When you first start out in the tattoo business you need equipment to perform your body art with. The beginner often does not have enough experience to help them decide which items are the best tattoo machines for beginners.
We asked several experienced tattoo professionals to suggest machines they thought were really good for the beginning artists. Then we asked several novice tattoo artists to try the suggested devices and let us know how easy they were to use, and if they were beneficial in helping them develop skills.
The following products are the most frequently recommended items by the pros, and the products the beginners had the most success with.
Top 6 Beginner Tattoo Machines Reviews
#1. Tattoo Kit by Dragonhawk
This makes an excellent beginner tattoo machine. The tattoo pen is easy to use. It is shaped like and held like a pen so the feeling of the device in your hand is natural and easy to adjust to.
It is a complete kit that included 50 disposable needle cartridges, the power supply you need, and a foot pedal to control the power regulated to the device. This is a rotary device so it creates smooth lines with less pressure and less pain.
Although this device is recommended as a beginner tattoo machine it is actually great for those just starting out and those already established in the business. It is capable of supporting a wide variety of techniques and allows you to create outlines, shading, and do color packing.
It provides stability and control and produces almost no vibration while you work. It is lightweight and very quiet so you or your customer are not distracted by the humming of the device.
All of the ink, needles, machine, power cords, and accessories you need to begin creating custom body art are included in the kit. It is affordable, user-friendly, and recommended by a large number of experienced tattoo artists.
- Easy to use
- Easy to understand directions
- Easy to clean and sanitize
- Lightweight pen has more vibrations than heavier devices
#2. Complete Tattoo Kit for Beginners by Wormhole
This tattoo kit comes with all of the paraphernalia that you will need to get you started on your tattoo creation career. It has a tattoo machine, the proper ink, 30 tattoo needles, the needle holder or mouth, the pin pad, the foot pedal, an ink cap, a color cup, practice skin, clamps, a power supply with an LED digital readout, disposable gloves, Allen Keys for adjustments, and more.
The power supply provides stable voltage amounts so the machine runs smoothly and has enough power for the different tattoo techniques the artist employs. It works for shading, color packing and for the most important lining process.
The instructional video included with the kit will take you through the process and help you to develop the skills you need for this kind of work. You also get a huge selection of tattoo designs you can use along with your own custom designs.
The kit is super-affordable. The majority of beginning artist can afford this device and all of the perks that go with it. Many established artists also purchase these kits because they are great for beginners but they are powerful enough for the experts to use as well.
- Great for new tattoo artists
- Portable and lightweight
- Not as durable as some other machines are
#3. Complete Tattoo Kit from the Solong Tattoo Store
This is a serious tattoo kit that comes with four coil tattoo machines that can do both the shading and the lining on your creations. It comes with 50 tattoo needles, 10 tattoo grips, 54 bottles of ink, the power supply, clip cord and foot pedal. There are many other accessories in the kit that are all designed to help you make the greatest ink creations.
The machines have 10 wrap coils that allow them to operate faster and provide precision for your linework. They have enough power to create a penetration depth that will place the ink in the precise location that you need it.
You can quickly identify the shading guns because they are blue and the yellow guns are best suited for lining. They are compatible with the standard US electrical supply. It is very reasonably priced, but this kit is not specifically for beginners. The experienced tattoo artist has used the kit and finds it to be a beneficial item in their establishments.
- Comes with clip cord and foot pedal
- Easy to set up
- Adjustable depth penetration
- Has a tendency to get warm to the touch after prolonged usage
#4. Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine by New Star
This green tattoo machine is a rotary device that works for both lining and shading techniques. You do not need multiple guns to create a complete work of art when you choose this device.
It is lightweight so it is easy to hold the machine for many hours while you establish elaborate tattoo designs. It has a 6 volt to 9-volt capability so you have all the power you need. It is recommended that after each hour of use you take a few minutes and allow the machine to rest before you continue. This is the perfect time for you to stretch your legs and answer calls of nature.
This machine produces very little vibration while it is in use. The low vibration means less noise. The quieter operation keeps the customer from becoming as nervous during the procedure and makes for an overall more pleasant experience.
It is made from an aluminum alloy that allows the equipment to be very lightweight and easy to handle. It has a rotating speed between 20000 and 25000 rounds per minute.
- Aluminum alloy does not rust or corrode so it is easy to sanitize
- Lightweight so hand cramps are less likely
- May cause hand fatigue for people with larger hands
#5. Tattoo Pen Kit by Solong
Aircraft aluminum has been used to create the lightweight housing on this rotary tattoo gun. Aircraft aluminum is very strong and reliable. You can drop it, run over it with a car, and put it through many types of abuse without damaging it, or creating a break in the protective housing.
This is a handheld unit that is battery powered. The battery powered device allows you to eliminate the power cord that can frustratingly get in the way while you are working. The battery can power the device for about three hours until it needs another charge. It connects to a mobile phone adaptor so it is easy to charge, and has the charging devices readily available.
There is a display that alerts you to the amount of charge the battery has. You never simply run out of power at a delicate time because you can adjust your work on the tattoo according to the charge the battery still has.
Please carefully read the instruction manual provided with the device. The information in the manual will answer all of your questions and help you to set the device ups so you have a problem-free creation.
