Pneumatic Tattoo Machine: Everything You Need To Know

Most tattoo machine articles you have read so far are about the coil and rotary tattoo machines. How many of you read some about the pneumatic ones, if ever? Or should I ask if you have ever wondered whether there is another type other than those two? Because there is one and I am sure you would like to know everything about it.

Unlike coil and rotary machines, pneumatic devices power their needles with their air compressors. They create pressurized air and drive needle movements. Controlling the air pressure is what holds the needlework.

Sounds different, right? Because pneumatic is the most sophisticated tattoo device. But there is a lot more to it. As the title says, the article will tell you all about a pneumatic tattoo machine: everything you need to know about it.

So, hop in and read on! You are in for an exciting and informative read!

How Does A Pneumatic Tattoo Machine Work?

As I said earlier, the most important part of a pneumatic tattoo machine is its air compressor. You need to attach that to your device. Afterward, you release the pressure.

Once its pressure releases, the motor will get the power to initiate the needle to go up and down to make a tattoo.

You can control the needle movements by adjusting the pressure level. If it is a neuma hybrid, you can use either electricity or a compressor to provide it with power. Just connect the device to a power unit, turn your machine on, and start tattooing.

How Many Types Of Pneumatic Tattoo Machines Are There?

Pneumatic, or neuma, was initially the only type of itself. Later, different brands launched the Neuma Hybrid in the market. It had significant upgrades from the first one. People had one complaint that it had an uncontrollable noise. Besides, it caused more skin damage than other devices.

Neuma Hybrid was less noisy and gave one fewer scar. After them came the Neuma Hybrid Electric. It was even quieter than Neuma Hybrid. It also featured electricity with a power unit.

Pneumatic Tattoo Machine: Everything You Need To Know
Neuma Hybrid

Advantages Of A Pneumatic Tattoo Machine


Coil machines have a reputation for being heavy. But rotaries are comparatively light. What is best about the Neumas is that they are even lighter. Most artists prefer it to the other two because of its lightweight. Furthermore, it has a compact design, suitable for professionals’ purposes and demands.

Usable In Remote Areas

The machines are powered with both gas and electricity. As a result, you can use it in remote places with a limited supply of power. However, it would be best to have a quick and convenient setup in outdoor gigs where a neuma would serve you the best.


Neuma is super easy to sterilize and clean. It is low maintenance. You can sterilize it in an autoclave with no necessity of dismantling.

Needles And Other Accessories

You can use the device with round and flat needles. Flat ones are for lining, and they get into the skin more deeply. In contrast, round ones are for shading wish shallow penetrations. Neuma has the capability to perform both tasks. It will run with average needles too. That means you will always find the required accessories for neumas available.

Hybrid Usage For Neumas

Using the last two versions of neuma will significantly impact your work because they are quiet and reduce skin damage. The electric one needs no compressors since it runs on electricity. It is a handy option for traveling tattoo artists.

Neuma 2
Neuma 2

Disadvantages Of A Pneumatic Tattoo Machine


Neuma, the first version of itself, was one of the most unpleasant tattooing experiences for many clients. It caused significant skin damages. However, the last two versions did proper justice to the problems.


Many tattoo artists complained that neuma is highly noisy to the point that it irritated them while working. But again, Neuma Hybrid and Neuma Hybrid Electric did an excellent job at solving that problem.


Using an air compressor for neumas was an innovative idea. But that rocketed up its cost. Neumas are noticeably costlier than other tattoo machines because of their compressors, which demotivates beginning tattoo artists to give it a shot.


One of the reasons you do not hear much of a pneumatic tattoo machine is because it is not readily available at tattoo supply shops and online retailers. But if you manage to find one of them, you will find its supplies without much hassle. It runs with pre-designed tubes and needles.

A Large Setup

Using a neuma machine requires an air compressor, which enlarges the overall setup at the cost of mobility. So, if you are a traveling tattoo artist, you will have to struggle with carrying the machine. However, you can buy the neuma hybrid to solve that problem. It has a light setup since it has no air compressors.

What About The Air Supply?

Since it runs on an air compressor, you have to purchase it along with your neuma. The compressor needs gas or electricity to enable air compression. So, you have to affix it to the outlet valve of the machine.

The air compressor comes with some difficulties. First, it makes your device heavy. Then it complicates the setup. Finally, it increases your cost.

And that is not all. With the first launched neuma, you will get noise distractions. These are the reasons why tattoo artists are hardly interested in the machine anymore.

Final Words

I guess now you know why you do not see a pneumatic tattoo machine in a store anymore. But if you think about it, that should not have happened. The Neuma Hybrid and Neuma Hybrid Electric both are worth trying. They come with unique features and the least of the problems. How about you bring a neuma and revive it to make some difference in your work?

That is all about the Pneumatic Tattoo Machine. Thanks for reading!

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