Curved magnum needles - Precision tattoo cartridge configurations - Tattoo Equipment - REBEL

The Evolution of Tattoo Equipment: Curved Magnum Tattoo Needle Configurations

Precision Curved Magnum Shader Tattoo Needles - Tattoo Supply - REBEL

Although they are the youngest needles in the history of tattooing, curved magnum needles are one of the most trending needle configurations on the market. They earned popularity because they can create unique color transitions, causing less trauma to the skin. But how are they different from the regular magnums? In this article, I’ll give you the answer to this question and discuss the nitty-gritty of these needle configurations.

Let’s get to it now!

What Are Curved Magnum Tattoo Needles For?

We use curved magnum tattoo needles for smooth pigment blending between different colors or shades. 
Their configurations allow you to create smooth shading transitions that you would hardly get with any other needle configurations. And they are perfect for covering a large skin area without creating a hard edge.
However, they are not as versatile as the regular magnum needles:
    • They are not suitable for making lines.
    • You can’t reach into small corners with this configuration.


The uniqueness of these needles comes from their positioning. They keep the signature zigzag 2-row needle structure and don’t create a hard edge.
Unlike the regular magnums, the arrangement of curved magnum needles are not in a straight line – as an arch, they mimic the Filbert paint brush shape. We have already explained it in our “Tattoo Needle Types” article in more detail.
The origin of curved magnums has not been confirmed, but supposedly, it was developed with the wooden stick “hand poke tattooing” method.
You can visualize it like this: Lay down an uneven number of tattoo needles flat, and lift every second one, creating a zigzag 2-rows structure, just like in the  case of the regular magnums. Instead of a straight line, arrange them in an arch shape. Then solder them together in this position. The bottom row of the needles should be no longer than the top row.
Curved Magnum Shader Tattoo needle configurations compare to artist paint brushes - REBEL

Curved Magnum Needles & Filberts

Curved magnum configurations provide unique possibilities to create new, interesting textures.
They are usually manufactured from medium tapered needles, sometimes from long tapered ones. Curved magnums are easy to recognize due to their 2 rows shape with the curved structure. 
With these 2 rows spaced out structure, the needles have room around themselves. Thus, they can hold more ink with increased better ink flow which allows the artist to cover a larger inked area at a faster speed. If you are a black and gray artist, you can easily do beautiful shades with them. 
In our Tattoo Needle Types blog post, I explain how tattoo needles can be manufactured from the 3 commonly used tattoo needle gauges, depending on the geographical region’s habits or requirements.
  • .25mm – FINE – #8 is the standard system (US) designation also called BUGPIN.
  • .30mm – NORMAL – #10 is the standard system (US) designation.
  • and .35mm – FAT – #12 is the standard system (US) designation.

Note: Configuration of ALL REBEL Magnum needle belong to Medium Tapered

Tattoo Needle Variations

Note: don’t mix up the term “gauge” with the term “taper”!

Curved Magnum Tattoo Needle Configurations

Magnum needles are manufactured from #8 – .25mm – FINE wire gauge. They are called BUGPIN CURVED MAGNUM.
Curved Magnum configurations generally start from 5 needles and go up over 35-45. The term for this is “shovel” due to its wide width. The steps go up by 2 in this case too: 7, 9,11, 13, 15, and so on.
The general ID or mark for this group is CM or CMG = Curved Magnum. It is also called Soft Edge Magnum (SEM), depending on the manufacturer.
Curved Magnum 27 Box - Precision Tattoo Cartridges - tattoo needle - REBEL
The number of needles and configuration results in 11-CM, 11CMG or 11SEM, depending on the manufacturer. 
At REBEL, we follow this system and insert a brand recognition abbreviation in RTC = REBEL TATTOO CARTRIDGE.
REBEL Tattoo Cartridge – 27 Curved Magnum = RTC-27CM.
REBEL- Precision Cartridge-CURVED MAGNUM 27

Note: All REBEL Magnum needle configurations are medium tapered.

Just like in the case of other needle configurations, you can create numerous needle configurations theoretically from 3 common different gauges, multiplied with the number of needles. But, there is a lot of overlap when it comes to the WORKING WIDTH.

Working Width

The term WORKING WIDTH is my own invention. I came up with this expression to lay ground for a better understanding of the practical, every-day use of tattoo needle configurations. 

Working width is the total width of soldered needles that we use for tattooing. It means how wide the surface is that the configuration can cover. Theoretically, with curved magnums, this depends on the pressure applied to the number of needles put to work because of their arch structure.

The REBEL team developed a cartridge inventory to offer the widest range of these needle features and not by the taper type.
REBEL Magnum inventory looks like this:


Curved Magnum Tattoo Cartridge - Tattoo needle - inventory chart - REBEL

REBEL Needle configurations are manufactured from .30mm needles.

The following chart explains the correlation between manufactured working width and wire gauge they use for making.

Metric and standard system measurements:


Curved Magnum tattoo needle - precision cartridges configuration chart - REBEL
The measurement data of curved magnums is the same as in the case of the regular magnums. The only difference between the manufacturing point is the arch orientation of needles instead of flat.
We have the same needle configurations from all 3 sizes of needles. But there is still a difference between them because of their structure with different diameter or gauge needles. Therefore, these configurations can provide the same working diameter.
Smaller gauge needles need a higher quantity to reach a certain size compared to bigger ones. Thus, we have a certain overlap between them.

Data on the Chart

After analyzing this chart below, we can come to several conclusions. For one, the working width of the 15 Magnum needle configuration from #8 (.25mm) is very close to 13 Magnum Configuration made from #10 (.30mm). Also, the 11 Magnum configuration manufactured from #12 (.35mm) is the same. Check out the chart below, planned based on working width and configuration:
Curved Magnum Tattoo cartridge variation comperacy chart - REBEL
All in all, there are 4 working width size ranges that are manufactured from the 3 gauges of needles. These include 3.25-3.40mm, 3.80-4.00mm, .4.55-4.80mm, and 5.20-5.35mm.
Additionally, 2.20-2.30mm working width is manufactured from .25mm and .30mm needles, as well as all other blue marked working widths.
The rest of the working diameters are only manufactured from a certain gauge (reds).
The REBEL Curved Magnum inventory has been designed to cover the range of working widths currently available on the market, to help boost the productivity of any picky tattoo artist.
Curved Magnum Tattoo Cartridge - Tattoo needle - inventory chart - REBEL

If you would like to read more industry secrets I share on the blog, stay tuned!

Caesar The Hun

One thought on “The Evolution of Tattoo Equipment: Curved Magnum Tattoo Needle Configurations

  1. Michael Skinner says:

    I can always rely on rebel tattoo machine “ Caesar” to give the most information on the products that he introduces to our industry. This is a breath of fresh air having an artist owned company that not only delivers the best products but also uses them. My favorites curved mag is the 27. Excellent saturation and smooth blending in both black and grey and color. Thank you again Caesar.

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