Police Cartridges: CNC Tattoo Needles Review

*Price at time of publishing

The CNC Police cartridges have great construction and good ink flow. They put ink into fake skins easily and give artists a budget brand they can count on for safety and quality.

Video Transcription: Police Cartridges CNC Tattoo Needles Review

What is up YouTube, welcome to another video. And today what we're going to be going over is CNC police cartridges. I'm going to be going over and reviewing these cartridges. I do have liners and shaders. We're going to go over the price point and if they're worth getting. If you're new to this channel, I'm Brandon from Tattooing 101, and I hope you're going to be able to find this information useful to you. If you like tattooing content like this and you're trying to learn, make sure you like and subscribe down below so you can keep up to date on all the new videos we make tattoo related each week. So we're going to start this out by unboxing. So these are the magnums. So I got 15 round mags, curve mags. This is one that I really use a lot. I really like the size of a 15.

You could really get into smaller areas along with doing some clean shading on bigger areas as well. So it's a perfect in between for me that I really enjoy. So looking at these cartridges, it looks like they're really well made. Yeah, before we open these, make sure we glove up. So the price point on these cartridges for the mags I got, the curve mags, they were about $20 and you get 20 pieces per box. So they're about a dollar a cartridge, which is about half the price of the other brands that I do get so that's one thing to keep in mind. They are about half the price of T-Tech, Black Claw, all the cartridges out there on the market. And the liners that I got are 9 round liners. They're going to run you about $18 a box, and you do get 20 in that box as well.

So let's get into looking at the cartridges. I'm going to start out with the liners because in my opinion they are the most important. And if you have a liner that's super shaky or anything like that, it's going to throw off the whole tattoo and just make a mess of everything. So, first off the bat, I'll see that its solid construction. These aren't flying apart, which is awesome. It does have the number on the top of the cartridge so it clearly says 9 right there. So I know if I'm tattooing with multiple ones, if I'm doing realism or using different line weights, I could look down and see that this is clearly a 9 without having to guess or pull it out and try to see what size it is, which is awesome. Another thing, the construction of the cartridge is really cool. So the bottom part has this little groove cut out in it.

You could see right there that when you're holding your machine, your finger's going to tuck in right like that, which makes it really, really nice to kind of hold. I'm excited to see how it feels in my hand with the machine on it. Another thing there's absolutely no wiggle to the needle at all, when it's going up and down, it's really nice and constructed to that you're not having any wiggle at all. Yeah, out of all of the CNC cartridges I've looked at, this is probably my favorite looking so far. Now that doesn't have anything to do with how it works or anything like that but I just really like the construction of these and it looks like the flow hole on the top is really nice that it should be able to draw ink in and have a nice flow to the ink out as well. So cool. So far so good for the CNC police cartridges.

We'll check out the mag as well. One thing I wanted to look at too in these would be the filament inside to stop backflow. So they do have that as well. See the problem with these, I've tried a couple different cartridges that had this inside of them and for some reason they seem to spit ink everywhere. I'm really not sure the construction to where they just spit ink everywhere and that was super annoying. So I cannot wait to try these out and see if they do the same thing, or if they actually perfected having that backflow filament in there without having the issue of spraying ink and making a mess, because obviously that's super annoying. It could destroy your stencil and you want to stay away from that as much as possible. So let's get into reviewing these on actual fake skin.

Okay. Before we get started with the actual tattoo, I wanted to show you what the back of the cartridges looked like. So with this, you could clearly see that it is a 15 round mag as right here. Now below that you're going to see the lot number, which is when it was made so that would be 2021, 12. So 12 of 21 when this was made. Now it's expiration date is 2026, 12. So you have quite a bit of time. I received these, it is February of 2022, so I have quite a long time to use these until they get used up. One thing like about getting cartridges that last a while until they're used up, I can order in bulk and not have to worry about them going out date before I use them. Also, you could see the sterilization right there. So it actually looks like all the other sterilizations on actual big brands, things like that.

