Every tattoo artist is incomplete without his or her preferred set of tools. While each of the many tattoo-centric resources holds a certain value, the best tattoo machines are probably the most resourceful options to consider.
Best Tattoo Machines — Quick Summary
Regardless of the multiple options in the retail space, we were most impressed by these tattoo machines. While these tattoo machines might seem like a resource for beginners, they actually cater perfectly to the professionals, courtesy of the best vibration-less mechanism, durability, ease of usage, and multi-ink compatibility.
If you are in a hurry, here are our top picks for the best tattoo machines
Last update on 2023-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
To be honest, it is the tattoo machine that empowers a tattoo artist to make highly creative tattoo designs. In simpler words, a tattoo machine, regardless of the type, is the perfect brush for the bodily canvas, i.e. the human skin.
Buying a tattoo gun makes more sense if you are a tattoo artist. Moreover, with tattoo making steadily booming into a rewarding professional arena, tattoo artists are trying out newer tattoo machines, in search of the best one.
Not just that, almost 30% of the American population already flaunts one tattoo and 92 percent of the inked population is actually happy with the same.
Considering the immense popularity of the tattoo-making industry, investing in a good tattoo machine makes even more sense. However, if you are still skeptical about moving ahead with this discussion and getting a good tattoo machine for your parlor, consider the following points:
These figures readily validate your persistence toward getting a high-end tattoo machine. However, before you move straight to the selection, we need to talk about the types of tattoo guns, especially to help beginners make informed decisions.
Top 10 Tattoo Machines for professional artists
1. Bronc Pen
The Bronc premium pen is probably the best option to invest in if you run a busy tattoo parlor. Besides, if you are a tattoo artist for long hauls, this premium machine and the associated lightness of form are expected to be handy resources.
As far as the structure is concerned, this tattoo pen allows you to minimize the load while traveling for business. Provided you have the rest of the tattoo-making kit sorted, this tattoo pen from Bronc takes flexibility to a whole new level. Besides, you need not worry about minor blemishes during an accidental fall, courtesy of the aluminum-clad chassis.
Coming to the best power supply, this tattoo gun is driven by a strong, efficient, and multi-faceted Swiss motor. Despite us testing the same over diverse power supply modes, the Bronc pen didn’t show any surge-centric issues. Moreover, the pen also exhibits no-noise technology, which allows you to keep the parlor’s sanctity intact.
Besides, the gadget doesn’t come as a standalone pen but stacks in a nifty little machine tray followed by quite a few O-rings of different sizes. This inclusion allows you to modify the machine speeds, as per the requirements. Moreover, as the sound and vibrations are almost negligible, it is obvious that this is a rotary machine. Besides, the quality, as tested by our in-house tattoo experts, makes it good enough for lining and shading.
However, we weren’t quite impressed with the price tag as this machine sets you back by almost 200 dollars. Then again, the best part about purchasing this Hummingbird-made tattoo pen is the cartridge samples, which make it easier for you to determine the type of accessories.
2. Vladblad Irons Seawolf
Although we will surely come across several other high-end tattoo machines during the course of our discussion, nothing feels as good as the Seawolf variant from Vlad Blad Irons. Before we discuss this rotary machine, we need to understand that there is Direct Drive 3.0 technology at work.
This concept allows this rotary machine to work across diverse voltages. However, no did notice a bit of spit back for higher voltages as the needles work frantically. While the skin rupturing was still negligible, the lack of vibration and noise made us stick to the Seawolf machine. According to us, this is actually the best tattoo gun for professionals or experienced tattoo artists, as it allows them to style, design, and create perfectly sans inflicting pain.
As far as the inherent technology is concerned, the third-gen rotary mechanism is worth investing in. However, Vladblad doesn’t overcompensate and keeps the technological inclusions strictly minimalistic. Then again, the capability of this machine is still top-notch as you can achieve almost any kind of artwork with the same. Besides, the 4mm stroke length is an attribute that allows seasoned artists to indulge in block coloring, lining, shading, and more.
