Best Rotary Tattoo Machine for Beginners Guide
Choosing the best tattoo rotary machine for beginners is the hardest thing I have experienced. You’ll have to grapple with several brands and designs before you get the right one for you. Even so, with a little help, the whole experience can be a great one too.
After working with tattoo machine for over 8 years, I have decided collaborating with my team to help the beginners to make the right choice from the onset.
My reviews are thorough. More importantly, I have also included some need-to-know tips along with the buying guide.
Look at what I have in store for you. Hopefully, by the time you reach the end, you’ll be able to choose the suitable one for your use.
What is a Rotary Tattoo Machine?
As rotary tattoo machine is an electric device for making tattoos on the skin. The device uses an electric motor mechanism/ technology. It comes with a needle that makes the marks on the skin. The motor triggers the needle to move in and out of your skin and hence makes the markings. Rotary tattoo machines are used to draw lines and to shade.
In A Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
How to Choose the Best Rotary Tattoo Machine
If you are choosing the best rotary tattoo machine kits for your use, here are some considerations to make.
- Ease of Use
First, choose a rotary tattoo machine kit that’s easy to use. The machine must be easy to learn, assemble, and also switch on and off. In addition to that, the user manual should also be easy to follow. This will give you an easy learning process.
The speed of the rotary tattoo machine is determined by the power of the motor. A powerful motor will give the machine better revolutions per minute (rpm). If the RPM is higher, the tattoo machine will also be quicker.
That’s why you need a brushless motor. A brushless motor will prevent overheating and give you great speeds. It is also more powerful than the regular brushed motors.
For every rotary tattoo machine that I have given you here, you’ll find a reliable construction. A good construction will ensure that the machine lasts longer. Experts recommend metallic alloys and that’s why space aluminum alloy is good.
The material is durable, resistant to corrosion, and light in weight. It is also easy to care for and will guarantee the value for your money.
While voltage plays a key role in the power of the machine, it is wise to consider a few things. First make sure that the machine is energy efficient. What this means is that the machine will use less energy but guarantee maximum power.
Personally, I prefer a rotary tattoo machine that uses between 5V-12V of power. This type of machine regulates the amount of power efficiently.
Next, your need also determines the type of machine that you will use. If you don’t need a machine that you’ll use frequently, you can go for one with specific cartridges and needles. Someone who wants to use the machine for business will get a complete set.
They might also look for a model that offers more than just a few cartridges and needles. This is opposed to someone who needs a rotary tattooing machine for a personal use.
- Quality and material
The quality of the material used to make the machine is also important. Materials of good quality will mean longer use or better durability. It is important to also look for quality tattoo machine accessories. This will also guarantee the value for your money.
The price is also a great determinant. You cannot buy what you cannot afford. To get the right machine for your tattooing needs, have a budget. The budget determines what you are willing to spend. Once you have a budget, you can shop around your budget. It’ll prevent you from overspending.
Tattooing is not a two minute affair. Some tattoos can last hours before they are done. The weight of the machine is, therefore, very important. Find a machine that’s light in weight. With such a machine, you’ll easily work for prolonged periods without feeling exhausted.
- Power cord
A shorter power cord will limit your movement. A longer power cord is ideal if you want maximum flexibility. Make sure that you have a power cord that’s long enough for your working space. It should also be long enough to guarantee free movement.
High Quality Machines vs. Cheap Ones | The Differences & Why It Matters
If you are choosing the best rotary tattoo machine kits, you must understand the difference in quality. From my experience, determine the quality of a great rotary tattoo machine is not easy at all.
While most people will look at the general construction, I don’t. Often, when you want the best rotary tattoo machine for lining, the price will be a great determinant.
The truth is this. The higher the price the chances are that the machine has much more to offer in terms of quality. Cheaper models will lack some key elements.
For instance, going by the reviews that I have given you, here is what you will notice. While cheaper models come with limited number of cartridges and needs, pricey options offer more than 15 cartridges.
Again, pricey models will offer longer warranties of over one year. However, the models that cost less, will offer lesser warranties.
