5 Best Tattoo Transfer Machine in 2021

Last updated on February 17th, 2022

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Best tattoo transfer machine

If you are a tattoo artist dealing with many clients regularly and want to eliminate the chances of making a wrong tattoo, you will need the best tattoo stencil machine.

A tattoo stencil machine will help you copy the design drawn using tattoo transfer paper and later put it directly on a client’s skin. This machine allows a tattoo artist to adjust the design by moving the stencil paper in any direction.

So in this article, we have reviewed the five best tattoo stencil thermal machines on the market that will make your work easier and enhance your tattooing skills.

Image Product Rating Price
Life Basis Thermal Copier Printer
Black Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine
BIOMASER Tattoo Transfer Machine
Copier Machine Printer
Dragonhawk Black Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine

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What is a Tattoo Printer?

A tattoo printer is a machine that is mainly used for creating stencils. There are many tattoo printers on the market, but the thermal tattoo printer is the most common. This printer is mainly used for creating portable patterns on stencil papers.

The machine works on a heating mechanism that heats the layer of paper and converts it into ink. Once you have a designed stencil, you can easily put it on your client’s skin. 

Best Stencil Transfer Machine of 2020

1.  Life Basis Thermal Copier Printer

Life Basis Thermal Copier

This Life Basis Thermal Copier Machine contains everything you can expect from a tattoo transfer machine, which is why we have placed it in the number one position. It offers the right set of features that every tattoo expert and beginner needs to deliver top-notch artistry for their clients.

The machine allows you to transfer the design quickly and efficiently onto tattoo transfer paper. The machine provides an error-free transfer option that helps get clients what they want. Although designed to offer tattoo artists the level of speed required to meet their clients’ demands, it is important to give the machine a two to five-minute rest after two to three sheet transfers to ensure optimal performance.

To ensure that you have a machine that is quite easy to move around, especially when running a home service, the manufacturers have made this machine very lightweight, weighing just about 1.7 kg. That can take the paper sizes of A4 and A5.

The machine comes with two deepness settings that allow an artist to adjust the level according to the requirements fully. The machine comes with ten sheets of transfer paper to help start your trial part. Other than this, the machine comes with a 2-year warranty that helps to enhance your purchasing decision.

The best part about this machine is that it doesn’t have any heating element, so you don’t need to worry about the machine’s short circuit and technical stoppage between the sessions.


  • It is lightweight
  • It comes with no heating element to ensure you experience no short circuit or technical stoppage
  • Comes with a two-year general warranty 
  • It comes with ten trial sheet papers


  • Papers cannot be rerun through the printer even if only a small portion has been used

2. Black Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine

Black Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine

It is more important for a tattoo artist to achieve a good stencil printout in the fastest and easiest way possible, and this can only be made possible when you invest in a good stencil machine as an artist. If you are a professional tattoo artist and want this advantage in achieving quicker copies of designs on tattoo transfer paper, then this machine is for you. This machine will copy your exact design in a few simple steps.

Just like every other good stencil machine, this machine is so light in weight that you can carry it along with you anywhere you want. This machine allows you to operate the transfer operation at your convenience, weighing just about 1.6 kg. The compactness and lightweight advantages make it an ideal stencil machine for tattoo artists with limited office or parlor space to work with.

In terms of performance, this tattoo transfer machine performs transfer operations with low noise and a fast transfer speed that ultimately reveals a crisp and clear quality image on your transfer paper. You will find the image clean and clear enough to work with, unlike the cheaper alternative you will find around. Furthermore, the machine is compatible with 100-240v, which works worldwide. This machine is also made up of ABS material, which is safe and environment-friendly.


  • It is lightweight
  • Prints using fast transfer speed with low noise mechanism
  • It delivers crisp, clear stencils
  • Very easy to set up and use


  • It doesn’t connect with a personal computer

3. BIOMASER Tattoo Transfer Machine

BIOMASER Tattoo Transfer Machine

Biomaster is another of the best tattoo printers on this bucket list. With adjustable picture quality and resolution to bring out the best quality in your transfer papers, this machine readily becomes one of the best any tattoo artist can get. However, it doesn’t stop here as the manufacturer has ensured that the machine comes with an eighteen-month general warranty to promise quality to you.

This thermal copier machine is best for showing a simple design holding a single effect, so if you want to use this machine for patterns with complex shadows, this is not the recommended option. The best thing about this machine is that it doesn’t require high adjustments, so you can easily operate it without any special skills.

The machine also provides a fine adjustable resolution that helps with mirror copy and normal copy. So if you want to use one option out of two, you must change the machine’s settings. You also have the option of varying the deepness of color and its blending to ensure that only the intended quality of work is transferred to your stencil. Also, the overheating warning will help protect your machine from serious damage or wiring short circuits.


  • It comes with an eighteen-month warrant
  • It delivers fast printing speed and generates low heat and noise
  • Adjustable photo and fine resolution feature 
  • It also features a lightweight advantage


  • Leaves slights bars over transfer paper if not appropriately installed

4. Copier Machine Printer

Copier machine

The more functions you can have on a tattoo machine, the better the machine is conceived to be. This is because you can have alternative options that translate to doing your job in a super clean and crisp way. Having a clean and crisp design gets the job half done for tattoo artists. 

Therefore, this multifunctional machine mainly operates on five buttons that perform different functions. You can choose the copy method, resolution, and depth of the design that you want to draw on your client’s skin.

The machine operates on 110V, which is compatible universally. No one wants a machine that produces heat while in use. This is why the manufacturers removed the heating element to make sure this tattoo machine delivers a high-speed transfer operation without generating any disruptive heat.

Although the machine is a little noisy, it is not particularly noticeable if we look at other machine features. There are two indicators on the machine that have green and red light alerts. A greenlight alert shows while the machine is running. On the other hand, the red light alert shows when something goes wrong in the machine.


  • It comes with two indicator lights to reveal when something is wrong with the printer
  • It delivers fast speed printing using a low heat mechanism
  • It comes with multifunctional buttons for diverse printing options
  • It is very affordable


  • Quite noisy

5. Dragonhawk Black Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine

Dragonhawk tattoo transfer machine

Dragonhawk is one of the most trustworthy names in the tattoo industry. The machine is most popular for its build quality and system that helps tattoo artists grow their tattoo art. You are expected to enjoy high-level quality construction that offers top-notch durability and delivers crisp and high-quality images on your transfer paper, which is what every tattoo artist’s dream is to work with.

The speed and fast transfer of high-quality images on the transfer paper help the artist deliver a clean and very creative tattoo design in no time. Also, your stencil will be generated without any excess heat generation or disturbing noise while in use. 

Unlike another machine, this stencil machine can work on more transfer papers without resting the machine for a while. Furthermore, the machine comes in two different voltages, i.e., 110v and 220v, so you can use it according to your convenience.

We also love that this machine is very affordable to buy. It offers every beginner the benefit of starting right with a machine that promises optimized quality and high speed and performance. If you are a tattoo artist and want to make fine or deep lines, then this machine is the best option to go with.


  • It features dual universal voltage systems
  • Fast speed printing with low noise and heat advantage
  • It is a trusted brand with crisp picture quality benefits
  • It is also very affordable


  • Quite bulky and weighty

Things to Consider While Buying Tattoo Stencil Machine

1. Quality

The quality of a tattoo stencil machine determines whether or not it is worthwhile to buy one. The quality of the machine sums up how durable the machine will be in the long run and the quality of images the machine is capable of producing in the long run. Since you will be spending a few dollars, make sure the machine is worth the price.

Ensure that the machine is made of premium quality only and created in a way that suits your purpose. Quality material doesn’t mean the machine has to be ridiculously heavy. Also, ensure the machine is a type that doesn’t require you to rest after a few prints. This will slow you down in the long run.

2. Heating Element

It is not enough for your machine to have a cooling system. It is worth purchasing if the machine can be made with components that generate ridiculous heat. However, it can easily be argued that it is impossible for a printer not to generate heat. However, the issue here is not the heat exactly, but the degree of heat generated.

Therefore, it is important to stay off of any machine that comes with hot bulbs that feature rod designs in them. These features will result in heat that will shorten the lifespan of your machine and put you in danger in the long run. Also, cheap machines are made with low-quality components, which results in heating.

3. Easy to Use

You don’t need to study an entire manual to use the stencil machine. Every tattoo artist knows the basics of stencils and how to generate them. An artist doesn’t need to spend so much quality time trying to understand how a machine works instead of setting it to work, which most machines still don’t offer.

Therefore, it is important to opt for machines that offer great functions in simple ways. A stencil machine doesn’t need complicated button options or deviation from the major features that most tattoo artists are already familiar with. For features like deepness, mirror, and resolution adjustment, feature buttons must be labeled accordingly. Avoid complicated machines at all costs, as they will slow your work down eventually.

4. Consider the Weight

If you are a big tattoo artist with a big parlor or office space, getting a large stencil machine won’t be that big of a deal. However, not every tattoo artist has the space, and if you fall under this category or find yourself doing more home service for your clients, you will need a compact stencil machine. We mean the machine must be portable in shape, size, and weight.

For easy mobility, storage, and use, you shouldn’t get any machine that weighs more than three to four kilograms. This is, of course, without prejudice to other features. However, if you want something more stationary that also comes with amazing features, you may also buy it, but your use of the machine would better determine the size and weight you should go for.

5. Quality of Printing

This is perhaps the most important thing to look out for. Sadly, aside from the promises and manufacturers’ guarantees, there are no ways to outrightly determine the quality of printing of a stencil machine unless you test it personally. This is possible in most walk-in shops, but there is a problem if you rely on online sales.

One way to remedy this problem is by conducting extensive research about the product online and relying on buying guides like this. The style, outline, shading, and the paper sizes that the machine is compatible with must be considered in determining the printing quality of a machine. Conversely, you may not get this on cheap machines.

How to Use a Tattoo Stencil Paper

Thanks to technology, artists can get the job done faster as they can choose their designs right from their computers and print them on transfer paper via a stencil machine. Here’s how to use the stencil paper when using a tattoo stencil printer:

  • If you already have the image sample, you may feed it directly into the stencil machine if your machine supports this. On the other hand, you may draw the sample of the tattoo and then place it under the carbon paper, over the sheet of the transfer paper.
  • The stencil paper may come in three-piece pieces, including the under sheet, carbon paper, and top transfer sheet. After setting your sample design between the sheets, put the entire transfer sheet into your printer with the design facing down.
  • After the paper has run through the printer, remove the top carbon copy from the remaining transfer sheet, and place the carbon copy on the surface where the tattoo is going to be. You will have to wet the surface down with warm soapy water and a piece of cloth.
  • Press the carbon copy on the surface with this wet cloth to transfer the design and gently lift off the carbon copy. You can always repeat the process until you have the exact design in the right spot.

FAQ Section

1. What do professional tattoo artists use for stencils?

All you have to do is get the design and run it through copier or tattoo transfer machine, and you’ll get a copy transferred onto the thermal paper in less than a minute. It makes tattoo stencils neater and easier to sketch out too.

Professionals require the best procedures that will relieve their stress and allow them to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. This is why it is common to find thermal fax machines in their parlors. This works best for perfect tattoo transfer, and it saves artists several hours of having to resort to hand-tracking methods.

2. What is the most suitable way to make tattoo stencils?

 In the past, tattoo professionals preferred to hand-draw tattoo stencils. However, this doesn’t meet the current tattoo needs. This process takes a lot of effort and time to match the current realities, especially in a busy parlor.

Thermal faxes, thermal printers, and other stencil devices are the new technological solutions to help tattoo artists meet the growing needs of their clients. The stencils are easier and faster to transfer onto human parts and shade and fill out. In the long run, it saves time and increases productivity.

3. Are our tattoo stencils permanent?

In themselves, tattoo stencils are not permanent. They are mere ink pressed on the skin in preparation for something more permanent. It is only after the image that appears on the skin from the stencil has been outlined and filled with real tattoo ink that the stencil can be said to be permanent.

However, they are mere washable ink that may be cleaned off and reapplied as many times as possible until the desired image or pattern is finally obtained. You will see the ink coming off after the tattoo artists give the tattooed area a proper cleaning.

4. How to make a tattoo stencil stay longer on the skin?

Since it might take a long time before the tattoo artist finishes up with the filling and outlining of the stencil, the stencil must stay on the skin throughout the process. This requires a process right from inception. Before you press the stencil on the skin, start by shaving off any hair in the area and cleaning the surface deeply with alcohol.

You may damp the area with any antiseptic of your choice to keep the area wet while applying the stencil. Furthermore, it would be best to wait until the stencil is completely dry before taking it off. This may take thirty minutes or more, depending on the temperature and condition of the spa. Apply petroleum gently to the pressed stencil, then you may start inking.

5. Can a normal paper printer print a tattoo stencil?

Every normal paper printer can print tattoo stencils if it can accommodate the size of the stencil paper you intend to print on. However, traditional paper cannot be used to achieve the kind of transfer paper you want to transfer to the skin. You need a special type of paper that will be sticky on the skin and transfer images to the sin.

Therefore, you have to use thermal or carbon transfer paper to achieve this. All these paper types work excellently with regular inkjet or laser printers that you will randomly find in homes and offices.


Stencil tattoo machines are generally high in price. As a result, it is recommended that you buy one with the best features because it will ultimately affect your tattooing skills. As a result, always select the option based on speed, performance, build quality, and other factors. We hope these reviews will help choose the best thermal transfer machine on the market and eliminate the risk of making the wrong tattoo.

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