Pissed off at Dragonhawk tattoo machines

blas

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4 Feb 2021
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ok so i bought the Dragonhawk Mast tour Max ..it had good revires it was $179 on amzon.ca i got a batter for it ... i turn it on and it sounds a bit rough but i thought it try it on fake skin... well every 15 to 30 seconds it would make a gritty grinding sound so im like screw this..sent it back
THAN i bought the Dragonhawk Mast Archer ithat i spent $279 which has amazing reviews and alot of nice tattoo pieces on Instagram done by that machine, it has built in battery run time of 8 hours ..so i get this machine i turn it on ..it runs smooth..i go to charge it an i notice it only charges to 99% i thought weird but was like like maybe thats normal..i go to tattoo fake skin ..after only 14 min of using it , it went from 99% to 89% in 14 minutes ..FML so sending that one back.. it was a nice machine tho and ran very quiet and smooth.

So anybody have any good feed back on Dragonhawk ?? should i chance another archer cause people seem to LOVE THEM on youtube and instagram
And if not what one do you recommend for a starter ( i dont want coil ) and i dont want to spend over 300 Canadian
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blas

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CNC something. Everybody's talking about them atm. TexasPT balooka
yeah i was looking into the CNC-Q2 and they are saying they are fake Faulharber motors and a couple had DOA machines as well.
its disheartening. i know some of the Chinese stuff is decent but their Quality control sucks its like you risk it and either its good or shit.
 

balooka

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I have the Q2 and love it. I haven't heard anything about a fake FH motor but I guess it could be true. I have two cheyennes and an inkjecta and, all in all, I use the Q2 as much as the cheyennes and inkjecta combined. I have zero problems with it and runs very smooth. I'm getting the other one too, the q5 or q6 or whatever it is.

Maybe I was lucky... But it wasn't a big investment either. If it turned out to be crap, well, lesson learned, but I'm pleasantly surprised!
 

blas

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I have the Q2 and love it. I haven't heard anything about a fake FH motor but I guess it could be true. I have two cheyennes and an inkjecta and, all in all, I use the Q2 as much as the cheyennes and inkjecta combined. I have zero problems with it and runs very smooth. I'm getting the other one too, the q5 or q6 or whatever it is.

Maybe I was lucky... But it wasn't a big investment either. If it turned out to be crap, well, lesson learned, but I'm pleasantly surprised!
yeah i read a coiuple things saying they are fake faulharber motors but i mean again its either you get lucky or not , that mast archer runs so smooth and no vibration i almost wanna give it another chance lol... what is the cheapest name brand you can get into that is decent?
 

gadsden1776

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blas - what is your goal/motivation/end game with all of this tattooing stuff?



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blas

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blas - what is your goal/motivation/end game with all of this tattooing stuff?
To be a full time tattoo artist in a shop or my house in a professional sterile environment once i am ready, i wont be and never could be a "scratcher" or some hack and slash .. i am taking this serious.. so yes i should be investing in a 700 dollar machine.. but i have also been unemployed for a year i cant afford that. i need something good enough to start for now and get some technique down..
 

blas

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Use the machines. I have a mast tour and CNC and they both work great. Not sure what your issue is.
not sure what my issue is? i believe i wrote that the Mast tour max i bought was making a grinding/sandy noise every 15 to 20 seconds and than i ordered the Mast archer and it wouldn't charge to a 100% and it went from 99% batter to 89% battery at 7.3V in 14 min yet they state to have 8 hour batter life ) i asked other people with mast archers if that was normal they both said no ..i thought i explained that well in my initial write up?
and than i said to balooka that i seen on a couple different sources that CNC was stating they were using faulharber motors but they were fake FH motors.
So im asking if anyone experienced issues with dragonhawk ect.
 

79josh81

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25 Oct 2019
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Grinding noises can be from a dry cartridge with no ink to not having the cartridge fully seated.
As far as the 14 mins at 89%, why don’t you keep running it and see what happens. It might not lose battery power as fast as you’re thinking. My response is the way it was because you sound like you’ve written off dragonhawk machines sooner than you should have. How long have you been tattooing for?
 

