||5-12.6 v|
While all this information may give you some basic ideas about what you want, these data are definitely not enough to pick the right one for you. Let’s go through the reviews without any delay, shall we?
12 Best Rotary Tattoo Machines Reviewed
1. Dragonhawk Atom – Best Rotary Tattoo Pen Kit
When talking about the best rotary tattoo machine for beginners, there is no way you can leave Dragonhawk out of the list. In fact, they are one of the best in their field. The Atom cartridge rotary tattoo machine by Dragonhawk is undoubtedly one of the most versatile rotary tattoo machines you can buy right now!
As the name suggests, this lightweight tool gives you a pen-like feel when you are holding it.
2. Dragonhawk Mast – Best Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit
Another worthy of your pennies is the Mast rotary tattoo machine of Dragonhawk. Just like their Atom kit, you get the pen-like comfort holding this. The speed you get with this one is outstanding in every way possible. For the perfect color packing, precise outlining, black and gray shading, this can be an easy choice for your tattooing passion.
3. Dragonhawk Extreme – Best Rotary Tattoo Machine For Color Packing
The extreme rotary tattoo machine by Dragonhawk has the power and stability you need to make a fine tattoo! This lightweight device highlights some extraordinary traits, which you can get at a meager price! Pretty much a winner if you consider all the benefits you get with this!
4. Stigma Rotary Tattoo Machine – Best Rotary Lining Tattoo Machine
If you are specifically looking for the best Rotary Tattoo Machines for lining, the Stigma pen tattoo kit should definitely be on your list. While the aesthetics of this machine is eye-catching, it is not just the appearance. The performance of this machine is what makes it stand out among others.
With all the unique traits going on with this rotary tattoo machine, you can never really go wrong with this one.
5. Solong Tattoo Kit – Best Rotary Machine Pen Tattoo Kit
Solong tattoo kit is another pen-style rotary tattoo machine that you can rely on for steady performance. This one is pretty popular for its quality build and comfortability. For a tattoo expert who is looking for a rotary tattoo machine with standard features, this Solong pen kit is undoubtedly one of the best ones.
6. Hawink CNC-Q2 – Best Rotary Short Pen Tattoo Machine
The Hawink CNC-Q2 is our following product in this best rotary pen tattoo machines list for obvious reasons. From the structure to performance, this promises a maximum level of user satisfaction! If you are a beginner yet want to use a standard tattoo machine for practical experience, Hawink is the ‘It’ for you!
7. YILONG ‘L’ – Best Affordable Rotary Tattoo Machine
The Yilong’ L’ tattoo machine provides you control and balance during your work and can be used for different techniques and styles. Thanks to the pen-style design, this tattoo gun gives you the feel of holding a pen while drawing. It means you are not going to face any types of struggles overall!
8. Kwadron Equaliser _ Best Rotary Pen For Shading
The Equaliser proton pen tattoo machine is manufactured by Kwadron, a very well-known company for producing some of the quality tattoo needles in this field. This ultra-light yet powerful tool ensures you get the accurate tattoo design you want.
9. InkJecta Flite Ultra-Lite – Best Lightweight Rotary Tattoo Machine
If you are looking for a tattoo device that you can hold and control quickly, a lightweight device should be your top priority. The InkJecta flite nano ultra-lite is the perfect one for you. In fact, this rotary tattoo machine is the most lightweight device you can find on the market.
10. Cheyenne Sol Nova – Best Rotary Pen Machine
Cheyenne has been a pretty popular name when it comes to rotary tattoo machines. Among their many quality tools, the Sol Nova is built to deliver expert-level tattoo arts. As this one is also a pen-like machine, you can conveniently aim to create the perfect tattoo.
11. Cheyenne Hawk Pen – Best Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine
Out of all Cheyanne rotary tattoo machines, the Hawk pen is another terrific tattoo machine you can go for any issues. This bronze-colored pen tattoo machine is easy to set at any time. So, if you are contemplating over should you or should you not buy it, you are not going to regret purchasing it for sure.
12. Cheyenne Sol Terra – Best Premium Quality Rotary Tattoo Machine
Are you looking for a quality angled tattoo machine for your tattooing passion? The Sol Terra by Cheyenne will give you the ultimate experience you are looking for. This one is also considered as one of the quietest tools created ever by the company.
What Features Should You Look For While Buying A Rotary Tattoo Machine?
As a beginner tattoo artist, you have to make sure you get the one of the best performing rotary tattoo machines for the perfect outcome. However, you may find it challenging to pick one if you don’t have the proper knowledge. You can go through these mentioned features to get an easy understanding of the subject.
