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10 Best Tattoo Inks to use in 2021

We all know a simple yet important fact that no tattoo machine is functional without tattoo ink in it. What we don’t know is that not every tattoo ink variant is the same. As an artist, you need to ensure the best tattoo inks for your devices as this approach minimizes the chances of infections.

Today, in this guide I will let you know about the top 10 best tattoo inks to use as a professional artist. Pressed for time! Fret not, as we just have the best tattoo ink for you.

Also, this ensures that the tattoo lasts longer, considering it’s the brightness we are talking about.

Still, there are quite a few tattoo ink brands in the retail space to consider before we can zero in on the perfect option to go with. Plus, professional tattoo artists need to brainstorm a lot more as for them, tattoo ink selections aren’t restricted to the brand and the tattoo ink reviews, available online.

Instead, they even need to be mindful of the tattoo color that comes out upon using a color tattoo ink, provided lining and shading aren’t the only jobs they take up. For color packing, lining, and shading, it is necessary for a tattoo artist to carefully analyze the types of tattoo inks, ink brands, and certainly the tattoo ink colors.

Also, a survey report reveals that almost 32 percent of Americans are known to be addicted to tattooing, making the quality of the tattoo artists and also the tattoo inks, all the more important.

But then, how to determine whether a tattoo ink variant is good enough or not?

How to identify the Best Tattoo Inks?

While we shall talk about the buying guide at length at the end of this discussion, it is still necessary to take a few aspects into account before you can read through the subsequent reviews and look closely at the best tattoo inks, available. 

If you are an artist with exceptional professional credibility, check for tattoo ink brands that are manufactured in a vegan-friendly manner. While this need not be the only criterion, it caters perfectly to an elite customer.

Beginners can, however, purchase a tattoo ink collection as they usually prefer keeping the financial stead intact while tattooing. Plus, before selecting the best tattoo ink variant, it is obvious to look at the reviews and persist with one with minimal to zero skin-centric issues.

Best Tattoo Inks to use in 2021

Apart from the topmost product, there are 9 other tattoo ink choices that have been extensively reviewed and tested by our experts.

Plus, we even skimmed through 20 other choices to finally bring forth a list that works, regardless of your credibility as an artist.

1. Millennium Moms Nuclear – Best Tattoo Ink Collection for a Tattoo Artist

Best Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Made in the USA
  • Subtle appearance
  • Close to 9 tattoo ink choices
  • Works like a pigment mixture

Review

There are quite a few things that the USA-made nuclear tattoo ink consortium gets right. For starters, the backlight tattoo inks are smoothest to the letter, allowing the artist in you to scoot through the designs, quickly and efficiently.

Plus, the homogenized pigment mixture stands for additional smoothness and flow. The tattoo inks retailed as the nuclear tattoo ink conglomerate, are some of the more vibrant products that you would come across. As the pigment content and quality cannot get purer than this, you can expect the designs to last an eternity.

Also, the color consistency, when applied to the skin surfaces, is second to none. This means the Millennium Mom’s nuclear tattoo ink set looks way better and brighter as compared to some of the other tattoo ink brands and types available in the market.

While the rich tones speak for themselves, this best tattoo ink brand is also known for its credibility. Also as it is made in the USA, supply and shipping are hardly the issues to worry about.  

Coming to the technology behind this USA-made best tattoo ink set, the glow in the dark product doesn’t wear off in usual sunlight. It simply looks like a pretty cool scar but starts glowing at its prime when subjected to black light and even UV exposure. However, we would only recommend this for professional artists who have evolved into something more than liners and shaders.

Pros
  • Smooth ink flow
  • Stays color-rich for long
  • Best tattoo ink in terms of color consistency
  • Excellent color range including Afterglow Yellow, Purple Haze, and more
Cons
  • Not meant for beginners

2. Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink – Best Black tattoo ink

Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Vegan-friendly tattoo ink
  • Meant for lines and shades
  • Three bottles available in the tattoo ink set

Review

If you are in the market for black tattoo ink Kuro Sumi is probably the best brand to consider. Plus, this tattoo ink brand takes center-stage for artists inclined towards lining and shading work.

Coming to the constituents, the Kuro Sumi ink set is made of organic compounds. Plus, the pigments are one of the purest, which help keep the tattoo super bright for long. Also, if you are concerned about the colors, tattoo ink from Kuro Sumi offers three separate choices, including pure black ink and two gray wash shading variants.

As per survey reports, individuals residing in the northern part of the United Kingdom are more inclined towards big letters and similar line-based tattoo designs. This is where having the  Kuro Sumi tattoo ink makes a lot of sense as only a few tattoo ink brands can match up to the quality of the inks offered by Kuro Sumi.

Also, the water-based inks are completely vegan-friendly and best known for the smoothness or rather the ink flow, regardless of the machine you use. Therefore, if you are in the market for the best tattoo ink variant that flows and considerably speeds up tattooing, Kuro Sumi is the perfect brand to invest in.

Plus the Kuro Sumi Ink is one of the rarest brands to exhibit a vegan-friendly ingredient profile, which is organic at the same time. Rare, isn;t it!

Pros
  • Cost-effective
  • Non-toxic formulation
  • Free shipping on most products
  • Color consistency is out of this world
Cons
  • The bottle cap isn’t the most durable one

3. Intenze Tattoo Ink – Best Tattoo Ink for Pale Skin

Intenze Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Zuper black tattoo ink
  • Tamper-proof holding bottle
  • Darkest possible black tattoo ink
  • The 12-ounce bottle lasts longer than expected
  • Intenze takes pride in offering  Sterilized tattoo ink

Review

As a tattoo artist, it often gets frustrating to ink pale skin surfaces. The design doesn’t always come out bright enough, forcing the customer to write a pretty rebuking review on Google. However, these issues can be countered if you invest in the intensely black, Intenze Tattoo Ink.

Starting off, the Intenze Tattoo Ink, established by the popular Mario Barth, is arguably the blackest black tattoo ink there is, allowing you to ideate the best and finest of lines and shades sans hassles. As claimed by the company, the Zuper Black formulation, or as we call it, takes the blacks to a whole new level. Plus, the impact of the same has been validated by some of the well-renowned tattooing artists including Moni Marino and Randy Engelhard.

The Pastel Zuper Black Intenze Tattoo Ink also boasts top-shelf ink saturation, which hardly changes from the bottle to the skin. This means, be it the fresh tattoo or a completely healed one that happens to be a few months old, a customer wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Plus, the color tone is cold, which makes it visually pleasing and an accent to some of the warmer shades. The Intenze Tattoo Ink doesn’t come as a set but as a sterilized bottle with 12 ounces of the blackest tattoo ink.

Upon review, we were also impressed by the non-drying texture of this tattoo ink as it certainly stays fluid inside the machine and doesn’t clog up the cartridges. The Zuper Black Intenze Tattoo Ink also complements different needle sizes, making it almost perfect for all the professional artists around.

Therefore, if you want to invest in an Intenze Tattoo Ink collection, it is best advised to purchase a few bottles of the Zuper Black ink formulation from the official Intenze website. Plus, we would also recommend a good tattoo aftercare cream, to be applied on the fresh tattoo.

Pros
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Shelf-life is longer than expected
  • Perfect for deep lining and shading
  • Color saturation cannot be any better
Cons
  • We experienced minor issues with the bottle cap

4. Starbrite Colors Tattoo Ink – Best with Pure Pigment

Best Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Water-based formulation
  • Thin and fluid consistency
  • Supports error-free application
  • Highest pigment content with an eye on purity

Review

If you are interested in tattoo ink that lasts longer than your last one, try out the Starbrite tattoo ink. As one of the more vibrant tattoo inks in the retail space, the Starbrite colors tattoo ink is certainly worth investing in.

Coming to the attributes, the Starbrite Colors, Starbrite tattoo ink to be exact, boasts a tribal black consistency that is less dark and more consistent. This means you can use the same on any given skin surface without having to worry about the design fading over time.

Plus, unlike some of the other products on the market, the Starbrite tattoo ink doesn’t exhibit the usual bottlenecks, including washed-out colors and clumping. Also, the inclusion of the homogenized pigment in a water-based formulation is one of the purest, allowing the tattoo artist in you to achieve the more lasting patterns, lines, and shades with aplomb.

The Starbrite Black or rather tribal black ink is smooth and flows like water inside the tattoo machine. The thin consistency helps you scoot through the designs faster than usual. Also, this is a vegan-friendly tattoo ink and the manufacturing process takes animal safety into account.

The tattoo ink bottle houses sterile and completely ready-to-use black ink. Also, the company boasts fast shipping and qualifies as one of the few ink brands that actually think about the customers.

