Tattoo guns are used with different needles to create beautiful artwork on skin, which we call tattoos. Beginners who are trying to get into the tattoo industry will need to buy a tattoo gun to get started with their craft. But you may not always know which tattoo gun to buy or how to use it.
Understanding tattoo machines are a significant part of learning how to tattoo, hence why in this article we bring you a lot of information about beginner’s tattoo guns and give you a list of some of the best tattoo guns in the market.
Top 5 Tattoo Guns for Beginners: Best By Features
Buyer Guide: Important Factors to Consider Before Buying a Tattoo Gun for Beginners
1. Type of Tattoo Gun
Tattoo guns are mainly of two types, coil machines and rotary machines. There is also another type of tattoo machine called tattoo pen machine, but we will focus on the tattoo guns.
Electromagnetic current flows through the coils of coil tattoo machines to push and release the armature bar, which in turn penetrates and retracts the needles. This motion creates a continuous poking mechanism that helps you make tattoos.
Coil machines are usually quite heavy, and also they vibrate very strongly. Coil machines are very powerful, so your tattoo is guaranteed to turn out great.
Rotary machines use a motor connected to an armature, which produces a continuous push and pull of the needles. This motion helps the needle penetrate the skin and create tattoos.
These machines usually vibrate less, but they are quite heavy as well. These machines are equally powerful and guarantee a great tattoo.
So, if one asks which tattoo gun should I choose as a beginner? There is no clear answer, even though coil machines are heavy, many prefer them due to its powerful nature, while some artists absolutely dislike the vibrations and thus prefer a rotary machine.
Hence, it always depends upon your preference and choice. As a beginner, always look for the pros and cons of each machine and decide which one to buy based on your preference.
2. Build Quality
Always look at the material that your tattoo gun is made up of before buying it.Most tattoo guns are made from iron, or brass and coated with a rust proof material, so always make sure that the body of the machine is rust proof. It can also be made of stainless steel, which also prevents rust.
3. Wrap Coils
Wrap coils are the number of wires on each coils. The higher the number, the more powerful the machine is. Usually machines have 8 or 10 wrap coils. 8 Wrap coil machines are used for lining a tattoo, while a 10 wrap coil machine is used for shading, as these needles require more power to penetrate into the skin.
So, while buying a coil machine, you must look at the number of wrap coils in the machine, as it will determine how you use it.
Most tattoo guns will vibrate to some extent. The vibrations are caused by the constant movement of the coils or the motor. In general coil machines vibrate much more than the rotary machines, but if the coil machine has vibration absorbing properties, then it you may not feel uncomfortable holding the machine.
Therefore, as a beginner always look for a machine that has low vibrations, as it will allow you to work for a longer time.
Coil machines as well as rotary machines require some adjustments to their screws everytime someone is using them. The constant vibrations tend to loosen them up sometimes. They usually come with a few allen wrenches that can help you adjust the screws.
6. Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, the rotary machine is always the winner. If you are looking for a tattoo gun that requires minimum effort to achieve good quality tattoos, you must choose the rotary machines.
These machines do not require a lot of effort when it comes to needles installation. They also vibrate quite a bit less than coil machines, making it comfortable to hold them. So we can say that these machines are more beginner-friendly than coil machines.
As a beginner, you may not be able to afford expensive machines, and sometimes you will not be able to find your ideal machine for a low price, so you have to buy whatever you can within your budget.
It is also noteworthy that needles and other accessories that you have to buy with your machine may get expensive. So if you are looking for a machine within your budget, you can find several coil machines as well as rotary machines that are affordable.
Coil machines are usually cheaper, and the accessories that you have to buy with it are also cheaper. So we suggest you buy a coil machine if you want to stay within budget.
8. Type of needles
All coil machines use long needles, but rotary machines may use long needles or cartridge needles. Coil machines can not be converted into a cartridge machine, and it is advised not to try that method.
Rotary machines, on the other hand, have attachments that can turn any rotary machine into a cartridge machine. So, for beginners, a rotary machine might be better if they want to use cartridge needles. However cartridge needles are expensive, so they may opt for the coil machine with long needles as well.
9. Extra accessories
Whether its a coil machine or a rotary machine, you will need a grip, a tip and needles to get the machine working, The grips can either be reusable or disposable. The needle tips also may be disposable or reusable.
Hence, depending upon your machine, you must buy needle grips and needle tips before you can start using your machine.
Top 5 Best Tattoo Guns for Beginners
1. Hawink Tattoo Machine Traditional Handmade shader Pure Copper Coil Machine
Best For: Accessible and Reliable
Hawink Tattoo Machine is a Coil machine that features 10 wrap coils and its ideal for lining. It can accommodate up to a 18RL, and it has a 3.5 mm throw allowing maximum ink flow which lets you make your lines in a single pass.
It requires long needles, and it fits most of the grips in the market, making it a great tool for beginners. It features 47uf capacitor, and it can carry a load up to 50 volts. Hawink Tattoo Machine has an excellent front spring that allows the needle to work with greater speed and power.
