No longer cramping in hands from long hours of tattooing. The best rotary tattoo machine will make your work pleasurable and faster due to comfort and practicality.
Tattooing is a highly entertaining activity for both parties, for the artist, as well as for the customer! Well, for the artist this activity is more disciplined and hard, because in tattooing precision and meticulous working is everything!
So, it makes sense that for a great tattoo, the artist needs to have a good machine that fits well in his hand, and all movements are unobstructed and comfortable. If you as an artist don’t have a rotary machine, could you do long hours of work? Probably yes, but more difficult and tiresome.
This is why we will cover several reviews of the most reliable rotary tattoo machines below, and assist you in choosing the one that’s right for you and your budget, as well as work needs. With a rotary tattoo machine, you will enjoy faster, smoother, and more flowing movements with the needle into the skin, and this is what every artist needs and wants!
So, let’s begin to discover the benefits and best picks for a rotary tattoo machine below.
These were our top 3 machines we listed for you initially. Have a closer look at each separately in the sections below, and discover all their best features that would make them a good pick for you.
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Why do you need a rotary tattoo machine?
We suppose that you are a tattoo artist since you are here researching rotary machines. And another guess we make is that you need comfort in your hand, not a machine that would cramp you up or cause working obstacles of other kinds. The rotary tattoo machines feel much lighter than the regular previous, coil machines. Nothing can replace the lightweight of something used for drawing for long hours. You would notice an immense improvement in your work, as well as hand posture with a rotary tattoo machine.
The rotary tattoo machine is a suitable one for all tattoo artists, and we recommend it for every single person involved in tattooing; whether professional long hours or less as an apprentice – works for all! Comfort is something that should be a default. You as a tattoo artist would need your hand to feel as rested as possible during and after the working sessions. And, the most trustworthy rotary tattoo machine would make a great addition to your equipment if you have lots of clients and lots of large tattoos scheduled especially!
The Best Rotary Tattoo Machines 2020
1. Mast Tour Rotary Pen Machine
If you want to have the best rotary tattoo machine that you can pack instantly and move around when needed – this is a sure pick for you. This won’t be the only benefit you get, but also the comfort of a wireless pen-design that feels natural and practical in the grip of a hand.
From the MAST TATTOO brand, we list our best overall pick which in fact, is a wireless tattoo pen! Sounds incredible so far, to not have a cord anywhere near you and remove any limits on the movements. This is a small size machine that is extra-convenient as a portable one too – if moving the equipment around is often your thing! It works gently and quietly, so you and the customer will enjoy pleasant and silent tattooing. You will notice the pen-design is amazingly comfortable in your hand too.
Package dimensions are 7.01 x 4.41 x 4.21 inches. And the package is also lightweight with just 1.94 ounces.
- Ergonomic pen-design
- Small machine
- Minimum 3000 working hours potential
- Silent and gentle
- The battery could seem a bit weak, or slow-charging after the first complete charge
2. FK Irons Spectra Direkt2 Tattoo Machine
If you are ready to improve your tattooing equipment to a supreme level, this is a good pick for you. It will work superbly silent, and you won’t go through the hassle of changing cartridge adapters.
As our second pick, the premium pick, we chose the FK Irons brand. This machine is practical because you will not need special adapters for changing cartridges (grips). Also, you can create various setups with the stroke caps that are changeable here. The work will be silent and smooth at all times with its Hex Drive MotorBolt system.
When completely assembled, this aluminum rotary tattoo machine weighs just 2.88 oz., and it has stroke caps of various sizes; 2.8mm, 3.4mm, 4.0 mm.
- Simple usage
- No need for adapters (for the cartridge)
- Stroke caps included
- Durable material (aluminum)
- Silent and smooth
- No need for lubrication
- Could be a bit pricey for some
3. Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine
This Mast tattoo machine features a powerful custom motor and an advanced gear system that guarantees reliable, quiet operation without any vibration. The Mast machine has a working voltage of 6V–9V, ergonomic, lightweight pen-style machine. Pebble modeling.
And as our third, and budget pick, we chose the Dragonhawk brand. This machine comes packed in a large, spacey case and has several things included (pedal, power supply, 10 cartridges, DC cord). It has an affordable price and offers good quality. The material is sturdy and durable aluminum, and the total weight is 4 oz. The work will be vibrationless and quiet with this pen-design machine that’s also fit for all cartridges.
Package dimensions are 9.2 x 9.1 x 3.7, with a total weight of just 3.1 pounds.
- Durable material (aluminum)
- Upgraded gear system
- Quiet and simple to use
- Ergonomic and lightweight
- Fit for all cartridges
- No manual included
- Power supply might lose contact sometimes
4. Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine
In case you need an ergonomic rotary tattoo machine that comes for a good price, you can pick this one. And, it will not wear out fast because it’s made of extremely durable carbon steel. Good deal for a good price.
We continue with another good suggestion by the same brand Dragonhawk. This is a rotary tattoo machine made of extremely durable material (carbon steel), so you don’t have to doubt the longevity here. The machine is not heavy and weighs just 6.17 oz., you won’t even feel it in the hand, since it’s ergonomic as well. It comes packed with a clip cord connection. You can do all sorts of tattooing with such a versatile machine (coloring, lines, shades, etc).