Coming to the innovative cam with dual-bearing, this feature allows you to manage fluid-based inertia, specifically for the more complex design. However, if you are an amateur, the entire technological set might be a bit too overwhelming.
3. Bishop Big Sleeps X
Firstly, the Big Sleeps X from Bishop is a handmade or rather bespoke coil tattoo machine, which is almost impossible to find at online and offline stores. However, if you are looking for the best machine for professional usage, you can get the same imported from the United States. Coming to the structure, the Big Sleeps X from Bishop flaunts an intimidating chassis but isn’t as heavy as it looks.
Instead, it is one of the best coil tattoo machines that are easy to manage, despite the few vibrations on the way. However, the best thing about the same is the historical background, which equates to the legacy of this alluring and enthralling machine. As the Big Sleeps X is personally crafted by some of the leading tattoo artists, we imported the Big Sleeps X with a lot of expectations.
However, this coil tattoo gun exceeds the same courtesy of class-leading performances and the ability to manage almost any tattoo design.
That said, Big Sleeps X from Bishop isn’t meant for the smaller needle groupings and works best for the larger ones, or the ones which are specifically meant for coloring and shading. Therefore, if you are only into the lining, this might not be the gadget to invest in.
The Big Sleeps X is one of the better options for color blocking. For people who aren’t aware of the concept, this coil machine is the reason behind those massive, colorful designs that tattoo connoisseurs flaunt at the back, on hand, or in some of the more expansive areas.
What impressed us the most is that the machine also allows you to operate at lower voltages, thereby functioning as a typical liner!
Coming to the coil layout, the 8-wrap coil produces the requisite inertia, which in turn minimizes the force imparted on the skin surface. Therefore, if you are looking for a tattoo machine that can help achieve crisp artwork, the Bishop Big Sleeps X is the one to consider.
4. Cheyenne Hawk Pen
As a professional, you can always count on the innovation showcased by the Cheyenne Hawk tattoo pen. While the price point might be repulsive to some, the control, tattoo-making accuracy, and comfort levels of this actual pen are second to none.
Most importantly, if you are a busy tattoo artist who charges a premium for each design, this is the perfect device to invest in.
As far as the functional perks are concerned, this device actually resembles a regular pen and, therefore, is easy to carry around. However, we were most impressed by the negligible vibration, courtesy of the rotary machine technology. Most importantly, this is a great asset for premium parlors as the operation is virtually noise-free.
Coming to the performances, the 3.5mm stroke is good enough for color filling and even shading. However, the lines and dots also came out perfectly, courtesy of the voltage regulation support.
Therefore, the Hawk Pen is more like an all-inclusive option for seasoned artists. Besides, the small yet insanely powerful tattoo pen is compatible with almost 56 needle configurations. That said, the switching is almost instantaneous and free of downtime issues.
What works best for tattoo artists is the ergonomic layout, which ensures minimal to no wrist pain. Most importantly, despite the lack of heft, the machine is known for its tattoo-making precision. As far as the structure is concerned, you get to experience an anodized chassis, with aluminum at the core.
Therefore, this is easily one of the more studier tattoo machines on the list, albeit with a close eye on the aesthetics.
5. Stigma Hyper V3
The Stigma Hyper V3 readily qualifies as one of the better tattoo machines in the retail space. While there are quite a few positives to look at, we were most impressed with the cost-effectiveness on display.
As tested by our leading tattoo experts, this is probably the only tattoo machine to feature an adjustable needle stabilizer. Rotary tattoo machine technology paired with the stabilizing feature is the main reason why it is a professionally relevant device. The Stigma Hyper V3, therefore, doesn’t rupture the skin considerably and keeps pain experiences to a minimum.
Coming to the add-ons and exclusive attributes, this machine is compatible with several grips and cartridge needles. Besides, it is also possible to operate the same across diverse voltages, specifically for lining or shading.
As per our findings, almost 35 percent of the surveyed tattoo parlors across diverse countries use the Stigma Hyper V3, owing to its commercial value.
Besides, the Stigma Hyper V3 is more of a tattoo machine kit, unlike the likes of Bronc and Cheyenne tattoo pens. Therefore, despite the commercial presence, this arrangement also makes sense for beginners.
