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Best Tattoo Starter Kits & Tattoo Machines for Beginners

by  Kin Liu -  Last updated on January 31, 2021
Best Tattoo Starter Kits

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It looks like you’re shopping for beginner tattoo kits.

You’re not the only budding professional tattoo artist that’s asked us, “What do I need for tattooing?”

We get questions like, “What are the best tattoo machines for beginners?” and “Which are the best tattoo kit starters?”

We’re glad you came to us today to find affordable tattoo machines, Whether it is a coil machine or rotary machines.

Our reviews go over both the rotary tattoo machine and coil tattoo machines. You’ll need to choose one type or the other. You can read more about coil machines and rotary machines them in the buying guide below if needed. You can also see our top picks in the table below.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t want to read the full article then check out our favorite products in the table below.

11 Best Tattoo Starter Kits & Tattoo Machines for Beginners (2021 Update)

1. DragonHawk Complete Tattoo Kit

DragonHawk complete tattoo kit is recommended by Gabe Shum, the tattoo artist who inked Lebron James and David Beckham.

But if that’s not enough to get you interested in their machines, take a look at this tattoo kit. You’ll be impressed at how much the tattoo kit offers for the money. If you want to start tattoing you need start with this starter tattoo kit.

For one, it’s a coil tattoo machine that comes with two cast iron tattoo guns. It runs on a tattoo power supply with an LED readout and a foot pedal. It allows you to make quick voltage adjustments.

Next, it includes cartridge needles, gloves, tattoo inks, practice skin, and other accessories. But for a little bit more money, you can get a much more extensive setup. Check out the next one below. If you are looking for the best tattoo machine and tattoo kit for beginners to get started then this surely tops the list and it has everything you need.

2. Starter Beginner Complete Tattoo Kit with Carry Case by Dragon Hawk

This DragonHawk starter tattoo kit includes nine coil tattoo machines that feature low vibration to avoid tiring your hand.

Five of the tattoo machines are the classic style, while four are specially crafted for beginning tattooers. They are ideal for lines and shading.

Besides that, the tattoo power supply has a foot pedal controller and a digital display for accurate adjustments.

The package includes fifty pre-sterilized cartridge needles (made of 304 stainless steel) in assorted sizes plus ten Immortal inks that are made in the USA. The tattoo inks are safe for use on human skin, but you can also experiment with them on the included practice skin. This is one of the finest tattoo kit out there. If you are looking for the best tattoo machine and tattoo kit for beginners this surely tops the list.

It all fits in the included carrying case.

3. DragonHawk Complete Tattoo Kit with 2 Machines

This DragonHawk tattoo kit includes one gun for lining and one for shading. Both are made of cast-iron.

There are also twenty pre-sterilized tattoo needles with disposable tips and four colors of ink. But that’s not all – they even include razors, gloves, and practice skin. You need to know that the tattoo needle is of highest quality and comes with a flexible ease of use.

The tattoo power supply has a digital display to help you make quick changes. And everything fits into the included carrying case. We feel this is one of the finest tattoo kit out there.

The company offers a satisfaction guarantee. Additionally, rumor has it that their customer service is quick to resolve any problems. The Dragonhawk makes some of the best tattoo machines which is of high quality.

4. DragonHawk Complete Tattoo Kit with 4 Machines

This complete tattoo kit comes with four coil tattoo machine: a conventional liner, a power liner, a color packer, and a soft shader. In other words, it has all the tattoo machine grips you need for beginning or intermediate tattooing.

It includes a digital power supply, fifty pre-sterilized tattoo needles, ten Immortal tattoo inks, a carrying case, and other accessories like practice skin. There are even instructional DVDs to help you learn to use the equipment. This comes with a RCA cord connection as wel.

A couple of things to note: the stainless steel needles are designed for easy soldering, something of interest to you if you pursue a career. Also, plan on making some adjustments to the shader and liner machines in order to do fine work.

5. Stigma Complete Tattoo Kit Pro  Rotary Tattoo Machine Kit MK648

Stigma’s tattoo kit includes a rotary tattoo machine that operates much more quietly than a coil tattoo machine. It’s made for shading and lining.

The package comes with twenty needles in a variety of sizes plus 5 color inks. Unfortunately, these are practice inks that are not formulated for human skin. Use them on the practice of tattoo skin.

