The German-made Cheyenne Tattoo Machine is available in several different styles with the release of new rotary models.
The entire Cheyenne range allows tattoo artists to work with precision and produce high-quality, sharp designs every time.
Each rotary machine is compact, easy to work with, and utilizes disposable, quick-switch needle cartridges. With three (3) slightly different Hawk machines, let’s look at which one will be the suitable model.
2019 Cheyenne Models
|ASPECT||Cheyenne Hawk Spirit||Cheyenne Hawk Pen||Cheyenne Hawk Thunder
|Important Feature||Low level of noise and vibration.||Good for line work type of tattoos.||The stroke length has a 4mm.|
|Best for Shader or liner?||Liner / Shader.||Liner / Shader. |
Much better for lining works.
|Liner / Shader.|
|Power Source||5-12V. 2.5W DC motor.||5 - 13V. 4W DC motor||5-12V. 2.5W DC motor.|
|Max. Strike Needle Depth||2.5 mm.||3.5 mm.||4.0 mm.|
|Weight||110 g.||130 g.||68 g.|
|Warranty||1 year.||1 year.||1 year.|
|Check Market Price||Check Market Price||Check Market Price|
2022 Cheyenne Models
|ASPECT||Cheyenne Sol Luna||Sol Nova Tattoo Machine||Cheyenne Sol Terra
|Important Feature||- Good for shading and filling.||- Low level of noise and vibration on the skin.||- Good for color packing and lining works.|
|Frame Material||- Aluminum||- Aluminum||- Aluminum|
|Power Source||- 5 - 12.6V. |
- 3W Brushless DC motor
|- 4.7 to 12.6V. |
- 2.5W Brushless DC motor.
- 3W Brushless DC motor.
|Max. Strike Needle Depth||- 2.5 mm.||- 3.5 mm.||- 4.0 mm.|
|Weight||- 87 g.||- 150 g.||- 85 g.|
|Warranty||- 1 year.||- 1 year.||- 1 year.|
|Check Market Price||Check Market Price||Check Market Price|
Table of Contents
Cheyenne Sol Nova Tattoo Machine Review
The Sol Nova tattoo machine uses an easily changeable cartridge system, allowing you to use it across all aspects of tattooing.
One of the primary purposes of creating this model is to deliver the quietest possible tattooing session; this is something that the past pen model, the Cheyenne Hawk Pen, lacked.
In addition to the above, not only will the client appreciate the low noise created by the machine, but it also gives peace of mind to the artist.
Weighing in at only 150g, it’s driven by a Brushless DC precision motor with a voltage of 4.7-12.6V DC.
It can be hooked up to any standard tattoo power supply, but we recommend reading our Tattoo Machine Power Supply Basics and Guide for 2022 for the best alternatives.
Compared to the Cheyenne Hawk Pen model, the Sol Nova tattoo machine is slightly thicker, which makes it a bit heavier. This is a result of the motor configuration. Nevertheless, the motor location helps distribute the machine’s overall weight, so it is easier to operate.
Positives and negatives
✅ The positive aspects of the Sol Nova Pen model include the following:
– Easily adjustable: you can use it for solid blacks and fast shades, as well as punctures and softer shades. This makes it the perfect all-in-one pen tattoo machine.
– Reacts well to different skin types: due to the motor’s low vibration, the client’s skin will be less stressed over extended sessions.
– Low noise level and vibration: the brushless motor was designed to operate quietly and, simultaneously, rotate parts vibrating very smoothly.
– Fast and easy setup: similar to the Hawk Pen, it just plugs in and is ready to go.
– Adjustable grip: the 21mm and 25mm grip options allow the artist to quickly and smoothly adjust the stroke.
The negative aspects from my perspective:
– As mentioned before, the Sol Nova model is a bit thicker. This could be a downside for some artists with small hands.
– If any ink or blood drips down into the grips, it can be tough to clean them properly as there is no way to open them up completely.
– The price is relatively high for replacement cartridges, which may be a turn-off.
Cheyenne Sol Luna Review
The model which is known to hit slightly harder than the above model is the Cheyenne Sol Luna.
This rotary tattoo machine was created mainly to improve the black, and grey shading works.
Most importantly, the low vibration of the motor reduces stress on the artist’s hands, which can become problematic when carrying out long tattooing sessions.
What the Sol Luna model has to offer?
One of the main features of the Cheyenne Luna is the possibility of switching between the two (2) operating modes: The Sensidrive and the Hardrive
This mode allows the machine to adjust the speed of the motor and therefore adjust the give. This is a very beneficial feature when the work is likely to cover different skin areas.
