CNC P6 Tattoo Machine Review

*Price at time of publishing

The CNC P6 has a ton of power and an adjustable stroke, making it a great choice for beginners who want the major benefits of a professional machine without the higher price tag.

Video Transcription: CNC P6 Tattoo Pen Review

What is up everybody, welcome to another video. If you are new to this channel, I am Brandon from Tattooing 101 and make sure you're liking and subscribing down below so you can keep up to date on all the new content we come out with each week. Today, I'm going to be reviewing the CNC P six. I'm really pumped about this machine. It is an adjustable stroke, which is super cool. I'm going to check it out, see how good it works, so you guys could know if it's a good choice for you or not.

Okay, so this will be the first time turning on this machine. I just got it today. I have not turned it on at all, so this will be the first time running this machine at eight volts. Helps if you put it in the right jack. I'll remember that for next time. So, that's it running. I will say that it's very, very quiet. I was expecting it to be a lot louder. It's almost as quiet or as quiet as my Cheyenne Sol Nova Unlimited, which obviously that machine is way more expensive as this one, so it's awesome to see how quiet it is. That was something that I wasn't expecting at all.

So let's get a cartridge in here and see how it sounds. Since we are starting to set up and using cartridges, you got to make sure that you're gloving up. Okay, so right off the bat, I could feel that it's really, really tight getting that cartridge in there. So, that's one thing. You want to make sure as your cartridge is going in the whole way, and these are cartridges I use all of the time. Yeah, so it is very, very tight in there, so that's one thing that you're going to want to watch out for, if you are using this machine is like, make sure that your cartridges are going in the whole way, so they don't just fly out when you're tattooing. No one likes that to happen.

Cool. Yeah, so it's still very, very quiet. That's just about how I'll tattoo, how much I would have my needle hang out and I'll say it feels really good. It's not super loud, and this is also on the three stroke. Let's try it out on a four. That's what I usually would use if I'm tattooing like my neo traditional or traditional style tattoo, I really like a longer stroke. I'd use a three for more like black and gray and most realism, things like that, or really, really tiny groupings of needles. So let's turn this off and get up to the four stroke, see how it works.

Okay. So we are officially at four strokes just by turning that little knob. It was super easy. I'm sure that you could do it in the middle of a tattoo if you wanted to. So let's check it up.

Wow. Noticeably different when it comes to the stroke on the four stroke, which is super cool. I wasn't sure how just turning this knob would affect, and actually make it work. But you could clearly tell that the stroke is definitely way bigger as soon as I turn that knob. So, that's super cool. It's instantly changes to a four stroke, which I'm used to using my injector or something like that to where either you can't change them or you have to tear apart your machine and replace some parts in order to change different strokes, which this is super cool. I have a feeling I'm really going to like this machine. But before we say that, let's get into actually trying to tattoo with it and see what happens.

Also, another thing, if you are ordering from CNC, make sure you are getting their bags to cover their pen machines. You don't want to be just tattooing with it like this. You want to make sure that you are wrapping it up and all you have to do to wrap it up is just take a bag out, put it through here.

So, that's one thing that's really good to know. These pen bag machines will not fit over this CNC machine, which is the P six. So if you are getting these bags, it's not going to fit over this little ridge where it's adjustable. You'd only be able to wrap the bottom, which I wouldn't necessarily like. So I'm going to use my Cheyenne pen bags. They are a little bit bigger, I believe that there are two inches instead of the one inch bags for other machines. So they should work perfect for this, but definitely recommend picking those bags up if you are wanting to get this machine.

Yeah. So the Cheyenne bag goes perfectly over there, no problems at all. So make sure you're getting the two inch, they'll fit over this machine without any issues. Then all you got to do from there is get some wrap and just wrap the top of this machine up. This just helps your hand not have a deal with all the vibrations and things like that. And also makes it a little bit easier for you to grip onto as you're tattooing. So now that it's ready to be tattooed, I'm going to set up my station and I'll see you guys in just a few seconds.

Okay. Let's get into trying out the CNC P six. What I'm going to be using is an eight round liner standard. Then I'm also going to try out some 11 curved mags and some 25 curved mags. I'm just curious to see if it'll push a really big mag. So we'll start out with our line work. I'm going to start out to the side. I want to get a feel for this. I've never used this machine before in my life. So trying to understand exactly how it runs to make sure I could do the tattoo exactly how I normally would, which would be great for you guys to know.

