Are you thinking of getting a color packer tattoo machine for your tattoo business? If YES, here are the best color packer tattoo machines you can check out.  According to reports, the first electric tattoo machine was invented in New York City by Samuel F. O’Reilly, and patented on December 8, 1891 (US Patent 464, 801). It was adapted from Thomas Edison’s 1876 rotary-operated stencil pen (US Patent 180,857).

Electric tattoo machines are most commonly represented in mainstream media as “coil machines” or “EM Machines.” Coils use electromagnetic coils to move an armature bar up and down. The armature bar is connected to a needle bar, which comes with a tight grouping of small needles attached to it. The needle bar pushes the tight grouping of small needles, which, in turn, pushes ink into the skin.

However, with the advancement of technology, tattooing is becoming more configurable. Various options are available to artists when it comes to machines, power supplies, foot pedals, and other tattoo equipment. Artists can now control needle depth, how hard their machine hits, and the speed of their machine. Because of these configurations, tattooing as an art form has become very precise.

The coils in an EM machine range from 8 to 10 wrap. The coils create the impedance, or resistance used to properly regulate the machine’s speed and power. This causes fewer traumas to the skin. Coil machines are commonly broken into three groups: liners, shaders, and color packers.

Note that a liner coil machine is very well designed to hit the skin faster and is used to “pull a line” or outline a tattoo design in a single pass. It uses a short contact circuit (about 1.5mm–2mm), which causes the machine to cycle faster.

While a shader is usually slower and hits the skin softer than a liner, the shader machine is used for shading procedures. The saturation level of this machine is low. It uses a bigger contact gap than a liner (about 2mm–3.5mm) to make it cycle more slowly.

But a colour packer is designed to hit the skin fast, deep, and hard, so that solid colour ink can be put into the skin as quickly and evenly as possible. It is set up very similarly to a shader since it is used to fill in color and blacks. Nonetheless, color packer machines are not recommended for black and grey shading, because they are designed to aggressively pack ink into the skin; they are therefore not suited for layering ink into the skin slowly like a shader machine does.

With tattoo technology an ever-evolving beast, it is hard to know what to look for in the best tattoo machines. Your machine becomes an extension of you, so you’ll want to make sure you get something that matches your style, quality, and labor intensity; it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of purchase! Nonetheless, here are the best color packer tattoo machines.

What are the Best Color Packer Tattoo Machine?

  1. Dragonhawk Mast Pen

Produced by one of the most trusted names in the tattoo machine industry, this sleek machine will not disappoint. Some people feel that the similarities in shape make this a tattoo design machine for beginners who are more experienced with pen and ink.

Also note that the housing is produced in medical grade aluminium making it extremely durable even with its light weight and the variable motor has a range of 6-9 volts providing the artist with a higher level of control while remaining surprisingly quiet.

Maybe the biggest advantages of the Mast Pen are the price and the fact that it can be ordered as a beginner tattoo kit. A novice tattoo artist will get the Mast Pen machine, a power supply with foot pedal, clip cord and associated cables, 20 needle cartridges, and a carrying case.

  1. Ego Rotary Tattoo Machine Switch Pen Style Machine

Ego’s tattoo machine was designed by the famous tattoo artist Bez of England. It is very light and well-balanced, so it feels like an actual pen in the hand. You also won’t need a foot pedal to control it as it has a built-in on/off switch.

It comes with a DragonHawk power supply with continuous output that’s a perfect match for this machine. Use this rotary tattoo machine for black and gray realistic designs, shading, color packing, lining, and fine dot work. It is compatible with most brands and all sizes of cartridges on the market.

  1. Cheyenne Sol Terra

The Sol Terra is the ideal machine for crisp, saturated lines and unreal color packing. Operating on the same frequency range as the Sol Luna but with a 4mm stroke length, it remains powerful but gentle on the skin, meaning you can switch between the machine’s techniques easily and work for longer whilst causing fewer traumas.

