The best tattoo gun is one of the most essential tools for applying a great tattoo. Getting a tattoo is becoming more popular than ever before. With so many people getting inked, tattoo artists must have the right equipment to create beautiful, vibrant designs. A high-quality tattoo machine can make all the difference in the artist’s ability to produce clean, crisp lines and rich color saturation.
This article will explore the top 5 best tattoo guns on the market.
We will overview each tattoo machine’s essential features, pros, cons, and specifications that make it stand out. Whether you are a professional tattoo artist looking for a new gun or someone interested in learning about the equipment used to create stunning tattoos, this list has got you covered. Learn about the best tattoo gun and find the suitable machine to take your tattoo artistry to the next level!
Best Tattoo Gun
The Kwadron Equaliser Proton Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine is one of the best tattoo guns for artists looking for versatility, comfort, and quality equipment.
With its innovative and lightweight pen design, adjustable features, and compatibility with various needles, the Equaliser Proton provides the artistic freedom many tattoo artists desire in the best tattoo gun.
Weighing only 130g with a durable aluminum frame, this Polish-made machine aims to reduce fatigue so artists can focus on creativity rather than vibration or heft. It’s built with high standards from a company known for top-notch tattoo needles.
- Rotary tattoo machine with pen-style grip
- 5W motor with advanced gear system
- Adjustable needle depth (0-45mm) and stroke length (35mm)
- Lightweight at 130g
- Durable aluminum frame
- Compatible with all cartridge needles
- Made by top tattoo equipment manufacturer Kwadron
Pros & Cons
- Lightweight at only 130g to prevent fatigue
- Innovative pen design for artistic flexibility
- Powerful 5W motor for reliability
- Advanced gear system for low-vibration operation
- Adjustable needle depth and stroke length for versatility
- Compatible with all cartridge needles
- Durable aluminum frame
- Made in Poland by a renowned tattoo equipment company
- More expensive than basic tattoo gun models
- Limited color options
- Requires familiarity with using cartridge needles
- Not quite as powerful as coil tattoo machines
The Saikoya Wireless Tattoo Machine Pen Kit is among the best tattoo guns for beginners and professionals. This lightweight, cordless pen provides smooth and stable output for lining and shading.
Its aluminum alloy construction and powerful coreless motor are designed for comfort and convenience during lengthy tattoo sessions.
- Cordless and lightweight design
- Aluminum alloy construction
- Advanced coreless motor
- Digital LCD screen
- Adjustable voltage 5V-12V
- Up to 12,000 RPM speed
- 35mm stroke length
- 2400mAh rechargeable battery
- 8-10 hours battery life
- Compatible with most cartridges
- Includes USB-C charging cable
- Comes with RCA adapter
Pros & Cons
- Digital LCD screen displays and adjusts voltage
- 2400mAh battery charges in 2 hours, lasts 8-10 hours
- Compatible with most power supplies and needle cartridges
- Portable and easy to use
- Affordable price
- Quiet operation
- Great for beginners and professionals
- Doesn’t come with instructions
- Motor seems to weaken over time for some users
- Some units shipped without advertised RCA cable
This tattoo gun provides a smooth, lightweight, portable tattooing experience. Its long battery life and easy voltage adjustment make it an excellent choice for lining, shading, and all-day tattoo sessions. Just be aware of some potential quality control issues mentioned in customer reviews.
The Mast Archer Wireless Tattoo Pen Machine is one of the best tattoo guns for professional tattoo artists. This cordless tattoo pen provides the freedom of wireless operation while still delivering the power and performance needed for all-day tattooing.
With its powerful custom coreless motor and long-lasting 2000mAh battery, the Mast Archer is built to withstand marathon tattoo sessions without slowing down. The adjustable voltage lets you fine-tune performance on the fly via the easy-to-read LCD screen.
A lightweight and ergonomic design weighing just 186g ensures comfortable extended use. The Mast Archer wireless tattoo pen machine is versatile enough for lining, shading, packing, and more, making it one of the best tattoo guns for handling a wide range of tattooing needs.