Some skin areas have a more rigid surface; this is where you will need to go harder on the skin, increasing the give.
Here is where the tattoo artist experience takes over to adjust the give. In this case, the motor’s power won’t change, and the hit on the skin will be less aggressive. This could probably also be called “a standard operating mode.”
The technical side
Weighing roughly 87g, it is propelled by a Brushless DC motor and has an operating voltage of 5 – 12.6V.
We recommend a maximum working voltage of 11V. Nevertheless, you are the artist and know what works best for you.
✅ Aside from the above, these are other things I found advantageous in the Cheyenne Sol Luna:
– The weight is balanced, making for a tool that is much easier to control.
– It is lighter than its closest Cheyenne Tattoo Machine configuration: The Cheyenne Hawk Spirit.
– Good voltage range and stroke length (2.5 mm) for shading black and grey works.
– The noise of the motor is minimal, which is ideal when considering the client’s comfort.
– It can be combined with any one of the original cartridges.
Things that might be improved:
– The switchable mode is a great feature; however, keep in mind the plastic that you put into preventing cross-contamination can snap off during the session.
– You can use any old Cheyenne grips, including most other brands; however, some (like the FK Irons) are incompatible with this machine.
Cheyenne Sol Terra Review
The Cheyenne Sol Terra is not so different from the above counterpart, Sol Luna.
The main two (2) “big” differences between these models are in the shape of the motor head (concave for the Terra) and the stroke length (4 mm).
Now, having a 4 mm stroke length will result in better outlining and coloring packing works. This is improved by the switching modes discussed in the Sol Luna review.
You can go easy on 3 to 9-liner works, which professional tattoo artists are happy with.
It is known to be the most powerful tool of the trio. This rotary machine weighs roughly 85g (slightly lower than the Luna version) and has a working voltage of 5-12.6V, too (easy for the fitted Brushless motor).
With its power and precision, it is a tremendous all-around tattooing tool and is exceptional when it comes to outlining.
What are positive and negative?
✅ The positive aspects:
– The stroke length has been increased dramatically to 4mm, which benefits the artist greatly.
– It is equipped with an additional 29 needle cartridges, meaning the artist can perform pretty much any tattoo with just one machine.
– Lastly, it is known for its high quality and ability to last for an extended period.
The negative aspects:
– Aside from the two (2) discussed points in the above review, I would add the fact that it is slightly heavier than the oldest Cheyenne version: Cheyenne Hawk Thunder.
Cheyenne Tattoo Machine: Wireless Version
As discussed in our Wireless Tattoo Machine Guide, most of the best brands in the tattoo industry are starting to adjust their models to a cordless configuration.
Cheyenne Tattoo Machine has created a side model of the Sol Nova called “The Unlimited.” This refers to the ability to carry your machine to any other place as you require.
If you have been working with the Sol Nova already and want a wireless model, expect to have the same quality and characteristics but with the addition of a stable 5V, 2A battery.
The Sol Nova Unlimited has two (2) operating modes: Responsive and Steady.
The Responsive mode will be “reactive” depending on your selected hit frequency. This will be reflected in how hard you hit the skin and improve lining works.
By contrast, the Steady mode will maintain a constant frequency, which is suitable for shading works.
Positive and negatives
✅ Good stuff I found with the Unlimited version:
– You can carry this Cheyenne Rotary Pen Tattoo Machine anywhere you like.
– The running time is around 5 hrs (constantly). This is more than enough to charge completely the spare (included) battery if it’s fully drained.
– It is compatible with all Cheyenne cartridges and most other brands.
Things to improve:
– Changing the power setting is not intuitive at first. To do this, you must tilt the machine up or down while holding the power button.
– The increased weight added by the battery (185g) could be a problem for long tattooing sessions.
Cheyenne Tattoo Machine Reviews Wrap Up
The Sol line has replaced the various Cheyenne Hawk models. So far, quite a few things have changed with some improvements.
The main improvement compared to the Hawk line is the low vibration and barely noticeable noise created by the new rotary machines.
In addition to the above, the new technology (switching modes) that the Sol Luna and Sol Terra offer is an excellent advance for tattoo artists.
While the entire range is said to be the perfect all-in-one tool for any tattoo job, each model’s distinguishing features suit a slightly different purpose, from outlining to shading and everything in between.
If you have been in the tattoo industry for some time, you will know that the Cheyenne Tattoo Machine lines will keep offering great artist and client experiences.
Images courtesy of Cheyenne Tattoo.
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