Well, the choice of a working tool – a tattoo machine, really, affects the quality of your work and skill level. It’s no joke when experienced tattoo artists talk about a tattoo machine as an extension of your arm. The right tattoo gun can make all the difference in achieving crisp, clean lines, shading, and coloring. Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and compiled a list of the top tattoo machines on the market today.
From the CNC X-WE to the Cheyenne Hawk Unio, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and find your perfect match! After all, your tattoo machine is your best friend in the world of ink.
How did we choose our “stars”? By several criteria: usability, quality of assembly and internal elements of the mechanism, cost, functionality, versatility, and others. So, each of the presented tattoo machines in the review is worth your attention and will be a good tool in your hands. Each of them has its pros and cons, but you will not be disappointed with any of them.
Cheyenne HAWK Unio – The Best Tattoo Gun
Cheyenne Hawk Pen Unio is a miracle of engineering. As stated in the manufacturer’s promotional material, it is a 3-in-1 machine because it combines the three best qualities of its predecessors: the shape of the pen, the softness of the Spirit, and the power of the Thunder. Let’s take a look at how this tattoo machine really is that top-notch.
This is a pretty new model, however, it is already a highly popular tattoo machine among professional tattoo artists. Its sleek and ergonomic pen-styled design allows for maximum comfort and precision during use, making it a favorite among those who value both functionality and aesthetics.
It has a really powerful motor. By the way, we suggest working at the recommended voltages so as not to kill the motor.
Adjusting settings: Adjustable stroke from 2.5 to 4.0mm. The stroke is pretty hard to adjust, especially when you’re working and the machine is in a barrier wrap but it is still much more convenient than taking the whole machine apart. And moreover it is the one machine which can do it on a go. Needle stroke adjustment from 0 to 4 mm infinitely. The needle departure setting is also adjusted with a twist, where the grip is and it’s much easier to do. So the UNIO is the most versatile tattoo gun out there. One tool replaces several at once because the adjustable stroke allows you to make both thin lines quickly at 4,5 mm and thick paint at 2,5 mm.
The machine achieves a very good dense coloring. There is a softening mode, that is, when you need to soften the needle stroke, this machine can do that. At the same time, the normal mode works pretty briskly and firmly beats. All in all, it turns out you have a versatile tool in your hands.
When we remove the grip we have the cartridge receiver. You can remove it as well to properly wash it all and sterilize it and stuff like that’s actually amazing because none of the machines before had this sort of option and that’s super handy because sometimes ink accidentally can go inside there. So you can just unscrew and remove it and wash it all and make sure it’s all clean. And that upgrade makes this machine a lot better than others pen machines.
If you compare it to the Cheyenne Pen, it is slightly larger in size (longer and larger in diameter). However, it is still light and compact enough to use, which makes it comfortable to work with and even more so for long tattooing sessions.
This is a wired machine and it’s not currently compatible with any available battery packs. So there could be an issue for someone who is looking to connect the tattoo gun to the battery.
Other Key Features:
I really like the cables because they are really sturdy and don’t get in the way while working.
Manufactured in accordance with medical standards (ISO 13485)
Supplied in a protective pouch for safe transport, making it easy to carry and store.
It completes with Cheyenne’s disposable grips.
Overall, the Hawk Pen Uno is a top-of-the-line tattoo machine that is widely used by professionals around the world. Its precision, versatility, and durability make it a favorite among those who value both form and function in their tools.
FK Irons – Spektra Xion
The Spektra Xion tattoo machine has been developed and refined over a period of three years, with input from top tattoo artists from around the world. The result is a pen-style rotary machine that is lightweight, ergonomic, and comfortable to use, even during long tattooing sessions.
One of the standout features of the Spektra Xion is the specially-designed 6 Watt MotorBolt, which provides maximum torque throughout the entire tattooing process. The machine is also fully adjustable, allowing artists to customize the stroke length, needle depth, and give (softness) to suit their preferred style and technique.