- Wireless cordless design
- Custom coreless motor by Mcore: 12V, 10,500 RPM
- 2000mAh lithium battery for 6-10 hours of runtime
- Adjustable voltage settings via LCD screen
- Seamless aluminum alloy body construction
- 35mm stroke length
- Weight of 186g
- Length of 132mm
- Diameter of 32mm
- Can use wireless or plugged-in to charge
Pros & Cons
- Wireless and cordless design allows greater mobility during tattoo sessions
- Powerful coreless motor provides smooth, quiet operation with minimal vibration
- 2000mAh battery lasts 6-10 hours on a single charge
- Adjustable voltage via LCD screen for performance customization
- Lightweight at 186g for comfortable all-day use
- Seamless aluminum alloy body is easy to clean and maintain
- Suitable for lining, shading, packing, and more
- Battery life may degrade over time
- Small screw that holds grip in place may become loose over time
So, with its long battery life, powerful motor, lightweight and ergonomic design, and overall versatility, the Mast Archer Wireless Tattoo Pen Machine is one of the best tattoo guns available for professional tattoo artists looking for a high-performing cordless option.
The Dragonhawk tattoo machine kit is one of the best tattoo guns for beginners looking to start practicing without spending a fortune. This versatile, customizable kit provides all the essential tools you need in an affordable, quality setup.
The Dragonhawk kit includes a mighty rotary tattoo pen, 20 cartridges, needles, a foot pedal, a power supply, and a carrying case. With this all-in-one solution, beginner and intermediate tattoo artists can start honing their skills immediately. The pen features a strong motor for smooth, quiet operation without vibration. It has an ergonomic, lightweight body for comfort and precision when tattooing.
The cartridges and needles allow for quick configuration changes and optimal ink flow. This kit lets artists practice lining, shading, color packing, blending, and scalp micro pigmentation tattoos. Hundreds of positive reviews praise this budget-friendly starter kit’s versatility, quality, and value.
- Rotary tattoo pen machine
- 20 cartridges and needle assortment
- Foot pedal and power supply
- Carrying case for storage and transport
- For lining, shading, packing, blending, SMP
- Hundreds of positive reviews
Pros & Cons
- Affordable price point
- Versatile tools for practicing different techniques
- Powerful, quiet motor with low vibration
- Ergonomic pen design for comfort
- Quick cartridge/needle changes
- Portable carrying case included
- Limited ink color selection
- May need additional supplies as skills improve
- Can feel lightweight for some users
- Foot pedal cord could be longer
The Dragonhawk tattoo machine kit provides beginners with a customizable, budget-friendly option to start practicing and improving their tattoo skills. With quality tools for versatility, an ergonomic pen, and portable storage, it’s one of the best tattoo guns available.
The Linetion Sworder is one of the best tattoo guns for artists looking for a high-performing wireless machine. This cordless rotary pen provides the flexibility, control, and power to create clean, consistent tattoos without sacrificing quality or affordability.
- LCD screen displays voltage levels
- Adjustable voltage from 6-12V in 0.1V increments
- 35mm and 40mm stroke length options
- Japanese coreless motor provides robust and quiet power
- 22500mAh rechargeable lithium battery lasts 5-8 hours
- Interchangeable stroke caps for lining and shading
- Comes with a travel case, batteries, charger, and cables
- 1-year warranty
Pros & Cons
- Cordless design allows a greater range of motion and flexibility while tattooing
- Powerful motor provides smooth, quiet operation for effectively transferring ink
- Precise voltage control in 0.1V increments for optimal performance
- Long battery life of 5-8 hours allows for extended tattoo sessions
- Travel case keeps machine protected and portable
- Affordable price compared to similar top-rated brands
- Limited color options (matte black or black gray)
- Must remember to charge the battery between uses
- Stroke length can’t be adjusted on the fly; caps must be swapped
The Cheyenne Hawk Pen is one of the best tattoo guns for artists looking for more precision and control. This revolutionary machine’s pen-like design facilitates intricate and detailed tattooing. With features catered towards accuracy, many consider this Cheyenne’s most innovative tattoo machine yet.