79josh81

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To be a full time tattoo artist in a shop or my house in a professional sterile environment once i am ready, i wont be and never could be a "scratcher" or some hack and slash .. i am taking this serious.. so yes i should be investing in a 700 dollar machine.. but i have also been unemployed for a year i cant afford that. i need something good enough to start for now and get some technique down..
And this...if you think you need a $700 machine to do good work, you really need check yourself. The machine doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how your tattoos look. And a good tattoo artist can take a cheap machine and do good work once they figure out how it lays ink. Focus on your techniques and use the machines is what I’m trying to tell you.
 

79josh81

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And who cares where the CNC motor was made. Lol I’m not trying to be a dick but a Japanese motor or German motor will lay the same ink. What difference does the country that the motor is made in have to do with doing good tattoos?
 

blas

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Grinding noises can be from a dry cartridge with no ink to not having the cartridge fully seated.
As far as the 14 mins at 89%, why don’t you keep running it and see what happens. It might not lose battery power as fast as you’re thinking. My response is the way it was because you sound like you’ve written off dragonhawk machines sooner than you should have. How long have you been tattooing for?
When i first got the dragonhawk mast archer it was at 48% batter i tattooed for 25 min it went down to 24% i charged it it only went to 99% not 100 and lost 10% of its charge in 14 min after charging something was obviously wrong.
I also thought the Mast tour Max could have been a cartridge but it made that noise with out i cartridge in it i took video incase they denied the return. it was a very grindy gritty sound and i could feel it in the machine every time it grinded.

Im not writing off Dragonhawk i said i was pissed because i got two defective products in a row.
Hence why i am on here asking IF people have had GOOD experiences with them.
and im not a tattoo artist im trying to become a tattoo artist.
 

79josh81

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Dragonhawk makes good machines at affordable prices. I’m sorry you’ve had the experience you’ve had but I know tattoo artists with 20+years of experience that are using Dragonhawk machines and love them.
 

blas

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And this...if you think you need a $700 machine to do good work, you really need check yourself. The machine doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how your tattoos look. And a good tattoo artist can take a cheap machine and do good work once they figure out how it lays ink. Focus on your techniques and use the machines is what I’m trying to tell you.
your absolutely right it doesnt matter if the cheap pone works than you should be able to do anything with it but with a more expensive one you tend to have better warrantys , customer support, better quality control ect ect.. i have done my research the Mast archer looked amazing i seen bad ass tattoos off of the machine thats why i bought it ..as for the motor i dont care where its from as long as it runs smooth but if a company is saying its a faulharber and its not i mean that should make you think twice about the company you are buying from
 

blas

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Dragonhawk makes good machines at affordable prices. I’m sorry you’ve had the experience you’ve had but I know tattoo artists with 20+years of experience that are using Dragonhawk machines and love them.
im most likely going to re order the mast archer once i get the money back because it ran stupid quiet and very smooth but i didnt wanna chance the battery if its already causing issues ..once i miss that 14 day return window im fked ..good luck getting warranty with Chinese machines
 

79josh81

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For sure...totally get that. Like TexasPT always says, it doesn’t matter the machine. People have been tattooing bad ass shit with ash and bone since forever. You can tattoo anything with any machine as long as you figure out the best way to use it.
 

sheyd

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I have the Cnc Q2. I loveeee it. I have no idea if I have a real German motor or a Chinese rip off, but it runs beautifully. I also plan to treat myself to an Upgrade with the first 1k I make so I’m not stressing too much about it. It wasn’t that expensive.

I think you should play around with the tattoo machines a bit more before you send them back, my machine made a horrible buzzing noise at first and it took me a while to realized if didn’t have my cartiridge in fully and it was backwards. Lol
 

blas

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For sure...totally get that. Like TexasPT always says, it doesn’t matter the machine. People have been tattooing bad ass shit with ash and bone since forever. You can tattoo anything with any machine as long as you figure out the best way to use it ?
Thanks for your insight i appreciate it . out of your two you have which one do you like the best?
 