The rear spring has a saddle mount that absorbs the impact and vibrations for better accuracy allowing you to work for hours. This is a beginner-friendly tattoo gun as it is affordable yet functional and quite easy to use.
Key Features and Specifications of Hawink Tattoo Machine:
- Hawink Coil Tattoo Machine has a strong build, and it does not require a lot of adjustments before you start using it, making it ideal for beginners.
- The frame is made with carbon steel and it is powder coated, so it will not rust and it will ensure that the machine will work for years.
- This 10 wrap coil machine is ideal for linework, and it can accommodate up to a 18RL needle, so it is great for all types of practice work.
- It has a strong vice screw and it fits most grips on the market, so you can use any grips that you may have.
Pros and Cons of Hawink Coil Tattoo Machine:
- Although it is marketed as a gun for lining, it can also be used for shading, due to its powerful nature, so you don’t need to buy separate machines.
- The spring saddle is well made, and so it helps keep the spring stable while you are working with it.
- Does not require any extra adjustments to it before inserting the needle, so it is easy for beginners.
- It has a strong build quality, so it will last you years.
- The vibrations are quite high, so it may hurt to work with it for long hours.
Why is this best tattoo gun for beginners?
If you are looking for a reliable Tattoo machine that does the work perfectly, while staying stable for hours, then this is the tattoo gun for you.
This coil machine is well built, requires very less maintenance and is of excellent quality, so as a beginner, if you want to practice your art with a coil machine, you will love using this one.
2. Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine Straight Shader Circle Liner
Best for: Good build quality
Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine is a set of Coil machines, one is meant for lining, while the other one is meant for shading.
The reason for the two different machines is because one is more powerful than the other, and so one is ideal for lining, while the other one is for shading, so it is perfect for beginners who need to practice both techniques.
The liner machine used 8 wrap coils, while the shader machine has 10 wrap coils. These machines have a brass body, which will last long without rusting or getting weak. Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machines can fit all standard tubes, and needles, so you can use any grip you have as a beginner.
Key Features and Specifications of Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine:
- A set of two different coil machines make this the perfect duo for a beginner, as it gives them the flexibility of lining as well as shading.
- These machines have a brass frame which is more durable than iron, and so you do not have to worry about rusting.
- Dragonhawk Coils Tattoo Machines can use any standard needle grip and tip, so you do not have to get any expensive one as a beginner.
- Both the machines run on about 7 to 8 Volts of power.
Pros and Cons of Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machines:
- They have an excellent build quality that is great for both beginners as well as experts, as it lasts for years.
- These machines run on a low voltage, so you save quite a bit of electricity.
- These machines do not require a lot of adjustments, so it is great for beginners.
- They are quite heavy, so it could get tedious to hold.
Why is this best tattoo gun for beginners?
These machines are made from brass and they have an excellent built quality, so you can expect them to last for years. They can be used for both practice work as well as for making tattoos on real skin, so with this one simple set, you can make tattoos for years. These will last you for years, so you do not have to worry about buying other machines for a long time.
3. ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun Kit
Best For: Value for Money
ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun Kit contains a bright green rotary machine, a grip, a tube, a wrench, and an elastic bandage. This kit allows you to work with any long needles on the rotary machine. If you want to use cartridges you can also do that by buying a separate attachment for cartridges.
This machine is made from a high quality zinc alloy, and therefore it is long lasting. ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun not only looks stunning, it also works very efficiently. It does not have too many vibrations, and it also does not need a lot of effort for needle installation, therefore making it ideal for beginners.
Key Features and Specifications of ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun Kit :
- This machine can accommodate both liners and shader needles, making it great for beginners.
- It can use both RCA cable as well as a clipcord. So you can use either one of the methods to connect your machine to a power source.
- This kit includes a reusable grip and a tube so you do not have to buy one along with it. Especially for practice work, you do not need to get separate attachments.
- The machine works on 7 to 8 Voltage of power, but it has very low vibrations, which allows you to work with it for a long time.
Pros and Cons of ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun Kit:
- This machine is beginner friendly as it has quiet, low vibrations and works on a low voltage.
- The rotary machine comes with attachments making it easier for beginners to work with it, without having to buy extra materials.
- It can accommodate cartridge needles with a special attachment, so you have different options.
- It comes in a few different stunning colors, that is sure to make you look cool among your friends.
- The rotary machine does not come with a cartridge attachment, so you will have to buy it yourself.
Why is this best tattoo gun for beginners?
Rotary machines are very good for any beginner. They do not vibrate very much, they are quiet, and they work just as good as any coil machine. This is why they are great for beginners. This kit from ATOMUS comes for a low price yet it contains everything you need. Therefore we can say that this kit is value for money.
4. Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine Lightweight Gun
Best for : High quality
Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine is a stunning lightweight machine that is a favorite among lots of tattoo artists. This machine’s special feature is its ability to work with both long needles as well as cartridge needles.
