If you are starting a career in tattooing, then you must want to figure out which tattoo machine is the best for you. A nice machine doesn’t come cheap. On the markets, the price can vary from 20 buckets to 1000 buckets. The oldest machine is called coil tattoo machine, then rotary machine, and now a modern pen-style machine is obviously occupied most tattoo artists’ minds. A new wireless tattoo pen will cost more than 1000 buckets. So, which kind of machine will you buy and what price could you accept?
Why tattoo pens can occupy our minds?
1. What is a coil tattoo machine?
As a traditional tattoo tool, coil tattoo machines
have a history of 131 years. “ Samuel F. O’Reilly invented the first electric machine for tattooing in New York City and patented December 8, 1891 (US Patent 464, 801). Adapted from Thomas Edison’s 1876 rotary operated stencil pen (US Patent 180,857), this machine revolutionized the trade of tattooing, bringing it into a more modern age.” Coil tattoo machines can come with single coils, double coils, and even triple coils. A standard machine for most tattoo artists is a double coil machine.
Most machines tend to have 8-10 wrap coils, but those numbers can vary, too. Liner coil tattoo machines usually have 8 wrap coils, while, shader coil tattoo machines have 10 wrap coils. Most tattoo artists, prefer to use a liner coil tattoo gun to do lines or small shading and use a shader coil tattoo gun to shade a larger area.
A good coil tattoo machine can make shading easier and lines smooth, which is nice to create customize tattoos. However, since coil tattoo guns have coils and iron armature bars, they are heavier than rotary tattoo machines. Tattoo artists will be tired and their hands cramp if they work all day to finish large tattoos.
Every tattoo machine makes noise. If you heard a loud buzzing sound, then will know the tattoo artist is tattooing with a coil tattoo gun. When the tattoo needle continuously moves up and down, a coil tattoo gun will make a clicking sound. For tattoo artists who have been using coil tattoo machines for more than 10 years and the loud buzzing sound would have done a number on their ears. Compared with a tattoo pen, it also takes more time to change a needle or adjust needle depth when using traditional machines.
You’ll have to adjust the contact screw or armature bar before using a coil tattoo gun, most beginners don’t know how to make it. And finally, got crazy and believed that the tattoo machine is default. That’s why many tattoo artists don’t recommend it to beginners or inexperienced tattoo artists.
2. What is a rotary tattoo machine?
Another type of machine is a rotary motor tattoo machine
. Its shape is totally different from a coil tattoo gun. A rotary tattoo gun makes needles move by an electric motor. In nearly 10 years, a more modern type of rotary tattoo machine occurred, called a tattoo pen. A tattoo pen also uses an electric motor to drive needles, but a tattoo pen can only match with needle cartridges.
No matter traditional rotary tattoo machine or a tattoo pen, they are not divided into liner machines or shader machines. The quality of the motor inside the machine determines whether it works properly or not, even the lifetime. Most good rotary tattoo machines use a coreless motor or Marlboro motor when producing since they are more powerful and won’t heat up even after working for a long time. A cheap motor will make the machine heat up easily. Generally, a good rotary machine will cost more than a good traditional one.
A rotary tattoo machine is lightweight and works quietly. Both experienced tattoo artists and tattoo beginners can use a rotary machine to do lines and shades easily. When it comes to color refiling, a rotary tattoo machine will be an excellent choice. What’s more, it does less skin damage to the skin. Besides that, a rotary tattoo machine makes less noise, but not every machine does so.
Rotary tattoo machines with good motors have low vibration and are well balanced. If it comes with a cheap motor, the noise will be louder than a coreless motor. The tattoo artists can work longer on a single tattoo since it's lightweight and has low vibrations. This makes it easier for artists to make larger tattoos without hands getting cramped and ears becoming “deaf”.
Actually, a tattoo pen
is an updated rotary tattoo machine. Compared with a traditional rotary tattoo machine, a tattoo pen is lightweight and easier to use. No more needing to adjust the machine and lose tiny tools, only voltage and stick out. It is about the length of a pen or pencil, just holding it like a pen, that’s why we call it a tattoo pen. Technology makes life much more convenient, and so is the tattoo industry. Wireless tattoo pen is becoming another trend in the tattoo world. Artists don’t need to buy a foot pedal, clip cord separately. I do believe the tattoo pen is becoming the most important tattoo tool. Young tattoo artists will prefer tattoo pens to experienced artists.
How to choose a tattoo machine for a beginner?
Even though it’s recommended to choose a tattoo pen when starting a tattoo career, there is a variety of tattoo companies and brands, some beginners still feel confused when making a choice. Here are some tips for beginners.
- Price plays the most important role in making decisions. No one would like to spend more than $400 on his/her first tattoo machine. A tattoo pen around 100 buckets is just fine.
- Convenience is another factor when choosing tattoo machines. Choosing a tattoo machine that can be adjusted (changing the needle and needle depth) easier and a machine that feels comfortable in hand.
- The noise and balance are also some of the keys when buying tattoo machines. It takes a long time to finish a tattoo and the lower noise and vibration, the more attention you can pay to your tattoo work.
- Reliability refers to the quality of the tattoo machine. You had better choose a tattoo pen that comes with a qualified motor, such as a coreless motor or Marlboro motor. A coreless motor tattoo pen can work consistently, so the less chance that you interrupt a tattoo.
Out of consideration of healthy, tattoo pens do less harm to your wrist and ears. In fact, no matter what tattoo machine you buy, the most important is to continuously practice tattoo skills day after day. Anyway, what makes a good tattoo is a skilled tattoo artist.