The best tattoo needles to buy and use in 2021 (pre-made and cartridges)
Tattoo designs consist of thin and thick lines, solid ink, and smooth color gradients. A certain tattoo needle is used for each purpose. So tattoo artists always have several sets or even a few dozen in their arsenal. The result of the tattoo depends on how accurately the tattooist chooses the type of tool.
If you want to know more about the types and purpose, check out our review of the best tattoo needles on the market.
Kwadron Needles – The Best Tattoo Needles Brand
Kwadron is well established and has been wowing most tattoo artists for several years. They are constantly making and introducing new products to the market; they have a wide line of tattoo needles in different configurations, both cartridge and premade.
Kwadron is the #1 choice if you have a rotary tattoo machine and are looking for the best cartridge tattoo needles. They are compatible with most well-known machines, including Cheyenne Hawk, FK Irons, Dragonfly, and others. These needles are suitable for absolutely everyone: both experienced artists and beginners. Kwadron brand products are thoroughly tested and certified.
- The highest quality and most stable tattoo needles with different configurations available on the market
- The best price-quality ratio
- 100% safe and sterile
- Wide range of configurations
- Reasonable price
- Awesome design
- Great fit for all tattoo machines
- Perfect soldering
- Sharp and precise needles
- Lowest defect rate
Kwadron Tattoo Needles Box of 50
Best for Coil Tattoo Machines
Kwadron needles are of high quality and feature a wide range of configurations, including very thin (0.25mm) and textured needles.
The perfect soldering of sharp, yet supple long needles of above-average hardness ensured a high degree of trust of tattoo artists in this product and the first place in our rating.
Kwadron Cartridge System
The Best Tattoo Needle Cartridges
The manufacturer was able to achieve excellence in the production of not only traditional tattoo needles but also cartridges.
They are reliable, precise, and affordable. Their body is made of high-quality medical plastic, and the needles themselves are made of special stainless steel. Their diameter ranges from 0.25 to 0.35 mm. One box contains 20 pieces of cartridges. A variety of cartridge configurations allows you to choose the best option even for the most demanding professionals. Kwadrons have a system of needle stabilization, and a low friction level means that the needles stay sharp for a long time. Also, there is no way for the ink to get into the grip through the backside of the cartridge cover.
There is a range designed specifically for permanent makeup - it comes in white and pink packaging. The classic range is presented in black packaging with gold letters.
Kwadron is a premium product that can be purchased at an affordable price. The highest quality product available on the market today!
Cheyenne – Best Quality Tattoo Needles
Cheyenne cartridges are a premium product. They are available in more than 40 configurations. With the various configurations of Cheyenne lining, shading, and coloring cartridges, the limits and borders of artists' creative freedom have been erased. They are easy and efficient to use. The body is made of high-quality plastic. The needles are precise and of high quality.
The cartridges are sterile and have a membrane, making them 100% safe for you and your machine. The membrane prevents ink from getting into the engine of the tattoo machine and protects your customers.
- 100% sterile and safe
- Easy and effective to use
- Robust and reliable
- Needles are sharp, precise, and defect-free
- A huge number of configurations
- World's first cartridge tattoo needle systems
- The most expensive on the market
Cheyenne offered 3 different ranges, which differ from each other in design and price:
Below we will tell you about the best products in each of these ranges.
Cheyenne Hawk Needles
0.3 mm 3 Round Liner BugPin Long Taper
These needles are among the best for lining. The first and revolutionary range of cartridge needles introduced by German manufacturers. They are still the best on the market, and all manufacturers are trying to repeat this success.
The Best Tattoo Needles for Shading
Cheyenne Craft Cartridge Needles
Box of 10 — 9-Shader
The second launch of the cartridge needles came out under the name Craft. The manufacturer tried to solve the problem of the high cost of the first cartridges and released to the market a series of cool and also high quality and 100% safe cartridges. The shaders are worth special mentioning among them.
Craft Shaders are, according to most professional tattoo artists, the best for coloring. They are very easy to work with, well apply tattoo ink into the skin, and make the tattoo dense, thick, and saturated after one run. Design-wise, these cartridges are as high-quality as other products of this manufacturer: they don't backlash, they are easy to use, and there are very few defective elements in batches.
Cheyenne Capillary Cartridge Tattoo Needles
Magnum (0.35mm 9 Magnum)
The manufacturer's latest development is called the Capillary. Various configurations are available, but the Magnums deserve special attention: the brand offers us the best innovative and most productive Magnum tattoo needles on the market. Amazing comfort during work and high-quality tattoos are achieved due to the tattoo ink reservoir inside the design, which increases the flow of ink. Each needle ensures an even distribution of tattoo ink, even on a very large number of needles. This is why these Capillary became the best needles for tattoo color just a couple of months after entering the market.