The motor for the best tattoo rotary machine is the brushless motor. The use of such a motor calls for more investments as it eliminates overheating and provides more speed and power.
If this is done, the best rotary tattoo machine that you’ll end up with will cost more. This is true if you compare the price to a regular rotary machine for tattoos.
NOTE: The difference between high quality and cheap rotary tattoo machines is clear. But why does it matter? Well, buying the best affordable rotary tattoo machine means you have invested your money.
As such, you need a product that gives you the best return on investment (ROI). This means that you’ll have to choose a model that’ll last and give you the value for your money. This is usually a high-quality rotary tattoo machine as opposed to the cheaper models.
Top 7 Best Rotary Tattoo Machines for Beginners
Now let’s look at the reviews of the best rotary tattooing machines. We chose only the best models as they’ll help you to make up your mind faster.
Dragonhawk 1013-10 Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
The first rotary machine that we will look at is the Dragonhawk 1013-10 Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine.
This was my first rotary machine. The Dragonhawk 1013-10 Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine comes from one of the best brands. It is reliable and will serve most of your tattooing needs. It also has so many things that I love about it.
- Dragonhawk General Tattoo Kit Advantage: This tattoo pen machine work best with the 2A output Airfoil tattoo power supply, this kit research and build up by our brand pro team, it used in many studios for tattoo & smp. This tattoo power box gives you effortless adjustments with an easy-to-use one touch knob, lightweight and compact; great for traveling artists, easy to wrap, protect, and keep clean
- Customized Tattoo Pen: This tattoo machine features a powerful custom motor and an advanced gear system that guarantees reliable, quiet operation without any vibration. The Mast machine has a working voltage of 6V–9V, ergonomic, lightweight pen-style machine. Pebble modeling. Made of Space Aluminum frame and custom Mast motor. Length: 11.7CM. Weight: 120g
- WJX brand cartridges needles: Patent shell design. Increase ink storage, Absorb inks faster, Injection average. Special silicone rebound membrane. Made by medical grade LG PC. Lowest tin solder, innovate medical PC material connect needles. Popuar cartridges all over world tattoo artists.
- Compatible: The Dragonhawk tattoo machine is compatible with all cartridge needles type and tattoo power supply
- Include: tattoo pen machine, power supply, 20pcs Wjx cartridges, carry gift case, foot pedal, dc cord, tattoo machine box
First, this Mast tattoo machine comes with a powerful custom motor. It also has an advanced gear technology that makes it reliable. The mast tattoo machine also comes with a quiet operation. Personally, I like the fact that it doesn’t have any vibration at all.
Its working voltage is also good. It has a working voltage of between 6V–9V, which is energy efficient. More importantly, it is ergonomic, lightweight, and easy to use for extended period of time.
Upon close examination, I also noticed that this pen-style machine has the WJX brand cartridges. This is in addition to its shell design.
The combination of these two features helps the rotary tattoo machine to hold more ink. In addition to that, the tattoo pen machine will also absorb ink faster.
The patented silicone rebound membrane is also an awesome addition for any job that you need. This mast rotary tattoo pen is also compatible to all cartridges.
This rotary tattoo pen comes with 20 pieces of cartridges. However, I have seen other models of almost the same price that comes with more cartridges.
The chord is also shorter. It stands at 11.7 cm, which might hinder your movement. This may become tricky for a tattoo shop with distant tattoo table and power sockets.
This best rotary tattoo machine for beginners is easy to use. You will press the power button for 3-5 seconds and it lights up. This makes it ideal for learners too. The machine is made of aluminum frame and a custom mast motor. It is, therefore, durable.
Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine
The next rotary tattoo machine that I have worked with is the Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine.
This is also another great tattoo machine from Dragonhawk. It is slightly different from the first model, but it’s also very reliable.
- Dragonhawk Extreme rotary tattoo machine. Weight: 6.17 oz. Ergonomic design; feels virtually weightless
- Available with clip cord connection
- 7.5 – 8.5 volts for color packing and shading; 8 – 9 volts for lining
- The Extreme is a versatile rotary machine designed for a wide variety of work, such as color-packing, light black and gray shading, and heavy black filling
Unlike the previous model, the Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine is very affordable. You will find it for less than 50 USD in most online shops.
