Best Tattoo Needles: The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Newbie

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This post is for anyone who loves tattoos and desires to be the best tattoo artist. If this is your dream, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I highlight some of the best tattoo needles. This is one of the basic tools that any aspiring or seasoned tattoo artist must have. With the right set, you’ll enjoy top-rated art with so much satisfaction.

I will be reviewing some of these tattoo cartridges. From my reviews, I hope that you’ll learn how to choose the best one for your use. These reviews are comprehensively researched and will leave you with only the best of the pack.

Nonetheless, let’s first look at some of the vital information that may come in handy along the way.

What’s a Tattoo Needle?

When making a tattoo, the tattoo artist uses a tattoo gun. The tattoo gun has various parts. One of the parts is the needle. The needle is also the main part that lines or shades the skin. It makes painless incisions on the skin and lets out ink systematically. Eventually, you’ll get an image/tattoo of your choice.

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How to Choose - Buying Guide

When looking for the needles for lining or shading, it is important to get a model that meets your needs. Here is a smart guide to help you with that at any time.

  • Material

The material of design will play a vital role. Most tattoo artists need a set of needles that can last long. If they do, you can then store them up easily without any worries of damage until you finally make use of them.

A good material to forge tattoo needle is a stainless steel alloy. The 316L stainless steel alloy is quite durable. More importantly it doesn’t rust or corrode. As such, it will last longer and prevent any forms of bacterial infections.

Another important material that your tattoo needle might have is the plastic membrane. If this is forged from medical grade high-end plastic it will also last longer. In turn you will get the value for your money.

  • Packaging

The reason packaging is important is this; it prevents microbes from accessing your tattooing needle. Get a set of needles that is sterilized. Tattoo needles are usually sterilized by the use of the E.O gas and packaged in blister packs. This type of package ensures that the needles remain safe.

  • Tool-Free

This is an easy-to-use tattoo needle. Don’t take a needle that is hard to fit into the cartridge grip. I must say that with such a needle, you will find it hard even to swap the needles between tattooing sessions.

The best thing to do is to find a tool-free set of tattooing needles. These types of needles require no tool (Allen keys) to fit. They are, therefore, easy to fit on the grip. When you want to change your needles, it also becomes very easy.

  • Sizes

How many needles sizes does your pack contain? If you have a pack that contains several needle sizes you will have the freedom to get any type of tattoo easily. You will shade faster, fill in images easily, and have an easy working experience.

Tattoo needles sizes vary and include 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL, 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, and 9RS. There are also the 7M1 and 9M1 sizes.

  • Compatibility

The best tattoo needle should also be compatible with every type of tattooing machine. This means they should fit in easily with both the rotary and also coil tattoo machines. With such high end compatibility, you will enjoy the ease of practicing with any type of machine. Worry-free is it is.

  • Quantity

Having every type of tattooing needle is good. But having several tattooing needle per size is better. The best tattoo needle brands will give you up to 10 needle pieces for every type of tattoo needle that they pack.

This means that your work won’t stop once you have used a 3RL. Instead, you’ll still have 9 more pieces to work with in the same pack.

  • Pricing

Finally, you must also look at the price. The right needle set for you should meet your budget. Like I always say, no one loves to strain when buying their favorite thing. The same applies for tattooing needles. Make sure that the price of the needles fall within your budget or means.

Top 5 Needles for Beginners

Now let’s look at the best needles for tattoos. I have prepared the top five reviews that’ll guarantee the best results.

Pirate Face Tattoo PFT Assorted Tattoo Needles

The first set of the best tattoo needles for shading that anyone can get are the Pirate Face Tattoo PFT Assorted Tattoo Needles.

Pirate Face Tattoo brand is one of the top brand that’s you can get. They are used by most tattoo professionals worldwide and are approved for the skin.

Pirate Face Tattoo PFT 100 pcs Assorted Tattoo Needles - Round Liner, Round Shader, Magnum Needle - 100pk by Pirate Face Tattoo
  • Package includes 10 pieces of each size: 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL, 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, 9RS, 5M1, 7M1
  • 100 Mixed Professional Grade Tattoo Needles
  • Variety of Round Liner, Round Shader, Magnum Shader Tattoo Needles
  • Made with Medical Grade Stainless Steel (#12 standard size needles)
  • Individually blister packaged and Stamped with expiration date

The brand comes in 100-pack of the best stainless steel tattoo needles. It also comes with variety of the most common sizes to choose from. From the Round Liner, Round Shader, to the Magnum Shader, you can count on Pirate Face whenever you need reliable tattoo needles to work with.

