If you want to learn to tattoo, you need to know the basics first. And the basics are tattoo equipment used for practicing. Choose the best tattoo starter kit for beginners, and start learning.
In general, people that like to get tattoos are usually those who like to draw or express themselves artistically. And most of the time, those artistic-oriented people start to express a desire for tattooing. But, tattooing is more complex than it seems and is surely more than ‘just’ drawing onto someone’s skin. For most aspiring tattoo artists, the initial issue is how to start learning this craft and what is needed for the practicing.
These were our top 3 picks for a tattoo starter kit for beginners. Now that you have seen them, let’s find out more about each and its features. Learning to tattoo begins by learning how to pick good equipment, so let’s start!
That is why we will try to form a certain direction for all those tattoo-enthusiasts and future artists! We gathered 10 models of a tattoo starter kit for beginners, and we reviewed them in the sections below. You don’t have to feel lost, and now you will find out the basics to prepare yourself for tattoo learning!
What do I need to start tattooing?
If you are passionate to learn about tattooing, and doing it more expertly, you certainly have to start somewhere. Learning this craft means obtaining the needed materials to start practical activities because tattooing is physical work. So, you need to get a tattoo pen in your hand, and set up all surrounding equipment parts that go along in a tattoo kit – and start perfecting this skill to become a tattoo artist.
Everyone interested in tattooing (as a side job or full time – but still tattooing) should get a tattoo starter kit. There is no way around it – if you want to tattoo yourself, or someone else, you have to learn, and do this with at least the basic equipment, aka, starter kits.
Read also: Best Lotion for Tattoo Aftercare
The Best Tattoo Starter Kit for Beginners 2020
1. Dragonhawk Tattoo Machine Kit
This is a good pick for you if you like a tattoo machine that feels ‘light’ in your hand, instead of heavy. With a lighter machine like this, you could easily make delicate movements for crucial shadings.
The brand Dragonhawk and this kit is our list starter as the best overall pick. This kit is incredible because it includes a permanent makeup gun, needles, power supply, ink, 10 pieces of cartridges all packed in a case. The machine itself is a rotary type that’s excellent for great precision, as well as shadings.
Dimensions of this tattoo starter kit package are 11.46 x 9.65 x 3.9 inches, with a total weight of 2.73 pounds.
- Good for precision and shading
- A well-equipped kit
- Lightweight machine (82g)
- Seamless frame for protection
- 10 cartridges
- Needles have membranes for easier usage
- The machine could make a stuttering vibration due to the power supply
2. Autdor Complete Cartridge Tattoo Machine Kit
This would be a great tattoo starter kit for you if you want many useful and practical features combined in one product. So, if you need a simple usage, but foremost a comfortable design for long hours of work, this is for you.
As our next choice runner up, we have the Autdor brand. What they offer is a tattoo starter kit that has many components; 1 power supply, 1 rotary machine, 7 ink colors, 20 ink caps, 20 needle cartridges, a grip tape, 1 transfer paper (piece), a pair of gloves,, a pedal, tape wrap, as well as ‘practicing skin’! The shape of the machine makes for ergonomic comfort, but if you are still unsatisfied, their customer support will meet your needs asap.
Dimensions of this package are 11.5 x 10 x 3.74 inches, with a total overall weight of 3.2 pounds.
- Fully equipped kit
- Ergonomic, comfortable grip
- 20 caps
- 20 cartridges
- 7 ink colors
- Practicing skin
- Doesn’t heat up
- LED display
- Good visibility with a transparent material
- Good customer support
- Power supply could pause the machine
- No manual
3. Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit
If you are a tattoo artist on a budget or you are just beginning to learn the craft, our third pick is a product that won’t empty your wallet, but still do the job. You can easily work with such machines and their parts, and not get tired after hours of work!
As a third pick, or a budget pick we single out the Dragonhawk brand again, but this time with a more affordable offer. In this kit, there are 2 machines (for shading and lines), both made of sturdy and strong material. You will also get 10 ink colors, a LED power supply combined with a foot pedal, and sterilized needles. The voltage is adjusted easily, and overall this is a machine that’s simple to use.
The dimensions of the package are 12.5 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches, with a lightweight of 2.1 pounds.
- 2 machines (lines and shades)
- Good material
- Anti-fatigue spring design
- 10 ink colors
- LED power supply and pedal
- Easy voltage adjusting
- Accessories and needles included
- Motor seems to go on-off sometimes
- Manual should have written tips combined with the visuals
4. Dragonhawk Cartridge Tattoo Machine Kit
If you need a machine that will not tire you out during long sessions, or a machine with a cord you won’t notice, this would be a great pick for you. With this, you can focus better on the work, and less on the adjustments and how the grip feels.
We have the Dragonhawk brand again, but now with slightly different components in the kit they offer. Here, we have a DC motor that works smoothly and is very light on the grip. For an even easier grip, you can comfortably rotate this machine for any depth with the needles. You can use all sorts of cartridge needles here, and they are included here as well. Frequencies are easily changed without hassle, and it works quietly too. In this kit, you get 20 cartridge needles, a pedal, atom pen rotary machine + DC cord, and a cable and power supply. If not satisfied, the customer support is kind enough to send replacements or help you out.