So if my needle hanging out, I don't run on the tube. I run on the tip. So I have my needle hanging out quite a bit. Let's get started with our first line. I will say before I even start, I could definitely feel the vibrations in my hand. That's not something I really feel in my Cheyenne Sol Nova but a lot of machines you're going to feel that it's just something a little bit different.

Awesome. So the first line, it didn't seem like it had any issues at all. I'm running on an eight volt right now. I usually run about a 10. I didn't want to turn it way up just first starting out. I kind of want to get a feel for the machine. So I'm just slowing down my hand speed to compensate for that as well.

Yeah. So at least for this eight round liner, it's not having any issues at all, put it in these lines. So what we're going to do, we'll work on the teeth and then I'm going to get a bigger liner out and see how good it does with that.

So right now I'm running it on the four stroke. I usually like to run on about a four when I'm doing lining. Sometimes I'll go a little bit under, I go like a 3.5, but I try to stick around a four stroke for lining. Just give me a second. I'm going to switch over to that bigger liner. So what I'm using now is going to be an 18 round liner. This is going to be the biggest liner I really use and it could be really hard to get a machine to push it. I just want to see if it will push an 18 round liner, which there's not many machines out there that do it efficiently enough for me to want to use them.

I will say that it is pushing an 18 round liner just fine, which honestly kind of blows my mind a little bit. And I also didn't turn my machine up at all. I'm just running on the exact same eight volts, which usually I definitely have to turn my machine up. So let's turn my machine up a little bit to what I normally would run on, which would be a 10 and see how it works. We'll go 9.5. And I will say the vibrations are quite a bit in my hand now that I actually turned it up to what I would normally run it on, but it's still doable. That's why I wrap my machine. So I don't feel that really bad.

Awesome. So with turning it up, I can see that it's definitely running more efficient than it was running it slower. Yeah. They're surprisingly us actually pushing an 18 round liner this well, I was not expecting that at all.

Yeah. So it feels really good in the hand. I'm not really having an issue holding it or in my hand getting tired, but also this is the very beginning as well. But the machine is definitely keeping up with me as I'm going through my lines for sure.

Yeah. So I pulled a really long line there just seeing how it'll do. And as you could see, it's clean the whole way through, which is super surprising. So yeah, this machine's working great for what I'm using it for right now, after the line works done, we'll get into some shading and see how it works with that.

All right. I'm going to get this cleaned up and we'll go into the shading. Actually, I got one more line to do right here. All right. Now we'll get it cleaned up and get into the shading.

All right. So there, we have the line work, obviously on a traditional tattoo. I wouldn't have done different line weights. I just did that to show you guys what this tattoo machine can do and we'll get on to the shading part. So we're going to focus on the thick shading first. So let's go with that 25 mag and see what it could do. I'm also going to move the stroke down to a three point. Yeah, let's go down to a three. So all I got to do that is move this little golden dial over on the machine. Let's see if I could actually do that with covering the machine so we don't have to take it apart. And it looks like you can, it's obviously just really kind of annoying to do with the plastic on, but I did get it there. So you can do that with the plastic on it.

Okay. So as you can see, this is a very big mag. It's one of the biggest ones I use unless I'm doing like back pieces, things like that, that I have, really, really big ones. So let's turn it on and see how it works.

Awesome. So it seems like it's pushing it, no problem. I'm going to move my needles back a little bit. Okay. Now you can definitely hear with the mag. The machine is quite a bit louder. So tip into our black real quick and let's see what it can do some whip shading.

So I will say that it is pushing this big mag, it's not necessarily doing it how my other machines were that were specifically set up for being able to push a big mag. So, that's one thing. I'm sure that the smaller mag with this machine will be no problem, but I will say that, that's why machines are set up for different things because you could have a, does all one machine, but you're always going to have little inconsistencies with what they could do, what they could do better and things like that. So with like bigger mags and like super big lines, I recommend to have a machine specifically made for doing something like that, unless you're first starting and you're just trying to check something out. Then this is where would come into play, something with adjustable strokes that you could kind of get used to doing everything. If you are just working on face skins, things like that, this would definitely be a great machine for that so far.

See, it looks like it's doing a great job running on that three stroke, being able build up layers, really light. Obviously if this was a tattoo I was doing outside of review, everything would be done and pepper shading for this style of tattoo, it being traditional and everything. And I'm just trying to break down everything to show you guys what this machine can do.