The adjustable needle depth and give dial (up to 2mm) make it easy to fine-tune the machine, while the included 3.2mm and 3.7mm stroke wheels allow for even greater versatility. The ergonomic profile and seamless grip also contribute to a comfortable and natural tattooing experience.
Moreover, the Spektra Xion is compatible with all tattoo cartridges, making it an ideal option for artists who want to experiment with different types of needles and styles. The machine’s autoclavable grip is also tapered from 32mm to 25mm, making it easy to cover and handle.
Overall, the Spektra Xion is a high-quality and versatile tattoo gun that offers a great deal of customization and precision. Its lightweight construction and ergonomic design make it comfortable to use, while the fully adjustable settings allow artists to fine-tune their approach and achieve the results they desire. If you’re looking for a reliable and flexible tattoo machine, the Spektra Xion is definitely worth considering.
Other Key Features:
The machine is available in both black and stealth color options.
The Xion is compatible with a wide range of power supplies and can be used with both traditional and wireless options.
The machine comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty for added peace of mind.
The Spektra Xion is considered a high-end device and may be more expensive than some other options on the market. However, many pro tattoo artists consider it to be a worthwhile investment due to its performance and durability.
INKJECTA FLITE NANO ULTRA LITE
The Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is a compact and lightweight rotary machine, designed and manufactured in Australia. One of the most notable features of the Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is its ultra-lightweight design. This tattoo machine comes in a plastic case, making it one of the lightest devices available on the market. The lightweight design makes it ideal for artists who need a machine that is easy to handle for long tattoo sessions.
The Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is powered by a custom-built Swiss-made Maxon motor. This motor is designed to provide a smooth and consistent performance, ensuring that the machine delivers consistent results every time. Furthermore, the machine features an ultra-low RPM operation, which is a distinctive feature of Inkjecta machines.
The Flite Nano Ultra Lite is ergonomically designed, making it comfortable to hold and use for extended periods. The machine’s design reduces hand fatigue, allowing artists to work for longer without discomfort. Additionally, the machine features an adjustable needle depth, which enables artists to customize the needle depth according to their preferences and tattooing style.
The machine features a needle stabilizer system that reduces needle wobble, ensuring consistent needle penetration. This feature allows artists to create precise and detailed designs without worrying about needle movement.
The Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is compatible with FK Irons and Cheyenne grips, ensuring that artists can use their preferred grip options. The machine comes with a range of different grip options, including disposable grips and adjustable grips, to suit different tattooing styles and preferences.
The Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is a versatile machine that can be used for various tattooing techniques and styles. Its compatibility with a wide range of needle configurations, makes it a popular choice among tattoo artists. The device is designed to be low maintenance, with few parts that require regular cleaning or replacement.
In conclusion, the Inkjecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite is a high-quality machine that offers a compact and lightweight design without compromising on performance or customization options. Its ergonomic design, advanced features, and compatibility with various grip options make it a versatile tool for professional tattoo artists. The machine’s lightweight design and customizable needle depth make it suitable for various tattooing styles, while its needle stabilizer system ensures consistent needle penetration. Overall, this is a top-tier tattoo machine that is well worth the investment for any serious tattoo artist.
FK Irons Spektra Edge X
The FK Irons Spektra Edge X has been engineered to be one of the most sophisticated and versatile dedicated cartridge machines ever created. One of the most notable features of the Edge X is the Hex Drive motor system, which is also featured on the Spektra Direkt. This motor system is designed to protect the core of the machine, the motor, from damage and to provide consistent performance. The machine is fully compatible with the Direkt Motor Bolt, which is included with the Edge X.
Another unique feature of the Edge X is the patent-pending Collet Vice System, which supports standard back stem and screw-on style adjustable grips, allowing the use of standard metal and disposable cartridge grips, as well as Cheyenne grips, on the same machine.
The Edge X is a fully adjustable machine that offers a range of features without the need for additional stroke wheels, bars, or interchangeable parts. The machine features a “Variable On-the-Fly” Micro Dialed Give Adjustment, which allows for precise adjustments from no give to full give with just one turn of the dial. The machine is also equipped with a self-lubricating slider, which reduces friction, noise, and prolongs the life of the part. It has an adjustable stroke length of 3.0mm to 4.25mm with no interchangeable wheels or cams, making it highly versatile.