Tattoo making is a time-consuming task that requires the complete attention of the artist. If your machine is large-sized with a slippery handle, the possibilities of mistakes are pretty unavoidable at the beginner level. Hence, you shall always choose a lightweight rotary tattoo machine for comfortable handling.
To lessen the chances of slipping out, you have to make sure the tool’s grip is sturdy enough. The machine weight also plays a crucial role here. A heavy machine may give you a tough time while you have to work continuously in a single sitting. Make sure you buy one that you can handle for long hours.
Fit For All
A tattoo pattern may need you to use multiple needles. Hence, you shall buy a rotary tattoo machine that allows you to use the same pen to insert different needles. If your device doesn’t come with this feature, you may have to buy more devices separately. Try to invest in a multipurpose one if you don’t want to waste your resources.
Speed Of Machine
The speed of rotary tattoo machines may range between 50-3000 rpm. You can choose a rotary tattoo machine that allows you to control the speed accordingly. It means you can increase or decrease the speed rate depending on your work requirements.
The best rotary tattoo machines come with multiple functions like absorption, ink storage, flexibility, easy assembly, etc. You have to choose a tattoo machine that offers numerous features. It will help you to learn various features once you practice the basics.
You may have to carry around the rotary tattoo machine in different locations. All the movements and frequent usage can cause the machine to tear and wear in different parts. Hence, try to purchase one that is constructed with the best quality materials. You wouldn’t want to chase the manufacturers for spare parts and replacements all the time!
Easy To Use
Always start the practice with a machine that you can easily use. A user-friendly tool will help to polish your skill-set and upgrade it with time as well. Try to avoid complex options that come with too many switches.
The price of a rotary tattoo machine is relevant as it concerns your budget. Several budget-friendly rotary tattoo machines are out there. So, you don’t have to worry about not getting a machine within your reach. A beginner should invest in a reliable yet affordable tattoo machine at first. You can initiate with a basic version to practice the basics.
As we know, tattoo machines can be broadly of two types, coil machines, and rotary machines. The coil one uses electromagnetic current, and the rotary tool uses a spinning motor. While the coil is very common in most tattoo shops, the rotary is preferred by many professional tattoo artists due to its numerous advantages.
The most significant difference might be that you can make shades and smooth lines with a rotary machine. Apart from this, there are many more points to consider.
Weight: Usually, coil tattoo machines have two iron rods and coils, making the coil machines pretty heavy to hold. A tattoo artist may feel tired after working a whole day with such a tool. However, a rotary machine uses a motor causing the device to weigh much less.
As a result, you will feel more comfortable holding it. Due to its handy nature, artists can work much longer in one sitting without any difficulty. It means the chances of mistakes during work also decrease a lot.
Needle Range: The needle is a crucial part of a tattoo machine. You have to consider the needle range while buying a tattoo machine. The needles of a coil machine have a hefty movement, whereas a rotary one has a more liquidy tendency.
Noise: When you make tattoos with a coil machine, the coils use electromagnetic force to switch in between. This method produces a certain level of noise, which can be a bit distracting for a newbie artist. As a rookie, you might feel nervous and tremble during the task, ultimately increasing the risk of skin damage.
On the other hand, a rotary machine tends to make less sound compared with the coil one. This provides enough comfort to both the artist and tattoo receiver.
Versatility: One of the prominent shortcomings of a coil tattoo machine is that you can not create both lines and shades with this one. You have to make either lines or shades at one time. Because of this restriction, you need to use both types of tattoo machines to create tattoos with a complex design.
With a rotary machine, you don’t have to worry about such things. You can create both shades and lines with this device simply by choosing another needle when needed.
You can see how the benefits of rotary machines outnumber the coil tattoo machine. This is the reason most tattoo artists feel the rotary one is the better option. However, the opinion can vary from person to person. So, you should check yourself to make sure you pick the suitable one for your crafting.
Benefits Of Rotary Tattoo Machine
Tattoo making is all about your focus, ability to stay calm and precise all the time. The quality of the tattoo machine also plays a vital role. Once you start using a rotary tattoo machine, you would see why this one is much more comfortable making complex tattoos. In short, rotary tattoo devices are the perfect option for beginner tattoo artists.
- This one is pretty quiet if you consider the sound level. Due to the spinning motor mechanism, it lacks movable parts, ultimately producing less noise. Rest assured, you won’t be feeling nervous while doing your task!
- Tattooing involves a minimum amount of pain, considering the needles will pierce through the skin. This machine causes lesser damage to your skin, meaning your skin will be healed in less time.
- The rotary machine is a low maintenance one due to its simple construction. You don’t have to upgrade it from time to time as there is no complex element involved.
