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What Is A Bugpin Tattoo Needle

Double Stack Magnum Shader Needles

Tattoo Review: Bugpin’s vs Standard Needles.

Not as current as they maybe once were. The pins on double stack magnums, or double stacks, are packed much more tightly together. This helps for any intricate shading or colour work where you still want it to perform as a magnum with many pins but not as spread out.

Commonly Used for: Shading and colour packing. Black and grey. Colour realism. Japanese. Traditional and neo-traditional. Tribal. Samoan.

Why Is Needle Taper Important

The taper of the needle affects the amount of ink that can flow from the needle.

The longer the taper, the less ink can be distributed. This means the tattoo will take longer and require more passes, leaving you with the risk of chewing out the skin. However, when working on delicate details or going for precise lining, a longer tapered needle allows an artist to have more control over how the ink is put into the skin. This slower distribution of ink allows you to build up layers and create smoother blends.

While a little less precise, short tapered needles are considered the industry standard because they allow for a steady flow of ink and efficiently pack colour into the skin without the need to constantly go back over an area.


Every tattoo needle type has pros and cons. And while some needles are better at certain jobs than others, there are no real rules to which needle you should use. You can still achieve those same effects with other needles. Much of your choice will come down to your personal preference.

What Size Liner Should You Use

  • Needle count determines your line weight. Its important to vary the line weights in your tattoo to provide contrast. This will make the most impactful parts of the design stand out and make the image readable even from far away.
  • Its best to use two to three different sized-liners to achieve this contrast. We recommend three for big tattoos and two for smaller tattoos.


Smaller lines are easier to get into the skin, as fewer needles means less resistance from the skin. However, they are harder to keep straight and easier to blow out. Larger lines are harder to get into the skin, but are easier to keep straight.

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Curved Magnum Shader Needles

Curved magnum shaders also known as soft magnums, soft edge magnums and round magnums are used in the same way except the pins are arranged so they arch at the centre. Meaning the edges of the needle run along the skin with more conformity, allowing for better dispersal of ink and a more consistent line. Its also less damaging to the skin and helps with soft shading.

Commonly Used for: Black and grey. All types of shading and colour packing. Colour realism. Japanese. Traditional and neo-traditional. Tribal. Samoan.

Different Types Of Tattoo Needles

Tattoo Needles Set Black Rotary

It is not too complicated to understand the types of tattoo needles. Here, I am going to give you a clear idea about this topic. The basic categories of needles are: round, magnum, flat and bugpin. To hold these needles, you would need cartridges that are capable of it. The details of them are given below.

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Best Tattoo Needles Of 2023

This article is all about Tattoo Needles. Here, we are going to review the best tattoo needles in 2020.

No matter whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional in tattooing, you can not operate & archive great results without a perfect set of needles.

The needle is the most often used equipment in tattooing.

Where high quality, bright ink will offer you a polished shiny tattoo, the needles will help you achieve the eye-catching result, thats why needles are super crucial.

There are hundreds of brands in the market patent that they are the manufacturer of the best tattoo needles across the globe, but how can you trust them?

If you are new at tattooing & dont know much about it, then finding the perfect set of needles will be a challenging task for you.

For your convenience, our team of professionals shortlisted ten best sets of tattoo needles from hundreds of options on different shopping websites after the comprehensive research of 72 hours.

We discuss with different tattoo artists, understand their needs, various aspects of shedding, and inlining then shortlisted below-featured needles.

How Tattooing With Bugpins Is Different

When youre tattooing with bugpins, you have to be extra careful about causing damage to the skin.

Because they allow you to have more needles in a smaller area, its easy to accidentally slice up the skin. However, they will create a crisper and clearer line, which is important if youre working with super tiny details like eyelashes.


We recommend turning your voltage down when switching from a standard to a bugpin needle to avoid extra trauma to the skin.


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Most Common Tattoo Needle Diameters

  • #12 0.35mm: These needles, called Standard needles, allow the artist to pick up a good amount of ink during the tattoo.
  • #10 0.30mm: Also known as Double Zeroes, #10 needles are a bit smaller than their #12 counterpart and cause less trauma to the skin while still allowing for more ink than a #8 needle.
  • #08 0.25mm: These tightly-packed tattoo needles produce a finer effect on the skin. They are often called Bugpins.

Types Of Tattoo Needles And Their Uses

Bugpin Needles – Tattoo University

Tattoo needles are the most important part of a tattoo machine, whether it be a rotary or coil tattoo machine. These are inserted into the machine and contain the ink into it. If you are a beginner, the various types of needles may confuse you. Tattoo needles come in different sizes and different styles. Each of the needles has different work to do. So, if you dont know the types of needles properly, you may not use them when making a tattoo and you would end up in failure.

