tattoo machine


The Coil machine has been dominating the Tattoo scene since its introduction in 1891. Its extraordinary similarity to the hammer action of traditional Tattooing, and the powerful buzzing sound, has given it cult status around the world. Londoner Thomas Riley’s ingenious adaptation of the common (single coil) Calling Bell, and the smart follow up by Alfred Charles South, also a Londoner, with his twin-coil device, in the same year as Samuel O’Reilly invented the Rotary Tattoo machine (based on Edison’s Stencil Pen), completely revolutionized Tattooing. New life was injected into the hoary old art form, as coil tattoo machines took centre stage.

Most Popular Machines

The coil tattoo machines are easily the most popular of the two types of machines in main use. Professional Artists prefer its sure feedback as they ply their trade, and so the weight factor is ignored. In fact, in the early days, the Coil Pen was so heavy that it needed to be hung from the ceiling on springs, in order to spare the shoulders, wrists and fingers of the Artists. While the weight problem has been reduced by clever design, it has not disappeared. But the similarities of the hammer action used by the ancients to the action of the Coil Machines have exerted their influence over Artists and Clients alike. Also, the Artists feel that the weight is in fact an advantage, particularly when executing fine line work or complex designs. And in spite of some excess pain during tattooing, the atmospherics tend to inspire confidence in the recipients of the tattoo work. Of course, the buzzing noise is an added attraction.

The original design principles are still followed, though the engineers have made have remarkable design changes in keeping with the modern outlook. But the basic concept of two spring-loaded electromagnetic coils using A.C. to provide the trip-hammer action endures unchanged to this day. Coil Machines are still the most popular machines.

Best Coil Machines

Some of the most treasured coil tattoo machines are listed below:

  • Dragonhawk 4460 Coil Tattoo Machine for Lining: This is meant for Lining work and has a 10 wrap coil equipment. Extremely sturdy, it is prepared using the long-lasting form of cast iron. The pure iron bar has magnetic conductivity with the highest quality. It is high-elastic and has an anti-fatigue design.
  • Dragonhawk 2xpieces Brass Coil Tattoo Machine: This is a straight Shader and Circle Liner, and again comes with 10 wrap coils for the Shader and 8 wraps coils for the Liner. While the Shader runs at between 115-120 Hertz, the Liner runs at 140-150 Hertz. Both are operating at 7-8 Volts. Its advantages are that both the Liner and Shader machines are offered in one package and both have brass frames.
  • York Tattoo Coil Machine: This machine has a handmade 10 wrap coil with the best quality iron body. The self-lock tattoo grip (25mm) makes the pen very handy, with extreme precision. Again both Liners and Shaders are offered in one package.
  • Professional Handmade Coil Machine New Star Tattoo: This is a beautiful machine, which is a one-piece Coil Tattoo Machine that is fully handmade to high quality. It has 10 wrap coils and a cast-iron frame. Its weight is only 250 grams which are very light for a coil machine.
  • Atomus Coil Tattoo Machine: This pack offers 10 wrap coils for both Shader and Liner, in both new and old styles, for the preference of professionals. The machine runs at a rotating speed of 23000 rpm, which makes the operation very stable and smooth. The frame is made from high-quality zinc alloy and the operating voltage is between 6-9V.
  • RedScorpion Coil Tattoo Machine: This machine looks top-class and is quite costly, but it is as good as it looks. Shaders have 10 wrap handmade coils, while Liners have 8 wraps. Comparatively lower noise, than other coil machines, is combined with safety measures to prevent skin damage.
  • RedScorpion Cast Iron Liner Coil Tattoo Machine: This sturdy machine can work seamlessly for 8 hours in a single stretch without too much heat production. It also comes in another version with an alloy frame, which makes it much lighter to handle.
  • Mast Tattoo Handmade Coil Machine: This is a fine Liner, and has a 47uf capacitor with its 10 wrap coils. It has a brass binding post which is strong, and a convenient contact screw for easy access and operation.

Coil Tattooist As Career Choice

Tattoo Artists are rapidly becoming a popular career choice, especially in the nightlife scene, due to the influence of Coil Machines. For the Customers, these machines have made tattooing easier, and trendy. Gradually, not just the youngsters, but the young at heart, have adopted the Tattoo as a personal style statement. That it is almost permanent have only added to the charm.

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