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blas

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I have the Cnc Q2. I loveeee it. I have no idea I’f I have a real German motor or a Chinese rip off, but it runs beautifully. I also plan to treat myself to an Upgrade with the first 1k I make so I’m not stressing toomuch about it. It wasn’t that expensive.

I think you should play around with the tattoo machines a bit more before you send them back, my machine made a horrible bussing noise at first and it took me a while to realized if didn’t have my cartiridge in fully and it was backwards.
they are already sent back , this made the noise with and with out the cartridge and its was a loud crunchy grindy noise it definitely wasnt a good sound lol it was one of those sounds that made you wince and be like :oops:o_O..... again the Mast Archer ran so smooth and quiet so will re order it and thank update on how it works properly
 

balooka

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I'm a bit late to this show but why not order the Q2 and a batterypack? Will set you back about 150 - 175 or so. I think I got my q2 for 125 euro's and the batterypack was 22 euro's I think. I have three batteries and they drop like 15% in charge after 3 hours of tattooing.
Plus, the batterpacks work on all machines (except one cheyenne which still has the crap connector).

I did a very quick google search and didn't really find anything about the fake motors. The motors are not expensive at all if you buy them in bulk, they are not rocket engines. CNC's are very well build in my opinion, all alloy. The inkjecta wich was something like $500 for the unit without grip and is made out of plastic but has a fancy LED 🤪 😁
 

blas

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I'm a bit late to this show but why not order the Q2 and a batterypack? Will set you back about 150 - 175 or so. I think I got my q2 for 125 euro's and the batterypack was 22 euro's I think. I have three batteries and they drop like 15% in charge after 3 hours of tattooing.
Plus, the batterpacks work on all machines (except one cheyenne which still has the crap connector).

I did a very quick google search and didn't really find anything about the fake motors. The motors are not expensive at all if you buy them in bulk, they are not rocket engines. CNC's are very well build in my opinion, all alloy. The inkjecta wich was something like $500 for the unit without grip and is made out of plastic but has a fancy LED 🤪 😁
The cnc q2 is $260 Canadian and a cheap battery pack is $49 guessing supply and demand has driven that up a but i will check out some reviews on that
 

gadsden1776

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8 Oct 2011
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To be a full time tattoo artist in a shop or my house in a professional sterile environment once i am ready, i wont be and never could be a "scratcher" or some hack and slash .. i am taking this serious.. so yes i should be investing in a 700 dollar machine.. but i have also been unemployed for a year i cant afford that. i need something good enough to start for now and get some technique down..
excellent answer.

my advice.
get a part time job. save for a "good machine". I know the machines you have/had get good reviews, however you seem to not be having much luck. TexasPT here uses one as a daily driver & he is in a shop. I have considered one of those myself to get a feel for pen machines, based solely on feedback on this forum.

also - i HIGHLY recommend a coil machine to start with. they teach you things about the inner workings of a tattoo that i feel a rotary will never teach.

you can get two quality frames. some good coils, a spring pack from eikon, & other bits. build 2 high quality coil machines that will do 100% of everything you need & cost you less than 300ish$$. One of my mentors (extremely good artist) use just one single coil machine for everything.

you will learn what makes a machine tick, the characteristics of how a needle moves (how long it is in the skin vs out for example & how that influences your markings).
 
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I gotta agree with Gadsden. Sure, people use Dragonhawk successfully and I'm glad they're able to without spending too much cash. But in the end their market are beginners who don't intend to make a full time living. If you really want to learn then treat yourself to a good machine and get that out of the equation. There's not sense fighting shitty manufacturing and trying to determine if it's you or the tool. TexasPT turned me onto Forward Tattoo for some pretty decent coil machines at a great price (100 - 150) and they're available without a shop account. Aside from that I've been using coils from Workhorse Irons that are under $300 each. They all come basically tuned so you'll be able to get to work on your technique instead of fighting your tools.
 