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Our Top Picks For Best Tattoo Needles

Here is a quick summary for the impatient ones before we begin looking into each of the tattoo needles.

This YILONG 200pcs Tattoo Needles will be the best option for you if you are searching for a set of tattoo needles for different types of tattooing. Among 200pcs, 100pcs are of liner & 100pcs are of shader.

15Pc 7M1

All the needles in this set are crafted from high-quality medical-grade stainless steel 316L safety material each needle is placed in an individual sterile blister it is 100% sterilized to protect from being injected.

The needles are specially engineered to deliver more ink with less, which is great for lines work or coloring, you will always get superior quality with it, the needles are burr-free & extremely sharp.

YILONG 200pcs tattoo needles are rated as 5 stars on Amazon by hundreds of happy customers all across the globe.

  • Pretty decent and made well
  • Well packaged and a good variety
  • Made from safety material
  • People complain that few needles are missing in the set

This set of 100 needles is from YUELONG, which is one of the most trusted & professional tattoo equipment companies. All the needles are pre-sterilized with EO Gas & packed in CE approved individual packaging.

In order to satisfy different types of tattooing needs, set contain needles of mixed size, including 3RL,5RL,7RL,9RL, 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, 9RS,7M1,9M1 , you can use each needle for single time only.

  • Single use only.

Each box comes with the following qty.

  • For one-time use only

Straight Unbent And Sharp

It is imperative to check whether the needles are straight, unbent, and sharp. If you delivered with crooked, bent, or dull, then those needles are useless for you. It can cause significant damage to skin & not even distribute the ink evenly.

So check the reviews of the consumer before placing an order.

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Black Jack Bugpin Curved Magnum Cartridge Needles

  • Precise assembly positioning to secure needle force down the tip.
  • High quality PC plastic shell material ensures tips will not break down with needle friction.
  • Specific membrane tension allows for maximum ink flow while avoiding overworking your machine.
  • Needle stabilizer for precise application.
  • Individual sterile blister pack.
  • Compatible with all standard cartridge system grips and machines.
  • Every cartridge is inspected and manufactured with careful attention to quality.
  • 20 Cartridges per Box

Size Difference Between Bugpins And Standards

Tattoo Needles

Bugpins are thinner, which means they will show up smaller in the skin than a standard needle. Anytime you use a bugpin, you can think of it as a two-needle difference from the standard diameter.


There are some cartridge brands that will put the standard size on the individual cartridges. So you might buy a box of 1007RL, but there will be a 5 listed on the individual cartridges. They do this in case you are using both standards and bugpins in a tattoo and lose track of which needle is a bugpin. This way, you can rely on the standard sizes.

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Which Tattoo Needles Are Used For What

Larger flat needles can be used for colour fills and shading as they deliver more ink quickly with just one pass. Flat needles are good for intricate shading such as in geometric patterns and some mandala work. Flat shader needles are also common in semi-permanent makeup. Commonly Used for: Some line work.

Examine The Tip Of The Needle

Depending on the brand, the tip of the cartridge that surrounds the needle might have a slightly different shape. Of course, you can choose between open or closed tips, but there can also be variations in the thickness and design.

Over time, you may develop a preference for the style of tip you use with different needle configurations. Check to make sure that you’re comfortable tattooing with that particular tip.

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Bugpin Needles For Tattoo Advantages

In the tattooing industry, the individual needles are referred to as pins. There are a few different types of pins, and each configuration again, does something different. The needles used in tattoo originated from bug pins, sewing machine needles, and beading needles. Each of these of these types have different tips and sharpness. The most common metal used for tattooing is 304 stainless steel wire with a diameter of .33mm to .36mm and an average length of 30mm, each type can be polished or left course. 304 grade stainless steel is normally preferred due to its stronger resistance to corrosion. The polished pins are a little smoother so they don’t over work the skin as bad. The course pins are fairly new the idea is that leaving the needles a little course will help put the pigment under the skin. I have not used this myself, but I have heard many good reports. You can also fine pins made from carbon, these I do not recommend. The carbon is hard to work with and almost impossible to autoclave without specific carbon friendly autoclaving equipment. Running carbon needles in a standard autoclave will result in tarnishing or even rusting.

7 Mag 7 Mag stackcd 4 Flat

Needle Configurations


Frame and Upper Frame arm


. Spring Saddle

Become A Tattoo Artist With The Artist Accelerator Program

âTATTOO NEEDLES EXPLAINED.â? Choose the correct needle for lining, shading, Color packing and MORE ð¤

Having a career in tattooing is not only fulfilling, but its also the most stable way to make a living as an artist. However, for decades, the process to become a tattoo artist has been notoriously difficult.