Other Key Features:
Adjustable stroke length from 3.0mm to 4.25mm
Virtually vibration-free and lightweight
CNC crafted from one solid rod of 6061 T6 aluminum, mirror polished, and anodized for ultimate durability
Overall, the FK Irons Spektra Edge X is a well-designed machine that provides excellent performance and comfort, making it an ideal choice for professional tattoo artists.
CNC X-WE Wireless
This is one of the most affordable options and one of the best wireless tattoo machines that is suitable for beginners and professionals. Wireless, affordable, good enough quality, and therefore worth every penny. it allows tattoo artists to focus on their craft without getting tangled up in cords. The machine comes with two power bolts that provide the power needed for long sessions. Let’s take a closer look at why it deserves your attention if your budget is limited.
The CNC X-WE features a custom German coreless motor with a dual-shaft that packs plenty of power while remaining lightweight and compact. Its interchangeable stroke cam means that you can adjust the machine’s stroke length quickly and easily, giving you the flexibility you need to create bold lines, solid color, or smooth black and grey. And with 13 levels of voltage output, you can customize the machine’s performance to suit your specific needs.
One of the standout features of the CNC X-WE is its ergonomic grip design, which is both comfortable to hold and easy to control. The machine’s minimal vibrations and low noise mean that you can work for hours on end without experiencing discomfort or distraction, while its USB type C power connection makes it easy to charge the machine whenever you need to.
Another great thing about the CNC X-WE is its compatibility with all major cartridge brands, meaning that you can use the machine with your favorite tattoo needles and cartridges. And with a grip diameter of 31.5φ and a weight of just 176g with the power pack attached, the CNC X-WE is both comfortable to use and easy to maneuver.
Overall, I highly recommend the CNC X-WE to any tattooist looking for a wireless tattoo pen that can help take their art to the next level. Its combination of power, versatility, and comfort makes it an excellent choice for artists of all levels and styles.
Cheyenne Hawk Thunder
The difference between the Thunder and other machines, such as the Inkjecta or Spectra, is that its base eccentric is 5 mm long. Whereas others have about 3.5 mm. That’s why for beginners the Thunder will be one of the most versatile and simple machines: you just pick it up and start working right away, without having to understand the internal construction and settings of internal parts.
The CNC X-WE features a custom Germany coreless motor with a dual-shaft that packs plenty of power while remaining lightweight and compact. Its interchangeable stroke cam means that you can adjust the machine’s stroke length quickly and easily, giving you the flexibility you need to create bold lines, solid color, or smooth black and grey. And with 13 levels of voltage output, you can customize the machine’s performance to suit your specific needs.
And on the other hand, you don’t have to buy Cheyenne modules with protective membranes (expensive), while Cheyenne Pen requires using only original cartridges (except Unio). This is because Thunder is structurally built in a way that you can easily clean it and protect your customers from contamination.
The machine is powerful, and thanks to the design the vibration on the grip are almost not felt. It is quiet and very comfortable to work with. The weight of this machine is up to 120
Key Features of Hawk Thunder:
Higher Puncture Force and Frequency: The Hawk Thunder offers a higher puncture force and frequency compared to other guns, resulting in precise strokes with highly sensitive reaction times.
Flexible and Lightweight Design: The excellent workmanship of the Hawk Thunder guarantees safe, clean, and gentle work. It is designed for comfort, with a flexible and lightweight construction.
Perfect for Lines: The machine is optimized for creating lines, with a new drive and rotational speed and an optimized eccentric tappet. It has a frequency range of 70 – 170 strokes/second and 0-4mm depth, making it perfect for precise and delicate work.
Suitable for All Skin Types and Areas: The Hawk Thunder is easy to adjust and ergonomic, making it suitable for all types of work and all skin types and areas.
Mast Coil Tattoo Machines (Liner+Shader)
Since rotary tattoo kits have become increasingly popular in recent years, the only coil tattoo machine in this review is the MAST. To be more precise, it is a set of two machines – shader and liner. I chose this set because it is the best combination of price and quality. This is a great all-around option for fans of the good old-fashioned coil.