Pros
  • Sterilized tattoo ink
  • Thin consistency for better absorption
  • A safe tattoo ink for tattoo professionals
  • Purest carbon black pigment making it the best tattoo ink for finicky customers
Cons
  • Not easy to procure owing to stringent shipping guidelines

5. Millennium Mom’s 14 Tattoo Ink Set – Best Value for Money

Best Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • 14 bottles
  • Complete tattoo color ink set
  • Comes with the elusive 14kt gold color

Review

Just like every Millennium Moms tattoo ink set, even this 14-pc product doesn’t let you down. Probably the most affordable bold tattoo ink conglomerate in the market, this product is meant for artists who plan on designing and inking something different.

This 14-pc USA-made tattoo ink collection takes the concept of grey wash ink to a whole new level. Plus, the bottle sizes are pretty standard, considering you use each with restraint.

The pigment content on-board is what makes Millennium Moms the best tattoo ink brand in the market. Also, the purity of the pigment content stands out, allowing the artists to vouch for the vibrancy of their designs, even years after tattooing the client.

Needless to say, this is a more complete color tattoo ink set in the market, courtesy of the 14 different hues. Therefore, you can take your pick depending on the client’s preferences and still be left with several options to make other designs look as good. In case the colors are a matter of concern, some of the boldest options include Purple Nurple, Gump Green, 14kt Gold, and Hello Yellow.

This means, if you have a good tattoo pen machine on you, with excellent stroke length, this 14-pc tattoo ink set can even help with color packing. Not just that, each of the tattoo ink designs is visible in UV and blacklight whereas in normal circumstances the design looks more like a lasting scar.

Pros
  • Color choices are exemplary
  • Color retention is top-shelf
  • Doesn’t require mixing or dilution
  • Flows smoother than most other inks
Cons
  • Not as cost-effective
  • Watery consistency might be a bit difficult to manage

6. Dynamic all-around – Best Tattoo Ink for Lining

Dynamic Black Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • USA-made
  • Dispersed ink
  • 8-ounce bottle
  • Fade-proof hue
  • Perfect choice for lining, shading, and gray wash

Review

Dynamic black tattoo ink has been around for a long time. However, most young tattoo artists might not have heard about it as it is mostly preferred by experienced professionals who have a thing for toning down and diluting tattoo inks.

The concentrated nature of the same makes it one of the more cost-effective tattoo inks in the retail space. Moreover, you can dilute the same with any white ink of choice, specifically to tone down the intensity of the same.

As far as the formulation is concerned, this dispersed black tattoo ink is pretty fluid and doesn’t clog up the tattoo machine. Instead, it flows smoothly enough to speed up the outlines, lining, and other tattooing processes.

Plus, Dynamic Black readily qualifies as the best tattoo ink brand, provided you seek premium pigments in tattoo ink formulation. As the pigments are of the purest quality, the deep blacks are way too pronounced to be implemented sans dilutions. Besides, if you can tone down the concentration as per the client’s preference, you can make this work on any given skin surface, regardless of the complexion.

Therefore, if you seek an all-inclusive black tattoo ink for different skin types and complexions, the one from Dynamic is worth investing in.

Pros
  • Smooth consistency
  • Doesn’t cause skin irritations
  • Cost-effective and economical
  • Supports gray wash tattooing sessions
Cons
  • You need to be a pro for diluting the same effectively

7. Skin Candy – Best for Bolder Designs

Best Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Perfect for realizing bolder designs
  • The product maintains the strictest health standards
  • Best for bold and colorful tattoo designs

Review

The Skin Candy tattoo ink is one of the better products that any professional tattoo artist can consider for lining, shading, and even color packing. While there are quite a few great things about this tattoo ink, it is the bolder color choice that makes it stand out.

Besides, if you are more of an expert who specializes in discrete tattoo designs, the skin candy tattoo ink is a perfect choice. The fluorescing tattoos can be viewed under black light and you can easily cater to each of the several client requirements.

Not just that, it is the quality of the formulation that stands out, allowing the artist in you to speed up the outlining and other relevant processes. As reviewed by our trained experts, the smoothness and consistency of this ink surpass even the top-rated products in the market. Using the same to create designs feels like writing on the skin surface, which furthers the fluid nature of the same.

Unlike some of the other best tattoo ink manufacturers in the market, Skin Candy takes additional care of product formulation as it pairs the top-shelf pigments with the water-based carrier, specifically to create a homogenized and uniform mixture.

