Are you thinking about getting a tattoo, but don’t know the specifics of how a tattoo gun works and what comes with it? If so, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about tattoos and provide tips on how many needles are in a tattoo gun.
Grouping and Needle Count
The most common number of needles found in a tattoo gun is three, but you could find one with as many as seven. Needles come in different sizes, and the amount varies depending on the design and size of your tattoo. Tattoo artists use needle codes to refer to different types of needle configurations or grouping; they are denoted by letters and numbers.
The most common needle code is ‘RL’ which stands for round liner and consists of three needles, while the letter ‘RS’ refers to a round shader and contains five needles. Other codes include F1 (flat shader), F2 (curved shader), and M1 (mag shading). However, the most important thing to remember when selecting a needle code is that it should be suited to your specific needs. 
The needles that make up the code also have their own abbreviations. The most common are RL (round liner) and RS (round shader). Additionally, there are also PS (pistol shader), FL (flat shaders), and F2 (curved shaders). When selecting a needle type, consider the design of your tattoo and the type of shading you are looking for.
The number at the end of the needle code indicates how many needles it contains. For example, RL3 consists of three round liners, while RL5 has five round liners. Generally speaking, more needles will provide a smoother result and less pain for the wearer. However, keep in mind that the number of needles can also affect the overall cost of your tattoo. 
Tattoo Needle Diameters
The diameter of a tattoo needle also helps determine the type of shading you can achieve. The most common diameters are 5, 7, 9, and 11 magnums, or M1s, which are used for thicker lines and larger tattoos. Smaller needles such as 3RLs and 5RLs are better suited for fine details and smaller tattoos.
When selecting a needle code, consider the size and design of your tattoo and how many needles you will need to achieve the desired results. Additionally, it’s important to ask your tattoo artist for advice on which needle code would work best for your specific project. 
Types of Tattoo Gun Needles
Round liner needle
The round liner is commonly used to create outlines, lines, and detail work. This needle configuration has a single row of needles that come together in a circle shape. The gauge ranges from 3RL-12RL, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
Round shader needle
The round shader needle is commonly used to fill in the larger areas of a tattoo. This needle configuration has multiple needles that come together in a circle shape. The gauge ranges from 5RS-14RS, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
Magnum Shader Needle
The magnum shader needle is used when more ink is needed for a larger area. This needle configuration has multiple needles that come together in a circular shape. The gauge ranges from 7M1-14M, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
Curved Magnum Shader Needle
The curved magnum shader needle is used to create smooth transitions and blend colors. This needle configuration has multiple needles that come together in a slightly curved shape. The gauge ranges from 7M1-14M, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
Flat Shader Needle
The flat shader needle is used to create shading and color gradients. This needle configuration has multiple needles that come together in a flat shape. The gauge ranges from 5F-14F, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
Double-Stack Magnum Shader Needle
The double-stack magnum shader needle is used to create more texture and blend colors. This needle configuration has multiple needles that come together in a circular shape, with two sets of needles stacked on top of each other. The gauge ranges from 7M1-14M, with the lower number being thicker and the higher number being thinner. 
How Many Needles Are There In The Needle Groups?
When it comes to tattoo needles, they usually come in groups. The most common needle group is the round liner. This group typically consists of 3-12 needles that are arranged in a circle configuration and held together by a housing unit, with each individual needle being connected to the power supply via its own corresponding connector.
The number of needles in a round liner group depends on the style of tattoo you are looking to create as each needle type is designed for specific needs. Generally, the more needles you have in a single group, the better control and smoother results you will achieve during your tattooing process. 
The second most popular needle group is the round shader. This type of needle also typically consists of 3-12 needles in a circular configuration and is held together by a housing unit. The difference between a round liner and a round shader is that, while both are designed to create lines, the round shader needles have a slightly curved tip which allows for a softer, more blended look as it creates its lines. 
Many professional tattoo artists will use 6-8 round shader needles for larger pieces, and 3-4 needles for smaller designs.
The third most popular needle is the magnum shader. This type of needle has a larger diameter than both the round liner and round shader needles, making it ideal for creating bolder lines with more shading. It typically consists of 3-5 needles which are arranged in a circular configuration and held together by a housing unit. 
