Nearly 140 yrs ago, Thomas Edison invented a power pen to increase the entire process of creating duplicate copies of content. Little did he recognize that within fifteen years, someone would discover how to convert his electric pens, called Stencil-Pens, into Tattoo Supplies. That someone was Sam O’Reilly, who developed the very first ink tube and needle system to be used with Edison’s rotary-powered electric pens in 1851. Just 20 days after O’Reilly filed his tattoo ink reservoir patent, a gentleman called Thomas Riley patented the very first single-coil tattoo machine all over the pond in London, England. Immediately after, fellow Londoner Alfred Charles South created the first double-coil tattoo machine. The ideas laid forth by these founding fathers of recent tattooing have been steadily improved upon ever since.
The tattoo machine has changed by leaps and bounds since O’Reilly, Riley and South invented the initial three iterations in the rotary and coil tattoo machines. Coil tattoo machines are not any longer so heavy that they have to be suspended from your ceiling to be operable, like South’s first double-coil tattoo machine was. Rotary tattoo machines are even more advanced and represent a number of the quietest, gentlest tattoo machines on the market today. Let’s take a look at exactly what makes these two kinds of modern-day tattoo machines tick.
How Rotary Tattoo Machines WorkRotary and coil tattoo machines operate in two alternative methods to get the same goal of inserting ink under the surface of the skin (i.e. epidermis) and depositing it to the secondary layer of skin, referred to as the dermis. Over a rotary tattoo machine, the needle bar is connected to a nub on the top of a cylindrical motor that spins clockwise, moving the needle bar forward and backward within 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 far more complicated fashion. They utilize electromagnetic current to make and break a circuit in the cyclical fashion, moving the needles linked to the machine forward in to the skin if the circuit is produced and retracting them once the circuit breaks.
When power is delivered to a coil tattoo machine, both coils are charged and transformed into an electromagnet (see image below). The electromagnet produced 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 of the armature bar pulls the top spring down with it to result in the spring to disconnect from 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 through the coils. The spring linked to the armature bar wishes to move straight back to its natural position, and yes it pulls the armature bar on top of it. Once the front spring reconnects with the contact screw, the circuit and electromagnetic field are re-established. That starts the process over again, pulling the armature bar back, forcing the attached needles into the skin, pulling the front spring out of the contact screw, and breaking the circuit once again.
Just how a coil machine is powered creates a hammer-like effect that drives tattoo needles in the skin more forcefully than they’d be moved by way of a rotary motor. There’s constant power shipped to a rotary motor that keeps it transferring a fluid, clockwise pattern, pushing needles in to the skin and pulling them back out more smoothly. Rotary tattoo machines therefore are typically gentler onto the skin, and tattoos made with rotary tattoo machines often heal faster with less scarring–specially when inked by novice tattoo artists. That said, if you like the buzz of tattoo machines that’s traditionally related to tattoo shops, then the coil tattoo machine is the selection for you–especially if you’re an experienced artist who is able to run a coil machine with finesse. Rotary machines can be extremely quiet in contrast, and there are fewer moving parts involved, which implies they’re typically more low-maintenance than traditional coil machines.
So it will be easier for you to check coil and rotary tattoo machines side-by-side, we’ve provided these chart detailing the typical advantages and disadvantages artists have raised about each kind of machine. Please be aware that the artistic experience, the quality of the machine you end up picking, plus your knowledge of the two primary kinds of tattoo machines will all impact the personal benefits and drawbacks you have using a rotary tattoo machine versus a coil tattoo machine. These a few of the general factors you should look at before deciding which type of machine to purchase.
Once you’ve decided that you might want either a coil or possibly a rotary tattoo machine, it’s a chance to take a close look at the tattoo machine brands and models accessible to you. These list contains some of the top options offered on PainfulPleasures.com. To get a comprehensive set of the tattoo machines accessible to you, check out our Tattoo Machines section. You can also read our full Coil vs. Rotary Tattoo Machines article for more in-depth specifics about the brands listed below, rotary and coil tattoo machine diagrams, and extra information regarding the differences between these two 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 he really has an energetic role in every areas 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 come tuned so they’re willing to use right out from the box.Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines
Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines – These 4 oz. rotary tattoo machines are incredibly perfectly balanced that they can feel practically weightless with you. They alleviate wrist pain and signs and symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome, and let artists to function faster and longer. Each Bishop Rotary machine features a Swiss Maxon motor encased in billet aircraft-grade aluminum. This machine utilizes a needle clip rather than traditional rubber band setup, eliminating unwanted needle motion. Each tattoo needle cartridge is hand-assembled and guaranteed for life.