So you could definitely tell that this is sterilized, which is awesome. Yeah, so with these, I definitely have no issue tattooing a client with these. They look really well made depending on how they actually work on the fake skins will decipher that completely, but so far so good. Yeah, so this is what I was talking about with the little under part right there. You could clearly see it now. So this is the top, that's the bottom. And that's this little cut out to fit your finger just perfectly right there to add extra stability when you're working, which is super cool.

And you can clearly see that there is no shaking on that needle at all. It's perfect. So it should be no issue going through here and doing your line work and everything like that. So now let's get into actually tattooing it. As always, I'm going to start out with a thin layer over the stencils so it doesn't spread my ink everywhere, doing everything physically possible to give this cartridge the best atmosphere to work good. So that way we know exactly if it's something wrong with the cartridge or something wrong with not putting Vaseline on things like that. We're giving it the perfect atmosphere in order to have it work correctly or as good as physically possible. Let's start out with a little line down here and try it out.

So it's lining really consistently, which is awesome to see first right off the bat. And this is a 9 round liner so it is quite a small line. If I was doing this tattoo normally I probably would've used an 11 or something a little bit bigger. Yeah, so the flow is working really well. I'm not having any issues with the ink not flowing out correctly, things like that. So that's one thing that I really like to look at because I like to pull really long lines. So if the flow isn't as good as it should be, it'll have a problem with not having consistent lines the whole way through, which this isn't having any issue with that at all. Just going through here and doing all the lines. I'm going to speed up this a little bit and we'll get through to the shading.

Okay, so now we went through the line work. Clean it off really good and take a look at these lines. I tattooed with these exactly how I would tattoo with T-Tech's, my Black Claw. I'm running my machine at about a 9.5, which I normally would be running it on that for a 9 round liner. Sometimes I'll go up a little bit if I'm doing something thicker but yeah. So overall this cartridges did a great job. It didn't have a problem with it being shaky, anything like that, it was able to get me ink into the fake skins pretty well. You could see right here is an area, got a little bit light. I did keep my depth exactly the same the whole way through. So that could have just been an issue with flow or something going on with the cartridges at that point, we'll just go back through here and darken up that area really quick.

And also these lines are very, very thin for this style of tattoo. I just want to go over again. If I was doing this style normally, I would use an 11 or 14, things like that. Cool. So that seemed like that was the only spots to where it came out a little bit light. So overall this cartridge did a really great job. Being able to put that ink in there, no issues. I really like the feel of it. It felt really comfortable in the hand. So tattoos that take longer, you wouldn't have that issue of getting your hands feeling weird and having issues with your hands cramping up, things like that. Because it's just really comfortable to hold, right like that. So this is the mag, 15 curve mag, a round mag. And we're going to get in here and see how this works.

Going to start out with our straight black. And this is a needle this size I would definitely use for a tattoo like this. So this is exactly what I would use on this style and this size. So just like the liner, it's really comfortable in your hand. You could get really in there with the actual needles and go into the areas kind of to the side so that the needles are actually putting the ink in there really, really well. Some of the cartridges I've used, it was really hard. It's like their needles weren't sharp or something like that. I'm not really sure, but it just had a really hard time getting the ink in there. So this one's doing, no problem at all.

So I'll shade that. The mid little parts in mostly black, well, most of the time on my roses so. We're getting a feel for how it is in color packing, things like that, making areas black instead of trying to get smooth transitions. So we're just going through here, doing little circular motions with it, seeing how it works out for packing in solid areas. And normally I would use a regular mag for something like this, just so I could get into the areas really well, but I did get curve max to try them out so that's what we're going to use. And for the solid black it's going, no problem at all. It's putting the ink in there so that's great. So if you're doing things like that, working on saturation, you should have no issue with these cartridges being able to do that. We're just going through getting all dark shading out of the way first and we'll see how this cartridge can hold up to some light shading. So we're just going to go through here and darken everything up that needs to, and then we'll go onto the next.