It also includes a plastic carrying case. This is one of the best tattoo starter kit available in the market.

Although this is a basic tattoo kit without a lot of accessories, it’s good if you’d like to experience what it’s like to use a rotary tattoo machine.

6. Solong Tattoo Machine Complete Tattoo Kit TK453

The Solong Tattoo complete starter kit TK453 tattoo kit beats out their other offerings because of what it offers for the price.

The Solong Tattoo complete starter kit comes with four tattoo machine guns that do shading and lining. Each gun or iron has a distinct appearance so you won’t get confused about which one to use. They make some of the best tattoo machines and is  high quality tattoo kit.

There’s also a digital power supply with LCD and a foot pedal.

But what makes it fun is the fifty-four bottles of practice ink. It’s perfect for the creative tattoo artist. This is a great choice if you are looking for a beginner kit.

Don’t forget that there are also plenty of accessories like fifty needles, ten tattoo tips, ten tattoo grips, one hundred tattoo ink cups, practice skin, disposable gloves, and even rubber bands. It also has all the tools you need to make adjustments. This is one of the best tattoo starter kit available and is really to use.

This is one of our top picks for beginning professional tattoo artists. The wide variety of tattoo ink encourages experimentation. Plus, the big assortment of accessories means you won’t have to but a lot of extras to get started.

–The Team’s take

7. Professional Rotary Tattoo Kit Hildbrandt Advanced TKHADVR

The Hildbrandt tattoo kit has both Beretta shader and Silencer liner rotary tattoo machine. It’s made in conjunction with the TeachMeToTattoo website and comes with a training DVD and textbook.

The Spartan power supply should provide many hours of steady service. Meanwhile, the rest of the tattoo kit at least gets you started with the basics it also comes with a clip cord.

The tattoo kit has fifty needles in ten different needle groupings, two stainless steel grips, disposable tubes, latex gloves, a tuning key set, transfer paper, and practice skin.

If you’re serious about tattooing, and you’d like to use a rotary tattoo machine, you can’t go wrong here.

8. GRINDER Tattoo Kit by Pirate Face Tattoo

Pirate Face Tattoo sells this Grinder tattoo kit with four tattoo machine irons. The grinder tattoo kit includes a power supply, clip cord seven bottles of Radiant Colors ink, needles, ink cups, grips, gloves, practice skin, transfer paper, and a carrying case. If you don’t know how to use a tattoo transfer paper, please read our guide here.

But the highlight for beginners is the instructional book and DVD. Moreover, this American-made ink is safe to use on human skin. If you are looking for the best tattoo machine and tattoo kit for beginners to get started this surely comes in our top 10.

9. Wormhole Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit for Beginners

Here’s an inexpensive tattoo kit for beginners.

Like most similar tattoo kits, this one has a few complaints, but the company offers a warranty on the tattoo machine and power supply.

It includes one tattoo lining machine and one tattoo shading machine as well as a power supply clip cord and foot pedal. It’s not a digital power supply, which means you’ll learn to adjust it by ear.

Although there is no carrying case, there are ten inks (in random colors), practice skin, aluminum grips, disposable tubes, disposable tips, and thirty needles in assorted sizes.

10. Solong Tattoo Complete Starter Tattoo Kit (Budget)

This is a budget starter tattoo kit from Solong Tattoo. Solong tattoo kit has a single coil tattoo machine gun that does both shading and lines.

But the highlight of Solong tattoo kit is the digital power supply with a foot pedal that’s very easy to adjust. Furthermore, there are fourteen tattoo inks for practicing, twenty needles, tips, one grip, and one hundred ink cups.

The teaching manual will help you understand how to use the tattoo machine. And the free replacement service and one-year warranty eases frustration if there’s a problem which is always nice with tattoo kits.

11. Shark Complete Pro Tattoo Kit with 8 Gun Machines

Shark’s Pro tattoo Kit comes with a carrying case but no ink. There are eight tattoo machines – both shaders and liners. This tattoo machine comes with attractive grips.

The digital power supply saves you time, and the long clip cord gives you room to move.

The company’s gone to the trouble to get FCC certification for the tattoo machine, plus they offer a one-year warranty.