Okay. See, I really wanted to put this one through the ringer, because this is going to be a really hard one to push, but it seems like it's holding up no issue. It's keeping up with me even though it's a 25 mag, which is a huge mag for sure. Even with this pepper shaded area in the eyeball, it's working perfect. So we'll get done with this other eye and we'll switch over to that 11 mag. See how it does, which obviously if this one's working out fine, that one's going to work out great.

Okay. So now we are switching over to the 11 mag and we're still running it on that three stroke along with a 9.5 on the voltage. See how it does with packing in some of this area right here. Yeah, I did great.

Yeah, it's working awesome. Just like I thought, since it ran that huge one, this one should be no issue at all. So yeah, we pretty much just went through every single shading technique that you'll be doing with tattooing, whip shading, pendulum shading, we'll try a little feather shading someplace or brushstroke shading. I'm really starting to get used to this. It's a little bit skinnier than my Cheyenne, especially because I have the Sol Nova Unlimited, it's really thick, but I'm starting to get a feel for it now. And it feels really good in my hand.

Awesome. So this is doing a great job as well. So far, this machine is definitely one that I'll be using in the future. And that means a lot because I have a ton of different machines that I really enjoy. My injector is my go to. My Cheyenne, I really love using it. So yeah, this is definitely a machine that I would recommend if you're first starting out, it has that adjustable stroke, which is super cool. It was really easy to do too. All you got to do is turn that little knob and you're onto a different stroke and you can do a different style of tattooing or use a bigger mag or going from a liner to your shading. You don't have to have two machines set up for that, which is super awesome. Awesome. Let's clean this up.

The last thing I want to check out on this review would be color packing. So normally when I'm using color, I'm going to be using it as a four stroke. What I'm going to do, we haven't really gone middle ground yet. So I'm going to turn it to that 3.5. Let's see if we could blast some color into those eyes and nose with that. So there isn't necessarily a 3.5, but there is a 3.6. So let me go over these real quick. You go from four, which is far right to 3.8 to 3.6, which would be the middle ground to 3.3 and then down to the three, talking about the strokes. So now we're on the 3.6 running matte 11 mag still, and let's get some color into this tattoo. Start out with the nose. I will say so far, CNC you have surprised me with this machine. I was not expecting it to be, it's for it to work at as good first of all. And I definitely wasn't expecting it to like it as much as I am when I'm tattooing.

So this was a nice little simple, traditional tattoo to do to test out this machine. And I think it turned out great. I'm super happy with how the tattoo turned out. I'm super happy with how the machine actually ran. So let me get a different angle so I could explain and show you everything I like about this machine and go into it a little bit further.

So there we had the review of the CNC P six. Overall, I'm super happy with how the tattoo turned out. This machine has worked great. One thing I wanted to show you guys would be how to disassemble this machine. So all you got to do is screw this off. And then you get to the O-rings that they sent replacements with the machine. So whenever you are tattooing one thing you want to think about, if you are tattooing on fake skins, you can wrap this up, no problem, which will be no issue at all. But if you're tattooing on humans, you want to make sure that you have an autoclave to put these in, to sterilize them, just wrapping them up is not safe and also could cause complications with bloodborne pathogens causing infections and just really mess someone up. It's a very, very big health risk. So you want to make sure you have an autoclave if you are using these style of machines for actual human clients.

Now, one thing I would love for CNC to come out with for their like pen style machines would be actual disposable grips for these. They do have them of the Cheyenne Sol Nova, which is why I bought one. And I use their disposable grips all the time, which are awesome. I still wrap up my machine with the plastic, but I use the disposable grip as well and then just toss it away after the use.

So with that, honestly would be the only downside that I have with this machine is that every time I use this there aren't a disposable grip. So I have to use my autoclave to sterilize the grips, which I'm a big fan of disposable. It just makes everything easier for me and the shop. So I really like disposable. So, that was the only downfall when it comes to the CNC P six. Other than that, it ran great. And I put it through the ringer. I use a 14 round liner, which is super hard to get to penetrate the skin. And it did just fine. It made some really thick, clean lines the whole way through which I was not expecting. Also with that mag, I use the 25 curved mag, which is a monster, other machines going to have a hard time pushing that if you're getting these cheaper machines and things like that to wear, they just don't have the power to push something that big. But this one actually did great when it came to that.

