Best Tattoo Needles for Beginners | Top 5 Picks & Buyer Guide

Beginners in the tattoo industry have to go through rigorous training before they are qualified as a tattoo artist. They also have to complete an apprenticeship before they could start working independently.

During the training period, the aspiring artists have to practice with all different types of needles. During the apprentice period, they experience the use of the needles on real human skin in a much more detailed manner.

They need to practice constantly so that they can become skilled in their craft. This is why it is important to choose high-quality needles for both practice work and for tattooing on real skin. In this article, we will guide you through all the different needles that you need to work with. 

Top 5 Tattoo Needles for Beginners : By Best Feature

Buyer Guide :  Key Factors to Consider Before Buying Tattoo Needles for Beginners

1. Understanding Needle Sizes

As a beginner, you may not be able to understand the needles sizes that are marked on each needle. It is important to understand these sizes as it is the most important part of buying tattoo needles.

The first thing that you must understand is that each tattoo needle is a combination of several small needles. The first number on each tattoo needle indicates the diameter of each of these individual needles.

For example, the standard needle diameter is 12 gauge or 0.35mm. Tattoo Needles also come in 10 gauge (0.30mm) and 8 gauge (0.25mm). The cond thing to understand is the number of small needles present in a tattoo needle.

It could be 1, 2,3, or 10, or even 15. The number of needles combined with the type of needle actually determines the use of that needle. So for example, if a tattoo needle has 5 individual needles, it could be a 05 Round Liner or a 05 round shader.

This is why we need to understand the type of needles. There are four basic types of needles, Round Liner (RL), Round Shader (RS), Magnum (M1), and Flat (F). Magnum needles come in another variation, Curved Magnum (CM).

A Round Liner is a group of needles that form a sharp tip, which works together for linework. A Round Shader is similar to a Round Liner, but the needles are spread apart and therefore it is ideal for shading.

A Magnum needle, (M1 or CM) is a flat needle with two rows of needles stacked on each other. These needles are commonly used for shading and filling in a tattoo.

The last type of needle is a Flat needle which is a flat needle with a number of needles attached to each other in one line. These needles are used for linework as well as for shading. 

So the number of the tattoo needles is arranged like this – Diameter of needles, Number of needles, type of needle. For example, 1205RS is a 12 gauge round shader needle with 5 individual needles. 

2. Types of Needles

A budding Tattoo artist requires several types of needles to practice their craft. The main types of needles are Round Liners, Round Shaders, Magnum Needles, and Flat Needles. Understanding the shape and the purpose of these needles will help you use them more easily.

A round shader needle is used for linework of all kinds. Different sizes of needles are used for different types of lines. A round shader is similar to a round liner, but the tips are not closely packed, so it creates a thicker line that is commonly used for shading.

A magnum needle comes in many different sizes and shapes but the purpose of all of them is to create shading inside a tattoo. A flat needle can be used for making lines or even used for shading.

A beginner needs to practice with all of these needles to get skilled at tattooing, so it is important to buy all of these different types of needles. 

3. Number of Needles:

A beginner is constantly practicing, so they require a good amount of needles every day. This is why it is important to find a pack of needles that contains a good amount of needles.

20 needles per box are ideal for a beginner and it will last them a week or so. You would constantly need to replenish your stock so you may also buy multiple packs instead of one.  

4. Variety of Needles

Beginners often buy needles in bulk, an assortment of different needles that have been packed together. In such a case, the artist has to make sure that the assortment contains all the important needles such as liners, magnums, etc.

Alternatively, you may also buy a pack of one type of needle but with an assortment of sizes. This allows you to have more variety to work and practice with.

5. Cartridge Needles vs Traditional Needles

Which type of needle you will choose depends upon the machine that you are working with. Most modern machines and pen-style machines use cartridge needles, and many tattoo artists prefer them because of the low noise.

However, if you happen to use a traditional machine, then you need to get the long needles. Both types of needles work equally well, so you need not worry about the kind of needle you are using, it just has to be compatible with your machine. 

6. Easy to use

Putting a tattoo needle onto a tattoo machine may be difficult for a beginner, this is why it is recommended that they always choose a set of needles that is easy to install into the machine.

The cartridge needles are usually very easy to attach to the machine, so a beginner can start with them. Installing a long needle in a traditional machine is not too hard either, but it may require some learning. 

