Tattoo Kits are very popular; since you can get the power supply, needles and ink you need together with the machine. Some kits even contain several machines for different jobs, such as for line and shade.
However, another newbie’s like to start from scratch by purchasing tattoo machines and accessories separately. That way, they may get a deeper understanding of how everything works, and they can customize each component to match their preferences and style.
Hopefully, it works as it should. What you don’t want is a machine that keeps on breaking down. It’s frustrating, and it can lead to messy results. These may finish disappointing you from continuing your tattooing hobby.
If you’re a big person who can deal with the 135-gram weight (that’s 4. 8 ounces), then perhaps you can use this Extreme X2 rotary tattoo machine from Dragonhawk. Actually, this is the result of the collaboration between Extreme Tattoo Supply and Dragonhawk Tattoo Supply. It’s actually not that expensive, considering that it’s made from a solid block of pure brass using CNC machines. That makes this a rather durable machine that can last a long while. But it sure is heavy.
This does come with the RCA cable, but you have to buy your other supplies. This can work with both standard needles and cartridge needles. All in all, it operates smoothly without too much noise and you can use this for lining, shading and even coloring in large areas.
Why Is this the Top Pick?
Durable: The brass construction makes this an eminently durable machine and that applies to the Japanese motor as well.
Versatile: You can use this for lining, using different stroke lengths to match with types of needles. You can use this to color in large patches of skin as well. You can use standard needles here or cartridge needles.
Easy to Use: It’s ergonomic so it feels comfortable in your hand. It can work very smoothly without making too much noise. You can also set it at a lower voltage without having to stall.
Now if you really have a tight budget and you just want a tattoo machine you can try out, you may want to check out the Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine. This is incredibly affordable, so much so that at first you might think that it’s some sort of disposable accessory. It’s not exactly durable, but you can use it long enough to find out if you really want to be a tattoo master for real.
What you have to understand is that this is a Chinese brand specializing in tattoo products. The Dragonfly machine doesn’t come with accessories, but at this price point that’s certainly understandable.
When you use this, just go for an hour. Then you have to rest for maybe 10 minutes before you resume. What you do get is an easy to use machine that should let you find out on the cheap if you have the talent or the continuing interest for tattooing. You can use this for small designs as well.
Why Is this the Top Pick?
Incredibly Affordable: It costs about the same as 2 tickets to the cinema. It’s seriously cheap, which means it’s a trial tattoo machine you can use every now and then (or daily for a few months).
Stable: It doesn’t vibrate so that you can hold it steady to create your design without mistakes.
Quiet: It’s not all that noisy either.
Easy to Use: It’s not really all that complicated. You can use this mainly for lining, but it can work with shading as well. You can use this with standard tubes, needles, power supplies, and grips. It’s small at 3.54 x 2.95 x 0.79 inches, while it’s not really heavy considering you’re not supposed to use this for too long.
If you have a checklist of features you need in the best tattoo guns for beginners, you may find many of these features fulfilled by the V1 machine from Hummingbird. In fact, it also offers features you’d like but didn’t expect to get, especially in this price range.
This is versatile as you can use this for lining, shading or color packing. What’s more, you don’t have to go through some complicated setup to do a particular type of work. There’s a dial on top that adjusts the dampening to suit the task.
Make a counterclockwise turn for shading, for softer hits needed for the task. You can get really soft hits here, compared to coil machines. You can then turn it clockwise for harder work like lining and color packing.
You can also adjust the length of the strokes, just by changing the extenders. The stroke length ranges from 2.6 to 5.5 mm.
Why is this the Top Pick?
Light Weight: This weighs only 80 grams, and that’s just 2.8 ounces. It may be a small difference from 200 grams at first, but you’ll definitely feel the weight after an hour or so of having to lift and use a heavy tattoo machine.
Versatile: You can use this for lining, shading and color packing. So, you don’t really need multiple machines, especially when you’re a beginner trying to see if you’ll really enjoy this hobby.
Durable: This motor will last for a long while, as it’s rated for 10,000 hours.
Easy to Use: The weight of course makes this easier to maneuver. In addition, you have knobs and interchangeable extenders that allow you to make quick and easy adjustments. This means you can use this in a variety of ways without going through a complicated setup change. You don’t even have too much noise and vibration. It accepts standard tubes and needles, and you don’t need bands to stabilize the needle.
Picking the Best Beginners Tattoo Machine for You
Our recommendation is that while tattoo kits are great, you learn more by doing research and making your own tattoo kit yourself. The foundation of your tattoo kit is a terrific tattoo machine and you’re the best judge of which one that is.
But if you want a single recommendation, we say go with the Hummingbird Rotary V1 Tattoo Machine. It’s incredibly easy to use and you can use it for lining, shading, and coloring. It’s extremely lightweight as well at just 80 grams. With this, you can concentrate on actually learning about tattooing, and not spend too much time learning about your tattooing machine. You need to focus on your craft and not on your tools.
Understanding Tattoo Machines
A tattoo machine has either a motor or a set of electromagnetic coils powering an armature bar to go up and down. Attached to this bar you have a barred needle grouping that applies the ink to the skin. It’s really that simple.
However, to really understand your tattoo machine is a different matter. You have to read the manual carefully. You should have a good idea of what each and every component is working. By having a deeper understanding of your tattoo machine, you can customize it by replacing certain parts with new parts that work better for you. Your understanding also helps you pick better tattoo machines in the future.
Maintaining Your New Tattoo Machine
If you’re a pro, you probably know all the tips and tricks regarding tattoo machine maintenance. If you’re a beginner, we recommend that you start off with a tattoo machine that needs little to no maintenance at all. When you’re a newbie, it’s best that you focus on your tattooing skills rather than on your tools.
Still, if you’re a newbie you may still need to do some maintenance on your machine. Here are some important tips that can help. When you’re cleaning your tattoo machine, don’t use bleach. It’s simply too harsh for your machine. It will cause rust and destroy springs.
Don’t use tap water either. It’s not really an effective cleaner and you risk getting water into the wiring. That’s a disaster.
So, what do you use? Just use a disinfectant spray. Do some research on which disinfectant is best for your machine. It can be too strong and it can cause rust especially when you leave the disinfectant on.
To avoid disinfectant issues, spray the tattoo machine with the disinfectant. Wait for the appropriate number of minutes for the disinfectant to do its magic. Usually, this is for about 10 minutes. After that, use a clean paper towel to wipe the machine and remove disinfectant deposits. Now finish by spraying the machine with rubbing alcohol and then wipe off the machine again.
You may still end up with tiny carbon deposits causing interference. This can happen after numerous hours of use for the tattoo machine. You can find these deposits under the armature bar where it’s in contact with the coil core tops. You can also find these on the contact point between the front spring and the screw. You can remove these using 1000-grit sandpaper. Don’t push too hard, but just pass the sandpaper over these areas to get rid of the deposits. You may have to do this a few times a year.