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Rotary Vs Coil Tattoo Machine (Differences, Similarities, Pros & Cons) 2021

For centuries body art has been part of many traditions and religions. However, we know this term as a tattoo gaining so much popularity from the 20th century. There was a time when tattoos were done on criminals, outcasts. And irresponsible people to differentiate them from the others.

Rotary Vs Coil Tattoo Machine

But things have changed as the time passes tattoo has become one of the most loved body art. According to the survey, approximately 20% of the world population across the globe have a tattoo. In the early stages, the tattoos are done by needles for racing, hand the skin, and add colors.

Like any other industry, the tattoo industry has grown so much due to the development of Technologies. Nowadays, the tattoo artist uses machines to create beautiful skin designs and perfect even with the intrinsic design.

Professional tattoo artist usually uses two types of tattoo machine: coil or rotary. Therefore, it is best to learn about these machines before surrendering your body under the needles and professionals.

If you are a freshman and just started your career as a tattoo artist, you must not be familiar with the difference between the rotary and coil tattoo machine. Both of the beasts are totally different animals. It is essential to discover the difference between these two machines before looking for a tattoo machine. Learn about the evolution of rotary and coil tattoo machines, their inner workings, better, and much more. Tattooing in the right tools is critical because they are not removable.

What is a Rotary Tattoo Machine?

Rotary tattoo machines follow specific scientific principles and mechanical theories to create the tattoo. It consists of a small electric motor that Powers the needle to go up and down. As a result, the needles move slowly to give you a smooth feeling during tattoos on the skin.

Nowadays the tattoo artists are interested in modern rotary tattoo machines. The modern Rotary tattoo machine has an armature part that helps the device hit the required amount efficiently; actually, the rotary adopted this feature from the traditional coil tattoo machine. You can find the rotating machines both in air compressor power and electricity.

  • The rotary machine is straightforward usage
  • Less damaging to the skin
  • The rotary tattoo machine are loved for their low maintenance
  • Quick needle movement
  • Lacks the punch and recoil
  • The outcome is not effective with larger needles
  • Difficulty to use for shading

What is a Coil Tattoo Machine?

All over the world, most professional tattoo artists preferred the coil tattoo machine. However, even the beginners are starting their tattoo in a career with it. The armature bar and the coil are the main parts of the tattoo machine. When the electric current passes through the coil, it will guess the armature bar. Further, the armature bar acts as a hammer effect; the needle penetrates to insert the ink onto the skin.

Furthermore, the armature bar returns to its position as it is attached through the spring in the machine. An Electromagnetic field is established and passes through the coil again to rerelease the armature bar. The circle is repeated again and again until the electromagnetic field stops establishing.

  • Ideal for intricate line work
  • Create smooth fine lines with ease
  • Requires a high skill level to use
  • Higher maintenance cost than the rotary

Key Differences in Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine


The coil tattoo machine is based on electromagnetic technology. That is why they are made of armature parts and heavy coils, in terms of where the coil tattoo machines are heavier than the Rotary machines. On the other hand, the rotary machine has a design with a small electric motor that keeps them lightweight.

Moreover, it is all about the preferences of Professional tattoo artists who love to work with the heavy coil machine because they are stable. on the other hand, some of them find coil tattoo machines have here and feel fatigued in the arm and hand due to the bulky design of the machine

Noise Level

Have you ever been to a tattoo shop? Must you hear the buzzing noise of the machine? While working, the wild tattoo machine creates a buzzing noise. However, being so noisy, the coil tattoo machine acts as a hammer effect of the armature bar. There is a popular misconception among people that coil tattoo machines are painful. On the other hand, the Rotary tattoo machine is less noisy and has a simple design.


One of the best things about the Rotary tattoo machine is that it can perform both the inner and shatter work. It is not untrue to say that the Rotary tattoo machine is an all-rounder. All you need to do is adjust the tube stem of the Rotary tattoo machine to use it for the lining of the tattoo design and editing. In addition, the frequent Changing of the machine is not necessary. However, you can’t use the coil tattoo machine for lining and shading. You must buy two different tattoo machines for this thing.


 If you are looking for a tattoo machine that does not vibrate and creates less noise and light, go for a Rotary tattoo machine. In addition, a Rotary tattoo machine that works hassle-free for the beginner tattoo does not require getting used to operating.

 On the other hand, operating a coil machine means that you have to be a professional with a lot of practice. Also, they have a design more than the Rotary machine, which means it is less comfortable to operate.

Needle Movement

Due to the breakage of the electromagnetic field and establishing in every iteration, the coil tattoo machine, movement is rough. On the other hand, the rotary tattoo machines work with the consistent electric, which is why it has a smooth movement.


Punchins are one of the most critical aspects of every Tattoo machine. According to professionals and enthusiasts, tattoo artists claim that the Rotary tattoo machine has less punching power than the coil tattoo machines; Hence the recoiling is slow. In addition, while working with the most significant size needles, it becomes difficult to perform. Lastly, the maintenance cost of the Rotary tattoo machine is much more than the coil tattoo machine.


