Tattoo machines (sometimes called tattoo guns) are the actual machines used by tattoo artists to apply the tattoo. The needle
bar of the tattoo machine moves up and down, marking the skin with ink that has been applied to the needles at the end of the needle bar. Some supply companies also sell tattoo kits along with their tattoo machines.
A tattoo machine is a hand-held device generally used to create a tattoo, a permanent marking of the skin with indelible ink.
Modern tattoo machines use electromagnetic coils to move an armature bar up and down. Connected to the armature bar is a barred needle grouping that pushes ink into the skin. Tattoo artists generally use the term "machine", or even "iron", to refer to their equipment. The word "gun" is often used but many tattoo professionals dislike it.
Most modern tattoo machines can control needle depth, speed, and force of application, which has allowed tattooing to become
a very precise art form.
There are many types of machines. Liners and shaders are the more common machines from a technical standpoint.
Mechanically, there are coil tattoo machines; also pneumatic machines, and rotary, or linear, tattoo machines.