Best Liner Tattoo Machine [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

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Are you looking to become a tattoo artist? Or perhaps, you are one and need a new tattoo machine?

Well, let’s just say I’ve been there too. Whether you’re starting up your own studio or just need a replacement, getting a tattoo machine is something we tattoo artists have been through at least once.

And since it’s a key part of the trade, finding the right tattoo machines is essential if you’re going to be the best in the business.

Now, when buying online it’s extremely important that you do your research and make sure you know what you’re ordering. If not, you may end up getting sent unsterilized needles or faulty machines which is going to harm not only your business but more importantly, your clients.

But wait, it’s not all doom and gloom.

We here at Tattoo Inksider have spent the last 7 hours scouring the internet for the best tattoo machines. We compared parts such as the cartridges, needles, and coils all so you can easily find the best tattoo machine for you.

Now, if you want something that’s really special then I’d have a look at our second pick. But, if that’s not for you then you may find yourself taking a liking to number three.

Before we start, here’s a quick tip – if you ever get cartridges with red dots instead of the sterilized blue dot, do not use them under ANY circumstances as it could result in the tattoo receiver getting an infection and a quick Google search will show you why you want to avoid this.

So, let’s jump into the list.

How we came to the conclusion of our top 3:




hours spent





Best Liner Tattoo Machine


Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine


Coming in at the number one spot is the Dragonhawk coil tattoo machine.

The quality of these tattoo machines for the price is outstanding and they’re a hit with customers. These tattoo machines are set up appropriately for a liner and a shader.

The liner runs fast with a solid punch for clean crisp lines while the shader has a nice soft but clean hit for nice pepper shading!

That’s not all though.

It has a CNC cut billet brass frame and is fitted with a standard tube vise. Plus, if you’re not satisfied with this then Dragonhawk has a customer satisfaction guarantee and offers refunds to those who aren’t happy with the product.

If you’re like us and love to look at the reviews then you won’t be disappointed after taking a look at this. The Dragonhawk coil tattoo machine has over 200 reviews and holds a 4.5-star rating. This makes it the best machine available on Amazon.

So, why wait? Try it out!


  • CNC cut billet brass frame
  • Shader: 10 wrap coils, liner: 8 wrap coils
  • Fitted with standard tube vise


  • Some complaints about the shader not being as good

Latest deal: Dragonhawk 2pcs Brass Coils Tattoo Machine


Redscorpion Coil Tattoo Machine Gun

Next up is the Redscorpion tattoo machine gun.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find two machines of this quality for this price anywhere. This pair includes one-liner and one shader. It only takes about 10-15 minutes on each machine to adjust the spring tension and contact screw to your liking.

The tattoo machine frame is made of alloy, handmade coil with 10 wraps for shader 8 wraps for liner. Plus it works with minimal noise and no heat for up to 8 hours at a time.

And if that’s still not enough.

Then check out the reviews, it has an impressive 4.5-star rating and over 150 reviews. This is a brilliant choice when it comes to tattoo machines and a much cheaper alternative to the Dragonshawk.

On the other hand, the tube vise isn’t the best, so you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to a heavier wing nut and bolt.


  • 10 shader wraps and 8 liner
  • Easy to set up
  • Low noise and heat


  • Not the greatest tube vise

Latest deal: Redscorpion Coil Tattoo Machine Gun


Mast Tattoo Machine

Coming in hot at number three we have a beast of a lining machine.

The Mast tattoo machine is an excellent all-around liner and highly regarded for its smooth lining, solid brass binding post, and contact screw. Also, it has a medium running speed with a long throw and hard hit. And included with the package are 10 wrap black coils with a 47uf capacitor.

The iron frame construction is fitted with standard tube vise but you’ll still feel the difference between this and cheaper $10 or $12 machines. The quality of this tattoo machine is well worth the price as it’s just something you can’t live without once you’ve tried it.

Better yet.

You can try it risk-free. If you don’t see the results you were hoping for then you can get a refund for your purchase with Mast’s money-back guarantee!

And for you review lovers. Mast’s tattoo machine holds up to the competition with its 4.5-star rating and 120+ reviews. Although, as with anything this does have its shortcomings. One reviewer said, “Good weight, but had to replace coils to get any kind of strong hit out of this machine”. So bear it in mind.

Other than that though, we think this tattoo machine holds up and definitely recommend giving it a shot. You’ll always have that customer satisfaction guarantee to fall back on.


  • Risk-free, customer satisfaction guarantee
  • Iron frame construction
  • Medium run speed with a long throw and hard-hit


  • One customer had to replace the coils

Latest deal: Mast Tattoo Machine

Best Liner Tattoo Machine - A Buyer's Guide

Whether you’re a beginner tattoo artist or have been in the industry for years, we can all agree that without our tattooing machines, we are nothing– a tattoo machine brings your art to life! 

I’ve been in the industry for a fair few years now, and I have gone through more tattooing machines than I can count, liner machines in particular. But buying a liner tattoo machine is no easy task; there are many things to consider and look out for.

But no need to worry this is what I’m here for. I’m here to break down everything you need to know before purchasing a liner machine, so when you click to buy, you’ll be buying with complete confidence that you’re getting the best product for you. 

Without further adieu, let’s jump in. 

What Is A Tattoo Machine?

If you’re planning on using one on yourself or somebody else then you should already know what tattoo machines are but just in case, here’s a quick summary:

It’s a hand-held device that tattooists use to “paint” images into one’s skin. A tattoo machine, also known as a tattoo gun, is composed of conductive metals such as a pair of coils and springs, a tube vise, a grip, screws, a frame base, and a needle holder.