- This one is relatively easy to operate. You can be an amateur or an expert, but it won’t make any difference.
- If you want to work with color, the rotary tattoo machine is the ideal choice for you.
How To Use A Rotary Tattoo Machine?
Using a rotary machine is an easy task if you know all the basics. When it comes to tattooing, all you have to do is keep your hands clean and maintain accuracy.
Clean Your Hands
It is the first step when you are going to create a tattoo for someone. Clean your hands properly. Before you touch the machine with lubricant on your hands, make sure to sterilize your hands. Use antibacterial soap to wash them and put the gloves on.
When a needle penetrates the skin exposing the flesh to the air, that part can easily get infected with germs. Hence, this step is crucial as you don’t want the exposed skin to get infected.
After cleaning your hands, check the state of your tattoo machine. Make sure each piece of the tool is present and in the exact place. Everything is okay, and you are ready to get going if you see the frame, cylinder, power supply. And if any part is damaged or not present, don’t worry. You can replace that specific part with a new one.
Assembly Of Machine Parts
Next, you have to assemble all the parts to form the tattoo machine. Set the tube and tip to your preferred length. And when all things are ready, you have to tighten the handle screws. While the gap can be of any measure, the needle has to be less than 2mm and more than 1mm.
After that, you have to adjust the needle. Needles can be of various sizes, and you will need different types to make different designs. Having multiple needles is essential for tattoo artists regardless of their level of skill. Hence, try to keep all the sizes of needles like RS, RM, M1, M2, F, etc.
After installing a needle into the tube, you have to test its capacity to see the performance. To avoid the pain, make sure not to put out the needle during assembly.
Securing The Needle
Secure the needle with a nipple to connect it to the base. Thus, you can stop the needle from hanging. The blunt edge of the needle has to be closed as well.
Adjust The Needle
Once you are done collecting all the parts, it is now time to fix the needle’s length. You can do this work by using the crucible of the tattoo machine that is present next to the needles.
Connecting To The Energy Supply
Tattoo machines come with a cord. If your device doesn’t have one, there must be something wrong with the package. This cord will connect the device with the power source. Most of these cords have clamps for easy connection.
You can see the connection ports even with your bare eyes. The power supply usually has dual input, and you have to make sure all are properly connected.
To prevent accidents, you have to debrief before starting the work. Switch on the tattoo machine to learn the mechanism once you have assembled and connected everything. If you see the tattoo machine vibrating after switching it one while the needle is not hanging out, your tool is ready to work!
How To Set Up The Rotary Tattoo Machine?
Before you start drawing with your tattoo machine, you have to make sure every part of the device is correctly adjusted and placed. One simple mistake can lead to blunders, which you surely wouldn’t want! You can set up the rotary tattoo machine following these simple steps.
- Detach all the parts of the device and clean them properly.
- Make sure to clean the workspace and your hands using sanitizer.
- Fix the rubber nipple with the needle bar. This step is unavoidable as it will prevent the skin from getting infected in the long run.
- Get the needle and bend it while inserting it into the tube.
- Put the needle bar and the needle together and attach them tightly.
- Hold the needle bar and press it in the earthward direction.
- Fix the needle bar and join it with the retainer ring. Make sure to adjust the needle bar retainer and tune the retainer screw as well.
- Tighten the needles firmly. So, they don’t sway from their position.
- Adjust the power supply base on your preference.
- Having clean hands is mandatory for tattoo artists. It also guarantees perfection and smoothness when you are working on one.
- Your rotary tattoo machine must have adjustable pressure. However, you can use manual pressure and speed at first. It is necessary for you to set up task parameters.
- Use lubrication on your tattoo machine as it will enhance the performance level. Add drops of lubricant on the front part of all sides. After doing the work on 10V for 60 seconds, the lube inside will decrease.
- Make sure to clean the tattoo machine every 6 months. Make sure to lubricate it afterwards as well. However, if you use the machine more often, you have to clean it more frequently. Before you start the cleaning process, check the machine’s status. Detach it and replace the parts if necessary.
- Make sure not to tighten the screws overly. You can easily stab the engine!
- Avoid using green soap, madacide, and other liquids in the tattoo machine. You can only use lube or oil to cleanse and lubricate it.
- Put all the essential parts and cloth near at hand to prevent wasting time while you work.
- Wrap the fabric around the wrist and go up to the elbow.
- Whenever you use multi-color inks, make sure you clean the needles afterwards. Failing to do so will result in a dirty blemish instead of a tattoo. Besides, try to keep all the things close to your workstation. Thus, you won’t get distracted from your work.
Necessary Equipment For Tattoo Making
If you are planning to be a tattoo artist, you have to know about the necessary items you will need during the task. Apart from the tattoo machine kit, you have to prepare some other elements as well.
Tattoo Machine: Getting a suitable tattoo machine is very important in making tattoos. You can find several renowned brands in the market, but not all of them are perfect for you. Make sure to check the type, specifications, etc., before you purchase one.
Ink: Quality ink is the first element you need to make the tattoo. It will help you to create good lines and shapes. Hence, research and choose an ink item most suitable for you.
Vaseline and Water: Vaseline on the skin will help the ink to stick on the skin. Water helps to maintain the consistency of the shades and linings.
Others: There are some other things you will need during the tattoo-making process. Paper towels to remove the excess on the skin, stencil supplies, antibacterial sanitizer for sterilization, gloves for extra protection, etc.
After Care: You will have to take some extra measures once you have created the tattoo. As your skin gets pierced using needles, you have to sterilize and wrap the skin with proper tools.
- Before getting into tattoo making, you need to research a lot. These days, the market is crowded with numerous options for you to choose from. Hence, you have to gather knowledge about what you are looking for and what will be best for you based on your skill level.
- Fix a budget. It will help you to limit your options to a certain extent. Once you decide the amount, you can quickly get great picks for that specific value.
- If you are a newbie tattoo artist, you should get the basic level tattoo gun kit. These kits usually come with all the necessary fixtures and accessories to get yourself started.
- You can always consult with an expert tattoo artist. You can get enough suggestions on how to use the machine properly. They can even suggest to you the type of tattoo machine that would be suitable for you.
- Try to know about the accessories and the attachments beforehand. These additional parts will help you to advance your skills with time.
Are Tattoos Bad For The Body?
While getting tattoos can be a bit of a painful method, it is worth the effort once you get that beautiful design on your body. But can a tattoo affect your health in any way? Well, many people may say yes to it. But according to most specialists, it is not as bad as it sounds. Most research has stated that tattoos influence sweating in that particular spot.
It means the skin without any tattoo perspires double the amount the tattooed skin does. Besides, toxic ink and harmful substances can damage the skin as well. As a tattoo means breaching the skin, the chances of skin infections and other problems are also possible.
- Allergic reactions: The dyes you use for tattoos can cause severe allergic reactions like itchiness, rashes, etc. Especially the blue, red, yellow, and green colors. It can happen suddenly, even if you got the tattoo a long time ago.
- Skin infections: Occurrence of skin infection is a likely outcome of tattooing.
- Other skin issues: Sometimes, a granuloma or a swelling area can develop around your tattoo ink. Tattooing also can result in having keloids — bumpy spots created by the scar tissue.
- Bloodborne illnesses: If the machine used to create the tattoo is polluted with contaminated blood, you can catch several bloodborne diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),
- MRI complications: Unusually, tattoos can cause burning or swelling in the concerned areas during an MRI exam. Tattoo pigments can even damage the image quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a rotary tattoo machine good for a beginner tattoo artist?
Using a rotational tattoo machine is always a more straightforward approach to create intricate patterns in your body. This type of tattoo machine is relatively easy to operate, and the motor helps to move the needle however you want. However, you may find it an average one if you are an expert tattoo artist.
In simple words, a rotational machine is like a children’s toy for a tattoo master.
You will have to use multiple types of machines to get the perfect result. But if you are a beginner, you can start practicing with a rotary tattoo machine.
Is a rotary tattoo machine better?
Yes, it is! You can make both lines and shades using it. Not to mention how lightweight and easily operable it can be. Most rotary machines make less sound while at work, which helps the tattoo receiver think the process is less painful. The tattoo artist can do his work peacefully without any disturbance.
What tattoo ink is better for a rotary tattoo gun?
To make a standard tattoo design, you need a good tattoo machine and quality ink. However, high-quality inks are found explicitly in renowned brands only. But even they can mix other elements with the ink as well. Hence, you have to make sure what the base of the ink is. Is it alcohol-based or water-based?
Some may mix glycerol components, ethanol, and methanol. These mixtures are organic and help to transfer the colors. Try to avoid other compositions as they won’t be good for the skin.
Hopefully, you have gotten all the necessary information to decide your mind! While we have tried to lessen your burden by limiting the list of best rotary tattoo machines to only 12, you still have to go through these twelve products for the final verdict.
Some of them may be the best rotary pen tattoo machine for beginners, while some are the best machine for linings. Go through all the reviews to clear your confusion. Make sure your selection has checked most of the crucial features from your checklist, if not all. And once you have decided what you want, get it before it goes out of stock!
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