- Pen-like design: Mimics an actual pen for optimal control and accuracy
- Adjustable stroke length: Change stroke from 0.35mm-1.4mm for versatility
- Lower vibration: Reduces fatigue for the artist’s comfort
- Responsive mode: Prevents unintentional rolling away of the pen
- Rotating jack connection: Allows for maximum freedom of movement
Pros & Cons
- Pen-like design provides artistic freedom and allows for precise lining and shading
- Lower vibration is more comfortable and reduces fatigue
- Adjustable stroke length from 0.35mm-1.4mm accommodates different techniques
- Responsive mode prevents unintentional rolling of the tattoo machine
- Rotating jack connection gives users freedom of movement
- More expensive than traditional tattoo machines
- Compatible only with Cheyenne power supplies and cords
The innovative pen design sets this machine apart, facilitating precise lining and shading. With a focus on control, the Cheyenne Hawk Pen is a top choice for tattoo artists wanting to create detailed, artistic designs.
The Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit is the best tattoo gun for beginners looking to learn tattooing. It comes with everything a novice needs to start practicing their skills, all at an affordable price point.
- Pen adjusts from 10V to 100 r/min for shading and lining
- Voltage range of 6-8V
- Stroke length of 3.5mm
- Includes 40 cartridge needles (RL, RM, M configurations)
- 8 tattoo ink colors plus black
- Transfer paper and two practice skin sheets
- Nitrile gloves, grip covers, ink cups
- Detailed video tutorials
Pros & Cons
- High-quality metal pen with ergonomic design for comfort
- Adjustable needle depth for control
- Quiet motor allows you to focus on technique
- The complete kit has a power supply, foot pedal, needles, ink, practice skin, etc.
- Instructional videos teach you the proper form
- Well-reviewed by beginners as easy to use
- Some complaints about cheap needles and ink (must buy separately)
- Attachment cord can be finicky
The Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit has all the features a beginning tattoo artist needs to learn the basics. With high-quality equipment, including supplies, adjustable settings, and educational videos, it’s the best tattoo gun to start honing your skills.
The CNC Rotary Wireless Tattoo Pen Machine is among the best tattoo guns for professional tattoo artists. This innovative cordless tattoo pen provides the power and precision to create intricate designs quickly.
With its lightweight and ergonomic design, this tattoo machine feels like a pen in your hand for superior comfort and control. The custom coreless motor produces low vibration for clean lines, while the upgraded drive system enhances precision. This machine allows for adjustable voltage in small increments and remembers your last settings.
Multiple stroke length options accommodate different tattoo techniques. The long-lasting battery means you can work cord-free for hours before swapping batteries. Overall, the CNC Rotary Wireless Tattoo Pen Machine aims to provide tattoo artists the freedom to be creative through groundbreaking technology in a wireless, reliable rotary tattoo machine.
- Digital display shows voltage settings
- Intelligent chip prevents overloads and short circuits
- Magnetic battery connection for easy swapping
- Comes with two powerful 1000mAh batteries
- Customized German X-II motor for smooth, quiet operation
- 3 stroke length options: 30mm, 35mm, 40mm
- 1-year warranty
Pros & Cons
- Cordless operation for maximum flexibility
- Lightweight, ergonomic pen design for comfort
- Custom coreless motor reduces vibration
- Upgraded drive system for precision
- Adjustable voltage in tiny increments
- Remembers last voltage setting
- Multiple stroke length options
- Long battery life for hours of cord-free work
- Easy to sterilize and maintai
- Weak magnetic battery connection may need reinforcement
- Can’t see the display through the barrier film
- Batteries may degrade over time
The CNC Rotary Wireless Tattoo Pen Machine is one of the best tattoo guns available today, providing cordless capability, precision, and reliability for professional tattoo artists. Its innovative technology enhances creativity and ease of use. This machine aims to help artists create intricate, vibrant designs without vibration or fatigue.