This way, the consistency of the designs is hardly an issue and the tattoo feels new to the client even years after getting inked. Plus, if being clandestine is important for the client, this tattoo ink is what you should grab, without second thoughts.

Overall, if you seek a bold and efficient tattoo ink that doesn’t need to be diluted, Skin candy is the perfect brand to rely on.

Pros
  • Cost-effective
  • No dilution required
  • No health issues experienced by the clients
  • The color tattoo ink set comprises bolder shades
Cons
  • Meant for unconventional tattooing

8. Bloodline Tattoo Ink – Best for Professionals

Bloodline Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • One of the best tattoo ink brands
  • Manufactured in small batches
  • Water base adds to the quality of the dispersed ink

Review

The Bloodline tattoo ink is best known for the extensive testing that the company conducts to maintain the highest quality standards.

As a tattoo artist, if you guarantee longevity to the clients, this is one tattoo ink variant that needs to be considered. Designs created using this actually feel permanent and do not fade away, provided you use a good tattoo lotion while healing.

Plus, the highest possible quality standards ensure zero goof-ups, making it one of the best tattoo ink brands for professionals and high-level artists. Also, the water-based base is good for keeping the flow rate up to speed with modern requirements.

This is one of the few tattoo inks that eliminate toxic bases and resort to water for achieving the perfect formulation. The healing, therefore, is faster than usual. Also, the addition of glycerin adds to the consistency of the product.

That’s not it as the company works extensively to improve the quality of products with each passing day. While the vegan-friendly manufacturing technique is on the expected lines, Bloodline tattoo ink goes the extra mile to work on the opacity, brightness, and even color saturation of the tattoo inks.

Therefore, if you are in the market for a tattoo ink that boasts the perfect flow rate, which in turn doesn’t clog the tattoo machine, Bloodline tattoo ink is the one to purchase. Plus, this is also the best ink brand to consider if you are looking for an excellent outlining effect.

Pros
  • Consistent flow
  • Pure pigments used
  • Doesn’t lose brightness over time
  • Designs have a specific sheen to them
  • Water-based composition for faster healing
Cons
  • Pricey

9. World Famous Tattoo Ink – Best Tattoo Ally for Color Packing

World Famous Tattoo Ink

Highlights

  • Sterilized ink
  • 3 bottle set available
  • Grey wash set stands out
  • Gamma Radiation used to eliminate toxins
  • One of the few Vegan-friendly Tattoo manufacturers 

Review

If your priorities are focused on manufacturing credibility, there isn’t a better product in the market than the World Famous Tattoo Ink.

Firstly, it is one of the better tattoo ink choices if you have a penchant for unconventionality. Plus, the company or some of its ethos have been around for almost 5 decades and counting, putting doubts and quality issues out of the question.

Coming to the usage, the World Famous ink consortium is an excellent product for black linings. However, it is the skilled and animal-friendly manufacturing that has our heart, as the product is pre-sterilized using gamma radiation to eliminate toxins and harmful effects on the skin.

Therefore, if your preferences are geared towards darker styles and lasting grays, the World Famous ink set is the perfect option to consider. Plus, if a client comes up to you and asks for a lighter shade, this tattoo ink can be diluted and used, accordingly.

Pros
  • Comes in large bottles
  • Used by top-level professional
  • Color consistency is top-shelf
  • Uses the best sterilization techniques
Cons
  • We experienced several cap opening issues

10. Radiant Colors – Best for Beginners

Best Tattoo Inks

Highlights

  • Available in 7 colors
  • Completely organic
  • Quality-certified
  • Ball bearings bundled with the pack

Review

The last product on our list takes cost-efficiency and productivity to a whole new level. Radiant, as a company, is best known for the exceptional quality and the highest possible standards of its tattoo inks. Available in 7 different colors, this tattoo ink set is all about helping young tattoo artists get a better footing in this highly competitive arena.

Also, even if you are a more seasoned professional, this is one of the best tattoo ink brands to purchase for getting hold of elusive colors like the Scarlet red, line green, canary yellow, tribal black, super white, and more.

However, we were most impressed with the pretty self-explanatory package, comprising ball bearings for mixing the pigments with ease. Therefore, you can easily change the consistency of the product as desired by the customers.