blas

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I gotta agree with Gadsden. Sure, people use Dragonhawk successfully and I'm glad they're able to without spending too much cash. But in the end their market are beginners who don't intend to make a full time living. If you really want to learn then treat yourself to a good machine and get that out of the equation. There's not sense fighting shitty manufacturing and trying to determine if it's you or the tool. TexasPT turned me onto Forward Tattoo for some pretty decent coil machines at a great price (100 - 150) and they're available without a shop account. Aside from that I've been using coils from Workhorse Irons that are under $300 each. They all come basically tuned so you'll be able to get to work on your technique instead of fighting your tools.
i get what you are both saying but coils seem to be old technology and rotaries seem so much better, i dont think there is a point learning on a coil only to go to a rotary i get the whole appreciation and its part in parcel to the trade but... . ( yes to those who have tattooed for years this will sound like arrogance and i assure its not ) but it is 2021 and for ease of use and comfort im going to stay rotary , i may Try the CNC Q2 and see how that goes , or i will give dragon hawk one more chance on the mast archer.
I do how ever appreciate you taking the time to tell me your opinions and thoughts
 
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i get what you are both saying but coils seem to be old technology and rotaries seem so much better, i dont think there is a point learning on a coil only to go to a rotary i get the whole appreciation and its part in parcel to the trade but... . ( yes to those who have tattooed for years this will sound like arrogance and i assure its not ) but it is 2021 and for ease of use and comfort im going to stay rotary , i may Try the CNC Q2 and see how that goes , or i will give dragon hawk one more chance on the mast archer.
I do how ever appreciate you taking the time to tell me your opinions and thoughts
well, coil vs rotary wasn't really the point :). I get that most people prefer them for their ease of use. I'm just experienced with coils so I can recommend specific brands at a lower cost point that won't give you troubles. If I were to go rotary, I'd probably save up for a Dan Kubin Sidewinder or an Axys Valhalla pen. If I couldn't go that high, I might look at Bishop or something. I don't know much about those though so I can't go into too much detail on performance.

The main thing is to buy a more professional quality brand so that you're not fighting your equipment when there are so many other things to figure out. Also, keep in mind that even some of the best rotary artists out there still use coils for lining so you may not get away from them forever.
 

gadsden1776

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i dont think there is a point learning on a coil only to go to a rotary
i literally gave you at least one reason....

"you will learn what makes a machine tick, the characteristics of how a needle moves (how long it is in the skin vs out for example & how that influences your markings)."

Do you what you want man. But don't ask for advice looking for validation.

You want a rotary you can trust? don't buy from china. buy from the people that pioneered the industry. get your Uber or Grub Hub on. Save the cash & buy one that will work. that way when your lines & shading suck you can't blame your tools.

Give me a 1969 vw bug all day long. I can drive it, fix it, mod it, & my insurance for a year is less than your car payment for a month. Is it as fast as my bmw? no. but it just works. (fyi i have owned bugs & bmw's - i love them both... i hate working on cars & hate paying for it to be done more.... bug ftw).
 
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blas

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well, coil vs rotary wasn't really the point :). I get that most people prefer them for their ease of use. I'm just experienced with coils so I can recommend specific brands at a lower cost point that won't give you troubles. If I were to go rotary, I'd probably save up for a Dan Kubin Sidewinder or an Axys Valhalla pen. If I couldn't go that high, I might look at Bishop or something. I don't know much about those though so I can't go into too much detail on performance.

The main thing is to buy a more professional quality brand so that you're not fighting your equipment when there are so many other things to figure out. Also, keep in mind that even some of the best rotary artists out there still use coils for lining so you may not get away from them forever
i really appreciate your advice thank you
 

blas

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i literally gave you at least one reason....

"you will learn what makes a machine tick, the characteristics of how a needle moves (how long it is in the skin vs out for example & how that influences your markings)."

Do you what you want man. But don't ask for advice looking for validation.

You want a rotary you can trust? don't buy from china. buy from the people that pioneered the industry. get your Uber or Grub Hub on. Save the cash & buy one that will work. that way when your lines & shading suck you can't blame your tools.

