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How to craft the ultimate coil tattoo machine


As a tattoo artist, you know that having the right tools is essential for creating beautiful and lasting tattoos. But building and tuning your own coil tattoo machine can be an intimidating task.

You may feel overwhelmed by all the parts and pieces involved in constructing a reliable coil machine or unsure of how to upgrade your existing one properly.

Here we will unlock the secrets behind creating a finely-tuned coil tattoo machine. We’ll cover the basics of construction and provide instructions on how to upgrade your existing machine.

What are coil tattoo machines?

A coil tattoo machine is an electrical device that utilises electromagnetic coils to drive the needle up and down to create a tattoo.

The frame of the coil tattoo machine is typically made from metal or plastic and consists of several parts that include the armature bar, spring, contact screw, and coils.

Padiy Irons coil tattoo machine shader

Shop Padiy Irons - CNC Brass Shader coil tattoo machine.

When electricity flows through the coils, it creates a magnetic field that attracts and repels the armature bar, resulting in a rapid up-and-down motion. This motion drives the attached needle grouping, allowing tattoo artists to deposit ink into the skin.

Before making any changes or disassembling your machine, it's important that you have a thorough understanding of how it works. Take some time to familiarise yourself with all the different components so that you gain a clearer understanding of which parts to modify or replace.

Identify the aspects of your tattoo machine you want to improve

To enhance your tattooing experience and achieve the results that you want, it's essential to identify the specific areas of your coil tattoo machine that you wish to improve.

Take a moment to reflect on the aspects of your current machine that you find unsatisfactory. For example, some machines provide too much vibration, which makes them too uncomfortable for longer sessions. Other machines may be too noisy, so you find yourself getting distracted.


Coil tattoo machine on a worktable


Furthermore, it's important to consider ways you can enhance the client experience. For example, maybe more precise control over needle depth would improve the accuracy and quality of your work.

By taking into account factors like these, you can focus on modifying or upgrading your coil tattoo machine. These changes can not only address your own preferences but also elevate the overall satisfaction of your clients.


Regularly clean your machine

It's important to remember that no matter how meticulous and accurate you are in creating or upgrading your machine, it will eventually stop working if not properly maintained.

To ensure the longevity of your coil tattoo machine, be sure to regularly clean and lubricate the parts. This will help prevent any rust or buildup from occurring.

It's also a good idea to regularly check for signs of wear and tear on components such as the coils and springs. If you notice anything unusual, replace them immediately.

Padiy Irons - CNC Brass Liner coil tattoo machine

Shop Padiy Irons - Brass CNC Liner coil tattoo machine.

Adjust the coils

Once you have established what specific areas you want to improve, it's time to start making changes.

One of the most effective upgrades for your coil tattoo machine is replacing the coils with higher-quality models. Hand-wound copper wire coils are often considered to provide the strongest and most consistent magnetic field.

Make sure to consider the size and shape of your machine. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with an experienced professional before making any modifications.

Upgrade the springs

The springs on your machine have a significant impact on the speed and power of the needles. To achieve a more personalised and tailored experience while using your machine, one of the most effective modifications you can make is adjusting the springs.

If you use longer springs, the impact will be slower and gentler. Conversely, shorter springs will cause the impact of the needles to be faster and harder. You can experiment with different spring sizes to find the one that works best for your needs.

Switch out the armature bar

The armature bar is the connecting link between the coils and needles. If your machine is not running as consistently as you would like, replacing the armature bar can be a great way to improve its performance.

When choosing a suitable armature bar, look for materials such as titanium or aluminium that are both lightweight and high-quality. These materials will also reduce vibration and help your machine run more efficiently.

Test your modified machine on fake skin

Finally, when you think your modified coil machine is ready to use, it's essential to test on fake skin. This step will allow you to practise and get used to the settings before working on a client.


Tattoo artist adjusting a coil tattoo machine


Take the time to get comfortable with the machine and discover any areas that need further adjustment. You don't want your machine to malfunction during a tattoo session with a client!

By adding this practice step, you can be sure that the final product you create will exceed both your expectations and those of your clients.

Final thoughts

Making modifications to your coil tattoo machine can be a rewarding experience. With the right knowledge and tools, you can craft a customised and reliable machine that will meet all your requirements.

By following these tips, you can have peace of mind that your coil tattoo machine is well-maintained and finely tuned.




Both our MTS Supremacy Tattoo Needles and standard MTS Tattoo Needles are suitable for use with coil tattoo machines. The tattoo cartridges sold on our website are not compatible.

As one of the top sellers of tattoo equipment, you can find detailed information about the range of coil tattoo machines we stock here. If you have any further questions about the tattoo machines we sell, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our customer support team

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  • Sarah Crookes