The first thing you will notice when you receive this purchase is the packaging. Safely sealed tattoo machines will arrive to you intact, rest assured.
Next, look, the machines are hand-assembled. This means that every part is in its place, all you have to do is adjust the contact screw and other parts to suit the style of your work.
Other Key Features:
It starts at 8V and oh it runs well at 8.5V at 125 Hz.
The liner in the kit has fantastic power.
It is durable, cheap and powerful tools.
PEAK SOLICE PRO (cordless)
The PEAK SOLICE PRO is a popular and high-performing machine in the market today. Here are some of its features, pros and cons, price, and why it is considered one of the popular items.
Construction Features: The PEAK SOLICE PRO is designed to be lightweight, ergonomic, and user-friendly. It is made of high-quality materials such as aircraft aluminum alloy and comes with a powerful Japanese motor that offers smooth and consistent performance. The machine also has an adjustable needle depth, allowing artists to customize the needle depth to their preference.
One of the main advantages of the Peak Solice is its consistent and reliable performance. It is powerful and efficient, making it an excellent choice for both lining and shading. The machine is also lightweight, which makes it comfortable for artists to use for extended periods of time. Additionally, the adjustable needle depth is a great feature that allows artists to have better control over their work.
One downside is that the machine can be a bit noisy, which may be a distraction for some artists. Lastly, some artists may find it challenging to adjust the needle depth of the machine.
Overall, the Peak Solice PRO is considered one of the best tattoo pen machines because of its performance, reliability, and ease of use. Its lightweight and ergonomic design make it comfortable for artists to use for extended periods of time, while its powerful motor ensures consistent and reliable performance. The adjustable needle depth is also a great feature that allows artists to have better control over their work.
The Bishop Microangelo is a top-of-the-line tattoo gun that provides an exceptional user experience. This machine is known for its high-quality construction and exceptional performance, making it a popular choice among professional artists.
The Bishop Microangelo features a lightweight and ergonomic design that allows for precise control and comfortable use. The machine’s body is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which provides durability and strength without adding excess weight.
The machine’s motor is exceptionally powerful, yet runs smoothly and quietly, providing excellent performance and reliability. The machine is also designed with a unique needle tension system that allows for precise adjustments and control over needle depth.
Overall, the Bishop Microangelo is a top-performing tattoo gun that provides a high-quality user experience. Its exceptional construction and design make it a popular choice among tattoo artists who demand the best in performance and precision. You can learn more on their official website.
Haven’t found the right tattoo machine for you?
Send us an email [email protected], our unbiased and experienced experts will help you find the right fit for your needs.
In the meantime, let’s discuss why you should use only good tools and how to choose the best one for you.
Importance of Using the Best Tattoo Machines
Using the best tattoo guns is crucial for any tattoo artist, whether they are a beginner or a pro. A high-quality tattoo machine can make all the difference in the final result of a tattoo. Not only do they ensure that the ink is delivered evenly and smoothly into the skin, but they can also provide greater precision and control over the tattooing process.
When it comes to tattooing, the machine is the most important tool in an artist’s arsenal. Without a reliable and efficient machine, it is impossible to create the intricate and complex designs that many clients desire. The best tattoo machines allow artists to work quickly and efficiently, making the entire process smoother and more comfortable for both the artist and the client.
If you often make lines and contours, you will need to adjust the needle departure length. Coloring and shading require the tool to be softer, although it should be able to push large needle bundles. Therefore, depending on your specialization, the tattoo machine should also be selected correctly.
Furthermore, investing in a high-quality tattoo machine can help reduce the risk of injury or complications during the tattooing process. Cheap or poorly-made machines can cause excessive trauma to the skin, leading to longer healing times and potentially permanent scarring. The best tattoo machines are designed to be gentle on the skin while still delivering ink deeply enough to create long-lasting tattoos.