Coil Machine Or Rotary Machine?

Both the rotary tattoo machine and the coil tattoo machine can be used to create great tattoos but they offer two different methods. A coil tattoo machine relies on an electromagnetic current to drive the armature bar while the rotary uses a more gentle process. The coil is perhaps the most common of the two and can be found in most tattoo shops.

A key difference between the two methods is the noise. Rotary tattoo machines are fairly quiet when compared to the coil which emits a loud buzzing sound. This is simply because the inner mechanics of the rotary machine are simpler, while the coil machine emits a constant clicking sound due to the armature bar being released.

On top of this, rotary machines are more versatile as they can be used for both lines and shading while coil machines can only be used for one or the other.

The coil is often preferred for its intricate line work but it requires a high skill level to use it. While it isn’t as low maintenance as the rotary, the coil provides a number of benefits such as its ability to create smooth fine lines with ease. When it comes to choosing between the two different types of machines, there’s no one right answer. it all depends on you and your inking style so it may be worth trying both to figure out which one best suits you.

Things To Bear In Mind When Buying A Tattoo Liner Machine:

Whether it’s brand new, secondhand, or refurbished, you don’t want your unit with damaged components. You should settle for tattoo machines in good condition despite their higher price than the others.

Much like shopping at the mall, buying online also involves a little bit of shopping around, research, and communication with the seller. The best thing about this mode is that you can see customer feedback in the reviews, which makes or breaks a sale for me personally.

Choosing a particular type of tattoo gun is a struggle commonly experienced by buyers. It is simply because there are lots of them available on the market today. And while each type may have its own pros and cons, the last say will still depend on you, so you have to make a decision carefully.

You may also want to consider buying a tattoo kit that comes packed with a whole host of useful things.

Remember to consider all the parts of the tattoo machine:

When choosing a liner tattoo machine, considering the frame and material is essential– this will determine how heaving the machine is and how much it will vibrate. Coil machines tend to vibrate much more than rotary tattoo machines. 

When investing in a liner tattoo machine, it is important to look for an exchange or refund policy if the iron is defective; this will protect you against faulty coil machines and ensure that you can return the product it is not aligned correctly. 

Next up (for coil liner machines) is to check the coils, check to see how many wraps there are on the machine and whether it is as many as said in the description, also ensure that the coils are wrapped neatly and tightly. 

Once you have checked the coils and the frame, next up is the springs– make sure your liner has shorter springs at the front than your shader. 

For rotary machines, make sure they can handle the needle groupings you use the most before use and check over the parts if they are faulty. 

How To Tell A Liner From A Shader Tattoo Machine:

It’s pretty simple to tell the difference between a shader and a liner tattoo machine when you know what you’re doing anyway. But for any average person,  it can be quite confusing so let’s break it down. 

A shader tattoo machine will have a longer spring than a liner machine. A liner tattoo machine also tends to move much faster and has less power than a shading machine to create a smooth outline. 

On the other hand, Shaders have more power to accommodate large numbers of needles; they are much more powerful than liner machines as they need the tattoo to appear as vibrant and bold as possible. 

Fine liner machines are also equipped with 8 wrap coils, whereas a regular liner is equipped with 10. The smaller wrap coils are more effective for pushing smaller configurations from the 3 to 7R needle groupings, whereas regular liners work with long solid strokes for 9 to 14R. Needles. 

A shader machine also has 10 wrap coils, but they have a medium, soft hit at a medium stroke; they use 5 to 15M needle groupings for pushing smaller configurations that are ideal for shading. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a tattoo machine be set at for lining?

When doing line work, the best practices indicate you should run your machine at 7.5-8.5 Volts. When shading 8-10 Volts is the maximum that most artists use.

Can you use a rotary tattoo machine for lining and shading?

Both Welker rotary tattoo machines work well for lining and shading, and the adjustable machine is also particularly good for packing color with large magnums in addition to lining, creating soft colors, and working in black and gray.

What is the difference between a liner and a shader tattoo machine?

The liner and shader tattoo machines each have their own unique technical specifications. The main difference is the liner forms the outline of the tattoo and completes any blackwork. Whereas, the shader adds color and shade to the tattoo. In many cases, the liner is the only machine that comes into play.

How hard do I press when tattooing?

It’s actually pretty difficult to push a tattooing needle in too deeply because the design of the needle will keep it from happening, but you do need to make sure it goes deep enough. The recommended is at least a few millimeters. As you do, start moving it along the outline of your design.


It can be a super exciting but daunting experience when it comes to getting a fresh new kit for our tattoos. It requires some in-depth research to ensure you’re getting a top-quality product. 

Don’t settle for anything less than the best you can afford at that time; paying a little extra to start with guarantees quality and guarantees it will last a long time– remember the reviews are sometimes your best friend. 

Lucky for you, I have spent hours researching the very best products for you; choose any of the liner machines I have selected for you today, and trust me, you will be bossing your tattoos like a pro. 

Carry on inking my friends. 

Steven Martin Headshot

Steven Martin

Pro tattoo artist


Steven loved art since his early adulthood especially tattoo art. Therefore, he picked up tattooing when he was researching it on the internet. Having experience of around 3 years in the tattoo industry, Steven has a great command over bold, bright, classic, grayscale, and tribal pieces. His passion for tattoo products drove him to do tons of research, etc. so that Tattoo Inksider can offer you the best tattoo products reviews.