The question about the right tattoo machine has probably been around since different machine concepts exist. But what is the least you need to make a tattoo and what can the tattoo machine achieve for you? The answer is simple: at least one movable, sharp tattoo needle, some suitable ink and, of course, skin are enough, right? Also, art and know-know are part of it. As well as the right tattoo equipment.
To move the tattoo needle, there were and are various solutions. The history of tattooing takes us from hand-held needles and hammering or poking tools to electrically operated coil machines and the modern motorized rotary tattoo machines. It is practically impossible to imagine today's tattoo studios without these beloved rotary tattoo machines. And Cheyenne, as the technology leader, has been the pioneer in this field from the beginning.
The impact of tattoo styles and techniques on the choice of the right tattoo machine
We often receive the above-mentioned question about the right tattoo machine, either specifically with regard to the tattoo techniques of lining, color packing, shading, filling, dotwork and pepper shading or just related to one or another tattoo style, whether realistic, neotraditional, black & grey, traditional or many others. Especially in the tattooing beginner’s phase, many users are almost overwhelmed by the abundance of offers to choose the perfect tattoo machine from. One thing is clear: no matter what your personal tattoo style is or will be - you are on the safe side with the Cheyenne tattoo machines and tattoo cartridges. And nothing can stop you on your way to achieving the perfect result.
What do all Cheyenne tattoo machines have in common?
During our company’s history, we have developed a wide variety of tattoo machine generations. Without exception, each one of them was a success. Highest quality, durability and reliability are a matter of course for us for every tattoo machine. Before we launch a new tattoo machine, its construction is subjected to the proverbial toughest test scenarios and certifications. This is the only way to meet our and your expectations. Product design, exterior design and optimization of ergonomic aspects are also important parts of the product experience. For example, not only the overall weight, but also the centre of gravity is an important aspect for your work. The right weight reduces vibrations while working and acts as a kind of recoil damper. "Too light" or "too heavy"? No, we pay attention to "just right". The center of gravity determines the balance and is also an ideal center of rotation to guarantee mobility when working and creating your tattoo artwork. All Cheyenne tattoo machines have one thing in common: they were, are and will remain perfectly suited for tattooing.
"But what makes the slight difference?"
For us it is obvious: each of our tattoo machine generations is always an evolution compared to the previous one because …because after the development of a new tattoo machine comes always the development of the next one.
We constantly incorporate the latest insights and technological progress as well as the wishes and visions of users, inventors and developers. Tattoo machines of the different Cheyenne generations do not only differ from each other optically. The heart of all our rotary tattoo machines is their motor, their brains are the electronics. Both are constantly being upgraded. While in the first generations the stroke was still 2.5 mm, today it is about 4.0 mm. For almost twice the stroke, a tattoo machine also needs more power and more powerful motors, without becoming much bigger. While only DC-motors were an option for the first tattoo machine generations, today they are complemented by machines with state-of-the-art brushless motors. These electronically controlled drives, for example, pave the way for amazing capabilities that were only dreamed of in the past. Today, the lowest speed ranges and software-based functions, such as Steady or Responsive Mode, are a matter of course for Cheyenne users. Operation via gestures and wireless battery power supply have already become reality with our Sol Nova Unlimited. This is the first time that the control unit has been directly integrated into the tattoo machine.
Comparing is not possible without the basics
To help you better evaluate the technical parameters of the tattoo machines, we share our latest knowledge and our view of the physical correlations. Let us take a closer look at the needle-skin-color interaction. If we look at the skin in high magnification and observe the moving tattoo needle: it is wetted with ink. The speed of the needle movement depends on the stroke and frequency.
Stroke is the distance between the two inflection points of the movement. The frequency in hertz tells us how many times per second the tattoo needle makes its way back and forth again. We could calculate which distance is covered in total, but that is of little interest. What is much more interesting is the speed at which the tattoo needle is moving at any given moment. At the two inflection points, the speed is zero for an extremely short moment, then it moves in the other direction. At the same frequency, a larger stroke ensures that the tattoo needle must move faster.
What is now exciting is how fast the tip of the tattoo needle hits the skin. It has a major influence on how deep the tattoo needle can penetrate the epidermis and further into the dermis. This, in turn, influences the amount of ink that is drawn or flows into the released imprint of the tattoo needle when it is withdrawn and released from the skin. Exactly, it is only when the tattoo needle is withdrawn from the skin for the first time that the ink enters the skin through suction and capillary action.
Usually the frequency is so high that the tattoo needle hits the same spot more than once, increasing the color entry. So, if you theoretically want more color in the skin, you stay longer on the same spot, move the cartridge tip over the skin slower, use a tattoo machine with a larger stroke or set a higher frequency. Oh yes, don't forget sharp tattoo needles! Cheyenne always has them.
You can find a tattoo machine comparison on handling, all common tattoo techniques, technical data and Cheyenne accessories here.
The expert advice of well-known tattoo artists on choosing the best tattoo machine
We have just covered a lot of background information to get closer to the answer to the question about the best tattoo machine for you. We can provide you with facts and diagrams or compare performance data. You can find all the details about our tattoo machines and their technical parameters on our website or in reliable online resources. It is important for us to give you everything you need to compare tattoo machines and make a well-grounded purchase decision.
If our tattoo machines were painting brushes, we could tell you exactly which brush bristles we use, their length and how exactly they are shaped and composed. Each brush has its own shape and is suitable for an infinite number of different paintings, different colors and techniques. Most of the time, similar brushes have the same functions. But even with a very wide brush of the extra class you can paint the finest dots. Cheyenne's tattoo machines and modules are just as multipotent. Everything is made from a single source - yet each tool differs from the other and has its own special features. There is no tattoo machine that is exclusively suitable for one specific task. On the contrary: each performs at its best in all disciplines.
To get an answer from tattoo artists about the right tattoo machine, we were of course, as always, directly on site for you. Who could answer the question better than super-experienced tattoo artists who work multiple hours a day with our and various other tattoo machines? We asked specifically for recommendations on single basic techniques. You will find the answers in this video.
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