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A tattoo gun is a handheld device used to inject ink into the dermis layer of the skin.
You can tell why people refer to it as a gun because it looks somewhat like a gun.
There are a few types of tattoo guns, which is why you should recognize their differences before deciding to buy one.
Some tattoo machines are sold as sets, meaning that in one package you will get different types of machines.
It’s usually a liner paired with a shader. Both have different uses although looking quite similar.
Just in case you want to buy a device in the form of a starter kit, then you should know how to assemble those separate parts.
There are a few basic components that make up a tattoo gun, even the best tattoo guns also consist of the same pieces.
They include an armature bar, coils, needles, and ink.
Setting up a Tattoo Gun
- First thing first, remove all the components from the box and put them all in front of you. This is to help you figure out what to do with those pieces.
- Check if all the components are in good shape, especially the needles because dull needles can cause so much pain during use.
- Put the needle in the tube, and then put it in its slot. There should be a wingnut on one end of the tube. Just tighten it to keep the tube in place.
- Once you’ve connected to the machine, attach the loop of the needle to the armature bar. This is what drives the up-and-down motion of the needle.
- If you see rubber bands coming with the package, they’re supposed to secure the needle and stabilize it.
- Adjust the length of the needle. It shouldn’t be too long as this can tear the skin and cause serious bleeding.
- Once you’re done with the assembly, the next step is to connect it to a power source. It’s a food pedal that you can step on to control the power.
The Best Tattoo Guns
This product is ideal for those who desire a quieter working environment.
While some products offer below-average noise levels, this does even better in this department.
It vibrates less, which results in less noise output. Low vibration doesn’t always equate to low power.
This product, for instance, can still deliver excellent performance despite being so quiet.
Look at the design! It really gives the unique feel of holding a pen.
From the design, it’s easy to tell that this device is lightweight.
Now if you want a tattoo gun that feels practical and doesn’t hurt the ears, this is one of the best you can find.
Dragonhawk has made some of the best tattoo guns ever.
Today we’ll introduce another one to you, called the Atom Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine.
The 135g handheld device provides a stroke length of 3.5mm and 0 – 4.5mm needle depth.
You can also pair it with different cartridge needles.
Don’t worry about performance because it’s equipped with a high-end motor that ensures long-lasting operation.
Besides, it’s also quite lightweight and doesn’t generate much noise while in use.
This is another awesome product by Dragonhawk.
This rotary tattoo machine has a robust space aluminum frame.
It also features a Japan motor for excellent performance.
It weighs approximately 140g, pretty average if you ask, and doesn’t put a lot of strain on your hand.
Design-wise, this machine looks straightforward thanks to its pen-like style.
If you’re on the lookout for a hybrid machine, this unit is useful not just for lining and sharing, but also for coloring broad areas.
You can buy this tattoo gun directly from their official store here.
More and more tattoo guns are marketed as quiet devices.
This just shows that many people are thirsty for machines that deliver excellent performance, but don’t make much noise.
You’ll like this product for its sleek, lightweight body and exclusive compatibility with cartridge needles.
That’s not the only advantage. In terms of noise level, it has an advanced gear system that provides smooth, soft, and quiet operation.
With this package, you’ll get one Mast Flash rotating tattoo machine and one RCA cable.
It’s worth-noting that this product only includes a machine.
If you expect a kit with multiple supplies, then look for another one.
In terms of appearance, this machine looks sleek with its space aluminum frame.
The frame houses a Japan motor, so there’s no need to question its performance.
The machine doesn’t disappoint for its price point. You can do more than just one tattoo technique with it.
Another thing you might like is the high level of accuracy and amount of flexibility provided.
Many rotary machines sport pen-like designs, so this doesn’t feel anything special. It’s not a bad thing, though.
The tool really exudes simplicity while still delivering epic performance.
Apart from the ergonomic design, it’s also compatible with different needles
6. Mast Tour Tattoo Pen Machine, Dragonhawk 3.5 Inches Length Short Machine Custom Tattoo Motor- RCA Jack
Some products by Dragonhawk can easily make the list of the best tattoo machines ever because they are that good.
What’s special about the Mast Tour Tattoo Pen Machine?
The design is actually rather simple.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about its pen-like style, but this is more than just a pretty face.
It features a coreless motor that can inject ink smoothly.
Due to its compact design, it’s perfect for travelling.
Being small doesn’t put it at a disadvantage.
Not only does it make it easy to carry around, but it’s also lightweight, which is useful to prevent hand fatigue.
Don’t question its performance because this small item can do all kinds of stuff from color packing to lining with high precision.
Picking The Best Tattoo Gun
Before shopping around, you should make thorough research because there are countless products out there with a broad range of features. They also come in a range of prices.
It’s easy to feel disappointed when a high-budget machine doesn’t do its job well. However, expensive devices usually deliver terrific performance especially when they come from reputable manufacturers.
Pneumatic machines are known for their hefty price tags regardless of the brand. Investing in one is an awesome idea.
Why? It offers great performance for your tattoo work. This type of machine uses air compression instead of coils to move the needle.
They also have straightforward designs, very distinguishable from the conventional types.
2. Easy maintenance
When you own a tattoo machine, cleaning should be a regular thing. A device that’s not properly cleaned can open the door for infections.
For this reason, you should choose a device that doesn’t need much upkeep especially if you don’t have much time on your hands. Some products offer low maintenance.
They also don’t require taking components apart for regular cleaning. Just read the description of each product to ensure that the one you’re about to buy meets this criteria.
3. Not heavy
Some believe that the best machines are the ones with a solid feel in the hand. This is not always true because compact devices can also carry out tattoo work effortlessly. Besides, not all people can tolerate weighty machines.
