The Best Tattoo Machines 【UPDATE 2023 Professional Review】

The 7 Best Tattoo Machines 2023 with Really Amazing Features

Buying Guide 7 min read Last updated on March 15, 2023

Feeling like your tattoo gun hates you isn’t uncommon when you’re just starting out. A large number of tattoo guns are very noisy, turn off at high loads, splash out ink, are unstable, and generally weigh as much as a barbell. Many people – both beginners and professionals – make plenty of mistakes when buying tattoo equipment.

Don’t freak out or anything, but there is no such thing as the “best” tattoo machines on the market, it’s all a matter of personal habits and preferences. Objectively, quality can be evaluated in terms of the product design. Weight, balance, size, needle stroke, grip length, and size are all subjective. Understanding which device is the best for you comes with practice.

So, your task is to find something that will work for you. If you like to tattoo with a coil machine, you’ll have to be willing to accept the accompanying noise. Ready to invest money to buy a rotary device? You’ll have to deal with their typical stroke and balance.

Some tattooists would rather handle a weightless tattoo pen while others need to “hold a handful.” Every artist chooses their own tool. You need to study the gun parts, how they interact with one another, how the machine is designed, and so on. As a tattooist, the tattoo machine is an extension of yourself, so it must be of a high quality.

The good news is that if you have a few minutes to read this review, we’ll help you find the best tattoo machines in 2023. Take a look at our top 7 best tattoo guns, all of which are of a very high quality, both in manufacturing and the materials used.

Our ratings are based upon the following criteria:

  • Tattoo machine reliability is the primary criterion, which means that each of the tattoo machines on this list will last quite a long time, and guarantee high quality build.
  • Intuitive operation, that is, how long you will need to get used to running the machine and understand the peculiarities of how it works.
  • Safety in use- possibility to barrier, autoclave, disinfect, etc. For example, pen-style tattoo machines are weaker in this aspect in comparison to other tattoo machine designs.
  • Availability of consumables and tattoo machine components Is it easy to find and buy affordable grips, can you use cartridges, etc.?
  • Ergonomics. How comfortable it is to hold the machine in the palm of your hand, weight distribution, overall weight, and other external design features were taken into account.
  • Industrial design- attention is paid not only to external ergonomics and design, but also to the beauty and functionality of the internal assembly of the tattoo machine.
  • Price- Although this is a subjective criterion, we tried to assess how much the cost of the machine is justified in the context of its advantages over other devices available on the market.
  • Special features & advantages- each of these incredible tattoo machines has its own unique benefits, so you can be sure to find one that suits your needs.



This CNC Q2 tattoo machine is included in this review because not everyone wants to spend over $600 on a Cheyenne or FK Irons or something similar.

Inside the box, there is a manual you can check out, an O-ring, and a tiny Allen wrench. Another box holds a clip-cord and the machine itself. At first, let us note that the kit comes with a very thin clip-cord. It certainly works, but it is hardly possible to say with assurance how well or how long it will work.

It’s really tiny. Although it is a bit thicker than the Cheyenne, for example, the CNC Q2 is very short. This is especially handy if you plan to work with wireless power. By inserting a wireless power supply into this short machine, the device will not be too long and heavy.

User experience

It’s really tiny. Although it is a bit thicker than the Cheyenne, the CNC Q2 is very short. This is especially handy if you plan to work with wireless power. By inserting a wireless power supply into this short machine, the device will not be too long and heavy.

The device is easy to disassemble, so there should be no problem with repairing it. You can easily unscrew the body and see the internal mechanism.

The German Faulhaber Motor inside gives us a reliable and powerful machine. The manufacturer recommends working on 5.5V-9V, warning that it is better not to work on 9 volts for a long time without interruptions.

Note, don’t run it higher than 10 volts, or you’ll overheat the motor and cause mechanical wear.


