The Secret Tattoo

What are the types of tattoo machines and how do they differ?

Basically, there are four types of machines: coil, rotary, pen, and pneumatic. Their operation makes the difference, so each one adapts to different needs. Here we explain the difference of each one!
Coil Tattoo Machines: As the name suggests, their operation is based on the use of one or several electromagnetic coils. The vibration they generate as they move over the metal bar where the needle is installed is what allows piercing the skin and introducing the ink. They are considered the most common or traditional; however, they are the most versatile and allow the highest level of customization. Their efficiency allows them to be used for outlining, shading, and filling.
Rotary Tattoo Machines: Their main characteristic is the incorporation of rotating parts. Unlike coil machines, the movement that facilitates the injection of ink into the skin is circular. They are also known for being lightweight and quiet machines. It is the type of machine indicated for beginners. The needles are not welded, allowing the use of interchangeable cartridges. Although they integrate few components, they are versatile instruments; we can use them for outlining, shading, and filling.
Pen-style Tattoo Machine: Mostly, they are wireless tattoo machines with a rechargeable battery. Their operation is due to the impulse generated by an electric motor, allowing the adjustment of power and voltage. Pen-style machines increase comfort when tattooing; in fact, it feels like drawing on the skin with a pen. Lightness, portability, and ergonomics add points in their favor, making them the perfect alternative for long sessions.
Pneumatic Tattoo Machines: Their name is due to the integration of a pneumatic system with a pedal that regulates pressure and calibration, as well as a rear air exhaust that minimizes vibrations, noise, and prevents overheating. Similarly, the compressed air system of these also called hybrid machines, affects the speed levels they reach. Unlike traditional machines, they can be used by left-handed people.
But then, which machine to choose? The choice of the right tattoo machine is a subjective decision; the key is to consider the type of work we intend to do. However, professional tattoo artists tend to lean towards the use of coil machines due to their comfortable and adaptable design. Also, it is easy to find those who prefer to invest a little more and work with lightweight and wireless machines that increase the level of freedom and ensure comfort during long sessions.

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