Archive for December, 2013

Soba Brass Deluxe Pilot Shader Tattoo Machine Review

by on Dec.06, 2013, under Supply Review

Holy lag time batman! I got the Soba Brass Deluxe Pilot Shader tattoo machine for review like, um, well….a looooong while ago! Soba sent it my way to put through the daily rigors and see what I could say both positive and negative about it. With the way my year has been it has been rough to get myself sat down in front of the computer to type all this stuff in! That is a good thing though!! What I am reviewing is not the production model,  but besides the coil covers it’s no different then what you would order at Workhorse Irons.

shader tattoo machine soba

I will run you through all the specifics of this machine first and foremost. It is a silicon bronze investment cast machine, pretty much the smoothest running of the common metals used for tattoo machines due to it’s density. More density equals less vibrations. Many would gripe about the weight but it really is not an issue with this machine as the guys over at Workhorse Irons have drilled holes in the upright to lighten the tattoo machine. It is similar in weight to all the other full sized machines on my rack, daily driver weight for sure.

Coils are 1.125″ 8 layer, iron coil core wrapped with premium wire, covered in green gaffers tape, with phenolic tops and bottoms. They sit on a 1/8″ yoke and are shimmed perfectly where the a-bar is parallel to the bottom deck, with a sliver of light showing through the back coil top and the a-bar . The capacitor is an industry standard 47uF35v. Springs are hand cut and punched .018 front and back, with a slim taper to the front spring. The rear All of the hardware on the Brass Deluxe Pilot Shader is deluxe brass that is all turned in house at Workhorse Irons, the shoulder washers match the phenolic on the coils. The use of Torx screws and cap head screw insures you wont have to break out the dremel to slot that son of a bitch button head allen wrench that just stripped out on your tattoo machine!! Just as icing on the cake they have made an antiqued brass Workhorse Irons thumbsrecw that is so solid you never have to worry about a sketchy weld letting loose of your coin while you are tightening the vice.


shader tattoo machine

Having put this tattoo machine through a few months of daily work, I can say it is super smooth running shader and color packer. I have whipped out smoothness and laid in some super solid large fields of color. Sweet looking, ultra versatile, solidly built with ultra precision Attention to detial is very high, and with Soba it’s a given that things are gonna match and be just a great overall package! The only negative I can say about it is the tube vice tends to be a bit tight if you are using disposable tubes regularly. Soba is always one to accommodate and if you are worried about that he can make adjustments for you when you order.


In all, I would say that at $350 off of www.workhorseirons.com these tattoo machines are well worth that investment. Something that you could pass onto the next generation of tattooers when you are old and grey and wrinkly, and i am sure they could pass to the next after them! Soba is a really great guy with the integrity it takes to make it in this business. I highly recommend checking out Soba machines at Workhorse Irons.
-Ben Reigle

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