Coming to the design, this rotary tattoo machine flaunts a durable design, with aluminum alloy at the helm.
However, the Swiss motor allows the tattoo artist to regulate the needles, stroke depth, and lining capabilities as per client preferences.
Furthermore, the company claims this to be one of the softest tattoo guns on the market. However, do not take the company’s word for the same as even we tested the same for color packing and shading, with extraordinary results to show for it.
Not just that, this is one of the easiest gadgets to manage as you can easily change the presets within seconds, for achieving perfection.
6. Dragonfly X2
If you have a penchant for lightweight tattoo machines, the Dragonfly X2 is one innovative product that might just tickle your artistic fancy. As per the name, this light-weighted product is best known for its class-leading design. The aesthetics, however, are led by the aluminum frame and a slimmer chassis.
Besides, if as a tattoo artist, you are always on the move, this light yet efficient rotary machine might just be the device for you. However, we were more impressed with the direct drive technology paired with the rotary support. This means you can use the Dragonfly X2 for shading and even lining, as the direct drive layout allows better control over the Swiss motor.
In addition to that, we were more impressed with the adjustable presets, allowing tattoo artists to increase precision and minimize errors. Besides, you can also use the same to adjust the stroke length, especially for maximizing the potential of the same.
As tested by our team of tattoo makers and professionals, the Dragonfly X2 is very easy to use. We might even go to the extent of declaring this as a rotary tattoo machine with the smallest learning curve. Lastly, this is one wireless-ready machine, which allows you to pair with specific and best tattoo inks, based on preferences and customer demands.
7. Hawink Pen
The Hawink Pen is not your standard tattoo machine gun. Instead, it is one of the best tattoo machines that you can use solely for the power supply. However, more than a detailed review or analysis, we would want to put forth impressions about this rotary tattoo machine, after using the same extensively for two months.
What impressed us the most is the noise-free operations associated with this product, led precisely by the innovative Faulhaber motor!
The existing power supply allows a standard tattoo artist to use the device for both lining and shading. Besides, unlike other tattoo machines, this pen-based tattoo kit doesn’t vibrate even one bit, making life easier for professionals. Furthermore, the sturdiness of form also came to the fore as we did drop the machine quite a few times, sans encountering bumps or usage-centric issues.
Moreover, the exceptional motor allows you to run the tattoo machine pen for close to 7 hours at once. While we tested this claim as a part of the hands-on tattooing marathon, we even ended up applauding the ability to tweak multiple presets with ease.
That said, if you are a beginner and affordability is one of your primary concerns, the Hawink Pen might leave a lot to be desired, as you need to purchase the power supply station, separately. Then again, you can readily consider the same if you are looking for a device that is easy to dismantle and clean.
8. Solong Tattoo Kit
The Solong tattoo machine is one of the best bets for a beginner, with technologies resembling any high-end and professional tattoo gun. For starters, this tattoo machine or rather tattoo gun kit exhibits the high-quality, ‘Armature bar’ design, which replicates the brushless DC motor when tattooing quality is concerned.
As far as coil machine quality is concerned, the 5mm stroke length makes it a good enough resource for shading and color packing. Besides, the 110 wraps make it a pro tattoo gun, which can also be used for painless lining, whilst supporting needle depth adjustment. Moreover, the tattoo gun also boasts pneumatic capabilities by featuring an air compressor for driving the needle.
While the function resembles a power triangle system, the same is better represented by a rotary tattoo machine. However, then this tattoo kit from Solong is also CE-certified and comes equipped with a foot pedal, ink cups, grommets, adjustment tools, and more.
Therefore, if you are in the market for a versatile tattoo machine that allows you to adjust the stroke and adhere to the budget, this tattoo kit is probably the best option to invest in.
9. FK Irons Edge X
The Spektra Edge X is one of the finest tattoo machines on the market, exhibiting a durable chassis made of aircraft aluminum. Besides, each machine manufactured by FK irons, although manufactured in the United States, has a global clientele. Therefore, if you someday visit a tattoo shop in the United Kingdom, you can expect to see the Spektra Edge X, featuring a class-leading design.