So if you want to create some awesome tattoos that are clean and do tattoos up to this caliber, you will be able to do this with this CNC machine. No problem.

Our Score

7.0/10

GOOD

Price: $169.95 (8/10)

Current Progress
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The CNC P6 is right around the price of most beginner tattoo machines, but it has a lot more power and precision stroke control.

Quality (6/10)

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CNC tattoo machines are almost always high quality, and the P6 is no different. However, we could feel the vibration of the machine, and the body of the machine is a little skinny for people with larger hands.

Handling (7/10)

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The CNC P6 can push large tattoo needle groupings. It had no issues with an 18 RL and a 25 CM. It was easy to change the stroke mid-tattoo, even with the pen bag over the machine.
PROS:
  • Quick stroke adjustment so you don’t need to buy multiple tattoo machines
  • Powerful enough for large needle groupings
  • Quiet operation
CONS:
  • You can feel the vibration of the tattoo pen
  • Does not fit into normal tattoo pen bags (2” pen bags required)
  • No disposable grip options

Product Details

Weight

172g

Stroke

3, 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, and 4mm (changeable stroke)

Motor

Hollow-cup

Voltage

Up to 10V

Rated Power

4.8W

Connection

RCA connection

Product Details

Weight

172g

Stroke

3, 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, and 4mm (changeable stroke)

Motor

Hollow-cup

Voltage

Up to 10V

Rated Power

4.8W

Connection

RCA connection

CNC P6 Tattoo Machine - Our Review:

The P6 machine from CNC Tattoo Supply surprised us with the power to push large needle groupings and the ability to change the stroke length. Those two features rarely come with easy-to-operate beginner tattoo machines, which makes the P6 a great choice for both beginners and artists looking to add a versatile machine to their tattooing process.

We consider the CNC P6 to be the budget version of a Cheyenne Sol Nova tattoo machine. 

Precise Stroke Control for Tattoo Artists

On most pen machines with adjustable strokes, you twist the motor housing to change the stroke. However, there’s usually no way to secure itin place, and it becomes easy to accidentally change the stroke while you’re tattooing.

The P6 machine clearly clicks into place when you change the stroke, and there’s a visible difference when you change the stroke.

CNC P6 adjustable stroke tattoo pen
review picture - CNC P6 adjustable stroke tattoo pen

You have five stroke options (3, 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, and 4mm). We recommend using a 3 or 3.3mm stroke for soft shading, 3.6 for color packing, and 3.8 or 4mm for lining.

Awkward Fit

There were a few small things about the P6 tattoo pen that made it a bit awkward to handle. First, it was hard to get the cartridge into the machine correctly. If the cartridge is not secure, it can pop out while you’re tattooing. 

Second, the tattoo pen bags we bought with the machine did not fit over the gold stroke ring. (The same machine bags fit over our other CNC machines perfectly fine.)

tattoo pen features stroke adjust
rotary tattoo pen machine bag

Last, if you have larger hands, this tattoo pen might feel a little skinny (especially when compared to something like the Cheyenne Sol Nova). However, this will only be an issue for a few tattoo artists. Overall, the machine is comfortable and easy to hold.

More Power Than Expected

Normally, we’d recommend only using small needle groupings on beginner machines because they don’t have the power for anything larger than a 9 RL or 11 CM. However, the P6 had no issues pushing an 18 RL at 9.5V. We were also able to use a 25 CM with this machine, though it wasn’t quite as efficient as a machine made for using such large needles. 

cnc rotary tattoo pen using downward needle pressure
one tattoo pen with large tattoo needles

Despite the extra power, the P6 runs very quietly. However, we could feel the vibration from the machine, especially when we moved the volts up from 8 to 9.5. This didn’t affect the quality of the tattoo, and we recommend wrapping your grip to minimize vibration.

Who the CNC P6 Is (and Isn’t) For:

We really enjoyed tattooing with the CNC P6, and we’d recommend it to both beginner and experienced artists. However, if you’re a new artist and you do not have an autoclave, you can only use this machine on fake skins

The CNC P6 currently does not have a disposable grip option, which means you cannot tattoo people safely unless you run the grip through an autoclave after every tattoo. For this reason, if you’re a beginner artist planning to tattoo real skin soon, we would recommend finding a machine that gives you the ability to use disposable grips.

Get the CNC P6 Tattoo Pen

Other CNC Tattoo Machines and Equipment

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AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain. When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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