Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

Patrick Belk
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Inking up has never been more accessible. As the technology to get a tattoo gets more advanced, machines are getting easier and safer to use.

But perhaps the scariest part of getting a tattoo is choosing a machine. If you are unfamiliar with the machine, a lot of what you see on the internet can be intimidating.

Let the artists at Artic Swap curate the most essential information that tattoo artists need to know about tattoo machines for beginners. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to choose the best tattoo machine and look out for when buying your first tattoo machine.

NameCategoryProduct
FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo MachineBest OverallFK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine
Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits SupplyBudget PickTattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits Supply
Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot PedalUpgrade PickDragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal

1. FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

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Pros:

  • Smooth and lightweight, even for beginners
  • Easier to use and set up than the majority of other machines out there
  • Has a comfortable grip and lets the artist exert even pressure

Read more about the FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

2. Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal

Our rating: 9 / 10

Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Comes with a lot of supplies: needle, foot pedal, pack of needles, and instructions
  • The case is very useful
  • The power supply is sturdy
  • It’s easy to use
  • The needles work well
  • The needles are durable
  • The needles are packaged very well
  • The power cord is long and heavy duty
  • The price is good
  • It’s easy to replace the needles

Cons:

  • It’s not ideal for professional use
  • The machine is loud
  • The instructions don’t explain everything
  • You might need additional supplies
  • The picture on the box isn’t accurate

It’s really hard to find a great tattoo machine for beginners, but you may have luck with this Dragonhawk machine. It has great reviews and great ratings even though it doesn’t have a very large following on Amazon. What’s nice is that it comes with the tattoo machine, foot pedal, a pack of needles, and a case.

Read more about the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal

3. FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Smooth and lightweight, even for beginners
  • Easier to use and set up than the majority of other machines out there
  • Has a comfortable grip and lets the artist exert even pressure

Read more about the FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine

4. Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines Power Supply 10 Color Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Tips Grips

Our rating: 8 / 10

Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines Power Supply 10 Color Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Tips Grips

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Weighs only .52 lbs
  • It’s an affordable kit
  • Professional quality without the professional price
  • Reliable machine
  • Includes all the equipment you’ll need to start your career
  • Great customer service
  • Professional needles
  • Reliable power supply
  • Easy to setup
  • Includes a storage box

Cons:

  • The tubes included are short
  • The case is a bit bulky

Tattoo machines are quite difficult to use. They require regular tuning, maintenance, and replacement parts. And in some cases, they can be quite dangerous. That’s why you should choose the best tattoo machine for beginners.

A great beginner tattoo machine will be easy to learn on, easy to manipulate, easy to maintain, and easy to use. These are a few things you should consider when shopping for a new kit.

Read more about the Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Standard Tunings Tattoo Machines Power Supply 10 Color Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Tips Grips

5. Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits Supply

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits Supply

Check Price on Amazon

Rather than buying a tattoo machine for a set price, starting tattoo artists will always purchase a kit that contains the tool needed for the job. The latest innovation in tattooing machines, ink cartridges, and tubes has proved to be both a blessing and a curse for tattoo artists in recent years. Although the interchangeable ink tubes have made the process easier overall, the lack of choice can reduce the quality of the machine when used by a beginner.

The best tattoo machine kits are easy to use, with a variety of tools at the disposal of the artist, and don’t break the bank. These two features allow a new tattoo artist to find a piece of their natural artistic creativity and help them to create quality tattoos at affordable prices.

This guide will show you how to narrow down your choices when shopping for the best tattoo machine kits for beginners.

Read more about the Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits Supply

6. Hummingbird Rotary Tattoo Machine V1 Silver

Our rating: 7 / 10

Hummingbird Rotary Tattoo Machine V1 Silver

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Pros:

  • The fine needle tip gives a smooth action
  • The needle bar is durable and smooth
  • It’s easier to clean than other tattoo machines
  • It’s lightweight

Cons:

  • The needles can’t be reattached
  • There is no buzzer connection
  • Some cases are too small
  • The power cord can break

6*5.5. mm

If you’re ready to take the big leap, then the hummingbird rotary tattoo machine is probably the best option for you.

This is a high-end tattoo machine that cost less than the average mid-range tattoo machine sets.

Read more about the Hummingbird Rotary Tattoo Machine V1 Silver

7. Bishop Authentic Rotary Tattoo Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

Bishop Authentic Rotary Tattoo Machine

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Pros:

  • Made with ABS high quality resin which is durable and long-lasting
  • This machine is well-balanced which makes it lightweight and easy to use
  • This is a versatile machine that can sustain long periods of continued working
  • The machine is water resistant
  • It has a standard full rotary movement
  • It can be used to create fine works of art

This is an excellent RCA tattoo machine with well-balanced features that make it a fine choice for artistry and other kinds of tattooing. Because it comes with a durable casing, you can expect the machine to serve you for as long as you need it.

This machine is what every beginner needs for a positive start when getting into the tattoo sphere.

Read more about the Bishop Authentic Rotary Tattoo Machine

8. Getbetterlife Danny Robinson's tattoo Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

Getbetterlife Danny Robinson's tattoo Machine

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A tattoo machine is the most important equipment that a tattoo artist can have. Without one, you cannot start getting yourself a tattoo. There are various causes that require you to buy tattoo machines. You can love tattoo art, you can have a passion for tattoo art or you may also love to work as a tattoo artist. Whatever is your reason, you will need a tattoo machine because it is the very basic need. Well, if we talk about the tattoo machine, we can differentiate between the pre-assembled and the custom built machines. The pre-assembled one comes with all the parts included in one kit while the custom built one includes individual parts that can be assembled in one kit.

The pre-assembled one comes with all the parts included in one kit. The kit consists of various parts of the tattoo machine that are required to get set for an exquisite tattoo. A pre-assembled kit includes a machine body, the needle bar, the needle bar shaft, the clutch arm, the motor, the bulb guard, and liner needle, the power cord and the foot pedal and the liner needle. It is also called the complete tattoo kits. These kits are available in various designs and also at affordable prices. The pre-assembled kits are easy to assemble. The machines are easy to assemble and the components of it are easily accessible.

Read more about the Getbetterlife Danny Robinson's tattoo Machine

9. Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Machine Space Aluminum Machine

Our rating: 5 / 10

Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Machine Space Aluminum Machine

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Looking for a standard, all-purpose tattoo machine at a great price? The Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Machine might be just what you’re looking for. It has a durable aluminum case with built-in timer.

At the heart of the machine is a DC power supply. The power supply accommodates negative or positive polarity but won’t work without polarity. A cable is attached to the back of the case that needs to be connected to the power supply, and the machine also has a standard polar cord.

This tattoo machine has a standard coil resistance of 9.6k ohm, which means that you can replace the coil with any coil on the market, as long as you’re using a 9.6k ohm coil. The minimum needle voltage is 4.5V. And the maximum is 15V. For you to achieve the most vibrant effects, we recommend keeping the volt under 10 V.

Read more about the Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Machine Space Aluminum Machine

10. Getbetterlife® New Pro Blue Rotary Tattoo Machine Guns

Our rating: 4 / 10

Getbetterlife® New Pro Blue Rotary Tattoo Machine Guns

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Pros:

  • All metal body
  • High quality – Heavy duty, durable, long lasting
  • Precision ground shafts
  • Allows for smooth and seamless operation
  • Includes a power on/off button to save battery
  • Perfect for tattoo artists with a variety in style and experience
  • Comes with a storage box
  • Great starter kit for beginners
  • Comes with bonus stencils, a 10-foot power cord, a pack of needles, and instructions
  • There’s also a 30-day warranty

Cons:

  • The kit is a bit pricey
  • The needles aren’t great and tend to break easily
  • Some users say the stencils are small

Most guidebooks out there will tell you that cheap tattoo machines aren’t worth getting. If you’re looking to be a professional artist, then you should always buy something that’s going to be durable and stand the test of time. So is this saying that beginners should’t get this machine?

Not at all.

Read more about the Getbetterlife® New Pro Blue Rotary Tattoo Machine Guns

11. Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Rotary Tattoo Machine Brass Frame CNC Machine RCA Connected

Our rating: 3 / 10

Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Rotary Tattoo Machine Brass Frame CNC Machine RCA Connected

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • High voltage and high velocity for deep and crisp tattoos
  • The solid metal housing offers excellent heat resistance
  • It’s lightweight at only 6.6 oz
  • The machine is free of center magnetic spins, which results in less vibrations
  • The brass frame is durable and resilient
  • Four extreme rotary motors resulting in 1500 micro-steps per minute
  • You have the option to control the rotation using an external speed controller
  • Does not require constant maintenance, which makes it cost-effective

Read more about the Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Rotary Tattoo Machine Brass Frame CNC Machine RCA Connected

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best tattoo machine for beginners?

There are two main types of tattoo machines: rotary and coil. Rotary machines have become more popular due to the fact that they are cheaper and easier to maintain, and they can be used with tubes or no tubes. Coil machines are a little more difficult to get the hang of and are used with a power supply. Coil machines used in combination with tubes are the best for shading and creating tapestry work.

What is the best tattoo pen machine?

You don’t necessarily need the most expensive tattoo equipment available. If you’re just getting started, you will only be practicing on yourself or friends, so buying quality equipment will cost you more than it’s worth.

You can get started by doing some research on the world of tattoo equipment online. Reviews and information on forums can help you find the best cheap tattoo pen for beginners. Read reviews, watch videos, and ask a lot of questions before you choose a tattoo machine.

What kind of tattoo guns do professionals use?

Usually professionals use tattoo guns that are powered by electricity. They use types made of metal, not plastic. The gun should have a very good grip, fit your hand perfectly and shouldn’t be too heavy for you. Adjusting the needle depth is one of the most important settings of any gun. It’s very important to check the condition of the needle because it’s the most important element of a tattoo gun. In most cases, you’ll also have to adjust the machine’s speed and give it a test run before a customer.

What voltage should a tattoo machine be at?

We recommend that you purchase a machine with a voltage between 9 and 12 Volts. This range is ideal for beginners because of how easy it is to look after. There’s no gear or clutch plate to worry about stripping or damage, and you won’t be making contact with a lot of current. However, remember that the higher the voltage, the thicker the line of ink will be. Also, the more expensive the machine will be.

Conclusion

Choosing the best tattoo machine can be quite a challenge. This is because there are many pieces of equipment to choose from, and any given piece of equipment can be made by several companies or manufacturers. We hope that this guide has helped to simplify things for you and has helped you make a decision about which machine is best for you.

We hope that this guide has served as a starting point for your research and that it has helped you make the best possible decision for your wants and needs. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo MachineBest OverallFK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine
Tattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits SupplyBudget PickTattoo Machine,New Star Tattoo Dragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machine Shader & Liner 7 Colors Assorted Tatoo Motor Gun Kits Supply
Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot PedalUpgrade PickDragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Supply 20Pcs Wjx Cartridges Needles Foot Pedal