Both liner and shader tattoo guns are used solely for the purpose of making tattoos on different parts of the body. However, there are a number of differences between the two tattoo guns. A liner tattoo gun is used for making tattoo outlines, whereas a shader tattoo gun is used in order to shade and colour in the tattoo.
Furthermore, the number and positioning of needles is different in these two guns. Since making tattoo outlines requires more detailed work, a liner tattoo gun makes use of fewer needles as compared to a shader tattoo gun. A liner tattoo gun can have one to seven needles whereas a shader gun has more than a minimum of four needles. Moreover, needles in a liner tattoo gun are positioned in a circular pattern, whereas the needle set up in a shader tattoo gun is in the shape of a comb.
Needles in a liner gun operate at speeds that are much faster than the speed of the needles in a shader tattoo gun. Moreover, the power consumed by the capacitors of a liner is less than the power consumed by the capacitors of a shader. This is because the number of needles in a shader is generally more than the number of needles in a liner. Thus, higher powered capacitors are required in a shader, so that the needles can easily penetrate the skin.
Another difference between a liner and a shader tattoo gun is the number of wraps in a coil. A 10 to 12 wrap coil is generally used to set up a shader tattoo gun. On the other hand, an 8 wrap coil is used in order to set up a liner tattoo gun.
Last, but not the least, there is a weight difference between the shading and lining tattoo machines. The former weighs about 8 to 10 oz whereas the latter weighs about 7 to 8 oz. This is an importance difference which should be kept in mind when making a choice between a liner and a shader tattoo gun, because handling a heavier machine for an extensive period of time can result in fatigue and thus affect the quality of work of an artist.