The 5 Best Tattoo Needles On The Market - Our Top Rated Reviews

Written by: Pete
Updated:

Needles can make or break both your experience tattooing and the quality of work going on your client. It’s important to invest a little bit in a first-rate needle, while also staying within your budget since they’re always single use. Tattoo artists need needles that have quick configurations and are optimized for the design need. Whether you use cartridge needles or standard needles with tips, we’ve rounded up our favorites to help make the buying process a little easier for you.

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Best Tattoo Needles Reviewed

Pirate Face Assorted Tattoo Needles - Our Pick!

Pirate Face Tattoo PFT 100 pcs Assorted Tattoo Needles - Round Liner, Round Shader, Magnum Needle - 100pk by Pirate Face Tattoo

Amazon 

We love the bang for your buck when it comes to this Pirate Face pack of needles. This 100 piece single-use pack has a very low price point with a wide variety of needle options.

They’re made with medical grade stainless steel, are individually packaged, and include an expiry date on each needle. The expiration date denotes when the pre-sterilization process that is performed on each needle wears off.

Tattoo artists have not only found these reliable for their rotary and coil machines, but also for individual stick and poke tattoos.

Customers are very satisfied with these needles, saying, “These needles came in a box neatly arranged, and all the needles were sealed well, and they were all sterilized. They had the date of when they were sterilized and when they were no longer safe to use. They were all very recently sterilized (2 months before purchase or so) and they lasted many years. There are many different kinds of needles in the box, so even if you don't know what you're looking for, everything you possibly need is there, so you can look at them up close and decide. When I used them they were very effective and I found nothing wrong with them at all. This was a great purchase.”

Contains:
100 pieces of mixed needles

  • Round Liners: 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL
    - 10 pieces each
  • Round Shaders: 3RS, 5RS, 7RS, 9RS
    - 10 pieces each
  • Magnum Shaders: 5M1, 7M1
    - 10 pieces each

Pros:

  • Medical grade stainless steel
  • Wide variety of needles for every design style
  • Useful for different tattoo methods
  • Sterilized
  • Individually blister packaged with expiration date

Cons:

  • If you use one tattoo needle more than others, you may not benefit from the mixed pack

BIG WASP Professional Cartridge Needles

BIGWASP Professional Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridge 7 Round Liner (7RL) 20Pcs

Amazon 

If you’re looking for a cartridge needle, you’ll want to check out BIG WASP. Keep in mind that for this brand’s pack, you’ll need to individually select which needle sizes you’ll need and can buy 20 of every size.

BIG WASP needles are made of surgical stainless steel and held in medical-grade plastic cartridges. These cartridges can be used in BIG WASP equipment, or any machines that accept standard sized cartridges, like most rotary and coil machines. The bonus of a cartridge is that you do not need a tube to use them, which eliminates one more sanitization step.

The cartridges are rubber band loaded, and contain a plastic membrane that prevents tattoo ink from flowing back into the tubes. This is great to prevent cross contamination issues. The needles are easy to switch out and configure themselves quickly into the machines they’re inserted into.

tattoos created by Big Wasp Tattoo Needles

Created with BIG WASP cartridge needles. 

These cartridges are loved by both beginners and experts in the industry. Reviewers state, “I absolutely love these needles. These needles are very impressive. I honestly cannot come up with a single bad thing to say about them except maybe color coding would be cool. [...] Brands with twice the price are not this consistently well made. Hands down, the best cartridge I have used in my 12+ year career as a professional tattoo artist. They are currently and for the foreseeable future, the only needles in my shop. Very well done.”

Contains:
20 pieces of selected needle type and size

Pros:

  • Medical grade stainless steel
  • Surgical grade plastic casing
  • Rubber band loaded cartridge
  • Plastic membrane to stop ink backflow
  • Can be used in most machines
  • Individually blister packaged

Cons:

  • You need to buy a pack for every size you need
  • Quite expensive for 20 needles
  • BIG WASP do not state if their needles are sterilized prior to packaging on their marketplace sites
  • Some complaints about loose needles in the cartridge

ACE Assorted Needles

ACE Tattoo Needles Kit 50 Mixed Assorted Sterile Tattoo Needles 6 Sizes - Round Liner 1 3 5 7 9 11 RL

Amazon 

ACE markets themselves as a premium and reliable brand for tattoo needles, where their products are crafted from the highest quality surgical stainless steel. In addition, they’re all pre-sterilized with ethylene oxide gas and have a color changing dot to indicate when the individual blister packages have been opened and are no longer sterile. This safety measure is quite impeccable.