Finally, there is the flat shader needle. This type of needle has a rectangular shape and usually consists of 3-5 needles held together by a housing unit. Unlike the round liner and round shader, the flat shader has an even surface which allows for more accurate shading and color filling in larger areas. 
Double-Stack Magnum shader
For those looking for even bolder lines, there is the double-stack magnum shader. This type of needle consists of two groups of 3-5 needles held together by a housing unit, which allows for increased ink flow and more saturated coloring.
No matter what type of needle you need for your tattooing project, it’s important to make sure you are using a needle count that is right for the size and style of your tattoo. By following the above guidelines, you can ensure that your tattoos come out looking their best! 
How many needles are in a standard tattoo gun?
The number of needles in a standard tattoo gun can vary. Most tattoo guns typically come with three to five needles, but this number could be more or less depending on the size of the design and other factors. Generally speaking, a small tattoo would require fewer needles while larger designs may need more.
How many tattoo needles are there?
Tattoo needles come in a variety of sizes and styles, including single-needle, double-needle, triple-needle, and even quad-needles. The most common size is the standard round liners which come in sizes ranging from 3 to 14. Other popular types include magnum needles, flat shaders, and curved magnums.
It’s important to note that the number of needles used in a tattoo gun will depend on the type of design you’re creating and the size of the area you’re working with. It’s best to consult with an experienced artist or professional to determine how many needles are necessary for your specific project.
How many times does a tattoo gun poke you?
The number of times a tattoo gun will poke you during the process is determined by several factors, such as the size and complexity of the design. Generally speaking, a complete tattoo can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or more to complete, depending on the individual artist’s skill level and how intricate the design is.
How many needles are in a shader?
A shader is a type of needle used in the tattoo process, and it typically has five to nine needles per group. This is important to note, as each needle produces a different texture or color when applied to the skin. This allows an artist to create unique designs with varying levels of depth and detail for their clients.
How many needles do you need per second for a tattoo?
The speed at which the needles should move during a tattoo is determined by the artist’s experience and skill level. Generally speaking, most experienced artists will maintain speeds of around two to three pokes per second. This ensures that the design is applied evenly and with enough time for the ink to be properly set in the skin.
How deep do tattoo needles go?
The depth of tattoo needles depends on the type of needle being used and the size of the design. Generally speaking, for standard tattoos, a single-needle machine is set to an average depth of 1/16th or 1/32nd of an inch. However, for certain areas such as portraits or delicate designs, a shallower depth may be used. It’s important to consult with an experienced artist or professional to determine the right depth settings for your specific project.
Can a tattoo needle hit a vein?
It is possible for a tattoo needle to hit a vein during the process, but it’s not highly likely. Experienced artists are trained to identify and avoid veins in order to ensure that their clients don’t experience any unnecessary complications or pain. However, if you’re concerned about this possibility, it’s best to consult with an experienced artist or professional to discuss your options.
How painful is a tattoo needle?
The level of pain associated with a tattoo needle can vary greatly from person to person. Generally speaking, the sensation is often described as an uncomfortable or even mildly painful pinch. It’s important to note that the amount of pain you experience will depend on your individual pain threshold and how experienced the artist who is performing the procedure is.
How painful is a tattoo?
The amount of pain associated with a tattoo can also vary from person to person. Generally speaking, the level of discomfort is often described as an uncomfortable or even mildly painful sensation. Additionally, the complexity and size of the design can impact how much you feel during the process. It’s important to note that everyone experiences pain differently and it’s best to consult with an experienced artist to ensure that you’re properly prepared for the procedure.
Useful Video: Tattooing Close-Up in 4K Slow Motion
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, understanding the number of needles in a tattoo gun is key to achieving great results. Generally, there are three to four needles installed in most professional-grade rotary and coil tattoo machines. However, depending on your specific needs and desired result, you may need more or fewer needles. It’s important to do your research and speak with a professional tattoo artist before getting inked so you know exactly what to expect. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can create beautiful tattoos that will last for years to come.