In addition to that, the rotary tattoo machine is also very durable. The machine is made of Carbon Steel alloy.
More importantly, the Dragonhawk Extreme rotary tattoo machine is highly portably. It weighs only 6.17 oz. and can be used for longer periods.
Its ergonomic design is also awesome. It makes the machine virtually weightless and friendly to use.
One thing that I love more about this machine is this. The machine is designed for a variety of work including: color-packing, heavy black filling, and light black and gray shading.
It is, therefore, ideal as a starter pack for anyone who’s working on a budget. Again, it is also compatible with the traditional tattooing cartridges and needles.
The Dragonhawk Extreme rotary tattoo machine has a clip cord connection. However, anyone who wants to use the cord must buy it independently.
The machine also comes with less than 5 cartridges. This is tricky for someone who has a high traffic of clients.
I found a technician to examine this rotary tattooing machine closely and this is what we found. The machine has a steel spring, which makes it stable and resilient. It also has an oily slider, which is highly efficient. The slider minimizes friction and lowers the sound.
Stigma MK648 Tattoo Kit Pro Tattoo Machine Kit
My next rotary tattoo machine is the Stigma MK648 Tattoo Kit Pro Tattoo Machine Kit. It is a rather new entrant into the market. However, the machine has so many positive reviews. That’s why I thought it is wise to try it out.
My trial with this rotary machine revealed its best side. But it also has a few deal breakers. Thankfully, they are light and don’t interfere with the quality.
- Single newest rotary tattoo machine for shading and lining,powerful strong 10w motor,easy to control the big size needle.
- There are 20pcs needles, the size are 3RL,5RL,3RS,5RS,each size with 5pcs. One thing: the machine can be cantact to power supply with DC cord or clip cord, so we just put it random, you will receive anyone of these two.
- 5 high quality popular colour inks,new dispoasble silicon grips and more accessories for practicing.
- CE certification, one year warranty;Please keep the machine working under 12V to protect the rotary system,motor and power supply.
- Ink are only used to practice，Tattoo on human skin is better to buy professional ink.
Stigma MK648 Tattoo Kit machine is for shading and lining. It is powerful and uses a 10w motor. The machine is easy to control and comes with the big size needle.
For an easy experience, the machine comes with 20pcs of needles to work with. The needle sizes include the 3RL, 5RL, 3RS, and 5RS. Every needle size comes with 5pcs.
More importantly, this machine also has a DC cord/clip cord which makes it quite flexible. Unlike the other traditional models, this tattoo machine uses the new disposable silicon grips.
My trial shows that this machine makes smooth and delicate lines. The machine is full of color filling and leaves no damage to the skin.
When using the machine, ensure that it’s working under 12V. This will help in protecting the rotary system and the motor. So with proper care, the machine should serve you well.
Again, the tattooing ink that this package comes with is for practicing. If you need to tattoo on a human skin, you’ll buy a professional ink.
Stigma MK648 Tattoo Kit is an awesome machine for practicing. It comes with many accessories that’ll help you to improve your touch. The kit also enjoys a CE certification and a one year warranty when you buy. You don’t have to worry about any manufacture defects at all.
Redscorpion Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun
Redscorpion is one of the best tattooing machine brands. It has become a household name and most professionals love it.
The Redscorpion Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun is one of the simplest tattooing machines to use. It is also very affordable. The machine comes in a blue color, which makes it appealing.
I have never owned this type of tattooing machine, but I have used it severally. Thanks to my brother’s love for this tattooing machine gun model.
One thing that I love about this tattooing machine is the aluminum alloy frame. This frame makes the machine corrosion-resistant. It also gives it a better touch of longevity.
Another thing that makes this machine to rock is the tattoo grip. This technology prevents any slippage when you are using the machine.