Borg Tattoo Machines Borg Coil Tattoo Machines – These traditional coil tattoo machines are handmade with care in the us. Borg tattoo machines provide lightweight, single-piece aluminum frames, which can make these appliances light overall and incredibly well-balanced. Each component of every machine is hand-crafted in Borg’s workshops, from the 8 wrap coils on their silver contact screws. Both Borg liners and shaders weigh in only 5.5 oz. each, making them easy to maneuver as you tattoo.
Cheyenne Hawk Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Cheyenne Hawk Thunder and Spirit are a couple of the lightest tattoo machines on the market, weighing in at roughly 3.9 oz. (110g) each with their grips attached. Cheyenne Hawk tattoo machines provide all the key benefits of rotary machines without having to sacrifice the feedback response inherent in coil tattoo machines, as well as their fine craftsmanship gives artists the best measure of control. They’re lightweight and versatile, plus they have long-life ball-bearing motors. You can utilize 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 is hand-crafting exquisite coil and rotary tattoo machines in Argentina for over 37 years. Each machine they produce is carefully hand-assembled over an 8-hour period. Their machines run strong even at low voltages and may be used immediately from the box. CTPS Saveria offers several rotary tattoo machine options and 5 styles of coil tattoo machines which include many different liners, shaders and painters.Precision Tattoo Machines by CTPS Saveria
CTPS also manufactures Precision coil tattoo machines, which they make excusively for Painful Pleasures. The Precision brand encompasses lines of medical, piercing and tattoo supplies of the highest quality which are sold for some of the finest 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 to hand craft their fine coil tattoo machines from raw materials. Dead Nuts Ink Tattoo MachinesThey make all of their own hardware in-house and might customize any of their tattoo machines to satisfy specific artists’ needs. Each Dead Nuts Ink tattoo machine is crafted from a single-piece Cast Ductile Iron frame that’s finished in-house, hand-signed, numbered, perfectly tuned for fast out-of-the-box use, and sent using 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 help make unique rotary tattoo machines at highly-huge discounts. Their Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine is undoubtedly an ergonomic, state-of-the-art machine created from the very best-quality materials available. It’s a light-weight, quiet machine having an adjustable suspension system that permits artists to easily adjust needle hitting force, and it comes with a needle bar retainer. Utilize 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 by using a wrist-friendly design that shifts all the weight to give Ego tattoo machines an almost pen-like feel and artists maximum needle control. The Tiny Ego is constructed from quality, scratch-free plastics and contains a special UV coating that means it is an easy task 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 acquire the ideal give and throw each and every time you tattoo.
FK Irons Coil Tattoo Machines – All Fallen King Irons (FK Irons) AL13 coil tattoo machines are carefully-crafted 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 only 4.5 oz. (~127.6g) each. The cutback liners and shaders have a shorter front spring, therefore they run faster even when used with the same voltage since the conventional liners and shaders. The lighter armature bar on FK Irons soft shaders allows them to run faster and much more softly than their color packers.