Ultimately, by investing in a reliable, high-quality machine, artists can improve their craft and offer their clients the best possible tattooing experience.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Choose a Tattoo Machine in 2024
Choosing a tattoo machine can be overwhelming, but by breaking it down into steps and considering key factors, you can make an informed decision. Here are some important factors to pay attention to when considering a tattoo machine, step by step:
Step 1: Decide on the type of machine
There are two main types of tattoo machines: coil and rotary. Consider the way of tattooing you’ll be doing and which machine will work best for you. Coil machines are generally better for creating lines and shading, while rotary machines are smoother and better for filling in larger areas and color work.
Step 2: Determine your budget
Tattoo devices range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars. Determine how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping to help narrow down your options.
Step 3: Consider the quality of the machine
Look for a machine made from quality materials that will last. Cheap machines may not perform as well or last as long as more expensive models, so it may be worth investing in a higher quality machine if you plan on using it frequently.
Step 4: Look for reputable brands
Choose a brand with a good reputation in the tattoo industry. Look for reviews and recommendations from experienced tattoo artists.
Step 5: Think about the machine’s weight and balance
Consider the weight and balance of the machine, as this can affect your comfort and control while tattooing. A well-balanced machine can help reduce hand fatigue and make it easier to create precise lines.
Step 6: Consider the power source
Determine whether you want a machine that runs on AC or DC power. AC machines tend to be more powerful but can also be more difficult to control. DC machines are typically easier to use but may not have as much power.
Step 7: Try before you buy
Whenever possible, try out different machines before making a purchase. This will give you a better idea of how the machine feels and performs, and can help you make an informed decision.
By following these steps and considering these factors, you can buy a tattoo machine that meets your needs and helps you achieve the results you want.
Which tattoo guns manufacturers are considered the best?
There are several tattoo machine manufacturers that are widely considered to be among the best in the industry, based on their reputation for quality, durability, and performance. Here are a few examples:
Cheyenne is a German-based company that produces high-quality tattoo machines, known for their precision and reliability. They offer a range of products, including rotary machines, cartridges, and power supplies.
FK Irons is a Florida-based company that produces high-end devices, known for their precision and consistency.
Bishop Rotary is a US-based company that specializes in rotary machines.
Inkjecta is an Australian-based company that produces high-end rotary tattoo machines, known for their precision and versatility.
Stigma-Rotary is a German-based company that produces rotary tattoo machines, known for their durability and versatility.
Kwadron is well-known manufacturer, based in Poland. They specialize in producing high-quality needles, cartridges, and tattoo machines, known for their precision and reliability.
These are just a few examples of the many high-quality manufacturers on the market. Here are a few other manufacturers from different price segments: Sabre, Dragonfly, Mast, CNC, Micky Sharpz, Lauro Paolini and others.
What type of tattoo machine to choose?
There are rotary, coil, and pen-style tattoo machines. Every type of machine have its advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider what style of tattooing you'll be doing and which machine will work best for you. Coil machines are generally better for creating lines and shading. They also tend to be louder and vibrate more, which can be uncomfortable for some people. Rotary machines are generally quieter and smoother, making them a good choice for filling in larger areas and for color work. It's also important to consider the quality of the machine, as well as the brand and the price. Cheaper machines may not last as long or perform as well as more expensive models, so it may be worth investing in a higher quality machine if you plan on using it frequently.
Ultimately, the best machine for you will depend on your personal preferences and the type of tattooing you'll be doing. It's a good idea to do some research, read reviews, and try out different machines before making a decision.
What is the best tattoo machine to start?
Generally, it's a good idea to start with a simple, reliable machine that is easy to use and maintain. When considering the price, consider a cheaper class of rotary tattoo machines, such as the Mast or CNC. If you're on a budget, go for a higher-end tool like the Hawk Pen.
It’s time to sum up the results of our rating. The tattoo machines described here are real hits in 2024. We hope very much that our short reviews, customer opinions and personal evaluation will help you in choosing a tattoo machine.
Choose your favorite among those that we recommend at CTM-tattoo to create the best tattoos, have pleasure in your work, and not create problems for your customers.