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Are Rotary Tattoo Machines Better than Coil?

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Are Rotary Tattoo Machines Better than Coil

Tattoos are some of the best things that I have seen in life. While I am not quite the “tattoo person” myself, I still have my little girl’s tattoo on my arm. It’s an awesome feeling since it makes me feel closer to her always.

But do you know how tattoos are drawn? Well, tattoos are either lined or shaded on your skin. The shading is done by a special tool called the tattoo machine. We have two main types of tattoo machines namely:

Are Rotary Tattoo Machines Better than Coil?

While both machines will work just fine, there are a few differences to every one of them. To make you understand how unique every machine is, I’ll give you an acute comparison of the two. Let’s take a look at what I have for you.

  • Weight –  Rotary tattoo machines are usually light in weight compared to the coil tattoo machines. This means that using the coil machine will be exhaustive compared to the rotary machine. Even so, for learners, the coil will do a better job as it prevents quick and uncontrolled shading for a slow hand.
  • Noise – The noise levels of a rotary tattoo machine are inaudible. This is something that makes the rotary machine a darling of seasoned tattoo artists. However, the coil tattoo machine vibrates loudly and may sometimes buzz.
  • Combo – While one rotary machine can shade and line at the same time a coil machine cannot. Coil machines are designed to use springs. As such, they cannot transform their functions. Thus they can only line or shade (one job at a time), but not do both.
  • Price – Coil machines are less expensive when compared to the rotary tattoo machines. The reason can be construction. Most rotary machines have a modern-like construction as opposed to coil machines. Even so, coil tattoo machines tend to wear out really fast. The reason is attributed to their weighty design and high vibration rate.
  • Technology – The tattooing mechanism used by the two tattoo machines also differs. While the coil tattoo machine uses the hammer-like technology, the rotary machine has a smooth needle movement mechanism.

As such, the coil machine might be more painful compared to the rotary tattoo machine that stings less.

NOTE: Due to the modern technology that the rotary machines employ, they often require lesser adjustments and maintenance compared to the coil machines. So if you are a pro artist who wants to save time, the rotary machine will be the right choice.

Are Rotary Tattoo Machines Better Than Coil?

Now that you have a comprehensive comparison, I’d say that’s your decision to make. However, if left for me, I would go for rotary machines any day. This is because of one simple reason. Rotary machines combine both the lining and shading technology in one machine. This is unlike the coil machines.

However, if you are just starting out with your tattoo lessons, a coil machine will do a great job. They are affordable and cost less than the rotary machines. This means that if you are just starting you’ll be better off with the coil machine. Remember, you are better safe than sorry.

I recommend a better machine if you’ve fallen in love with tattooing. Such machines are also great if you have refined your personal artistic touch.

How does a Coil Tattoo Machine Work?

Rotary machines are easy to use. However, for the artists that want a coil machine, here is how the machine works.

When you have attached a clip cord to the machine, your coil tattoo machine will instantly power up. Upon doing that, it will deliver the current into the magnetic wire that’s placed around the rear coil.

Here it creates an electromagnetic environment that draws down the machine’s metal armature bar. This bar hovers above the main coils and subsequently forces the tattoo needles in and out of the tattoo machine’s tube.

This motion happens repeatedly. As it does, the needle pierces into the skin while at the same time, dropping in the ink to shade or line a tattoo. This is the primary process that eventually creates a complete pattern.

NOTE: You will need two coil machines; one for shading and the other for the lining. This is because one coil machine cannot support both uses. They don’t work like the rotary tattoo machine and as such requires a specific machine for every use.

I have seen many professional artists use coil machines. I have also seen others who use the rotary machine. So in my opinion, I guess the type of tattoo machine that you buy lies in your taste and preferences.

More importantly, it lies in how comfortable you are with the machine that you’ve chosen. So look for something that you can easily understand, work with, and learn. That’s what matters the most.