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About Tattoo Needles

Tattoo Needles Explained

Each of our stick and poke tattoo kits contains needles. They range in size and all have their specific use. This page will explain all the needle types, what there for, and how their used.

Types of Needles

Round Liner (RL): Round liner needles are for lining and outlining the designs. These are tightly grouped needles, organised in a circular form.

Round Shader (RS): Round shader needles are for shading. These are needle points organised in a circular form, but not as tightly grouped as a round liner.

Magnum Shader (MS): Magnum shaders are for shading large areas. These are needle points commonly grouped in two straight rows.

Flat (F): Flat needles are for shading geometric designs.

Sizes and what they mean

The number of needle points clustered together is indicated by the number before the needle type. For example, a 3RL would be 3 needle points, and a 9MS would be 9 needle points.

The smaller the number, the smaller the mark. A 1rl is the smallest needle available, but can be hard to work with. In our kits, 3rl is the smallest needle in our kits. 5RL is the next biggest after 3RL and the size of the line will increase all the way up to 20RL.

Needle Taper

This is how much the needles taper toward the end. A standard taper for a tattoo needle is 1.5mm. A taper can go all the way to 8mm. The longer the taper, the more likely it is to be used to lots of shading because it causes less trauma to the skin.

Needle Thickness

The standard thickness for a tattoo needle is 0.35mm. This is classified as ‘12’ on a pack. The reason tattoo needles have varying diameters, is because the ink will flow faster down a wider diameter needle but not as accuracy.