Nearly 140 in the past, Thomas Edison invented an electric powered pen to accelerate the entire process of creating duplicate copies of content. Little did he know that within 10 years, someone would understand how to convert his electric pens, called Stencil-Pens, into Tattoo Equipment. That somebody was Sam O’Reilly, who developed the 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 inside london, England. Shortly after, fellow Londoner Alfred Charles South came up with first double-coil tattoo machine. The minds laid forth by these founding fathers of contemporary tattooing have already been steadily improved upon since that time.
The tattoo machine has changed by leaps and bounds since O’Reilly, Riley and South invented the very first three iterations of the rotary and coil tattoo machines. Coil tattoo machines are no more so heavy that they have to be suspended from your ceiling being operable, like South’s first double-coil tattoo machine was. Rotary tattoo machines are even more advanced and represent some of the quietest, gentlest tattoo machines on the market today. Let’s have a look at the thing that makes these two kinds of modern-day tattoo machines tick.
How Rotary Tattoo Machines WorkRotary and coil tattoo machines operate in two different ways to get the same goal of inserting ink below the top of the skin (i.e. epidermis) and depositing it in the secondary layer of skin, referred to as the dermis. On the 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 back and forth in the linear fashion since the motor rotates (see image to right). That motion inserts tattoo needles in the skin and retracts them smoothly, in several constant, fluid motions. Coil tattoo machines work quite differently, in an infinitely more complicated fashion. They utilize electromagnetic current to create and break a circuit within a cyclical fashion, moving the needles attached to the machine forward to the skin if the circuit is produced and retracting them if the circuit breaks.
When power is delivered to a coil tattoo machine, the 2 coils are charged and changed into an electromagnet (see image below). The electromagnet created by the coils pulls the machine’s armature bar down towards the coils, which subsequently forces the attached tattoo needles down and to the skin. The downward motion in the armature bar pulls the front side spring down along with it to result in the spring to disconnect through the contact screw above it that the second before had completed a circuit. How Coil Tattoo Machines WorkThat burglary the circuit causes the electromagnetic field to collapse momentarily, releasing the armature bar through the coils. The spring connected to the armature bar wants to move back to its natural position, and it also pulls the armature bar up with it. When the front spring reconnects using the contact screw, the circuit and electromagnetic field are re-established. That starts the process yet again, pulling the armature bar back, forcing the attached needles in to the skin, pulling the front side spring outside the contact screw, and breaking the circuit yet again.
The way a coil machine is powered creates a hammer-like effect that drives tattoo needles to the skin more forcefully than they’d be moved by a rotary motor. There’s constant power shipped to a rotary motor that keeps it moving in a fluid, clockwise pattern, pushing needles into the skin and pulling them back out more smoothly. Rotary tattoo machines therefore are generally gentler on the skin, and tattoos made up of rotary tattoo machines often heal faster together with less scarring–specially when inked by novice tattoo artists. Nevertheless, if you like the buzz of tattoo machines that’s traditionally associated with tattoo shops, then a coil tattoo machine is definitely the choice for you–especially if you’re a skilled artist who can run a coil machine with finesse. Rotary machines are extremely quiet in comparison, and then there are fewer moving parts involved, meaning they’re typically more low-maintenance than traditional coil machines.
To really make it easier to compare and contrast coil and rotary tattoo machines side-by-side, we’ve provided the following chart detailing the typical advantages and disadvantages artists have raised about each kind of machine. Please note that your particular artistic experience, the quality of the equipment you end up picking, along with your knowledge of both primary varieties of tattoo machines will all impact the personal pros and cons you experience having a rotary tattoo machine versus a coil tattoo machine. These are just some of the typical factors you should look at before deciding which kind of machine to purchase.
