Nearly 140 yrs ago, Thomas Edison invented a power pen to quicken the process of creating duplicate copies of content. Little did he understand that within 15 years, someone would learn how to convert his electric pens, called Stencil-Pens, into Tattoo Supplies. That someone was Sam O’Reilly, who developed the first ink tube and needle system for usage with Edison’s rotary-powered electric pens in 1851. Just 20 days after O’Reilly filed his tattoo ink reservoir patent, a gentleman named Thomas Riley patented the very first single-coil tattoo machine all over the pond inside london, England. Soon after, fellow Londoner Alfred Charles South came up with first double-coil tattoo machine. The minds laid forth by these founding fathers of modern tattooing have been steadily improved upon since that time.
The tattoo machine has evolved by leaps and bounds since O’Reilly, Riley and South invented the 1st three iterations from the rotary and coil tattoo machines. Coil tattoo machines are no more so heavy that they need to be suspended in the ceiling to get operable, like South’s first double-coil tattoo machine was. Rotary tattoo machines are a lot more advanced and represent a number of the quietest, gentlest tattoo machines on the market today. Let’s look into exactly what makes these 2 kinds of modern-day tattoo machines tick.
How Rotary Tattoo Machines WorkRotary and coil tattoo machines operate in two different methods to achieve the same goal of inserting ink underneath the surface of the skin (i.e. epidermis) and depositing it in to the secondary layer of skin, referred to as dermis. With a rotary tattoo machine, the needle bar is linked to a nub on top of a cylindrical motor that spins clockwise, moving the needle bar to and fro in a linear fashion as the motor rotates (see image to right). That motion inserts tattoo needles to the skin and retracts them smoothly, in some constant, fluid motions. Coil tattoo machines work quite differently, in a much more complicated fashion. They utilize electromagnetic current to generate and break a circuit in the cyclical fashion, moving the needles connected to the machine forward to the skin once the circuit is generated and retracting them if the circuit breaks.
When power is delivered to a coil tattoo machine, the 2 coils are charged and turned into an electromagnet (see image below). The electromagnet made by the coils pulls the machine’s armature bar down towards the coils, which subsequently forces the attached tattoo needles down and in the skin. The downward motion from the armature bar pulls the top spring down by using it to result in the spring to disconnect in the contact screw above it which a second before had completed a circuit. How Coil Tattoo Machines WorkThat break in the circuit causes the electromagnetic field to collapse momentarily, releasing the armature bar from the coils. The spring connected to the armature bar wants to move straight back to its natural position, plus it pulls the armature bar track of it. When the front spring reconnects using the contact screw, the circuit and electromagnetic field are re-established. That starts the procedure all over again, pulling the armature bar back, forcing the attached needles into the skin, pulling the leading spring away from the contact screw, and breaking the circuit again.
The way in which a coil machine is powered generates a hammer-like effect that drives tattoo needles into the skin more forcefully than they’d be moved with a rotary motor. There’s constant power sent to a rotary motor that keeps it moving in a fluid, clockwise pattern, pushing needles in to the skin and pulling them back out more smoothly. Rotary tattoo machines therefore are usually gentler on the skin, and tattoos designed with rotary tattoo machines often heal faster and with less scarring–specially when inked by novice tattoo artists. Nevertheless, if you enjoy the buzz of tattoo machines that’s traditionally related to tattoo shops, then this coil tattoo machine is the choice for you–specifically if you’re a highly skilled artist who can manage a coil machine with finesse. Rotary machines are incredibly quiet in comparison, where there are fewer moving parts involved, which means they’re typically more low-maintenance than traditional coil machines.
To make it easier to compare coil and rotary tattoo machines side-by-side, we’ve provided the following chart detailing the overall benefits and drawbacks artists have raised about each type of machine. Take note your artistic experience, the caliber of the appliance you choose, plus your experience with both the primary forms of tattoo machines will all impact the individual benefits and drawbacks you have by using a rotary tattoo machine versus a coil tattoo machine. These a few of the normal factors you should think about before deciding which kind of machine to get.