The apprenticeship process requires aspiring tattoo artists to work 50-60 hours a week without pay for 2-4 years. That, combined with the toxic culture of abusing apprentices, makes getting into the industry almost impossible for newcomers.

Thats why we created the Artist Accelerator Program. Our online course provides a simple, structured way of learning to tattoo that has been proven to work by over 2500 successful students, with many of them having gone on to open their own shops all around the world.

Inside the program, well take you through every step of the tattooing process in 9 clear, easy-to-follow modules and support you along the way within the Tattooing 101 Mastermind online community.

In the Mastermind group, youll collaborate with other students, get answers to your questions, and receive personalized video feedback on your artwork and tattoos from professional tattoo artists. With this friendly community of both new and experienced tattoo artists, youll never be stuck again.

When you join the Artist Accelerator Program, youll have instant access to the full course and the Mastermind community, as well as our 30-Day Flash Challenge and recorded interviews with tattoo artists from all over the world.

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Why Is Tattoo Needle Count Important

Needle count determines how big the needle will be. For example, a 12 03 RL will produce very fine lines that are great for delicate linework or tiny details. Alternatively, a 12 14 RL will produce a much thicker line that will create the strong outline you would want to see in a bold traditional tattoo.

Round Magnum Bugpin Legacy Tattoo Needle Cartridges

The Round Magnums are made with our long taper bug pin needles like our Round Shaders.

After years of study, we are finally releasing Legacy Tattoo Needle Cartridges. Now you can get our famous quality tattoo needles in the convenient cartridge form.

These are the same tattoo needles that you have loved for more than a decade manufactured by us. Most other cartridges on the market are simply molded in another color and then put in a companies box and sold. Ever wonder why most of them seem to be the same, it is because they are.

Utilizing our most popular sizes on traditional needles to get you the results that you and your clients deserve. We will be adding more groupings as time goes on. Please let us know what sizes you would like to see that are not currently available.

20 pieces per box

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What Measurement Is A Bugpin Needle

Tattoo needles come in three different diameters: 12, 10, and 8.

12 is the standard size, and it is used for most tattoo styles.

10 is a bit smaller than the standard size, and they are technically called double zeros. However, when tattoo artists say bugpins, they usually mean a needle with this diameter.

8-gauge needles are the smallest option. These are actually bugpin needles . However, tattoo artists rarely use these.


Why Is Diameter Important

Tattoo Needles

A needles diameter controls how much ink is picked up and distributed into the skin. Changing the diameter of your needles not only affects how much trauma you cause to the skin, but also how quickly and smoothly you can put ink into the skin.

  • Thinner needles allow you to build up more layers by putting less ink into the skin with each pass. This leads to smoother blends. But, because they distribute less ink, they will slow you down.
  • Larger needles distribute more ink, allowing you to pack ink into the skin faster. However, because each needle in the configuration is larger, they will cause more trauma to the skin with each pass.

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What Is Needle Count

The needle count refers to the total number of individual needles/sharps that make up the whole needle. The higher the count, the bigger the needle will be. Because most configurations lend themselves to odd numbers, youll almost always see the needle count as an odd number: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.

Needle counts can go up to numbers like 27 or even into the forties. However, these are rare and most machines do not have the power needed to move a needle that size well enough to puncture skin . When preparing a needle, ensure your machine can handle the needle count and effectively push the ink into your clients skin.

How Do I Decide Which Tattoo Needle To Use

Once you decide on a design, youll need to figure out what you need to accomplish with the diameter of your needle. If youre looking to pack in solid colour, youd pick a standard #12. If you need tiny details or want to get ultra-smooth blends by building up lots of layers , go with a bugpin.

Tattoo needle sizes will make a difference

Not only are #12 needles larger than #10, the spaces between the needles within their configuration are larger as well. So, while a 12-15-M1 needle will allow you to add colour to a large area quickly, a 10-15-M1 will be slightly smaller even though it has the same needle count because its needles are packed closer together. This will slow you down because the needle wont be as big and will put less ink in the skin, but it will also provide a smoother colour application on the skin. This applies to all tattoo needles: liners, flats, etc.

Knowing what each of these needles does best will help you decide which one to use on a client. Choosing the right tattoo needle can be difficult at first and requires lots of practice. Once you get a feel for how each needle performs, youll know which one you need without much thought.

Its always best to think through which tattoo needles youll need before starting on a tattoo. This will eliminate guesswork and ensure you have everything you need at your station .

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Can Tattoo Needle Hit Vein

Tattoos involve applying pressure on your skin with a needle, which can rupture the vein, making it bleed into the surrounding tissue and cause an infection , she says. If you have varicose veins, Chimento goes on to explain, this could make things worse and result in veins that protrude even further.

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