Tattoo Master Magazine Product Feature: TATSoul In-House Coil Machines

by on Sep.12, 2014, under Supply Review

By Dave Perry, Revolver Tattoo Rooms
Like most tattoo artists that world over, there is a part of me that just cannot help constantly looking for that magical new machine that might just take some area of my work to the next level.

A colleague of mine calls it “machine chasing”… I like to think of it as not leaving a single stone unturned. So when the chaps at TATSoul asked me if I would be willing to take a set of three of the company’s new in-house coil machines for a test run, I was of course, delighted to oblige. After all, what harm could it do? But what I didn’t expect to do was to end up falling in love with these machines straight out of the box. Normally, if I am sent machines to test for a builder, I will use them very sparingly and carefully during the first few days. After all, I don’t want to risk ruining a customer’s tattoo by using machines that I am uncomfortable and unfamiliar with. You can poke, prod and run a machine all you like, but the proof of the pudding always lies in actual time spent on skin; only then do machines reveal their true worth. However, after only a matter of minutes I was amazed to find myself settling in to a six-hour session using nothing else. Since then, I have used them exclusively on every tattoo produced during the past week. In short, they are the best, ‘straight out of the box’ coil machines, that I have ever come across… bar none.

So let’s take a more detailed look at what TATSoul sent me in those boxes. Apart from asking me if I preferred a heavier steel frame or a lighter aluminium frame (I chose steel), I pretty much left everything else to the company. They elected to send me three machines from their Kronos range-a liner, a shader, and a colour packer. these machines are designed and individually hand-tuned by TATSoul’s in-house artist, Erica Kopelow. This is something that happens to ever in-house coil machine they sell. Amazingly, each machine ran perfectly straight out of the box, each with a beautiful action and perfect timing. No extra tweaking or fiddling is required, which is pretty rare for me.

1The first machine I used was the liner. Weighing in at a more than manageable 7.6oz, this is a machine with enough weight to turn out good, strong lines without leaving your wrists aching at the end of a long tattoo session. It runs fast, at around 135-145CPS, undoubtedly helped by its fluted armature bar. This is a machine best suited to pushing smaller lines of around five or seven needles. It has a lovely consistent stroke and its copper contact screw makes for excellent conductivity. Loaded with eight wrap coils, this is a perfect machine for turning out those smaller daily tattoos that are so often the bread and butter of many studios.

1Now, onto my absolute favourite machine in the range, the Kronos colour packer. This machine is undoubtedly the best colour saturator I have ever used. It picks up effortlessly from where the liner left off, being more than able to execute thicker lines for larger needle groups with no trouble at all. I love this machine so much that I ordered a second one within a few days of me trying it out. Weighing in a full ounce heavier than its liner counterpart, the colour packer comes ready for action with ten wrap coils and a heavier ‘Hard Hitter’ armature bar. Running at around 100-110CPS this is one of the smoothest ‘out of the box’ tattoo machines I have ever used. This action is flawless; it strokes the colour gently into the skin with a firm but non-aggressive ‘slap’. As I have mentioned, by simply turning the juice up a few vaults, it will run that bit harder and double perfectly as a large group liner for working on large back pieces and bigger sleeve designs. Furthermore, I have found a surprising mid-voltage use for the machine as a while shader. It really is like having three different machines in one box, I can’t get enough of using it. In fact, if I had to find any fault with it at all, the only one I could point out would be that the fluorescent orange tape around the could quickly becomes marked and grubby looking. But I can live with that in what I believe is the best machine I have picked up this year!

1Finally, last but by no means least, I come to the Kronos shader. Weighing in at a mid-range 7.8oz, this machine is constructed and tuned to be a soft shader. It uses a similar geometry to the liner, along with eight wrap coils and fluted armature bar to help keep it speed up. This machine runs at a nippy 120-130CPS and is extremely consistent in its action. Although TATSoul says it can be run at a low voltage of around six volts, I preferred to crack it up to around eight or nine for my personal hand speed and elastic band load. Despite this extra juice, I still have not encountered the machine heating up even once. It has a nice soft hit on the skin that perfectly accommodates the gradual building up of grey shade layers. Personally, when it comes to whip shading, I prefer the colour packer, but for delicate black and grey portraits and multi-layered realism, this is one of the most subtle shaders I have come across.  A real pleasure to use.

In closing, I am extremely impressed with this range of in-house coils from TATSoul. Every machine seems perfectly suited to its purpose. On top of that, they look great wit ha lovely antiqued finish and come complete with a lifetime guarantee. The machines are competitively prices at below $300 each. I have yet to try all of TATSoul’s in-house coil machines but if the Kronos range is anything to go by, they are all worth checking out. Absolutely love these machines, and as I mentioned in earlier, I have already ordered an extra colour packer.

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Envy Needles

TATSoul and renowned artists came together to produce the highest quality tattoo needles. The acute angle cut into the back of the Magnum Needles will allow them to flow more fluidly through the tube. We have also found the prefect needle taper for the most efficient ink flow into the skin. Envy Tattoo Needles are manufactured with the best quality control in the industry. We pay special attention to flat soldering that will give the most fluid and accurate needle motion.


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