The grip technology also maximizes the carved precision machining technology. In doing so, it ensures consistency and accuracy in your work.
The rotary tattoo machine is also compatible to all styled Hawk needle concepts and cartridges. It is, therefore, easy to use and will give you a wide range of styles.
For a machine that’s highly appealing, this machine comes with limited hues to choose from. It also has only two cartridges. Limited cartridges can slow your work especially if you have many clients.
The flexibility is also limited because of a shorter clip cord. Thankfully, you have a three-month warranty to work with.
For a rotary tattooing machine that’s affordable, buy the Redscorpion Rotary Tattoo Machine Gun. The tattoo machine is also good for a learner who is looking for a uniform speed. More importantly, it creates smooth lines and reduces any damage to the skin.
Hawink CNC-Q1 Rotary Tattoo Machine
If you want quality, styles, and reliability, Hawink CNC-Q1 Rotary Tattoo Machine should be your choice.
I love this tattooing machine. My first time to use it was during this review and it blew me away. This machine costs a little bit more. But for someone who wants to invest in a quality tattoo pen, this is a great choice.
- Hawink tattoo pen machine is carved by aircraft aluminium alloy enclosure. 35mm aluminium alloy sleeve.Rotary pen tattoo machine with German FAULHABER Motor,strong power, super stable,Pretty quiet - low noise, it is quite easy to master.
- Hawink hybird tattoo pen is designed to give you the closest feeling to the actual pen. This machine features a powerful motor and exquisite appearance,Light weight, super stable, It is the first choice for tattoo artists.
- Weight: 128g( 0.28lbs). Stroke: 3.3mm. RCA Cord connection.Start voltage: 4 V ,Stitch Frequency:25 -160 Hz,Continious operation.Smooth, soft, and quiet operation,Ideal healing results.
- Operating Voltage:5-10V,The max operating voltage is 10V. Don't run it higher than that or you'll overheat the motor and cause mechanical wear.
- Package include one rotary tattoo machine and HAWINK RCA cord.
Hawink CNC-Q1 is carved in an aluminum alloy enclosure. It has 35mm aluminum alloy sleeve, which guarantees longevity and the best anti-corrosive touch.
The pen boasts of the German FAULHABER motor. It is, therefore, reliable, powerful, and super stable too.
More importantly, I found out that this tattooing pen was quiet. It has a low noise level and it is easy to master.
The tattooing pen has an exquisite appearance and will suit anyone who loves style. It is light in weight, super stable, and a first choice for many tattoo artists.
At 128g (0.28lbs), this pen gives a 4.0mm stroke. It has an RCA cord connection point and a soft, smooth, and quiet operation that’s ideal for quicker healing results.
The Hawink CNC-Q1 Rotary Tattoo Machine has a maximum operating voltage of 10V. You shouldn’t run above its operating voltage. If you do, the motor will overheat and eventually lead to mechanical damage.
The pen may also catch some dirt. Nonetheless, it is very easy to clean. Just follow the user manual to clean it. The user manual will also come in handy for the best care tips.
The Hawink hybird tattooing pen is designed to leave its user with the closest feeling to a real pen. It’ll, therefore, give you better control and stability. Fortunately, the pen also features a powerful motor that prevents you from straining.
YILONG Professional Rotary Tattoo Machine
YILONG Professional Rotary Tattoo Machine is your value pack. If you have a tight budget with a mind to get the best, this is the best tattooing machine.
It is easy to use and comes with a complete package for you. The accessories are unlimited and you can use it for a quick learning session.
YILONG Professional Rotary Tattoo Machine is good for both shading and lining. It is made of an aluminum alloy, which gives it the best durability.
More importantly, this tattooing machine also uses the carved precision machining technology. Upon using it, I also noticed that it has consistent accuracy and high-end stability.
And that’s not all. The tattoo machine also has an operating voltage of 7-10 V for DC. It has a uniform working speed and smooth line technology that makes it ideal for general use.
In addition to that, this machine also has a low noise level with controlled vibration. It gives smooth 3.5mm stroke lengths, which is flawless for black and grey shading and a clean result.
