How does a Tattoo Machine Work?

Tattoo Machines is the machine which needs to be handled and worked upon with care and safety. You don’t want to make any mistake, or it might cause a lot of damage.

Tattoo Machine punctures your body for almost 50 to 6000 times per minute while you are tattooing yourself.

When you imagine this, it really feels horrible, yet many people do it. That’s why you should understand how exactly tattoo machines work and why many people get it tattooed.

Table Of Contents

In this post, I am going to share how does a tattoo machine works and every other thing that you should know about the tattoo machine, such as types of machine, working, parts, and much more.

What is the Tattoo Machine, and how does it work?

In the year before 1900, people used to make tattoos on their bodies by poking some needles into their bodies. That was not the perfect machine or anything, yet people were excited about it.

Nowadays, there are some modern tattoo machines which does the job of making tattoos in a much more efficient way and with less harm as well.

In scientific terms, tattoo machines are the motorized way of solid needles connected to an ink reservoir used to pierce the skin by needles to make the tattoo.

Here is the first model of the tattoo machine that was patented for the very first time.

Tattoo Machine Patent

This is the rotary machine model that was proposed for the very first time.

Here’s the simple working of the tattoo machine that you will understand.

To make a tattoo, it needs to be done by the work of needles in a constant way. If we have to do it manually, then it is going to take a very long time, and obviously, it is going to hurt a lot as well.

That’s why tattoo machines are motorized machines that make it easy to rotate the needles in and out based on the working to automate the working of the machine.

The needles in the tattoo machine are connected to ink reservoirs. While moving the needles, it pierces the skin; the tip of the needle pulls ink from the reservoirs into the skin and deposits it there.

This is how the core mechanism of any tattoo machine is. There are various types of tattoo machines, such as coil machines, rotary machines, etc. All of those machines does the same job, which I have stated above but in a different way.

Let’s see how does different types of machines works.

Types of Tattoo Machines

The main two types of tattoo machines that are available in the market are coil machines and rotary machines.

Rotary Tattoo Machine

Rotary Tattoo Machine

Rotary Machines use an electric motor to drive the needles from the tattoo machine. When electricity is applied, the flywheel spin in the motion, and it pushes down to convert the spinning motion into a reciprocating linear motion of the needles.

That results in moving the needle up and down smoothly and rapidly applying the tattoo more easily than most tattoo artists could manage by using the traditional method of poking.

The best thing about a rotary machine is that it does not sound a lot. They are very quiet and comfortable for a long time as well.

Coil Tattoo Machine

Coil Tattoo Machine

If you have visited the tattoo shop, you must have heard the noise coming from the machine while making the tattoo. That is the sound of the coil tattoo machine.

The coil tattoo machine is driven by the electromagnetic coil. In this machine, you need to attach the group of needles perpendicular to an armature bar of the coil machine.

The bar on the coil machine is spring-loaded, so it can vibrate up and down. When it is in the up position, it completes a circuit in the machine that sends electricity through dual electromagnetic coils.

The electricity generated creates an electromagnetic field that pulls the bar down, which breaks the circuit and releases the bar back to its up position, starting the cycle over again.

As we connect the needles to that bar, when it vibrates, it moves the needles up and down.

The coil machine seems much safer and less painful for the client and tattoo maker.

Rotary Machine vs Coil Machine

Rotary MachineCoil Machine
Quite soundLarger needle grouping
LightweightIdeal for lining and shading
Low maintenanceModifiable and easy to adjust
Consistent and steady needle movementMore control over needle movement
Less harsh on the skinBuzzing sound
Best for beginnersBest for experienced

If you still haven’t got anything about working, then don’t mind. Here’s the explainer video, which you can watch and understand the working in the graphical method.

Final Words

The working of the tattoo machine is easy to understand if you don’t get caught up in the more physics stuff of it. You will understand the working and the difference much easily.

The machines are easy to recognize when you have them in your hands as well.

You can also check out the best tattoo machines as well if you are thinking to get one for yourself.

Do you still have some questions related to working on the tattoo machine? If so, do let me know in the comments below.

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