All tattoo artists need a tattoo machine – and depending on preference and training, their machine can be a rotary or a coil device. Customers who are contemplating a tattoo should be informed, at least in a basic way, on machines. In this week’s blog we want to briefly talk tattoo machines! What are the differences and which ones are best for safe, fast healing?

The Spektra Xion, the Halo2, EdgeX and Direkt2 are rotary machines. These FK Irons tattoo machines have in common a cylindrical motor that moves the needle bar in a linear fashion as it rotates. This movement inserts and retracts the needles into the skin in a steady motion. These machines are quieter, and kinder on the skin, with a faster healing process and less scarring. They have a modular design that enables sterilization of parts with steam (autoclavable) for maximum safety. All machines in the hands of a good artist can produce any type of tattoo, but generally the Halo2 has a great reputation for exceptionally great color packing, and Direkt2 is great for lines. The Xion is a pen-style machine that artists and customers both love because of the control it gives the artist and the very little skin stress it offers the customer.

Coil machines like Exactor III, Galaxie III, and Roswell are more complicated. As power is delivered to a coil machine these are charged and become electromagnetic. The electromagnet created by the coils cause the machine’s bar to push down toward the coils, forcing the needles into the skin. A coil machine creates an effect similar to hammering, by driving the needles into the skin with more force than with a rotary machine. The coil machines are noisy, but their distinctive “buzz” is considered a traditional aspect of the tattoo ritual – which also varies among people. Tattoos with rotary machines like the Spektra Xion will be gentler on the skin and offer faster healing, but if you’re up for a traditional experience and your tattoo artist can work a coil machine with finesse and control, then by all means let the coils have their day!