- Handheld and portable
- Easy to read and follow instructions
- Great for beginners
- Battery powered devices can run out of charge before you are finished working
#6. Complete Tattoo Kit by Dragonhawk
This complete tattoo kit by Dragonhawk comes with four tattoo guns. They are coil machines and are specific for color packing, shading, and both a conventional liner machine and a power liner machine. The framework of the machines is steel and the coils are copper.
All of the supplies that you need to start creating custom tattoos are available with the gun. It has 50 sterile tattoo needles, practice skin, tattoo grips, O-rings, power supply, ink, and more. It is great for beginners or for artists who want to add more equipment to their shops.
The guns provide stable power that is fast because they drive the needles in rapid succession and make the work go quicker. You can have your guns set up for each stage of the tattoo process and fluidly switch from one technique to the next with no stopping to change over needles or do a setup.
The equipment is affordable, easy to use, easy to maintain, and capable of creating any tattoo design that you dream up. It comes with inks that are made in the US and are smooth and vibrant. The ink is resistant to fading and consistent in color and formation.
- US made ink
- Versatile and creates several tattoo styles
- Does not get hot to the touch while in use
- Not all tattoo needles are compatible with this device
Beginners Guide for Tattoo Machine
When you first begin your career as a tattoo artist you need to have supplies to do the work with. The machine that you have for tattooing will create an ability for you to do better work and develop skills.
Choosing your first machine is difficult because there are different styles, brands, sizes and options available. Without experiencing using the different items it can be hard to choose a good one for your needs.
Before you rush out and buy something make a list of what you need your machine to allow you to do. Use the following guide to determine what features the machines offer, and how those features might benefit you in your work.
Yep, we chose cost as one of your main considerations. You are just beginning so it is likely that you cannot afford the most expensive equipment on the market. The good thing is that the cheaper equipment is often just as good and will provide you with reliable results.
You have to set a budget that you can afford. Then shop for items that are within that budget. You can always upgrade at a later time, but if you make the mistake and buy a really expensive piece of equipment and then discover that equipment does not do what you need you are just out of money.
Ease of Use
You want a machine that is very easy to set up and use. Many artists choose rotary machines because they can create both lining and shading, and they are basically plug-and-play equipment that needs very little setup.
Machines that are very sophisticated make take a long time to learn to operate. You want something that does the basic tattoo techniques and does not require a lot of adjusting on your part. Check your wireless tattoo machine posts that are also be easy to use.
Tattoo Machine Weight
Try to get a machine that is lightweight. You are not accustomed to holding a tattoo machine for several hours so you want to get a lightweight item that will not cause muscle strain while you are using it.
The materials the machines are made from will increase or decrease the weight. Aircraft aluminum and aluminum alloys are the lightest-weight materials.
How to Clean Beginners Tattoo Machine
Cleaning your equipment and keeping it sterilized is of tremendous importance. As the tattoo artist you are responsible for the safety of your customers. That means clean equipment, and safety practices that stop the spread of possible contagions, or infections.
After every use, you need to clean and sterilize your tattoo gun. Always wear gloves when handling the equipment so no possible contagions can pass from the equipment to you or from you to the equipment.
The First Step
You need to choose a high-quality disinfectant spray to have in your shop and work area. The disinfectant spray will be used to clean counters, chairs, and all surface areas in the shop. When you are finished with a tattoo you should spray your machine down with the disinfectant spray.
- Spray the machine with your favorite disinfectant
- Wait at least ten minutes so the disinfectant has time to work and then wipe the machine down to remove the disinfectant residue.
- Spray the machine with common rubbing alcohol to remove any disinfectant that might cause the machine to rust or corrode.
- Wipe the machine down to remove the rubbing alcohol.
Check your machine for the appearance of rust. It is recommended that you occasionally rub the machine down with olive oil to prevent rust and prevent the dull appearance that disinfectants can cause. You can use WD-40 and other oils I just like olive oil for this purpose.
People Also Ask For Beginners Tattoo Machines
What about pneumatic tattoo machines?
A pneumatic tattoo machine uses an air compressor to provide power to the gun and drive the needle instead of using electrical power supplies like the traditional coil machines and rotary machines use. These machines are better suited for more experienced tattoo artists who create large and highly detailed works of body art. They are not cheap machines.
What are the best tattoo machines for beginners?
Easy-to-use rotary machines are often the best units for beginning tattoo artists to work with. They are basically ready to use as soon as they are connected to a power supply. They are small and lightweight, and they do both lining work and shading work effectively.
What’s the difference between a cheap tattoo machine and an expensive one?
Sometimes the only difference between a cheap tattoo machine and an expensive one is the price. What you really want to compare is the quality of the materials the machine is manufactured out of. Then look at the capabilities of the machine. Some of the more expensive machines can do greater amounts of things, but many of them are just over-priced objects.
Beginning a career in the world of tattoo creation is exciting, and intimidating at the same time. Buying the right equipment and supplies is often frustrating to the beginner. To make sure that you have equipment that will serve you well you need to make a conscious effort to compare materials, machine capabilities, power supply needs, and how easy the device is to use.
You do not need the most expensive machine on the market. When you started to drive your first car was more than likely not a Cadillac. Buy a quality device that you can learn to operate, and then upgrade as your skills and budget grow.