I will say that they are working really good for a lower budget cartridge. They're really not having any issues now. If I was tattooing on a actual human being clients like that, I want my tattoos to be a hundred percent every time I go into the skin on a client. So I don't mind spending the extra money getting cartridges that I know a billion percent, every time I pick them up or going to workout, not having problems with some cartridges working out good and then some having barbs and issues like that. So me personally, I do recommend you going and getting a more reputable cartridge if you are on actual clients, things like that, just so you don't have issues with a couple of these lines that was the needle just didn't want to go in as well as... The cartridges I use normally do. And a little bit of inconsistencies like that can kind of throw off a tattoo because I really don't like having to go back into a line.

If I'm doing a line I'm an actual client, the first time I put it in there, it should be good to go. If I'm having issues with the line's not being as saturated as they need to, there's something going on and I definitely don't appreciate that at all. But on fake skins, things like that, these are great. They're working really good for me. And if you are just practicing things like that, not wanting to spend 2 to $3 per cartridge and that's just on one cartridge. You also need liners, shaders, things like that per tattoo. It could really rack up quick if you're getting these more expensive cartridges, but if you are tattooing on humans, it is definitely worth it. I guess that's the hardest thing whenever you are first starting out.

There's so many different brands out there and some are great and the some are just absolutely terrible. So it's so hard to try to figure out exactly what you need to get when you're first starting out. And it could be a huge task when it really shouldn't be. So that's why I do these videos to try to help you guys out. And so you know exactly what you need to buy or what you should buy. So we're moving into the lighter shading now, seeing how it could make the transitions from black, which I don't see it having any issue being able to do that from how it's been working so far. So we're just going through here and doing all the shading areas that I normally would.

So the question I have for you guys this time is what other things would you like me to do reviews on? I know that plenty of people have messaged down below and commented down below about different cartridges, things like that, which I'm definitely going to get around to for sure, because it definitely seems like it's helping people out. But I want to know what's some other things that you would recommend that I do reviews on obviously tattoo related. Just comment them down below and I'll check them out and yours might be the one I pick to do a review on.

We get into a very light one. Let's do a little bit of shading in these light areas right here. One thing I am noticing is when I'm holding these cartridges, I like to hold them underneath right here, right? So I'm going to show you one thing that normally does not happen to me whenever I am tattooing. So you could see I'm holding it like I normally do and sometimes I like to kind of hold it. I'm not really pressing very hard. I'm just kind of holding it like I normally would, but listen to the actual cartridge and my machine when I push up a little bit. So I've never used a cartridge that it did that before. So I'm guessing that it's just not in my machine tight enough to where when you push up a little bit, I'm barely doing any pressure at all. So that's one thing it's causing the machine to work harder so you definitely don't want that. It could cause problems with your machines all the time.

And obviously it's slowing down the needles when you're pressing up, because it's making your machine work harder. Yeah, I don't like that sound at all. So I'm going to stop doing that. So if you are using these, make sure you're not even pressing up at all or it will definitely make your machine run weird, which that's one thing that I do not like about these because I like to hold my machine exactly the same every single time. So everything's super consistent and I don't have issues with trying to change it up halfway through a tattoo. Consistency is key when it comes to tattooing. So doing things exactly the same way each time it's going to help you out tremendously. So yeah, that's one thing that I've noticed about these cartridges that I'm not a big fan of, but everything else is working out great.

All right. So we'll get this cleaned up and check out what we do it with the CNC police cartridges. All right. So the question I ask myself every single time I do a review for you guys is, would I use these again? And the answer would be yes, I would definitely use these again for fake skins. I didn't really have that much of an issue as long as I'm lightening up on my finger a little bit. It didn't have any issues at all.

