Rotary vs. Coil Tattoo Machines- Which Is Better

Rotary vs. Coil Tattoo Machines

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Artists in the tattoo industry have often wondered and discussed the superiority and differences between the rotary vs. coil tattoo machines.

Rotary machines are considered to be far much better and advanced than the coil machines as they produce minimal sound when they operate, lighter in weight, and require minimal maintenance.

This has been mind-boggling to not only the tattoo artists but also to those getting tattooed as well.

Do Coil Tattoo Machines Hurt More than Rotary Ones?

One of the regularly asked questions is which one, between the rotary tattoo machine and coil tattoo machine, hurts more during the process?.

The artists would want to make their esteemed customers as comfortable as possible in the entire process.

At the same time, those getting tattooed, especially first-timers, are often skeptical whether they should expect a little pinch from the machines.

Well, to arrive at a satisfying conclusion, we will have to look more into these two types of tattoo machines;

Coil tattoo machine; A coil tattoo machine is a rather conventional machine with its coils triggered by an electromagnetic current, which then draws and releases the armature bar.

When the springs are released, the attached tattoo needles tap into the skin, thereby creating hammer-like out-turn.

If you have ever heard a buzzing sound from the tattoo shops, the sound is most likely to be emanating from the coil tattoo machines.

Rotary tattoo machine; On the contrary to the customary coil tattoo machine.

Rotary tattoo machines are more contemporary and do not produce any buzzing sounds during when it operates.

The attached tattoo needles are moved up and down by a small motor installed in each machine.

These machines operate more swiftly than the coil machines. CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime

Due to their differences, most artists and clients may prefer the rotary machine over the coil machine.

It’s more convincing to be nicer on the skin during the process, with no irritating buzzing sound produced and cyclical, smooth pattern movement.

Rotary Vs. Coil Tattoo Machines; Which Is Better?

On many occasions, the rotary tattoo machine has proved to be more advantageous than the traditional coil tattoo machine.

However, the main difference which has been noted by many artists in the industry is that when rotary machines are used in the process.

The resulting work is done always has smooth lines and shading.

Some of the other advantages the rotary machine has over the coil ones are the less weight and no noise factors.

Coil tattoo machines are often heavy ; hence longer tattooing sessions are likely to lead to potential mistakes made on the tattoo.

The artist’s fingers may start trembling due to numbness or fatigue.

This heavyweight of the coil tattoo is mainly contributed to by its design and components; iron rods and two coils.

However, the rotary machines(Amazon Link) operate on the motor; hence they are lighter in weight and more congenial to use.

Their lightweight, therefore, poses an advantage over the coil tattoo machines as the artists can operate longer hours without being fatigued.

Thus significantly reducing the chances for mistakes likely to arise when coil tattoo machines are used.

Tattoo shops are often recognized by the buzzing sound heard from them. In most cases, the tattoo machine is use may be the conventional coil tattoo.

They are notorious for emanating such buzzing sound when operating.

The sound is quite natural, due to their operation design, but it could be quite intimidating too, especially to those getting their tattoo for the first time.

The noise may make them uncomfortable hence the body may twitch, thereby making the process risky to the skin. Rotary tattoo machines are less noisy.

Therefore, first-timers are more likely to be reassured the process will be more comfortable and less painful.

Therefore, for this reason, many tattoo artists are opting for rotary machines than coil machines.

What about their versatile nature? Well, the major downside of the coil tattoo machine is that it cannot do both the shades and also create lines at the same time.

Therefore, tattoo artists are required to always have the two types of coil machines with them at all times to come up with tattoos that have relatively unique designs.

However, you don’t have to acquire two types of rotary machines to perform a complicated task.

You have to select a different needle to draw a line or make a shade;

Hence, a single rotary tattoo machine is enough to complete a task on a client without much hassle, which is not the case with the coil machines.

Rotary vs. Coil Tattoo Machines

Nevertheless, it’s also worth noting that despite all the supposed advantages the rotary tattoo machines have over the coil machines.

Some artists would still prefer the coil machines. It may be due to their extensive experience with the coil machines in the tattoo industry or any other reason.

Still, most current tattoo artists would prefer the rotary machines over the traditional coil tattoo machines.

What Are The Best Tattoo Machines And Kits For Beginners?

If you feel about pursuing the tattoo industry as an artist, then one of the many questions likely to pass through your mind is which tattoo machines and kits to go for as a learner.

However, one of the important things you have to remember is; always avoid referring to your tattoo equipment as a kit.

Well, for beginners, they are often referred to as kits just for clarity purposes, but in the real sense, tattoo artists don’t have kits; they have pieces of tattoo equipment.

Always have that at the back of your mind once you set off on this journey.

Ensuring you have acquired the appropriate setup for the task is one step to take when you have settled on becoming a tattoo artist.

Anyway, before you dive into purchasing the necessary equipment.

You don’t want to acquire any tattoo product of low quality, which is unlikely to give you the desired results on your way up the ladder of learning basic skills.

It’s most likely that when you are still in the learning process, you may not need many pieces of equipment before you start performing the tasks.

Therefore, you should always consider only purchasing what you need at the moment.

You may be too eager to learn that you end up acquiring the wrong set of tattoo equipment, most likely to be relatively expensive.

The other factor you should consider is heeding your mentor’s advice on what to acquire for your learning.

Nevertheless; here are some of the machines more suitable for beginners as an artist in the tattoo industry.

Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine

This machine can accomplish both shading and lining tasks. Dragonhawk Extreme is mostly preferred by many artists in the industry due to several advantages.

First, the machine is made from carbon steel and weighs 6.17 ounces, making it quite light in weight and can be comfortably handled by most learners.

You probably don’t want your fingers to get numb or fatigue in the process of handling equipment.

The Japanese motor installed in the machine also operates with minimal noise and less vibration; thereby, you will be more stable handling it.

Normally, 10 volts are enough to get the machine operating smoothly, but when it comes to lining, you should use about eight or nine volts and even eight volts for shading.

The dragon hawk has a stroke length of 3.5mm, and with only a couple of passes, you should be able to add in bold lines.

The largest tube diameter is 8mm, while the largest needle size is 50 mag.

Since you may be at one practice on your own, this machine has a scientific technology that enables the fluid tattooing process.

The customized powering also allows you to have full control over the machine, which is quite important for beginners.

Therefore, as a beginner who is green in the industry and wants to learn.

You should consider purchasing this type of tattoo machine and have all the control and customization according to your preference and liking to create the tattoo design you want.

This will also enhance the rate at which you master the art.

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Machine

This rotary machine is designed in the shape of a pen, thus gives you a natural feeling of touch and hold when using it.

If you are very new in the industry, then perhaps you should consider acquiring this type of tattoo machine for your training and learning purposes.

Its cushy design also enables it to fit well into the hands, thereby giving you a better and more steady grip when carrying out the task.

These machines are relatively light in weight as they are crafted from space aluminum. CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime

A high-quality Japanese motor is also installed in these machines and does not produce any buzzing sound or other related tattoo machine noise during operation.

The Dragonhawk Mas Pen has interchangeable stroke length; thus, you can tailor your tattooing to your preference.

The lengths also range from 2.8mm to 3.5mm, enabling you to employ vast styles and techniques during the process.

This type of rotary machine increases your accuracy level and enhances your control due to its versatile design. It has an improved contemporary gear system.

Due to the space aluminum material it’s crafted from, the Dragonhawk Mas Pen is quite light, weighing about 4.2ounces.

Six to nine volts is enough for the machine to operate efficiently, and it is also compatible with a variety of needle cartridges.

The nature of the indentation at the tip articulately preserves the flow of ink while placing the saturation exactly standard.

The ink flow is also regulated by the membrane mechanism available in its design.

You are likely not to get bored working longer hours with this machine since high flexibility during work time is maintained by the high toughness silicon rebound.

Therefore, as a beginner, you should consider adding this machine to your bucket list of must-acquire pieces of tattoo equipment.

Delaman Professional Strong Motor Tattoo Gun 

If you are eyeing forward to initiating your tattoos as a beginner, then the Delaman Professional is the type of tattoo machine worth considering.

This machine is crafted from super quality material and is more stable than other machines used by tattoo artists in the industry.

It can also operate for long hours without breaks while maintaining its perfect performance.

This quality will delight you as chances of getting fatigued or feeling numb on the fingers are greatly reduced.

While using this machine to accomplish your tattooing task.

The resulting done tattoo will have practical and natural looks due to the precision and accuracy of the Delaman Professional Strong Motor Tattoo gun.

What Are The Best Tattoo Machines For Professionals?

As a tattoo artist with vast knowledge and experience in the industry, you would not only want to acquire a tattooing machine that is easy and comfortable to use.

But you will also want one which will provide high-quality work.

Therefore, due to the large varieties of machines to choose from, ranging from the conventional coil machines to the wide variety of contemporary rotary machines;

Settling on one particular machine could be overwhelming.

They are just so many to pick from. However, if you have a particular taste and design, then settling on the right one would not be difficult after all.

One of the factors which should propel you to settle on the type of tattoo machine to acquire is reliability.

Your machine should be capable of handling long hours of days working without breaking down or malfunction in one way or the other in the course of the job.

Well, let’s go through some of the tattooing machines preferred by most professional tattoo artists all over the world.

