There are three reasons why you should try one of the best rotary tattoo machines.
First, it’s easy to handle and lightweight. Since it doesn’t vibrate or make noise as much as a coil machine, it’s comfortable to use for hours of inking.
Second, a rotary machine requires fewer adjustments. It can be used for both lining and shading.
And third, you’ll be holding a piece of history. The first tattoo machine was a rotary pen.
What’s more, many artists say that rotary machines hurt less and do less damage to the skin. This leads to faster healing.
But before we get to the rotary tattoo machine reviews, let’s learn a little more.
- Are rotary tattoo machines better?
- Best Rotary Tattoo Machines
- FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Pen Machine
- Bishop Wand Pen Tattoo Machine
- Cheyenne Sol Terra Tattoo Machine
- Cheyenne Sol Nova Tattoo Machine
- InkJecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite Tattoo Machine
- Kwadron Equaliser Proton Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine
- Little EGO V2 Rotary Tattoo Machine
- Jack Steel Tattoo Machine MK3 Rotary (Hildbrandt)
- Stigma Tattoo Kit Rotary Tattoo Machine EM125KITPRB20-8-US
- STIGMA Rotary Tattoo Machine Pen EM158-1
- HAWINK Rotary Short Pen Tattoo Machine
- Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine
- Draonhawk Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit
- Solong Tattoo Kit Rotary Machine
Are rotary tattoo machines better?
I don’t want to start a war as it doesn’t matter which kind of tattoo machine is better.
What’s crucial is whether a rotary machine is better for your art.
If you find that you enjoy inking with a rotary tattoo machine, then, by all means, get one and use it.
They are popular with famous artists like Guy Aitchison and Tatu Baby, among many others.
Best Rotary Tattoo Machines
You can view the best rotary tattoo machines in the reviews below.
FK Irons Spektra Xion Rotary Pen Machine
FK Irons is one of the top manufacturers of tattoo machines. They are located in Miami and have been in business since 2007.
The Spectra Xion is one of their most famous products. Typically, to purchase it, you’d have to provide credentials proving that you are a professional artist or apprentice.
If you’re anxious to have the highest-quality tools in your shop, you need to consider this machine.
It’s pen-style, so it looks like a fat marker. It’s perfectly balanced and highly maneuverable. It’s precisely what you want if you’re doing precision work.
It features interchangeable strokes for different styles. Then, the adjustable grip is compatible with all needles. You won’t be locked into one brand.
Also, you can lock-in the needle depth with the ratcheting system, and it stays put.
The body is aircraft-grade aluminum that weighs only 5.36 ounces. It never heats up in the hand. Plus, you can sanitize it in an instant by wiping it down.
Finally, this tattoo machine is compatible with almost any power supply on the market – just check the voltage supply. It has a 6W MotorBolt System, which was developed especially for tattooing.
Bishop Wand Pen Tattoo Machine
Do you do black and gray portraiture? How about realistic art in color?
Choose either the Shader or the Packer Wand if you like the pen style of rotary tattoo machine. Bishop promises that either will be the ideal all-in-one machine.
The shader does fine lines and realistic shading with a soft motor and a 3.5mm stroke.
On the other hand, the packer creates bold lines and realistic color with a potent brushless motor and a 4.2mm stroke.
By the way, Bishop also makes a Liner Wand with a 5mm stroke and a powerful brushless motor. (In truth, you can adjust the needle depth up to 6 mm).
So, why choose this American brand over the competition? Professional artists prefer it for several reasons.
For one, they offer a lifetime guarantee on the custom Faulhaber Motor. The motors have custom winding specific to the machine’s function as a shader, liner, or packer.
Then, each machine is hand-assembled to make sure it’s precisely tuned and perfectly functional.
Finally, each pen weighs only 4 ounces. The casing is hand-polished aircraft aluminum with a matte grip. It’s extremely comfortable to use.
Cheyenne Sol Terra Tattoo Machine
Everyone’s heard about the Cheyenne Hawk, but do you know about the Sol Terra? It’s from the same innovative tattoo equipment manufacturer based in Berlin, Germany.
This angled rotary machine quickly adjusts to provide two different experiences.
The “hard” setting turns it into a liner. It behaves like a regular rotary pen with a 4 mm stroke.
But the “sensi” setting lets it act like a coil tattoo machine. It provides the kind of tactile feedback that the ordinary rotary machine doesn’t. However, it’s exceptionally quiet and nearly vibration-free.
It has a brushless DC motor that runs at a low frequency. It’s a powerful precision tool made to last for years of service.
It weighs only 3 ounces, and it’s protected under warranty for a year.
Cheyenne Sol Nova Tattoo Machine
The Sol Nova comes in a variety of bright colors. Each one is a compact rotary pen with a brushless DC motor. It’s like an updated version of the Hawk.
The ergonomic design is just 33mm in diameter with a 3.5mm stroke. It weighs just over 5 ounces.
Cheyenne recommends their Ergo Grips and needle cartridges for it.
InkJecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite Tattoo Machine
InkJecta was founded in 2008 by two tattoo artists in Australia. Today, each tattoo machine is hand-built in a small factory. And each one is quality-tested by a human.
Can you believe that the Nano Ultra Light machine only weighs 1.587 ounces? That’s 45g or approximately the weight of 2 AA batteries.
It features a carbon fiber frame with a titanium lock nut. It’s impressively configurable as many of the parts are interchangeable, like the side bumpers, needle bars, caps, and cam.
Switch out the torsion drive bars to select between soft, medium, and hard action. All of them come with it in the package.
You can adjust the stroke length from the standard 3.25mm by swapping parts. And if this all seems overwhelming, it comes with a helpful manual plus lubricant.
The custom nanotechnology motor runs on anything from 4.5 to 18V. If you have a chance to see it in action, it’s quite pretty with the LED light.