 In the profession of a tattoo, making the skills matter a lot. You can quickly tell the difference between the work of an old warehouse artist and a new beginner. In terms of expertise, the only old artist working for years in the industry can handle and deal with the coil machine more precisely as they are heavier and a bit bulkier. For the beginner, the rotary tattoo machines are ideal as they are lightweight and easy to handle


In the coil tattoo machine, precise adjustment is necessary so that your design looks attractive and perfect. Meanwhile, the Rotary machines are suitable for the newbie as they have straightforward and fewer adjustments for the design perfection.

Lines and shading

As stated by the professional tattoo artist, the benefit of using a Rotary tattoo machine is much more than the old school oil machine. Having a Rotary tattoo machine means that the lions will be smoother, and shading can be done simultaneously, which was hard to think of in the past with the coil tattoo machines.

What is the difference in the Inner workings?

A professional tattoo artist does not acquire the machine based on technical details but rather on internal information. For ordinary people, both machines are the same because the outcome of the rotary and coil machines are the same, embedding into the skin. Also, both of them have utilized needles to make tattoos move. Of course, both are tattoo machines. The outcomes are the same, but the functional approach is different between rotary and coil machines.

Rotary tattoo machines are the original tattoo machine Technology. This machine features a small electric motor that creates a cyclic motion to move the needle smoothly and nicely. Meanwhile, A coil tattoo machine utilized an electromagnetic current that passes between the coils and enables the armature bar to move forward. This creates a hammering-like motion that repeatedly pushes the needle up and down onto the skin.

Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine, which is more versatile?

 Various factors include selecting a tattoo machine, the most important one that is of use. There is no doubt that coil tattoo machines are effective, but when it comes to the gallery. A professional tattoo artist works for extended hours, and many clients are waiting in the queue. For change over acceptance for which coil machine is required to this type of work, they are creating. But now the question is why the line and Shades are two different variants of coil tattoo machines used by the artist to design tattoos.

Compare the line on the shutters, heavy-duty, which are more heavy duty so that they have a power punch when you add ink and fill the large area of the tattoo. Meanwhile, the rotary machine does not require you to change the device while swiping between the tattoos. These machines are capable of handling multiple styles at the same time with a variety of abilities. It is not wrong to say that the Rotary tattoo machine is all-rounders and allows the artist to move from short lining work creating trees and producing shade to the tattoo details and depth at the same time.

Furthermore, many other factors can be used to finalize which coil or rotary one is better, but these can only act as a guide. Finally, the type of tattoo machine that an actor should select is the one that suits its tattooing style. Therefore, take time and sit down to consider which machine matches your daily products. How do so with your style will receive which machine is among right for you

Which is easier to handle? Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine?

Nothing that creates the difference in the performance of the tattoo machine is power, which will affect how they perform and feel when the artist is using the machine. The coil tattoo machines are not user-friendly. To find out why this happens, let’s take a deeper look at how the missing works. In the coil tattoo machine, when the armature touches the coil results in the breakage of the electromagnetic field, creates a fraction, and takes time to restart the current link. This is because of constant disconnection and connection of the current. It makes the needle move. Simultaneously, it offers the potential for the motion of Judder.

On the other hand, the rotary tattoo machines are smooth like butter. Due to an electric motor, the movement of the machine is constant. That’s not the only case that rotary tattoo machines are handy in terms of usage. In addition, they take fewer loads than coil machines which is a factor that can create the real difference.

Furthermore, the rotary machine is lighter to use, which allows the artist to happily deal with the more extended session, which is impossible with the coil machine without hand cramps. Lastly, don’t forget that this handling will be a highlight factor in the quality of the tattoo machine.

Rotary vs Coil Tattoo Machine, which one is Better?

Rotary tattoo machines are compact, have a silent operation, and are lightweight. While working on this machine, you can focus on the tattoo as it has quiet functioning. Tattooing is not an easy job. It requires staying focused for extended hours. Therefore, having a rotary machine will be beneficial. Most professional tattoo artists prefer rotary because it’s ideal for both experts and newbies for simple usage.

Moreover, Rotary tattoo machines are comfortable. After plugging the machine into the socket and inserting the needle, your machine is ready to work. You can easily clean the machine easily, after successfully sitting for a long time.

It’s evident that rotary machines have many benefits, but it doesn’t mean the coil machine is obsolete. Still, many artists prefer coil machines because of their precision. The Rotary tattoo machines’ results are undoubtedly tremendous but not accurate as of the coil tattoo machine. If precision and accuracy are your priority, then go for the coil tattoo machine. Lastly, it is all about preferences and priorities. Always choose the type of tattoo machine that meets your requirements and can stand with your style. Depending upon customer requirements, you can use both machine types if needed.

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