Once you’ve decided that you would like either a coil or possibly a rotary tattoo machine, it’s time and energy to take a closer inspection on the tattoo machine brands and models available. The following list contains a number of the top options offered on PainfulPleasures.com. For the comprehensive listing of the tattoo machines available to you, check out our Tattoo Machines section. You can even read our full Coil vs. Rotary Tattoo Machines article for further in-depth details about the brands further down, rotary and coil tattoo machine diagrams, and extra details about the differences between these 2 types of tattoo machines.
Baltimore Street Irons Tattoo MachinesBaltimore Street Irons Coil Tattoo Machines – This Pennsylvania-based tattoo machine company was established by Charles “Trey” Freeland in 2007, but Trey’s been making tattoo machines since 1996 and that he still has an energetic role in all regions of his business. Every Baltimore Street Irons coil tattoo machine is crafted with great skill and dedication. All of the machine parts and tattoo machines they manufacture are thoroughly tested and are avalable tuned so they’re prepared to use right out of the box.Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines
Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines – These 4 oz. rotary tattoo machines are extremely perfectly balanced that they can feel practically weightless with you. They alleviate wrist pain and indications of carpel tunnel syndrome, and let artists to function faster and longer. Each Bishop Rotary machine has a Swiss Maxon motor encased in billet aircraft-grade aluminum. This machine utilizes a needle clip rather than the traditional rubber band setup, eliminating unwanted needle motion. Each needle cartridge is hand-assembled and guaranteed for a lifetime.
Borg Tattoo Machines Borg Coil Tattoo Machines – These traditional coil tattoo machines are handmade properly in the us. Borg tattoo machines are known for their lightweight, single-piece aluminum frames, that make these machines light overall and incredibly well-balanced. Each part of every machine is hand-crafted in Borg’s workshops, from the 8 wrap coils with their silver contact screws. Both Borg liners and shaders weigh in only 5.5 oz. each, leading them to be easy to maneuver as you tattoo.
Cheyenne Hawk Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Cheyenne Hawk Thunder and Spirit are 2 of the lightest tattoo machines available on the market, weighing in at roughly 3.9 oz. (110g) each using their grips attached. Cheyenne Hawk tattoo machines provide all the benefits of rotary machines without having to sacrifice the feedback response built into coil tattoo machines, along with their fine craftsmanship gives artists the greatest degree of control. They’re lightweight and versatile, and they also have long-life ball-bearing motors. You can use these dynamic rotary machines with nearly any conventional power source.
CTPS Saveria Tattoo MachinesCTPS Saveria Coil & Rotary Tattoo Machines – Top South American tattoo machine manufacturer CTPS Saveria has become hand-crafting exquisite coil and rotary tattoo machines in Argentina in excess of 37 years. Each machine they produce is carefully hand-assembled over an 8-hour period. Their machines run strong even at low voltages and can be used immediately from the box. CTPS Saveria offers several rotary tattoo machine options and 5 types of coil tattoo machines including a number of liners, shaders and painters.Precision Tattoo Machines by CTPS Saveria
CTPS also manufactures Precision coil tattoo machines, that they make excusively for Painful Pleasures. The Precision brand encompasses lines of medical, piercing and tattoo supplies of the best which can be sold for among the best prices you’ll find online, and our coil tattoo machines are no exception.
Dead Nuts Ink Coil Tattoo Machines – This California-based company employs a team of machining and engineering veterans at hand craft their fine coil tattoo machines from raw materials. Dead Nuts Ink Tattoo MachinesThey make their own hardware in-house and might customize some of their tattoo machines to satisfy specific artists’ needs. Each Dead Nuts Ink tattoo machine is crafted from one-piece Cast Ductile Iron frame that’s finished in-house, hand-signed, numbered, perfectly tuned for fast out-of-the-box use, and sent with a lifetime warranty.
