What Tattoo Machine is Best for Beginners? (5 Top Picks)

If you’re looking to hone your inking skill, you’re in luck, for here are the best tattoo machine for beginners!

Getting a tattoo is a highly personal choice but one that is quite popular, meaning there’s a high demand for professional tattoo artists.

If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of those pros, you’ll need to start practicing!

Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

READ MORE: Best PMU Machine 2021

Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners Top Picks at a Glance

If you see the value in these products and choose to purchase via my referral links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Winner!
Preview
Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal with Big Case 1013-10
Top Benefit
Great results in shading and lining and packing color
Check Latest Price
Most powerful machine
Preview
FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Pen Machine (Cosmic Storm)
Top Benefit
Available in many colors that look attractive and professional.
Check Latest Price
Best Coil Tattoo machine
Preview
Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines Power Supply 10 Color Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Tips Grips with Case D139GD
Top Benefit
Comes with vegan-friendly needles and ink.
Check Latest Price
Best value for money
Preview
Solong Tattoo Pen Kit Rotary Tattoo Gun Machine with Wireless Tattoo Power Supply 50Pcs Cartridge Tattoo Needles EM128KITPRD50-1
Top Benefit
Kit includes several items a beginner artist would require
Check Latest Price
Best Budget buy
Preview
Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner Tattoo Motor Gun Kits Supply for Artists
Top Benefit
Affordable price and good quality for beginners.
Check Latest Price

5 Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners (Reviews)

Even if you have the best art-making skills, if you don’t have the right tools to work on your craft, the finished product is going to look a little unpolished!

But, getting a beginner tattoo kit shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Here are some of the best tattoo guns for beginners that can get you started on your lucrative tattoo artist career.

1. Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo machine (Overall Winner)

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal with Big Case 1013-10

Starting off our list for the best rotary machines is the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo machine that is quite popular among tattooists. Let’s find out why.

Features

Don’t let the small size fool you, this affordable tattoo pen is made with a powerful yet quiet motor that’s completely reliable and stable.

The housing is made of medical-grade aluminum, making this a durable choice that can last you for years.

The pen’s tip is clear, making it easy for the user to see what they’re doing in the skin. The Dragonhawk Mast allows the user to work with many ink brands and different needle cartridge types.

The tattoo needles are made with medical-grade stainless steel. The Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo machine is small and has a 25mm grip, making it easy to handle and travel around. The operating voltage of this tattoo machine is 6 volts to 9 volts.

The pen only weighs about 120 grams which means the tattoo machine is as lightweight as a pen. It dispenses a stroke length of 3.5 mm to 2.8 mm for different styles. The grip is compatible with all needles and cartridges.

The kit comes with everything a novice artist will need: a foot pedal, associated cables, and needle cartridges. The machine is not well-equipped to work endlessly but can work well with beginning artists who work sparingly.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Feels lightweight, as if the user is holding a penTattoo kit does not come with a separate carrying case and needs to be bought separately.
Packed with a good digital power supplyIt needs a few minutes’ rest between sessions and cannot be used continuously.
Great results in shading and lining and packing colorIt can be not easy to control the needle
The machine allows for quiet operation Lacks in color packing
The body quickly cools down after use, making it easier to work with.
The lightweight body allows for long hours of work.

How it compares to others, and why?

The Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo machine is small but mighty! The machine packs good power and can provide high puncture without causing too much vibration and noise.

The size and shape make it as easy to hold as a regular old pen, making precision work that much easier.

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal with Big Case 1013-10
  • Note: When you receive this power supply, should press the button 3-5 seconds to light on it. The Dragonhawk Mast rotary tattoo machine made of Space Aluminum frame and custom Mast motor. Length: 11.7CM. Weight: 120g.
  • This Mast 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dragonhawk Mast tattoo machine is compatible with all cartridge needles type
  • Include: Mast tattoo pen machine, power supply, 20pcs Wjx cartridges, carry case, foot pedal, dc cord, tattoo machine box

READ MORE: Microblading and Tattooing: What is the Difference?

2. FK Irons Spektra Rotary Machine (Most powerful machine)

FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Pen Machine (Cosmic Storm)

The FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Machine is a close second on our list of the best beginner tattoo machines.

Features

These rotary tattoo machines come in three different sizes in stroke caps. i. e. 2.8 mm, 3.4 mm, and 4 mm.

The product is made from mirror-polished, anodized 6061 T6 aluminum alloy for greater durability. You can expect to get the speed and torque they need from the powerful 4.5 -watt motor.

These powerful motors can be used for shade and line and also for coloring.