The Ambition Soldier Rotary Battery Tattoo Pen is one of the best tattoo guns for artists looking for a convenient, versatile, and affordable machine. This wireless tattoo pen features a powerful coreless motor and a long-lasting battery that allows artists to tattoo for hours without stopping to recharge.
With adjustable stroke length and voltage control, it can handle delicate lining and bold shading for versatile work. The LED screen provides voltage, battery level, and working time displays to monitor critical tattooing metrics. At a budget-friendly price compared to high-end machines, it’s one of the best values for beginner and professional tattoo artists alike.
- Wireless battery-powered design
- 2400mAh lithium battery for up to 10 hours run time
- Adjustable stroke length from 3.5mm to 4.0mm
- Voltage adjustable from 5V to 12V
- LED screen displays voltage, battery level, working time
- Comes with spare cam, adapter, charging cable
- Compatible with all cartridge needles
- Aluminum alloy construction
- Weighs only 8.99 oz for comfortable use
Pros & Cons
- Long battery life for extended wireless tattooing
- Powerful coreless motor provides fast, smooth operation
- Adjustable stroke length and voltage for versatile lining and shading
- LED screen displays voltage, battery level, and working time
- Affordable price compared to premium tattoo machines
- Portable and convenient cordless design
- Comes with spare parts for reliability
- Cheaper quality than high-end tattoo machines
- Potential for motor failure over time
- Can’t plug in and use corded if the battery runs out
- Smaller grips may be uncomfortable for some users
The Solong Tattoo Pen Kit is one of the best tattoo guns for beginners looking to get into tattooing. It provides a versatile all-in-one kit with a powerful rotary tattoo machine, wireless power supply, cartridges, needles, and accessories needed to start practicing tattooing techniques.
- Wireless tattoo gun with 10W motor for stability and no overheating
- Comes with 50 cartridge needles for lining and shading
- Portable kit for easy transport to clients
- Rechargeable 1500mAh battery lasts for long sessions
- Adjustable power supply from 7-11V allows versatility
- All necessary accessories included to start tattooing right away
- Affordable price compared to other professional tattoo gun brands
Pros & Cons
- Durable CNC-machined aluminum alloy construction
- Designed for precise tattooing with a pen-like feel
- Low noise for quiet practice without disturbing others
- Compatible with various power supply brands
- CE certified with one year warranty
- Battery life could be longer
- Grip may be uncomfortable for those with big hands
- Not ideal for super fine line work
The Solong Tattoo Pen Kit has powerful performance, quality construction, and valuable accessories, making it one of the best tattoo gun choices for beginners learning tattooing on a budget. The versatility allows for practicing a range of tattooing techniques quietly at home.
What to Look for In a Tattoo Gun
When shopping for the best tattoo gun, there are several key factors to consider:
Tattoo guns can be powered by a power cord plugging into an outlet or by batteries for cordless operation. Cordless tattoo pens offer greater portability and ease of use for tattooing in various locations.
The two main types of motors are rotary and coil. Rotary motors generally run quieter and smoother than traditional coil machines. Coil machines use electromagnetic currents to move the needle, while rotary motors use an internal armature.
Grip & Comfort
A comfortable grip allows you to tattoo for extended periods without fatiguing your hand. Look for adjustable grips, rubber surfaces, and lightweight materials. Avoid heavy steel tattoo machines if tattooing for long sessions.
Rotary tattoo pens operate much quieter than coil machines. Less noise allows you to better focus on your work without distraction. Quieter operation is also better for the client.
Easy to Clean
Disassembling the tattoo gun to clean between uses should be quick and straightforward. Easy access to replacement parts is also essential.
Ensure the tattoo machine uses high-grade metals, precise machining, tightly sealed housing, and excellent construction. Low-quality materials can cause problems over time.