If you don’t feel like holding a ‘hammer’ for hours, then look for one that’s lightweight, like a neuma machine. Neuma guns weigh less than the conventional types because they aren’t loaded with wiring and stuff.
4. Know the types
This is clearly one of the most important considerations.
Remember that every product has distinct features. Manufacturers make them suit different skill levels.
If you just got your feet wet in this business, then purchase a machine that comes with an easy setup and includes all the basic supplies, so you don’t have to buy additional pieces separately.
Although there are so many products on the market, they fall under two main categories, coil, and rotary.
Coil machines are the standard type as they are used widely by tattoo artists.
There are also rotary machines that run on electric motors.
Compared to the previous type, rotary machines are typically lighter because they aren’t loaded with coils.
In terms of performance, they’re just as good as the other ones.
Apart from these, there are also liners and shaders.
They are used for specific tattoo techniques, so you should better get the right one.
5. Buy from a reputable seller
After knowing the kind of device you want, the next challenge is to find a reputable company selling that item.
It’s better to go with official stores instead of buying it from a third party if you really care about quality and warranty.
Don’t forget to read reviews linked to the products.
Focus on higher ratings as they indicate customer satisfaction.
6. Get the right size
Bigger machines tend to cause quick hand fatigue.
The size of a tattoo gun needs to be tailored to one’s needs and ability.
Those with bulging muscles may be able to handle bigger machines without a problem.
But if you aren’t like that, then a smaller device is the right substitute.
7. Quality or Affordability
Affordable machines can still get the job done, but expensive ones usually pack more features and have better performance.
If you put quality before price, then invest more in a tattoo gun because a quality product lasts longer and withstands wear and tear better.
Affordable machines aren’t by any means bad. You can still buy an inexpensive one for your tattoo projects.
There are some products that offer good performance, but keep prices low at the same time.
Tattoo Guns FAQs
a. What is the best tattoo machine brand?
Many brands stand out in the tattoo gun industry. Each one has a lineup of quality products.
First, you can consider FK irons. Its products are hailed for being lightweight and practical. On top of that, they deliver remarkable performance.
And then, there’s Dragonhawk, one of the most recognizable manufacturers of tattoo equipment.
It has numerous well-received products, such as the Mast Pen, atom, and Extreme.
The price-to-performance ratio rarely disappoints for any of its releases.
If you need more suggestions, try Bigwasp and Bishop Rotary.
b. What tattoo guns do artists use?
Tattoo guns are classified into rotary and coil models.
Coil machines are further divided into liners, shaders, and color packers.
All these appeals to various types of people.
Those who prefer to work in a quieter environment with go with rotary machines.
Others that put versatility and functionality first wouldn’t mind the buzzing noise of coil machines.
c. What machines do professional tattoo artists use?
These various machines can make their way to artists’ workstations.
However, some will likely entice professionals with their unique qualities.
For rotary machines, the FK Irons EXO, Spektra Flux, and Stigma-Rotary Force are very tempting.
But if you’re old-fashioned at heart, the Bishop Big Sleeps X and Micky Sharpz Tattoo Machine are awesome alternatives.
d. For novices, what are some of the finest tattoo guns?
Being a pro means you need to know the mechanics of coil and rotary machines.
But if you’re just starting out and want something easy to work with, a rotary machine fits the bill.
That said, it’s still challenging to choose one with all the brands available.
You can’t go wrong with Dragonhawk, though.
As one of the leading brands, the products are constantly showered praise and positive reviews.
The Dragonhawk Mast Pen is one example. The ones listed in the previous answer are also of good quality.
Take time to compare before making up your mind.
e. What’s the most expensive tattoo gun?
The title probably goes to the Cheyenne Sol Nova Unlimited Wireless Tattoo Machine, which costs a whopping $1,045.
Surprisingly, that’s not the only pricey offering from the brand.
There’s another called the Cheyenne Tattoo Machine Hawk Pen, which is priced at $629.99.
For those into premium guns, add the FK Irons Spektra Xion and Bishop Wand to your list, as each cost over $600.
f. What is the best cheap tattoo machine?
You can get a fully functional machine for less than $100.
Those in the $100-$200 range also have decent quality.
Dragonhawk has economical options, including the Dragonhawk Cartridge Tattoo Machine Atom Pen Kit and Dragonahwk Beginners Tattoo Pen Kit.
They have additional supplies included like needles, ink, etc.
On another note, Hawink and Mast Tattoo also have fine products that don’t cost a fortune.
g. What’s the easiest tattoo gun to use?
Regardless of the type, operating a tattoo gun demands focus and attention.
But there’s a reason why rotary machines are recommended by professionals.
They come with features that make them useful for lengthy sessions.
For example, they’re less noisy and not as heavy as the average coil machine.
We’d again bring up Drawgonhawk if you’re aiming for a rotary machine because they’re meticulously designed for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced users.
Wrap up: The Best Tattoo Guns
Now we’ve recommended you some of the best tattoo guns, take time to make up your mind.
Each product has its own list of features.
Make sure you know your needs before buying.
Since a tattoo gun has several components, each one should fit the criteria you’re looking for.
For example, needles have different functions. There are needles specifically designed for shading. Others are useful for lining and other tattoo techniques.
Quality also matters because this dramatically affects the outcome.
High-quality machines offer high precision, which means the risk of errors can be reduced.
Next, decide if you want a very specific tattoo gun, like a liner or a shader. Or you may want one that covers both.
These type of machines have their own advantages and disadvantages.
In some cases, multifaceted devices turn out to be the jacks of all trades.
They can do everything but are quite mediocre at them, so be careful with your selection.