Round Tattoo Needles (RL)
Round needles are needles that are soldered around a central shaft in round patterns. Round needles can be liners or shaders, depending on how close together they are placed. Round liners are packed tightly (close together), which makes them perfect for technical work, small lines and details. You might also see loose round liners. Loose round liners are used for thick, bold outlines like those found on Japanese-style tattoos. Round shaders are great for all-purpose color fill and basic shading.
Round needles are marked RL (Round Liner) or RS (Round Shader) for short. You’ll almost always see them written with their number in front, like 9RL. The number in front tells you have many needles are used in the configuration, so a 9RL has 9 needles placed in a circle configuration, a 7RL has 7 and so on. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to focus on round shaders in sizes 3, 5, 7, and 9 for some shading and filling in small areas.
Round needles use the same size tube, so if you’re using a 9RL needle, you’ll use a 9R tube. Pretty straightforward.