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whats a good rotary starter

I have been tattooing for 3 years now and have always been a coil machine user. I want to try a rotary machine to see if I will like it simply for the consistency in use. The only complaint I have with coils is just the fact that they are high maintenance and I would love to try out a rotary machine. When I started I used a Spaulding and Rodgers machine that was handed down to me from my boss along with some terribly made Chinese machines I bought off eBay and this was a terrible idea the frames were bent and didn't line up at all. But in doing so it was great for me on learning how to tattoo with almost any coil machine I later moved up to Next generation Machines which I was very upset with just bc they cost $300 and the company since my boss had bought their product seemed to lose their touch in the little things such as locking down the front binding post. The design made it so that when I would tattoo the contact screw would back out during the middle of the tattoo as well as an armature bar that became easily magnetized. I finally Switched to FK Irons with an rca input and by far these are the best and most consistent machines I have ever owned and are just simply amazing I can lay in solid color in one pass do smooth blends and I don't have to change the contact screw more than once a month. I am looking for a good starter Rotary machine that can run with a soft punch for smooth shading and pack the color as well but is also at a reasonable price I don't want to invest 600 into a stigma if I wind up not liking it bc I could easily purchase another fk for 500. So I am wondering if anyone knows a decently priced rotary machine that would be a good starter to get my feet wet with the different machine. Also if anyone wants an amazing machine just buy a next gen and replace the front binding post with one from FK Irons It is a Great fix if you are having the same issue and it Makes Your total cost around $340 I think which is better then constantly sending it back to the company. Did that on 2 next gen's and they are like a whole different machine just with the 1 new part. Look forward to anyones feedback.


Replies:

RE:whats a good rotary starter

It has been my experience in the past 15 years of tattooing, that you get what you pay for in a tattoo machine. I have tried some of the rotaries, and they certainly have their place in the tattoo world, however I always migrate back to the coil machines...and now the rotaries sit in the case and collect dust.

I can tell you that you wont find a $100 rotary machine that does it all, as you seem to be looking for. They do have some real nice rotaries on the market that can be adjusted to hit as soft as you want or crank down the screw so you can use it to chip concrete with...again..they aren't cheap...I have tried the chinese knockoffs, and they are garbage, I have also used the stealth machines, and they are ok, but again...versatility is lacking with them....they are good for what they are...but probably not what you are looking for.

My suggestion is to learn your coil machines, and the effects that different spring combinations will produce, and making what you have...work like it should. That is part of this craft, which seems to be slipping away to "technology" and innovation.

At the end of the day, what matters is that you understand the "process" of applying ink to skin to produce a quality tattoo, which will heal well, and provide your clients with a lifetime of enjoyment. Don't get caught up in the hype of jumping on the band wagon of getting the latest and greatest machine on the market...I would venture to say that Mr Devries...as well as any other well established artist, could tattoo with pretty much any machine you hand them...because they understand the process.

JMHO

Good luck finding what you are looking for.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

Thanks alot for the input and being young in the industry i agree with what you say about traditions in the industry my mentor has instilled those deeply within me as the area im in is being plagued with hackers and scratch artists selling there 20 dollar tattoos and your advice is very true i learned the hard way early on that cheap doesn't pay and have moved up from that in the end i guess i want to use a rotary just to well verse myself in all that is in the industry. I have a strong feeling that if at any point i stop trying to learn something new or something to make me a better artist and tattooist that i am failing and have become complacent to my work. Which is not something i want when i am giving someone something that they can carry on their skin forever so mainly i am trying to expand my resorces to all things possible.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

Rather than beginning a new thread I thought I'd just continue this one. If I'm adamant to use a rotary machine, which would you recommend for beginners.

Budget is not a huge consideration but seeing as I won't know if I'd like rotaries or not I don't want to loose out too much.

I was considering the Swashdrive or the Stigmas through another thread on this site.