Other pieces include fifty sterile needles in several sizes, practice tips, disposable tips, ink cups, and ink cup holder, and adjustment tools. The DVD mostly explains the tattoo machine itself, not how to tattoo. But the highlight is the digital power supply with a foot pedal that’s very easy to adjust

Coil Versus Rotary Tattoo Machines

Besides these two kinds, there are other types of tattoo machines, including pneumatic. But most professional tattoo artists start with either a rotary tattoo machine or a coil tattoo machine.

Differentiating Between a Liner and a Shader

A liner machine runs faster than a shader for precision work. It has a smaller gap between the front spring and contact screw and has a shorter front spring because it has a shorter stroke.

A shader runs slower but with higher power to penetrate deeper. It has a wider gap between the front spring and contact screw and a longer front spring and softer stroke.

The best tattoo kits for beginners include at least one shader and one liner.

But before you start worrying about which kind of tattoo machine to pick, let’s look at reviews of the top tattoo kits for beginners. This way you’ll get an idea of what’s available.

TypeProsCons
Rotary--DC motor rotates cyclically to provide up and down needle motionQuiet operation
Low vibration, easy to control
Lightweight
Versatile – used for shading, coloring, and lining
Easy to adjust
Low maintenance
Simple to set up and use
Less expensive
Less durable
Slower
Difficult to adjust by ear
Coil-- most commonly used are double coiled versions Most popular type of machine
Easy to customize
Higher power
Ideal for long tattoo sessions
Easy to regulate power and speed
Heavier
Loud buzzing noise
Requires more tuning and more maintenance

Four Things to Remember about Tattooing Technique

Whether you have a budget tattoo machine or something that cost more than your rent for the month, the results depend on these four things.

  • Angle – make sure the needle goes in at a 45° angle. More than that and the ink comes up out of the puncture. Less than that and the design will look wrong.
  • Depth – go too deep, and it’s going to hurt a lot and bleed. If you don’t go deep enough, you’ll scratch the surface, and the ink won’t stay.
  • Setup – take the time to practice setting up and tearing down your machine. Learn proper sterilization techniques and hygiene.
  • Placement – freehand art tends to look squiggly. Instead, support your palm on the skin and use it as a pivot point to control and balance the tattoo machine.

Besides a Machine, What Do I Need for Tattooing?

Now that you’ve seen a variety of starter tattoo kit with both rotary tattoo machine and coil tattoo machine, you probably have a better idea of what you want.

We recommend a digital power supply for beginners. But the choice between rotary tattoo machine and coil tattoo machine is up to you. If you have a chance to try them both, do so.

Obviously, you’ll need inks. Many of the inexpensive beginner tattoo kit comes with practice inks that aren’t made for human skin. But feel free to draw all over practice skin or banana skin with them.

Also, you’ll need needles, lots of needles. And tips, and ink cups, and needle trays.

But, safety first – don’t forget you’ll be sterilizing your equipment. You’ll need germicidal liquid, an autoclave, autoclave bags, and an ultrasonic tattoo machine cleaner. Paper towels and disposable gloves are a must.

Don’t forget comfortable chairs for yourself and your client, plus a worktable and excellent lighting.

Hustle Butter or Vaseline come in handy for stencils. Bandages, plastic wrap, and aftercare ointment come in handy after you’re done. But don’t forget the disposable razors for beforehand.

Most of all, what you need for tattooing is the desire to be a tattoo artist, not a hack.

Jimmy Ho, Gabe Shum, and other great tattoo artists developed their talent both on the skin and on paper. They put a lot of practice into their work. They were willing to learn.

You’ll be creating body art – perhaps for yourself, perhaps for others – that will endure a lifetime. You’ll be helping people express their deepest desires.

Do good art.

Conclusion

We hope we helped you discover the best tattoo kits and machines today. The choice becomes easier once you know what type of tattoo kits and which accessories you want.

We’d love to hear back from you about which tattoo machine you’re using and what you like about it. Feel free to leave us a comment below.

Resources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattoo_machine

2. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/hk-magazine/article/2037395/whos-hong-kong-tattoo-artist-who-inked-david-beckham-and

One response to “Best Tattoo Starter Kits & Tattoo Machines for Beginners”

  1. Eric says:

    I thoghy only like 4 kits we’re really good the rest were pretty much trash sent with a few tattoo essential supplies haha i bought a starter kit that didn’t even make this list but for the price I paid and the quality I got it definitely should have.

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