Nearly 140 years back, Thomas Edison invented an electric powered pen to increase the entire process of creating duplicate copies of content. Little did he know that within 15 years, someone would learn how to convert his electric pens, called Stencil-Pens, into Tattoo Equipment. That someone was Sam O’Reilly, who developed the 1st ink tube and needle system to use 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 initial single-coil tattoo machine throughout the pond in London, England. Immediately after, fellow Londoner Alfred Charles South came up with the first double-coil tattoo machine. The minds laid forth by these founding fathers of contemporary tattooing are already steadily improved upon from the 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 not any longer so heavy that they have to be suspended from the ceiling to be operable, like South’s first double-coil tattoo machine was. Rotary tattoo machines are more advanced and represent several of the quietest, gentlest tattoo machines on the market today. Let’s have a look at what makes these two types of modern-day tattoo machines tick.
How Rotary Tattoo Machines WorkRotary and coil tattoo machines function in two different methods to achieve the same goal of inserting ink below the top of the skin (i.e. epidermis) and depositing it to the secondary layer of skin, referred to as dermis. Over a rotary tattoo machine, the needle bar is connected to a nub on top of a cylindrical motor that spins clockwise, moving the needle bar to and fro inside 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 more complicated fashion. They utilize electromagnetic current to generate and break a circuit inside a cyclical fashion, moving the needles coupled to the machine forward in to the skin as soon as the circuit is made and retracting them if the circuit breaks.
When power is transported to a coil tattoo machine, both coils are charged and converted into an electromagnet (see image below). The electromagnet made by the coils pulls the machine’s armature bar down for the coils, which subsequently forces the attached tattoo needles down and into the skin. The downward motion of your armature bar pulls the top spring down along with it and results in the spring to disconnect in the contact screw above it that the 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 your coils. The spring coupled to the armature bar wishes to move to its natural position, and it pulls the armature bar on top of it. As soon as the front spring reconnects using the contact screw, the circuit and electromagnetic field are re-established. That starts the procedure yet again, pulling the armature bar back, forcing the attached needles in the skin, pulling the front side spring out of the contact screw, and breaking the circuit once more.
The way a coil machine is powered produces a hammer-like effect that drives tattoo needles in the skin more forcefully than they’d be moved by a rotary motor. There’s constant power transported to a rotary motor that keeps it moving in a fluid, clockwise pattern, pushing needles in the skin and pulling them back out more smoothly. Rotary tattoo machines therefore are usually gentler on the epidermis, and tattoos designed with rotary tattoo machines often heal faster together with less scarring–especially when inked by novice tattoo artists. That said, if you enjoy the buzz of tattoo machines that’s traditionally related to tattoo shops, then the coil tattoo machine is the option for you–especially if you’re a highly skilled artist who are able to run a coil machine with finesse. Rotary machines can be extremely quiet in contrast, and there are fewer moving parts involved, which suggests they’re typically more low-maintenance than traditional coil machines.
Making it easier for you to check coil and rotary tattoo machines side-by-side, we’ve provided the following chart detailing the overall positives and negatives artists have raised about each kind of machine. Please note that your artistic experience, the caliber of the device you end up picking, plus your knowledge of both primary forms of tattoo machines will all impact the individual positives and negatives you have by using a rotary tattoo machine versus a coil tattoo machine. These are just some of the typical factors you should consider before deciding which kind of machine to buy.
Once you’ve decided that you might want either a coil or perhaps a rotary tattoo machine, it’s time to take a close look on the tattoo machine brands and models available. The next list contains a number of the top options offered on PainfulPleasures.com. To get a comprehensive list of the tattoo machines available to you, please go to our Tattoo Machines section. You can even read our full Coil vs. Rotary Tattoo Machines article for more in-depth information about the brands further down, rotary and coil tattoo machine diagrams, and further information regarding 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 he still has an energetic role in all of the aspects of his business. Every Baltimore Street Irons coil tattoo machine is crafted with great skill and dedication. All the machine parts and tattoo machines they manufacture are thoroughly tested and are avalable tuned so they’re ready to use right out of your box.Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines
Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines – These 4 oz. rotary tattoo machines are incredibly perfectly balanced which they feel practically weightless in your hands. They alleviate wrist pain and signs of carpel tunnel syndrome, and allow artists to operate 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 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 united states. Borg tattoo machines provide lightweight, single-piece aluminum frames, which can make these appliances light overall and incredibly well-balanced. Each part of every machine is hand-crafted in Borg’s workshops, using their 8 wrap coils on their silver contact screws. Both Borg liners and shaders weigh in at just 5.5 oz. each, making them simple to maneuver when you tattoo.
