Whether you’re just starting in the tattoo industry or you’re looking for an upgrade for your studio, an all-in-one tattoo kit will help you get there. Tattoo kits contain all you need to jump head-first into tattooing, including guns, needles, machinery, and sometimes ink.
We’ve read the reviews and spoken to the experts, bringing you the top tattoo kits available with a complete rundown of their features.
Quick glance at the best tattoo kits:
Table of Contents (clickable)
It’s hard to go wrong with a Dragonhawk Tattoo Supply product, and while they have numerous kit options, the basic Atom Pen edition was our favorite for many reasons.
Pen guns are great because they are versatile; they’re convenient for beginner tattooers because they’re easier to hold and require little maintenance, and they’re great for professionals because they allow for more precise and intricate details.
This tattoo kit in particular has numerous essentials and high-quality tools we’ve come to expect from Dragonhawk Tattoo Supply. Though it has a smaller setup than most of the others on our list, we find the quality to be much better. All you really need is a batch of good inks and you’re ready to start tattooing.
A tattoo made with the Dragonhawk kit.
This machine has low noise, a stable, lightweight, and comfortable usage design, and can be used with absolutely any cartridge needles. This kit is great practice for beginners while a new favorite for professionals.
Artists love it, saying, “As an apprentice, I’ve worked with coil & rotary machines. I knew the pen was new and this version is a great starter. It definitely improved my work drastically. I’ve put in well over 10 tattoos with this gun and it’s still going strong. It’s very light and quiet. Skin takes the ink so well. It’ll improve any line work if you have trouble with that. I also love shading with it!”
Price Range: $$
If coil guns are more your scene, you may want to grab a Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Pro. If you’re training to work with coil guns, you may also want to give this kit a try. At an extremely impressive price point that has two guns for lining and shading, you can’t go wrong.
This machine is very easy to use with a foot pedal, an easily adjustable power supply, and gorgeous steel cast metal guns with copper coils. Included in the kit are links to instructional videos to help you get set up and dive into tattooing with your new coil guns. It even comes with a practice skin to get you ready!
A tattoo made with the Dragonhawk Coil kit.
First time tattooers love this kit, saying, “These guns are awesome. The link to the instructional videos [are] easy enough and the videos are super easy to understand. I'm really happy with my purchase. I'm new to this and I'm really happy I got a good kit the first time around.”
Price Range: $
The Solong Tattoo kit is beyond impressive. It contains four coil guns that cover lining, shading, and filler designs, and an outstanding selection of 54 bottles of colored ink. This is far more than most of the other kits available online!
The guns themselves are all handmade carbon steel and are tested prior to shipment. They’re lightweight and easy to work with, with minimal noise and vibration for a coil gun. The inks in the pack are all vegan friendly inks by True Black Tattoo Ink.
In addition, all the extra goodies in this package truly simplify the tattooing process, especially for beginners just diving into the field.
A tattoo made with the Solong Tattoo kit.
Reviews for this kit are very positive as well, with artists saying, “For the price you cannot beat it. It definitely can be used in a professional setting. Within 15 minutes I was set up and inking up. There was no problem with overheating. Only used one gun so far to do a 7-hour tattoo. Machine performed excellent[ly] . . . I highly recommend this kit.”
Price Range: $$
ITATOO advertises this kit as ideal for beginners, packed with essential supplies and a helpful online guide that will assist you in diving into the world of professional tattooing. In addition, they stress that their customer service is top-notch, so if any issue arises, they are eager to solve it for you. They also offer replacements if any of the machine parts are damaged or break down.
This kit only comes with one coil which they advertise as a shader and liner, but we believe this specific coil is best only for lining tattoos. It is lightweight and has minimal vibrations which makes for a more comfortable tattooing experience.
This kit is one of the lowest cost kits on our list, and is a great way to begin practicing with a coil gun.
Script written with the ITATOO kit.
Beginners feel that the ITATOO kit is a safe bet for their new practice, saying, “Honestly I was hesitant to buy this, but thanks to the copious amounts of wonderful reviews I made the purchase and I do not regret it in the slightest. This is a wonderful tool for beginners and I highly recommend it. It’s nice to know that there are beginner options out there for people like me who are just starting off and learning the swing of things.”
Price Range: $ - very inexpensive
You will most definitely look like a pro when you pull out your Grinder tattoo kit by Pirate Face Tattoo, which has everything you need to dive into learning the basics, while also being impressive enough for a more professional user. The kit was assembled with professional artists in mind.
One big selling point for Pirate Face Tattoo is that their kits include, “USA Made Tattoo Brand Ink by Radiant Colors. Don't be fooled by cheaper tattoo kits which include Chinese Made tattoo ink which is unsafe to use!” But even better than all that is that the kit includes a 240-page instructional book and a 2-hour “Welcome to Tattoo'' DVD. There is no better way to learn than with thorough material such as this!
A tattoo done on fake skin with the Grinder kit.
Tattoo professionals see this as a go-to kit for their apprentices, saying, “I was a bit hesitant to order this kit for my son (he's apprenticing under me), but was pleasantly surprised with it. The machines are quality built, and with a little bit of tuning, they hum like a swarm of happy bees... A great kit for any beginner, and I was truly impressed.”
Price Range: $$$
STIGMA has created a kit that includes a small, lightweight, low noise, low vibration pen that provides safe and smooth tattooing. Although this kit is less well known, it packs a serious punch that has beginners and professionals with apprentice learners raving.
STIGMA uses a Japanese motor which means you won’t experience overheating for long tattoo sessions. It’s best suited for more precise line work and has a tattoo grip bandage included in order to ensure maximum comfort for the artist.
For a beginner rotary pen, people love STIGMA, saying, “Right from the packaging down to the power source and the machine are so professional! First time I used it was for around 5 hours and it is my first pen experience! The hours flew through! Quiet and low vibration!”
Price Range: $
Wormhole has put together an absolutely incredible rotary pen kit that is made from premium aluminum alloy, with an impressive motor, and an advanced gear system that will have you tattooing with ease. With a one year warranty, Wormhole will provide you with a replacement or repair should anything go wrong with your purchase.
This pen is lightweight and quiet, and can be used with any cartridge needles. The ergonomic design makes it great for beginners searching for the most comfortable tattooing tool, or professionals who want a smooth gun alternative.
Wormhole provides a thorough online guide for setup and tattooing, and people find themselves able to grab this kit and get started without any issues.
Someone’s first tattoo done with the Wormhole pen kit.
Reviewers seem to love the ease of the cartridge needles, saying, “. . .The setup is quicker and easier. You are definitely getting your value worth and then some with this unit. … The needle cartridges are ingenious. Sharp, accurate, smooth and worth every cent. Pop it in, twist it and get right to work. No more fumbling with long needles, securing them with rubber caps or continual readjustments to keep them from penetrating too deep or not far enough.”
Price Range: $
If you are looking to dive into the world of poke and stick tattooing, this kit by Wormhole might be exactly what you need. Poke and stick is the most traditional form of tattooing, and Wormhole makes it easy with this complete set of instructions and tools.
Wormhole includes pattern templates and fake skin to help beginners and new learners start their poke and stick educational journey, and even emphasizes that their needles are sterilized individually while also checked by a microscope prior to packaging and delivery.
The kit comes with a careful and easy to understand manual that will help clarify how to set up the kit, as well as a step-by-step instruction on how to do a poke and stick tattoo. You can use the fake skin that comes with the kit to practice, but many people have complained that it’s too thin to be realistic.
A tattoo made with the Poke and Stick kit by Wormhole.
Though not recommended for large or complicated designs, people say that this Poke and Stick kit by Wormhole is, “. . . so good. I just wanted a starter stick and poke kit and this literally has everything you need, from a pen to sketch out your designs, to a razer. I love this and I think it is so worth the money. Overall really good and I’m very impressed.”
Price Range: $ - very inexpensive
With over 3,200 five-star ratings, we are not the only ones who think that Dragonhawk’s Atom Pen kit is the best of the best.
There are a few things we loved about this kit:
The reviews with this machine are also incomparable to the others on our list and this machine was even mentioned on the show Ink Masters. Whether you’re just looking to practice your craft at home or hoping to bring your work into a shop, this kit gets praise from everyone on the tattooing skill spectrum.
A complete tattoo kit is definitely an investment, and whether you’re getting it to begin your professional tattooing journey or adding another tool to your toolbox. Here are a few factors we consider when selecting our favorites.
We only selected brands we trusted to make our best-of list, as there are many knock-off or no-name brands available for purchase. Even if you are only testing out your skills on fake skin, you want the best quality equipment in your back pocket, and you want something that is durable, won’t overheat, and will create consistent work over time.
We like a thorough kit that won’t have you dipping too much into your budget in order to get everything you need. Needles, extra accessories, prep essentials, and additional items help make a good value-to-price point ratio for us. Though our favorite kit contains the bare minimum, it’s of the best quality so it’s absolutely worth it.
We do think it is a rule of thumb to always invest in high-quality ink, because the ink that is often paired with kits is best for fake skin and practice but doesn’t hold well in real skin. In addition, hygienic supplies are not included in these kits (other than gloves) so you should look to purchase disinfectants, soap, and more.
Depending on your tattoo style and tool preference, we included something on this list for everyone. Whether you’re more comfortable with coil guns, pens, or wish to dip your toes into poke and stick tattooing, you’ll find a kit that suits you best.
With this, we wanted to include items in every price range. Some kits in our list are truly inexpensive, but if you wish to have a more professional experience, consider investing in some of the more expensive kits. None of them will have you breaking the bank, but some require a bit more budgeting, especially if you’re just starting out.
Along with our own experience, we do thorough research into the experiences of others with these particular tattoo kits. While not everyone will have a 5-star love of a product, we look carefully at artistry skill levels, constructive feedback, and criticism, and this helps influence what we add to our list.
Choosing the best tattoo kit depends on your own needs, skill level, and tool preference. Get a feel for different machines through artist friends before investing in your own. You want a machine that is within your budget but will produce high-quality results. And you should ensure that you have extensive practice on fake skin before moving on to tattooing yourself or others.