The machine is energy efficient and powerful. It works continuously for 4-5 hours and doesn’t overheat at all.
This machine is the best for a starter pack. It includes tattoo grips set, 50 pieces of tattoo needles, and a foot pedal.
The tattoo machine has three strokes to choose from. A learner might find this a little confusing. In addition to that, the machine can also catch dirt and look dull. However, you can always follow the user manual and clean it up.
The best rotary machines are motor/cam driven. Therefore, depending on the type of motor used, you can get good results or poor results. YILONG Professional Rotary Tattoo Machine uses the best motor, which also prevents overheating on extended use.
Solong EM128-1 Tattoo Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
Finally, I tried the Solong EM128-1 Tattoo Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine. This is a machine that’s equally affordable for many guys. It is a great starter pack model too.
The rotary tattoo machine will give you the best black and grey shedding. It is good for practice and will help you to improve your tattoo markings.
- This rotary tattoo pen machine made of space aluminium alloy frame, 10W motor,low noise,more powerful and stable,no hot for long time working.
- This Hybrid Tattoo Pen is designed to give you the closest feel to an actual pen that you can get with a tattoo machine.You can use this pen to do tattooing,permanent eyebrows makeup,lip line,eye line...All in one pen.
- Operating Voltage: 7–12V DC.This Hybrid Tattoo Pen can be compatible with Cheyenne Hawk power supply and all other brands tattoo power supplies,you will get an plug adapter to work with all those power supplies.
- Connection: DC 5.5mm connection line,free plug adapter to fit all brands power supplies.
- Package including: 1 Hybrid Tattoo Pen,1 Connection Line,1 Jack plug adaptor,1 needle cartridge
Like many other best rotary tattoo machines for beginners that we have seen, this one is also made of the space aluminum alloy frame.
The rotary tattoo machine comes with a 10W motor. The motor is reliable, powerful, and prevents any form of overheating.
I personally used the rotary tattooing machine for over 4 hours, and it didn’t overheat. In addition to that, the machine also has low noise levels and zero vibrations.
It is powerful and stable. You can control it easily too. More importantly, this hybrid tattoo pen is also designed to give out the touch of a real pen.
Its ergonomics are great and will fit well in the palm of your hands. The pen’s voltage lies between 7–12V for DC.
Thankfully, the machine fits well with the other tattooing brands and accessories. Upon buying, you’ll get a plug adapter too.
Even so, the rotary tattoo machine has a few turn-offs. The machine has a complex user manual that requires in-depth reading. In addition to that, it comes in limited hues. This means that anyone who needs more colors to choose from won’t have that advantage.
Due to its cool ergonomic design, this pen is easy to use for tattooing, putting a lip line/eye line, and for permanent eyebrows makeup. It is ideal for longer use. More importantly, it is a single model that has a complete use.
Parts of the best tattoo rotary machine
Whether you are buying the best cheap rotary tattoo machine or not, you must know what the machine entails. One key thing that you should know is the parts of a rotary tattoo machine. Take a look.
- Tube/Tip: This is the main part that holds the needle. It releases the needle in and out of the skin. The tip needs to be disinfected before you use it to shade or mark.
- Grip: The grip is the part of the tattoo machine that holds the tip to the rest of the machine. It comes with grooves for tightening. It also holds the tube in place.
- Tube Vise: The tube and the grip form one part of the tattoo machine. The motor forms the other part. The tube vice holds ties the first section to the motor. It is attached to the cam wheel.
- Cam Wheel: This is a rotatable section that attaches to the tube vise. It helps to change the direction of the tip and also to hold the tube vise in place.
- Motor Cap: This part of the tattoo machine leads to the clip cord attachment. It is used to access the motor in case of a mechanical problem. It is the lid of the motor housing.
- Motor Housing: The motor housing encloses the best rotary tattoo machine’s motor. It prevents the motor from being exposed to any hazards. It is important at maximizing the lifespan and the efficiency of the motor.
- Clip Cord Attachments: This is the part where you’ll attach the power cord before plugging the rotary tattoo machine to power.
Difference Between Rotary Tattoo Machines and Coil?
There are many differences between the best tattoo rotary machine and the coil. They include the following.
Rotary tattoo machines are light in weight while coil tattoo machines are hefty. The coil is tiresome for extended tattooing.
Rotary tattoo machines are also silent when in use while the coil vibrates loudly and sometimes buzzes.
Coil machines also use the hammer-like technology to mark which is painful. However, rotary machines have smooth needle movement that stings less.
Rotary machines combine uses in a single machine while coil machines are independent (you need one rotary machine for lining and shading unlike the coil that need a machine for each action)
Pros & Cons of Rotary Tattoo Machines!
If you are looking for the best tattoo rotary machine, here are some of the pros and cons that you must know.
- Quiet with zero vibrations
- Simple and easy to operate
- Good for filling, shading, and color work
- Provides consistent needle movements
- Leaves less or no damage to skin
- Has low care and maintenance cost
- Shading and making line depth needs care
- May be harder to use with larger needle groups
- You require a full stroke to complete each rotary motion
- Often has low response to higher skin tension
Whichever the case, using a rotary tattoo machine is better. It maximizes your experience and you’ll find it easy too.
Which Brand is the best?
To answer this question, I will say that the best rotary tattoo machine is the one that suits your needs. So what’s the best rotary tattoo machine brand for me? Dragonhawk! Any seasoned tattoo artist will tell you this.
First the brand has been around for long. Secondly, it has some of the best user feedbacks and reviews. Apart from that, this brand also offers the best warranties. The customer care is great and you’ll hardly get disappointed.
Even so, for anyone who needs the best rotary tattoo machine for beginners, a machine that goes for less than 100 USD will be a great bargain.
Secret of the Rotary Machine’s Popularity
The popularity of the rotary machines has been boosted by many things. Nonetheless, the most conspicuous ones include the following.
- They’re quiet
- They’re typically all-rounders.
- They’re easy to use.
- They cause less skin trauma.
- They have zero vibrations.
Quite machines are ideal to use since they reduce on noise pollution. You will also have an easy conversation with your client. You won’t have to shout. More importantly, such a machine will maximize accuracy and control since the shake is kept at zero.
Again no one needs skin trauma. The pain, rashes, infections, and damage to the skin are the worst. Thankfully, these types of machines are friendly to the skin. They’ll give you a smooth stroke and leave you with no skin damage at all.
NOTE: It is due to these reasons that the rotary machines for tattoos have become a common sight in the best tattoo shops.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do After Using a Rotary Tattoo Machine?
Once you have used your best affordable rotary tattoo machine the next thing is to store it. So first make sure that you turn it off. Then you unplug it from the power source. You can then clean the rotary tattoo machine and pack it back in its case.
- Why did we include Dragonhawk so many times?
Dragonhawk is one of the best rotary tattoo machine brands. It has been around for a long time. The brand has so many positive reviews. It also guarantees a wide range of cover for different types of buyers. Nonetheless, it has developed with time and has the best tattooing technologies.
- Do rotary tattoo machines hurt more?
No. However, this will also depend on the user. If you get a learner to use the machine, they might lack proper control. Getting an expert tattoo artist is, therefore, very important. It will determine the type of experience that you’ll get.
- Can you make a professional rotary tattoo machine?
A professional rotary tattoo machine is bought. We have the manufacturers of the tattoo machines. You can always identify the best brand depending on our user guide. Once you get an ideal brand for your use, you can buy.
The best tattoo rotary machine is not easy to find. However, if you’ve got the best review then your work becomes easy. In this review post, I have included the best models that you can buy anytime. Even so, it is important to determine how ideal a model is before you buy.
The best way to determine an ideal tattoo machine is to follow the user manual. In doing so, you’ll easily weigh your needs versus the models that you have. Eventually, you’ll narrow down to a tattoo machine that suits your need.
I hope that this best rotary tattoo machine review has been of help. You can now choose a model that will suit you easily. Good luck and you can always come back for more.