How Many Types of Tattoo Machines Are There?

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There are many different types of tattoo machines that have been designed throughout the years. Each type has specific applications, meaning they are not all appropriate for every artist and their style of tattooing. Below is a list of the most common types of tattoo machines, along with some examples and functions.

Coil machines are the most common type of tattoo machines in use today. They have been around since the 1970s and have changed very little since then. They are also the most versatile and can be used on every style of tattoo, from black and grey to color pieces.

Almost all of the tattoo artists I have ever met use a coil machine. The coil machine is great for all people, both experienced and new tattoo artists. As the name suggests, it uses a coil to make the tattoo machine move. There are two types of coils commonly found in a coil machine:

Stick type — The most common and the one that is used in all shop tattoo machines. It is made up of a metal tube with a ball-bearing inside. When the ball bearing moves, the coil moves. It is this movement that makes the tattoo machine move.

Rotary type — This type of coil is made up of an electromagnet. It is a coil wrapped around a magnet. The magnet is rotated and this makes the coil rotate, which in turn makes the tattoo machine move.

Rotary tattoo machines are very different from the stick variety. They are not all that common but can be found in some shops and artists’ homes. They are heavier and bulkier than a stick machine and need a power supply, as they use a battery, not like coil machines.

What Kind of Tattoo Machine Is the Best

If you are someone who is looking to get a tattoo and have no idea what machine will work best for you, this article is for you. You do not need to stress about this, because that is what we are here for. We are going to go over the different types of tattoo machines and tips on what you should be looking for.

1. Rotary Tattoo Machine

Rotary Tattoo Machine
Photo: Rotary Tattoo Machine


The first type of machine that we will talk about is the rotary tattoo machine. The rotary tattoo machine is one of the most common (if not, the most common) types of tattoo machines that you will find. Although this tattoo machine can be more expensive than the ones that have been mentioned in this article, it is worth the price. This tattoo machine is great for those who are just starting out. These tattoo machines are known for being easy to use and offer the best quality for their cost. Although this machine is great, it does have its downfall. The downfall to this type of machine is that it has a loud buzzing sound. This sound can be very distracting for you and the people around you.

2. Coil Tattoo Machine

Coil Tattoo Machine
Photo: Coil Tattoo Machine


The second type of tattoo machine that we will talk about is the coil tattoo machine. The coil tattoo machine is also a very common type of tattoo machine that you will find. This tattoo machine is also very easy to use. You can just turn it on and start tattooing. This tattoo machine comes at different speeds like 1:1 and 1:2, which is much better than the two speeds that are available on the rotary tattoo machine.

3. Semi-Rotary Tattoo Machine

The third type of tattoo machine that we will talk about is the semi-rotary tattoo machine. This tattoo machine is considered to be an upgrade to both the rotary and coil tattoo machines. This tattoo machine has a continuous cycle, which is very easy to use. You can choose between many different speeds with this tattoo machine and also between many different colors.

More precisely, a semi-rotary tattoo machine is capable of providing power in one direction. It is an excellent choice for both surface and lining applications. This can help with the artistic element that makes such a job well worth hiring the person to do it. They have become more common in recent years because of their efficiency and reliability. These great machines are able to work through various types of obstacles without any hassles or issues.

This type is a great alternative to rotary machines. They can also help with the quick recovery time that is so impressive. It is a good option for others who are looking for more consistency during their tattoo session. There are certain considerations that should be contemplated with this machine, as well. This will help you to know what you need to look out for when you decide to make the purchase or rent the machine out.

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There are several reputable brands on the market that can offer a great semi-rotary tattoo machine. You can choose the one that is closest to your preferred style. One important aspect to keep in mind is customizability, which means that you have the chance of making a choice that fits your needs and design. For example, this will help you to make the semi-rotary tattoo machine more precise with the type of layout you desire.

The most common application for a semi-rotary tattoo machine is for surface artists. This is because it allows for a more precise portrait or design in general.

This is made possible by the fact that there are a number of options available. This can include single or double needles, six-needle configurations, and no needle at all. Other options to consider will include the number of rotations for each needle. You can also work on the speed in terms of the rate at which it rotates. Additionally, you can make this happen faster with the use of a variable speed motor.

The power for this is variable, as well.

This comes in handy when figuring out the way the machine will perform. While single-needle machines are easy to master, it is also important to know how two and three needles work in a single design. This can help you to figure out how best to get this accomplished on your next setup. It is also necessary to know what types of needles are available and how that will ultimately impact your working conditions. There are certain types that are wider, while others are more used for precision.

The machines themselves can be quite expensive. This is why it is paramount to consider the pros and cons of each item when making a choice. You do not want to be investing in a machine that will become redundant over time. There are many different options available, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs and goals for the next time you decide to get tattooed.

4. Hand-Held Tattoo Machine

A hand-held tattoo machine is a common type of tattoo gun for use by professional and amateur tattoo artists. This handheld machine is also known as a stick because the ink tube sticks out from the top of it. The primary benefit of a hand-held tattoo machine is that it can be easier to hold onto for an artist with small hands. Despite its minimal size, it can produce just as many tattoos as a large pedal-powered machine. The smaller size of a handheld machine also makes it portable, so it can be taken with an artist to another location. This type of tattoo gun is typically more expensive than a larger pedal-powered machine.

A hand-held tattoo machine is usually powered by a single AA battery, however, some larger hand-held tattoo machines use two batteries. A handheld tattoo machine only requires one tube to operate, while pedal machines require two tubes. The design used in this common tool for the art of tattoos allows for many different styles and sizes.

Handheld tattoo machines have tubes that can be changed with ease. Typically, these tubes are disposable and are often sold separately from the machine. These tubes hold the ink used to transfer the tattoo onto the skin. This tubing allows for smooth ink flow, even with one battery powering it. Many tattoo artists do not choose to use disposable tubes, as it is more cost-effective to buy a reusable tube for their machine.

Also, there are different needle options available for tattoo machines. This is usually a feature of an advanced or professional hand-held tattoo machine. One option is the ability to swap in interchangeable needles. These needles can be used for a variety of different tattoo styles. Some other options for needles include being able to swap in a wide range of tattoo tips. There are many different styles and sizes of tubes, needles, and tips available for hand-held tattoo machines. These options allow for greater versatility with the machine.

Using a hand-held machine is done by holding the body of the gun in one hand and pushing down on the top of the gun with your other hand to puncture the skin. The artist then holds the tube near to the subject’s skin and slowly inserts the needle into the skin. The artist can change needles on a regular basis with no firmware issues.

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5. Oscillating Tattoo Machine

Everybody wants different things when it comes to their body art. One man who recently got a tattoo from an oscillating machine says the tattoo is healing much faster than expected.

Here’s a closer look at this unusual device and some other interesting facts about tattoos with the oscillating tattoo machine, which has been around for decades but just started to become popular in recent times. The oscillating tattoo machine, also known as OTM, or ‘oscillator’.

The oscillating tattoo machine uses an electric motor to vibrate needles at various speeds and patterns over the skin, thus creating permanent body art in the form of lines, swirls, dots, and so on. Typically, the device is controlled by a foot pedal.

While the idea might seem strange or unusual, some people actually prefer the tattooing experience with this machine. Most say that it feels more natural than traditional tattoo instruments and needles. The device is also said to be better at reproducing fine lines. The machine’s uniform speed of vibrations ensures even results, which is not possible with any other tattooing device.

6. DIY Tattoo Machine

DIY Tattoo Machine
Photo: DIY Tattoo Machine


Tattoo machines are expensive, and it’s not just because of the materials they typically require. It takes a lot of time and skill to make a tattoo machine, which is personalized for each individual artist. This makes it difficult to find someone with the right experience that can then teach you how to use one. Enter the DIY tattoo machine! There is no need for expensive materials or hand-made machinery; this device requires only a piece of paper and some dollar store items (or some other inexpensive grab). The tattoo machine will, of course, look a little different than the traditional machine that you believe you’ve tried to make. You’ll want to make sure it is water-resistant due to the fact that some ink may spill if the machine isn’t sealed properly. One method is to use duct tape over the writing surface and take it outside once more ink has been added. Another idea would be using freezer bags and drawing directly on them. It will work, but if you’re planning to do a lot in one sitting, it may not be the best choice.

Step 1: Making a design (or multiple designs)

The first step is to grab a piece of paper that can fit into the space you have available. Ideally, you would want something thick and sturdy so it doesn’t tear easily, but the paper is an easy choice. Next, grab some ink pens/markers and pens and/or pencils (if using). Make sure you have a thick black pen, a thin black pen (for the outlines), a brown pen (to fill in the larger parts of your design), and any other colors you want to use.

Step 2: Begin drawing

Begin by creating a basic circle with the larger end being flat. From there, you can create designs and embellishments as you wish. If using traditional equipment, it’s best to wait until this phase to start drawing so that your design is fully developed before beginning. Be sure to leave yourself space for the more intricate parts of the design as well.

Step 3: Make a base for your tattoo machine

For this, you will need – drumroll, a dollar store spool of thread. You can buy these for about $1 and they will be used in the same way that your old spool was. You might have been sold on something else in the past, but this will work just as well, if not better.

Using a small piece of tape (optional), you can wrap around the spool to create something that will act as a base when you place the spool on the top of it.

Step 4: Assemble your tattoo machine

You’re going to want to measure around one inch from the bottom of the spool and run it up between the two lids. Use more tape if necessary to make sure everything stays tightly attached when placed on top of each other. Now you have a working tattoo machine!

Step 5: Ink up!

Tape the spool to your hand and roll it across the paper where you drew your design. You can also use a piece of paper to cover the space in between your fingers. Just be sure to keep adding ink as needed so that none is wasted. The darker, more solid part of your design will be created with the larger end of the spool. The smaller end should be used for details and thinner lines (and larger areas).

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Step 6: Watch your ink dry!

As you continue to bathe the paper in ink, you will need to keep an eye on it. If a little dribble of ink begins to pool at the top of your design, simply rotate the lid slightly and run more ink down on that area. This should prevent any pools from forming. You can also add more ink by rotating the lid if you’d like to make sure that all areas of your design are being covered evenly.

Step 7: Get the pictures out!

Once you think your design is complete, you can start taking pictures of it. Just be sure to keep going and keep using the device until you have a large enough area covered in ink (if it isn’t already). If your entire design is not covered, you may need to add another piece of paper or cover the area with freezer bags. The design should be complete now that you have a nice, dark, and solid area.

Step 8: Clean up your mess!

After you are done with your design, it is time to clean up. You should have a large puddle of ink on the paper that you need to collect. If you don’t, make sure you got the entire area covered before stopping! Run cold water over the paper in order to dissolve any of the ink. Once this is complete, you will have a nice clean picture of your design.

Step 9: Get ready for the next step

Once the ink has dried and your design is removed, it is time to draw the second layer! Make sure you create a mirror image (or something just as cool) and that your lines are clean and crisp. Try not to add any extra details though, as this will make it much more difficult for you to fully enjoy the tattoo when it’s finished. If you’re feeling a little nervous about starting again, try placing the piece of paper on a counter and drawing over it. You can either add ink or wash water to the spot where you are working, depending on what works best for you.

Step 10: Make a matching design (or multiple designs)!

You now have your two layers of art! It’s time to get your second tattoo. You can create another large black shape in the same manner as before or you can use one of your old tattoos as your base. Make sure that this time you cover more of the design’s surface area and make even more interesting shapes. If drawing over another tattoo, it is best to stay away from the areas where you’ve already inked before.

7. Home Laser Tattoo Machine

Also, there’s a new type of tattoo machine coming out called “Home Laser Tattoo Machine”. The “Home Laser Tattoo Machine” has no needles or inks right now; it uses laser light to form an image on the skin for tattoos. The Home Laser Tattoo Machine uses a light-emitter to safely and effectively produce the tattoo using the skin cells as the medium.

The laser light is projected through a lens, which then passes through photosensitive dye particles and solidifies into an image on the skin. The Home Laser Tattoo Machine has been developed for people who prefer to do their own tattoos.

Controversy still surrounds home tattoo machines due to the health risks arising from improper use of laser devices such as these. However, this will not stop people from buying these new machines because they are cheap in price and are more portable than any other device on the market.

Unfortunately, these machines are also still not regulated by the government and are therefore not as safe as ink tattoo machines.


This article is one of a series of articles that emphasize the importance of doing research. The purpose is to inform readers about different types of tattoo machines, how they work, and why you should know what this article has to say.

The conclusion to this blog post is that there are many different types of tattoo machines. There are also various brands and manufacturers of tattoo machines and all have their pros and cons, so it is important for a person to find the type of machine that works best for them.