‘Baltik Body Art’ offers the highest quality needles designed for creating lines, shading and colouring, all at competitive prices. We understand that needles are as important as ink, which is why tattoo machine needles that we provide are from reputable brands.

The selection of right needles for tattooing is not only a responsible task, but also quite daunting, as there are many different types, diameters, stroke lengths and other parameters to choose from. However, choosing the most suitable one is not as complicated as it might seem at first; you simply need to understand the specifics of needles. Although there are many different types, we will focus only on the 6 main groups: round liners, round shaders, magnum shaders, curved magnum shaders, and flat shaders. Analysing each group prompts the question: how do they differ?

Round liner needles

When using round liner needles, an artist can achieve extremely crisp and precise tattoos, therefore they are perfect for creating lines and contours. A round liner needle has an indication revealing its thickness, 01 meaning it will create a very thin line and 14 – a very thick one. The thickness of the line depends on the diameter of every needle. After dipped in ink, needles release only a small amount of it, meaning the artist can create precise and clean lines. However, these needles are very close to one another and in the process of making the tattoo it can grip the client’s skin more tightly, resulting in the session being more painful compared with other needles. 

These needles are commonly used for:

- Dotwork tattooing;

- Creating patterns and letters;

- And geometrical figures.

Round shader needles

Essentially, these needles are very similar to the round liner ones, although round shader needles are placed not so close to one another, resulting in thicker lines than ones achieved with the round liner needle. However, these lines will not be as crisp or clean as with the round liner needle. Shader type needles are also perfect for filling up tattoos with colours or for shading. These needles can also be used for applying colour to smaller areas of the skin. For the client, the tattooing process with a round shader is less painful than with a round liner due to the placement of the needles. 

These needles are often used:

- When making thicker lines;

- For patterns and letters;

- When shading and colour filling;

- For geometrical shapes.

Magnum shader needles

By the name you can already tell what the needle is most commonly used for. These needles are arranged in two rows and frequently chosen by the artists for shading. These needles are most often used when large areas need to be coloured or shaded, as magnum holds and releases a lot of ink at the same time, making it a great needle for this particular work. 

Most commonly used for:

- Black and grey tattoos;

- Every single type of shading and colouring;

- Realisation of colour.

Curved magnum shader needles

Curved magnum shader needles are also called ‘soft-edge’ magnums and are used for the same type of tattooing work as previously mentioned magnum needles. The only difference is that the centre of these needles is curved, meaning it runs smoother along the skin, which results in better dispersion of the ink, smoother lines and transitions. When using curved magnum shader needles the artist can create soft lines, making this needle suitable for blending backgrounds, colours and so on. Even though these needles release a lot of ink at once, it manages to disperse it especially evenly, therefore the curved magnum shader is less damaging to clients’ skin and creates soft shadows. 

Most commonly used for:

- Black and grey tattoos;

- Every single type of shading and colouring;

- Realisation of colour.

Flat shader needles

Among the most popular needles you can find the flat shader needle, often considered as a standard one. Because the placement of the needles allows more ink to be injected into the skin, dark and clean lines can be created with just a stroke. The larger flat shader type needles can be used for colour filling and shading, as they can quickly release a larger amount of colour in a single wipe and thanks to the easy tiltment of the needle, the shading can be extremely precise and intricate.

Most commonly used for:

- Some line work;

- Fine shading and colour filling;

- Black and grey tattoos;

- Realisation of colour;

- Geometric shapes.

Sizes of the tattoo needles

Now that we’ve learned about all the different types of needles, it’s time to introduce ourselves to needle diameters, as it is directly related to the amount of ink that will be injected into the client’s skin. The narrower the diameter of the needle – the lower and more controlled the flow of ink is. The diameter of the needles is indicated in millimetres, however, first you must find out what each different size is most suitable for.  

0,25 mm

This is one of the smallest needle diameters, sometimes also called bugpins. This size is perfect for highly detailed, small and intricate work such as portraits, as ink is flowing slowly.

0,30 mm

One of the most popular sizes chosen by artists is 0,30 mm in diameter, as it is suitable for a variety of tattooing styles and needle types. With this particular needle ink flows smoothly and in controlled manner, yet not as slowly or restrictively as with 0,25 mm size needle. When it comes to soft shading, the 0,30 mm size needles are especially suitable, as they create seamless transitions between black and grey. 

0,35 mm

Similarly to 0,30 mm size needles, 0,35 mm are also often chosen by the artists for work with various types of tattoos and usually are called as a standard size. This size is most commonly used for linear and traditional work, as ink is flowing faster than with smaller size needles. 0,35 mm needles often create larger dots, that way creating more traditional tattoos. They are also ideal for creating bold lines, filling areas with colour or shading large tattoos. 

Although needles of different diameter are used less often, there are a few of them that are not mentioned here: 0,20 mm, 0,40 mm and 0,45 mm. 


What is a tattoo needle? 

One of the main tools of a tattoo artist is a needle which is used to inject ink into the dermis layer of the skin, this way creating a permanent design. 

How do tattoo needles work?

The tattoo needle, which is attached to a tattoo machine, is moved up and down at high speed, this way making it possible for tattoo artists to control the amount of ink injected into clients’ skin. The needle pierces the outer layer of the skin allowing the ink to penetrate the dermis layer and create a permanent tattoo. 

What are the different types of needles? 

There are several configurations of tattoo needles, including liners, shaders and magnums. Liners are used for creating fine lines and contours, shaders – shadows and colours, and magnums for larger areas and soft shadings. 

What are the sizes of tattoo needles?

The tattoo needle sizes are indicated by diameter and grouping, for example 3RL means a group of 3 round liner needles. Common sizes range from 1RL (fine liner) to 15M (magnum – for shading large areas).

How do I choose the right tattoo needle for a tattoo design?

Choosing the right type and size of needle varies based on artists needs and design expectations. We will guide you to help better understand what you actually need: tattoo styles and overall projects might demand different techniques and styles, whether it’s contouring, shading or highly detailed work – choose the most suitable needle for your work. Once it’s clear what kind of tattoo client desires, the decision of most suitable needles will be fairly simple.