There are basically two types of popular tattoo machines. The rotary machines and the coil machines. We wanted expert opinions on the best coil tattoo machines to buy so we asked local tattoo artists which ones they use and prefer.
The pros also told us some great advice on how to compare and evaluate a machine. Choosing the right equipment is a necessity, and getting expert tips on how to do so is always beneficial.
7 Best Coil Tattoo Machine for Beginner
#1. 2-Piece Brass Coils Tattoo Machine by Dragon hawk
The cut billet brass frame makes this a durable machine that you can depend on. The shader coil has ten wraps and the liner coil has eight wraps. The shader will run 115 to 120 Hz with 7 volts to 8 volts, and the liner will run 140 to 150 Hz with 7 volts to 8 volts.
These machines are capable of pushing the majority of needles through the traditional standard metal pr one-time usage tubes designed to accommodate coil machines. The machines are very affordable and they make great beginner equipment. You can start your shop and start your practice without spending a fortune on equipment.
The guns are very inexpensive but many expert tattoo artists own them and have them in their tool arsenals. The machines are capable of producing quality imagery and straight lines that are crisp and clear. Expert artists tell you that when you find a good device stick with it.
The guns are easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to clean. The majority of people who have owned a set say they will buy another set of them.
- Great for beginners and pros
- Small and lightweight
- Versatile for different procedures
- Sanitary and safe
- May not work with all tattoo needles
#2. Coil Tattoo Machine by Redscorpion
These guns provide you with stability and a uniform speed. That equates to a smoother line formation that is more defined and uniform in appearance. The guns reduce the damages done to the skin being tattooed and allow the artist a greater level of confidence in their creations.
The spring on the tattoo guns has a high elasticity. It is very flexible and hard so it is very hard to damage or break and the machine works longer. The performance of these guns is just as high after long-term use as it is the first day you set the machine up. As a matter of fact, as you get accustomed to the devices the performance increases because you learn how to get the most out of your equipment with the least effort.
Ridiculously affordable tattoo guns. Anyone that wants to start to create body art can do so because of the affordability of these machines. They are designed for both outline creation and filling and shading so the artist will be equipped to do a complete tattoo with just this set of equipment.
- Easy to set up and learn to use
- Easy to clean and sanitize
- Does not get hot while in operation
- May cause user fatigue if your hands are large
#3. Tattoo Machine by Hawink
This machine is designed to fit all grips that are currently marketed. It has a pure brass front section with rear binding posts made of super-strong carbon steel that has been powder coated to prevent rust or corrosion. The vice screw has incredible strength so you do not worry about it turning loose or letting you down while you work.
This equipment is designed with a saddle to mount the rear spring. This design reduces the vibrations and thus helps to stabilize the machine and reduce the noises emitted by the machine. Machine noise is 35% of the reason people think they feel greater pain when a coil machine is used instead of a rotary machine.
The design of the front spring is enhanced to give you more power and speed. This is a primary choice machine for traditional tattoo designs.
The armature of the device can hold a needle as big as an 18 RL. The ink flow is improved by the 3.5 mm throw, and the coils are not the standard eight or ten wraps they are twelve wrap coils. It can handle any load you put on it because it is a 50-volt maximum device.
- Comfortable to hold
- Quiet while operating
- Intended more for experienced users
#4. Cast Iron Coil Tattoo Machine by Redscorpion
The cast iron materials used in the creation of this device causes people to lift their eyebrows because cast iron surely makes the unit heavier. It does add weight to the unit but it also adds an increase to the electrical and magnetic conductivity. With this increase, the lines you create are smoother and easier to create.
This machine offers you high strength and can be worked for more than eight hours at a time without excess heating. It is capable of sustaining a stable working speed for the entire time that it is being used. It is extremely accurate, and it requires less power to operate than similar machines.
It has eight wrap coils, but remember that the conductivity of the machine is increased by the cast iron materials so the coils can be wrapped fewer times and still provide a high rate of productivity.
It has a starting voltage of 4 volts but maintains a working voltage between 6 volts and 8 volts. It has a running speed that equals 2500 to 2800r per minute. The machine is solid and sturdy and lighter than you might suspect.
- Affordably priced
- Beginner friendly
- Small enough to be portable
- The cast iron is harder to sanitize than some other materials would be
#5. Tattoo Machine by Thomas
The cut brass frame of this machine adds to the durability and reliability of the device. Brass is a fantastic metal that is not going to rust and creations from this material are known to be long-lasting.
The pure copper contact of the device is going to be wear-resistant and capable of making a better connection. The slap force of the machine is very strong and the carbon deposition is quite low. The pure copper contact is harder than many metals used in this application and will wear down slower so the machine will last longer.
This is not the most lightweight device on the market, but it is a strong unit that allows for repeated use and consistent performance. It is designed to apply liner and shading of tattoos. The shorter coil spring is the liner section and the longer coil spring is designed to be a shader.
