Magnum Shader Vs Round Shader: Which Is Better

Tattooing is different from painting, and one of the distinct factors is the tattooing tool, called a tattoo gun. This equipment consists of many needles in the tip, instead of a single ballpoint like a pen. Moreover, these needles are organized in various forms, including magnum shader vs round shader, for different tattooing purposes and creations. And, if you still find these two concepts strange, read the content below for more information. 

Overview Of Magnum Shader Vs Round Shader

Needle configuration is how the needles are arranged in a tattoo gun tip. There are several styles of organizations, including the two below:

Magnum Shader

Magnum shader (M1) is a style of arranging in which the needles are put in two rows in a weaved formation. Therefore, the total number of needles in a magnum tattooing gun is odd (for example, 4 in one row and 5 in the other). Moreover, these needles are not arranged to contact each other, which means there are gaps between them.

Magnum shader needles

Round Shader

Round shader (RS) is another arrangement in which the needles are put in a circle formation. And, like a magnum shader, needles in the round shader are grouped in a loose formation.

Round shader needles

Similarities Between Magnum Shader Vs Round Shader


Tattoo needles, though different in types and configurations, are made of the same material. The primary substance is steel. Moreover, these long pieces contain about 6-8% nickel and 15-20% chrome. The combination of these metals brings tattoo needles a silver color. 


Although the needles are arranged in different ways, they have a feature in common. As mentioned, there are gaps between needles in both configurations, making them cover a wider range of skin than putting them in contact with each other. 

Differences Between Magnum Shader Vs Round Shader

The only difference between these formations is how they are used in tattooing work. Below are several circumstances that tattoo artists use them:

Magnum shader is mainly used in color filling because it distributes a considerable amount of ink in a large skin area. In addition, you may see tattoo artists use this type of needle configuration for applying gradient color because it can deposit the colors smoothly without patchy areas or color borders.

Round shader needles can distribute ink in smaller areas than magnum shader, so this configuration is often used for:

  • Drawing soft-edge lines or not bold layers
  • Filling colors into small areas
  • Making shading, texture, and highlights
Packing colors into a tattoo

Magnum Shader Vs Round Shader: Which is better?

Since the needles are made of the same material, it is difficult to determine which configuration is better because each type is applied for different tattooing purposes. The critical point is that tattoo artists need to know the characteristics and applications of each kind to use appropriately and make awesome creations

Readmore: How to become a tattoo artist?


Are there any tattoo needle configurations besides magnum shader and round shader?

As mentioned, there are several kinds of needle configuration, and magnum shader and round shader are two of them. Moreover, we also have Round liner (RL), Flat (F), Curved magnum (M1C or RM), and Stacked magnum (M2). 

What are the considerations when choosing needles for tattooing?

Tattooing is a job that requires high precision, so you must be careful when choosing needles for your work. Below are some factors you need to pay attention to:

  • Needle shape: It is essential to check if the needles are in good condition before using them. Make sure they are straight, unbent, and sharp enough. 
  • Build quality: Look through the needles to make sure they are well attached. Any loose needle may cause severe problems in tattooing. 
  • Needle sanitation: Ensure the needles get sanitizing certification, and always include sanitizing substances and tools in your workshop because dirty needles may harm customers’ skin, such as allergies. 
  • Tattoo gun and tattooing purpose: Understanding your tattoo gun is critical because it helps you choose the correct needles. Moreover, select appropriate needles based on your frequent work or styles because not all types or configurations are versatile. 


We hope this article has brought you valuable information about magnum shader vs round shader in tattooing work, especially if you want to get into this job. Also, if you think this post is informative, share it with your friends.

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