A Wireless Tattoo Machine is the new alternative for artists who need to take their work anywhere.
Finding a tattooing machine with the same performance as other standard devices has become more accessible.
Some independent artists have already been building their own cordless machines, but now even well-known brands (discussed in the buying guide section) have caught on and are making their cordless products too.
With this in mind, I think it is essential to see how exactly each manufacturer is improving their models.
Table of Contents
Best Wireless Tattoo Machines for 2023
As you will see in this section, the machines reviewed here are mostly pen-style. The reason behind is that it is easier to embed a battery inside the actual frame, maintaining a balanced weight.
Ink Machines Scorpion – Best versatile rotary pen
It might not be the most renowned brand out there, but since they are the pioneer of cordless configuration (as far as I’m aware), they indeed have a lot to offer.
Aside from the Scorpion model, they also offer the Stingray and Dragonfly series.
This wireless rotary tattoo machine offers impressive performance and operates smoothly and quietly.
What I like most about its design is the possibility of adding an RCA adapter, which gives it more comfortable manipulation.
It is clip-cord ready as well.
Regarding the specs, this Scorpion tattoo machine can operate between 5 to 12V; this is a good range for a pen-style model.
A common problem most rotary pen tattoo machines have, such as the Cheyenne Hawk Pen, is the excessive weight. This machine only weighs 100g, including the disposable grip. Of course, it will get heavier when you attach the wireless battery.
The initial configuration was only operational with specific cartridges, but now, it can also fit standard options such as the ones sold by Cheyenne.
Lastly, it doesn’t have a battery embedded within the frame. This could be a deal-breaker for some, but it is worth testing.
Cheyenne Sol Nova Unlimited – Best operation
It might not be the best looking, but who cares, right? The Sol Nova Unlimited is the first pen-rotary tattoo machine that Cheyenne has developed.
A little bit heavier (150g) than expected, this machine is outstanding, with an even more comprehensive voltage range (4.7 to 12.6).
What makes it unique is the incorporated battery. It will provide enough power for approximately 5 hrs, with a 3 hr recharge.
Looking at its overall configuration, it is pretty similar to the Scorpion model though. Nonetheless, I believe this has a competitive advantage with a more complex inner structure.
This may be a good thing for Cheyenne since there are fewer things to worry about.
The Sol Nova does also have its downsides, though. For example, it will not accept cartridge needles, unfortunately.
Should I invest in this machine? I would say yes if you have the budget and if you need to swap from liner to shader works on the run.
FK Irons Spektra Flux – Best Battery Life
Another big brand that manufactures quality wireless machines is FK Irons. Seriously, I’m impressed with the final product. Let’s see its main specs:
– It has a direct drive versatile stroke of 4 mm.
– With a centralized weight, it is around 178 g (6.3 oz).
– The voltage range is between 5 and 12V.
– What I find as an advantage is the USB port. You can plug the battery into any device with a USB socket.
In terms of the design, I think it fits well in hand, but most importantly, the battery aligns with the machine body and stays well-balanced.
Changing voltage is very simple by using the up and down indicators. The only thing you must have is the Hover™ power supply.
This is mainly to read what voltage the machine is running at.
This power supply is the brain of the Spektra wireless tattoo machine. You can access additional metrics to understand the machine’s performance with it.
To figure out how much battery is left, you will have to look at the colors on the LED indicator displays:
– Green: fully charged (60 to 100%).
– Yellow: 35 to 59 %.
– Orange: 15 to 34 %.
– Red: 0 to 14%.
Identifying the voltage may not be so straightforward. For this, the brand decided to use a color-coding system.
You will see that each color represents a voltage number, which is observed in the LED indicator.
Be aware that the voltage will go up or down at half the numbers. For example, from 5, it will go up to 5.5; from 10, it will go down to 9.5.
If the color is flashing, that means the voltage is halfway, e.g., 5.5V, whereas a solid color indicates a round number, for example, 6.
Darklab FK Irons app
This is not all from the brand. These guys have gone a bit further than any other competitor by introducing the use of an app called Darklab tattoo supply. They have incorporated voice-activated settings adjustments as well.
It might seem a bit crazy, but it’s a great way to reduce cross-contamination between equipment.
Where else FK Irons has innovated?
So far, the competitors have only built specific models to run cordless, whereas this brand has sorted out things differently.
They created a different battery pack – LightningBolt, which can power any FK Irons Spektra rotary tattoo machine.
This is pretty cool if your budget is tight; you’ll always be able to buy different models in that series.
We suggest you check their website if you need more details on how to operate the Spektra Flux cordless tattoo machine.
Dragohawk Mast Archer – The most affordable
We know Dragonhawk is most of the time about affordable tattoo machines, but just as important, when a new technology is launched.