  1. Dragonhawk Extreme Rotary Tattoo Machine

The Extreme machine weighs a little more (6.17 ounces) because it is made from carbon steel, not aluminium. This machine comes with a 5mm stroke length and is excellent for shading, color packing, and lining. Many Artists who have used it for heavy black filling find it easier to use than pricier machines. This rotary machine makes a good case for their ease of use and consistency. It comes with a clip cord connection and needs between 7.5 and 9 V to operate.

  1. Pirate Face Grinder Tattoo Kit

All packed into a rugged carrying case, this kit comes with four coil machines, providing an artist with all the versatility they need to go from lining, to shading, to colour and back again. All the machines use dual 10-wrap coils, ensuring that an artist will have all the power they need, while the reliable and variable power supply guarantees to keep the machines buzzing all day long.

Fifty needles are provided in a variety of sizes and groupings along with disposable tips, 7 different color inks 100, ink cups, gloves, and practice skin. Made for beginning tattooists, this durable machine is easy to set up and maintain and the Grinder kit comes with an instructional book and DVD to ease new artists into the process of tattooing. This is a great kit that will last an artist long into their career.

  1. Bishop Authentic Rotary Tattoo Machine

According to reports, Bishop assembles and polishes each machine by hand. They use aircraft aluminium and Swiss MAXON motors for maximum durability. In fact, they offer a lifetime guarantee. Another highlight is that this tattoo machine weighs under a quarter of a pound – just 3.8 ounces.

It runs so quietly and smoothly for hours of working without getting tired. It has a DC power source and an RCA cord connection. Instead of using a rubber band to put force on the needle, this design has a needle clip so that the needle doesn’t move sideways at all.

In other words, this is the perfect rotary tattoo machine for inking precision details. The recommended voltage setting is 7.5-8.5 volts for shading and color packing or 8-9 volts for the lining. And this machine is so gentle on skin that your clients will love it and they will heal faster.

  1. Dragonhawk Extreme X2 Rotary Tattoo Machine Brass Frame

Note that this machine is made from a solid block of pure brass, and it weighs only 4.76 ounces. You can adjust the needle, the stroke length from 2.5-4.2 mm, and it is compatible with standard and cartridge needles. The Japanese coreless motor supports lining and shading, and color packing but without using a lot of power or stalling. Another feature that artists love is the one-touch hit adjuster. Rotate the knob to change the settings– no tools needed.

  1. Wormhole Complete Tattoo Kit

Note that the Wormhole Complete Tattoo Kit provides everything a novice artist needs to get started. Made specifically for beginners, the Wormhole kit provides two coil machines, one for shading, one for lining, along with a variable power supply and cables, foot pedal, and tools for adjusting the machines.

The iron frames of the machines are durable and ensure that they will stand up to the test of time. In addition, the Wormhole kit provides everything needed to jump in and start tattooing straight out of the box. Eleven color inks, thirty needles in a variety of groupings and sizes, aluminium grips, and disposable tips all make this the perfect introduction for a novice artist.

The other accessories include forty ink cups, rubber bands and grommets, Allen wrenches, transfer paper, and practice skin. Generally, the Wormhole Tattoo kit is an ideal choice for beginners and at such a reasonable price; it is a good option for anyone curious about tattooing that doesn’t want to break the bank on a whim.

  1. Bishop WAND Packer

Featuring a hand polished copper band, the Packer Bishop WAND is a brushless Faulhaber motor with custom winding and a fixed 4.2mm stroke; all key in its design to increase torque and speed for color packing and realism. The brushless motor uses magnets to generate power, meaning the Packer Bishop WAND can work harder for longer without overheating.

  1. FK Irons Spektra Direkt 2

Note that this is a rotary tattoo gun, which means that is fully capable of shading and lining, making it a great choice for a novice tattooist. The 4.5-watt motor can actually be adjusted from as low as 4 watts, all the way up 9.5 watts providing all the torque and speed an artist might need.

Made in the USA, the Direkt 2 is made of aircraft-grade anodized aluminium, ensuring durability; and on top of that, it has a 1 year warranty. Beyond hygienic practices, maintenance on the Direkt is practically non-existent: the closed system of the motor means that even lubrication isn’t necessary.

