How to use a rotary tattoo machine | complete guide

How to use a rotary tattoo machine
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Tattooing is an art of expression, and people have been doing it for ages. With the advent of technology, we have different types of tattoo machines that serve the purpose, such as coil and rotary. Rotary tattoo machines are easy to use and recommended for newbies. But the question is how to use a rotary tattoo machine. Even sometimes, experienced tattoo artists don’t know how to use a rotary tattoo machine mainly because they have been working with coil machines. But professional and skilled tattoo artists also need different equipment for tattooing, including rotary tattoo guns, because rotary tattoo devices provide more accuracy and neatness.

How to use a rotary tattoo machine?

Before we tell you how to use a rotary tattoo machine, let’s discuss the characteristics and advantages of this device.

Technical Features

Technical features of the rotary tattoo machine are

  • The structure is sturdy and reliable. All modern models of rotary tattoo machines are made with solid aluminum, making the machine long-lasting and strong.
  • Rotary tattoo machines are low in weight, ensuring the tattoo artists’ comfort. Low-weight rotary devices are easy to use and handle. Also, they enable tattoo artists to work for long hours with ease.
  • Different tattoo designs require different speeds, and rotary tattoo machines can adjust speed.
  • The best feature of the rotary machines is that it adjusts and works well with every needle bundle.
  • Maintenance of rotary tattoo machines is effortless because they are easy to use because of their lightweight, sturdy body and design.
  • These machines are lightweight. They are two times lighter than coil tattoo machines.
  • Tattooists work with any group of needles because the device has high power.
  • Artists work easily and comfortably as the rotary machines are noiseless and have minimal vibration.
  • The speed can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Fast healing of micro-wounds.
  • The only disadvantage of a rotary tattoo machine is that it’s not cheap. The cost of the tattoo gun is pretty high. Still, the cost can be recovered as the clientele and reputation of tattoo artists grow because rotary tattoo machines deliver the best performance.

How to use of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a rotary tattoo machine.

Step 1: a step in using a rotary tattoo machine is to clean your hands. Sterility is essential as it prevents you and the client from transferring germs. After washing hands, wear gloves.

How To Use Of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Step 2: step is to fasten the tip, tube, and holder together. All these three are connected at a place which is called a hexagon. After that, place a needle.

How To Use Of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Step 3: Now, place the assembled needle holder into the hole that is specified for this purpose. Tighten it with a screw and adjust the needle ledge.

How to use of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Step 4: Fix the needle rod with the help of a rubber band and put it on the machine’s body. It will stabilize the vibrations during the process.

How To Use Of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Step 5: Install the power supply, connect the wire to a machine, and plug it in. A tattoo machine is connected through a clip cord with the power supply. The clip cord supplies the current to the device. Set the required voltage.

How To Use Of Rotary Tattoo Gun

Step 6: Place a disposable film on the clip cord and connect it to the tattoo gun. Don’t take the plug out of the film completely. Also, secure the connector with adhesive tape or a rubber band.

How To Use Of Rotary Tattoo Gun

The next step is to press the pedal and check if everything is done correctly. If everything is fine, your machine is ready to operate.

Maintenance of rotary tattoo machine

Maintenance of the rotary tattoo machine is as necessary as using it. Here are simple rules to take care of your rotary tattoo machine.

  • After every 20 hours, inject gun oil into the rubbing parts and bearings of the device. Avoid getting oil into the electric motor.
  • It is vital to change the sealing and ban rubbers periodically. With time the rubbers lose their properties which results in increased vibration. Also, these rubbers become dirty quickly, which reduces hygiene in the workplace.
  • It is also important to sterilize the machine with chemicals. Also, put a deposable film on the clip cord before each new procedure. For your safety, wear gloves when assembling a sterilized device.
  • A salient point to bear in mind here is that you only have to lubricate the machine’s moving parts. Before lubricating the moving parts, cover the electric motor with a casing.
  • Rotary tattoo machines are complex, requiring more care and attention than coil machines.

Types of Rotary Tattoo Machines

Tattoo machines are also called tattoo guns. We have three major types of tattoo machines which we will discuss below.

Rotary Tattoo Gun

As far as popularity goes, rotary tattoo guns take the cake. This motor-powered machine’s rotary mechanism powers the needle’s vertical motion. The rotary gun’s motor is small and moves the needle up and down rapidly.

This gun is designed with a simple mechanism and only requires a few parts in combination to use. The quietness of this machine helps to diminish noise while it’s used, and its weight allows one to go on longer journeys as it doesn’t disrupt their body and movements.

Coil Tattoo Gun

A noisier coil gun has a rougher feel than its rotary counterpart. The needle moves in choppier movements powered by electromagnets. The electricity flows through coils turned on and off rapidly by solenoids to activate the magnets.

This machine works differently because the needle bar of the pistol is attached to a moving armature, so it presses against the applicator needle that pierces the skin. While it does have a lot of softness, getting used to getting the same precision as one can with a rotary gun takes some time. It’s also essential for artists using this tool for shading and shaping purposes to use color-matchable ink because there’s more room for experimentation with how one uses it.

The tattoo artist has to take great care when using this gun. Its popularity is unrivaled in the tattooing world and has been the subject of fascination for many.

Pneumatic Tattoo Gun

The pneumatic tattoo machine has gained a reputation over the years for being incredibly efficient, reliable, and innovative. But what makes it so great? To the untaught eye, you may think that an air-powered tool is nothing special compared to the electric alternative. However, while the two have their similarities, many differences separate them from one another. one of these is that air-powered equipment uses compressed air instead of power outlets or batteries like its electric counterpart does. This gun is by far the most advance of the three. Therefore it’s the most expensive. Some artists can be reticent to invest in it due to the cost, but this gun has more advantages that make it desirable.

This tattoo machine is super light and can be maneuvered with ease. Once you’re done, you don’t have to take it apart to sterilize it in an autoclave. This makes it a reliable and handy tool to have around.


The electric motor of rotary tattoo machines has a specific life span, and they stop working. In that case, contact the manufacturer for motor replacement.

Rotary tattoo machines are better than coil machines in so many ways. Rotary guns are lighter, versatile, and do not produce noise. On the other hand, coil machines are affordable and readily available. However, different artists have different preferences, but as for beginners are concerned rotary tattoo machines are better for them as they are easy to handle compared to coil tattoo machines.

Not every rotary tattoo machine is suitable for permanent makeup as it is a sensitive matter. There are specially designed rotary tattoo machines for permanent makeup which have thin needles and are equipped with needle exit limits.


We’re here if you’re seeking a helpful resource to teach you how to use a rotary tattoo machine. We’ve compiled a detailed guide that’ll help you understand what rotary tattoo machines are, how they work, and their differences from other tattoo machines.

We hope you enjoyed our article about how to use a rotary tattoo machine. With this knowledge, we know that you can make the most of your rotary tattoo machine and create beautiful tattoos for your clients. So what are you waiting for? Start your tattooing journey today.

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