Cheyenne Hawk Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Cheyenne Hawk Thunder and Spirit are two of the lightest tattoo machines in the marketplace, weighing in at roughly 3.9 oz. (110g) each because of their grips attached. Cheyenne Hawk tattoo machines provide all some great benefits of rotary machines without sacrificing the feedback response built into coil tattoo machines, along with their fine craftsmanship gives artists the highest measure of control. They’re lightweight and versatile, and 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 longer than 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 out from the box. CTPS Saveria offers several rotary tattoo machine options and 5 varieties 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, which they make excusively for Painful Pleasures. The Precision brand encompasses lines of medical, piercing and tattoo supplies of the very best quality that are sold for 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 to hand craft their fine coil tattoo machines from raw materials. Dead Nuts Ink Tattoo MachinesThey make all their own hardware in-house and will customize any of their tattoo machines to fulfill 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 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-competitive prices. Their Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine is undoubtedly an ergonomic, state-of-the-art machine produced from the very best-quality materials available. It’s a lightweight, quiet machine with an adjustable suspension system that enables artists to easily adjust needle hitting force, and it arrives with a needle bar retainer. Make use of the Dragonfly tattoo machine with any standard grips, tubes, needles, and tattoo power supply.
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 using 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 contains a unique UV coating that means it is very easy to clean. The newer Ego Apex Overkill is constructed from a good block of aircraft aluminum that weighs under half a pound, and it arrives with a Swiss-made Maxon Overkill motor. Use Bez’s power triangles by using these rotary machines to simulate the spring effect of coil tattoo machines and get the ideal give and throw each time you tattoo.
FK Irons Coil Tattoo Machines – All Fallen King Irons (FK Irons) AL13 coil tattoo machines are carefully-constructed from the toughest aircraft-grade aluminum available, causing them to be extremely lightweight while indestructible. FK Irons conventional and cutback lining and shading coil tattoo machines all weigh in at merely 4.5 oz. (~127.6g) each. The cutback liners and shaders use a shorter front spring, so that they run faster regardless if used at the same voltage since the conventional liners and shaders. The lighter armature bar on FK Irons soft shaders enables them to run faster and much more softly than their color packers.
Godoy Tattoo MachinesGodoy Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Godoy Machines is an expert in innovation through experimentation. They strive to educate tattoo artists of all skill sets and offer the most updated tattooing information available through their seminars and books like Tattoo Machines and Their Secrets. Godoy believes that you’ll be much better equipped to apply any tattoo after you completely understand how your tattoo machine functions, which is the basis behind their educational endeavors. Take pleasure in the solid functionality of your Godoy coil tattoo machine and learn how it operates in and out with Godoy Machines’ book, which is available in both English and Spanish and in a range of formats.
InkJecta Rotary Tattoo Machines – The InkJecta Flite v2.1 is manufactured in Australia for tattoo artists, by tattoo artists. These lightweight, long-lasting rotary tattoo machines have got a long-grain “fiber” construction, plus they assist artists in creating superior tattoos. The two InkJecta Flite v2.1 Combo and Vice models have brushless 5 watt Maxon motors that will make these appliances unique; they’re the sole rotary machines available on the market that are able to run at lower speeds without sacrificing power or the caliber of your job. Make use of the Combo model with adjustable grips along with 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. They are precise, lightweight, smooth-running coil tattoo machines that exist in liner and shader varieties. Pirat offers their coil tattoo machines in 16 standardized models along with a special group of “one-piece only” machines. Additionally, they decide to release a fresh rotary tattoo machine later this year.Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines
Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Skin 2 rotary tattoo machine includes a unique adjustable give that lets you set the appliance “harder” for lining and “softer” for filling, shading and coloring while using adjustment notches around the cap. These lightweight, silent machines from Italy also produce minimal vibrations. Each Skin 2 tattoo machine comes with a Swiss-made motor as well as a needle clip as an alternative to rubber bands, weighs in at just 3.2 oz. (90g), and will support as much as 55 magnum needles. This really is a fast, high-quality rotary tattoo machine that can help you ink a top-notch tattoo each time you use it.
Spektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK IronsSpektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK Irons – In addition to their coil machines, FK Irons also offers a type of rotary tattoo machines. Choose from 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 some different MotorBolts offers you the flexibleness to alter stroke around the fly just by changing motors via the Halo’s easy 1/4-turn mechanism. The Spektra Direkt tattoo machine has body-mounted strokes that stay inside the machine body, along with 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 move and comes with an adjustable stroke module which includes 3 setting options. It’s a virtually maintenance-free tattoo machine by using a Hex Drive motor system that reduces the axial load around the motor shaft to increase the motor’s life and lower vibrations.Stigma Rotary Tattoo Machines.
Stigma-Rotary Tattoo Machines – Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are durable, ergonomic, and simple to maneuver rotary machines made by a world-leading tattoo machine manufacturer. These sleek-looking machines include the most powerful Swiss-made Maxon motors available on the market, and they’re completed a lasting sheen that keeps them looking pristine even though years of use. Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are reliable, powerful and classy rotary machines that are included with an 21dexjpky warranty. Choose between 4 styles, for example the Amen, the Beast, the Hyper V3, and the Prodigy, in addition to a large choice of Stigma rotary machine parts which can be used to help keep your machine working well.
Tatmatic Tattoo MachinesTatmatic Mfg. Coil Tattoo Machines – Tatmatic Manufacturing supplies a collection of coil tattoo machines created by Dave Ritchie, who builds high-quality machines exclusively for professional tattoo artists. The standard of his work shows in just about every one of Tatmatic’s hard-hitting, precise and chic coil tattoo machines. Both our Tatmatic liners and shaders come with 6 wrap coils.
Valor Direct Rotary Tattoo Machines by TatSoul – After over two years in development, the Valor by TatSoul is finally here! These rotary tattoo machines were developed by several of the finest tattoo artists in the industry with impeccable craftsmanship and the goal of creating a rotary machine that outperforms other tattoo machines in every single possible way. The Valor Direct rotary tattoo machine features a sleek yet practical body that conveys its power and durability. Each Valor Direct machine is hand-assembled and tested by TatSoul’s in-house team to make certain perfection in fit and performance. These are generally strong, lightweight, tattoo needle cartridge that perform brilliantly.
Vital Tattoo MachinesVital Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Vital Machines strives for that highest construction in the business, they’re continuously improving their machines, they don’t scrimp, in addition to their staff is composed of machinists, designers, engineers, and tattoo artists with years of industry experience. Using these standards in position, Vital Machines has generated a collection of versatile coil tattoo machines which can be lightweight, agile, adjustable, powerful, durable, and able to assist everybody day, each day. Vital Machines come in the usa from aircraft-grade aluminum, as well as their easy-to-clean, professionally-anodized exteriors won’t chip or fade. Inside they have 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 one part of 1018 Cold-Rolled Steel in Welker’s state-of-the-art machine shop. Welker coil tattoo machines are available with your selection of a blue “antique” or black oxide frame finish, each of which include finished brass binding posts and contact screws. Welker Rotary Tattoo MachinesYou are able to use nearly any size and style of tubes with one of these hand-tuned machines, which come with unique Welker grips and so are guaranteed for years. In addition to their coil machines, Welker also now offers both a typical rotary and an adjustable rotary tattoo machine. The adjustable machine includes a spring tension you could screw to adjust the hit to your preference, whereas the typical rotary machine features a medium throw and the capability to adjust the hit off of the power source.