Tattoo Needles Size Guide

There are many tattoo needles on the market. Due to many models and various sizes, it is full of tests for tattoo artists who need to buy needles but need more basic knowledge of them. So, here I am going to provide a very detailed guide to the basics of tattoo needles to help tattoo artists choose the best for their unique style.


Tattoo needles have four main characteristics: Diameter, Needle Count, Configuration, and Taper.

These features are standard on the tattoo box; you can easily find it, and now you need to know what it means, so you will know whether it is suitable for your style and your needs.


About the diameter of tattoo needles 

It is easy to understand; it is the diameter of each needle on the tattoo needle, generally measured according to the thickest part of the needle,

The thickness of a tattoo needle is important as it affects the flow of ink and the damage it causes to the skin. The finer the diameter, the less the flow of ink is, the more controllable it is, and the impact on the skin is relatively small, so it is ideal for lines and fine lines Operation; the thicker the diameter, the more ink flow will be distributed, which can speed up the injection speed of ink, which is more suitable for the Operation of shadow.

Overall, there are five diameters available.

#6=0.20 mm

#8=0.25 mm

#10=0.30 mm

#12=0.35 mm

#13=0.40 mm

The most commonly used are #12, #10, and #08.

#12 are known as 'Standard Pins' and are the most popular size;

#08 are commonly known as 'Bugpins', great for fine tattoo effects


 Know the needle count of tattoo needles

It refers to the number of needles in a group of needles, and the number of needles directly affects the size of the needles and the coverage space when tattooing.

The fewer the number of needles, the more suitable for fine line tattoos; the more the number of needles, the more suitable for the creation of thick lines. In short, choosing the appropriate number of needles is more important.

There are a lot of needles on the market, even as many as 40, but few tattoo machines have the power to meet this type of tattoo, so when choosing a tattoo needle, you need to ensure that it cooperates with the tattoo machine.


How many types needles are in a tattoo gun?

tattoo needles type

According to the arrangement of needles, they can be divided into magnum and round needles. On this basis, it can be derived into specific types of tattoo needles. The Magnum needle has M1, M2, RM, F; the round needle has RL, RS, HRL. Because each needle has a different arrangement, it has different functions and roles in different crafts and artistic styles.

Round Liner(RL): Used for lining and outline designs, a round needle welded around a central axis at the bottom does not allow a lot of ink to bleed out when tattooing, so it is perfect for drawing solid and neat lines, drawing with a round needle Lines, which are the foundation of any tattoo.

Round Shader (RS): RS is very similar to RL. The difference is that the pins of RS are not very close together, which is very suitable for fine colouring areas and creating thicker lines.

Hollow Round Liners (HRL): The biggest difference from RL is that the middle of HRL is completely hollow, and there is no needle in the middle of the round group, which helps optimizes the ink flow, providing cleaner, crisp lines and less trauma to the skin.

Magnums(M): Magnums are universal tattoo needles. There are M1 and M2. Magnum shaders are for shading large areas. These are needle points commonly grouped in two straight rows. M1 is to weld the bottom into a row and divide it in staggered order for 2 rows. M2 is precision welded into 2 rows at the bottom, the choice of M1 and M2 depends on different shade densities

Round Magnum(RM): Round Magnum is similar to Magnum. The difference is in the arched design of the needle.RM are easier on the skin due to its curvature. It can evenly disperse the ink, Allowing the tattoo artist to make smoother tonal transitions. And compared to other tattoo needles, it causes less damage to the skin. Greatly reduce the damage and pain to the skin. It is used for filling in delicate areas that have curvature, like the inner elbow. Blend and colour.

Flat Shader (F): A set of straight pins welded directly to the iron rod in a straight line, which can deliver more ink to the skin, so it is mostly used to do line work and create geometric shapes.


needle Taper refers to the length of the endpoint of each needle, that is, the measurement value from the thinnest end of the needle end to the thickest end. Sharp, and vice versa.

So what is the role of the length of the needle cone?

The length of the needle cone will affect your creative style. Generally, when tattooing, the long cone dispenses less ink, and the ink flows out less ink at a slower speed, so when dealing with fine tattoos, the long cone allows the tattoo artist Better control of how the ink enters the skin; while the short cone delivers more ink at a faster rate, No need to operate multiple times on one area, suitable for packaging with thick lines and rich colours

 What does the texture needle do?

The last is the choice of texture needles. Texture needles are tattoo needles without polished tattoo needle cones. The effect of small grooves is deliberately constructed on the needle cones. The more ink it holds, the more ink it injects into the skin, perfect for blending and shading a tattoo after the outline has been done. But texture needles can cause more pain and skin damage to clients.