Types of Tattoo Machines and their Differences


Tattoo machines have been related with the personal brush of a Tattoo artist to draw his designs on the skins.

These hand-held devices are used to create a permanent marking on the skin following a beautiful artwork with the help of an Indelible Ink which is pushes into the Skin.

Tattoos are sometimes considered as the additional gear body to wear forever, there are different types of tattoo machines available that helps to create beautiful artwork.

Some machines are supposed to be very sharp like a pencil and some are used to have electromagnetic coils which move their armature up and down to mark a design accordingly on the skin.

Types of Tattoo Machines: Classification

There are different types of the tattoo machines from the mechanical and technical standpoint in the market.

Mechanically, there are coil tattoo machine and the rotary tattoo machine ; while on the technical assessment, there are LINERS and the SHADERS are the most common tattoo machines.

Let’s get into the details of this several types of tattoo machines below in detail.

1Rotary Tattoo Machine

This rotary tattoo machines are based on the rotary technology which use an electric motor to drive the needles.

Recently for an improvement and upgrade, an armature bar (a characteristic of coil machine) is included to increase its efficiency.

This rotary machines are famous for their punch, control and moreover customization potential on the artwork to bring a articulated design on the skin.

Apart from this specialty, this Rotary machine is very quiet to perform and is very good in case for their ease of use and their consistency.

This rotary machine has a lot of their merits which will encourage to you to worth considering it to bring in use.

The PROS and CONS of the rotary machines are mentioned below which will somehow help you to go with the right decision.


  1. They cause less skin trauma.
  2. This is very easy compatible to use.
  3. Most of this doesn’t need any king of tuning at any stage.
  4. This are all-rounder so that you can line, color and shade with one device.
  5. They’re less noisy and quite to use.
  6. This are very light weight


  1. The shading part can be a little tough than coil machine.
  2. It is less effective with the large needles.
  3. Smooth and fines lines can’t be created without a good skill

2Coil Tattoo Machine

This coil tattoo machines uses an electromagnetic circuit to move the needle grouping in the machine which pushes the needle in a vertical motion to move up and down.

There are variations from single-coiled to triple coiled made from different size and shapes, in which the dual coiled are considered to be very standard.

This machine comes with a two coils of wire that vibrate and buzz during the working of the machine.

This mechanism generally works with the help of the spring which in turns means that you can perform only one function at a time, either of lining or of shading.

Apart from this if you want to upgrade your tattoo art to an apex level, you’ll need to look down to some points which clarifies you with the pros and cons of the COIL MACHINE.


  1. Quite simple to use and less damaging to the skin.
  2. It is preferred for its intricate line work.
  3. It’s more popular than any other tattoo machine.
  4. You can customize and change its parts according to its use.
  5. It is a pocket friendly tattoo machine.
  6. Most useful and helpful for full-body tattooing.
  7. Shading and line works are easier with this machine.
  8. Artistic experience due to its buzzing and loud noise.


  1. Loud buzzing sound can distract hearing.
  2. Requires a much higher degree of skill to perform the art.
  3. Punching of the needle seems to scary to the customers.
  4. Requires a high level of maintenance
  5. Not handy in use.
  6. Less innovative to perform and develop artistic skills.

3Liner Tattoo Machine

This machine uses a fewer needles than a shading machine so that it can bring more fine and detailed work of the design. Liners use a less powerful capacitors and usually runs faster.

Also these liners have shorter spring. The fine liner machine is a 8 wrap coil and recommend a smaller configuration of pushing the needles from 3 to 7R grouping needles while a standard liner machine is equipped with a 10 wrap coils which runs at a medium speed and thus is suitable for a 9 to 14R needle grouping.


  1. Uses less power.
  2. Moves faster.
  3. Brings a smooth outline.


  1. Shorter front spring.
  2. Fails to create vibrant lines.
  3. Less movement on the design.

4Shader Tattoo Machine

Shaders are configured with more than four needles in a line forming a comb like structure.

Shaders uses high power capacitors which are best set up with a 47uF to 100uF capacitors that allows a large power to the needles to penetrate deep into the skin to create a vibrant and lasting color.

Shaders tattoo machines have longer front spring with great movement and strength.


  1. Longer front spring
  2. Good movement and strength.
  3. Create vibrant and lasting shades.


  1. Uses more power.
  2. Faces stoppage during outline.
  3. Moves slower.

Difference Between Rotary Tattoo Machine And Coil Tattoo Machine

Both the rotary and coil tattoo machine can offer a great design and versatile creativity for the artist through its different methods.

Thus in order to choose the best machine, you need to go through these tremendous different features that comes with both the machines.

We will here differentiate both these machines on the basis of different functionality;

  1. Noise output

Rotary machines are here fairy quite to perform which the coil machines have generally buzzing sound while performance.

  1. Versatility

The rotary machine is more versatile as it can be used for both the linings and shading at one time while the coil machine only helps with one function at a time.

  1. Needle Range

The rotary tattoo machine has more fluid needles while the coil tattoo machine has choppier needles.


Either if you are a beginner or an expert for the tattooing art, you must experience both the machines and then you’ll be able to mark your personalization on the basis of their functionalities, methods and convenience of use according to your requirements for a better and clear innovative as well as creative artistic work,

Choose on how to deal with the client’s requirements and also go through their feedbacks regarding the pain and time consumption apart from the versatility of the machines and results of the machines.

Also you can visit different shops and vendors to explore more varieties of the machines and you’ll also get to know in detail through the vendors to develop your style perfectly.


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