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by vignesh selvam 01 Dec 2018


Your artistry is incredible and you need tattoo equipment that can keep up. At Tommy’s Supplies, we carry the best tattoo machine brands available so that you can have the tattoo equipment you need to do your artistry justice. However, not every tattoo machine is for every artist. Choosing your tattooing equipment should be based on style and preference. 

At a glance, there are two main types of tattoo machine that you can choose from: rotary and coil. They operate very differently, yet each plays an important role in tattoo equipment, and the one you pick is a very personal decision. Here’s what you need to know about the two types of machines:


Coil tattoo machines are the ones that make the trademark buzzing sound that tattoo shops are known for. They are what many refer to as the original tattoo equipment, and a lot of tattoo artists will only use coil machines because they are familiar. Additionally, they do provide more control, so they are great for tribal and realism tattoos that require great detail, shading, and intricate linework. As an artist, a coil tattoo machine will give you the optimal level of control and can be customized with various tips and coil types to get the look you desire. At a glance, here are the pros and cons of coil tattoo equipment:

  • Pros: It makes extremely smooth and clear lines, allows for a faster completion time, and provides ultimate control for highly detailed designs.
  • Cons: Coil tattoo machines can be noisy, and while the control they allow is great, it is usually not recommended for beginners. They do have more moving parts than other tattooing equipment, so there is more maintenance involved.

Rotary Tattoo Machines: For Styles with a Lot of Fill Work or Beginners   

A newer option, rotary tattoo equipment, uses an electric motor opposed to metal coils, so it is much lighter in weight and quieter in operation. If you create tattoo styles that usually have a lot of fill work, you will love the consistency a rotary tattoo machine provides. And since the machine is lighter, it is sometimes preferred for time-consuming tattoos, but rotary machines are not the best for shading since they do aim to provide consistent pressure with every movement. Here is the short list of pros and cons for rotary tattoo equipment:


  • Pros: Provide more consistency and easier controllability for beginners, making filler work a breeze. They are also quieter, cause less damage to the skin, and have fewer maintenance needs than a coil machine.
  • Cons: Shading and depth work is more challenging with a rotary gun, and the quick speed of the needle can make small details a challenge.

As you can see, there are several benefits to choosing between these types of tattoo equipment, you just have to select the best one for where you are in your tattoo career and what style of tattoos you create. To learn more about where to buy tattoo equipment for your needs, contact us now. 

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