The dimension of the whole package is 6.5 x 5 x 2.1 inches, with a weight of 11.22 ounces.
- Durable (carbon steel)
- Ergonomic and light in the hand
- Has clip cord connection as well
- Fit for all styles (shading, colors, lines…)
- The motor could warm after some time
- Clip cord is attaching loose at times
5. Mast Archer Wireless Tattoo Machine
This rotary tattoo machine is a great pick for you if you like to do tattoos for long hours or worry about the charging time. With this machine, you can have a full regular working day of 8 hours with just one charging!
Now we have the MAST TATTOO brand with their stunning rotary tattoo machine. This one is wireless, so it instantly catches your attention! It has a neat LCD screen, and the voltage is quite easily adjusted as well. The weight of this machine is 6.5 oz., and it’s 132mm long, and 32mm in diameter size. You won’t even notice it in the hand because it is lightweight and practical.
It’s even more amazing that you can work with it for 6 to 8 hours, and charge it in 2 hours tops! No worries about tattooing styles; it is good for shades and lines both. Like all modern, rotary tattoo machines, this one is also quiet and goes smoothly on the skin. In the package, you get the wireless machine (Mast Archer), 2 grips, a USB cord, and a box.
Dimensions of this whole package are 3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches, with a weight of just 1.55 pounds.
- Nice LCD screen
- Voltage easy to adjust
- Up to 8 hours of work
- 2 hours charging
- Quiet and easy to use
- Could be pricey for some
6. STIGMA Tattoo kit Rotary Tattoo Machine Pen
This rotary tattoo machine would be a specifically good choice for you if you like to be safe than sorry when it comes to battery practicality. One is always used, and the other charged – can’t get it simpler than this!
From the STIGMA brand, we recommend this rotary tattoo machine that comes with several things included. When you order, you will receive it with 2 batteries, 20 cartridges, a cohesive bandage, and more accessories. The pen is a pen-style design and very lightweight too. It is practical because you can always work with one of the batteries, and charge the second one! Plus, the pen is suitable for all types of cartridge. The manufacturer also certified this and gave a 1-year warranty.
Dimensions of the package are 3.23 x 9.06 x 10.83 inches. The total weight is 2.42 pounds.
- DC connector
- Durable aluminum
- Lightweight pen
- 2 batteries
- Reliable gear system
- All cartridge types compatibility
- 1-year warranty
- The needle could skip sometimes
- Batteries last averagely, not too long
7. YLONG ‘L’ Rotary Tattoo Machine
If you want to be sharp and precise when you do tattoos, and we mean extremely precise, this rotary tattoo machine is a good choice for you. The ergonomics and superb design will also contribute to the precision of your grasp.
Our next suggestion is the YLONG brand with the tattoo gun fit for shading and lines foremost, but all else as well, of course. This rotary tattoo machine is made of aluminum, and it weighs just 4.05 oz. The design is practical and nicely rounded for extreme precision through a good comfortable grip. It is compatible with all cartridges, and in the shipment, you also get a needle cartridge, a connection line, and a tattoo pen too.
The package size and dimensions are 6.18 x 4.02 x 1.81 inches, and 9.59 ounces weight.
- Durable (aluminum)
- Extremely precise
- All cartridge types
- The screws that secure the motor get loose after a while
- No manual included
8. Hawick Rotary Tattoo Machine
With this pick, you can do all tattoos faster and simpler. Why? Because this pen-design and precision overall will make work go smoother and faster. It is lightweight and extra-comfy on the grip.
As the next suggestion, we list the Hawink brand with this rotary tattoo machine. The motor here has great power and stability, and the design is comfortable and ergonomic. With a pen-design machine lightweight, tattooing will be easier and more pleasurable. The precision is on point, and the grip feels natural. The needle protrusion is 4mm, stroke is 3.2 mm, and the machine weight is 5.7 oz. This machine is compatible with all cartridges. The manufacturer recommends voltage not higher than 14V to avoid overheating.
The package is sizes 6 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches, with a total weight of 4.96 ounces.
- Reliable and stable
- For all cartridges
- Overheating is possible after 4 hours of constant work
9. Dragonhawk Atom Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine
If you need a lightweight practical machine that will last you a long time with its Japanese motor quality, you could make this choice right here. This is a reliable machine for a quiet tattooing session.
Again we have the Dragonhawk brand suggestion, this time with a machine of lightweight 4.7 oz. you can easily adjust the depth for needles here, 0-4.5 mm, and it is also suitable for all cartridge types. It works with a stroke of 3.5 mm. This rotary tattoo machine is a pleasure to work with – silent, comfortable, simple, and durable too. The optimal working voltage is 5.15 V, and the motor is the supreme Japanese quality that softens vibrations.
The dimensions of this package are 7.2 x 5.3 x 2.3 inches, with a total weight of 13.62 ounces.