The dimensions of the package are 9.6 x 6.6 x 4.7 inches, with a total weight of 2.3 pounds.
- Quiet machine
- Compatible with all cartridges
- Atom tattoo pen
- Easy adjustment and switching of frequencies
- Light on the grip
- Friendly and helpful customer support
- The pedal could rarely lose contact
- Some packages have a manual for another product of the same brand
5. STIGMA Complete Tattoo Kit
If you are still beginning to learn the tattoo craft, you need to learn the shades and lining that require various needle sizes. Because of the items included, this pick could be the most beneficial tattoo starter kit for you.
The STIGMA brand offers an equipped kit, so let’s see what is offered inside. First, there is the rotary machine, perfect for lines and shades, and its motor is light and easy to work with. Also, they included 20 needles of various sizes; 5 pieces per size value. They offer 5 practice ink colors and accessories that are great for apprentices and practice. Warranty is a full year, and this is certified too
The dimensions of the package are 10.7 x 8.9 x 3.3 inches, and a total lightweight of just 2.2 pounds.
- 10 W motor; easy to use
- 4 sizes of needles (5 pieces per each size)
- Practicing inks
- 1-year warranty
- Power supply loses contact at certain moments (due to pedal)
- The needle doesn’t go smooth in the machine
6. Solong Tattoo Machine Pen Kit
This kit would be a good choice for you if you need a durable machine material and not just a temporary practicing tool. Also, this kit is a good pick for those who want fast and easy adjustment of the voltage.
From the Solong brand, we have another kit with several items included. Here, the main focus is on the rotary pen made of good-quality aluminum alloy. It has a 10 W motor that is silent and overall, this machine is quite comfortable in the grip. They also included 40 pieces of cartridges, a pedal and cord, a power supply, and accessories for the voltage adjusting. The kit is warranted for a full year.
The package dimensions are 5.9 x 3.9 x 2 inches, and the overall weight 3.05 pounds.
- Good quality per good price
- Rotary pen from an aluminum alloy (durable)
- 40 pieces cartridges
- Practical voltage adjustments
- Full-year warranty
- Cords feel loosely attached
- The motor has brief stoppings after long sessions
7. Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit
This would be the most suitable tattoo starter kit for you if you specifically like to have the most essential things in one set – 2 machines, a practical cord, and practice skin as well. Now you could dedicate to long hours of practice or work without tiring or mechanical defects.
Again we continue with the Dragonhawk brand, this time with a kit that has 2 pieces of a coil, 20 needles, power supply, ink, tattoo machine, and tattoo ‘guns’. It is an affordable set with 2 machines (for shades and lines), made of sturdy durable material. The spring here won’t make you tired and is fit for long working hours. In the pack, there is a pedal included as well as a LED digital power supply. There is even practice skin included too.
Dimensions of the pack are 9.84 x 9.8 x 3.77 inches, with a total weight of 4.05 pounds.
- 2 machines
- 10 wrap coils
- Durable material
- Anti-fatigue spring
- LED power supply
- 20 needles
- Practice skin included
- Power supply could lose contact a bit
8. ATOMUS Cartridge Tattoo Machine Kit
The ATOMUS brand offers a fully-set kit with several components; a rotary pen machine, power supply + cable, DC clip cord, 20 cartridges (5 per all 4 sizes), and a pedal too. The machine is incredibly comfy to have in the hand, it has an ergonomic design, and rotates as well. The power supply is unique because you can leave the pedal sometimes and still work as usual. The cartridges are excellent; you can see through their transparent tips how they move!
Dimensions of the package are 7.6 x 5.4 x 4.1 inches, with a lightweight of 1.5 pounds.
- Cartridges in more sizes (and quantity)
- Ergonomic design
- Simple power supply features
- Semi-transparent tips (needles)
- The pedal is not as mobile as expected (or extremely ‘pressable’)
- The power supply has short stoppages
9. Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Pen Kit
If you want a machine that is super-comfy and rotates when needed at the same time, this is a pick for you. And, if you are tired of the ink stains on your working clothes, with this machine it won’t be a problem anymore.
Again we continue with the Dragonhawk brand, this time with another set, but with slightly different components. This tattoo pen is Atom M1; incredibly silent, durable material, and light in the grip. You can also easily adjust the voltage with this machine and rotate it freely for any depth. It’s suitable for lining, coloring, and shading, and you will not get tired of using it due to its design. No more ink spilling or spit back with this upgraded design.
The package has dimensions 9.84 x 6.73 x 4.84 inches, with a weight of 2.43 pounds.
- Durable material
- 10 cartridges
- Rotating to any depth
- Fit for shades, lines, coloring
- No ink spitback
- The cartridge might feel ‘loose’ at times
10. Wormhole Rotary Tattoo Machine
For all those that appreciate good customer support in case of dissatisfaction, this manufacturer offers that, and a year warranty too. This would be the most salutary tattoo starter kit for you if you seek something ergonomic and compatible with all cartridges.