In general, the Mast Archer is a good machine that performs well considering its price tag.
There is not much technology involved, compared with the Spektra model, but the LCD screen is a good advantage.
The voltage is simple to read, and the settings are easy to adjust.
My advice would be that it is an “easy machine to operate”, especially if you’re a beginner, as there is not much that can go wrong or worry about.
Although, I would suggest staying away from any wireless tattoo gun if you are just starting in the industry.
– This machine will run between 5 to 12 v.
– It has a stroke of 3.5 mm, which is good for outlining.
– It weighs around 186 g (6.56 oz).
– Three (3) grips are available to suit personal preference.
The Dragonhawk Mast Archer could be the right model if you can’t afford a more specialized version.
Stigma Tattoo Machine Force – Most user friendly
This is a combination of what the FK Irons and Dragonhawk have.
In this case, this machine has a very fancy inner mechanism that allows the motor to work smoothly without losing performance.
I see that the variable stroke could benefit the tattoo artist from 2.8 mm to 4.5 mm. Outlining, shading, and packing work become more manageable.
The design looks very clean and smooth; and who doesn’t love a sleek design? This also means there are no unbalanced elements that could make long jobs complicated.
I like having the LCD display plus the controllers at the end of the motor. This gives peace of mind that they won’t be obstructed when wrapping the machine.
Lastly, I like that the Stigma Force rotary pen tattoo machine is compatible with RCA plug operation. This makes it versatile in case the artist wants to power it differently.
Inkjecta Flite X1 – Best equipped rotary machine and voltage range
The Injekta Flite X1 is an Australian cordless tattoo machine with state-of-the-art technology.
What impresses me is how lightweight the machine is, considering all the fancy features.
One of the most prominent ones is the one-click alternative to adjust the needle depth on the go.
I think this is cool, but why make it more complicated?
In terms of specifications, the Flite X1 has:
– Voltage: 4.5 to 16.5v. This makes it very versatile for any type of tattoo work.
– Stroke: 2 to 4.5 mm. As mentioned, it can be adjusted with one button and is operated by a separate motor.
– Weight: 144 g with the large battery.
– Operation hours: with the biggest battery, you will have 8 hrs. It also comes with an additional battery.
The operation may seem unnatural or complex, but for this reason, it comes with a comprehensive manual on how it operates and adjusting its features.
I suggest you read this manual first because the voltage adjustment is not intuitive. With practice, it will be easy, though.
Should you buy it? If you have already tested wireless technology, I would recommend it.
The Wand by Bishop – Best stroke range
The Wand is the last on our list of the best wireless tattoo machines.
It may be the only model the brand is testing in the market for now, but what they are offering here is outstanding.
I’m not going to dive deep into reviewing this machine yet, but from the other competitor models, some artists affirm that it fits nicely in hand, enhancing the tattooing experience.
Read the full review: Bishop Tattoo Machine Reviews – What Else They Have?
Wireless Tattoo Machine Buying Guide
Tattooing is a highly specialized art form. Everyone who is connected to the industry has their styles and preferences, from those who start as hobbyists to professional tattoo artists.
The choice of equipment is just as important as the artist’s skill in tattooing. If you’re new to the industry, this guide will introduce you to all the critical aspects of cordless technology.
What is a Cordless Tattoo Machine?
As the name says, the term “wireless” refers to a piece of equipment that can operate without the use of a power cord.
In this case, it runs on the same principle of being operated by a battery power source connected directly to the armor of the device (embedded or as an external element).
There are a couple of options you will find in terms of controlling the voltage system, including:
– Using a battery pack that allows you to switch the voltage directly from the pack or,
– Operating a foot switch that will be connected via Bluetooth to the battery pack and adjusting the voltage.
Any of the two (2) options will give you the liberty of being cord-free; however, there are some advantages and disadvantages to each.
Let’s take a look at what those are.
This technology is relatively new within the industry, and only a few brands manufacture their machines to make them compatible.
While cordless adapters have been in use for some time now, native wireless power supplies have gained much popularity since hitting the market.
As they say – no two snowflakes are alike; the same goes for these machines.
Each of them differs based on its operation and features. So, you must take these factors into account to pick the right one.
Things to Consider When Buying One
If you have been in the market for some time or are just starting to learn about tattoo machines, this new technology can be an option.
Nevertheless, there are a few points I recommend you take into account before investing.
Battery running time
The first thing you have to look for is the battery type. Make sure to look at the battery lifespan, running time while in operation, and charging time.
From these three (3) points, I would say the most critical one is the running time (to be able to work hours and not worry about recharging the batteries).
You must pay attention to any change in power while tattooing. This could be an indication that your battery is running low.
If this is the case, I recommend you connect a freshly charged battery set as soon as possible.
