Ikarus Rotary

by on Nov.21, 2015, under Supply Review

By OwlsDen via Rotary Tattoo Forum  

First Impressions

So I received my machine a few days ago. I ordered mine in black, but he has told me that he can do most any color. He also offered me a new version with an adjustable cam. Which I naturally wanted. So I received my machine about a week after ordering, living in Europe it wasn’t far for him to ship it to me. One of the best parts of any purchase of this type is communication. He went above and beyond and sent me pictures of the build along the way.

This was a nice touch and I have no idea, if he always does this but his communication was perfect.

This is the photo he sent when the build was finished.

I received the machine packaged very well, it was in a shipping envelope wrapped in bubble wrap and in its own box. The box also has foam sides, so the machine can’t move at all.

Well, enough of that., On to the good stuff. How does it perform? Very well. The over all design is smart and fairly original ( even if it looks derivative of other machines ) . It is lighter and smaller than a brass Rotary Works. If I had to compare it to another machine, I think the original Swiss is the closest mechanically. Although the motor on the Ikarus is a good bit faster, the vibration and sound are about the same. Which means very little sound or vibration.

I decided to first try it as a fine liner as the lack of vibration seemed perfect for a 3rl. This is what I miss the most about the NeoTat that I had , and it performed very comparable. It lined perfectly with a 3, and I was able to just relax and tattoo. At no point was I compensating for vibration, or having to over think what I was doing. I often consider that a measure of how good a machine is. If I have to think about the machine while using it, then it might not be for me. For fine lining I was running the machine at about 7.8 volts on a Critical CX-1 G2.

The next tattoo I did was filling in background on a chest piece and I used an 11mag and ran the machine a bit faster around 8.8 – 9 volts. Again it was very smooth and I would say that it’s ability for grey wash and color work to be fairly effortless. I also dropped it down to about 7 volts to do a bit of salt and pepper shading, and then back up to around 8 for some color blending. All of this was flawless.

The last two tattoos that I did with this machine, I used it as a liner. Both times with a 5rl, and at around 8 volts. For one I was doing some semi-old school roses and wanted to have thicker lines and wanted it to as effortless as possible. So I opened the needle up a bit with a lighter ( still one of my favourite old school tricks ) and made it about the size of a normal 8rl. Now granted I could have just used an 8rl but I am using a machine that I am not 100% used too and wanted the tattoo to be easy on me, and it was. I have always found that no give rotaries line easier with loose needles.

The last one was a walk in that wanted a little umbrella on his foot, I drew it in and tattooed it on easily with a normal 5rl.

To surmise, I truly believe this is a class act machine. The price I paid was 140€ shipped and that is very reasonable for any machine. He could charge 200€ and I would still think it is worth it. One of the most interesting features of this machine is that the motor ( Mabuchi I believe ) becomes the body, which also air cools the motor very well. I have easily put nearly 10 hours on this machine already and I never noticed it getting warm.

As for the adjustable cam, I have not even messed with it. Mine came set at 4mm and for now it will stay there. I love to have the option and may set it around 2.5 for some soft black and grey at some point, but overall 4mm works well for me.

The geometry is very good for disposables and I have plenty of room for adjustment even with a lot of needle hang. The thumbscrew on the vice is also very nice and it has a plastic washer so the in no rubbing metal on metal. It is also easy to turn and stays very secure while tattooing.

Pros: inexspenive, low vibration, very quiet, and versatile. It is a good all a rounder and good addition for anyone to have.

Cons: it is slightly heavier than say a dragonfly or a Rapier II. The washer that holds the crank arm in place on the A-bar is moved out of alignment, the machine will start to make some noise. I found out when I was switching out the stock grommet for silicone tubing. Pops rubber bands almost as often as my Rotary Works does.

All in all, I like the machine a lot. Is it a perfect liner, maybe not but it is a good liner. A little give and it could be a great liner. As for a shader it’s great and I handily believe it can push larger mags too. The amount of power it has is impressive and it was very hard to bog down the motor at all.

Ok, hope that helps and isn’t too long winded. If you want to find him, he is on Facebook as Ikarus Rotary and the price is 180$ to the Americas or 140€ to Europe. I am in no way affiliated with Ikarus, just a very happy customer. I am more than happy to answer any questions.

Thank you!


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