Also, note that this machine will work with a variety of different setups and can be used with all standard needle and cartridge arrangements. The interchangeable stroke caps make this simple machine even more versatile; the Direkt can be used for coloring as well as shading and line work.

The lightweight (the Direkt weighs in at just 2.85 ounces) and ergonomic grip mean that even the newest artists won’t suffer from wrist and hand fatigue commonly associated with tattooing. The Spektra Direkt 2 is a great machine, for beginners and professionals alike. The only real drawback for this piece is the fact that it is not a kit, meaning that all the other gear associated with tattooing will need to be purchased separately.

With the variety of companies and brands out there producing tattoo machines, it can be a bit overwhelming for someone new to the industry. There is nothing wrong with using all types of machines for different reasons or finding one that works for you. It is advisable that you keep an open mind and to never think you know everything. In the end, you should always be learning and trying to push yourself to become a better tattooer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is Packing In Tattoo?

Color packing is the term given to the process of inserting pigment into the skin to saturate the surface area with ink so that there is no negative space showing through. When saturating an area using a color pencil, the stroke may be back and forth, however when tattooing, this motion would cause damage to the skin.

  1. What Needle Do You Use To Pack Color?

#12 gauges are highly popular across all needle groupings and tattoo styles. Anyone referring to #12 or 0.35mm needles may also call them Standards. They are common in lining and traditional work as they have a faster ink flow.

  1. What Stroke Is Best For Color Packing?

The 3.5mm is best for packing color and blending. A medium stroke has enough power for lining with smaller needle groupings, but it will struggle with larger ones.

  1. How Do You Set Up A Tattoo Liner And Shader?

This is how you set up a tattoo liner and shader – Hold down the armature against the coils. The stroke (space between contact screw and armature bar) length for shading should be long and slow. The setup needs to maximize the amount of area it can ink with the least amount of stress on the skin.

  1. Can You Shade A Tattoo With A Liner?

Yes, you can.

  1. How Do You Use A Tattoo Needle Shader?

In order to use a tattoo needle shader, you should dip the flat shader needle in the ink cup and press the foot pedal to work the machine, then place the needle against the skin in a shading area to begin using the flat shader needle. Continue to re-ink the needle and shade the area until finished.

  1. How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Liner And Shader Tattoo Machine?

Liners can be set up with anywhere from one to seven needles, which are positioned in a circle. Shaders are set up with more than four needles, which are usually in a straight line resembling a comb.

  1. The Difference Between the Rotary and the Coil

Both the rotary tattoo machine and the coil tattoo machine can be used to create great tattoos but they offer two different methods. A coil tattoo machine relies on an electromagnetic current to drive the armature bar while the rotary uses a gentler process.

  1. How Will You Find The Perfect Tattoo Gun For You?

When choosing a tattoo machine, it is best to ask more experienced tattoo artists and read reviews about different tattoo machine brands. The most important thing to consider is the quality of the tattoo machine. Choose tattoo machines that are made of copper, iron, or brass.

  1. Can You Use A Shader Machine As A Liner?

You can line with a shader & Shade with a Liner. It is how the tattoo turns out that matters.

  1. What Voltage Should A Tattoo Shader Run At?

Six volts is appropriate for lining. Most tattoo artists adjust voltage by listening carefully to the sound of the gun–it should produce a steady buzz or a hum.

  1. How Do You Tell The Difference Between Tattoo Needles?

The gauge of a tattoo needle is directly linked to ink flow. The narrower the gauge or diameter, the more controlled and finer the flow of ink is. The gauge is indicated by a number (usually 8, 10 or 12), and diameter by a millimeter measurement.

  1. How Deep Can A Tattoo Needle Go?

A tattoo needle can go approximately 1/16th inch deep into the skin. This means that the ink will be placed exactly between the 2mm of the dermis layer.

