Tattoo Needles versus Tattoo Cartridges – What’s the difference?

One thing has been constant since the inception of tattooing — you need something that can puncture the skin and deliver ink at the same time. That thing is the tattoo needle. Over the course of centuries, the technology of tattoo needles has evolved from primitive, sharpened bone spikes, to the modern surgical needles we use now. Recently, however, you may have started to see the term “cartridge” pop up in discussions regarding tattoo needles.

What are cartridges and how do they differ from needles?

Let’s talk about what the tattoo needle is first. It’s a simple piece of equipment; usually a long metal rod with a hook to connect to the tattoo machine on one end and an array of small needles adhered to the business end. The machine causes the entire needle to rapidly shift up and down. When this happens at full speed that’s what gives tattoo machines their trademark hum and what also allows the tattoo artist to penetrate the skin and create amazing works for permanent art.

The needle itself is just one piece of the overall tattoo machine. For traditional machines, the 4 main components are the front and back coils (these are the parts that make the needle move), the needle, the grip, and the tip. The grip is what your tattoo artist holds onto and the tip is what confines the needle tip so your artist can draw straight lines and smooth shading.

Where cartridges come into play is that they combine the tip and the needle into one manufactured piece as opposed to two separate pieces. This is helpful for a few reasons. First and foremost, it means the tip and the needle type can be designed to work together perfectly. The last thing you want is for your needle to be contained within an incompatible tip – this would wreak havoc on the tattoo process. Needing several types of needles and tips often meant your artists also needed several machines ready to go. That just creates more mess, wastes time, etc – you get the point.

A needle and tip combo mean you can use one machine, swap between cartridges as needed, reduce waste, and most importantly, get the best possible artistic results. This is why you’ll see most of us here at the Inkeeper’s working with Cheyenne brand tattoo cartridges and Pen-style tattoo machines. It’s more natural, it gives better results, and you get a better tattoo!

If you want to learn more about Cheyenne Tattoo Cartridges and Pen Machines, you can check out our shop at

Rest easy and we’ll see you soon.

~The Inkeeper

Inkeeper’s at the Cleveland Tattoo Convention – June11 – 13

Inkeeper's at the Cleveland Tattoo Convention
June 11 - 13

We’re coming to Cleveland, Ohio on June 11 through the 13 for the Cleveland Tattoo Arts Convention!

Cleveland Convention Center

300 Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114

Show Times

Friday 2 PM – 11 PM
Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 8 PM

If you’ve never been to a tattoo convention this is a great one to check out. There are tons of artists, live entertainment (sometimes, if you’re lucky, there’s some really weird shit up on the stage!), food, and a ton of awesome tattoos. 

Find us, take a selfie, hang out, enjoy yourself!


Relieve The Pain – Tattoos Don’t Have To Hurt As Much

If you have tattoos chances are that at some point in your life someone wanted to brag to you about their tattoos and how it didn’t even hurt when they got ’em. Nice try bruh, we know the truth — tattoos hurt. But that’s part of the rite of passage, the ritual.

Or at least, it was. There are some cool products out there on the market now that are over the counter and cut down that initial pain dramatically. The big one right now is Hush who creates an anesthetic gel and foam; both of which are designed to cut down the pain of getting tattooed.

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Bounce Back


Forget all that pandemic stuff – the only fever we have is Cabin-Fever. We’ve always been a crew who loves to grind; Work, play, art, whatever, we just can’t sit still and the moment this quarantine is over … well, let’s just say we’re ready to get back at it.

During this, we’re decking the Inkeeper’s Parlor out — remodeling, fresh paint, squeaky boards unsqueakafied, new gear, new merch; everything’s getting dialed up a few notches.

In the mean time, we haven’t forgotten our friends either! We have promotions running on our website ( If your previously scheduled tattoo was impacted by the current situation, we’ll make sure you get rescheduled asap (just get a hold of us if you haven’t already) and don’t hesitate about scheduling a new tattoo either. We’ve got an amazing crew and as soon as we’re allowed, these doors are open for business! Let’s do this!

#canton #ohio #inkeepers #tattoo #letsdothis

The Spotlight – Episode 10: The Inkeeper’s Tattoo Parlor

The Spotlight Episide 10


Such an honor to be considered, and highlighted, by Casey Roch. Check his YouTube channel out here and if you like what you see be sure to give hit that sub button:


In the meantime, if you need a tattoo – well, you know where to find us!


The Inkeeper’s Tattoo Parlor
2701 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44709
(234) 214-8857