How to use a magnum tattoo needle

Updated April 07, 2017

Magnum tattoo needles are specifically designed to produce finer control over tattoo ink during the tattoo process. The needle points are arranged in two or more rows and sometimes are curved to present a smoother tattooing experience for both artist and sitter. Using a magnum tattoo needle on a standard tattoo machine is no different than using any other tattoo needle--machine set-up and use remains the same.

Insert the Magnum needle into the sanitary tube of the machine, through the barrel of the "gun." The needle will hang down below the sanitary tube with the point of the needle bar at the end.

Attach the looped end of the needle bar to the armature of the machine. Tighten the screw and add a rubber band, if necessary, to hold the needle flat and ensure that the needle does not move in the sanitary tube during tattooing.

Adjust the sanitary tube so that 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch of needle is showing. Less will result in a shallow tattoo which can flake away, more results in too deep of a tattoo and creates scarring. Connect the machine to the power supply and press the foot pedal to test.

Prepare your tattoo ink by pouring small amounts of each colour required into disposable sanitary cups. Dip the end of the Magnum needle into the ink, hold the skin of the tattooing area taut, and begin your tattoo.


In many states tattoos may only be legally performed by a licensed artist who has passed an apprenticeship. Do not attempt to tattoo yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Magnum tattoo needle
  • Tattoo machine with power supply
  • Tattoo Ink
  • Disposable ink cups
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About the Author

Gwen Wark is a freelance writer working from London, Dublin, and New York. She has been a published writer since 1998 with works appearing in both university and local publications. Her current writing projects include SEO, web copy, print and advertising features. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Rutgers University.