Tattoo machines, also known as tattoo guns, are tools that are used to create permanent body art. Tattoo machines have evolved over the years, and there are now many different types to choose from. In this article, we will explore the different types of tattoo machines and which one is best for beginners.
5 types of tattoo machines
1. Rotary Tattoo Machines
Rotary tattoo machines use an electric motor to drive the needle up and down. These machines are quieter and lighter than traditional coil machines and are often favored by tattoo artists who do a lot of fine line work. Rotary machines also have fewer parts than coil machines, making them easier to maintain.
2. Coil Tattoo
Coil tattoo machines are the most common type of tattoo machine. They use an electromagnetic coil to power the needle. Coil machines are generally more powerful than rotary machines and are better suited for heavy shading and color work. They are also more customizable, with artists able to adjust the spring tension, needle depth, and other variables to suit their preferences.
3. Liner vs Shader Tattoo Machines
Within the categories of rotary and coil machines, there are liner and shader machines. Liner machines use shorter needles and are designed to create crisp, clean lines. Shader machines use longer needles and are better suited for shading and filling in larger areas. Some tattoo artists use a separate liner and shader machines, while others prefer a versatile all-in-one machine.
4. Pen Tattoo
Pen tattoo machines are a newer type of rotary machine that is shaped like a pen. These machines are compact and lightweight, making them easier to maneuver than traditional rotary machines. Pen machines also have a more ergonomic design, which can help prevent hand fatigue during long tattoo sessions.
5. Pneumatic Tattoo Machines
Pneumatic tattoo machines use compressed air to power the needle instead of an electric motor. These machines are quieter than traditional tattoo machines and are often favored by tattoo artists who work in shared studio spaces. Pneumatic machines are also lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them a good choice for fine-line work.