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Comparing a Cheap Tattoo Gun vs. An Expensive Tattoo Gun

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Is a Cheap tattoo gun as good as an Expensive one?

In the world of tattooing, which requires skill, accuracy, and artistry, the tattoo gun is an essential tool. People often wonder if there really is a difference between inexpensive and costly tattoo guns. In this blog, we delve into the details of this conversation to help you make an informed decision.



tattoo equipment

The Anatomy of Tattoo Guns

Each component that makes up a tattoo gun has a distinct function in producing the tattoo. A tattoo gun's primary parts are:


Frame: The tattoo gun's major structural component is the frame. It serves as the metal support that holds the other components together.

Armature bar: A metal rod fastened to the needle is the armature bar. The electromagnet moves it up and down, causing the needle to pierce the skin.

Needle: A needle is a thin, pointed metal device that is inserted into the skin to inject ink. Depending on the kind of tattoo being done, needles can be found in a range of sizes and forms.

Tube: The metal tube, which is hollow, is what holds the needle in place. It also aids in guiding the ink's flow onto the skin.

Disposable Cartridge: Disposable cartridges are a type of tattoo needle that is pre-assembled with a tube and a tip. They are designed to be used once and then disposed of. Disposable cartridges are becoming increasingly popular among tattoo artists because they offer a number of advantages over traditional tattoo needles.

Electromagnet: An electromagnet is a device that consists of a coil of wire wound around a metal core. A magnetic field is produced when an electrical current flows through the coil. The armature bar is drawn to this magnetic field, which raises and lowers the needle.

Springs: The armature bar is moved by the electromagnet and is then brought back to its initial position by the springs.

Contact screw: This screw is used to change the separation between the electromagnet and armature bar. The needle's depth and speed are determined by this distance.

Power supply: The electromagnet is powered by the electrical current that is provided by the power source.


The armature bar is drawn to the tattoo gun by the magnetic field produced by the electromagnet when it is turned on. Since the needle and armature bar are connected, the movement of one causes the other to move as well. The ink is injected into the skin by the swift up-and-down movement of the needle.


The way the needle is moved is the primary distinction between a pen tattoo machine and a rotary tattoo machine. A little motor spins the needle in a rotary tattoo machine. An electromagnetic coil moves the needle in a pen tattoo machine.


Compared to pen tattoo machines, rotary tattoo machines are typically smoother and quieter. They may be used for a range of tattooing techniques, such as line, shading, and packing color, which makes them even more adaptable. Compared to rotary tattoo machines, pen tattoo machines are usually lighter and more manageable. They are also a good choice for artists who want a device that has a pen-like feel to it.


Although tattoo guns are available in many different designs, they all operate on the same fundamental idea. While some tattoo guns run on a conventional power source, some run on batteries.


The Appeal of Cheap Tattoo Guns

Affordability: Cheap tattoo guns are attractive for beginners or those on a tight budget. They offer an entry point into tattooing without a hefty financial commitment. Experimentation: For those testing the waters, cheap tattoo guns can provide a platform to practice and experiment before investing in a higher-end model.


The Perks of Expensive Tattoo Guns

Durability: Expensive tattoo guns are often built with higher-quality materials and superior craftsmanship over the cheap tattoo gun. This translates to increased durability and a longer lifespan. Precision and Performance: Expensive tattoo guns are engineered for precise control, allowing tattoo artists to create intricate designs with ease and accuracy. It's noted that cheap tattoo guns can perform almost as good in many circumstances. Consistency: Higher-end machines offer consistent performance, which is crucial for achieving uniform lines, shading, and color saturation. Reduced Vibrations: Quality tattoo guns often feature advanced technology that minimizes vibrations, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable tattooing experience.


Understanding the Difference

Components: Cheap tattoo guns may have lower-quality components, which can affect their performance, stability, and ability to produce consistent results. Noise and Heat: Lower-priced machines might generate more noise and heat during extended use, which can be uncomfortable for both the artist and the client. Precision and Detail: Expensive tattoo guns are designed to provide intricate detail and precise control, allowing experienced artists to execute complex designs with finesse.


Balancing Quality and Budget

Choosing between a cheap tattoo gun and an expensive tattoo gun depends on your needs, experience level, and budget.

Beginners: If you're just starting out and looking for your first tattoo gun, a cheap tattoo gun can be a reasonable choice for practicing and gaining foundational skills. Experienced Artists: For seasoned artists, investing in a high-quality tattoo gun can enhance your craft and contribute to consistently impressive results.


Tattoo Kits for beginners

if you are starting out maybe a tattoo beginner kit is something you want to consider. Typically, these kits come with everything you need to get started tattooing, including a tattoo machine, needles, ink, power supply, and other accessories.


They give beginners an easy and affordable method to get the equipment they need without having to deal with the headache of buying individual parts one at a time. Beginner tattoo kits provide an affordable entry point for aspiring artists to hone their abilities and obtain practical experience, ultimately opening the door for development and advancement in their tattooing journey.

The Final Thought: Quality Matters

While budget-friendly options of a cheap tattoo gun have their appeal, the adage "you get what you pay for" often holds true. Tattoo guns are a significant investment in your artistry, and the difference between cheap and expensive ones lies in the quality, precision, and durability they offer. As you weigh your options, consider your goals, experience level, and commitment to the craft.


Whether you opt for a budget-friendly model or a high-end masterpiece, remember that the tattoo gun is a tool that shapes your creative journey, leaving a lasting impact on your art and the stories you bring to life.

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