5 BEST Tattoo Machines & Starter Kits For Beginners of 2019!

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Best Tattoo Machine for Beginners

So you finally want to get a tattoo machine kit and start designing spectacular masterpieces onto human flesh?

But... You don't know what Tattoo Machines or Starter Kits would be the best choice for you to buy...

That's why I went ahead and found the Top 5 BEST Tattoo Machine for Beginners, and yes, the list is mostly complete kits that have everything you'll need...

Continue reading to start your Tatistry Journey... 😉

Best Tattoo Machines for Beginners of 2019

Beginner Tattooist Buyers Guide

Types of Tattoo Machines

Rotary Tattoo Machines

Rotary Tattoo Machines are powered by a compact, dc motor, that rotates cyclically, which allows for energy to be transferred into linear needle motion...

This is the most simple type of tattoo machine and it has many advantages when compared to other types...

One big advantage of Rotary Tattoo Machines is that some of them can do it all... Lining, Shading, Coloring, & Black or Grey Work...

Here are the Pros & Cons of Rotary Tattoo Machines:

Pros of Rotary Tattoo Machines:

  • Quiet
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Adjust
  • Simple to Use
  • Hardly Vibrates at All
  • Versatile
  • Consistent
  • Runs Stunningly Smooth
  • Feels like an Ink Pen
  • Replacement Parts are Cheap
  • Low Maintenance
  • Ideal for Coloring & Filling
  • Lightweight
  • Fits Hand Better (Less Cramping & Aching)
  • Easy Handling
  • Minimal Adjustments Needed
  • Often Quite Affordable


Cons of Rotary Tattoo Machines:

  • Less Durable
  • Lining is Sometimes a Bit More Difficult On a Rotary
  • Can't Tune/Adjust By Ear Since It's Quiet
  • Typically Slower To Finish Tattoos With

Coil Tattoo Machines

Dual Coiled Tattoo Machines are by far the most commonly used tattoo machine... 

Fun Fact: Dual Coil Tattoo Machines are an industry standard, but there are actually single coiled, and triple coiled tattoo machines as well...

With Coil Tattoo Machines, the coils produce an electromagnetic circuit which moves the needle of a tattoo machine up and down, and when applied to the skin, the needle bops in and out of the dermis (second layer of skin tissue)....

Here are the Pros & Cons of Coil Tattoo Machines:

Pros of Coil Tattoo Machines:

  • Makes a Loud Buzzing Noise (Pro for Some People)
  • Regulating Power & Speed is Easy
  • Easy to Customize & Interchange Parts
  • Heavier Weight Adds Pressure Which Helps With Control
  • Typically Quite Affordable
  • Higher Power & Performance
  • Great for Long Tattooing Periods
  • Most Popular Type

Cons of Coil Tattoo Machines:

  • Makes a Loud Buzzing Noise (Con for Some People)
  • Requires More Maintenance & Adjustments/Tuning

Pneumatic Tattoo Machines

Pneumatic Tattoo Machines are simply tattoo machines that are powered by an air compressor which moves the needle.

They have similar advantages to a rotary tattoo machine but they tend to be high end and expensive, which is one reason why Pneumatic Tattoo Machines are rarely used by tattoo artists....

NOTE: We will not list any pneumatic machines on our Top 5 List

Tattoo Terminology

If you're going to learn to do siccckkkkk tats, then you'll need to learn it's language....

Here are 2 massive lists of Tattoo Terminology that YOU need to know...

  1. Tattoo Lingo
  2. Tattoo Glossary

Basic Tattoo Techniques

Lining

"Lining" or "Outlining" is where most tattoo artists choose to start since it's basically the foundation of your tattoo...

Lining is simply the outline, shape, or lines that make up the beginning structure of a tattoo of a tattoo that you're working on....

This is an important technique to master if you want to make other-worldly tats...

Your lining can affect a vast number of things in how your tattoo will look once finished... 

Lines can affect:

  • Depth of Field
  • Proportions
  • Symmetry
  • Accuracy of Artwork (which is important if you're going for a realistic look)
  • And Much More...

And just like with drawing, almost all people begin drawing the lines to whatever it is that they're drawing, THEN they move onto shading & coloring... 

It's the same with tats...

Shading

Shading is another important, fundamental technique as it affects things like:

  • Tone
  • Texture
  • Dimensions (2D, 3D)
  • Realism
  • Shape

So learning how to shade properly with your tattoo machine will be crucial if you want to be able to craft tats that turn heads in amazement...

Coloring / Filling

Coloring is self explanatory, is it not?

But I should emphasize how important it is, because coloring can make some tattoos "POP"...

And while some tat work like what blackwork artists do, doesn't need color to look finished & incredible...

Other tattoos might need color to give it that finished look...

