How Does a Rotary Tattoo Machine Work? – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

How Does a Rotary Tattoo Machine Work?


The main difference between rotary tattoo machines and coil ones is the motor, which allows you to regulate the blow's speed by reducing or increasing the output voltage on the power supply. The rotary machines' main disadvantage is that they feed the needle at right angles, which makes it necessary to go over the same area several times. Accordingly, the procedure turns out to be quite painful and time-consuming.

Also Read: Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine

Experienced tattoo artists have several sets of equipment at their disposal, no matter the style they are working in. Moreover, this set is necessary includes a rotary tattoo machine. It is possible to make a tattoo with special accuracy and to trace details with its use. 

tattoo machine

Rotary tattoo machine: how it works 

The machine is equipped with a rotary-type motor with an eccentric. This converts the rotational force into a reciprocating motion. The rotor allows the professional  tattoo artists to: 

  • Adjust the speed of the needle assembly. Puncture speed varies from 50 to 1000 times per minute. 
  • Set and control the needle stroke on the skin. Since most of these types of tools have the option of adjusting the depth of the needle, they are used for tattoos that require particular accuracy. 

Worth noting, a rotary tattoo machine works practically without vibration. This ensures, among other things, a perfect stroke quality. The edge of the tattoo has clear borders, without a blurred edge. Rotary tattoo machines are excellent for multi-color images where clear borders are important. So it is the best rotary tattoo machine for permanent makeup and for the beginner's tattoo artist.

But there are a few things about working with this type of equipment. Rotary tattoo machine makes a small amount of dye in the dermis upper layers in one run. To get the desired result the tattoo artist has to run through the same skin area more than once. But many tattooists choose rotaries yet, as it is quite powerful and at the same time low-noise. 

The main advantages of professional rotary machines are:

  • Low weight (they are 2-4 times lighter than coil ones)
  • Noiseless operation
  • Minimum vibration
  • High power allows working with any groups of needles
  • Ease of adjustment (speed can be regulated by increasing and decreasing the voltage)
  • Fast micro-wounds healing in comparison with coil tattoo machines

Technical characteristics

The technical features of this type of equipment include: 

  1. Structural reliability: modern models have a solid aluminum body 
  2. Low weight: this ensures the comfort of the artist's work 
  3. Easy to use: the best option for novice tattoo artists. 
  4. Ability to switch speeds 
  5. This equipment works with any needle bundle 
  6. Easy maintenance 

Well, the disadvantage of rotary tattoo machines is their not cheap price. However, the costs are quickly recouped, because the clientele is growing, as well as the reputation of the tattoo artist. If you want to learn more about tattoo apprenticeship and the technical characteristics of rotary tattoo machines, there are many online resources and forums where experienced artists share their knowledge and tips for beginners. So don't be afraid to explore and learn more about this fascinating art form.

If we talk about choosing which device to buy, the experts recommend tattooists-beginners to purchase rotary tattoo machines with medium-power parameters. This will allow you to learn professional skills at a leisurely pace.

Minimum pain and discomfort

Many customers, especially those who have already tattooed more than once, are happy to sign up for a procedure with a tattoo artist if they learn that his working tool is a rotary tattoo machine. 

This is explained by the fact that the painful sensations when using this type of tool are minimal. Yes, to tattoo a clear lining, the tattooist has to pass over the same area of the skin several times. A person experiences quite a lot of pain. However, the painful sensations subside already after 10-15 minutes and even can disappear altogether. The thinnest needle touches the nerve endings minimally during the running. If a rotary tattoo machine is used for tattooing or permanent makeup, the client will likely come back to the salon, as the memories of pain quickly fade into the past.