While the aircraft’s aluminum makes it a zero-maintenance rotary tattoo machine, it is the unmatched versatility and compatibility with multiple tattoo needles that make it suitable for color shading. Not just that, the CNC-crafted chassis is perfectly complemented by the patented MultiVise system and MotorBolt technology.
Moreover, this top tattoo gun is one of the best renditions from the famed Gaston Siciliano, which is also the name behind this piece of innovation.
10. Red Scorpion Liner Tattoo Machine
If you are in the market for liner machine guns, the one from red Scorpion is a reliable investment to make. While this is a top-liner machine with the nanotechnology motor integrated within, it also allows you to pair almost any tattoo ink there is, to simplify usage. As far as the structural quality is concerned, the cast iron chassis is one of the best additions.
As it is a liner machine, the accuracy is unmatched. Moreover, this is also an easy-to-handle coil tattoo machine, owing to the lightness of the profile. Lastly, this is one of the few coil tattoo machines that can work for almost 8 hours at a stretch, sans heating up.
Which is the Best Tattoo Machine for your Parlor
As a beginner, you need to understand that machines vary in terms of structure, underlying technology, and even structural heft. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the distinction, albeit in a nutshell, before selecting the perfect gadget:
Rotary tattoo machines come equipped with electric motors, which are good enough for driving the needles. Then again, a rotary tattoo machine doesn’t vibrate and is easy to use, especially if you want to operate a tattoo gun that functions silently.
A coil tattoo machine gun is the most common option in the existing circuit. While the rates are more affordable, coil machines are best known for their electromagnetic circuitry. This way it becomes possible to drive them via diverse power supplies. That said, the vibrations are higher as compared to the rotary machines. Moreover, you can zero in on the triple or even single-coil machines, based on the nature of the designs and the expertise of the tattoo artist.
That said, you should also take note of the coil wraps as dual-coil machines are most known for the 8-wrap coil or 10-wrap coil structure. The wraps add to the external impedance and help you manage the gun speed better, especially to keep skin trauma to a minimum.
These machines or rather tattoo guns are used to add indelible ink right in the skin layer. Therefore, a liner tattoo gun is all about making the dominant tattoo design lines. These tattoo guns are best attributed via short and powerful contact circuits, precisely erected to achieve faster cycles. Therefore, if you are into tattoo lining, liner tattoo machines or guns are worth considering.
Shader tattoo machine
If a majority of your work focuses on black ink or typical shading, a shader tattoo machine is worth investing in. The best thing about this tattoo machine is that it works better than the linear gun, which amplifies the blacks, if and when concerned. Moreover, shader tattoo machines are also compatible with other tattoo colors and can be used to produce holistic tattoo designs.
Coming to the circuit and contact points, shader machines are good enough for 2mm to 3.5 mm lines, as compared to the liner machines, which are restricted to 1.5mm to 2mm. The cycles, therefore, are slower, which allows you to add more ink to a larger surface. Therefore, skin trauma is massively reduced; making shader tattoo machines some of the more sought-after tattoo guns.
One of the lightest tattoo machines on the market, pneumatic tattoo machine guns are probably the costliest and most effective devices to consider. As far as the technology is concerned, the compressed air moves the needles, according to preferences. If you have the budget to invest, a pneumatic tattoo machine is always a good option, courtesy of the autoclavable feature. This way, it is possible to sterilize the same, sans dissembling the unit.
Top Rated Tattoo Machines
Last update on 2023-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Each of the mentioned, best tattoo machines, caters to a specific clientele. However, the types of tattoo machines are enlisted keeping diverse user requirements in mind. For instance, the pen-style Bronc machine is good enough for globetrotting artists whereas the one with a 3.5 mm stroke length adjustable needle depth works well for a multipurpose tattoo shop.
Besides, you can also purchase the same based on the tattoo machine technology, advanced power supply, or even the practice skin that comes along as a part of a tattoo kit.
Still confused, stop looking for the best tattoo machines and purchase the Bronc pen as your go-to tattooing resource.