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Manual vs Machine Tattoo Needles


I want to share a question I was asked from a PMU artist seeking information about my I.N.K. course and sizes relevant to microblading needles and digital or machine tattoo needles. If you've wondered the same question about the course or needles, hopefully, this helps!  

Message:  Hi Jill
Please, can you advise if your I.N.K. course is relevant to microblading needle configurations as well as digital? Thanks, D.

 Me:  Hi D.
In general, many aspects of the lessons on needles apply to both machine and manual type needles.  As an artist, I use both manual and machine needles.
Maybe you have a specific question I can answer?

 Message:  Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I’ve got an understanding of the different configurations. It’s just understanding the benefits (or should I say drawbacks) of the different gauges of needles. For example, 0.16 needles provide a crisper line, however, when shouldn’t they be used. And 0.20 gauge. Is there a lesson you would recommend for me to discover the details of microblading needles? 

 Me:  In the course, I explain that regardless of manual or machine needles, the bigger the needle the bigger the hole or line. Larger diameter needles deliver more color but cause more trauma. Some skin types require a smaller size - while oily thicker skin could be more appropriate with a .20 in order to deliver enough color deposit. (There aren’t taper options in microblade/manual needles “yet” but that would be to consider as well.)
With your diameter size selection, you can also take into consideration if the brow hair is fine or thicker and course. 
What experience has taught is usually not to go above a .20 or .25 with microblading because the chances of scarring increases and also in order to maintain a thin stroke after healing because the strokes expand. 
*In PMU industry we don’t use term gauge. 
I hope that helps!


 Message:  Hi Jill
That’s brilliant, thanks very much for your advice. Much appreciated!

Kind regards

 To your PMU success,

PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge, I.N.K.





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Liner Shader Guide

This chart helps you pay attention to your hand speed, machine speed, and hand movements when using liners for a liner effect and shaders for a shaded effect.

It also shows how you can use:

  • Liners for a shaded effect 
  • Shaders for a liner effect

A great go-to chart is just the beginning!