7. Sanitization

Beginners may be confused about how to properly sterilize and sanitize their tattoo equipment. It is always important to use sterilized tattoo needles and to never use a tattoo needle twice. 

Each tattoo needle is usually sterilized and put into individual packaging to make sure that it is not contaminated. If a needle is not in a sterilized packet, or if the packet is broken, you should immediately discard the package.

Along with the needles, the tattoo machine needs to be sanitized and a medical tape needs to be applied to it every time you are using it. You should also use a new pair of gloves every time and sanitize your workspace before starting to tattoo.

Top 5 Best Tattoo Needles for Beginners

1. Wormhole Tattoo Cartridge Needles 50pcs Assorted Liner Needles

Best For: Linework

Every Beginner needs to practice linework, and therefore they are in constant need of liner needles. This set of 50 assorted liner needles make it easier for them to work with different sizes and to gain experience with them.

These needles are standard 12 gauge in the sizes  3RL 5RL 7RL 9RL 11RL. These needles are in a cartridge style, hence they are easy to use and can be used with most modern pen-style machines, making it ideal for beginners. The different sized liners can be used for lining any type of tattoo as well as for detail work. 

Key Features and Specifications of Wormhole Tattoo Cartridge Needles 50pcs Assorted Liner Needles:

  • The rubber band loaded cartridges prevent ink from flowing back inside the machine, and prevents ink splashing.
  • These needle heads are designed to catch more ink at once, so you will not have to dip back into your ink again and again.
  • Wormhole Tattoo Cartridge Needles are made from high-quality PVC plastic and medical grade stainless steel.
  • These semi-transparent cartridges allow better visibility so you can work more precisely.

Pros and Cons of Wormhole Tattoo Cartridge Needles 50pcs Assorted Liner Needle:

Pros:

  • You get 5 different sizes of needles to work with.
  • These needles have a 7mm taper, which is ideal for liner needles. 
  • The cartridges are sturdy and so the needles do not move unevenly.
  • These cartridges hold a lot of ink.
  • They are individually sanitized and packaged to avoid any contamination.

Cons:

  • You get only 10 needles of each kind, so you may run out quickly. 
  • They do not have a separate grip.

Why are these tattoo needles best for beginners?

Liner needles are not only essential in every tattoo artist’s work, but they are also multipurpose. These different sized needles are perfect for all types of linework.

The smaller needles such as 03RL and 05RL can be used for very thin lines and even for detail work, while the bigger needles such as 9RL and 11RL can be used for lining most other tattoos, whether it is a neo-traditional tattoo or a tribal one. 

2. EZTAT2 50pcs Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles Regular Round Shader 

Best For: Tattoo filling, shading in small areas

EZTAT2 50pcs Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles is an assortment of round shader needles that you can use for multiple purposes. This set has 3RS 5RS 7RS 9RS 11RS needles which is ideal for beginners as it has a huge variety of needles.

Round shaders can be used for shading in small spaces and also for filling in thick lines. These needles are a standard 12 gauge so they are best for color filling and blackwork. EZTAT2 Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles are compatible with most rotary and coiled machines. 

Key Features and Specifications of EZTAT2 Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles:

  • These tattoo cartridge needles are equipped with a membrane that prevents ink from flowing back.
  • They have low profile housing and shaped on the inside to hold more ink.
  • The smooth edges protect the skin from excess trauma.
  • Cartridges are made from medical grade plastic and stainless steel.

Pros and Cons EZTAT2 Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles:

Pros:

  • Round shaders are multipurpose, they can be used for both shading as well as lining a tattoo.
  • These needles reduce skin trauma.
  • The semi-transparent tips allow you to see through the cartridge for better precision.
  • The cartridge-style needles make them beginner-friendly.

Cons: 

  • You only get 10 needles of each kind of needle, so you may run out easily.

Why are these tattoo needles best for beginners?

Small round shaders can be used for filling in thick lines, while larger round shaders can be used for shading in tattoos. Round shaders are also excellent for color packing and filling in your tattoos.

This pack of different sized round shaders is perfect for all these purposes. Round shaders are one of the most versatile tattoo needles that are great for details as well as for large areas, so it is a must-have. 

3. INKin 80Pcs Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles 

Best For: Shading, color packing in bigger areas. 