They will hopefully help you narrow down the range of choices to look into on your quest for a tattoo machine.

Cheyenne Hawk

When it comes to lists of tattoo machines, Cheyenne Hawk(Amazon Link) often tops the list.

The company has been in the market for quite some time now, but it has never failed to deliver high-quality tattooing machines.

Moreover, the company has consistently kept up with the changing times into a more advanced and technological era and binging in more innovations into the market of the tattoo industry.

This has ensured that the Cheyenne Hawk has remained to be among the best manufacturers of tattoo machines in the market.

The other factor which has made them be at the top is providing a listening ear to the tattoo artists who are actually in the field of this profession.

By doing so and paying keen attention to their interests and opinions.

Cheyenne Hawk can come up with designs and productions meeting their needs without omitting any important factors.

They, therefore, find out what is lacking in the industry and feel it with their innovative ideas.

The artists’ needs are therefore met; hence most of them will opt for tattoo machines manufactured by Cheyenne Hawk.

The other fact about Cheyenne Hawk tattoo machines is that they are rotary machines with more contemporary designs and enhanced handling capabilities, thanks to the attached grip.

They weigh about 3.9 ounces, which is quite light if you ask me. This has, therefore, made them some of the lightest machines available in the market for the tattoo industry.

These manufactured rotary tattoo machines are likely to meet all your expectations.

Their motors have a relatively long operational life, and they are compatible with most types of power supplies.

There are also safety features installed in Hawk manufactured tattoo machines.

One of the features installed is that the needle is automatically retracted whenever the machine powers down.

Also, the jack connector is protected too. Therefore you don’t have to fear about the jack snapping whenever there is an accidental drop of the machine.

The cartridge system of this machine enables you to change needles by simply turning your wrist quickly;

Well, sometimes you need to save time, right? What a revolutionary innovation and design.

The Cheyenne Hawk mainly manufactures its tattooing machines in two colors; anthracite and matte black.

If you are a trained professional in the industry, then the Cheyenne Hawk is ideal for you.

However, you should not shy away from acquiring this magnificent machine if you are a beginner trying to figure out your ways through the industry.

FK Irons Crossover

FK Irons crossover is a spectacular rotary tattoo machine that is produced in several colors.

Therefore, if you are a fan of colors, make no further considerations; this type of rotary tattoo machine is just perfect for you.

Gaston Siciliano first introduced it in 2007. However, as the years pass by with more innovations and developments done on the design, these machines have significantly improved display and operations.

The artistic work done by these machines is of great precision and quality.

With the FK Irons Crossover you have the liberty to choose the needling to use; you can either settle for cartridges or standard needle sets.

Shifting to any of the needles is quite easy. You do not need the help of an adaptor since a MultiVise system has been installed into to enable you to carry out the process swiftly.

The available interchangeable stroke caps, three in total, ensures the artist has ample and comfortable time during the working process.

If you have acquired this machine, you can be assured that whether you use high voltage or low voltage, there will be no noise produced when it’s powered on.

The Direkt 1 and Edge X motors can be used to power these rotary machines and perform efficiently.

Perhaps you may be wondering where these machines are manufactured, well, worry no more; these magnificent rotary tattoo machines are manufactured in the United States.

They are very durable as they are manufactured with aircraft-grade aluminum. For these machines, there is no lubrication needed and minimal to no maintenance.

One of the precautions you have to take is never to clean the machines in the ultrasonic wash. Instead, you can perform the task in an autoclave.

Professional tattoo artists can opt to go for the FK machines.

However, if you are learning your way up and have a mentor in the industry, then there is no reason to bar you from acquiring one as well.

If you realize any manufacturing defects after purchasing one, don’t panic, FK machines have a lifetime warranty covering such matters.

Is It Wrong To Get A Tattoo?

The choice of getting a tattoo or not has been on debate for quite a long time, with one group supporting it while the other consistently criticizing.

Some religious groups would find fault with tattoos, while other religious groups will encourage it.

Getting a tattoo, just like any other decision, is often a decision to be made individually.

Most people have tattooed the names of their loved ones on different parts of their bodies or pictures of other things such as flowers or eagles.

Some of these tattoos may have significant meaning to those who have them, for, after all, you wouldn’t craft anything on your skin without having thought about it.

Therefore, apart from some mandatory tattooing, the rest have to be personal decisions made by whoever wants to get a tattoo.

Generally, when a comparison is made between rotary tattoo machines and coil tattoo machines to decide which one is likely to hurt more.

There aren’t any facts to point directly to one of them.

However, the rotary machines are considered to be far much better and advanced than the coil machines.

They produce minimal sound when they operate, lighter in weight, and require minimal maintenance.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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