Does Rotary have more advantage over Coil Tattoo Machine? - CNC Tattoo Machine Supply
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Does Rotary have more advantage over Coil Tattoo Machine?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Does your wrist in hand hurt from tattooing all day for years? Have you noticed that a lot of tattooers are now using rotary machines and coil tattoo machine are losing the market. Do you ask yourself why? Maybe we have some answers for you. Read this blog from Kim – Our technical consultants, professional tattoo artists, maybe you’ll have a deep understanding about tattooing development.

Kim – Tattoo Artists and Consultant
Kim – Tattoo Artists and Consultant

I have been tattooing since 2005. And worked at CNC Tattoo Supply who started making innovative tools for tattooing in the mid to early 2010. We love to see advancements in our craft by other tattoo artists manufacturers. Because it sort of forces us to take our game – tattooing game, to the next level.

Now rotary tattoo machines have been around for decades. But only recently have builders found ways to get new features and innovations that will appeal to more traditional tattooers. I tattooed with coils for probably ten years and still do occasionally. But I can tell you rotary machines allow me to tattoo a lot longer hours and with a lot less discomfort.

Rotary Tattoo machine Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Cosistant
  • Lightweight and compact
  • More features than Coil Machine
  • Less vibration and noise.
  • Easier to use.


  • More direct. Easy to cause more trauma to skin.
  • Relatively higher price.

Rotary Machine is Lighter & Better Balanced

Let me give you my opinions on rotary machines. And at the same time, let’s hear from some of our trusted tattoo friends out there who use them every day. For the most part, rotary machines are a lot lighter and better balanced. Now, most old-timers are going to tell you that sooner or later, their hands hurt, their wrists hurt, and then as time goes on, it hurts a lot more.

We will work as long as we can to continue to pay those bills later in our careers. Many tattooers develop carpal tunnel, which is when the increased muscle mass or bone growth deposits pinching nerves putting pressure on nerves. That results in pain and numbing of the hands and the fingers.


Rotary tattoo machines do not require large metal frames to support the large and relatively heavy coils that are electromagnetic coil machines. Now the reduced weight will lead to a lot longer careers, so you really should consider giving rotaries a look. 

One of the big things that I like about rotary machines is they’re more consistent from day to day. They’re basically a lot less things to go wrong with less mechanical components. As less variables help increase the efficiencies. The modern electric motors that are in rotary tattoo machines operate at 90+ percent efficiency. To be honest with you, I don’t believe there’s ever been a coil machine that can even come close to those types of numbers. And in my honest opinion, a direct drive rotary tattoo machine is probably the most efficient device for tattooing. Is it the best device? Maybe or maybe not. But as far as efficiency goes, it’s unbeatable.

You can refer to this link to see the adjustment of the coil machine, while the rotary machine does not need these complicated processes.

How To Tune Your Tattoo Machine Like A Pro!!
The mechanical components of a coil machine

These days, builders are trying to add everything you can think of to a machine. You must consider that each feature they are adding is adding components and moving parts. Each of these things will decrease the machine’s efficiency to some degree. Now that’s not always going to be bad because some of the features are fantastic.

But every time you’re gaining a feature, you’re losing efficiency. So you need to understand that now the one downside to a rotary tattoo machine is when it stops working. It stops working. You’re not going to be able to tinker with it like you would your coil and get back up and running. But the truth is every tattooer that I know has dozens and dozens of machines for backups, so that’s not an issue.

So basically, what I’m saying is unless you have to think about how your machine is running, the more time you can spend concentrating on your artwork – your line work, your color saturation, etc. Things are essential to great tattoos.

Rotary Tattoo Machine Are more easier to use

Another advantage to rotary machines is that you now have the options to use needle cartridges and traditional needles on bars.

Now I know some of you are going to tell me you run cartridges on coil machines, and it is possible. But it requires a machine to be set up so specific that most builders don’t even know how to do that. And your average artist doesn’t have a shot usually. And if you’re using needle cartridges, you no longer have to have two, four, six, or more machines set up for a large piece with a lot of details in it. You can literally have one machine and change between your tight liner to your large mag, color packer back to your round shader for details, all in a few seconds. Life gets easier. Your setup is smaller, faster, easier to clean up. It just makes life more convenient, and if you want to use some of the best cartridges on the market, CNC Police Cartridge, we got you, baby.

Replace needle cartridge in seconds

Now I currently wear hearing aids, and my left ear is substantially worse than my right. So I have to wonder if 15+ years of loud tattoo machines were buzzing here because I get close to my work? Is that just a coincidence, or does it have something to do with the machine? I don’t know, but it has to be considered as a possibility.

And if you’re one of those artists that love to chat with your clients, it’s a whole lot easier with the quieter machines. These days, to be honest, I love walking into a tattoo shop and hearing the buzzing machines and smelling the green soap. It’s so nostalgic, and it just hits me right here with all the feels. But that’s not how I’m going to tattoo anymore. At this time, CNC Tattoo Supply sells all the leading rotary tattoo machines by top designers and builders. Now there are great builders worldwide, but consider the price and the core value that machines bring to you, I think we all get the answer.

Let us know in the comments below how it’s helped you. If you need any help choosing or learning more about machines, just give us a call.

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