Here is the best thing. You will find each needle individually packaged in their sterile blister pack. For every size, there are 10 pieces of each including the 3rl, 7rl, 9rl, 5rs, 9rs, and 7m1 among others.

The whole set of the Pirate Face Tattoo is made with medical grade stainless steel. They are also stamped with their respective expiration dates to maximize quality at any given time. That’s why I highly recommend them too.

These needles are also the good choices for lining. You can use them for combined body art and still get the best results at any given time.

The needles come with a refund policy that you can take advantage of in case you are not satisfied. Even so, I highly doubt if you will.

These tattoo needles are compatible with all types of rotary guns. As such, you’ll enjoy the best use on whichever machine you may have.


  • Easy to set up
  • Works with all types of tattoo guns
  • Highly durable with high-end design
  • Comes with 10 pieces of every needle type
  • Ideal for any type of tattoo

BIGWASP Professional Disposable Tattoo Needle

The BIGWASP Professional Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridge is easy to use. It allows every tattoo artist to easily set up needles and at the same time switch them. The cartridge allows for easy needle configuration during any tattooing process.

With its 7 round liners, this tattoo has up to 20 pieces of these liners to work with. It is highly flexible and enables you to try out many needles. The cartridge is also easy to control and even the best brand for the newbies.

BIGWASP Professional Disposable 1007RL Tattoo Needle Cartridge #10 Bugpin 7 Round Liner (7RL) 20Pcs
  • 30/07RL, 30 means diameter: #10. 30/07RL means 1007RL.
  • Compatible with All Rotaries/Coiled machine as well as Hawk machines. Ready To Use - Comes in Box of 20Pcs.
  • Rubber band loaded cartridges, with plastic membrane so that tattoo ink won't flow back to the tubes.
  • Allows tattoo artists to set up needles and switch needle configuration very quickly during tattooing process.
  • Brand: BIGWASP. If for any reason you are not fully satisfied. just simply return it for a full refund or exchange.

As if that’s not enough, you will also enjoy a high-end portability. This cartridge is very compatible with all types of rotaries and coiled machines. Thankfully, it doesn’t end there. The set is also good with hawk machines.

One thing that’s I love the most is its Ready-To-Use technology. You don’t require any form of assembling at all. The 20 round liner pieces are ready-to-use and as such easy to handle at any given time.

Made of the 316L surgical stainless steel alloy, this tattooing cartridge will last long. You don’t have to worry about corrosion, rust, or any other health hazards.

More importantly, the set is also made with the best medical-grade plastic. It is reliable and also long lasting. It is E.O. sterilized and again packaged in the blister pack to prevent any form of contamination.

This rubber band loaded cartridges are also best for the pro artists. Thanks to its plastic membrane you will realize that the tattoo ink will not flow backwards in to the tubes.

This means that any tattoo artist will not only find an easy time with their set up, they will also switch and configure needles quickly when tattooing.

Get the best BIGWASP tattoo cartridge and if you are not satisfied, don’t worry. You can return it for your full refund or kit exchange. The choice is yours!


  • E.O. sterilized
  • Packaged in the blister pack
  • 316L surgical stainless steel alloy
  • Tattoo ink will not flow backwards
  • Plastic membrane for blot free touch
  • Allows for a quick configuration

Yuelong Tattoo Needles

If you are looking for the needles for lining, I would suggest that you go with the Yuelong Tattoo Needles. Apart from being durable they also have one of the best designs that you will love.

The brand focuses on the best tattooing equipment. It designs high-end tattooing supplies that guarantee the best finish on any professional tattoos.

Tattoo Needles - Yuelong 100 Pieces Disposable Mixed Tattoo Guns Needles 3rl, 5rl, 7rl, 9rl, 3rs, 5rs, 7rs, 9rs, 5m1, 7m1, Used For Tattoo Machine,Tattoo Kit and Tattoo Supplies
  • PRE-STERILIZED - The tattoo needles have CE Approval Individual Packaging,All tattoo needles are pre-sterilized with EO Gas.Peel back the paper cover from plastic blister to use.
  • MIXED SIZES - 100pcs Tattoo Needles Set.Mixed Size 1003RL,1005RL,1007RL,1009RL, 1203RS, 1205RS, 1207RS, 1209RS,1207M1,1209M1 (10pcs for each size).Each tattoo needle is for single use only
  • HIGH QUALITY - 316 stainless steel and clean soldering for optimal control & results. Brand new rotary tattoo guns needles set.Used for coloring in or shading tattoos.
  • BEST SUPPLIES - The tattoo needles is a must tattoo supplies for any tattoo artists.Standard-length to fit all tattoo needles and tubes combo,tattoo kit.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - If for any reason you are not fully satisfied about the black rotary assorted tattoo needles set.Just simply return it for a full refund or exchange.

