Tattoo needles are key to the success of every tattoo artwork but gaining industry secrets on their features is not an easy task. So, I compiled a comprehensive guide for you to help you understand the analytical and historical background of the market availability for tattoo needles.
Let’s start with tattoo needle types!
Tattoo Needle Types
We distinguish two main tattoo needle types based on their functions and subcategories:
- Liner Tattoo needle configurations
- Shader Tattoo needle configurations:
- Round Shader needles
- Magnum Shader needles
- Curved Magnum Shader needles
Diameters or Gauges of Stainless-Steel Wires
Tattoo needles are mostly manufactured from 3 different diameters or gauges of stainless-steel wires:
- .25mm – FINE – #8 is the standard system (US) designation.
- .30mm – NORMAL – #10 is the standard system (US) designation.
- .35mm – FAT – #12 is the standard system (US) designation.
These wires are on a huge roll, similarly as the fishing line on a spool. So, if you want to create a needle from these wires, you need to cut and sharpen them.
What Do We Know About Tapers?
to diminish or reduce in thickness toward one end.
Note: there is a misconception that often makes confusion between the terms taper and gauge when it comes to describing a needle configuration.
Tapering has 4 different variations depending on the length, measured from the beginning of the taper to the tip of the needle.
- Short taper .07” = 2mm
- Medium taper .14” = 3.5mm
- Long taper .23” = 6.5mm
- Extra-long taper .31” = 8mm
Why is This Important?
Tattoo Needles Configurations
Note: Manufacturers build every needle configuration from the same tapered needles! There is no mixing! For instance, they are short, long, or extra-long tapered only.
As tattoo artists, we strive to transfer our art skills onto a unique canvas – skin. In order to do that in the most effective way, we endeavor to create tools which have functions similar to painters’. Having said that, we can compare tattoo needle categories to the paint brushes as you can see it below:
- Liner Tattoo needles = fine liner brush
- Round Shader needles = round brush
- Magnum Needle configurations = flat/bright brush
- Curved Magnum Needle configurations = Filberth brush