Power and Precision
The tattoo gun must provide sufficient power to drive the needles while allowing precise adjustments to needle depth. Smooth operation is critical for intricate tattoo work.
Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machines
Regarding tattoo machines, there are two main types – rotary and coil. Both have pros and cons when choosing the best tattoo gun.
Rotary Tattoo Machines
Rotary tattoo machines use a rotary motor rather than electromagnetic coils to operate. The motor spins and drives the needle bar up and down.
Pros of Rotary Machines:
- Quieter operation
- Create less vibration than coil machines
- Allow for more precise line work and shading
- Easy to learn to use for beginners
- Require less maintenance than coil machines
Cons of Rotary Machines:
- Can lack the power needed for deep solid coloring
- More expensive than coil machines on average
- Not ideal for very soft shading
Coil Tattoo Machines
Coil tattoo machines use electromagnetic coils and springs that create oscillations to drive the needle up and down.
Pros of Coil Machines:
- Can provide strong power for solid coloring
- Usually more affordable than rotary machines
- Give an authentic tattoo feel and experience
- Great for providing a soft shading effect
Cons of Coil Machines:
- Tend to be louder in operation
- Vibrate more during use, causing fatigue
- Can require more maintenance and tuning
- Not as precise for intricate line work
- Steeper learning curve for beginners
By looking at the key pros and cons of rotary vs coil tattoo machines, you can determine which type will suit your tattooing needs and preferences best. Coil machines excel at bold coloring, while rotaries offer more precision.
Wireless vs. Corded
When choosing a tattoo gun, one of the critical decisions is whether to go with a wireless or corded model. Both have their pros and cons.
Wireless Tattoo Guns
Wireless tattoo guns operate on a built-in battery and do not need to be plugged into an outlet. This allows for greater mobility and range of motion when working on a tattoo. Some of the pros of wireless tattoo machines include:
More freedom of movement – no cords restrict your range of motion. This allows you to tattoo different parts of the body more easily.
Easy to travel with – wireless guns don’t require finding an outlet or bringing extra cords. It makes transporting equipment easier.
Reduced clutter – eliminates tangled cords around the workspace.
Rechargeable battery – wireless guns run on built-in lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged via USB. No need to buy replacement batteries.
However, wireless models also come with some downsides:
Battery life – most wireless guns must be recharged every 4-6 hours. If the battery dies mid-session, it can disrupt workflow.
Heavier – built-in battery packs add extra weight compared to corded models. It can cause fatigue over long sessions.
More expensive – wireless tattoo machines typically cost $100+ more than corded equivalents.
Corded Tattoo Machines
Corded tattoo guns must be constantly plugged into a wall outlet via a power supply. The cord provides constant power and doesn’t require charging batteries. Some pros of corded models include the following:
Limitless runtime – can operate continuously without worrying about battery life.
Lighter weight – no heavy battery packs, so easier to handle over extended periods.
Lower cost – corded machines are generally $100 cheaper than wireless.
The downsides of corded tattoo guns include the following:
Limited mobility – cords restrict your range of motion and ability to reach different body parts.
Clutter – cords can get tangled and in the way in your workspace.
It is not portable – it needs to stay near an outlet, which limits the ability to travel with the gun.
Power supply required – corded models need a separate power supply box to convert outlet power.
Wireless tattoo guns provide more freedom, while corded models offer cost and runtime advantages. Consider your budget, needs for portability, and preferred working style when choosing between the two.
How to Choose the Best Tattoo Gun
Choosing the best tattoo gun for your needs requires carefully considering several factors:
Motor type – The main motor types are rotary and coil. Rotary pens run more smoothly and quietly, while coil machines offer more power. Coil machines can be loud but produce solid black lines and shading.
Weight – Consider how heavy the tattoo pen is and how comfortable it is for extended tattoo sessions. Lighter tattoo guns, around 5-8 oz, can reduce fatigue.
Grip – The grip material and size impact comfort. Rubber or plastic grips allow you to hold the machine securely. Consider your hand size and fatigue.