- Excellent motor quality
- All cartridges are suitable
- Some warmth/heating is noticed after a while
10. Ambition Rotary Battery Pen Tattoo
Ambition battery pen is light in weight, easy to carry, strong and stable output, low noise and simple operation. One battery pen can replace a traditional tattoo machine kit.
As of last (but not least) on our list is the Ambition brand with a stunning pen-design machine. This is another product featuring a Japanese good-quality motor that is durable and reliable and made of lasting aluminum alloy. This same motor is working with a top speed of 10800 rpm, works smoothly, and doesn’t heat up. The machine is 140mm long, and 7.4 oz in weight. It stands out because it’s super-easy to assemble and disassemble its parts.
The battery for this machine has 1800 mAh capacity (with 3 pieces of 600 mAh built-in battery). Long tattooing is not an issue here! The output (8V) needs 2 hours of charging after 6 hours of work. In the package, you get the rotary tattoo machine pen, 1 battery, and 1 USB cable for charging.
Dimensions of the package are 7.28 x 5.31 x 2.13 inches, with a weight of 8.99 ounces.
- Aluminum alloy (durable)
- Easy to assemble/disassemble
- Japanese motor (good quality)
- No heating up
- Supports long working hours
- Fast charging (1-2 hours)
- All cartridge types
- Stoppage after some time (could be contacted to power flaw)
How we picked and tested the rotary tattoo machines?
When we researched, we had in mind several factors that are crucial for tattoo artists. The tattooing machine is among the crucial tools an artist needs, so it has to have as many good features as possible. It must be practical in all aspects above all. And, certainly, all tattoo artists need as many good features combined in one rotary tattoo machine, so we paid attention to the following:
- Ergonomics / Pen-design
- Quiet working
- Durable material
- Need for adapters
- Suitability cartridges
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Rotary Tattoo Machines Buyer’s Guide
Do I have to purchase a rotary tattoo machine and replace my old coil machine?
It is highly recommended that you get a rotary tattoo machine and slowly stop using the coil type. The rotary machines have advantages in many factors. To begin with, they are modernized in size and functionality foremost. These machines are much lighter, whereas the coil ones are heavier. It’s an important factor to consider, especially since you are tattooing with your hands all day long! Risking cramps or stiffness is the least you need.
Another thing is the noise factor. If a machine is modernized, it would make sense that it makes less buzzing sounds (the tattooing buzzing sound may seem strange for the customer, but for the artist, it’s a sound he hears all day long and may need a break).
So, as expected, the rotary tattoo machines are way quieter and less intimidating. The coil machines’ sound is similar to the dentist drilling teeth sound – unpleasant, and it could even frighten a customer.
The third obvious factor we will mention is the practicality of the rotary tattoo machine. The coil machines were not fit for two things at once; shading/coloring and outlines. If you had the chance to get tattoos in the past, you noticed how your tattoo artist took a break after the outlines of your tattoo? And then switched new needles into a new machine before you continued with the colors and shades?
Yes, that was the impractical coil machine with a loud buzz! But, with the rotary machine, now both things can be done. This is an artist’s best wish coming to life. Now, all there’s left to do is change a needle (size and type for shades) and continue with the same equipment.
What are the major benefits of switching to a rotary tattoo machine?
As we stated above, the benefits outweigh the ones on the coil machine. The rotary tattoo machine is modernized and updated, let’s begin with this. Working will be more silent and pleasant overall, the machine will have a ‘smooth’ flow movement over the skin, your hands won’t suffer, and you could use the same machine for all tattooing types (lines, shades, coloring…).
As a customer, what is the one sure way to know that my artist uses a rotary tattoo machine?
Even if you don’t ask the artist, you can know by one thing foremost (especially if you are not an expert, but a customer only). You will instantly notice once the artist steps on the pedal and you hear the sound of the machine. If the sound is almost muted and not to be heard even, this is good, because it’s a rotary machine! But, if the sound is like a dentist’s drill-machine (very loud), this is an oil type, coil machine.
Will tattoos hurt more with a rotary tattoo machine or with the coil type?
The truth here is that tattoos will hurt with every type of machine nevertheless. It all depends on many factors; pain sensitivity, the thickness of skin, or even alcohol consumption, sleeping enough the day prior, and many reasons more. But, when it comes to machines, a needle is a needle regardless of the machine type.
If your tattoo artist has a ‘heavy’ hand or grasp, or rough movements with pressure on your skin, he will ‘force’ the machine more onto your skin, which will cause pain (regardless of the machine type). The rotary tattoo machine may be quieter, but how it touches your skin depends on your tattoo artist. Sill, it would hurt less with a rotary machine because it allows for flexible hand movements, so you’d notice a good difference.
There are many advantages to purchasing a rotary tattoo machine, as we have seen above. If you decide to modernize your tattooing and make it more pleasant for the customers too, trust our reviews to make the right choice.
As a reminder, our best overall winner was the, practical and without a cord, so it won’t limit your movements while you create a flawless tattoo! Our second choice, the premium pick was , which won’t require adapters for working. And as a budget pick, third was , a durable and ergonomic machine to fit your budget.
Whether you choose based on side-equipment, other features, or price, we got you covered with all the most dependable rotary tattoo machines above.
Good luck shopping and tattooing!