Firstly, the needles are pre-sterilized. They also have the CE approval and as such qualify to be used on the skin. The needles are properly packed and will hardly cause any type of infection. They enjoy an individual packaging on the sterilized blister packs of their own. All the needles are also sterilized prior to their packaging with the EO gas. You will, therefore, find them when they are clean and healthy.

One thing that I love about them is that they are easy to use. The blister pack is easy to peel back. The same applies to the paper cover that it comes with.

Just like the other brands that we have seen, this one also offers a variety of choices. It comes with 100 pieces of tattooing needles that you can choose from.

The sizes include 3RL to 9RL, 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, and 9RS. You will also get the 7M1 and 9M1 pieces. Here is the catch though. There are 10pcs for every available needle size. This means that you will use one tattoo needle once.

Again, these needles are of high quality. They use the highly-durable non-corrosive 316 stainless steel. This is in addition to the clean soldering that they have, which provides an optimal control and results.

The needles are compatible to all rotary tattoo guns and can be used for both coloring in and shading tattoos.

Buy this set of the needles and get the standard-length that fits in all tattoo needles and tattoo tubes.

Features –

  • Made of the best materials
  • Comes with a non-corrosives stainless steel alloy
  • Sharp with bent-free designs
  • Easy to handle for any newbie
  • Has a return policy with 100% refund

BIGWASP Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridge

Like I mentioned, this Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridge from BIGSWAP is easy to use just like the name suggests. The cartridge is highly compatible with every type of type of cartridge grip. It also works with the best hawk machines.

These best tattoo needle cartridges are easy to use and are highly compatible with every type of rotary and coiled tattoo machines. They can also work with the Hawk machines.

BIGWASP Professional Disposable 1007RL Tattoo Needle Cartridge #10 Bugpin 7 Round Liner (7RL) 20Pcs
  • 30/07RL, 30 means diameter: #10. 30/07RL means 1007RL.
  • Compatible with All Rotaries/Coiled machine as well as Hawk machines. Ready To Use - Comes in Box of 20Pcs.
  • Rubber band loaded cartridges, with plastic membrane so that tattoo ink won't flow back to the tubes.
  • Allows tattoo artists to set up needles and switch needle configuration very quickly during tattooing process.
  • Brand: BIGWASP. If for any reason you are not fully satisfied. just simply return it for a full refund or exchange.

They come in a box 20Pcs which is low compared to some model in our review. However, these 20 pieces are made with high quality materials. They use the 316L surgical stainless steel alloy.

This type of alloy doesn’t corrode. It also doesn’t come with any form of infection. More importantly, there is the incorporation of the medical-grade plastic.

The set is sterilized with the E.O. gas and then packaged in a blister pack. Thankfully, these rubber band loaded cartridges also have a plastic membrane that prevents the tattoo ink from flowing back to the tubes.

You will enjoy using these needles since you can set up quickly and even configure them easily during the tattooing process.

The setup is easy to work with. You won’t require any Allen keys or tool to assemble your tattooing needles.

Features – 

  • Works with the best hawk machines
  • Safe and requires no tools to fit in grip
  • Compatible with every type of type of cartridge grip
  • 316L surgical stainless steel alloy
  • Disposable single-use tattoo needle cartridges

CINRA Disposable Tattoo Needles Set

The black rotary CINRA Disposable Tattoo Needles Set is another set of the best tattoo needle cartridges.

It is highly affordable and will make one of the best buys for any beginner. The model is also easy to use and will fit into any environment that you need. Thanks to its many cool tattooing features.

CINRA 50Pcs Tattoo Needles - 3RL 5RL 7RL 9RL 5RS 7RS 9RS 5M1 7M1 9M1
  • MORE CHOICE : 50/100/150/200 pcs tattoo needles for your choose.For one-time use only
  • MIXED SIZES : 3RL 5RL 7RL 9RL 3RS 5RS 7RS 9RS 7M1 9M1.Applicate on tattoo tubes and tips,any tattoo machines
  • SAFETY MATERIAL : Medical grade stainless steel 316L, all needles are packaged in an Individual Sterile Blister Pack, 100% sterilized to protect from being injected
  • GREAT DESIHN : Designed to Deliver More Ink with Less Passes for Either Lines Work or Coloring
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY : Burr Free & Sharp. tips no bent, extremely sharp, even didn't feel a thing, excellent welding

This set of disposable tattoo cartridges offers a wider choice. It has 50/100/150/200 pieces of tattoo needles and, therefore, gives you a variety of choices to go by.