  1. How Can You Make Your Tattoo Line Thicker?

Assuming you are using a blue that is just too watery, then add some glycerin mix and shake. It will thicken it right up without losing color quality. If your pigment is too thick or perhaps the bottle has dried out a little, then apply witch hazel to thin it out.

  1. How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Liner And Shader Tattoo Gun?

One of the most noticeable differences is the length of the Front spring. Shader tattoo machines will have a longer spring than liner machines. Another is the movement and strength. When drawing an outline for a tattoo, the tattooist is taught to avoid stopping as much as possible.

  1. What Do You Wipe With While Tattooing?

You can wipe with green soap while tattooing. This is so because green soap is a vegetable, oil-based soap that is environmentally friendly. It is commonly used in tattoo parlors, medical facilities, and piercing studios to sanitize and clean the skin. The natural oils in green soap also soften the skin, preparing it for a procedure.

  1. Why Is Your Tattoo Ink Not Staying In The Skin?

One of the major reasons why your tattoo ink may not be staying in is due to the tattoo artist not tattooing deep enough in the skin.

  1. Do You Change Tattoo Needles After Every Color?

Yes! Tattoo artists will change the needle several times during a tattoo because different needles are required for different areas of the tattoo. When a tattoo artist is at work, he or she should always clean away excess ink and blood before dipping the needle into the ink, or before switching colors.

  1. How Does A Tattoo Gun Work?

A tattoo gun is a hand-held device generally used to create a tattoo. Modern tattoo guns use electromagnetic coils to move an armature bar up and down. Connected to the armature bar is a barred needle grouping that pushes ink into the skin.

  1. How Many Amps Does A Tattoo Machine Use?

Tattoo machines usually work between 5-13vdc at less than 1 amp. Right now, most machines operate by opening and closing a circuit containing two electromagnets to pull the armature bar down (pushing the needle down) then breaking the circuit, releasing the needle/bar.

  1. Which Tattoo Gun Is For Lining?

Rotary tattooing machines can be used for both lining and shading purposes. They produce low noise while in use. They also require relatively low maintenance. They are fairly easy to use even for beginners.

  1. Is Tattoo Shading Quicker Than Outline?

Contrary to what you might expect, many people report that the shading hurts significantly less than the outlining of the tattoo. If you have already made it through your line work, pat yourself on the back. But remember: Outlining is very detailed, and your tattoo artist uses needles of a different size for the process.

  1. Is Dragonhawk A Good Tattoo Brand?

Yes, Dragonhawk is a good tattoo brand. Dragonhawk tattoo machines are manufactured from different types of materials and are mostly highly durable.

  1. What Tattoo Machines Do Professionals Use?

Here are some of the tattoo machines that professionals use;

  • Dragonhawk Mast Pen
  • FK Irons Spektra Direkt 2
  • Solong Tattoo Complete Starter Kit 1 Pro Machine Guns.
  • Stigma Complete Rotary Tattoo Kit.
  • Wormhole Complete Tattoo Kit
  • Pirate Face Grinder Tattoo Kit
  • Rehab Ink Complete Tattoo Kit
  • Dragonhawk Essence Kit
  1. What Tattoo Colors Hurt The Most?

White highlights are more painful than other parts of the tattoo process because white ink requires several passes to be saturated. Unlike black, white has a difficult time showing up and an artist may need to be heavier handed when applying the highlights.

  1. How Do Tattoo Guns Hold Ink?

The ink is actually held between the needles. In short, the surface tension and forces holding the ink together encourage the ink to seep into the holes left by the needles.

  1. How Many Needles Are In A Tattoo Gun?

A ’round’ needle that is tightly soldered into a pointed shape may hold up to fifteen needles. This is used for outlining a tattoo. A soldering of up to fifteen needles will be used for coloring and shading.

  1. What is a 3RL Tattoo Needle?

The number of needle points clustered together is indicated by the number before the needle type. For example, a 3RL would be 3 needle points, and a 9MS would be 9 needle points. The smaller the number, the smaller the mark. A 1rl is the smallest needle available but can be hard to work with.

Solomon. O'Chucks
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