Sterilization also comes with an expiration date that is marked on every package, and each needle has a standard loop bar that makes it easy to fit most tattooing tubes. They also can be used for single use stick and poke tattooing.

Reviewers think that with ACE needles you’re getting a great product for the cost, and say, “I ordered these tattoo needles and they work great. I ordered the 50 mixed assortment. They [...] were packaged securely. None of the needles were damaged or opened. It will take me quite some time to use these up [...]. I am completely satisfied with this product, the assortment sizes, and with the value.”

Contains:
50 pieces of a mixed needles

  • Round Liners: 1RL, 11RL
    - 5 pieces each
    3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL
    - 10 pieces each

Pros:

  • Surgical stainless steel
  • Sterilized with EO gas; includes a color changing indicator
  • Standard length and loops can be used in most machines and tubes
  • Individually blister packaged with expiration date

Cons:

  • You need to buy a pack for lining, shading, or coloring

Dragonhawk Black Needle Tubes

Dragonhawk 60 Counts Black Tattoo Needles Tubes with Matching Assorted

Amazon 

Dragonhawk is a tattoo brand that we know and love when it comes to making great quality tattooing equipment, and their black tattoo needle tubes are another impressive piece in their line. These needles come with a preinstalled comfortable tube grip that makes tattooing a breeze. This eliminates the sterilization step of a secondary tube.

They are made of durable stainless steel, and the grip is made from soft ABS plastic. Each needle is pre-sterilized and then inserted into individual blister packages.

Reviewers love the ease of use with these combination needles, saying, “This product far exceeded my expectations, every needle and tube combo were in pristine condition and every needle is sharp and burr-free. I would definitely recommend this product to the apprentice tattoo artist or even the seasoned professional; Dragonhawk produces A+ products, I will be ordering these again.”

Contains:
60 pieces of mixed needles

  • Round Liners: 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL
    - 6 pieces each
  • Round Shaders: 5RS, 7RS, 9RS
    - 6 pieces each
  • Magnum Shaders: 5M1, 7M1, 9M1
    - 6 pieces each

Pros:

  • Stainless steel
  • Combination needle with gripped tube
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Sterilized
  • Individually blister packaged
  • Pre-sterilized

Cons:

  • The needles are not sorted by size, so pay attention to the size indicated on each pack
  • Quite expensive
  • People who have a comfortable and familiar tube grip that they already use may find these wasteful

STIGMA Standard Needle Cartridges with Membrane

STIGMA #12(9RM) Standard Disposable Tattoo Needle Cartridges with Membrane Safety Cartridges for Tattoo Artists Curved/Round Magnum Shader Soft Edge 20Pcs Standard Pack EN05-20-1209RM

Amazon 

STIGMA is another trusted brand in the tattooing industry who has been making high-quality equipment that beginners and professionals all seem to love. In fact, their standard disposable needle cartridges have a membrane sterilized package that was designed specifically by tattoo artists.

These needles are EO sterilized and made of surgical stainless steel, sitting in medical grade plastic. They're rubber band loaded, with a membrane that prevents the backflow of ink into the cartridge.

They’re easy to use in machines that accept standard cartridges and snap in with ease. With a transparent needle port, you can easily monitor ink flow.

tattoo created by STIGMA tattoo needles

Created with STIGMA cartridge needles. 

Praised by the industry, these STIGMA cartridges have rave reviews, saying, “I have 17 years experience as a tattoo artist. I used to purchase all my needles and supplies through certified tattoo equipment affiliates. I stuck with popular brand products. I tried 6 different cartridge brands. [...] STIGMA cartridges work perfectly. I have never had a defective cartridge (some cheap brands will lock down after about an hour of tattooing). Stigma needles are consistent with industry sizes and quality. They have the extra barrier protection that meets Texas state requirements. When the state inspector came to the shop and manually checked all my equipment. They easily passed. But, I love the brand's quality. Clean straight lines, a large variety of sizes from standard to bugpin, proper sterilization and EO sealing, and great price.”

Contains:
20 pieces of selected needle type and size

Pros:

  • Stainless steel needles
  • Rubber band loaded cartridge
  • Plastic membrane to stop ink backflow
  • Can be used in most machines
  • Individually membrane sterilized and blister packaged
  • EO sterilization

Cons:

  • You need to buy a pack for every size you need
  • Quite expensive for 20 needles

Autdor Tattoo Needles and Tips Kit

Tattoo Needles and Tips Kit - Autdor 50pcs Disposable Mixed Tattoo Needles + 50pcs Mixed Disposable Tattoo Tips, 5pcs of each 3RL 5RL 7RL 9RL 5RS 7RS 9RS 5M1 7M1 9M1 3RT 5RT 7RT 9RT 5FT 7FT 9FT

Amazon 

This assortment of mixed needles by Autdor includes disposable tips, making for a simplified purchase with pre-sterilized and blister packaged materials. They’re sterilized with EO gas with clear indicators on the inside of the packaging regarding sterilization status. They are individually stamped with expiration dates, and have CE Approval packaging, as well.

The needles in this kit are made of stainless steel with a clean soldering. The tips are made with ABS plastic and have clear indicators to monitor ink flow. The size of each needle is indicated on the packaging as well as the needle tip, so there’s no confusion when switching out needles.

The Autdor kit is generally recommended as a beginner’s needle and tips set, and has an incredible price point for people looking to begin their apprentice needle work.

Contains:

50 ABS plastic tip pieces

  • Round Tip: 5RT, 7RT, 9RT
    - 10 pieces each
  • Flat Tip: 3RT, 5FT, 7FT, 9FT
    - 5 pieces each

50 pieces of mixed needles

  • Round Liners: 3RL, 5RL, 7RL, 9RL
    - 5 pieces each
  • Round Shaders: 5RS, 7RS, 9RS
    - 5 pieces each
  • Magnum Shaders: 5M1, 7M1, 9M1
    - 5 pieces each

Pros:

  • Kit combo makes for an economical purchase
  • Stainless steel needles
  • Pre-sterilized with EO gas; sterilization indicator on packaging
  • Useful for different tattoo methods
  • Applicable in most machines
  • Individually blister packaged with expiration date
  • Great price
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • If you use one tattoo needle more than others, you may not benefit from the mixed pack
  • Not many of each needle type

Our Pick - Pirate Face Assorted Tattoo Needles

Pirate Face is a brand name known in the tattooing industry, and professionals love these needle packs for a variety of reasons.

The mixed assortment is not only inexpensive but also allows you to have access to every style of needle you may need in your practice. Each needle is individually blister packed after going through a sterilization process. They’re then stamped with an expiration date to ensure you are using a product on your client that adheres to the strictest sanitization requirements.

Made from medical grade stainless steel and soldered to perfection, these needles have a smooth and controlled ink flow. In addition, these needles can be popped into a machine or used for impressive hand-done poke and stick tattoos.

With a price point that can’t be beat and the highest rating for tattoo needles on marketplaces like Amazon, Pirate Face is the trusted choice for your tattooing needs.

What We Consider When Selecting the Best Tattoo Needles

While many other tattooing sites may positively review any old cartridge or needle, we are very particular with what made our list because we keep a few important factors in mind.

Industry Conversation

The first thing we look for when considering what needles to recommend to our readers are the conversations and testimonials that people in the industry are saying about a product. If we notice that the top reviews for the needles are negative or concerning, we keep it out of our recommendations. We ensure that the needles that make the list are loved by beginners and professionals who are actually tattooing with them.

Variety

Whether you’re looking for cartridges, need something with a pre-installed grip, or only need some standard needles, we have something for everyone on our list. We know that every tattoo artist has their set up preference, so we kept that in mind with our recommendations, as well.

In addition, we selected brands that provide tattoo artists with a wide variety of needle options, from lining, shaders, and magnum shaders. What you will need will depend on your individual tattoo style, but all our recommended brands can meet those needs.

Budget

If you’ve only got the budget for an assortment pack or if you’re able to splurge on individual cartridge packs, you will find something that fits into your price point. In addition, no matter the cost, none of the needles that we favor skim out on quality.

Sterilization

The most important part of a single use needle is ensuring it is sterilized and packaged safely. The needles we selected have sterilization expiration dates, indicators, and use various sterilization processes. If there were significant warnings on websites about hygienic concerns regarding a brand, we kept it off our list.

Our Final Thoughts

Once you’ve gone ahead and purchased your needles, we want to remind you that it’s important to check every individual needle prior to use. This is why brands which include visual sterilization indicators are so helpful; you never know when a needle may have punctured it’s blister package and is then no longer sterile according to industry standards.

If you’re ever unsure, it’s far better to toss out the needle and grab another than to risk it. Using an unsterilized needle can lead to severe infection, and could also result in you facing a lawsuit. Considering all the items on our list are quite budget friendly, simply invest in a new set of needles and return any concerning products back to the manufacturer.

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