Power supply – Tattoo guns run off a power supply that converts AC wall power to DC power. Machines may require different voltages. Some pens have detachable cords for flexibility.
Stroke – The needle stroke length impacts shading abilities and how the needles penetrate the skin. Long three mm+ strokes work well for coloring, while short 2-3 mm strokes excel for details.
Precision – How precisely the needles move affects detail work. Rotary motors offer more precision than electromagnetic coil machines.
Comfort – An ergonomic grip, lightweight body, and low noise levels increase comfort and reduce fatigue.
Cost – Cheaper coil machines can retail under $100, while quality rotary pens run $200+. Consider the budget, but only slice a little for cost.
Knowing what motor style you prefer, how the grip feels in your hand, your budget, the types of tattoos you’ll be doing most, and your comfort preferences will make choosing the best tattoo gun easier. Test out different machines if possible.
Using and Maintaining Your Tattoo Gun
Properly using and maintaining your tattoo machine is critical for performance and safety. Here are some essential tips:
Setting Up Your Tattoo Gun
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your machine.
- Ensure all parts are cleaned, sterilized, and tightened properly before each use. Tighten the needles just enough so they don’t fall out.
- Attach your needle/tube grip and align it straight with the needle bar.
- Add ink into disposable ink caps; do not dip used needles directly into the bottle.
- Test your tattoo machine before starting. The needles should move smoothly up and down when powered on.
- Adjust the voltage to find the right power for your tattoo gun and needs. Start lower and increase slowly.
- Position yourself and your client comfortably. Have all additional supplies on hand.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
- If the needles are hitting the tube grip, loosen the rubber bands holding the needles and adjust their alignment.
- Check that contact screws are tightened if the machine is buzzing inconsistently.
- Clean any clogged needles and tubes with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.
- Replace worn-out rubbers, contacts, or any damaged parts.
- If the tattoo machine is overheating, turn down the voltage or allow breaks for cooling.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Always sterilize needles before and after each use. Autoclave them if possible.
- Fully disassemble the tube/needle assembly and sterilize between clients.
- Use a soft brush and warm, soapy water to remove excess ink and residue from the machine.
- Wipe down with a disinfectant like ethyl alcohol after each session.
- Lubricate any moving metal parts sparingly after cleaning.
- Store your tattoo machine in a clean, dry, sealed plastic bag when not in use.
Following proper setup, troubleshooting, and cleaning best practices will help ensure your tattoo gun lasts a long time and performs consistently well. A well-maintained tattoo machine is crucial for your success as an artist.
When using a tattoo gun, following proper safety procedures to avoid health risks is essential. Here are some necessary precautions to take:
- Use sterile gloves when setting up your equipment and during the tattoo process. Change gloves frequently to avoid cross-contamination. Discard used gloves properly in a trash receptacle.
- Thoroughly wash your hands and wear disposable gloves when handling needles, tubes, ink caps, etc.
- Use single-use, disposable razors when shaving the client’s skin in the area to be tattooed. Never reuse razors.
- Open sterile needle packages only when you are ready to use them. Do not contaminate needles by touching them with ungloved hands.
- Avoid contamination by keeping your work area clean. Cover work surfaces with single-use plastic sheets or bags that can be discarded after each client.
- Discard used ink cups, grommets, tubes, or needles in approved sharps containers. Never reuse these supplies.
- Carefully remove and discard gloves before touching any uncontaminated surfaces to avoid cross-contamination. Rewash hands after removing gloves.
- Follow all state and local regulations for proper sterilization of non-disposable equipment. Use an autoclave to sterilize tattoo tubes, grips, machines, etc.
- Carefully wipe down and disinfect your work area after each tattoo session. Use an EPA-registered disinfectant.
- Never tattoo over irritated, infected, or inflamed skin. Be sure the client’s skin is healthy first.
Following basic precautions helps ensure safety for both the tattoo artist and the client. Contact local health authorities for any additional regulations in your jurisdiction. With the proper procedures, you can create beautiful tattoos safely.
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