CNC Police Cartridges
It is the latest innovation from one of China's most trusted manufacturers: CNC cartridge needles. These needles have an amazing striking design, but among their advantages, they have more than just looks.
They are looking outstanding, we love the red color. The tips and the builds overall feel very light and don't feel bulky at all. The needles themselves look so quality. Moreover, all configurations do their job perfectly, so you can only use this one brand in your work.
None of the needles move or wobble in the tube upon use. It feels very stable. The Finger Ledge is designed to comfortably put your finger on the tip while tattooing. The membrane is soft so it moves smoothly and easily. The needles are very polished and sharp so they ink very accurately, and exactly where you planned to apply the tattoo ink.
When you look at the round liners you can see very tight needle grouping. There are semi-textured needle cartridges – STX and polished ones.
We highly recommend this product to anyone looking for softer, but still membrane-protected, tattoo needles. They are affordable, very accurate, of high quality, and deserve the best praise from beginners and professional tattoo artists around the world.
- Consistent stable needle
- Smooth and safe membranes
- The build offers comfort to the users
- A large number of different configurations are available to meet all your needs
- No adverse behaviors and wobble while operating
- Outstanding designed and constructed
- Not all configurations are always available
Dragonhawk Tattoo Needles Liners and Shaders 200 Pcs
If you use traditional tattoo needles and are looking for the cheapest option then this set of 200 pieces of shaders, liners and magnums will suit you best.
This tattoo needle set is made of stainless steel, the needles are cleanly soldered. Each needle is individually packaged, sterile, and ready to use. The versatility of the kit makes it the best thing to buy for such an affordable price and easy to get to work. They are very handy and easy to use. Therefore, we recommend Dragonhawk Tattoo Needles for coil tattoo machines and if you are on the budget.
- Most affordable price
- Versatile kit of shaders, liners, and magnums
- A large number of needles per kit
- Sterile and safe
- Precise and stable operation
- For some people, there may not be enough Magnums (only 40)
- A lot of defective needles in batches
The Best Tattoo Needles for Lining
Bishop DA VINCI V2
The box feels super-premium; inside the box, you get 20 carts which is pretty standard. The cartridges themselves come individually blister-packed. They are all EO gas sterilized.
The design. From top to bottom the tray that the needle sits in is individually tailored to each grouping to reduce side to side movement. The addition of a stabilization bar will reduce up and down movement together. This will help reduce the ink spray and give you a much more accurate tattoo. The rinse hole is now a fancy diamond shape but still large enough to rinse out any ink. Also, the liners have got a little tiny vent hole which helps encourage ink flow and stops any of the vacuum. It has a wide spout for better needle glide. The needle tips are larger than the needles themselves, making them easier to slide inside, preventing extra friction, and making the impact smoother.
DA VINCI V2 undergoes an 8-step quality control when manufacturing each needle, and thanks to their perfectly smooth surface, the skin is much less traumatized.
There is a nice good click when you assemble it with the tattoo machine. They stand nice and tight, there is no movement. On the sides of the cartridge, they've got two little finger grips that help to remove the cart when your hands are a little bit slippery so they pop in and out super easy.
Best for Lining: 1007RL, 1009RL, 1205RLT, 1207RLT, 1205RL.
- Premium quality
- 8-step quality control when manufacturings
- Sterilized and safe
- Pop in and out super easy
- The skin is much less traumatized
- Got two little finger grips
- a little pricey
Types of tattoo needles
A needle is a steel rod with sharp elements soldered on its end. Their number varies from 3 to 18. This needle type has been used since the late 19th century when the first tattoo machine was developed and patented. The tattooist manually sets the needle in the tips and adjusts the depth of the inking.
The second type of needle was developed in 2010. It is a cartridge that can be changed in seconds, you can change it right when you are running. The cartridge needle type is more expensive but significantly more convenient and hygienic because the rubber membrane separates the cartridge from the machine's body and inside construction.
The inventor was the German company Cheyenne, which introduce a new rotary machine, a grip, and a tip with soldered needles. The Polish Kwadron cartridges are slightly cheaper than the German ones.
The size of the tattoo needles determines the number of stabbing elements soldered onto the rod. The more there are, the larger the mark they leave. The size is chosen according to the thickness of the drawing. However, only a powerful machine can "pull" big needles. For example, the American Bishop Rotary is lightweight and powerful at the same time.
How many different types of tattoo needles are there?
Tattoo Needle Classification by Purpose
- Liner. They are designed for fine artwork, drawing clear lines and small details. The stabbing elements are soldered into a tight bundle. Letters, contours, bright details, accentuating elements are made with Liners.
- Shader. They are intended to fill large areas. The stabbing needles are bundled together loosely.
Classification by soldering type
- Round Liner, RL. Round soldering. The number of needles determines the thickness of the lines. The best lining needles. They are used for fine details and permanent makeup.
- Round Shader, RS. Round soldering. The needles for shadings do the coloring and shading.
- Flat Shader, FS. Flat soldering. Needles placed in a single row. They distribute the color perfectly and provide a depth of tones. They are suitable for coloring.
- Round Magnum, RM. Flat soldering. Needles are of different lengths. The short ones are at the ends of the row. The long middle ones get deeper into the skin. The tattoo comes out sans serif. The best tattoo needles that perform soft coloring.
- Magnum, M1. Flat soldering with the tips staggered in a row. They are used for smooth color gradients, shadows.
- Magnum Special, M2. Flat soldering. The needles stand parallel with two rows. They perform deep coloring. One of the best brands producing Magnums is considered to be the FK Irons.
Classification by sharpening
Besides the bundle shape distinction, there is a classification made between needles with differently sharpened ends.
- L. It has a thin long tip; makes the thinnest piercing, passes easily through the skin, and is the least painful. It is used to draw very thin lines.
- M. It has a medium length and thickness needle tip. It is a versatile needle and does almost all types of tattooing.
- S. A thick needle with a short sharpening cylinder makes a large diameter piercing. It inserts the maximum amount of pigment under the skin. It is painful and used for solid shading.
Diameter of piercing elements
Tattoos are inked with needles of several sizes, according to a certain diameter:
6 = 0,2 mm
8 = 0,25 mm
10 = 0,3 mm
12 = 0,35 mm
14 = 0,4 mm
The thicker the needle, the faster the coloring. Mostly 0.3 and 0.35 mm diameters are used.
Polished and textured needles
All tattoo needle tips are polished and well sharpened. They easily pierce the skin and enter to a depth of 1,5-2,0 mm, entering there the tattoo ink. But the smooth polished surface is not able to capture a lot of ink. That's why you have to work longer, making more pierces.
The textured needles are used to minimize the handling and maintain the quality of the tattoo. They are also polished. But the tips have notches that hold more ink. They better cover the skin in a single puncture, but also traumatize it more and it feels more painful. Textured tips are used for coloring large body areas.
Tattoo needle marking
Well, that's easy. The marking consists of a one- or two-digit number and two letters. The letters are the type of soldering. The number is the number of soldered needles. Manufacturers indicate the diameter and type of sharpening on packages.
What is the best brand of tattoo needles?
Kwadron is the best tattoo needles brand because of its premium quality while affordable price. The next one in rating is Cheyenne needles that are stable, precise, safe and very comfortable to work with.
How deep do tattoo needles go?
The needle goes 1.5 mm deep on average. Thus, when the tattoo machine works, the needle, moistened with ink, penetrates through the basal membrane and brings the ink into the dermal layer. While applying the outline, the bundle of needles goes into the skin to a depth of about 1 mm. The needle stroke is fast and the ink does not have enough time to flow inside the skin. If the outline is deeply tattooed, the tattoo turns blue, floats, and loses its original shape.
How much do tattoo needles cost?
Depending on the needles used, they can cost anywhere from $8 for a set of traditional tattoo needles (pre-mades) to $40-45 for 20 pieces of premium quality cartridges.
How to use magnum tattoo needles?
Magnum is the most common and popular type of tattoo needles. Depending on the type and style of work, the artist chooses the needle thickness. The more realistic and softer the shade should be, the thinner the needles should be chosen. RM are suitable for soft shading; this modification of the magnum is less traumatic to the skin, and therefore more commonly used for shading on sensitive areas of skin. The M1 is used for gradient shading, and the M2 is used for dense coloring.
How to dispose of tattoo needles?
When the session is over and disposable needles or cartridges have been used, they must be disposed of immediately. This prevents their reuse. Tattoo needles must be placed immediately after use in a hard, moisture-resistant, puncture-proof container.
The container lid should be airtight and tightly sealed to prevent potential spontaneous opening or dropping of the lid. If the wall thickness of the container is less than the length of the needle, the tip should be bent before disposal to prevent accidental puncturing. This should be done by lightly pressing the tip of the needle against any hard disposable surface.
When the used needle container is three-fourths full, it should be changed and disposed of. To dispose of the container, contact professional medical and sharps waste disposal services.
A good quality tattoo needles is your one of the basic working tools to achieve a high quality tattoo and still feel comfortable and enjoyable in the process. Investing in this tool is not something that should be questioned. Especially since it is also a matter of safety and injury to your client. This review has shown you the best tattoo needles and now you can safely provide the highest quality to your clients.
machines & kits
Cheyenne once contributed to a revolution in the world of tattoo equipment and produced the first modular pen tattoo machine.
Tattoo designs consist of thin and thick lines, solid ink, and smooth color gradients.