The Wormhole Tattoo brand by Hangzhou Wormhole Import and Export, assembled a neatly packed kit with essential and quite useful components for the basics of the tattooing craft. The tattoo pen is ergonomic and pleasant in the hand, plus it is compatible with all cartridge types. The machine itself is not too heavy; just 4.6 oz. and the needle depth can be adjusted as you wish, easily.
In the pack, you will get a tattoo pen, cord, pedal, needles, caps, practice skin and ink, paper, bandage, and gloves. There is a full year warranty for the power supply and the tattoo pen, whereas the pedal and the cord are warranted for 6 months. Their customer support will help you anytime if there are issues.
Dimensions of the package are 13.3 x 9.3 x 2.9 inches, with total weight of 4.41 pounds.
- Ergonomic design
- Lightweight in the hand
- Good for shades and lines
- All cartridges compatibility
- 1 year and ½ year warranty for parts of this kit
- Good customer support
- The power supply could show stoppages
- The tattoo pen slows down after several uses
How we picked and tested the tattoo starter kits
To ensure proper and relevant reviews, we concluded the following features that define the best purchase:
- Lightweight machine
- Caps, cartridges, and ink included
- Good spring design
- Simple adjustment of voltage
- Silent working
- Rotary pen
- Durable material
Tattoo Machine Kit Buyer’s guide
Can I use a tattoo starter kit for professional or expert use?
As the name itself sounds and suggests – a tattoo starter kit is mainly for beginners and would be more suitable for the early days of tattooing. Yes, of course, if you are a master in the tattooing skill you could still make an excellent piece of art with any tattooing equipment, but most starter kits are more suitable for apprentices and long hours of learning foremost and then regular tattooing as well.
Once you level up and improve your tattooing grasp by far, you could continue using the old equipment, but by then you will want to make a few upgrades to purchases as well.
What should a tattoo starter kit for beginners contain?
It is simple to choose once you know the basics that should be in the kit. Some manufacturers include more items and some less, but in general, the included items are lightweight machine, a tattoo pen, cord and pedal, needles and cartridges, caps, ink, power supply (and sometimes practicing skin).
Will I need something else not included in a tattoo starter kit?
A tattoo starter kit has to be the most helpful way for starting the tattooing apprenticeship! In other words, the kit should be complete and not lacking in any crucial component mentioned above. If it lacks something in the long run, would it be a starter kit for beginners?
Of course not.
If there is some lacking part, it is surely manageable by the manufacturer (due to mishap in packing and shipping), but there shouldn’t be extra purchases to the starter kit.
How much does a tattoo starter kit cost?
Here it depends on what your goal is with tattooing. Since you are searching for a tattoo starter kit for beginners, we assume that you are leaning more into the apprentice side of the spectrum. And a factor that influences this decision is certainly the budget you have or the one you are willing to give for this purchase.
We listed 10 reviews above, and from them, you could choose according to your limitations; pricier brands, averagely priced, or budget picks to help you save money, but still get good quality. In each of our reviews, you can find attractive features for nice prices.
Does the tattoo starter kit have to be from a famous brand?
There are no clear-cut definitions of famous or infamous, but there is a division in pricey or affordable tattoo kits. For example, if you want great quality, trust our best overall pick Dragonhawk brand, or the runner up Autdor brand. Then again, if you need to save some money, you can still get it good with the budget pick Dragonhawk more affordable product lines. You just need to have the desire to start tattooing, do not bother so much with random brand names, and trust our reviewed features.
Do I have to invest in an ergonomic machine design?
The good thing nowadays is that most, or all tattoo machines have an ergonomic design, and this is crucial for the artist. He is the one that holds the tattoo machine all day long drawing onto customers’ skin. This is why it is one of the more important factors to focus on. Imagine being a hairdresser, standing all day long, and having uncomfortable shoes?
The same goes for the tattoo artist who would hold a heavy or lightweight ergonomic machine in his hand. An unsuitable grip design could lead to hand tightening or a stiff feeling in the hand overall. And it could even get more serious with something called ‘repetitive strain injury‘.
This is a chronic condition of overusing the hands, and due to this, there would be constant limb pain, or stiffness, or general sensitivity in the limbs (hands). The least a tattoo artist needs is cramps, or tingling and throbbing. Investing in ergonomics is like investing in your hands – you need them the most! The tattoo starter kit would certainly have an ergonomic design machine!
You will not make a wrong choice, no matter what you pick from our selection above. Still, our recommendations go to the clear top choices. As the winner for the best tattoo starter kit, we had the best overall pick, an amazing kit with great quality items.
Then, as runner up we suggest thewith many items included, as well as great customer support (just in case!).
And third, but also good is the money-saving budget pickat an affordable price.
We truly hope we helped you set your career path in tattooing with our reviews! Everything starts with practice, and practice starts with getting the equipment.
Read also: Best Tattoo Aftercare Bandages