Lets Get Pen Wise! So what's the difference? | Eikon
Lets Get Pen Wise! So what's the difference?

Lets Get Pen Wise! So what's the difference?

January 2, 2020   |   By The Eikon Team

Pen-style tattoo machines have really changed the rotary game over the past few years with each new machine offering artists new and improved features to love. Let's take a look at some of the key features and benefits from each of the brands we carry. NOTE: Listed alphabetically by brand.

The Bishop Wand

In a nod to the old coil days, Bishop has created a series of tattoo pens that offer 3 different tunings to suit the way you work. From the outside, all three seem fairly similar - they’re about the same size and pretty much the same weight. It’s what’s inside that makes the difference... 


Encased in lightweight, matte black aircraft aluminum with a hand polished grey band, the Bishop Wand Shader comes with a 3.5mm stroke and has a built-in give to provide the smoothness you desire. The custom, brushed Faulhaber motor is powerful enough to line or gentle enough to bloodline, the shader is a definite asset for black and grey artists.

Color Packer

With its distinctive polished copper band, the Color Packer’s 4.2mm stroke is on the longer side, giving the needle enough time to pack like a maniac. It’s ready for the long hours of tattooing, and the custom brushless Faulhaber motor delivers spectacular color saturation.


The new comer in the Bishop Wand Family is the Wand Liner, boasts a “never before seen” 5mm stroke and an all black color.  Paired with Bishop’s brushless motor, this machine will give you plenty of torque, even at lower speed. This baby will be a heavy-hitter for sure.  Note: This is the only one of the three machines that’s designed for one specific purpose; lining.

Cheyenne Hawk Pen

The machine that kicked off this wave of pen-mania is still as popular today as when it was released. It’s nearly silent operation with little vibration makes it comfortable to use, and easy on your hand and wrist over a long day of tattooing.

The Hawk Pen weighs the same as the Proton Pen (3.4oz) but the weight is evenly distributed across the length of the machine, giving it a great feel in the hand.

Eikon supports the Cheyenne Warranty Exchange Program. This loaner program keeps you working, if and when something goes wrong. Kinda like a built-in insurance policy.

Tip: The Hawk Pen runs using a Cheyenne Hawk cable designed for use with the Cheyenne PU series of power supply. However, it also comes with an adapter allowing you to run it on traditional power supplies like your EMS420  ES300

Cheyenne Sol Nova

The Cheyenne Sol Nova Pen is designed for precision! With its shorter yet wider body design it’s even more lightweight and powerful than the original Hawk Pen.

Equipped with an all-new brushless DC motor, the Sol Nova packs a serious punch yet provides quiet operation and is gentle on the skin, allowing for a quicker healing process for your clients.

The Sol Nova has a versatile 3.5mm stroke length, and a needle depth can be adjusted from 0 to 4.0mm. The Sol Nova operates at a low frequency for color realism and dot work, or at a much higher frequency for bold, confident, and precise line work.

Tip: For those who like the power of the Sol Nova but need a slimmer grip, the Sol Nova is compatible with Cheyenne Hawk Ergo Round or 1 inch D-Grips.

Xion Pen

The FK Irons Xion pen is the first to offer more control over every aspect of your machine. No more adapting your style to a machine, you can alter this pen to match your style: adjustable give to soften or harden the hit, interchangeable cams to adjust the stroke length and a ratcheting system that enables you to lock-in your needle depth.

Although heavier than the Hawk and Proton Pens, the Xion Pen is well-balanced, making the added weight almost unnoticeable while tattooing.

Tip: The Xion offers 12 give-adjustment settings, the easiest way to find your setting is to choose the hardest, softest or middle setting and then just adjust slightly to find your desired give.

Kwadron Equaliser Drop Pen

Kwadron has extended their machine roster with the Drop pen. This pen is quite different from other machines in the Equaliser line, with a smaller size and a bigger diameter.  The Drop pen look harmless but the quiet motor driving it is pretty powerful - think of it as a bull. The low centre of gravity helps with stabilisation, and the ergonomic design allows you to tattoo through long sessions without feeling the effects of hand fatigue.

With a static 3.5mm stroke and a weight of about 6.3oz, the 6w motor will give you enough power to push even the bigger needle groupings.  This versatile machine works great for color-packing, shading and lining.

This is the first pen in the Equaliser line to offer a clickable needle-depth adjustment and a steel bearing adjustment system.  Find them in our store in 3 colors: Black, Dark Silver and Red.

Equalizer Proton Enduro Pen

Just like the Original Proton pen, Kwadron has designed the Enduro for those who like the counterbalance.  

The 4.5W Faulhaber motor at its core, is built to last, ultra quiet and has almost no vibrations!  The added weight, and more rounded, ergonomic shape with its 25mm grip is what really differentiates the Enduro pen from its older brother the original Equaliser Proton.

Add a 3.5mm stroke and the Enduro the perfect solution for all types of work; lining, shading and packing. A “jack-of-all-trades” with limitless potential - See for yourself - we’ve got it in the Eikon Store. 

Equaliser Proton Pen

The Equalizer Proton may be the lowest priced pen in the Eikon store but don’t let that fool you when it comes to quality and performance.

Coming in at 3.4oz the Proton Pen is slightly top-weighted giving it the feel and balance of a more traditional style tattoo machine; Although the Proton Pen offers reduced vibration compared to most rotary style machines, it is slightly more noticeable then the Cheyenne Hawk and Xion.

A recent innovation on the Proton Pen saw the addition of a replaceable return springs system allowing you to maintain your machine quickly and easily.

Tip: Artists often comment that the Proton Pen offers a harder hit then the Hawk Pen and is more comparable to their linear rotaries. No learning curve required.



The Eikon Team

About the Author

Eikon Device was started in 1994, working out of a small garage, manufacturing the first needle specifically designed to meet the needs of tattoo artists. That started an odyssey of research and development that has seen many advancements in tattoo equipment including four generations of Eikon meter/power supplies, the Tru-Spring Armature Bar system, Griffin Tubes, Hydra Needles, and Symbeos, Helix and Green Monster Machines.
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