  • Comparable in quality to more expensive pens
  • Simple design
  • Lightweight and tiny
  • Best value for money
  • Quiet
  • Easy to disassemble
  • Handy to use with wireless power supply


  • Thin clip-cord included
  • There are reviews that the machine often breaks after a short period of use
  • Short needle stroke (3.3 mm)
  • Difficult to use for line work


Not to say that it does an amazing job, but it does far better than most tattoo machines available in this price range. It is decent for grey shading, but can be difficult to use for lining and color packing.


The Dragonhawk Mast pen tattoo machine is similar to the Dragonhawk Atom, but Mast is lighter and has a different shaped body. The rest of these machines’ characteristics are very similar; you just have to choose which shape of grip suits you better. The Mast has a slightly thicker grip but with smoother ribs for your fingers.

User experience

It comes in a new, improved design so this pen-style machine lies better in your hand. It is considerably light, quiet, and gives minimal vibrations when operated at high power. This tool has a stable motor and an easy adjustment of the cartridge holder.

Dragonhawk is quite reasonable for its price, so it is good for beginners, but not more. Professional tattooists need something more serious than this device.


  • Quiet
  • Easy to use
  • Consistent, cyclical needle motion
  • Runs smoothly
  • Usable for line and shading
  • It causes minimal skin damage


  • Not very durable
  • The lining is more difficult
  • Full stroke needed to complete rotary motion


This product is highly recommended for all beginner tattoo artists. It is still very available for purchase as it’s production has not been discontinued by Dragonhawk.


The Cheyenne SOL Terra is a top-of-the-line tattoo machine designed for lining work. It utilizes cutting-edge Brushless DC motor technology to ensure its longevity and dependability. The balanced drive system results in minimal vibrations, providing quiet operation.

Despite its sturdy construction, the SOL Terra is lightweight and versatile. It also boasts a unique Mode Switch, allowing you to switch between two modes – Responsive Mode with responsive hit and stitch frequency and Steady Mode with a constant hit and stitch frequency.

This machine is ideal for delivering bold lines and vivid colors, thanks to its 4mm stroke length and advanced motor design. Additionally, its low frequency operation makes it suitable for dot work and pepper shading.

User experience

The pluses of this awesome tattoo machine are its awesome quality and ease of use. Once you get your hands on it, it’s very clear and intuitive to get started.

Inside is a very reliable and powerful motor, so the machine is “wicked” and really, powerful. That is why it’s only disadvantage is that it is quite painful for your client. Luckily, unlike other machines, the Sol Terra has special feature that allows the user to switch between the rigid unbridled power of “Steady Mode” and a “Responsive mode” for a bit more give. It works extremely quietly and with minimal vibration, which is typical for Cheyenne devices in general.

We especially recommend Sol Terra for those who like powerful but adjustable performance with their tattoo equipment. Remember to buy the grips separately, because they are not included.


  • Pros:
  • Customizable with different grip sizes
  • Good for both line work and color work
  • Ability to switch between Steady Mode and Responsive Mode


  • Painful for the client
  • Does not come with a grip, requiring additional purchase
  • Start-Up Cable may be required if using with a power supply from another manufacturer
  • Limited grip options compared to other tattoo machines on the market.


This is a terrific machine for artists who want one machine to do it all. The adjustable grip and ability to switch between steady/responsive modes makes this the ultimate gun for versatile uses, and great for all skin types.

This machine has complex functions, so it may not be the ideal upgrade from a cheap starter gun. But seasoned tattooists will appreciate its versatility, and quality build.


This machine has minimal noise and vibration, and the brand prides itself on its ability to run for long periods of time without ever overheating. The center of gravity is shifted downwards for ergonomic comfort, and you can choose the weight that feels best in your hand with their four different grips that vary in weight and size. It can also be used with Cheyenne single use grips if you prefer.

It’s compatible with most wireless batteries, so there’s no need to stress about finding one that fits, you can use whatever you’ve already got in your toolbox. For longer lasting power, you can safely attach an external battery to the RCA connector. Another interesting feature is its eco-friendly “space age” build. The body is made with recycled aluminum from the aerospace industry, which aside from it’s environmental benefits, is just down right cool.