It's easy to know if a tat needs color, when you look at a tat and you imagine that tat in your mind....

If it has color in your minds eye then you should probably color the sucker...

A good example would be a tattoo of Mario & Luigi...

I'm sorry but, I can't imagine Mario & Luigi in black or grey... 

A tat like that should pop with eye-loving colors to make it look finished & all the more badass!

Lettering

Lettering is quite self explanatory as well...

There is a large amount of people who want tattoos with words on them, but that are designed in a certain way...

So learning to do Lettering effortlessly will benefit you as a tattoo artist... 

Now then, Onto the list of the Top 5 BEST Tattoo Machines for Beginners!

5. Dragonhawk Essence (Best Pen Style Rotary Tattoo Machine for Starters)

Best Tattoo Machine for Beginners

Dragonhawk Essence Review

If you were specifically looking for a pen styled rotary tattoo machine then "Essence" by Dragonhawk, is exactly what you were looking for...

It's designed for beginners and it's so lightweight and easy to use...

The biggest downfall about this product is that it doesn't come with ink, practice skin, or gloves... 

So basically, the additional items that you'll need (you only really need ink, but you may want the other stuff) to get started are sold separately, but the machine itself is damn near pro quality...

If you already have ink or feel like buying it separately, then this would be the best pen styled rotary tattoo machine for you as a beginner...

Best for Coloring, Shading, and Black or Grey Work!

To Read More About Essence, Read Our "5 BEST Rotary Tattoo Machines" Article.

What You'll Like

  • Free Shipping
  • Affordable
  • Easy to Use & Learn
  • High Quality Tattoo Machine
  • GREAT for Beginners
  • Smooth
  • Lightweight
  • Pen Styled (Feels like a Pen)
  • Good Performance for Shading & Coloring

What You'll Dislike

  • Not a full starter kit
  • Ink sold separately
  • Overheats after long periods of use
  • Will work for lining but it's performance is kinda poor

Features & Specs.

  • Space Aluminum Frame
  • Length: 12cm
  • Weight: 140g
  • RCA Cord Connection (Included with Purchase)
  • Voltage: 6v - 9v
  • Compatible with All Cartridge Needle Types
Starter Beginner Complete Tattoo Kit with Carry Case Coils Tattoo Machine Power Supply Immortal Tattoo Inks 50 Needles Foot Pedal Grips Tips Set D23 Review

Dragonhawk Tattoo Kit for Starters Review

This is a massive, affordable, starter kit, that's made and sold by Dragonhawk and it's ideal for newbies...

While it does have everything you could possibly need as a tattoo artist, some of the items in the kit aren't the greatest quality which is why I decided to rank this kit 4th...

But don't get me wrong, for the money, it's a pretty damn good deal, in fact, it's one of the best starter tattoo kits available and it might be what appeals to you the most...

What You'll Like

  • Fast, Free Shipping
  • Amazing Starter Kit
  • Has Everything You'll Need to Start Tattooing
  • Comes with BOTH Shader & Liner Coil Machines
  • Smooth, Little Vibration, and Fairly Lightweight
  • Comes with Practice Skin
  • Affordable

What You'll Dislike

  • Ink sucks
  • Machines aren't pro quality (but are good enough to create your first tattoos and to learn with)

What You'll Get

  • 50 Dragonhawk Needles
  • 304 Stainless Steel Needles
  • 9 Assorted Coil Tattoo Machines for Lining and Shading (7v - 10v Working Voltage)
  • Foot Pedal with Clip Cord
  • Ink Cups
  • Tattoo Steel Grips
  • Adjustment Tools
  • Practice Skin
  • Ink
  • Gloves
  • And Much More
Rehab Ink Complete Tattoo Set with 2 Guns Power Supply 7 Millennium Mom's Ink Colors Skull Ink Holder & More Review

Rehab Ink Complete Tattoo Set Review

Rehab really fixed up a fantastic tattoo set for beginners...

The only upsets with this kit is that it only has 2 tattoo machines included and it's power supply & foot pedal are the only items that are of poor quality...

But you'll get free ebooks (which is a nice bonus the previous two kits didn't have up above) and every essential item you'll need to get you started tattooing right away...

What You'll Like

  • Decent Quality Equipment
  • Affordable
  • Includes Practice Skin
  • Has Everything You'll Need to Start Tattooing
  • Includes Ebooks That Will Teach You How to Tattoo
  • Fast, Free Shipping

What You'll Dislike

  • Power Supply & Foot Pedal are the only poor quality items in the kit

Features & Specs.