The price of this equipment is amazing. The majority of all tattoo artists can afford to have this equipment on hand in their shop.
- Easy to sanitize after each use
- Comfortable and fits in most hands
- Makes incredible lines without a lot of vibration
- Instructions that come with the device are difficult to understand
#6. Complete Tattoo Set by Rehab Ink
The Rehab Ink complete tattoo set will provide you with just about everything you need to begin to create unique and custom tattoos. It even comes with two sizes of ink cups that are shaped like skulls.
The kit includes two guns, and seven bottles of Mom’s Millennium ink, the gel grips, the needles, rubber bands, instruction book, power source, foot pedal, and more, more, more.
This is a great starter kit, and the price makes it a fantastic starter kit. You can easily create twenty or thirty tattoos using the items in this kit which will make the kit quickly pay for itself.
It is easy to set up and use so beginners will not be confused by the instructions. The instruction books help you learn the basic tattoo techniques, and the stencils that come with the unit are attractive and easy to use.
- Ideal for beginners and for professionals
- Safe and sanitary
- Quiet while in operation
- Not as durable as some similar items
What is a coil tattoo machine and how it works?
A coil tattoo machine is the most common tattoo machine. They are super affordable and they do an excellent job of ink transfer.
The machines work using an electromagnetic circuit that moves the group of needles so they puncture the skin and deposit the ink.
The electromagnetic current is run through two coils and that causes the armature bar that holds the needle grouping to move. A direct current creates a magnetic field that pulls down the armature bar. This collapses the circuit and the spring on the machine pushes the bar back up into position so the action can be repeated. This creates an up and down motion that allows the needle to be pushed into and pulled out of the skin.
Pros of coil machines include:
- Help in the creation of bolder and thicker lines
- Cheaper than the rotary devices
- They create whipped dots that are better defined
- They are larger and heavier than the rotary style
- They are better at providing stability and consistency
Cons of Coil machines include:
- They are bigger and harder to manipulate
- They are noisier than the rotary style
What is the right voltage to get coil tattoo machines to work?
To get good performance from your coil tattoo machine you want to run the machine between 7.5 volts and 8.5 volts when you are lining and forming the tattoo outline. When you start to do the shading of the tattoo you want to increase the volts to 8 volts to 10 volts.
With those voltage regulations, you should be able to get your machine to create any design you desire. The flow of ink will be smooth and consistent creating crisp lines.
How to Choose the Best Tattoo Coil Machine?
If you are just starting out in the art of tattoo creations then you may not have a lot of experience with different tattoo machines or the features that make these machines stand out from each other. Before you rush out and buy a machine learn to recognize the features of the machines and what each of those features could do for you.
Make a list of the features you are most interested in so when you are shopping you can compare the machines and see which ones have the most of the features you desire.
The stronger motors on the coil machines allow them to command larger needle groupings and make thicker and more defined lines. You want to examine the motor size of the machine you are considering and compare it with similar machines.
You want a sturdy machine built of high-quality materials but it is also important that you get a machine that is light enough for you to handle for extended periods of time. Aluminum and alloy frames provide you with lighter guns that are often easier to control.
The materials the machines are made from effect the weight of the machine. They can also affect the durability of the item. Aircraft aluminum is often used to create these devices because this aluminum is extra strong and resilient. It is also super light. Read our top wireless tattoo machine reviews post to know more details about this.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of coil tattoo machines?
There are three basic coil machines. Each type of machine is designed to be used with a specific tattoo technology. The liners create the outlines of the tattoo and they run faster than the other machines, shaders are used to fill the outline in with color, and the color packers fill the color more completely and make the blacks more pronounced.
What kind of features do I have to consider when buying a tattoo kit?
When buying a tattoo kit, you want to get the gun to apply the tattoo with, a power supply, ink for the tattoos, tubes, needles, and basic tattooing supplies. Some kits even come with first aid kits, and a choice of power controls like clip cords or foot pedals.
Differences between a Liner and a Shader
A tattoo gun designed as a liner is one that helps you create the lines or outline of the design you are creating. They make bold lines and thin lines that give the design form and shape. The shader is a gun that holds needles that will color between the lines and give the tattoo color and definition.
What makes Coil Machines a Good Choice?
There are several reasons why artists prefer a coil machine over a rotary. The price of the coil machine is much lower than the price of the rotary devices. The coil machines are capable of handling a larger needle grouping and they create bolder outlines for the artist to work with.
The biggest reason why you should consider having a coil tattoo machine is that they can simply do some things better than the rotary-style machines can. The coil machines are heavier, they are more stable, and they create well-defined lines and thicker lines because they can handle larger needle groupings.
A good rule of thumb for a tattoo artist is to practice using different machines, find the machine that works best for you, and stick with it. Your creations are unique and your tools have to match the techniques you need to apply to form those creations.