Godoy Tattoo MachinesGodoy Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Godoy Machines concentrates on innovation through experimentation. They attempt to educate tattoo artists of levels of skill and provide probably the most updated tattooing information available through their seminars and books like Tattoo Machines and Their Secrets. Godoy believes that you’ll be better equipped to make use of any tattoo once you completely grasp how your tattoo machine functions, the basis behind their educational endeavors. Benefit from the solid functionality of the Godoy coil tattoo machine and learn the way it works inside and outside with Godoy Machines’ book, which can be purchased in both English and Spanish and in many different 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 have a long-grain “fiber” construction, plus they assist artists in creating superior tattoos. The InkJecta Flite v2.1 Combo and Vice models come with brushless 5 watt Maxon motors that make these appliances unique; they’re the only rotary machines out there that have the capability to run at lower speeds without having to sacrifice power or the caliber of your job. Take advantage of the Combo model with adjustable grips and 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 both liner and shader varieties. Pirat offers their coil tattoo machines in 16 standardized models as well as a special group of “one-piece only” machines. Additionally they want to release a brand new rotary tattoo machine later this year.Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines
Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines – Your Skin Layer 2 rotary tattoo machine includes a unique adjustable give that lets you set the machine “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 as well as a needle clip as opposed to rubber bands, weighs in at just 3.2 oz. (90g), and may support approximately 55 magnum needles. This is a fast, high-quality rotary tattoo machine that will help you ink an excellent tattoo every time you employ it.
Spektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK IronsSpektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK Irons – Together with their coil machines, FK Irons now offers a brand of rotary tattoo machines. Choose between the Spektra Halo and Spektra Direkt rotary tattoo machines, which each offer unique advantages. The Spektra Halo tattoo machine delivers ultimate performance having its autoclavable body and innovative MotorBolt System. Having a few different MotorBolts will give you the flexibleness to improve stroke about 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 within 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 not difficult to transfer and comes with a adjustable stroke module which includes 3 setting options. It’s a virtually maintenance-free tattoo machine by using a Hex Drive motor system that decreases the axial load on the motor shaft to increase the motor’s life minimizing vibrations.Stigma Rotary Tattoo Machines.
Stigma-Rotary Tattoo Machines – Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are durable, ergonomic, and easy to maneuver rotary machines made by a world-leading tattoo machine manufacturer. These sleek-looking machines come with the strongest Swiss-made Maxon motors on the market, and they’re completed a lasting sheen that keeps them looking pristine even with numerous years of use. Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are reliable, powerful and classy rotary machines that include an 21dexjpky warranty. Choose from 4 styles, including the Amen, the Beast, the Hyper V3, and also the Prodigy, as well as a large selection of Stigma rotary machine parts which can be used to maintain your machine running efficiently.
Tatmatic Tattoo MachinesTatmatic Mfg. Coil Tattoo Machines – Tatmatic Manufacturing provides a brand of coil tattoo machines created by Dave Ritchie, who builds high-quality machines exclusively for professional tattoo artists. The quality 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 come with 6 wrap coils.
Valor Direct Rotary Tattoo Machines by TatSoul – After greater than a couple of years in development, the Valor by TatSoul is finally here! These rotary tattoo machines were designed by a number of the finest tattoo artists in the market with impeccable craftsmanship and the aim of making a rotary machine that outperforms other tattoo machines in every single way possible. The Valor Direct rotary tattoo machine includes 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 ensure perfection in fit and performance. They are strong, lightweight, needle cartridge that perform brilliantly.
Vital Tattoo MachinesVital Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Vital Machines strives for the highest build quality in the industry, they’re continuously improving their machines, they don’t cut corners, and their staff is comprised of machinists, designers, engineers, and tattoo artists with several years of industry experience. By using 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, each day. Vital Machines are made in the US from aircraft-grade aluminum, along with their easy-to-clean, professionally-anodized exteriors won’t chip or fade. Inside they contain the highest grade of magnetic steel, insulators made out of durable aircraft composite that doesn’t crack or distort, highly-conductive brass and copper electrical components, and mechanical parts made 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 piece of 1018 Cold-Rolled Steel in Welker’s state-of-the-art machine shop. Welker coil tattoo machines can be purchased with your choice of a blue “antique” or black oxide frame finish, each of which include finished brass binding posts and contact screws. Welker Rotary Tattoo MachinesYou can make use of nearly any size and elegance of tubes using these hand-tuned machines, which feature unique Welker grips and they are guaranteed for a lifetime. In addition to their coil machines, Welker also now offers both a regular rotary and an adjustable rotary tattoo machine. The adjustable machine incorporates a spring tension that you can screw to alter the hit to the preference, whereas the conventional rotary machine includes a medium throw and the capability to adjust the hit off of the power source.