Depending on the makeup of the battery unit, charging from dead flat to full should take around 2-3 hours.
The overall weight of the unit
A wireless tattoo machine provides you with increased agility and flexible usage since you won’t have to deal with bulky cords anymore.
Adding a power source will increase the overall weight of the machine.
If it is going to feel heavy and make work difficult, it is not worth the extra bucks you are paying for it.
Test its weight, the battery, and all the add-ons.
Needles are usually sold separately, and most machines have specific needle protrusion dimensions. This makes them incompatible with using other types of needles.
Learn More: Tattoo Needles Guide for Beginners
This is not so different for cordless tattoo machines; for instance, this is clear with the Scorpion model, which uses a magnetic feature to secure and operate the needles.
If you end up buying a machine that does not require a cord connection, I recommend you include the set of needles compatible with that machine.
Ask your provider what other tattoo needles are compatible with your new machine.
As well as needles, some specific machines are only compatible with a wireless feature.
For instance, I tested one of my friend’s coil custom tattoo machines, and it was a frustrating experience due to the low voltage response.
I’m guessing a 10-coil machine was a bit too much for the battery pack connected.
Lastly, if you are willing to test your current machine, consider your device has a RCA connection.
The power supply
As mentioned earlier, wireless tattoo guns are still evolving, and several models vary in how they connect to a power supply.
Look into how your machine will connect to adapters and how easy it is to plug in and use it with batteries.
The most common models in the market are the ones where you can change the voltage on the battery pack. This is something that can be handy; however, I found a couple of flip sides: the potential cross-contamination and the overall weight.
Ink Machines have manufactured a system that controls the voltage by using different battery packs calibrated to operate at your selected voltages.
The wireless system will detect which battery pack will be in use, and the controller will give you real-time readings while operating.
Comfort in your hand
Cordless machines are only worth the investment if they are more comfortable to use than their wired counterparts. See if the machine fits your style, won’t compromise your speed, and is a long-term ergonomic fit.
An ergonomically designed machine with a proper grip will facilitate a better user experience.
Most machines are sold as a complete kit that includes a foot pedal, batteries, power supply, charging lines, adapters, tattoo guns, and compatible needles.
The price of the kit can vary depending on the components and their quality.
This could be a trade-off you must make when choosing a wireless configuration—higher cost with more functionality or lower price with necessary features only.
Make the choice that works best for you, but remember not to compromise the quality of your work to save a few extra bucks.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages
Having a cordless tattoo machine has its pros and cons. It is best to think about them and decide if you should go with this technology.
Some of the benefits we have found are:
– Fewer cords and connections to worry about.
– Portability so it can be carried anywhere with ease.
– Fewer elements to sterilize.
– Potentially reduce your electricity bill.
Surely there will be more advantages with this new technology as it evolves; however, there are a few downsides to consider:
– You will need more than one battery pack potentially to ensure you have enough power to finish your tattooing sessions.
– Additional weight on your hand. This is not ideal if your machine of choice is already heavy (i.e., iron frame).
– If you let the battery pack run too low, it could impact the needle’s speed, potentially affecting the session and quality of the tattoo.
The last disadvantage is the low number of machines that can operate wirelessly, which will change over time as more brands join the market.
Other models found in the market
Dragonhawk has been a pioneer in the tattoo industry for some time now, and they have a unique wireless model, the Dragonhawk Mast Rotary Tattoo Machine.
It has a wireless power supply, and the kit comes with x10 needle cartridges.
I can say that Ink Machines are the leaders of wireless tattoo machines. They have several stylish top models to choose from. In terms of affordability, it may be a different case, but worth checking their products.
Swiss Tattoo Machines
The Swiss Tattoo machines have come up with several alternatives that provide a powerful performance. Of the two cordless models, the Unchained one is the top in their arsenal.
Dragoart is another well-known wireless rechargeable rotary pen machine that deserves your attention. There is not much information to add to this model but still worth looking at it.
Solong Tattoo Machines
Looking for another brand offering affordable machines? Solong Tattoo is the place to visit.
The good thing about them is the vast range of machines available in their arsenal; and, if none of their models appeal to your fancy, they also offer other lines such as CNC, Rhein, and Stigma.
If the cordless option is not what you are looking for, then I would suggest seeing their pen-style rotary model EM146.
With every passing day, the world of tattooing is getting more significant with further enhanced tools and new technologies. The cordless approach has undoubtedly made life easier and more comfortable for tattoo artists.
What I most like is the possibility of taking the tattoo love anywhere.
The downside to these otherwise amazing machines is their higher cost and additional weight. But newer models are making up for it and have provided well-designed devices that are also comfortable to use.
Have you ever used a wireless tattoo machine? How was your experience? What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.
Some other cordless products for compatible tattoo machines: