Rotary machines are the original tattoo machines. They use an electric motor to drive the needles. Upgrades to the rotary machine include using an armature bar to increase efficiency, and the incorporation of pneumatics to replace the electric motor. There are several types of rotary tattoo gun, including shaders and liners. Many times, buyers will find these two types of rotary tattoo guns combined into a set.
Although dual coil machines may be the standard, some tattoo artists prefer to use rotary tattoo machines instead. Rotary machines offer several advantages over dual coil machines that make them attractive to a growing number of tattoo artists, according to Erick Alayon, author of “The Craft of Tattooing.”
Some rotary tattoo machines are significantly lighter than comparable dual coil machines. This is because there are no electromagnetic copper-wound coils to weigh down the back end of the machine. The lighter weight means that a tattoo artist can work longer at a single sitting. It also means less finger and hand cramping, so artists will make fewer mistakes.