Which Is Better Coil or Rotary Tattoo Machine?

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What is the best tattoo machine because there are two different types of tattoo machines, rotary, and coil? Both are being used by professionals. Which is better for a single needle or multiple needle machine? Rotary or coil?

Coil machines offer a faster tattoo experience with consistent lines, but may not be as pretty as some rotary designs. Rotary machines tend to offer more customization options and can provide uneven patterns that might look more natural in some designs. Both have their pros and cons so it depends on what you are looking for in a tattoo machine and how you would like your design to turn out.

This article will try to explain, the differences between rotary and coil tattoo machines in all the aspects of tattooing such as rotary tattoo machine advantages and disadvantages, body parts, s and several designs of the rotary tattoo machines.

Rotary Tattoo Machine
Photo: Rotary Tattoo Machine

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Which Is Better Coil or Rotary Tattoo Machine? – The Differences Between Coil and Rotary Tattoo Machine

Rotary Tattoo Machine Advantages

  • The Design options with Rotary machines are unlimited. You can experiment with all kinds of designs from black dots to realistic butterfly patterns, you can experiment as much as you want. With a single needle or multiple needle Rotary machine, there are people who would go for bold patterns or watercolor patterns.
  • Rotary tattoo machines are very powerful and they fascinate the eye of the beholder.
  • The rotary machine can be easily purchased from any reputable tattoo supply company and you can also buy it from eBay or any other e-commerce website; This is not true for coil tattoo machines because you need to know what you are buying and in addition to that, you need to make sure that the seller is legit in other words, he has high reviews online of being trustworthy.
  • The rotary tattoo machine is definitely better than coil machine if you are looking for speed because they are very quick and in addition, they do not require much of a force when inking so, the chances of pain on your hand or arm is very low; But when using coil tattoo machines, there are higher chances of experiencing pain when using it.

Rotary Tattoo Machine Disadvantages

  • When you tattoo with the rotary design, it requires more time to master because it comes with different kinds of colors and designs; It is easy to learn but difficult to master.
  • This is one big disadvantage of the rotary machine is that it is extremely loud and this can cause irritation in some people.
  • Rotary tattoo machines are more expensive than coil tattoo machines.
  • The rotary tattoo machine could damage the needle more quickly than a coil machine so, it is always advised to get a good quality tattoo needle for your rotary machine.
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Coil Tattoo Machine Advantages

  • Coil tattoo machines are used by many artists because they offer a wide range of features that other machines cannot.
  • It has a dual-use in saving space since both the tattoo gun and ink cartridges can be stored in the same device
  • The coil tattoo machine is one of the most popular types because it is versatile, easy to use,  and plug-and-play.
  • It allows the artist to choose between different settings for the needle bar speed, and it has a simple control to adjust the needle bar pressure.
  • The coil tattoo machine is widely used around the globe because it is durable, reliable, and easy to use.
  • A coil tattoo machine is one of the most useful machines in a tattoo shop because it requires little maintenance and its components are easy to find in an art store or online supplier.
  • Coil tattoo machines are highly recommended by artists who want a simple device that will be their companion in getting the best results ever from their work as an artist.

Coil Tattoo Machine Disadvantages

  • The machine itself is bulky and takes up a lot of room. Some machines also have problems with temperature consistency and power levels. There are many disadvantages associated with using coil tattoo machines to create tattoos.
  • A coil machine also does not work well for tattooing on one’s back, which is one of the most popular places to get a tattoo.
  • Some artists prefer coil machines because they offer them more flexibility in their work, but because of this, they cause more complaints and problems than machines with a single stroke.
  • The biggest disadvantage of coil tattoo machines is that they take time to use. This can make it difficult to move quickly if another customer comes into the shop or if an artist is working with several people at once. These machines take up much space and are challenging when working in tight quarters.
  • Some coil tattoo machines are not able to deal with rapid fluctuations in temperature and will shut down when the temperature changes, which can leave an artist without the machine for several minutes and has been known to cause major setbacks for artists that are trying to make a living.
Which Is Better Coil or Rotary Tattoo Machine
Photo: Which Is Better Coil or Rotary Tattoo Machine

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The most common tattoo machines are rotary and coil. The availability, accessibility, and affordability of both types have led to their widespread use for tattooing. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about tattoo machines:

What is the difference between a coil machine and a rotary machine?

Coil machines work on the basis of electricity that moves through copper wire coils. One end of these coils plugs into an outlet, while the other end connects via cord to the power supply below the table on which you are sitting or standing at your artist’s workstation.

A rotary machine, on the other hand, is self-contained. It has a built-in generator and uses no external power source.

Why are coil machines so popular? 

Coil machines have become so popular because they are lightweight and easy to use. They also have an array of interchangeable parts to accommodate different client needs and preferences. This relative ease of use allows tattoo artists to work quickly while improving the quality of their work.

Rotary tattoo machines, on the other hand, take more time to assemble and operate than coil tattoo machines; they are also slightly heavier in weight. These qualities make rotary tattoo machines harder for newbies to learn how to use properly.

Are coil tattoos easier than rotary tattoos? 

In terms of ease of use, there is no significant size difference between the two types of machines. It is their execution that makes coil tattoos easier than rotary tattoos. Coil machines are more forgiving than rotary machines because they have finer lines, which can make the difference between an okay tattoo and a great one.

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Conversely, a highly experienced tattoo artist can get even better results from a rotary machine, which is why it remains to be a preferred choice among top-tier professionals.

Are coil tattoos of better quality than rotary tattoos?

This depends on the skill level of the tattoo artist. Also, a skilled tattoo artist can get better results from a rotary machine than from a coil machine which is why it remains to be a preferred choice among top-tier professionals.

Which is better for beginners?

Regardless of which type of tattoo machines you opt for, there are no significant differences between them for the average tattoo artist since this type of work does not require many skills. As long as you learn to use it properly, there is no difference between any two types of machines. Just be careful with your choice because both types are equally easy to use and carry similar risks; they simply come with different advantages and disadvantages.

Which is better for professionals?

Just like any other work, you can use either a rotary or coil tattoo machine. Like most popular tattoo machines, rotary machines have a unique set of interchangeable parts and they’ll always be the beginners’ choice. Coil machines are also easy to use and best suited for professional-level tattoo artists since they take longer to assemble.

Can I use rotary tattoos if I am an experienced tattoo artist?

Rotary tattoos may not suit experienced artists but it does not mean that you cannot make use of them. In fact, you can easily make rotary tattoos workable for professionals by adjusting your technique and paying attention to the possible consequences.


This article will go through the difference between the two and what each is good for. It will also take a look at what tools to use and how much you should expect to pay for either type of tattoo machine. While we could sit here all day guessing which one is better, it’s best to know for sure before committing to anything of the sort.

We hope this article helped answer some questions you might have about coil vs rotary! Be sure to check back with our blog for more informative posts on tattooing!