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 What are the different type of needles used for?

There are four main types of needle groupings. Some have one specific use and others can vary depending on how the artist is using it. Tattoo Needles that we carry are pre-sterilized in individual blister packs. We carry tattoo round liner needles (tight), tattoo round shader needles (loose), and tattoo curved magnum needles. Our professional tattoo needles are used by professional tattoo artists around the world and are highly recommended. Below is a general explanation of the needle categories and how you can use different types of needles.

Rounds also known as Loose

We carry rounds from single needle to 14 round. A round needle looks like a perfect circle if you´re looking at the needle grouping head on. Depending on the art piece you´re working on they can be used for thin, medium or thick outlines. Loose tattoo needles would work great for shading in tattoos with color or black and gray work.


A tight needle has one basic use and that is for outlining. It´s similar to a round, it is grouped like a circle, but they are clustered tightly together. There are different names people call tight needles such as: liners or a round tight. Depending on how bold you want your outline to be, we carry tight needles with 3 to 14 needle groupings.


The flat needle groupings are great shading needles. These needle groupings are all straight in a row and lay tightly together. They can be used for filling in solid color or can be used for applying unique artistic techniques (for example waves or clouds). Our flats range from 4 to 15 needle groupings.


The other shading needle option is the mag or magnum. A magnum needle has two rows, and is spread out. There are 2 categories of them, regular or double stacked. Double stacked just means they are clustered more tightly together and standard magnums are spread out a little more. They can be used to fill in solid color or like flats you can use different techniques to apply distinctive effects.

Curved Magnums

Curve Magnum Tattoo Needles are group differently than the magnums, the needles tip has a slight arch to it so when you are tattooing it wont eat the skin up on turns.

To see the complete list of all the needles we carry, hit the "Needle and Tube Chart" button. Also, check out our grey wash pigments from Ichiban Sumi, they work great for those special techniques created with the flat and magnum needles.