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.

Solomon. O'Chucks
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