Also, the ingredient list is worth looking at, owing to the organic and handpicked resources in play. The organic ingredient profile ensures that the client doesn’t end up encountering skin issues, even without an aftercare product to rely on. However, we still would recommend one, just to be on the safer side.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Top-shelf quality
  • Long-lasting effects
  • All the essential colors are supplied
Cons
  • Some users are known to have faced packaging issues

How to Buy the Best Tattoo Ink – Buying Guide

There are a lot of things you need to take into account before selecting a tattoo ink. With a wide range of options available in the retail space, identifying the perfect ink or even a collection of inks might be a bit overwhelming. This is why we have also put up a small buying guide, enlisting the most pressing pointers that you need to consider before selecting tattoo inks.

Pre-Dispersed vs. Standard

Unless you are an experienced artist, it is advisable to purchase pre-dispersed tattoo inks, like the one from Dynamic All-Around. This way you get hold of the best consistency and flow, without running a risk of over-diluting the same.

Pre-dispersed inks are also selected by professionals who want to save a considerable amount of mixing time. However, if you have an extremely handpicked clientele and time isn’t a matter of concern, standard tattoo inks can be selected.

Still, it is a matter of personal choice as standard inks offer several possibilities whereas the pre-dispersed ones are safer when it comes to picking one with reliable color saturation levels. However, if standard tattoo inks are selected, you are at the liberty of selecting the desired carrier, with the probable options being propylene glycol, purified water, and ethyl alcohol.

Despite the flexibility, you need to account for the unwitting inclusion of bacterial pathogens, which is a major gripe with the DIY choices.

Reach of the Tattoo Ink

A tattoo machine is capable of puncturing through the skin surface, thereby introducing the ink at specific positions and layers. However, certain tattoo inks have the capability of permeating through the dermal layer and reaching the lymph nodes, via the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. While the immune system takes care of most accidental inclusions, it is always good to use tattoo inks with organic and non-toxic ingredients.

Vegan-Friendly Manufacturing

While some tattoo artists might not give preference to vegan-friendly manufacturing techniques, it is actually a handy feature to look for in the tattoo industry. Non-vegan inks comprise several animal-sourced ingredients like bone char, hooves-derived glycerin, and even beetle-harvested shellacs. Despite the effectiveness, these ingredients might not go down well with vegan-inclined individuals, who prefer taking a stance against animal cruelty.

Therefore, if you are an integral part of the expansive tattoo industry, try and incorporate vegan-friendly products into the mix. 

Aligned Factors and Credibility of Tattoo Ink Brands

In addition to the mentioned factors, you also need to take the brand reputation, overall ingredient list, types of ink colors, consistency, and ease of availability into account.

A good tattoo ink company like Intenze, Millennium Mom’s, and more are to be persisted with in addition to the products that are safer ingredients listed on the label. Plus, it is advisable to see the content of mercury and other harmful heavy metals, if any, whilst persisting with the product that has the same in minimal to negligible amounts.

Best Tattoo Inks – FAQs

What is the best tattoo ink to use?

According to reviews, productivity, and ink choices prevalent in the tattoo industry, Millennium Mom’s Nuclear is the best product to invest in. While this is more of a tattoo ink consortium with several choices bundled along, our vote also goes to the tattoo ink from Bloodline, if standalone products are concerned.

That said, if you are only interested in black tattoo ink, the Zuper Black from Intenze, a Mario Barth ink brand, comes forth as the best possible option.


What ink do tattoo artists use?

While the choices of the ink vary according to the skill level of the artist, type of tattoos, and even the client requirements, it is important to consider selections based on the color variants, concentration, ingredients, manufacturing process, and other factors.

However, keeping every aspect in mind, the World Famous Tattoo ink is one of the more sought-after options to invest in.


What is the safest tattoo ink to use?

According to expert analysis and a thorough ingredient check, we would recommend Kuro Sumi tattoo ink as the safest option for most artists and customers, owing to the organic profile and zero skin irritants.

Top Rated Tattoo Inks

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bottom-Line

Each of the best tattoo inks mentioned on the list is a capable resource in its own right. Be it the likes of Intenze tattoo ink or the resourceful tattoo set from Millennium Moms, the choice of tattoo ink depends on the tattoo machine you are using, the type of tattoos you are good at, or the audience you are catering to as an artist.

But, confused artists can quickly cut the gibberish and invest in the Millennium Moms Nuclear tattoo ink, owing to the holistic set of features.

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