Although it’s possible in most rotary machines, this one, in particular, has a built-in mechanism for that purpose. So as a beginner, you can get the most out of this machine. It has a stroke length of 4mm and it’s perfect for tattoos like realism, newschool, blackwork etc.,
The Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine retains the power of a coil machine without the annoyance of the vibrations. This is the perfect tattoo gun for those who want to take on a very professional approach to learning tattooing.
Key Features and Specifications of Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine:
- This rotary machine can be used for both lining as well as shading, which is perfect for beginners.
- This machine is compatible with both cartridge needles as well as long needles, so you can work with both. This also makes this machine quite beginner friendly.
- It can run on a voltage of 4 to 8V, so you can rest assured it’s not taking up a lot of power.
- Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine is lightweight, quiet and vibration-free, making it ideal for long hours of work that you have to do as a beginner.
Pros and Cons of Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine:
- This machine can use both types of needles without any extra equipment, so you do not need to buy anything extra for it.
- It is very lightweight and has a perfect balance, so you don’t have to worry about getting your hand tired while practicing for long hours.
- It has a stunning look, and it comes in several different colors that are attractive.
- This machine features a motor that is capable of 10000 rpm, which makes this machine very powerful and efficient.
- It is quite expensive.
Why is this best tattoo gun for beginners?
If you are looking for a beautiful and powerful rotary machine that works smoothly and requires minimum effort, then this machine is the perfect one for you. It’s totally beginner friendly because of its high compatibility and multipurpose use.
It is also great for practicing different types of techniques on fake or real skin. Overall if you are looking for a high quality rotary machine, this is one of the best in the market.
5. New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner
Best for: Price
New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine is a functional yet cheap rotary machine that will help you practice tattooing as a beginner. This machine can be used for both lining as well as shading, as it can fit different types and sizes of needles, which is perfect for beginners.
This machine can work with any standard grip or tube and it can also accommodate cartridge needles with the help of a special attachment. It works with 6V to 9V of power and can connect to the power source using a clip cord.
This tattoo gun works great but does not empty your pocket, which is what makes this machine good for beginners.
Key Features and Benefits of New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine:
- It’s very powerful but only takes 6V to 9V to work, so you can save power.
- This machine is quite lightweight and provides a good balance, so you can keep tattooing for hours. This makes it a beginner friendly tattoo gun.
- It does not vibrate too much, and does not heat up excessively either.
- These machines come in several different colors for you to choose from.
- It is very inexpensive, making it great for beginners.
Pros and Cons of New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine:
- This rotary machine can work with most needle grips and tubes, which means you can work with whatever you have as a beginner.
- With an extra attachment, you can also use cartridge needles on this machine, so if you want to switch to cartridges, you can do that easily.
- It comes with an allen wrench, which you can use to fix the machine if it gets loose.
- The machine does not come with any grips or attachments.
Why is this best tattoo gun for beginners?
This is one of the most efficient yet cheap tattoo guns in the market. You get all the good features of a rotary machine in this tattoo gun, but it’s available at a minimal price. It can take both liner needles, as well as shader needles, so as a beginner you do not have to purchase another machine for it.
The machine not only looks great, it is quite powerful as well, so if you are looking for a Tattoo machine that is affordable, then this is the one for you.
Comparison of To 5 Best Tattoo Guns
|Type of machine||Material||Used For||Compatible Needles|
|Hawink Tattoo Coil Machine||Coil||Steel||Lining||Long Needles|
|Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine||Coil||Copper||Lining, Shading||Long Needles|
|ATOMUS Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun Kit||Rotary||Zinc Alloy||Lining and Shading||Long needles, cartridge needles|
|Dragonhawk Falcon Rotary Tattoo Machine||Rotary||Metal||Lining and Shading||Long needles, cartridge needles|
|New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine||Rotary||Aluminium Alloy||Lining and Shading||Long Needles|
Get Your Very Own Tattoo Gun:
Whether you want to use a coil machine or a rotary machine, getting good skills is very important when it comes to tattooing. When you get your first tattoo machine, it may feel tempting to attach a needle and start tattooing right away, but it is always recommended that you first learn how to properly install a needle into your machine. It is also recommended that you practice on fake skin with your machine before you tattoo on real skin. As you saw from our list of machines, both coil machines and rotary machines work very well for tattooing, so you can choose your favorite one from our list and get started.
Q. Which Tattoo Gun is better?
Each type of tattoo gun has their own pros and cons but in general, rotary machines are easier to use.
Q. Do I need to choose a certain brand?
The brand of tattoo gun you want to use depends entirely upon you. Most brands have good quality machines, however you can always choose from our list to get a good quality machine.
Q. Which Needles should I use with my Tattoo gun?
Coil machines use only long needles, however rotary machines may be compatible with both needles, so always check which needle your machine is compatible with before buying it.
Q. What do I need to buy along with my tattoo gun?
You have to buy a power supply for your tattoo machine if it’s not provided already. You may also buy a foot pedal for easily controlling the machine, however it is optional.
Q. Do I need to buy multiple tattoo guns?
Coil machines usually do not work for both lining and shading, so you may have to get multiple coil machines if you want to use them. On the other hand, rotary machines can usually accommodate any type of needle, so you can use it for both types of work.