User experience

This small gun is very light when using the classic or lightweight grip, and is great for artists with dantier hands. It runs smoothly and quietly at any speed or voltage, with hardly any vibration at all. The grip adjusts needle protrusion by twisting, but sits firmly in its position once you’ve found the correct length. The variety of grip sizes makes the Ultron2 suitable for any weight preference, so transitioning from a coil machine is smooth sailing.



  • Interchangeable grips of various weights
  • Very quiet
  • Low levels of vibration
  • Doesn’t overheat
  • Autoclavable grips
  • Small size requires thinner grip tape if you choose to wrap it. Standard tape will extend past the grip onto the body, making it difficult to adjust needle length.
  • Single use grips must be purchased separately as Vlad Blad does not have their own line


Great for artists with small hands, and those who are switching from a coil machine to pen style tattoo guns.


InkJecta Flite Nano Ultra Lite.

It is impossible to list the best tattoo machines in 2022 without currently including the lightest tattoo device available. This device comes in a plastic case. Additionally, as in all InkJecta devices, the kit includes multiple accessories, including hexes, a lubricant, various hardness bars, detailed and useful instructions.

InkJecta was once a pioneer among tattoo equipment manufacturers, in part because they were the first to produce machines based on brushless motors. Their distinctive feature is the ultra-low rpm operation. The product needs to be regularly lubricated, but the lubricant that comes in the kit is more than sufficient.

This device is compatible with FK Irons and Cheyenne grips. Other grips are not suitable because they cause the rod to bump, the needles to bounce, or the machine to rattle.

User Experience

The gun runs smoothly, gently, and without any “aggressive” movement. There is no delay in starting, as was the case with the Flite V2, for example. It also comes pre-installed with a 3.25-millimeter excenter.

It is a complete all-rounder and suitable for all tattooing styles.

The machine is well-designed, making holding and tattooing for long sessions more comfortable. And that’s another feature besides the fact that it’s incredibly lightweight!

In terms of safety, the Direct Drive design is much better than, for example, pen-styled. Since it can be disassembled, the bars and other parts of the device can be sterilized and autoclaved.


  • The lightest tattoo machine available
  • Broad voltage range
  • Custom nanotechnology motor
  • Minimal vibration
  • Quite
  • Available in four colors (black, white, olive green, and bluetongue)
  • Flexible adjustment is possible thanks to a set of bars of different stiffness


  • Not compatible with all cartridges available on the market
  • Needs lubrication


This is a high-tech, quality Direct Drive, which will suit novices and experts alike. It is a very comfortable design, lightweight, sturdy, with a quality Australian motor inside. Although it belongs to the higher price category, it is fully worth the cost.


Vlad Blad is a custom manufacturer that provides different types of tattoo machines. Vlad Blad’s coil tattoo machines are really exclusive and perfect designed tools for various styles.

This TOP features a powerful liner that doesn’t require you to run the contour twice. The inertia, the clarity and sharpness of the stroke, and the frequency of the needle movement cause the device to leave the maximum possible amount of pigment in the skin in one stroke. The contours are perfectly clear and correct! Just what you need especially for fine portrait details, thin lines, dotwork.

As a result, besides a quality tattoo, you get fast healing, because less needle penetration under the skin leads to less trauma.

The frame – the machine’s base – is securely protected! It is made of aluminum and weighs only 30.5g. Thanks to the durable, chemical-resistant polyester powder coating, it is corrosion-resistant and electrically insulating. The images on the color custom models are printed on a high-quality laser printer and laminated with a durable film.

If you’ve had problems with lining, you’ll throw out your old liner tattoo machine and only use Liners from Vlad Blad.


  • Impressive and highly original custom designs
  • Perfect and precise contour the first time
  • Lightweight
  • 25-year warranty on the frame
  • Handmade
  • Minimizes skin trauma
  • Sturdy frame with durable and resistant coating


  • Available in small quantities
  • For lining only


Fk irons spektra halo 2 best overall.

Spektra Halo 2 offers even more efficiency and even less vibration. It is an improved version of its predecessor with new features that allow you to optimize operation depending on the tattoo artist’s preferences.