The 21mm grip makes the machine easy to handle, and the lightweight 2.85-ounce body helps it glide across your canvas.

Oh, and you can get the FK Irons Spektra Rotary Machine in a wide variety of colors that look both professional AND fun!

How it compares to others, and why?

The FK Irons Spektra Rotary Machine is easy to use, and beginners will not have to worry about complications with a tattoo machine.

You don’t need to buy two different machines to work on tattoos since this versatile machine allows for changeable stroke caps.

Expert’s tip:

You don’t need to lubricate the machine before using it on your client’s skin. This makes maintenance easier and prolongs the life of the machine as well.

BenefitsDrawbacks
A versatile tattoo machine can be used for several tattoo designs: line, shade, and coloring.More expensive than other tattoo machines, so it may not be accessible to all users.
Interchangeable stroke caps in different sizes come with the purchase.This is not a tattoo kit, so users will have to buy more accessories before they can start.
Durable motor that comes with a one-year warranty and parts that come with a lifetime warranty.One customer complains that it’s hard to return.
It doesn’t require lubrication during use, making maintenance easier.
Works with all standard needles.
A lightweight body and easy grip allow for long hours of work.
FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Pen Machine (Cosmic Storm)
  • Ergonomic and lightweight design for optimal maneuverability.
  • Convenient interchangeable strokes to suit different styles of tattooing. 3.2mm and 3.7mm Stroke Wheels included with purchase.
  • Made of aircraft grade aluminum, the fully assembled machine weighs only 5.36 ounces
  • Secure ratcheting system enables artists to lock-in needle depth settings.
  • Seamless, adjustable Grip is compatible with all needles.

3. Dragonhawk Coil Machines Tattoo Kit (Best Coil Tattoo machine)

Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines

Next is the Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo machine that packs quite a punch and is a favorite among beginner tattooists.

Features

Dragonhawk collaborated with renowned tattoo artist Gabe Shum to create these neat coil machines. They were later adjusted manually to make them easier to use.

With the Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo machine, you get four coil tattoo machines as opposed to two. There’s one for lining, a powder liner, another for shading, and the fourth one is a color picker.

The tattoo kit comes with a power supply that lets you make voltage adjustments, too, if need be. For example, if you’re traveling outside of the US.

The kit comes with 50 Ethylene Oxide Gas sterilized needles, disposable machine grips, and practice skin to help beginners hone their art.

You’ll also receive Immortal tattoo inks, a US-made vegan-friendly tattoo ink, with the package AND a set of adjustment tools, all packaged in a handy large carrying case.

Basically, it’s everything you need in one set.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Collaboration with renowned tattoo artist Gabe ShumIs not as durable as other machines.
Each machine is checked manually and adjusted by handThe coils can overheat in less than 30 minutes.
Four wrap coils that perform specialized tasks: lining, power lining, shading, and color packing.The needles have to be adjusted constantly.  
Affordable tattoo machines
Adjustable power supply
The manufacturers offer great customer support.
Comes with vegan-friendly needles and ink.

How it compares to other kits, and why?

With the Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo machine, users get a complete kit that consists of everything they could possibly need to start their career as a tattoo artist.

All the machines have been checked manually and adjusted by hand to ensure they perform well.

Sale
Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines Power Supply 10 Color Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Tips Grips with Case D139GD
  • DragonHawk Craft coils tattoo machines. Conventional Liner machine, Power Liner machine, Soft Shader machine, Color Packer machine. Copper coils with steel frame tattoo machines. The Craft tattoo machines designed by our brand with famous tattoo artists Gabe. Gabe Shum tested all Craft machines in tattooing for a long time. This kit made for tattooist that need make more styles tattoo work, this kit include all tattoo supplies easy to start tattooing.
  • Digital DragonHawk tattoo power supply system provide quick and accurate activation/voltage adjustments. 50 Dragonhawk sterile EO tattoo needles, 304L stainless steel and clean soldering for optimal control results
  • Tattoo practice skin .4 pcs steel tattoo machine grips .1 set of adjust tools and other attachments
  • Immortal tattoo inks, made in USA, vegan friendly, smooth, vibrant, consistent, trusted.
  • A big carry case with key, disposable grips and more tattoo supplies. Try the DRAGONHAWK tattoo kit Risk-Free with Our Guarantee - Satisfaction or Your Money Back

4. Solong Tattoo Pen Kit Rotary Tattoo Gun Machine (Best value for money)

Solong Tattoo Pen Kit Rotary Tattoo Gun Machine


Up next is the Solong Tattoo Pen Kit, which comes with a wireless tattoo power supply.

Features:

The Solong Tattoo Pen has been crafted to mimic the feel of an actual pen that is easy to maneuver. This tattoo machine gun is CNC-machined by aircraft Aluminium alloy with an anodized finish.

The motors are made in Taiwan and are created to not make much noise or vibration, and it’s compatible with all standard needles.

The product offers adjustable volts from 4.5 V to 10.5 volts, making it easy for artists to work with.

The massive 53 piece set features almost everything a beginner tattoo artist would need to get started on their craft.

Kit includes 50 pieces of cartridge tattoo needles, a rechargeable tattoo battery, and a wireless tattoo power supply.

Last, but not least, the kits come with a CE certification that offers one year warranty to its consumers.

BenefitsDrawbacks
A lightweight machine that replicates the feel of a penNot meant for continuous use.
The pen is CNC-machined by aircraft Aluminium alloy with an anodized finish making it a durable choice.The engine can warm up rapidly, requiring the artist to stop working.
Quiet operation and does not vibrate too much.The power cord is short and does not work from the adapter.
Adjustable volts from 4.5 V to 10.5 volt
Kit includes several items a beginner artist would require

How it compares to other products, and why?

The Solong Tattoo Pen makes it easy to get close enough to your clients to create delicate works of art such as an eyebrow tattoo or permanent lip coloring.

Expert’s tip:

The small size means artists can get up close to their subjects and create works of art. As such, this is a good choice for tattoo artists who specialize in semi-permanent or permanent makeup such as eyebrow tattooing, lip tattoo, or permanent eyeliner.

Related: How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?

Solong Tattoo Pen Kit Rotary Tattoo Gun Machine with Wireless Tattoo Power Supply 50Pcs Cartridge Tattoo Needles EM128KITPRD50-1
  • Solong rotary tattoo pen is CNC-Machined by aircraft Aluminium alloy and then anodized finish.The motor is 10w made in Taiwan,low noise,strong and stable to work, no hot for long time working
  • 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
  • Tattoo kit including:a tattoo pen;50pcs cartridge tattoo needles; a rechargeable tattoo battery,1500mAH;DC 5.5 connection
  • Solong Tattoo Pen can be compatible all other brands tattoo power supplies,you will get an plug adapter to work with all those power supplies
  • CE certification, 1 year warranty.If you have any question,please contact us.Thank you

5. New Star Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine (Best Budget buy)

Tattoo Machine

Finishing off the list of the best tattoo machines for beginners is this baby by New Star that is as affordable as ever, making it the perfect option for those of us who can’t spit out large amounts of money on a kit yet.

Features

Even though this is a cheap tattoo machine, it packs good power for a range of designs.

The aluminum alloy machine can be used for both shading and lining, but cannot be used for color tats.

The 1.5A power supply on the machine is relatively noiseless and does not vibrate too much, and it only weighs a mere 4.2 ounces, which makes handling easy.

It can be used with all standard needles, grips, tubes, and power supplies.

It only comes with the tattoo machine, though, so you’ll have to purchase other necessary supplies separately.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Affordable price and good quality for beginners.Not meant for prolonged use.
Adjustable volt settings.Can break down after a few uses.
Can be used for shading and lining, but mostly for lining.Kit does not come with the necessary materials required by tattoo artists.
A lightweight machine that is easy to handle
Can be used with all standard needles, grips, tubes, and power supplies

How it compares to others, and why?

The New Star Dragonfly machine is a starter tattoo gun that is strong enough to use and feels light on the hand. The gun is quieter than most and can be used at night without disturbing your neighbors.

Expert’s tip:

The machine cannot be used continuously and must be turned off for a few minutes after every hour of work. 

Sale
Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner Tattoo Motor Gun Kits Supply for Artists
  • 1.NAME:Rotary machine both great used for Liner and Shader
  • 2.COLOR:Green tattoo machine(due to the different light and monitor setting.Minor color difference maybe existed.Thank you ! )
  • 3.NOTE:Rotary tattoo machine Don't use more than the normal 6-9v voltage.rest for a few minutes after 1 hours working.
  • 4.WEIGHT:light weight,easy to use Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit
  • 5.QUANTITY:1 pc Tattoo gun/Lot,tattoo dragonfly rotary tattoo machine


How to Choose the Best Tattoo Guns for Beginners


Now that we’ve covered the best tattoo machines that you can get to start working on your tattoo career, here are some of the things to consider while getting a tattoo gun.

man putting tattoo on the body

Rotary Machine vs. Coil Machine vs. Pneumatic Tattoo Machine


There are basically three kinds of tattoo guns, and the choice of which one to get is completely up to you.

