best tattoo needles

As someone new to the world of tattoos, it’s essential to understand that the quality of your tattoo heavily relies on the tools used, especially the tattoo needles. The right choice of tattoo needles can make a significant difference in achieving the desired results. In this blog post, we will explore the best tattoo needles available in the market specifically designed for beginners. We’ll cover the key factors to consider when selecting tattoo needles and provide you with expert recommendations to ensure a successful tattooing experience.

Understanding Tattoo Needles

Before we delve into the best tattoo needles for beginners, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the basic anatomy of a tattoo needle. Tattoo needles come in various types and configurations, each serving a specific purpose in the tattooing process. They are typically made of high-quality stainless steel and undergo strict sterilization processes to maintain hygiene and prevent infection. Check out our full article on what the best needles are!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Tattoo Needles

Needle Configuration

When it comes to tattoo needle configurations, there are several options to choose from. The three most common types are round liners, magnums, and shaders. Round liner needles are ideal for creating clean and precise outlines, while magnums are great for shading larger areas. Shaders, on the other hand, are perfect for achieving smooth gradients and soft shading effects. As a beginner, it’s recommended to start with round liner needles to get comfortable with the tattooing process.

Best Needle Size

Needle size plays a crucial role in determining the level of detail and shading you can achieve in your tattoo. However, needle gauges are used to measure the diameter of tattoo needles, with smaller gauges indicating thicker needles. For fine details and intricate linework, opt for smaller gauge needles. On the other hand, larger gauge needles are better suited for shading and color packing. As a beginner, starting with a range of needle sizes between 3RL and 7RL is a good place to begin.

Needle Material

The material of the tattoo needle is another important consideration. Stainless steel needles are the most common and widely used due to their durability and resistance to corrosion. They are also easy to sterilize. However, there are other materials available, such as disposable plastic or single-use needle cartridges. These options offer convenience and eliminate the need for sterilization, but they may not provide the same level of precision as stainless steel needles. For beginners, stainless steel needles are generally recommended for their reliability and ease of use.

Brand Reputation and Quality

When it comes to tattoo needles, choosing reputable brands is crucial. Established brands are known for their commitment to quality and consistency, ensuring that you’re using reliable tools for your tattooing journey. Trusted brands invest in research and development, continually improving their needle designs to meet the specific needs of tattoo artists. Some reputable brands known for producing high-quality tattoo needles include XYZ Needles, ABC Tattoo Supplies, and QRS Ink.

Top Tattoo Needle Recommendations for Beginners

Round Liner Needles

Round liner needles are a staple for tattoo artists, and they are particularly suitable for beginners. These needles allow you to create precise outlines and crisp linework. Here are a few top-rated round liner needle options to consider:

  1. CNC Needles – Round Liner: These needles are crafted from premium stainless steel, ensuring durability and sharpness. They provide excellent control and precision for creating clean outlines.
  2. Stigma Tattoo Supplies – Precision Liner: Known for their consistent quality, these needles are ideal for beginners due to their ease of use and ability to produce fine, detailed lines.

Magnum Needles

Magnum needles are wider and have multiple needles grouped together in a flat configuration. They are great for shading and filling larger areas quickly. Here are a few highly recommended magnum needle brands for beginners:

  1. Rayyl- Magnum Shader: These magnum needles are designed to provide smooth shading and color blending. They are known for their superior ink saturation and precision.

  2. CNC Needles – Curved Magnum: With their slightly curved shape, these magnum needles allow for effortless shading and smooth gradients, making them ideal for beginners looking to achieve a soft shading effect.

Shader Needles

They come in various configurations, such as magnum shaders and curved shaders. Here are some popular shader needle options for beginners:

  1. Stigma Tattoo Supplies – Curved Shader: These shader needles offer excellent control and allow for smooth shading transitions. They are versatile and well-suited for creating depth and dimension in tattoos.
  2. Mast Pro- Flat Magnum Shader: These shader needles have a flat configuration, making them perfect for filling in large areas with a solid color. They provide consistent ink flow and ensure even distribution on the skin.


Proper Needle Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of tattoo needles are essential to ensure their longevity and performance. Follow these steps to clean and sanitize your tattoo needles:

  1. After each use, carefully remove the needle from the tattoo machine.
  2. Dispose of any disposable needle cartridges immediately.
  3. Place stainless steel needles in a container filled with an appropriate cleaning solution, such as an alcohol-based disinfectant.
  4. Allow the needles to soak for the recommended time.
  5. Rinse the needles with sterile water to remove any residue.
  6. Dry the needles thoroughly before storing or reusing them.

Remember to always prioritize safety and hygiene when handling tattoo needles. Additionally, consider using disposable needle cartridges for convenience and peace of mind.


Tattoo Needle Techniques for Beginners

As a beginner tattoo artist, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with various tattoo needle techniques to enhance your skills and broaden your creative possibilities.

  1. Lining Technique: The lining technique involves using round liner needles to create clean and precise outlines for your tattoo design. To achieve optimal results, keep the following tips in mind:
    • Hold the tattoo machine firmly but comfortably to maintain control and stability.
    • Apply consistent pressure while moving the needle along the desired lines.
    • Use smooth, fluid motions to avoid jagged or uneven lines.
    • Practice maintaining a consistent needle depth for uniformity in your linework.
  2. Shading Technique: Shading adds depth, dimension, and texture to your tattoo design. When using shading needles, consider the following techniques:
    • Experiment with different shading styles, such as circular shading, whip shading, or parallel shading, to achieve various effects.
    • Vary the pressure applied to the tattoo machine to create different levels of shading intensity.
    • Practice blending techniques to achieve smooth transitions between light and dark areas.
    • Use a combination of needle sizes and configurations to achieve the desired shading effect.
  3. Color Packing Technique: Color packing involves saturating the skin with vibrant ink to achieve solid and vivid colors. Here’s how you can improve your color packing technique:
    • Use magnum or flat magnum needles for faster coverage of larger color areas.
    • Work in small sections, ensuring even distribution of ink.
    • Apply multiple passes to intensify the color and achieve consistent saturation.
    • Practice controlling the needle speed and pressure to avoid overworking the skin.

Remember, mastering these techniques requires practice, patience, and a willingness to continually improve your skills. Don’t be afraid to experiment and develop your unique style as you become more comfortable with tattooing. Read our full article on How to Become a Tattoo Artist!

Best Tattoo Needles: Safety Precautions and Aftercare

Tattoo needle usage comes with a responsibility to prioritize safety for both the artist and the client. Here are some essential safety precautions to follow when using tattoo needles:

  • Sterilization: Ensure that all tattoo needles are properly sterilized before use. Use an autoclave or follow the recommended sterilization guidelines to eliminate the risk of infections.
  • Single-Use Needles: Whenever possible, use single-use tattoo needles or disposable needle cartridges to prevent cross-contamination. Dispose of used needles safely in sharps containers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, such as disposable gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, to protect yourself and the client from potential infections.
  • Skin Preparation: Thoroughly clean and prepare the client’s skin before tattooing. Follow proper hygiene protocols, including using antiseptic solutions to minimize the risk of infections.

After the tattooing process, it’s crucial to educate clients on proper aftercare to ensure optimal healing and minimize complications. Provide them with detailed aftercare instructions, including:

  • Cleaning and Moisturizing: Instruct clients to gently clean the tattooed area with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. They should apply a thin layer of tattoo-specific aftercare ointment or moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated.
  • Avoiding Irritants: Advise clients to avoid exposing the tattooed area to direct sunlight, swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and excessive sweating until the tattoo is fully healed.
  • Avoiding Picking or Scratching: Emphasize the importance of not picking, scratching, or peeling the tattooed area to prevent infection and ensure proper healing.
  • Follow-Up Care: Encourage clients to schedule follow-up visits to assess the healing progress and address any concerns or touch-up needs.

By prioritizing safety precautions and providing comprehensive aftercare guidance, you can ensure a positive and safe tattooing experience for both yourself and your clients.


Best Tattoo Needles (FAQs)

Q: What are the best tattoo needles for beginners?

A: Round liner needles are the best needles to start with when you are a beginner. They provide excellent control for creating precise outlines and are easier to handle when starting out.

Q: Where can I buy the best tattoo needles?

A: You can find a wide range of tattoo needles, including reputable brands, on online marketplaces such as Amazon. Additionally, specialty tattoo supply stores often carry a variety of tattoo needles to choose from.

Q: Are disposable tattoo needle cartridges a good option for beginners?

A: Disposable needle cartridges offer convenience and eliminate the need for sterilization. They can be a good option for beginners who prefer a hassle-free tattooing process. However, it’s important to ensure the quality and reliability of the cartridges you choose.


Selecting the best tattoo needles for beginners is crucial for achieving optimal results and ensuring a positive tattooing experience. Consider factors such as needle configuration, size, material, and brand reputation when making your decision. By understanding the different types of tattoo needles and following proper care and maintenance practices, you can embark on your tattooing journey with confidence. Remember, practice and experimentation are key to finding the perfect tattoo needle that suits your style and preferences. Happy tattooing!

Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional tattooing advice or guidance. Always consult with a professional tattoo artist or tattoo supply specialist for personalized recommendations.

By Barry H

Barry is a talented and experienced tattoo artist hailing from the picturesque land of Ireland. With an impressive career spanning 16 years, Barry has honed his skills and established himself as a sought-after name in the tattoo industry. His passion for art and unwavering dedication to his craft shine through in every tattoo he creates.