That a better way of compensating for the one-time use only. In addition to that, the cartridge set also comes with mixed sizes. You will get the 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL, 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, and 9RS. There are also the 7M1 and 9M1 sizes.

Like many other best models that we have seen, this one also works with any types of tattooing tubes and tips. As such, it is literally compatible with any of the best tattooing machine of your choice.

The safety is also paramount when it comes to this tattooing cartridge. Upon buying, you’ll get the best medical grade stainless steel alloy. The 316L is known for its durability and easy maintenance.

The alloy prevents any forms of corrosion and rust. By doing so, it also prevents any infection after the tattoo. Thankfully, all the needles are also packaged in their individual sterile blister pack.

The overall design is also reliable. It is designed to provide easy control and to deliver the ideal ink with very less passes.

Buying this set of tattooing cartridges gives you the best burr free and sharp tips. You won’t have any bent tips and more importantly, you’ll enjoy an excellent welding.

Features –

  • Disposable tattoo cartridges
  • Comes with mixed sizes
  • Compatible with any of the best tattooing machine
  • Best medical grade stainless steel alloy
  • Prevents any forms of corrosion
  • Best burr free and sharp tips
best tattoo needles

Types of Tattoo Needles

Depending on your needs, there are different types of tattoo needles that you can buy. These types include the following.

  • Round Liner Needles (RL)

Also denoted as RL, the round liner needles are used for fine lines. They are also the best for any artist that requires a detailed work. They will make precise incisions that guarantee some of the finest tattoos.

Thanks to the close grouping that gives the needles a tight touch. This means that you will get a round configuration for the tightest lines and detailed touch.

  • Flat Tattoo Needles

Flat needles are needles that soldered in a straight line to the main needle bar. These type needles are the best for lining. This is because their shape allows them to deliver more ink to your skin. As such, they provide clearer, darker lines on a single stroke.

Larger flat needles are also good for color fills and quick delivery. They will guarantee the best in just a single pass. Flat needles are usually marked as FL (Flat Liner) or sometimes (Flat Shader) for short.

  • Round Shader Needles (RS)

The round shader needles are also denoted as RS. They are used for shading and for blending on straight line. These needles also work with a detailed touch and will suit some of the best tattoo works such as lettering.

  • Magnum Shader Needles

Apart from the two types of needles that I have given you, we also have the magnum shader needles. Well, these types of needles are not common to many tattoo cartridges but they are some of the best.

They come in two types. The M1 or MS. There basic use is to pack in color. They are also great for filling in large areas and more specifically for shading in between the tattooed lines.

The magnum shader needles are often configured in straight lines. However, every other needle is usually bent up slightly. This allows them to cover up more surface area with every stroke that you take.

Additional Tip

There are other needle categories that you will find. However, they are all drawn from these three types that I have already mentioned. They include the following.

  • Extra super tight
  • Super tight
  • Standard round liner
  • Flat tattoo needles
  • Stacked magnum tattoo needles

NOTE: When choosing your best tattoo needles brand, the type will hardly coke into play. However, there are other factors that you’ll have to consider and, which I will look at in our buying guide.

Video Credit – Johnny Gault

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about tattoo needles that may be of help for newbies.

  • Where Can I Buy the best needles for lining?

Irrespective of the type of tattoo cartridge or needle that you want to buy, online platforms are the best. When you buy online, you’ll get the best prices, quick deliveries, and easy shopping spree. You won’t have to move from your comfort zone and will, therefore, save on time and money.

  • What type of tattoo needles are Bugpins?

They are a type of magnum tattoo needle that have much, much thinner sizes. Their standard sizes are generally between 0.30mm and the 0.35mm thick. They are often between 0.20mm and 0.25mm.

Bugpin sizes are marked in the exact same way as the regular magnum equivalents. As such they may occur as A 5M1.

  • What Other Considerations Can I Make When Buying a Tattoo Needle?

Confirm if the needle is soldiered. This will help you to confirm if the needle attaches at the bar or the center rod properly. Unsoldered needles will slip out and damage your tattoos. Again you must ensure that your needles aren’t bent or crooked. Bent needles can cause immense damage to the skin.

NOTE: Most people may cower at the thought of sharp tattooing needles. Even so, these are the best type of needles. They make quick and painless incisions and let out the ink efficiently. These types of needles are best for anyone who requires a smooth operation by their tattoo needles.

Final Verdict

Buying the best tattoo needles for shading or lining is no rocket science. Nonetheless, you need to be very careful as to purchase the model that suits your needs. That’s where this post comes in handy.

First the post highlights the best models. Secondly, it gives you a spontaneous buying guide that you can use to nail an ideal tattoo cartridge for your needs. Thankfully, these needles are designed for one-time use and such requires no maintenance.