I hope this video was able to help you guys out and know if these are cartridges you would like to buy or not. My personal opinion is I really like them a lot. They had no issues. This is definitely something that I'll be using and ordering in the future. They worked that good that I'm definitely going to incorporate it in with my actual tattooing process because I really did like them a lot. They worked really great for fake skins. So yeah, that would be my advice. Definitely something that I would use for sure. As always like and subscribe down below if you would like to stay up to date on all the new content I come out with each week. And as always, you guys have a wonderful day and I hope to see you on the next video.

Our Score

8.0/10

GOOD

Price: $16.95 - $23.95 (7/10)

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CNC Police cartridges are high quality for the cost. Unlike most budget cartridges, you can count on these needles to be properly sterilized and safe to use.

Quality (8/10)

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 These needles are well-constructed and include an indention on the cartridge to make it easier to hold, as well as a filament to prevent backflow.

Handling (8/10)

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The CNC tattoo needles are easy to use and had no issue putting ink into our Reelskin. The only issue was that the cartridge didn’t seem to fit perfectly in the tattoo machine.
PROS:
  • Easy to grip cartridge (reduce finger fatigue)
  • One piece needle
  • Over 120 configurations to choose from
CONS:
  • It felt like the cartridge wasn’t completely secured in place while we were working.

Product Details

Materials

304 surgical stainless steel and medical-grade plastic

Configurations

RL, RS, M, CM available

Needle Diameter

0.3-0.35mm

Box Quantity

20

Casing

Single-mold casing

Product Details

Materials

304 surgical stainless steel and medical-grade plastic

Configurations

RL, RS, M, CM available

Needle Diameter

0.3-0.35mm

Box Quantity

20

Casing

Single-mold casing

CNC Police Cartridges - Our Review:

CNC Tattoo Supply is a well-known brand among professional tattoo artists and delivers high-quality materials at a great price point. These tattoo needles were no different. They easily put ink in the skin while lining and shading.

using a tattoo needle on a simple design

CNC Tattoo Supply Offers Quality Construction

These cartridges were constructed to make artists’ jobs easier. The needle configuration is clearly listed on the casing so you don’t have to guess what you’re using if you switch your needles out. Additionally, these CNC tattoo needles come with a comfortable finger ledge to make them easier to hold for hours on end.

round liner tattoo needle cartridge protecting from damaging vibrations
round liner tattoo needle cartridge protecting from damaging vibrations

Even though we’d consider the Police cartridges to be a “budget” brand (compared to brands like Kwadron that can cost $2/cartridge), you won’t run into any of the issues you’d normally see from cheaper needles. The casing is snug and leaves no wiggle room, which helps you keep your lines straight, and the needles are sharp enough to easily get ink into the fake skin. 

Because CNC manufactures these needles, you can expect them to be EO gas sterilized and safe for skin. Most of the cartridges will remain sterile for up to five years.

cnc tattoo supply stainless steel tattoo needle cartridge with expiration date

Not the Perfect Fit for All Tattoo Machines

The only issue we found with the Police cartridges was that they didn’t seem to fit 100% perfectly in the machine. (The site says that their cartridges will fit in most machines.) However, because of this, there was an extra space where we could accidentally “push up” on the cartridge. This change in position caused the machine to work harder, making the needles slow down a bit.

If you use these cartridges and hear your machine “grinding,” then make sure your grip on the cartridge is not pushing upwards.

Good Ink Flow

The ink flows easily from the cartridge, and it lets you easily pull long lines. On one or two lines, the ink did get a little lighter, but this won’t cause a major issue for artists practicing on fake skins.

tattooing with a tattoo machine

Because these needles are made to be safe for tattoo artists to use on clients, they contain a backflow filament. This type of filament caused an issue with the Rhein tattoo needles, because the extra tension caused the cartridge to spit ink on to the stencil. CNC seems to have fixed this issue with the Police cartridges.

Who the Police Cartridges Are (and Aren’t) For:

These CNC tattoo needles are the perfect choice for new artists who are learning or professionals that want to practice a new style or technique on fake skin. 

While these are quality needles, we still would recommend going with a more premium brand when working on actual clients, as that will allow you to do your best work.

Get CNC’s Police Cartridges

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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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