Tattoo Needles Cartridges Size & Usage Complete Guide

Whether you are new to tattooing or a professional tattoo artist, the vast selection of different tattoo needle sets, diameters, tapers, and needle counts can be a headache.

This article will help you understand the meaning and use of all sizes of tattoo needles and in turn, help you make the most informed decision when buying a tattoo needle.

What are tattoo needles

A tattoo needle is a crucial tool used for tattoos. Most of the tattoo needle cartridges used for general shadowing are blunt tips, too sharp tips tend to scratch the skin and cause more damage to the skin, blunt tips go on very well.

Flat – generally used in trimming and trimming the sharp corners, as well as very small graphics, large areas of coloring are not commonly used.

M2 – has a denser tip and therefore has a shallower penetration into the skin, making it suitable for shadowing.

The specific use of the tattoo needles will be described in detail in this content.

Tattoo needle configuration

When you’re just starting out on your tattoo needle shopping, it can seem a little overwhelming with all the different options available. Don’t worry about that! After reading the following you will quickly get to grips with all the tattoo needles The models and the corresponding use cases

All of these options fall into one of the six basic groups of tattoo needles. Round Liners, Round Shaders, Round Magnum, Weaved Magnum, Flat. We describe each type in more detail below.

Round liner Needles

Round lining needles are round and dense and are indicated by RL. The number of stitches divided is the thickness needed to differentiate when lining.

  • Features: High line saturation, good for color packing. 
  • Use range: mostly used for lining and shading in small areas. Dot work. All lining work, including bold and complex. Scripts and lettering. Japanese, traditional tattoo.

Round Shader Needles

RS is a round shader needle, according to the habits of different tattoo artists, there are also some who choose RS as the old-school lining option.

  • Features: The round shader is very similar to the round liner tattoo cartridges, except that the pins are not placed as close together.
  • Use range: Commonly used for some line work, basic coloring packing, and filling.

Round Magnum Needles

Round Magnum is similar to the weaved magnum, the difference with M1 needles is that RM is arranged in a straight row, and the top of curved magnum needles are ”fan-shaped arrangement”. The edge of the needle runs more smoothly along the skin and the ink is better dispersed, resulting in more consistent lines. RM is also less damaging to the skin and helps achieve soft shadows.

  • Features: Excellent for light and dark gradient tattoo work, and shading uniformity.
  • Use range: Mainly used in black and gray. All types of shading and color packing, color fidelity.

Weaved Magnum Needles

The M1 is a cross-shaped row of needles and is the most versatile, with the widest range of coloring packing applications. Weaved Magnum needles can hold and deliver large amounts of ink, making them perfect for large-area packing coloring.

  • Features: Excellent for light and dark gradient tattoo work, and shading uniformity.
  • Use range: Commonly used in black and gray. All types of shades and color packing, traditional and neo-traditional.

Flat Needles

The flat is used to repair the edges and sharp corners of the tattoo work, or small tattoos mostly.

Small area color packing commonly used needle type for 4F 5F 6F 7F. Due to the low hardness and easy deformation of flat needles, which are less commonly used at present.

Guide to the size and use chart of tattoo needles

Tattoo Needle Diameters Guide

Tattoo cartridge needles are available in different sizes and diameters for different tattoo purposes. The following three sizes are the most commonly used tattoo cartridges.

  • #08 Guage(0.25mm)BUGPIN
    They are often referred to as bugpins and have a slower flow of ink, so they are suitable for intricate detailing.
  • #10 Guage (0.30mm)DoubleZero
    Doublezero is very popular among tattoo artists and it tends to be the middle ground. It provides a steady flow but does not restrict and slow down the flow as much as a bugpin does. 
  • #12 gauge (0.35mm)Standard
    A 12 guage is called standard , but they have a faster ink flow rate, which means they are suitable for shading and coloring over larger areas.

There are some other gauges under these specifications, #6 is 0.20 mm. #14 is 0.40mm, and #16 is 0.45 mm. All of these have specific uses.

In order to quickly grasp the usage corresponding to the needle size, you can learn from the table below.

tattoo needle size usage

Tattoo needle cartridges buying guide you must know

The above understanding of the size and use of tattoo needle cartridges will help us in the purchase of tattoo needles.

Do I still need to sterilize my tattoo needle cartridges after purchase?

All tattoo needles sold at CNC are individually blister packaged and sterilized with EO gas. In the present era, most needle cartridges should be pre-sterilized. You must always check this.
If not, you will need to properly sterilize them yourself using an autoclave prior to performing any tattooing on human skin. Sterilized tattoo cartridges will be marked with an expiration date to indicate when the sterility has expired.

Are the tattoo cartridges done properly?

Always check that the needle cartridges are straight and securely welded to the needle bar. If you don’t notice that the needle you are using is crooked or bent, it can cause significant skin damage.

Will these cartridges be compatible with my tattoo machine?

Be sure to check that the needles you are purchasing are compatible with your tattoo equipment. Also, make sure you have purchased the correct tube or tip to match your needle gauge, size, and type.

The tattoo cartridge needles you can’t miss

CNC’s POLICE tattoo needle cartridges are the most comprehensive needles on the market today, in addition to the RL series and Magnum series, there are also RLT, HRL, and Sem-textured series, providing tattoo users with an adequate choice of tattoo needles.

In addition to POLICE cartridge needles, Quelle premium needle cartridges and Rhein cartridge needles are also popular for their excellent prevention of ink backflow and solidity of use.

how to pick a tattoo needle

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