How To Set Needle Depth On a Rotary Tattoo Machine

The perfect needle depth will make your tattoo match your expectations. But, how can you set the needle depth on a rotary tattoo machine?

For a rotary tattoo machine, the needle should be pushed 1 to 2 millimeters into the skin and should not break the dermis layer. Rotating the machine’s back causes the needle to stick out and twist in the opposite direction, reduces the depth.

If you stick out the needle too far, that will blow the skin, and if you leave the needle too shallow, that will make your lines scratchy. Several tattoo drawing techniques need different needle depths.

Check them out by reading the article.

What Is The Proper Depth For a Tattoo Needle?

During a tattoo, proper depth is a severe fact that should not be neglected. There are three layers in our skin, and they are – Epidermis, Dermis, and Subcutaneous. The needle should pierce the middle layer of skin that is the Dermis.

The epidermis is the top level of human skin. The middle one is between 1mm to 2mm into the skin.  You should always keep this in mind while adjusting the needle. Ensure that the tip of the needle doesn’t reach deeper than 2mm thus, you will have the ink placed in the perfect layer.

If the needle makes the stab on the Epidermis layer and doesn’t reach the Dermis, it will be too shallow for a tattoo. This won’t make your tattoo last for a long time, and the ink will disappear as the tattoo heals.

On the other hand, If the needle reaches too deep at the Subcutaneous layer, this will make the customer feel too much pain. In addition, it may cause a risk of infection as well. This is why it’s essential to check the needle depth carefully before making a tattoo.

What Size Needle Is Best For Tattoo Lining?

A number and diameter indicate the size of a needle. For example, the 08 gauge needle is equal to a diameter of 0.25mm. There are three popular needle sizes available for tattoo purposes. You will be required to use different sizes of needles depending on the ink flow you need.

08 – 0.25mm:

This is one of the smaller needle sizes available that is used for tattoos. When you need a small amount of ink flow, this needle is recommended to use. This needle saves ink as this delivers a tiny amount of ink during a tattoo.

10 – 0.30mm:

This is a very common needle size with a steady ink flow. As the previous needle flows the ink very slowly, this is why the size 10 is very popular and standard as well. The size makes the ink & the drawing very easy to control.

12 – 0.35mm:

This is one of the most popular needle sizes around the world. It’s pretty easy to maintain the lining of the ink flow with this size of a needle. If you want to make bold lines, this size will be perfect without any doubt.

These are three of the most popular needle sizes. There are some more needles available in other sizes, but they are rare and aren’t standard to use as a tattoo because of the ink flow and lining.

Read More: What Needle To Use For Coloring a Tattoo

Do Rotary Tattoo Machines Use Different Needles?

Yes, a different type of needles is being used on the rotary machines that move faster than traditional tattoo machines such as coil ones. The rotary tattoo machines are also quiet while drawing that makes the customer feel less pain as well. This machine is also easier to use, so you don’t need to be an experienced master to draw a tattoo with this machine.

How To Set Needle Depth On a Rotary Tattoo Machine

What Depth Should a Tattoo Needle Be Set At?

The needle should always be set in the standard depth to avoid skin infections and casualties. It’s recommended to set the needle depth between 1mm to 2mm. This makes sure that the needle isn’t crossing the safety layer of your skin.

How Do You Know If Your Tattoo Is Too Deep?

If the tattoo has gone too deep, the areas of the tattoo will become somewhat elevated after the tattoo has healed. Too deep or too shallow is not a good sign of a quality tattoo. To avoid the needle entering too deep, use the tip of the needle with delicacy.

Another factor to bear in mind is that not everyone has the same type of skin. Consequently, you should have a more excellent grasp of human skin and ensure that you have thoroughly evaluated the skin before starting the tattoo.

Additional Read: How To Use Magnum Tattoo Needles

How Far Should a Needle Go To The Skin In Order To Achieve a Solid Line With Little Skin Trauma?

If you use the rotary tattoo machine, it’s quite tricky to get a solid line. You should use the machine at a higher voltage and make sure that the needle stays in the skin for longer and deeper. If you are not a professional artist, you won’t be able to use the machine in a higher voltage as a higher voltage level requires faster hands.

This also depends on the skin you want to make the tattoo. There are different types of skin in your body.  The average depth is 1-2mm, and the color depends on the skin tone. If the skin is dark, then it requires more ink to get a solid line.

To avoid skin trauma, sanitation is also important. Use a new needle for every new customer and dispose of the used one after finishing a tattoo. Make sure that you are wearing gloves while making a tattoo. It’s essential to wipe the ink strains of the body. You should use Vaseline to make it gentle for the skin that will reduce the pain.

Final Words

I guess you’re no more confused about how to set needle depth on a rotary machine. Setting an accurate needle depth won’t be a tough job if you follow the instructions described in this article.

Human skin is a very sensitive part of the body, so we should make sure that the tattoo isn’t harming the body.  It is recommended to practice on fruits to get the skill sharp, and that makes most of the artists expert.