INKin Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles contains a mix of 5 types of magnum needles which are great for tattoo shading. Magnum needles can be used for all types of shading, so they are very commonly used in a lot of tattoos.

A beginner must have experience working with magnum needles so that they can properly shade inside a tattoo. INKin Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles can fit most modern tattoo machines and they have a very comfortable grip,  making it ideal for beginners.The stainless steel needles do not harm your skin and give you a smooth tattooing experience.

Key Features and Specifications of INKin 80Pcs Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles:

  • Each cartridge has an orange silicone grip that allows you to work for long hours with comfort.
  • A membrane system is present in each cartridge which prevents ink from flowing back into the machine.
  • These cartridges are shaped on the inside which carries more ink at once so you do not have to dip back in again and again.
  • INKin Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles are made from medical grade steel and plastic.

Pros and Cons of INKin 80Pcs Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles:

Pros:

  • These cartridges provide better ink flow.
  • A high-quality silicone plug holds the needle inside which helps keep it elastic and keeps the tension even.
  • You get 16 of each type of needle, so you will not run out easily.
  • The non-slip grip allows you to be more precise, which is necessary for beginner artists.

Cons:

  • The semi-transparent grips are not good for visibility.

Why are these tattoo needles best for beginners?

Curved Magnum needles are a relatively new invention in the tattoo industry. These magnum needles are curved at the top to provide a more consistent and even distribution of ink. Curved magnum needles of different sizes are great for shading in different sized tattoos. These needles are great for color packing and grey shading as well.

4. Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles

Best For: Color blending, color packing

Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles contains 50 pieces of bug pin magnum needles, making it ideal for beginners as the huge variety provides beginners with ample experience. These are great for more saturated color packing and blending.

Bugpin needles are packed closely together so you will not see any needle streaks or harsh lines. This is why they are great for blending two colors together. These are also commonly used in realism and portrait tattoos. These high-quality cartridges help you make high-quality tattoos. 

Key Features and Specifications of Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles:

  • You will receive 5 different types of bug pin magnum needles, 1007RM, 1009RM, 1011RM, 1013RM, 1017RM
  • They all have a membrane inside the cartridge to prevent ink from spitting back.
  • Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles are compatible with most rotary and coil machines that use cartridges.
  • The indentation at the tip allows them to have better ink flow. 

Pros and Cons of Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles:

Pros:

  • The transparent tips of the cartridges help you see the needles through it for better precision.
  • High-quality silicone inside the cartridge holds the needle steady to improve the strokes, reducing the need for needle adjustment.
  • These needles allow better ink flow so that your work is saturated.
  • These cartridge tips hold a good amount of ink so you will not have to dip back into the ink repeatedly.
  • Cartridge needles are ideal for beginners as they are easy to use. 

Cons:

  • These cartridges do not have a strong grip.

Why are these tattoo needles best for beginners?

Bugpin Needles are thinner than regular needles. The needles are stacked closely on each other, so these needles do not leave any needle streaks making it ideal for coloring seamlessly.

Bugpin Magnum needles are also great for color packing and color blending. Every beginner needs to practice color packing and blending so these are essential for every beginner. 

5. BIGTEDDY 200pcs Assorted Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles Kit 

Best For: Value for Money

BIGTEDDY 200pcs Assorted Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles Kit contains all the needles necessary for a beginner. It contains 8 different sizes of liner needles, 7 sizes of round shaders, and 5 sizes of magnum needles.

These different sizes and types of needles allow a beginner to understand how to use each of them and to understand the function of each of these. Each needle is sterilized using E.O gas and packaged individually for the utmost safety of the customer.

Key Features and Specifications of BIGTEDDY 200pcs Assorted Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles Kit:

  • Each needle is made from 316 surgical stainless steel for the highest quality.
  • You get 20 different sizes of needles, so you get a huge variety to work with.
  • These needles are made to be used with traditional tattoo machines.
  • BIGTEDDY Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles can be used on fake skin for practice, which is perfect for beginners.

Pros and Cons of BIGTEDDY 200pcs Assorted Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles:

Pros:

  • These needles are checked for sharpness, so the tattoos will always be precise.
  • They are sterilized and packaged individually to prevent cross-contamination.
  • They are beginner-friendly.
  • One can also make stick and poke tattoos with these needles, which many beginners prefer. 