  • 2 tattoo machines with dual 10 wrap coils
  • Power supply
  • Foot pedal control
  • Led mountable work light
  • Gloves
  • Practice skin
  • Tattoo aftercare ointment
  • Ebooks to help you learn
  • Cartridges
  • Ink and more....
GRINDER Tattoo Kit by Pirate Face Tattoo 4 Tattoo Machine Guns Power Supply 7 Ink by Radiant Colors Made in the USA LCD Power Supply 50 Needles PLUS Accessories Review

GRINDER Tattoo Kit Review

This kit has some of the highest quality 10-wrap coil tattoo machines of any starter kit available...

And of course it's more expensive than previous kits but it's definitely worth it if you want a bit more quality!

What's amazing though, is that, this kit is currently under 100 bucks... 

And yes, it has free shipping & practice skin if you were wondering....

This beginners kit is just another ideal starter kit for tattoo apprentices or for those who are just wanting to try out tattooing to see if it'd be the right career choice or hobby for them! 

What You'll Like

  • Free Shipping
  • Affordable
  • Great Quality Tattoo Machines
  • Complete Beginners Kit (Has Everything You Need)
  • Overall Kit's Quality is Good (Except the Ink)
  • Has Practice Skin
  • Machines Are Lightweight
  • Free Ebook & DVD Lessons

What You'll Dislike

  • Poorly Made Ink (You might want to buy better ink)

Features & Specs.

  • Carrying Case
  • 4 Tattoo Machines - 10 coil
  • 240 page Tattoo Instructional Book & DVD COMBO
  • Needles
  • Power Supply
  • Foot Pedal
  • Practice Skin
  • Ink Cups
  • Grips
  • Gloves
  • Directions
  • 7 Bottles of USA Made, Radiant Colored, Tattoo Inks
  • And More...

1. Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit (Best Beginners Tattoo Kit With Practice Skin)

Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 6Pcs Coils Tattoo Machines Gun Immortal Tattoo Inks Power Supply Needles Grips Tips Foot Pedal Clip Cord with Carry Case 5-3N Review

Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit Review

And finally you've arrived at the kingdom gates, to meet the KING of Tattoo Kits for Beginners....

This kit has it ALL, while not compromising on quality even a little...

3 sexy smooth machines set for lining and 3 for shading...

To give you a dynamic powerhouse of ready-to-go linder & shader tattoo machines that last years... #BuiltDragonhawkTough

PLUS, you get practice skin, needles, ink, a case, and everything else you'll be needing to start tatting up beautifully badass works of art on to flesshhh!!!!

The only downfall that is prominent with this kit, is, once again, the INK...

Yes, it's true. Every beginner kit has terrible ink that should only really be used on fruit skins or practice skin... 

I do recommend buying better quality ink before practicing on human skin!

But besides the ink, this kit is the highest quality starter kit available and the most unbelievable part yet is that it's one of the cheapest too...

Also, might I add that this tattoo kit for beginners, has the most high rated reviews from professional tattoo artists who either bought this kit for someone they're teaching in their family or for their apprentice, to teach them on.

SO you KNOW this kit's damn good....

What You'll Like

  • Affordable
  • Free Shipping
  • Has Practice Skin
  • Highest Quality Starter Kit
  • Has the most amount of high rated reviews from pro & new tattoo artists
  • Comes with Everything You'll Need to Start
  • #1 BEST Kit for Beginner Tattoo Artists

What You'll Dislike

  • Bad Ink
  • No Free Ebooks or DVD Lessons

Features & Specs.

  • 3 Liner Tattoo Machines
  • 3 Shader Tattoo Machines
  • Machines are between 6-15 of working voltage
  • Power Supply
  • Gloves
  • Practice Skin
  • Needles & Cartridges
  • Ink
  • Stencil Paper
  • Foot Pedal
  • Grips
  • Adjustment Tools
  • And Much More

FAQ

What's the Best Tattoo Machine for Me?

Every kit or machine on our Top 5 list is under $100 currently, and they're all great for beginners...

So any of these would be a great choice for you but deciding on which is best for you is ultimately up to your taste...

Which looks the coolest to you? Which one has the most features or pros that you prefer?

Ask yourself questions to help figure out which is best for you, if you haven't already decided... No matter what choice though, I'm sure you'll be satisfied!

How to Start Tattooing From Home?

Of course the way to start is by drowning yourself in tattooing lessons, videos, tutorials, and art....

You need to learn about the art & it's many skills, so check out these resources below:

Now here are some videos that teach you a specific technique, like lining, shading, etc.

What's the Best Tattoo Starter Kit to Buy?

The Complete Tattoo Kit by Dragonhawk is one of, if not the best tattoo starter kit that is available today. It has everything you'll need to get started learning & doing your first tattoos...

Then later on, as you master tattooing, you can choose to upgrade to better equipment and build out your tat station....

[Recap] 5 BEST Tattoo Machines for Beginners of 2019
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