Once you’ve decided you want either a coil or a rotary tattoo machine, it’s time and energy 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. For any comprehensive selection of the tattoo machines available to you, please visit our Tattoo Machines section. You may also read our full Coil vs. Rotary Tattoo Machines article for additional in-depth specifics about the brands shown below, rotary and coil tattoo machine diagrams, and additional 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 the man still has an energetic role in all areas of his business. Every Baltimore Street Irons coil tattoo machine is crafted with great skill and dedication. Every one of the machine parts and tattoo machines they manufacture are thoroughly tested and are available tuned so they’re prepared to use right out from the box.Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines
Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines – These 4 oz. rotary tattoo machines are so perfectly balanced that they feel practically weightless up to you. They alleviate wrist pain and indications of carpel tunnel syndrome, and allow artists to work faster and longer. Each Bishop Rotary machine includes 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 Round Liner HOLLOW is hand-assembled and guaranteed for years.
Borg Tattoo Machines Borg Coil Tattoo Machines – These traditional coil tattoo machines are handmade with care in the united states. Borg tattoo machines are known for their 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 to their silver contact screws. Both Borg liners and shaders weigh in at only 5.5 oz. each, causing them to be easy to maneuver whilst you tattoo.
Cheyenne Hawk Rotary Tattoo Machines – The Cheyenne Hawk Thunder and Spirit are 2 of the lightest tattoo machines out there, weighing in at roughly 3.9 oz. (110g) each with their grips attached. Cheyenne Hawk tattoo machines provide all the advantages of rotary machines without sacrificing the feedback response inherent in coil tattoo machines, as well as their fine craftsmanship gives artists the greatest amount of control. They’re lightweight and versatile, plus they have long-life ball-bearing motors. You should use these dynamic rotary machines with nearly any conventional power supply.
CTPS Saveria Tattoo MachinesCTPS Saveria Coil & Rotary Tattoo Machines – Top South American tattoo machine manufacturer CTPS Saveria continues to be 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 utilized immediately out from the box. CTPS Saveria offers several rotary tattoo machine options and 5 kinds 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, 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 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 a bunch of their own hardware in-house and can customize some of their tattoo machines to fulfill 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 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 help make unique rotary tattoo machines at highly-competitive prices. Their Dragonfly rotary tattoo machine is an ergonomic, state-of-the-art machine made out of the very best-quality materials available. It’s a light-weight, quiet machine with the 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 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 forward to give Ego tattoo machines a virtually pen-like feel and artists maximum needle control. The Small Ego is manufactured out of quality, scratch-free plastics and possesses a unique UV coating which makes it easy to clean. The newer Ego Apex Overkill is crafted 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 with one of these rotary machines to simulate the spring effect of coil tattoo machines and acquire an ideal give and throw every time 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, causing them to be extremely lightweight while also 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 possess a shorter front spring, therefore they run faster even though used with the same voltage since the conventional liners and shaders. The lighter armature bar on FK Irons soft shaders enables them to run faster plus more softly than their color packers.
Godoy Tattoo MachinesGodoy Machines Coil Tattoo Machines – Godoy Machines is an expert in innovation through experimentation. They make an effort to educate tattoo artists of all the levels of skill and present 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 as soon as you completely understand how your tattoo machine functions, the basis behind their educational endeavors. Take pleasure in the solid functionality of a Godoy coil tattoo machine and learn the way it works in and out with Godoy Machines’ book, which comes 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 got a long-grain “fiber” construction, and they also assist artists in creating superior tattoos. The InkJecta Flite v2.1 Combo and Vice models include brushless 5 watt Maxon motors which make these machines unique; they’re the only rotary machines out there that have the ability to run at lower speeds without sacrificing power or the grade of your projects. Utilize 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 in the Czech Republic from durable iron and aluminum. These are precise, lightweight, smooth-running coil tattoo machines that are offered in both liner and shader varieties. Pirat offers their coil tattoo machines in 16 standardized models as well as a special number of “one-piece only” machines. In addition they plan to release a whole new rotary tattoo machine later this coming year.Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines
Skin 2 Rotary Tattoo Machines – Your Skin 2 rotary tattoo machine carries a unique adjustable give that allows you to set the machine “harder” for lining and “softer” for filling, shading and coloring utilizing the adjustment notches about the cap. These lightweight, silent machines from Italy also produce minimal vibrations. Each Skin 2 tattoo machine features a Swiss-made motor and a needle clip rather than rubber bands, weighs in at just 3.2 oz. (90g), and definately will support around 55 magnum needles. It is a fast, high-quality rotary tattoo machine that will assist you ink an exceptional tattoo whenever you employ it.
Spektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK IronsSpektra Rotary Tattoo Machines by FK Irons – Along with their coil machines, FK Irons also offers a collection 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 using its autoclavable body and innovative MotorBolt System. Having some different MotorBolts will give you the flexibility to modify stroke around the fly simply by changing motors through the Halo’s easy 1/4-turn mechanism. The Spektra Direkt tattoo machine has body-mounted strokes that stay inside the machine body, and also the casing is precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum that’s anodized in the selection of 7 different colors. This 2.8 oz. machine is easy to transfer and carries with it an adjustable stroke module which has 3 setting options. It’s a virtually maintenance-free tattoo machine by using a Hex Drive motor system that cuts down on the axial load in the motor shaft to prolong the motor’s life and reduce vibrations.Stigma Rotary Tattoo Machines.
Stigma-Rotary Tattoo Machines – Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are durable, ergonomic, and easy to maneuver rotary machines created by a world-leading tattoo machine manufacturer. These sleek-looking machines feature the best Swiss-made Maxon motors available on the market, and they’re completed an enduring sheen that keeps them looking pristine even though many years of use. Stigma-Rotary tattoo machines are reliable, powerful and chic rotary machines that include an 21dexjpky warranty. Select from 4 styles, for example the Amen, the Beast, the Hyper V3, and the Prodigy, together with a large selection of Stigma rotary machine parts which you can use to help keep your machine running smoothly.
Tatmatic Tattoo MachinesTatmatic Mfg. Coil Tattoo Machines – Tatmatic Manufacturing supplies a type of coil tattoo machines created by Dave Ritchie, who builds high-quality machines mainly for professional tattoo artists. The quality of his work shows in just about every certainly 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 2 years in development, the Valor by TatSoul is finally here! These rotary tattoo machines were designed by several of the finest tattoo artists in the market with impeccable craftsmanship and the purpose of developing a rotary machine that outperforms other tattoo machines in just about every possible way. The Valor Direct rotary tattoo machine has 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 your highest construction in the business, they’re continuously improving their machines, they don’t cut corners, along with their staff is made up of machinists, designers, engineers, and tattoo artists with numerous years of industry experience. With one of these standards into position, Vital Machines has created a line of versatile coil tattoo machines which can be lightweight, agile, adjustable, powerful, durable, and able to deal with all of you day, every day. Vital Machines come in the US from aircraft-grade aluminum, in addition to their easy-to-clean, professionally-anodized exteriors won’t chip or fade. Inside they contain the highest grade of magnetic steel, insulators made from durable aircraft composite that doesn’t crack or distort, highly-conductive brass and copper electrical components, and mechanical parts produced 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 a single component of 1018 Cold-Rolled Steel in Welker’s state-of-the-art machine shop. Welker coil tattoo machines can be found with the selection of a blue “antique” or black oxide frame finish, each of which feature finished brass binding posts and contact screws. Welker Rotary Tattoo MachinesYou are able to use nearly any size and design of tubes by using these hand-tuned machines, which include unique Welker grips and so are guaranteed for years. In addition to their coil machines, Welker also now offers both an ordinary rotary plus an adjustable rotary tattoo machine. The adjustable machine incorporates a spring tension that one could screw to alter the hit to your preference, whereas the typical rotary machine has a medium throw and the capability to adjust the hit from the power supply.