Cons:

  • These needles can only be used with traditional tattoo machines so they are limited in their use.
  • You get 10 of each type of needle so you may run out easily.
  • A beginner might find it hard to install these needles. 

Why are these tattoo needles best for beginners?

This package contains all the different types of needles that a beginner needs. It contains liner needles of different sizes, round shaders of different sizes, and also magnum needles of multiple sizes.

All of them are crucial for a beginner, so this can be called a complete beginner’s kit. It is also offered at a reasonable price, so it is a value for money box of needles that every beginner must-have.

Comparison of Top 5 Best Tattoo Needles for Beginners

Needle TypeNeedle SizesNumber of each Needle sizeUsed For
Wormhole Tattoo Cartridge Needles 50pcs Assorted Liner NeedlesLiner Needles3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL, 11RL.10Lines and details.
EZTAT2 50pcs Assorted Tattoo Cartridge Needles 0.35mm Regular Round ShaderRound Shader Needles3RS, 5RS, 7RS, 9RS, 11RS10Shading and filling in small areas.
INKin 80Pcs Mixed Soft Silicone Tattoo Cartridge Needles Standard Curved Magnum Needle5RM, 7RM, 9RM, 13RM, 15RM16Shading and color packing.
Dragonhawk #10 Bugpin Mixed Cartridges Disposable Needles 50Pcs Round Magnum Bugpin Curved Magnum Needle1007RM, 1009RM, 1011RM, 1013RM, 1017RM10Color Blending and Color packing.
BIGTEDDY 200pcs Assorted Disposable Sterile Tattoo Needles Kit Liner, Round Shader, and Magnum NeedlesRound Liners: 1RL, 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL, 11RL, 13RL, 15RL Round Shaders: 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, 9RS, 11RS, 13RS, 15RS  Magnum: 5M1, 7M1, 9M1, 11M1,13M110All Types of Tattoos.

Ready to Make Epic Tattoos?

As a beginner, understanding tattoo needles is quite hard. The different sizes and the types may seem intimidating, however, it is not so hard after you learn about them in detail. The different sizes of needles are quite important to your tattoo and plays a huge role in how your tattoo will look at the end. Therefore, it is always important to choose your needles carefully. We have discussed everything you need to know about tattoo needles and how to use them, so now it is time for you to choose your favorite needles and get started. With the help of these needles, you will be making some awesome tattoos. 

FAQs:

Q. How do I choose the right size for needles?

Ans. Every needle packaging contains a number that indicates the size and type of needle. Always look for the number before opening up a new needle.

Q. What do I need to check for before buying a tattoo needle?

Ans. The type of needle and the size of needles are the most important things one needs to check before buying a tattoo needle. 

Q. Do I need to buy from a specific brand?

Ans. No. Most tattoo needle brands go through quality checks, so you can use any brand of a tattoo needle.

Q. What is a Bugpin Needle?

Ans. The diameter of the tattoo needles is generally 12 gauge. However, some tattoo needles use thinner needles of 10 gauge or 8 gauge. These thin needles are called Bugpin Needles. Bugpin needles come in all variants, i.e. Round Liners, Shaders, etc. 

Q. What if my Needle is broken?

Ans. If you find that your tattoo needle or cartridge is broken, dispose of it immediately as it is not safe to use that needle. 

Q. What if my Needle is not packaged properly?

Ans. If you find your tattoo needle is not packaged properly or the package is broken, you must dispose of it immediately, as it is no longer sterilized, and hence not safe for use. 

Q. Which needle will fit my Machine?

Ans. If you are using a traditional machine, a long needle will fit your machine, if you are using a modern machine or a pen-style machine then cartridge needles will fit them. 

Q. Do some needles work better than others?

Ans. Some tattoo needles are of better quality than others, so some of them work better than others. You can always check some reviews before you purchase your needles.

Q. Do I need to buy expensive needles for good quality?

Ans. No. When it comes to tattoo needles, you do not always need to buy the more expensive option to get better quality. A lot of cheap brands produce high-quality needles. 

Q. Can I reuse tattoo Needles?

Ans. No. Never reuse your tattoo needles after they have been used once. After you have finished working with your needle, dispose of it immediately.

Q. How to dispose of the needle after use?

Ans. Tattoo needles need to be put into a medical waste container and sealed tightly before being disposed of in a medical waste container. 

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