Round liner needles - Precision tattoo cartridge configurations - Tattoo Equipment - REBEL

The Evolution of Tattoo Equipment: Liner Tattoo Needle Configurations

Precision Round Liner Tattoo Needles - Tattoo Supply - REBEL
As the name suggests, round liner tattoo needle configurations are used for making lines and hard edges. They are not ideal for covering larger surfaces or shading but are great for supporting photo-realistic techniques.

How Can You Recognize Liner Tattoo Needles?

Liner tattoo needles are easily recognizable because the needles are grouped together tightly and end in almost a point.
They allow the tattoo artist to create a sharp, crisp mark on human skin. So, these needles are perfect for technical work and tiny details.
When it comes to art and especially painting, a liner paint brush helps us make hard edges and lines. The liner paintbrush is what we are mimicking in the tattoo industry. So we are able to use the same technique to create the same effect.
Liner Tattoo needle configurations compare to artist paint brushes - REBEL

Liner Tattoo Needle Configurations

Liner tattoo needle configurations usually involve the use of long tapered needles. Some manufacturing companies also offer them in extra-long tapered versions. As we already mentioned it in our previous tattoo needle categories blog post, you can find them with 3 commonly used tattoo needle gauges.

  • .25mm – FINE – #8 is the standard system (US) designation.
  • .30mm – NORMAL – #10 is the standard system (US) designation.
  • .35mm – FAT – #12 is the standard system (US) designation.

Note: ALL REBEL Liner configurations belong to the LONG tapered group.

When a tattoo needle involves the use of .25mm – FINE – #8 wire gauge, it is commonly called BUGPIN.

Note: Don’t mix up “gauge” with “taper”!


The name bugpin probably refers to the fine gauge pins that we use for pinning butterflies because the .25mm-long tapered needles can be as sharp and thin as the pins for displaying the butterflies.

The number of soldered needles range from a single (1) liner to around 18 needles. This amount usually increases in odd number configurations like 3, 5, 7,9, and 11. Round liner tattoo needle configurations may not belong to more than 18-needle configurations.
The general ID or mark of this group in the tattoo industry is RL = Round Liner. Their name refers to the number of needles and configuration types. So, a 7-needle round liner would be 7-RL, an 18-needle round liner would be 18-RL, and so on.
Of course, we use the same system here at REBEL too. And we also insert our brand abbreviation in the name: RTC (REBEL TATTOO CARTRIDGES).
REBEL Tattoo Cartridge – 9 Round Liner = RTC-9RL
Now, I would like to explain the total diameter (thickness or gauge) of different needle configurations. It hasn’t been clearly explained (at least not by any tattoo artists I know) and there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
7 BUGPIN - Round Liner Precision Cartridge Needle - REBEL
9 Round Liner Precision Tattoo Cartridge Needle - REBEL
11 Round POWER Liner Precision Tattoo Cartridge Needle - REBEL

First off, let me show you the REBEL Liner cartridge inventory. I’ll explain the idea behind the selection.

NOTE: ALL REBEL Liner configurations belong to the LONG tapered group.

REBEL Liners vary in common gauges along with the number of needles that make up the configurations. All configurations have a final WORKING DIAMETER or working gauge/working thickness, which is one of the most important properties.

Working diameter - Round Tattoo Needles - Tattoo cartridge - REBEL

What is a Working Diameter?

The term working diameter is my own invention. I came up with this expression to lay ground for a better understanding of the gauge.

Working diameter is the group of needles soldered together. This can be manufactured from different gauges of different needles. And this determines whether we call that a BUGPIN liner, STANDARD liner, POWER liner, or ROUND shader. Also, it determines how thin or thick lines you can make or how big a surface you can cover in case of using a round shader.

The difference between these needle configurations is the gauge of the needles they are manufactured from:

#8 = .25mm needle – BUGPIN
#10 = .30mm needle – STANDARD
#12 = .35mm needle – POWER

Chart of Inventory Strategy - Round Liner Tattoo Needles - REBEL
    • REBEL Needle configurations from .25mm (#8 US) needles. The term for this is BUGPIN Liners.
    • The REBEL Needle configurations from .30mm (#10 US) needles. We call them STANDARD/Round Liners.
    • REBEL needle configurations from .35mm (#12 US) needles. They are called POWER Liners.
This chart explains the relationship between liner needle configurations and the wire gauge they are made from.
The Metric system is easier to understand the correlations. But you can study the standard system measurements as well.
Chart Gauge compare between liner tattoo needle configurations - tattoo cartridges - REBEL

Needle Configurations Sizes

As you can see, we have the same needle configurations for the 3 needle sizes (same color code). There is still a difference between them because they are made up of different diameter or gauge needles. Therefore, they can provide the same working diameter.
Smaller gauge needles need a higher quantity to reach a certain size, compared to bigger gauge needles. Thus, we have an overlap between their working diameters.
Let’s analyze the chart above and take an example! Take the working diameter of the 7 Round liner needle configuration from #8 (.25mm). This can be the same as or equivalent to the 5 Round Liner configuration from #10 (.30mm) and the 3 Round Liner needle from #12 (.35mm).
Check out the chart of working diameter and configuration below!
Chart of Liner Tattoo Needle compare by the gauge - tattoo cartridge - REBEL

Working Diameter Sizes

You can see 5 working diameter sizes on the chart. They can be manufactured from the 3 gauges of needles. These include 0.7mm, 0.85mm, .98mm, 1.10mm and 1.2mm (green columns).

Additionally, a 0.60mm working diameter can come with .25mm and .30mm needles. Also, a 1.35mm working diameter size may come from .30mm and .35mm needles (blue columns).

The rest of the working diameters are only from a certain gauge (red columns).

We developed the REBEL Round Liner inventory to help you meet your standards and unique needs by providing you with a wide range of working diameters.

Chart of Inventory Strategy - Round Liner Tattoo Needles - REBEL

To support you with the most reliable and up to date insights, I’ll write more blog posts for you on various industry secrets. Stay tuned!

Caesar The Hun

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

  1. Pingback: The Evolution of Tattoo Equipment: Round Shader Tattoo Needle Configurations • Rebel Tattoo Machine

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