A Quick Guide To Tattoo Needles - CNC Tattoo Machine Supply
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A Quick Guide To Tattoo Needles

We all know a doctor has many tools to use, and more importantly, he(she) has to know the functions of each tool. Same as that, when one tattoo artist is using a tattoo machine to create a tattoo, you should know exactly how each of those tattoo needle cartridges works. As a tattoo artist, you’ll use tattoo needles more often than other items, let’s get back to our topic.

As we’ll discover, there are different groupings and sizes to choose from, so this guide will walk you through some tattoo needle features and what to look for when you’re ready to tattoo.

Round Tattoo Needles

Round tattoo needles are soldered around a central shaft in round patterns. They can be further identified as liners or shaders, depending on how close together they are placed. Round liners are packed tightly, which makes them perfect for technical work, small lines, and details.

You might also see loose round liners. The latter is used for thick, bold outlines like those found on Japanese-style tattoos. Round shaders are great for all-purpose color fill and basic shading. Whenever you see RL needles or RS needles, you’ll know that you’re looking at Round Liner or Round Shader. You’ll find this written with their number in front. Ex. 5RL. The number lets the user know how many needles are used in the configuration, so a 5RL has 5 needles placed in a circle configuration.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to focus on round shaders in sizes 3, 5, 7, and 9 for some shading and filling in small areas.

                                       Find Tattoo needle cartridge

Flat Tattoo Needles

flat tattoo needle

Flat tattoo needles are soldered in a straight line to a needle bar.

These needles are the most popular for lining because their shape is better for getting more ink into the skin. This means clearer, darker lines with just one stroke.

FL,” or less often, “FS” is how you’ll be able to identify these needles.

Just like round needles, these are written out with the number of pins in front, like 3FL or 7FS.

What Can flat tattoo needles be used for?

These needles are used for lining because their shape lets them deliver more ink to the skin. This means clearer, darker lines with just one stroke. Larger flat needles can be used for color fills and shading as they deliver more ink quickly with just one pass. Flat needles are good for intricate shading such as in geometric patterns and some mandala work. Flat shader needles are also common in semi-permanent makeup.

Magnum Tattoo Needles

Magnum tattoo needle sets have a longer taper that’s either the same or greater than the taper found on round shaders.

These needles are mostly used or well-known for their ease of use for shading work.

Magnums deliver a lot of ink, making them ideal for large areas of color. Because they allow so much ink through, you’ll need fewer passes which means they’ll do less damage to the skin during multiple passes. There are a few variations of magnum needles, we’ll dive into that topic in “What is a magnum tattoo needle used for?”

As with anything that is specialized, tattoo needles have a lot more uses and configurations than we’ve described in this blog, but we’ll have to leave it as-is for now.

Remember to always check back here to see what new and insightful information we have for you and good luck on your way to becoming a bonafide tattoo artist.

As you have reached here, you may know what to consider before buying cartridge needles.  Here is the list of our shop needles. If you are still confused, contact us on the online chat.

cnc round Magnum cartridges
Get Round Magnum cartridge                                   Get Magnum cartridge

What Can Magnum tattoo needles be used for?

There are so many configurations of magnum tattoo needles, such as M1 which also be known as Waved magnum, Round Magnum tattoo needles which also is called soft-edge magnum,  and they also have different diameters, different taper lenth, etc.

We only discuss the common use of magnums.

Magnum Shader needles

Commonly Used for: Black and grey. All types of shading and colour packing. Colour realism. Japanese. Traditional and neo-traditional. Tribal. Samoan.

Curved Magnum Shader needles

Commonly Used for: Black and grey. All types of shading and colour packing. Colour realism. Japanese. Traditional and neo-traditional. Tribal. Samoan.

Double Stack Magnum Shader needles

Commonly Used for: Shading and colour packing. Black and grey. Colour realism. Japanese. Traditional and neo-traditional. Tribal. Samoan.

The Best Cartridge Tattoo Needles - CNC Police

CNC Police Cartridge Configurations 

The Police Series Tattoo Needle Cartridges is the latest tattoo cartridge developed and manufactured by CNC Tattoo Supply.

They have these features:

  • Unique & industry-first feature, the cartridge finger ledge gives you the perfect place to rest your finger while working.
  • Give artist finger extra comfort, less finger fatigue and absorbs those damaging vibrations while tattooing.
  • CNC Cartridges meet the highest standards of hygiene, protecting you and your customers.
  • Transparent housing for optimal visibility, a membrane mechanism to prevent ink backflow.
  • One-piece needle over-mold for total stability.
  • Safety membrane drive system. Protect your machine with balanced resistance.
  • Suitable for most machine brands on the market.
  • More than 120 popular configurations meet all your tattoo work needs.

cnc police tattoo needlesCNC POLICE TATTOO NEEDLES

Configuration Group

  • RL – Round liner
  • RS – Round shader
  • RM – Round Magnum
  • M1 – Waved Magnum
  • HRL – Hollow Round Liner
  • RLT – Super Tight Round Liner

Tattoo Needle Craft

  • STX – Semi-Textured Needle

Tattoo Needle Gauge Guide

  • #08-0.25mm (Bugpin)
  • #10-0.30mm (Double Zero)
  • #12-0.35mm


  • -X: 7.0mm taper
  • -L: 5.5mm taper
  • -M: 3.5mm taper

CNC Tattoo Supply provides a wide range of tattoo needles, if you have any other questions or want to share your ideas, leave your comments or email us.

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