Coil as well as Rotary machines are both machines with their own excellent characteristics, but it is a necessity to know the difference between the two of them. This will help you identify which of the machines best suits your needs.
In general, Coil and Rotary machines both offer you the possibility of carrying out any type of work you want to do (from linework to shading and color packing). The biggest differences between them are in terms of maintenance, user comfort, and durability. Below, I will explain in a direct and simple way some of the most important differences.
Coil machines are more durable in terms of aging, but these machines need more maintenance and calibration. When a coil machine is in the hands of someone with the right knowledge, this is not a big problem. This is why it is a good idea to learn how to calibrate coil machines when owning one. When the machine has the correct geometry and quality of materials, this will also help to improve consistency and reduce maintenance.
One of the great characteristics of coil machines is the way to hitting the skin, this hit produces a greater injection of pigment per stroke, therefore offering greater saturation immediately. This however also will be determined by the artist’s hand, your technique, the calibration and the type of needles you are working with.
The springs of coil machines have a useful durability, which will also vary depending on the calibration and the type work it will be used for. Specific springs are used for specific types of work, and cannot be replaced by other springs that do not have the same characteristics. It is okay to change to another type of spring in the case that you want to change the machine’s use, but it is not recommended if you want to keep using your machine for the same purpose as before.
Definitively, the maintenance of coil machines calls for an artist who has dedicated himself to studying and understanding them, which would ensure their consistency and quality of work for many years. They have great advantages such as their ability to easily adapt to any type of skin thickness, They work excellently on different levels of fat, which is why coil machines are excellent in areas that are difficult to tattoo such as the abdomen, near bones, etc.
Unlike a rotary machine, coil machines do not vary much in speed by changing the voltage. What does change is the force of the machine. Smooth shading or solid color packing can be made by simply changing the voltage, avoiding damage and helping to make smooth finishes.
On the other hand, rotating machines do not vary much in force by changing the voltage. The force is determined by the specific motor that the machine has. Each rotating machine will have its own characteristics, like revolutions per minute and the torque force. These are very important differences to understand between a coil machine and a rotary machine.
Rotary machines are excellent machines for everyday use, as they do not require much maintenance. Their durability depends on the quality of the motor. One of the great advantages of rotating machines is their consistency without the need of tune from the artist, especially when using machines with high quality bearings and motors. The body of a rotating machine also can include a variation of materials without affecting its performance.
Rotating machines are excellent for any type of work (such as linework, shading and color packing), but their usage can be amplified by using the appropriate needles for your type of work.
As mentioned before, the force of rotating machines do not vary much by changing the voltage. They always produce a constant force, which is a great advantage for certain tattoo techniques such as dot work. This is much more difficult to achieve with coil machines as they can slow down a lot and keep hitting very hard, but increasing the voltage also produces very solid results. When creating soft tones and solid colors, direct machines are very useful, as they directly transfer the striking force of the motor to the needle. Rotating machines are usually very practical and easy to use. All you have to do is to create art.