Tattoo needles are the final port of call for tattoo ink before it reaches its final destination to be embedded into the skin and bring an artist’s vision to life. It might be the tattoo machine that does most of the heavy lifting to work the artist’s ink of choice into the skin, but it is the type of needle that determines how the ink will eventually look, and there’s no shortage of options. There is a whole wardrobe of tattoo needles for artists to make their selection from when beginning a new piece and a grab-and-go attitude isn’t well suited here. All tattoo needles have their own individual characteristics that set them apart from the others out there. Selecting which needles to use for a session isn’t to be rushed, it’s a careful process that will require the artist to think about the work that they’re seeking to create and how they plan to go about it.

Having a strong understanding of which tattoo needles perform best for different types of work is essential for any artist but that’s not all that the selection process comes down to, quality is equally as important to get right. With this in mind, let’s take a look at when different tattoo needles show their strengths as well as why considering quality isn’t something to be brushed under the rug.

Which To Use And When

At first glance, the abundance of options of tattoo needles might seem endless and just plain confusing; this is where the grouping system comes in handy. Based on the needle count and diameter along with the grouping and taper of a needle, any artist will have taken the time to master this system and will know without hesitation what each category’s letters and numbers represent. Aside from this more technical system, going back to basics breaks tattoo needles down into a handful of key categories that have their own uses.

Round tattoo needles are, not all too surprisingly, soldered into a round pattern. These versatile needles offer up two options, shaders and liners. Shaders are often the needle of choice for an artist to fill in their work with ease, liners on the other hand efficiently create clean, sharp lines. The thickness of the work that round liners create comes down to how tightly packed the tattoo needles are; the looser the needles, the bolder the line, it’s as simple as that.

Magnums are more hefty pieces of kit. Whether an artist opts for weaved magnum or the more tightly packed stacked magnum, these tattoo needles are generally the ones to go for when heavy shading work is ahead. Wondering why magnums are the top dogs in shading? More needles mean fewer passes over the skin are needed to deposit the ink, making the tattooing process a whole lot more efficient and kinder to the skin. Curved magnums can be an even gentler way to achieve the same results as they fit nicely to the skin once pressure is applied.

Bugpins are the little brother that magnum tattoo needles never had. It would be hard to tell this alternative option apart from its more widely-used counterpart if it weren’t for the smaller diameter of its needles. This differentiating factor is what generally makes bugpins a safe bet for work such as gradients. Just as bugpins and magnums make good use of their many needles, flat tattoo needles follow suit and have become popular for creating bold lines with fewer strokes thanks to their straight, uniform shape.

Together, this array of tattoo needles offers tattoo artists one important thing; control over their work. With experience comes knowledge, and an artist will know better than anyone which tattoo needles to employ to get the best finish on each intricate part of their work.


Opting For Quality Means Opting For Safety

The safety risks of tattooing are no secret. Keeping to the right regulations is essential in all areas of a studio, and tattoo needles are no exception. Choosing high quality tattoo needles is the best way to ensure that the supplies that arrive are safe and ready for use.

An important thing to consider here is how much damage the tattoo needles will cause to the skin of the customer in the chair. Bent or blunt tattoo needles won’t do an artist any favours and using these needles runs the risk of really harming the skin on contact. Selecting quality tattoo needles avoids this potential problem, they’ll be straight, sharp, and polished to the tip to keep trauma to the skin to a minimum.

How hygienic tattoo needles are is also critical. The worrisome health concerns that using poor quality needles encourages aren’t worth leaving to chance. The nervousness stemming from this area is exactly why top brands will deliver their quality tattoo needles in blister packs that have been EO gas sterilised to offer both the artist and the customer confidence that they are as safe to use as possible.


Quality Needles, Quality Work

Not all tattoo needles are made equal. High quality tattoo needles offer a level of performance that lower grade options simply can’t compete with.

The fluidity of the movement of tattoo needles and how consistent their stroke is will be a major influence on how well an artist can produce their work. Where cheap needles show their poor condition by juddering and moving awkwardly, quality tattoo needles run smoothly to give artists the freedom to create each piece to the best of their ability.

Some of the giveaway signs of unsafe tattoo needles are also obvious indicators that they will let an artist down and hinder their flow. Dull, crooked needles won’t only give the customer’s skin a hard time, they’re bad news for ink distribution, too. With quality tattoo needles in their machine, an artist can be sure that there will be nothing stopping the ink from flowing as desired for their end piece to be as impressive as their customer envisioned.

Whilst finding the right needle for the right piece of work is a crucial step for producing beautiful art, this is just part of the picture. What’s clear is that only quality tattoo needles will ensure the safety and performance that will give confidence to an artist and comfort their customers. We stock an extensive range of high quality tattoo needles at our Nottingham store. Visit us or order your quality tattoo supplies from us online: