Best Tattoo Cartridges: Here’s What To Look For is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

As a tattoo artist, it’s not always easy choosing the best quality product. With the number of options on the market, it’s no wonder that many find it difficult to decide between brands. This is true for anything from tattoo machines right through to tattoo needle cartridges. 

Thankfully, we’re here to help. 

If you bought a good-quality tattoo machine it’s obvious that you want to use only the best tools to enhance your tattoo skill. That is commendable; however, if you don’t match the quality of the tattoo needles to your machine, then your tattoos will fall short, and your client’s skin may suffer. 

Tattoo cartridge needles are the preferred choice for many tattoo artists because it is gentler on the skin. This means tattoos heal faster and this is great since the sooner the skin closes, the less chance there is of bacteria causing an infection that can lead to scarring or a less-vibrant tattoo. 

Another thing that makes tattoo cartridge needles a great choice is that it holds more ink. You won’t have to stop mid-stroke to grab more ink but can continue clear, bold lines in a single stroke. Fat and efficient, right?

If you’re wondering if this type of tattoo needle will work on your machine, you’ll be happy to read that cartridge tattoo needles match with rotary and coil tattoo machines, as well as tattoo pens.  

5 Best Tattoo Cartridges Overview

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5 Best Tattoo Cartridges

1. Dragonhawk Tattoo 20Pcs Extreme Cartridges (1209RL)

Dragonhawk is a big name in the tattoo industry. They’re known for their quality tattoo machines and tattoo kits. When it comes to their tattoo cartridges, their reputation stays intact. These standard 9 round liner tattoo cartridges are reliable and super versatile—you can use them for all tattoo styles you can think of! 

You’ll be getting a one-piece needle and plunger over-mold, which ensures optimal stability and control. Your client’s skin will thank you, believe us!

The tattoo cartridges also come with a membrane mechanism that stops ink spit-back so you can say goodbye to ink wastage! This membrane and the indentation of the tip makes more fluid tattooing a reality. It also helps with ink flow and saturation. 

As a bonus, the cartridges are transparent so you can see the amount of ink in the nozzle—no guessing when to stop for a refill! 

When it comes to compatibility, you can use it on all rotary, coil, and pen-style tattoo machines. 

Why choose Dragonhawk?

  • Comes with an indentation that helps with ink flow and saturation.
  • Cartridges have a membrane mechanism that prevents ink spit-back. 
  • Company offers a money-back guarantee. 

2. Pirate Face Tattoo Assorted Needle Cartridges

Pirate Face is a well-known manufacturer of tattoo equipment and accessories. Their products are of good quality and highly affordable. 

In this tattoo cartridge kit, you get an assortment of sizes and shapes. Included in the mix are round liners, round shiners, and magnum needles. The gathering on all liner needles is nice and tick, which makes precision lining straightforward. 

Each tattoo cartridge comes individually wrapped and bundled in a sterile pack. 

Pirate Face sells some of the best tattoo cartridges at an affordable price. Furthermore, they’re compatible with all rotary and toil type machines. 

Why choose these tattoo cartridges?

  • Made by an established brand. 
  • You get different sizes and shapes.
  • Needles are sterilized and safely packaged. 

3. Mast Pro Cartridge Tattoo Needles (1209RL)

These tattoo cartridges are made from high-density plastic with the perfect tension to keep your tattoo machine performing at its best. These needles are reliable and you can use them for any kind of tattoo style. 

The body of these tattoo cartridges is easy to flush out since it is made from purple see-through plastic. 

It also comes with a membrane mechanism to avoid ink spit- back. The corners of the tattoo cartridge are at the right angle to reduce distortion. 

All-in-all, Mast Pro tattoo cartridges belong in the “best of the best” category. They’re manufactured by Dragonhawk so you can expect the same quality and attention to detail. 

Why choose Mast Pro as the best tattoo cartridges on the market?

  • They’re made from high-density plastic. 
  • You can use the needles for any tattoo style. 
  • It’s easy to clean when changing colors. 
  • Cartridge is formed to reduce distortion. 

4. Stigma Standard Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridges (1209RL)

Stigma belongs on the best tattoo cartridge list because it is designed by tattoo artists with their peers in mind. It’s made from 304 surgical stainless steel and medical-grade plastic. Furthermore, it is E.O. sterilized and comes in a blister pack. 

The round needles have a slope on the tip, while the flat tips have been designed with an arc. This not only helps with penetrating the skin but also makes completing intricate tattoos a breeze. The cartridges are also rubber-band loaded and have the same plastic membrane mechanism many other cartridges use to prevent ink from flowing back into the tube. 

These needles are compatible with any standard tattoo machine and grips. 

Why choose Stigma?

  • Needles were designed by tattoo artists. 
  • Designed to prevent ink flow-back into the tube. 
  • E.O. sterilized. 
  • Made from 304 surgical stainless steel and medical-grade plastic. 

5. ATOMUS Assorted Tattoo Needle Cartridges

In this kit, you get 100 tattoo cartridges of various shapes and sizes. You get 10 pieces of each 3L, 5RL, 7RL, 9 RL, 3RS, 5RS, 9RS, 5M1, 7M1. 

The cartridges have semi-transparent tips that make it easier for you to see where the needle is striking, and where you should head next. 

Instead of using an iron spring, the cartridge comes with elastic silicone gel. You will be surprised what a smooth line you can get using the gel and not the spring. You’ll also be happy to read that these tattoo cartridges hold more ink than those of competitors. 

As a brand, ATOMUS is much loved by permanent makeup artists. That speaks volumes about the trust these professionals have in the performance ability of these tattoo needle cartridges. Definitely gets their “best tattoo cartridge” stamp of approval. 

Also, you can use these tattoo cartridges on various rotary, coil, or pen-style tattoo machines. 

Why choose ATOMUS tattoo needle cartridges?

  • Semi-transparent tips make finding your way easier. 
  • Uses high-elasticity silicone gel and not an iron spring.
  • Endorsed by permanent makeup artists the world over. 
  • Holds more ink than other tattoo needle cartridges. 

That covers our top five best tattoo cartridges, but let’s look at some things you should look out for before buying. 

Tattoo Cartridges: Here’s What To Look For

To help you figure out if you’re about to buy the best tattoo cartridge, you have to look at quality, design, and safety. 

Quality is important for obvious reasons. Using a substandard quality needle will tear your client’s skin to shreds. They surely won’t call on you to do their next tattoo if they’ve had an extra painful experience. Not to mention that their tattoo will heal, may scab, and leave a scar. You can also forget them sending any people your way to be tortured. 

Not all tattoo cartridges may be compatible with your tattoo machine. So, before you spend your hard-earned cash, make sure you’re buying needles designed to work on your tattoo machine

Your client’s safety is paramount. That is why you should check that the tattoo cartridges you buy are sterilized and come in tightly sealed packaging. Most needles on the market are pre-sterilized. To make sure, check for a blue dot on the packaging as confirmation. You’ll also find an expiration date on the package. 

Although versatility isn’t a dealbreaker, we think some of the best tattoo cartridges come in packs. You get different shapes and sizes to use right from the beginning through to the completion of your tattoo. These packs tend to be more affordable as well. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to look for in tattoo cartridges, you’re equipped to make an informed decision. You can use the list in this article as a guide or do your own research. 

Whatever you choose, make sure you buy only the best tattoo cartridges—your client’s skin and your reputation deserve nothing less. 

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