Dragonfly Tattoo Machines by Ink MachinesDragonfly Rotary Tattoo Machines by Ink Machines – This Swedish tattoo machine manufacturer uses its top-notch facility and broad industry knowledge to make unique rotary tattoo machines at highly-competitive prices. Their Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine is undoubtedly an ergonomic, state-of-the-art machine made from the very best-quality materials available. It’s a lightweight, quiet machine having an adjustable suspension system which allows artists to easily adjust needle hitting force, and it includes a needle bar retainer. Use the Dragonfly tattoo machine with any standard grips, tubes, needles, and tattoo power source.
Ego Apex Overkill & Little Ego Tattoo MachinesEgo Rotary Tattoo Machines – World-renowned tattoo artist Bez of Triplesix Studios developed the small Ego and Ego Apex Overkill having a wrist-friendly design that shifts every one of the weight to give Ego tattoo machines an almost pen-like feel and artists maximum needle control. The Little Ego is made from quality, scratch-free plastics and has a particular UV coating which make it very easy to clean. The newer Ego Apex Overkill is crafted from an excellent block of aircraft aluminum that weighs under half a pound, and it comes with a Swiss-made Maxon Overkill motor. Use Bez’s power triangles with one of these rotary machines to simulate the spring effect of coil tattoo machines and obtain the perfect give and throw whenever you tattoo.
FK Irons Coil Tattoo Machines – All Fallen King Irons (FK Irons) AL13 coil tattoo machines are carefully-constructed from the hardest aircraft-grade aluminum available, making them extremely lightweight whilst indestructible. FK Irons conventional and cutback lining and shading coil tattoo machines all weigh in at only 4.5 oz. (~127.6g) each. The cutback liners and shaders have a shorter front spring, so that they run faster regardless if used on the same voltage because the conventional liners and shaders. The lighter armature bar on FK Irons soft shaders allows them to run faster plus more softly than their color packers.
Godoy Tattoo MachinesGodoy Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Godoy Machines specializes in innovation through experimentation. They aim to educate tattoo artists of skill levels and present by far the most up-to-date tattooing information available through their seminars and books like Tattoo Machines in addition to their Secrets. Godoy believes that you’ll be better equipped to apply any tattoo when you fully understand the way your tattoo machine functions, the basis behind their educational endeavors. Take pleasure in the solid functionality of the Godoy coil tattoo machine and learn how it operates inside and outside with Godoy Machines’ book, which comes in both English and Spanish and in a number of formats.
InkJecta Rotary Tattoo Machines – The InkJecta Flite v2.1 is created in Australia for tattoo artists, by tattoo artists. These lightweight, long-lasting rotary tattoo machines use a long-grain “fiber” construction, plus they assist artists in creating superior tattoos. Both the InkJecta Flite v2.1 Combo and Vice models have brushless 5 watt Maxon motors that can make these appliances unique; they’re the only rotary machines available on the market that have the capacity to run at lower speeds without sacrificing power or the caliber of your work. Make use of the Combo model with adjustable grips and also the Vice model with flex and fixed grips.
Pirat Tattoo MachinesPirat Coil Tattoo Machines – Pirat tattoo machines are handmade from the Czech Republic from durable iron and aluminum. These are generally precise, lightweight, smooth-running coil tattoo machines available in liner and shader varieties. Pirat offers their coil tattoo machines in 16 standardized models and a special series of “one-piece only” machines. They also intend to release a whole new rotary tattoo machine later this year.Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines
Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Facial Skin 2 rotary tattoo machine has a unique adjustable give that lets you set the device “harder” for lining and “softer” for filling, shading and coloring making use of the adjustment notches on the cap. These lightweight, silent machines from Italy also produce minimal vibrations. Each Skin 2 tattoo machine has a Swiss-made motor and a needle clip rather than rubber bands, weighs in at just 3.2 oz. (90g), and definately will support up to 55 magnum needles. This really is a fast, high-quality rotary tattoo machine that will assist you ink an excellent tattoo every time you make use of it.
Spektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK IronsSpektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK Irons – Together with their coil machines, FK Irons also provides a line of rotary tattoo machines. Select from the Spektra Halo and Spektra Direkt rotary tattoo machines, which each offer unique advantages. The Spektra Halo tattoo machine delivers ultimate performance with its autoclavable body and innovative MotorBolt System. Having some different MotorBolts gives you the flexibility to change stroke around the fly by simply changing motors through the Halo’s easy 1/4-turn mechanism. The Spektra Direkt tattoo machine has body-mounted strokes that stay inside of the machine body, as well as the casing is precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum that’s anodized in your choice of 7 different colors. This 2.8 oz. machine is easy to maneuver and posseses an adjustable stroke module which includes 3 setting options. It’s a virtually maintenance-free tattoo machine with a Hex Drive motor system that cuts down on the axial load in the motor shaft to increase the motor’s life and minimize vibrations.Stigma Rotary Tattoo Machines.
Stigma-Rotary Tattoo Machines – Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are durable, ergonomic, and easy to transfer rotary machines produced by a world-leading tattoo machine manufacturer. These sleek-looking machines feature the most powerful Swiss-made Maxon motors in the marketplace, and they’re completed a lasting sheen that keeps them looking pristine even with several years of use. Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are reliable, powerful and classy rotary machines that come with an 21dexjpky warranty. Pick from 4 styles, like the Amen, the Beast, the Hyper V3, and the Prodigy, and also a large variety of Stigma rotary machine parts which you can use to keep your machine working efficiently.
Tatmatic Tattoo MachinesTatmatic Mfg. Coil Tattoo Machines – Tatmatic Manufacturing supplies a type of coil tattoo machines developed by Dave Ritchie, who builds high-quality machines mainly for professional tattoo artists. The grade of his work shows in just about every one of Tatmatic’s hard-hitting, precise and trendy coil tattoo machines. Both our Tatmatic liners and shaders include 6 wrap coils.
Valor Direct Rotary Tattoo Machines by TatSoul – After greater than two years in development, the Valor by TatSoul is finally here! These rotary tattoo machines were developed by a few of the finest tattoo artists in the market with impeccable craftsmanship and the objective of building a rotary machine that outperforms other tattoo machines in every way possible. The Valor Direct rotary tattoo machine carries a sleek yet practical body that conveys its power and sturdiness. Each Valor Direct machine is hand-assembled and tested by TatSoul’s in-house team to guarantee perfection in fit and function. These are strong, lightweight, needle cartridge that perform brilliantly.
Vital Tattoo MachinesVital Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Vital Machines strives for that highest build quality in the industry, they’re continuously improving their machines, they don’t cut corners, in addition to their staff is composed of machinists, designers, engineers, and tattoo artists with many years of industry experience. With one of these standards in position, Vital Machines has produced a line of versatile coil tattoo machines which are lightweight, agile, adjustable, powerful, durable, capable to deal with everyone day, every day. Vital Machines are made in the US from aircraft-grade aluminum, and their easy-to-clean, professionally-anodized exteriors won’t chip or fade. Inside they include the highest grade of magnetic steel, insulators created from durable aircraft composite that doesn’t crack or distort, highly-conductive brass and copper electrical components, and mechanical parts created from tempered tool steel that won’t dent, bend or break.
Welker Coil & Rotary Tattoo Machines – Each precision Welker tattoo machine is CNC machined from just one bit of 1018 Cold-Rolled Steel in Welker’s state-of-the-art machine shop. Welker coil tattoo machines can be purchased with your selection of a blue “antique” or black oxide frame finish, both of which have finished brass binding posts and make contact with screws. Welker Rotary Tattoo MachinesYou are able to use nearly any size and elegance of tubes with these hand-tuned machines, which have unique Welker grips and so are guaranteed for life. Together with their coil machines, Welker also now offers both a typical rotary as well as an adjustable rotary tattoo machine. The adjustable machine comes with a spring tension you could screw to adjust the hit in your preference, whereas the typical rotary machine features a medium throw and the opportunity to adjust the hit off the power source.