Any other recs on beginner rotary that does everything, good quality and I don't mind budget so long as its worth it.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

If you like fk irons and are willing to spend $500 why not just get the spektra halo by fk irons? It's $549 and has adjustable hit (give) it's a great machine. I also love the dragonfly which is around the same price. Neotats are awesome too but don't have any give. Mike recommends them too. They are $325 at unimax....
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

Rotary machines are a little bit tricky to get used to after using a coil machine for so long but I swear by them now. If you're looking for something really cheap, I used a couple of Stealth rotary machines for a while but as was already stated, you get what you pay for. At only $100 bucks they're passable machines but with no real way to tune them or adjust the amount of give they're certainly farther down the line than something like a Stigma or Dragonfly and require a little more practice with needle depth and hand pressure since the motor runs in a linear motion and won't "bounce" off the skin like a traditional coil machine. To someone inexperienced it could result in scarring or bad blowouts if not used carefully, but with three years of experience I'd say go for it, theres always something new to learn in the world of tattooing and maybe you'll end up loving rotaries like I did.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

For a tattoo artist that would like to go a different way with machines what rotary machine is a great machine to learn and continue working on. I Know this is my career so I'm willing to put in on any product that will give me the best beginning results.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

$150-$210 range:
1)Rotary Works << badass machine*
2)Storm*
3)Stealth*

210-325 range:
1)Nicks Rotary*
2)Rotary works*
2)Vivace*
3)Neotat O.G.*

325-400
1)Impact*
2)Mini Cranker

400+
Not sure, I tried a hyper v3 and didnt think it was worth 550. Also was gonna get a halo but thought about it and cant justify the body of the machine alone costing more than the machines I listed. The ones with stars are ones I have owned. As for give, rotary works offers a springer model, other than that I prefer a good amount of dampening over give. Hope that helps.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

When I started using rotarys I tried the stealth and other rotarys with no give then I tried the inkjecta specific 3 because I heard it had a coil like feel and sound and it blew me away the give on it is great and can do it all especially if your making the transition to rotarys from coils. Because I liked the machine so Much I got the new inkjecta flite v2. The flite is a very different machine though. Check out the inkjecta Facebook page and see some of the great work these guys are pumping out.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

I would second the following suggestions in the 150-400:

rotary works
nicks
impact
mini cranker

I would stay away from the stealth personally, have used the aluminum frame and the composite one as well. The composite version *stealth lite* flexes way to much!

I know a guy who has a drawer of about 7-8 stealth rotaries and use them to do shop work day in day out, and will simply toss them when one dies and open another. He does great work and at the end of the day the down fall of the stealth simply is the cheap knock off motor and once you get past that it is similar to most the other non adjustable rotaries when it comes to its action.

The Bishop gets a lot of grief from people but honestly my 3.5 has been great for b/g shading and that's what I use it for along with some sub 7 lining for dimension/depth. But considering its on the upper end of that price range there are better choices for a more rounded machine imo.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

For a good rotary starter, get the Storm. It's only like $150 and I use it for everything. I use the adjustable one for lining even sometimes. Whatever you do, avoid the Stealth - mine shiat on me the second week and those assholes at wwt would not replace or fix for me. The stealth has the right idea but the storm execution is better. hits a little harder too. IF you got the money, then neotat or bishop or even the Diablo is good. Anyways just my 2 pennies in the jar.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

I myself am thinking of going for a rotary machine now and ditching the coils, I used my co workers bishop rotary and I tell you I am dying to buy my own asap when they come back into stock at the site we buy from. All this talk of tradition is a bit silly really, why make it about tradition? You want to produce the best work you can and do it to the best of your ability not have it take a longer time with a worse outcome, if you want tradition do handpoked tattoos.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

Spektra edge x is the shit. You can set everything exactly how you want it. Adjustable give on the fly and has adjustable stroke length. It really is the most versatile rotary available. I think mine has lifetime warranty aswell.
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RE:whats a good rotary starter

Im selling FK Spektra direkt rotary machine (original) 300 eu unwanted gift from my boss used it for a month it works perfect still I warranty. If interested email me.
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