Give me a 1969 vw bug all day long. I can drive it, fix it, mod it, & my insurance for a year is less than your car payment for a month. Is it as fast as my bmw? no. but it just works. (fyi i have owned bugs & bmw's - i love them both... i hate working on cars & hate paying for it to be done more.... bug ftw).
this is my quote at the beginning of this thread
"So anybody have any good feed back on Dragonhawk ?? should i chance another archer cause people seem to LOVE THEM on youtube and instagram
And if not what one do you recommend for a starter ( i dont want coil ) and i dont want to spend over 300 Canadian"

I appreciate everyones advice and im not trying to step on anyone's toes and im not trying to be ignorant. i know why people still hold on to coil machines im sure they have there place. Also i get the whole China garbage shit but to be honest half the Made in America now in days just means Assembled there lol.

i will maybe look into a cheaper starter coil.. i re ordered the Mast archer we will see if it gives me troubles again if it does than thats strike three and dragonhawk will never get my business again
 

DKJ

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For my second machine, I bought a Neotat Vivace (new, made and assembled in the USA) for around 300$.
It's a very simple rotary which has been very reliable for the moment.
As a beginner, after buying a dragonhawk coil/rotary set (new) for 70$, i was looking for basic things:
- No tuning required,
- A motor with a constant hit (no variation of speed)
- Good reviews,
- Good customer service,
- A needle which always stop at the same place (meaning going back in place when you stop the machine).

I got that wishlist from my experience, based on me ending happy with my tattoos, made with a really shitty machine.

In the end, you can buy a 1,500$ machine, as a beginner it will help you nowhere because you don't know why you'd need this specific one, how to use it at its best, and its price will drop in a minute so if you don't like it you quite acted against your wallet.

When i started learning Deejaying, i bought some dirt cheap turntables. After 2 years working on them, i bought Technics MK2, which where the industry standard... There i have been upgrading for a better environment, it was time. If i had sucked big time at Djing, i would have sold them MK2 for half their price.

Hell, this is long... What i mean is: don't start complaining over your machines, since they're never doing the job. It's you. So use them, and with that in mind, you have to use your first machine to know what you're waiting for with the next one (Liner, shader, big hitter, less vibration, cartridges, direct drive... you'll know).

Peace,

DKJ
 
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gadsden1776

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Hell, this is long... What i mean is: don't start complaining over your machines, since they're never doing the job. It's you. So use them, and with that in mind, you have to use your first machine to know what you're waiting for with the next one (Liner, shader, big hitter, less vibration, cartridges, direct drive... you'll know)
boom

have we talked djing before DKJ? I had vestax PDX a2's... once i got on those - i never touched a Technics again if I could avoid it.
 

gadsden1776

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I appreciate everyones advice and im not trying to step on anyone's toes and im not trying to be ignorant
i don't think your stepping on toes. you have an idea of what you want & why. no worries.

& your not necessarily being ignorant - you don't have a base of knowledge to work from & your asking questions... that's learning.

i was basically saying there are reasons coils are recommended (another reason being that with out proper technique a coil machine won't "work" - can bounce off the skin... where as most rotaries will complete a full cycle regardless of bad technique). By no means do you have to go that route. many modern artists that do good work have never seen a coil.

If you do go coil... don't buy cheap. I would recommend not buying at all. Read "machinegun magazine" (look in the search on this site) & build you own.

That one simple exercise will teach you more about machines & tattoo mechanics & the why's & what's than anything i can think of. there is a reason generations of apprentices built & tuned machines before being allowed to touch skin.

have you ever seen tattoos done in prison that were out of this world good? those are made with a toothbrush frame, a single needle, a ball point pen tube as a cam & a motor from cd players or hair clippers.
 
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Lancez

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To be a full time tattoo artist in a shop or my house in a professional sterile environment once i am ready, i wont be and never could be a "scratcher" or some hack and slash .. i am taking this serious.. so yes i should be investing in a 700 dollar machine.. but i have also been unemployed for a year i cant afford that. i need something good enough to start for now and get some technique down..
I totally agree that we shouldn't be 'practicing' on real skin. We gotta make good names for ourselves.
 
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