With a rapid increase in the tattoo business, many individuals seek to launch their tattooing enterprises. At the same time, some others want to start to learn this body artwork. The main goal for everyone is to begin with a minimum budget.
However, most of the best tattoo machines on the market are expensive. But you should invest a little money in tattooing tools when starting. As you become a better tattoo artist, you’ll be more likely to invest in the necessary tattooing supplies.
At the same time, finding the best cheap tattoo machines is challenging, as many quality factors must be considered. However, after reviewing and using tattooing devices from various brands, I have narrowed down a selection of top-quality, budget-friendly options, which are as follows.
- Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Pen
- Dragonhawk Pro Coil Tattoo Machine
- TATELF Tattoo Kit
- Dragonhawk S1
- Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit
The list above consists of various types of machines, including coil, rotary, and even wireless models. The best part is that all of them are readily available for under $100, which makes them the best affordable tattoo machines for everyone. This review will thoroughly outline these machines’ main features, specifications, pros, and cons, so keep reading.
Best Cheap Tattoo Machines Reviews
Dragonhawk Rotary Pen
The Dragonhawk Mast machine is strong and has a sturdy frame that can operate for years. The ergonomic structure is comfortable, lightweight, and quiet. It doesn’t vibrate too much and works with all cartridge needles.
In terms of usability, the Dragonhawk Atom is designed to provide the closest pen-like experience possible with a tattoo machine. It means this rotary tattoo machine, which looks like an actual pen, can be used with almost all cartridge needles.
The needle depth is also precisely adjustable. You need to rotate the machine, and the needle will be adjusted. In terms of price, this is one of the best cheap tattoo machines with a 3.5mm stroke length. This stroke makes it the perfect tattooing machine for outlining and shading.
Furthermore, inside the machine’s base is a high-quality stainless steel spring. You can get an excellent straight hit with a unique feature and enough softness.
What is more? It comes with a decent quality battery with more than 6 hours of battery timing. The machine is easy to charge, and the battery lasts a few hours. It’s easy to use and great for people who want to start getting tattoos.
Dragonhawk Rotary Pen
The Dragonhawk Pro Coil set includes two machines: one for shading and one for lining, two in one at a much budget-friendly price. Both of these two have a high-quality structure and user-friendly design. As a result, it helps to reduce tiredness, especially during lengthy tattoo sessions or when utilizing it for long periods.
Besides this, this is an excellent coil tattoo machine for those beginning in the industry with a limited budget for several other reasons. Even Dragonhawk Pro is perfect for experienced tattoo artists who want professional tattooing tools at an affordable price. However, this tattoo gun has a little problem. For example, it starts overheating after 30 minutes.
Furthermore, it comes with complete accessories, and this best cheap tattoo kit includes disposable needles, a clip cord, a foot pedal, a tattoo ink, power box, and a grip. Moreover, it also consists of some essential items like a carrying bag, transfer sheets, Tattoo fake skin, and tubes.
TATELF Tattoo Kit
If you’re a beginner tattoo artist and limited on budget, this is the best affordable tattoo machine with all the tools. The TATELF Tattoo kit has many premium quality features that no other offers in such a pricing range.
This machine has a strong motor that provides the best performance in driving needles in and out of the skin to create the perfect tattoo design. Moreover, it also features advanced gear systems that offer maximum efficiency and precision in tattooing operations.
Similarly, this pen runs smoothly and quietly without creating any extra vibration. When it comes to this rotary tattoo machine’s design, it’s manufactured using aluminum, which keeps it lightweight even during running.
Moreover, its pen has a stroke of 3.5mm and is also compatible with major tattoo cartridge needles. Besides this, it can be turned to change the needles’ length between 0 to 4.5mm. So, artists can use it for linework, filling, shading, and even permanent makeup.
Like Dragonhawk Pro, it also comes with a complete start kit; as a professional, you’ll love it. These super cheap tattoo kits are designed to give an all-in-one solution for limited-budget users.
Now let’s speak about the power source of this machine. TATELF Tattoo Kit comes with a traditional type of tattoo power supply, and it works very well in testing. The power box is super, consistent, and smooth to provide continuous current.
The Dragonhawk S1 pen is designed to be lightweight and easy to use. Moreover, it feels super comfortable to hold steady in hand like you’re holding an actual pen. Besides the pen, this machine has a strong motor that ensures reliable performance and smooth tattooing operations.
Some users have reported that it produces a noise similar to a chainsaw when running. In my experience, however, it runs quietly and makes no noticeable noise. However, the motor has not felt very reliable for a long time; even some online users reported it stopped working after a few months.
Since the Dragonhawk S1 is a wireless rotary tattoo machine, it’s important to discuss its battery performance. It has a long-lasting rechargeable battery that can provide hours of continuous use. With its longer battery life, this means you won’t need to interrupt your tattooing to recharge.
Furthermore, this wireless kit has all the necessary tattooing items, including a cordless battery, ink, fake skin, and tattoo cartridge needles.
Wormhole Tattoo Pen
This tattoo pen kit is an excellent choice for new tattoo artists who want something cheap and easy to use. Wormhole tattoo kit has many good features that make the tattooing process smooth and simple.
Although this tattoo pen isn’t professional-grade, it’s a great beginner learning tool. In other words, it’s perfect for tattoo artists and great for people who have never done tattoos.
Regarding tattooing work, this pen-style machine has a 3.5mm stroke length and can adjust needle depth between 0 and 4mm. This means a artist can do a little of everything, such as creating solid and clean lines, but I found it perfect for drawing. Moreover, this machine allows you to adjust voltage between 5v and 10v.
Moreover, the pen has an ergonomic design, which feels very sleek and lightweight. Plus, it’s super easy to set up and use. However, the motor which is installed could be more durable and reliable. Even it starts heating after one hour.
Like other tattoo machines on the list, this one also has everything needed to do tattooing work. However, most kit’s accessories could be of better quality.
Which tattoo machine is suitable for beginners?
After researching and using a variety of tattooing pens, I’ve ended up with the Dragonhawk Rotary Tattoo Pen as the best beginner’s machine due to its easy-to-use control.
If you’re beginning off, this is considered one of the greatest devices you can get. It’s quieter and more compact than others, yet it still packs a punch and holds its ground steadily.
Is a tattoo pen or gun better?
Tattoo pens have several advantages over tattoo guns, including being less noisy, lighter, and less prone to vibration—some tattooists like to work with as little equipment as possible.
Therefore, tattoo pens are better for ease of use and control. Artists with more excellent expertise using conventional machinery may feel more at ease using tattoo guns.
What is a beginner tattoo voltage?
Depending on the tattoo machine you’ve chosen and the design you’re creating, the recommended voltage might be different. When drawing the Tattoo’s design on the skin, many tattoo machines should be set to between 7.5 and 8.5 volts.
On the other hand, nine volts is acceptable for drawing the Tattoo’s outline. While tattooing, it is crucial to keep an eye on how well the equipment is working and how the client is feeling.
How much does a tattoo machine cost?
The price of a tattoo machine depends on different factors and features. But generally, most tattooing devices are available between 50$ and 1000$. Moreover, check out this guide on how much a tattoo machine costs.
Most beginners need a reasonable budget to buy premium quality expensive machines at the start. For those artists with limited budgets, these are the best cheap tattoo machines, suitable for learning and professional work. They’re not only affordable but also contain many good features that are required for tattooing work.
Flora Jones is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 5 years of experience working at various studios in Arizona. In addition to her artistry, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise on various tattoo-related topics through her writing.