Two eccentrics are included with the tattoo machine. Both standard needles and the cartridges are compatible with this tattoo machine. You can use different brands of grips and most are compatible. Spektra Halo 2 is equipped with adjustable impact, its work can be made softer and harder depending on the preferences of the tattoo artist and the style of his/her tattooing. It is not the quietest device available today because of its design, but it is comfortable to work with and the sound does not interfere even during several hours of work in a row.

Powerful motor MAXON 6W will provide stability for many years of your tattooing activity. The machine is perfectly constructed: durable metal, all parts fit together very accurately and clearly, nothing interferes with the operation of such a tattoo machine. It is not a new device on the market for a long time, nevertheless, this tattoo machine holds the leadership for several years, thanks to its reliability and very variable operation character. We sincerely recommend it as your main and best tattoo machine, it will be easy for you to give your clients the best tattoo quality and faster healing.


  • Powerful motor
  • Adjustable hardness/softness of stroke
  • Durable design
  • Perfect ergonomics and weight balance
  • Consumables and grips available
  • Comfortable and very easy to use
  • Classy design
  • Extremely lightwell


  • Not the quietest


Cheyenne SOL Terra is the best tattoo machine on the market in 2023. This machine is high quality, and versatile; the “responsive mode” is perfect for catering to any skin type. While it’s definitely not a starter machine, you’ll impress your clients with the incredible art you’ll produce with this gun.

Buyer’s guide

This section will inform you which “things you should look out for when selecting the best tattoo machine.” So let’s get straight into it…


It is important that you get the machine that best suits your requirements. Do not buy a machine simply because your favorite artist used it or because the advertisement was great.

The machine might be technological and feature-packed but may not meet your requirements. For example, if you tattoo linework and Dotwork styles, you would prefer a specialized lining machine. If so, the Spectra Direkt2 by FK Irons is a better choice than the Dragonhawk Mast. If your hand is not used to the weight yet, choose a lighter machine such as the Flite Nano Ultra Lite by InkJecta. However, if you have not previously held a tattoo machine in your hand but want to learn to tattoo, we suggest you choose the most versatile one.


Before you buy a tattoo machine, you must know the purpose of the machine’s purpose and compare it with the one you require. If you are buying the machine for learning or personal use, get a cheap one to improve your hand. But if you are buying it for a commercial purpose, it should be of high quality.


Before buying a tattoo machine, check its quality. Always buy it from a reputable brand. Always buy a machine produced from high-quality metal like aluminum alloy or brass.

Please stay away from machines that are not durable since they do not refine your art.


Some tattoo machines cost about $1000, but it depends on how much you are willing to spend. To practice and get started will be okay with even a cheap tool that costs under $100. Professional tattoo equipment costs about $500. It’s up to you, but we wouldn’t recommend saving money on a commercial device. There is no use in buying useless stuff.


The machine’s weight is also an important factor to look out for because it will have a tremendous impact on the machine’s overall performance and, subsequently, the creative side of your work.

You must ensure that your machine is lightly weighted so that it can be handled for a long time without issues.


Look out for machines that have fine gripping so it will be friendly on your finger veins. As a result, you can focus more on tattoo work.

These days most tattoo machines come in a pen shape to give you an excellent.


As a beginner, you should buy a starter kit, as it contains the important equipment you’ll need to get the hang of your tattoo machine. However, if you need high-end equipment, then buying them separately might be a better option.

You will also need to get small-sized screwdrivers and alley keys to set up the machine if they are not included in your starter already. It is essential to know that the parts may come separately, and you will have to assemble them. The same goes for the power station.

A critical aspect of setting up is sanitization. Always sanitize your hands and all of the various parts of the machine. Afterwards, you can start assembling the different parts; you’ll most likely have a manual to guide you through the entire process.

Ensure that the needle is sharp and not blunt. Then set up the power station and try to get one with voltage regulation to have more control over the tattoo procedure.

Lastly, assemble the footswitch and make sure that it operates comfortably. Also, you can check out this detailed guide on how to set up a rotary tattoo machine.