Kwadron Equaliser Proton Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine
Kwadron is a Polish manufacturer of tattoo machines, ink, needles, and cartridges. They operate according to the high standards demanded by the EU. Plus, they’ve been in business for more than a dozen years and act as suppliers to tattoo salons throughout Europe.
Compare the Equaliser Proton pen to less expensive Asian models. For one, even with an aluminum housing, it weighs just a hair over 4 ounces or 120g.
Then, it has a Swiss FAULHABER motor with high torque, low noise, and high efficiency. It stops and starts smoothly. Once you experience it, you’ll have trouble going back to a cheaper rotary machine.
Finally, this pen was designed for long life and trouble-free operation. It’s ideal for all types of tattooing work, including lining, filling, and shading.
It requires a maximum of 12V and has a 3.5 mm stroke.
Little EGO V2 Rotary Tattoo Machine
Here is a British-made rotary machine created by Bez of Triplesix Studios. It has a unique design that you won’t find anywhere else.
First, you might be shocked by the fact that it weighs under 2 and a half ounces. The body is high-grade, durable plastic with a UV coating to prevent degradation.
Next, the small amount of weight is balanced perfectly to prevent wrist fatigue. Although it isn’t a pen-style rotary machine, it feels like one.
It features the “power triangle system” that makes it straightforward to configure throw and give. It replaces the front and back springs you’d see on coil tattoo machines.
As you can see by the name, this is version 2 with improvements over the previous generation. It has a new rail system and more robust vice. But it still runs on the same reliable Faulhaber motor.
Jack Steel Tattoo Machine MK3 Rotary (Hildbrandt)
This rotary machine is built in Belgium. It’s CNC-machined from 7075 aluminum, yet it weighs just 2 ounces. It’s also very compact at 2 x 2.5”.
It has a Maxon REMAX motor that emits practically no vibrations, only a low hum.
When you use the machine, you might forget that it’s in your hand as it should feel like an extension of your art.
Each rotary machine from this company comes with a lifetime warranty on the parts and body. Moreover, every piece is replaceable.
Stigma Tattoo Kit Rotary Tattoo Machine EM125KITPRB20-8-US
If you’re going to be using a rotary pen, why not go wireless?
Stigma makes one of the most affordable wireless tattoo kits. It comes with 2 batteries, 20 pre-sterilized needle cartridges, a carrying case, and other accessories.
The rotary machine is made of premium aluminum with a Japanese motor. It weighs 2 ounces without the battery onboard.
Users say that it’s a little top-heavy with the 1500mAh battery, but provides decent value for the money.
The battery has a helpful feature. The indicator lights reveal the voltage in use. For example, with only one light, the output is 4.5V. When all 5 lights are lit, the output is 10.5V. At the maximum setting, the battery should last about 3 hours.
STIGMA Rotary Tattoo Machine Pen EM158-1
It seems like more artists prefer this wireless pen-type rotary machine as it’s well-balanced in the hand—the battery mounts on the top as a continuation of the barrel instead of hanging off the side.
The battery capacity is 2000mAh, which lasts approximately 7 hours. It can handle up to 13V output. Push the up or down button to cycle through the settings. The display reveals the voltage, the amount of power remaining, and how long the pen’s been running.
The aircraft aluminum housing dampens vibration and doesn’t get hot. Stigma includes various rubber and metal grip sleeves for its in the package.
The machine allows you to adjust the stroke length between 1and 4mm, but the typical effective length is 3mm.
Happily, the manufacturer offers a 1-year guarantee.
HAWINK Rotary Short Pen Tattoo Machine
Chinese brand HAWINK offers this rotary pen powered by a FAULHABER motor for less than you’d pay for most competitor models. You might wonder if they’ve cut any corners to make this possible. As far as I can tell, though, it’s just a good deal.
If you’re concerned about quality, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The finely-crafted aircraft aluminum housing complements the low vibration and quiet operation of the motor. Altogether, the pen weighs 4 and a half ounces.
The motor operates between 5 to 10V maximum. It comes with an RCA cord, but you’ll need to provide your own power supply.
Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine
Artists on a budget should check out Dragonhawk’s Extreme Rotary machine as it’s one of the least pricey. Yet, it comes with a hard-working Japanese motor.
The ergonomic design makes it feel like it weighs less than 6.17 ounces.
You’ll need to provide your own power supply with 8 to 9V for lining and 7.5 to 8.5V for shading and color packing.
Draonhawk Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit
Hong Kong-brand Dragonhawk also offers a rotary pen called the Atom. It comes in a kit with power supply and foot controller, needle cartridges, grip tape, and a carrying case.
The stroke length is a standard 3.5mm. The pen operates between 6 to 9V, so it’s suitable for lining and shading.
Solong Tattoo Kit Rotary Machine
Solong offers a more comprehensive rotary machine kit for beginners. It includes a pen-style machine, a power supply with foot pedal, and excellent accessories for novice artists.
The accessories include ink in a rainbow of colors, needle cartridges, practice skin, transfer paper, ink caps, disposable gloves, grip tape, and a carrying case. It’s everything you need to start tattooing when you open the box.
But please, if you plan to tattoo humans, invest in better ink and products like green soap to keep things sanitary.
The rotary machine has a CE certification, and it’s covered by a 1-year warranty. The body is anodized aircraft aluminum for durability. Inside, is a German-made motor developed especially for tattooing.
Every artist should experience what it’s like to work with a rotary tattoo machine. Many will find that it’s easier to express themselves using one.
These comfortable, low-vibration, and low-noise tattoo machines are a dream to use. They are beneficial for the client as they may harm the skin less, too.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing the best rotary machines for tattooing today. Come back soon and tell us about your experience with your new acquisition.