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What Are the Best Cartridge Needles for Tattooing in 2024?

by LiuSophia 19 Jun 2024


When it comes to tattooing, the quality of your tools significantly impacts the outcome of your art. Among these tools, cartridge needles play a crucial role. Using the right cartridge needles can enhance precision, reduce discomfort, and ensure the best results for your clients. In this guide, we'll delve into everything you need to know about choosing the best cartridge needles for tattooing.

Understanding Cartridge Needles

What Are Cartridge Needles?

Cartridge needles are a modern innovation in the tattoo industry. Unlike traditional tattoo needles that require manual assembly and are fixed to the machine, cartridge needles come pre-assembled in disposable casings. This design allows for quick and easy needle changes during tattooing sessions, enhancing efficiency and hygiene.

Benefits of Using Cartridge Needles

  1. Convenience: Quick and easy needle swaps without having to dismantle the machine.
  2. Hygiene: Pre-sterilized and disposable, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
  3. Precision: Consistent manufacturing provides uniform needle quality.
  4. Versatility: Wide variety of configurations available for different tattooing styles.

Types of Cartridge Needles

Round Liners

Round liners have needles arranged in a circular pattern. They're ideal for creating fine lines and detailed work.

Round Shaders

Round shaders are similar to round liners but with a different grouping that allows for smoother shading.

Magnum Shaders

Magnum shaders have needles arranged in two rows. They're perfect for filling large areas and blending colors.

Curved Magnums

Curved magnums, or soft edge magnums, have a slight curve that makes them great for shading and gradients.

Flat Needles

Flat needles are arranged in a straight line and are used for creating bold, straight lines and shading.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cartridge Needles

Needle Configuration

The arrangement of needles affects the tattoo's appearance and the technique required. Choose configurations based on your specific needs, such as lining or shading.

Needle Diameter

Needle diameter, or gauge, determines the fineness of the line or shade. Smaller diameters are for detailed work, while larger diameters are for bold lines.

Needle Taper

Needle taper refers to the length of the needle point. Longer tapers provide smoother gradients, while shorter tapers are better for bold lines.

Needle Count

The number of needles in a cartridge affects the ink flow and coverage area. More needles mean more coverage but less precision.

Top Brands for Cartridge Needles


Cheyenne is a leading brand known for its high-quality and reliable cartridge needles.


Kwadron needles are praised for their consistency and sharpness, making them a favorite among professionals.


Bishop cartridges offer a balance of quality and affordability, suitable for both beginners and seasoned artists.


Stigma is renowned for its innovative designs and precision-engineered needles.


EZ cartridges are known for their versatility and ease of use, making them a great choice for various tattooing styles.

Cheyenne Cartridge Needles


  • High-quality materials
  • Precise manufacturing
  • Wide range of configurations

Pros and Cons


  • Consistent performance
  • Easy to use
  • Sterile and safe


  • Higher price point

Kwadron Cartridge Needles


  • Superior needle sharpness
  • Innovative grouping
  • Robust construction

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent ink flow
  • Durable
  • Variety of options


  • Availability issues in some regions

Bishop Cartridge Needles


  • Affordable pricing
  • Quality control
  • Good ink retention

Pros and Cons


  • Budget-friendly
  • Reliable performance
  • Versatile


  • Limited configurations

Stigma Cartridge Needles


  • Precision engineering
  • Unique configurations
  • Ergonomic design

Pros and Cons


  • High precision
  • Comfortable to use
  • Innovative designs


  • Slightly expensive

EZ Cartridge Needles


  • Versatile range
  • Easy to swap
  • Good for all skill levels

Pros and Cons


  • User-friendly
  • Economical
  • Reliable quality


  • May wear out faster

Comparing Different Brands

Price Comparison

Cheyenne and Stigma tend to be on the pricier side due to their premium quality. Kwadron and Bishop offer a balance between cost and performance, while EZ cartridges are more budget-friendly.

Quality Comparison

All brands mentioned provide excellent quality, but Cheyenne and Kwadron are often highlighted for their superior craftsmanship and consistency.

User Reviews

User feedback generally praises Cheyenne and Kwadron for their reliability and sharpness. Bishop and EZ receive good marks for affordability and ease of use, while Stigma is favored for innovative features.

How to Properly Use Cartridge Needles

Installation and Removal

Always ensure your tattoo machine is off before installing or removing cartridge needles. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for a secure fit.

Sterilization Tips

Although cartridge needles are pre-sterilized, it's crucial to maintain a clean working environment. Use proper barriers and disinfect surfaces regularly.

Best Practices for Use

Use each cartridge needle only once to prevent contamination. Choose the right needle configuration for the task to achieve the best results.


Choosing the right cartridge needles can significantly impact your tattooing results. By considering factors like needle configuration, diameter, taper, and brand reputation, you can find the perfect needles for your style and technique. Always prioritize quality and hygiene to ensure the best experience for your clients.


What are the best cartridge needles for beginners?

For beginners, EZ and Bishop cartridge needles are excellent choices due to their affordability, ease of use, and reliability.

Can I reuse cartridge needles?

No, cartridge needles are designed for single use to maintain sterility and prevent cross-contamination.

How often should I change my cartridge needles?

You should change cartridge needles after each client or whenever they start to show signs of dullness.

Are cartridge needles better than traditional needles?

Cartridge needles offer more convenience and hygiene compared to traditional needles, making them a popular choice among modern tattoo artists.

Where can I buy high-quality cartridge needles?

High-quality cartridge needles can be purchased from reputable suppliers, both online and in specialized tattoo supply stores. Brands like Cheyenne, Kwadron, and Bishop are available through their official websites and authorized distributors.

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