Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine – Which One to Get?

The tattoo machine has its own specifics. Keep in mind that a large number of manufacturers today offer similar equipment, so it will not be difficult to choose. The models differ not only in strength, but also in puncture. These two types of tattoo machines are definitely the most popular and widely used devices. Although there are many other tattoo machines, rotary and coil tattoo machines are favorite models of many professional tattoo artists.

The reason is their numerous advantages, because both models will give amazing results. However, they do not have the same working procedure, which means that they differ from each other. To better understand these tattoo machines and decide on the appropriate model, learn more about them below.

Coil machine

The basic principle of operation of coil machines is to close and open the circuit by turning the electromagnet on and off. That is, when current passes through a wire wrapped around the core, a very strong magnetic field is created in the core. This magnetic field then pulls the metal lever downwards and at the same time breaks the circuit. When the circuit is interrupted, there are no more magnets. When there is no magnet, the spring to which the metal lever is connected returns the metal lever to the initial place where the circuit closes again and the magnet is activated again and so on indefinitely. The weight of the hammer will have the greatest impact on the speed of the coil machine.

The higher the mass, the lower the speed. And the lower the mass of the hammer the speed of the machine will be higher. You will find hammers of different weights in the shops with tattoo equipment, so put the one that best suits your way of working on the machine. The most common machine power settings are reducing or increasing the voltage on the adapter. This procedure is mostly used during operation. Anyone who uses coil machines on several occasions during one tattoo should adjust the voltage.

Rotary machine

The principle of operation of these machines is far simpler than coil machines according to Lumbuy, so there will be no ambiguity. Rotary tattoo machine has an electric motor in or on which the wheel is mounted on it and another wheel protrudes from that wheel but which is outside the center of the drive axle. During rotation, that eccentric moves up and down, so it moves the needles.

Thus, rotary machines use an electric motor to drive the needle. Some recent modifications include the use of armor armor to increase efficiency. Recently, there have been improvements to make this type of machine pneumatic. There are almost no settings for rotary machines. As they work on an electric motor, their operating speed is adjusted with a change in voltage. By changing the voltage you only get faster or slower operation and absolutely nothing else.

What is the difference between them?

These are two different machines that give the same result, but contain two different methods for achieving it. So, the work of spiral and rotary machines is the same and it is achieved in different ways. For example, a coin machine contains electromagnetic current that passes through coils and drives needles. The rotary machine contains a built-in motor that moves the needle up and down. You will recognize the Coin machine very easily, because it is known for vibrations that are similar to buzzing. If you don’t like this sound, opt for rotations that are much quieter.

Their machine is also more fluid and with different needles it can handle the contours, filling and shading of the tattoo. You can’t do that with a coin machine. We must note that rotary machines are much smaller than coin coins. Due to the compact design, they will suit everyone, they are easier to use and you will not get tired after many hours of work.

Is a rotary or coil tattoo machine better?

So, rotary tattoo machines are smaller in size, work quieter and are very light. This means that it will not disturb you during work, because it has all the desired characteristics. This model is a great option for beginners, because it is very easy to use. Equally easy to install. All you need to do is plug the needle into the power supply and you can get started. After you finish the work, you need to take very little time to clean it.

With a coil tattoo machine, you can achieve equally precise work if you have a lot of experience in this business, but you will not be able to work for a long time. These machines are heavier than other models, which means that the hand will get tired faster. You will also not be able to create lines and shades at the same time, as this is one of the limitations you will encounter if you opt for this model of machine.

Tips for choosing a machine

Today, all tattoo machines look very similar, because the technology has advanced incredibly. This means that it, like any other modern device, contains various functional possibilities. So think about its features before you decide on a model. So, compare their capacity, the frequency of needles per second, the number of needles, etc. The less the machine vibrates, the more stability you will get and you will apply the paint clearly and evenly.

It is also important that the device is comfortable in your hand. Don’t forget that companies give a guarantee for their products for at least six months or a year – which indicates that the equipment is really high quality and certified. The most reliable and high-quality equipment gives the best results.


Choosing a tattoo machine is a personal matter. However, there are differences in the quality of tattoo machines, so it is important to choose carefully. Before you invest in a new device, think about how the machine works and make sure you have the right ink and accessories. Talk to other users on the forum or colleagues about the topic.

Vibration and noise are also two aspects to consider. Less vibration, much better efficiency when it comes to tattoos. The machine you choose should be as comfortable as possible, so that this way you can feel good when making the chosen design.