Rotary Tattoo Machine


This machine is powered by a small spinning motor that is attached to an armature. Rotary machines are quieter, and the up and down motion ensures that the needles move more smoothly on the skin.

Many machines have adjustable speeds, and they have higher efficiency. However, the outlines may not be as good because of the smooth movement.

Also, the needle strokes can inject less tattoo ink under the skin due to a lack of inertia.

Magnetic Coil Machine


The classic tattoo machine, a magnetic coil tattoo gun uses an alternating electromagnet current that passes through the coils. This turns the magnet on and off rapidly.

Then, the armature bar goes through an up and down motion tapping the needles onto the skin. Coil machines are generally louder.

They can be heavier too, and a little challenging to set up. However, they are versatile, and tattoo sessions with the coil machine are generally less painful.

Pneumatic Tattoo Machine


A pneumatic tattoo gun is an air-powered machine, i.e., it uses pressurized air from an air compressor that moves the needles up and down.

This reasonably new machine was introduced to tattoo artists as a revolutionary approach to the tattooing process.

Over time, the limitations of the pneumatic tattoo machine have outweighed its benefits. But some artists still use it in their salons.

We suggest you either get the rotary machines or the coil machines, depending on your preference. Rotary machines move faster and are great for laying out colors.

Coil machines are heavier and move slower, but they offer more control over the process due to the bulkiness. They also work best to refine lines and work great with shading and intricate work.

The type of machine you would get, therefore, depends on the kind of work you do.

Most tattoo artists own both kinds of machines to do different work with. If you have the means to get one of each, it may be best to have both kinds of machines in your arsenal.

Product Material


You want to get a reliable and trustworthy machine, especially when you’re working with a client’s tattoo. It’s best to steer clear of machines that are made with soft metals.

Instead, machines made of steel, iron, bronze, brass, or aluminum ensure a durable machine that does not require much time to set up.

Aluminum machines are lightweight and the go-to choice for most tattoo artists.

Check the Shape and Weight 


It is important to find a machine that isn’t too heavy, or the hands will tire out soon and reduce your ability to work on your tattoo’s intricate designs.

If you are looking to do this professionally, you will be doing this for hours and hours and need a machine that feels like an extension of your hands. 

The perfect shape and weight will vary from person to person, and it is up to you to get a feel of the machine and see whether it lives up to your expectations.

When you find a machine with a good grip that allows you to make fine movements, you can work better on your client’s skin.

Find the right accessories


Most machines require grips and needles from the same company, while some are interchangeable. When building up your accessories, it is best to find tattoo guns that use standard needles and grips, such that you don’t have to keep buying separately when the time comes to replace them.

Also, tattoo guns need more voltage, and it is crucial to find a consistently powered machine.

FAQs

What does a beginner tattoo artist need?

A beginner tattoo artist needs a tattoo gun, needles, and grips, a good tattoo ink that does not bleed, and a patch of practice skin to get started on their tattooing journey.

Do Rotary tattoo machines hurt more?

Rotary tattoo machines hurt more than coil machines because the needles move faster. However, pain is a relative term, and most clients cannot distinguish between a coil machine and a rotary machine.

What’s better, rotary or coil tattoo machines?

man using best tattoo machine for beginners on his client

Both rotary and coil tattoo machines have their pros and cons. These tools have different functionalities that make each of them irreplaceable. Getting one of each is the best idea if you wish to make a career in tattooing.

Which tattoo gun do professionals use?

Most tattoo artists use a coil machine because it allows for greater control of the hand and allows them to make intricate designs with their tattoo guns. However, some use rotary machines too for specialized tasks such as packing color into the skin.

Final Thoughts

The art of making a tattoo is as sacred for some as it is an expression of oneself. It is an extension of one’s personality that resembles what a person believes in or admires.

As a tattoo artist, it is an absolute honor to create body art that adds to the client’s overall personality and self-expression.

Our Recommendation

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal with Big Case 1013-10
  • Note: When you receive this power supply, should press the button 3-5 seconds to light on it. The Dragonhawk Mast rotary tattoo machine made of Space Aluminum frame and custom Mast motor. Length: 11.7CM. Weight: 120g.
  • This Mast 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dragonhawk Mast tattoo machine is compatible with all cartridge needles type
  • Include: Mast tattoo pen machine, power supply, 20pcs Wjx cartridges, carry case, foot pedal, dc cord, tattoo machine box

tattoo materials

For you, what is the best tattoo machine for beginners? Let us know in the comments below!

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and FACEBOOK

Leave a Comment