How to choose the rotary tattoo machine 2022

How to choose the rotary tattoo machine 2022

Mankind has been inscribing ink in its skin over the past years of recorded history. It is a mainstream part of cultures around the world. Tattoo artists are committed to promoting this unique cultural art form and adapting it to become a part of our future.
It is estimated that 45 million Americans have tattoos. Due to popular demand, there are now over 8,000 registered tattoo studios in the United States. It is this booming business that is driving technological innovation in the body art arena.
Researchers in the tattoo supply manufacturing industry are conducting in-depth prospective studies to identify better transmission structures for the prospective technology of tattooing.
As the advancements, Rotary Tattoo machines are creeping into the mainstream, signaling a tipping point for forward-looking technologies.
Let’s take a look at how does rotary tattoo machine work before we jump into the details of rotary machines and tips to help you pick the right machine.

How does rotary tattoo machine work?

Rotary machines uses a small electrical motor, available in several different designs, including styles that incorporate an armature bar system. Most use an offset cam wheel to drive the needle and some brands have adjustable stroke tattoo machines where you can adjust the stroke length to control the depth. They usually hit hard because they are direct drive systems, no springs  as on a coil machine.

  1. Power is supplied to the motor to rotate the cam in a clockwise circular motion.
  2. The needle bar is attached to the cam to convert the rotating motion into a linear motion.
  3. The needle moves in a continuous back and forth motion to obtain a smooth and fluid effect on the rotating machine.

Three Tips To Choose The Machine 

You may still be wondering which one to pick. Keep these three tips in mind and we know you will make the best choice for you:

  1. Suitable stroke length
  2. Motor efficiency
  3. Machine size and shape

Stroke Length

· What does stroke length mean?

The stroke length is the distance the piston moves in the cylinder, determined by the crank on the crankshaft. The engine displacement is calculated by multiplying the cross-sectional area of the cylinder (determined by the bore) by the stroke length.
In rotary machines, the stroke length is the distance travels by the armature bar from Top position center to the Bottom position center. The amount of travel the stroke wheel makes around its bearing in one rotation. The term "Stroke length" is the distance travelled in each cycle.

· Commonly Used Stroke Length

Medium Stroke: 3.5mm. This is widely used by tattoo artists.
A good, reliable medium stroke length is a tattoo artist's best friend. A medium stroke length is commonly used for color wraps and shading.
Many all-round machines in the market come with fixed 3.5mm strokes. For the majority of tattooing, it has a good, dependable level of momentum with a middle-grade pace, impact, and retraction. A medium stroke length can handle working with smaller needle groupings with enough power.

Motor Efficiency

Motor Efficiency is a key parameter for rotary tattoo machines, higher efficiency will result in less power loss and less current consumption.

· Research the tattoo motor

Motor performance and noise reduction are key quality parameters for motor and machine reliability. In the motor, the connection between the shaft and the bearing is critical due to the cyclic axial and radial loads of the tattoo machine. Preloading of bearings and rigid shaft-bearing joints should be optimized to withstand these load cycles. Thus rotary tattoo machine manufacturers have been developing new machines with better features motor to improve and enhance the process.
The lower the motor regulation, the more powerful the motor. As the torque increases, the speed decreases. If the motor regulation is better then there is less speed drop as the load increases. This provides better stability for tattooing because there is less variation in speed relative to the load, resulting in less vibration and noise from the tattoo machine. Less vibration results in better quality tattoos and easier healing, as well as less fatigue on the artist's hands.

· Motor For Rotary Machine

The motor is located in the beam and drives the eccentric mechanism to oscillate the injection needle linearly. This requires a thicker and shorter coreless brushed DC motor in the rotary tattoo pen. 
The motor with high acceleration& torque will improve the spread of the coloring solution in the skin, simplify the artist's task, reduce the pain caused by the piercing action, and improve the safety of the client.
These compact and lightweight motors with high power efficiency are applied in Stigma Supply range in various tattoo pens and technologies. 

Machine Size&Shape

A good rotary tattoo machine should be compact in size for ergonomics and operation of the tattoo machine. Lightweight enough to reduce the overall weight of the tattoo machine, which will result in less fatigue on the artist's hands over time.
This will facilitate longer tattooing times. Gives better control for pen movements.

3 Rotary Machines Highly Recommended

Axys Valkyr



  • Driven by a 4.5 Watt, Swiss made, Maxon precision motor.
  • Fully American manufactured and assembled.
  • Constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum, finished in Mil Spec Type II anodizing.
  • American made Main Bearing
  • 5 strokes in one machine, changeable on the fly
  • Primary range between 7 volts – 10.5 volts
  • Lubricated for life
  • No need for maintenance
  • 100% grip compatibility with the Valhalla
  • Uses RCA connection

CNC Sirius 


  • Stroke Adjust At Your Will. Never need to break down your setup to change the tattoo pen.
  • Precise Stroke Control For your specific need.
    3.0mm is perfect for shading. 3.5mm is an allrounder. Increase the stroke to 4.0 for lining and color packing.
  • Great for lining, packing, coloring, blending, and shading. All in one machine.
  • Mechanical Structure optimization to minimize vibration and volume.
  • Powerful Customized CNC X-I motor. Features Swiss technology.
  • Simply through the stroke ring in the machine to choose the way you want.
  • User-friendly, fully adjustable pen-style tattoo machine even when the machine is running.
  • An ergonomically designed grip helps your hand avoid being overly tense.
  • Forward weighted design aids the artist with downward needle pressure.

Stigma Climber


  • Comes with three different cams that are interchangable for different stroke length.
  • Lightweight and short, total weight 147g - Focus on the tattooing and forget you have something in your hand.
  • Direct drive system - efficient and solid hitting.
  • Unique exterior design with fluid lines to fit the hand.
  • High-precision motor driver, less noise. 
  • Efficient transmission mechanism, easier for color packing.


Relying on strong Stigma R&D department, Stigma provide the required performance rotary tattoo pens, carrying all the above elements generated by the mechanical structure optimization.