8 Best Tattoo Machines For Beginners in 2023 (Review)

Looking for the best tattoo machines for beginners in 2023?

Well, look no further because I’ve done the hard work for you.

After extensive research and testing, I’ve put together a list of the 8 best tattoo machines that are perfect for those just starting in the tattoo game.

Some I’ve tried myself, and others I’ve researched thoroughly, so you can be sure that this is the ultimate guide for anyone looking for the perfect tattoo machine.

So, let’s get started and find the right one for you!

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

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READ MORE: Best PMU Machines

8 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 will 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)

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As someone who has tested out various rotary tattoo machines, I have to say that the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo machine is definitely a standout. This machine is incredibly popular among tattooists, and for a good reason.

After giving it a try myself, I was impressed with the precision and control it offered, making it easy to create even the most intricate designs. The lightweight and ergonomic design of the Mast Pen also makes it comfortable to use for extended periods of time.


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 users to see what they’re doing on the skin. The Dragonhawk Mast allows the user to work with many ink brands and different needle cartridge types.

It also works with different tattoo needle sizes.

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 tattooing needle depth.

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.

Feels lightweight, as if the user is holding a penThe tattoo 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 of 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.

Check: Is Dragonhawk a Good Tattoo Machine Brand?

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 much easier.

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

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

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


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 professional AND fun!

RELATED: How to Shade a Tattoo for Beginners

How it compares to others, and why?

Speaking from personal experience, I can confidently say that the FK Irons Spektra Rotary Machine is one of the easiest tattoo machines to use, especially for beginners who are just starting.

The machine is designed to minimize any complications or technical difficulties that may arise while using it, so you can focus on creating your art without any distractions.

The lightweight and ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold and maneuver, allowing for greater precision and control while tattooing.

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.

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 must buy more accessories before starting.
The durable motor comes with a one-year warranty, and the parts 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.

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

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As someone who has used the Dragonhawk Coil Tattoo machine, I can attest to its impressive power and precision. Despite being a popular choice among beginner tattoo artists, this machine can definitely hold its own against more advanced models.


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 instead of 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 necessary. For example, if you’re traveling outside of the US.

The kit includes 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.

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 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.

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Check: How to Clean Tattoo Machine?

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

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


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.

The 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.

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 tattooing, or permanent eyeliner.

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Related: How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?

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

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Finishing off the list of the best tattoo machines for beginners is this baby by 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.


After trying out this product, I found that despite its affordable price, this tattoo machine has impressive power that can handle a wide 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.

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 the 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. 

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6. Dragonhawk Mast Wireless Rotary Tattoo Pen Machine Kit

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So I recently got my hands on the Dragonhawk wireless tattoo pen machine kit, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive. The B1 battery power supply is super convenient, and the Mast tattoo machine has a strong custom motor.

Plus, the gear system is really innovative and makes for a totally silent, vibration-free operation.


  • The B1 battery has a 1300mAh capacity and can work for 6-12 hours
  • Wjx Disposable Cartridges Needles for all-purpose work.
  • Lightweight, low-noise pen has a custom motor for continuous operation.
Comes in a pen-like design offering extra comfortNot Durable
Suitable for all types of tattoos
Foot Pedal offers an easy power supply

How it Compares and Why

When compared to other rotary machines, it is relatively quiet. Its power supply is also very dependable.

Beginners will find it simple to use, while masters will appreciate the lightweight nature of the pen-style rotary tattoo machine.

Expert Tip

Look for inks that are suitable with both the pen tattoo equipment and your personal sense of style.

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7. Hildbrandt Tattoo Kit Professional 4 Machine Set

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After trying out the Hildbrandt Pro 3 tattoo kit, I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a comprehensive package that includes everything you need. The kit comes with cutting-edge technology and a range of extras that you won’t find in other tattoo kits on the market.


  • Three separate grips are given for comfort for both the clients and the artist
  • Tubes are sterilized (how are tattoo needles sterilized)
  • 50 Hildbrandt needles in groups of 10 needles per set
  • 3 different aluminum grips and sterilized 1-inch tubes
  • High-quality 7-color inks
  • Includes the Hildbrandt .44 Magnum Coil Liner, .38 Caliber Coil Shader, Witcher Rotary 4.5watt JEX0 motor with 3.5mm stroke Liner & Weaver Rotary 4.5watt motor with 3.0mm stroke Shader
  • Has a training system that combines the TeachMetoTattoo website’s online support, Tattoo Supply & Equipment Crash Course 101, the comprehensive textbook Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo, the Hildbrandt Training DVD’s visual tutorial, and the hardware required to learn the trade.
High-quality materialsComplex for beginners
Easy to Use
Sterilized tubes
Can be used under low voltage
Buyer protection

How it Compares and Why

The machine’s and its components’ user-friendly design provides maximum comfort for both the artist and the customer.

With Hildbrandt, short circuits are a thing of the past. Training manuals, videos, guidelines, and customer service are all very appreciated.

Its convenience and comfort come from the machine’s excellence in bringing out the latent genius that the artist wishes to communicate via it.

Expert Tip


A genuine apprenticeship with a professional tattoo shop is the time-honored approach to becoming a professional tattoo artist if you are serious about becoming one.

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8. Dragonhawk M3 Rotary Tattoo Pen Machine

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Dragonhawk Atom cartridge tattoo machine with precision RCA motor, continuous operation, low noise, long-term stability, lightweight, and unibody.

All cartridge needles are compatible.
Ergonomic, pen-style machine. This machine has a strong motor and a sophisticated gear system that ensures quiet, vibration-free operation.


  • Weight: 155g
  • Machine: 30mm Diameer 123mm length
  • Operating voltage:5-10V RCA
  • Needle protrusion:0-4.5mm
  • Stroke:3.5mm
  • Speed: 8V/10000Rpm strong and powerful for shading and lining
  • Ergonomic and lightweight
  • Has a powerful motor and advanced gear system ensuring reliable, quiet operation without no vibration
Easy to use for all beginners and artists.Needles are too thin
Low noise
Long-lasting stability
Compatible with all cartridge needles.

How it Compares and Why

This kit is easy to use by all beginners and artists. The custom motor and pen length makes it easy for long hours of practice.

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CHECK: The Difference Between Liner and Shader 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.

READ MORE: How to Adjust Needle Depth on Tattoo Pen?

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. If you have the means to get one of each, it may be best to have both kinds of machines in your arsenal.

READ MORE: Microblading Vs Machine Hair Strokes: Which Is Better?

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 want 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.

CHECK: Anatomy of a Tattoo Machine


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 start 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?

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

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tools for the best tattoo machine for beginners

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

About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.