Best Tattoo Ink Reviews: Top Companies & Brands to Avoid

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If you’re curious about what the best tattoo ink for tattooing is, you’re in the right place!

In this article we’re going to go over the best tattoo ink brands.

We’ll recommend which brands are long-lasting, safe and have the brightest colors.

You’ll learn about the companies that have been around a long time and which ones haven’t.

We even have a buying guide at the end of the article to go over what you must consider when buying a tattoo ink.

Best Tattoo Ink Brands That Professional Artists Use in 2021

The following are the best tattoo ink brands on the market. They can all be bought online. Click on the links to see examples of quality products.

Kuro Sumi

Kuro Sumi started out in Japan, but now makes their top quality tattoo inks in the USA.

Tattoo artists love their tattoo inks because the colors are highly pigmented and stay bright for years.

Also, these are organic, vegan-friendly inks that don’t use animal byproducts like bone char. You can download the SDS sheets and CTL certificates on their website for free.

According to reputable artists around the world, Kuro Sumi tattoo inks lay down smoothly. Afterward, the tattoos heal fast with no loss of color.

If you want to restore or alter an old tattoo, use this one because the rich pigments will override the old ink fast.

Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink Lining and Shading Set

Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Color Ink Pigments Set, Vegan...
  • VIVID COLOR AND DIMENSION - Originally formulated in Japan, Kuro Sumi tattoo inks give your tattoos...
  • JAPANESE TRADITION– Tattoo artists around the world choose Kuro Sumi tattoo inks. We incorporate...
  • OUTLINING AND SHADING TATTOO INK SET – Our grey wash shading ink and black outlining tattoo ink is...

This set by Kuro Sumi has black for lining and two gray washes for shading.

They come as 6-ounce bottles.

The texture is consistent, along with the colors.

Like we mentioned, all their tattoo inks are made from organic ingredients with no animal byproducts. For example, some ingredients include pigment, vegetable glycerin, deionized water, and witch hazel.

Kuro Sumi Colors Tattoo Ink – Master SET of 7 BEST Sellers

Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Color Ink Pigments Set, Vegan...
  • VIVID COLOR AND DIMENSION - Originally formulated in Japan, Kuro Sumi tattoo inks give your tattoos...
  • JAPANESE TRADITION– Tattoo artists around the world choose Kuro Sumi tattoo inks. We incorporate...
  • 7 COLOR TATTOO INK SET – Our Master Set of 7 colored tattoo inks are vegan-friendly, and free from...

Experiment with Kuro Sumi’s rainbow palette by trying this set of seven colors.

It comes with the following colors: Tokyo Rose red, Koi yellow, Buddha blue, Mineraru green, samurai white, rising sun orange, and double Sumi black. Each bottle has a ½ ounce of ink.

Authentic Kuro Sumi Primary 16 Color Ink Set
Increase your collection with one of four sets that have sixteen colors each. Each bottle has a ½ ounce of tattoo ink.

World Famous

The next brand in our list is World Famous. That’s its name, literally! It was started by Lou Rubino, Jr.

This brand has been around for more than 50 years.

They abide by reAP2008 regulations when manufacturing in Europe. This means their vegan inks are non-toxic.

They also sterilize their top tattoo inks using gamma radiation.

Artists like Jose Becerra, Matt Hixson, and Lydia Bruno have been known to use World Famous.

6 Bottle Simple Color Set – World Famous Tattoo Ink

World Famous Simple Color Tattoo Ink Set of 6 Vegan...
  • PREMIUM TATTOO INKS – Used by many popular tattoo artists around the globe, the World Famous...
  • 6 COLOR TATTOO INK SET – This set includes 6 color tattoo inks in Samuel O'Reilly, Moroccan,...
  • VEGAN AND SAFE ON SKIN – High-quality vegan tattoo inks contain no animal products and are never...

Try out World Famous tattoo inks by first starting with this set of six 1-ounce bottles. Each bottle is sterilized and sealed using a tamper-proof label.

They’re also vegan-friendly.

World Famous Tattoo Ink – Pitch Black, 1 Ounce

World Famous Legendary Outlining Black, Vegan Friendly,...
  • PREMIUM TATTOO INK – Many of the most popular tattoo artists around the globe turn to World...
  • VEGAN AND SAFE ON SKIN – These high-quality tattoo inks contain no animals products and are never...
  • PURIFIED AND SAFETY SEALED – These inks are ultra-safe and pure.  All World Famous tattoo inks...

Pitch Black has got to be one of the boldest lining tattoo inks on the market. A must try in our opinion.

Michele Turco Color Portrait 6 Bottle Set – World Famous Tattoo Ink
If you do portrait tattoos, you need to give this set a try. It has tones like Portrait White, and light, medium, and dark skin tones.

Intenze

Intenze probably has the biggest selection of colors on the market.

These tattoo inks meet the quality standards of both the USA and the EU. A third-party lab verifies its purity after they are sterilized.

Artists like them because they flow well and go in nicely. Furthermore, the colors stay crisp and vibrant in the skin for many years.

Intenze Authentic Zuper Black With Free Skin Companion Grey Wash

Intenze Tattoo Ink Japanese Light Gray Sumi Wash Ink...
  • Light Gray Sumi Wash tattoo ink 12 ounce bottle
  • Developed to have historical effects on the skin
  • Tattoo Ink is manufactured by Intenze

Line and shade with ease when you try Intenze’s Zuper Black and Grey Wash tattoo inks.

If someone asked us what tattoo inks are the darkest, we might reply that it’s Zuper Black.

Related: Top black tattoo ink reviews

100% Authentic Intenze Pigment Sets (Bob Tyrrell Ink Set)

Dimension Black By Bob Tyrrell - Intenze Tattoo Ink - 1oz...
  • Pre-Dispersed Tattoo Ink
  • Bob Tyrrell Black and Grey Series Intenze Tattoo Ink
  • Color: Dimension Black

Artist Bob Tyrrell made this 6-color ink set for artists who do realistic tattoos. It has dark, medium, and light tones, as well as Sculpting Black, Dimension Black, And High White.

Intenze 19 Color Tattoo Ink Set
You might be happy to know that Intenze offers a money-back guarantee on their tattoo inks. You can try them for 30 days and see what you think.

This set has 19 colors and includes everything from light magenta to true black and white.

Pastel Color Set – Intenze Tattoo Ink – 10 Bottles
Intenze’s gorgeous pastel set comes with these colors: C Foam Green, Lavender, Peach, Platinum, Baby Blue, Creamsicle, Carol’s Pink, Bahama Blue, Rose Pink, and Banana Creme. Can you say variety?

StarBrite Colors

StarBrite is a trademark of Tommy’s Supplies. They have a selection of 160 colors to choose from.

These top tattoo inks are made in the USA according to the strict regulations of the FDA. They don’t contain metals like nickel or iron.

Each one is sterilized very well.

StarBrite Colors Tattoo Ink – 3 Bottle Set


You can highlight and line with this set from StarBrite Colors. It features red, green and blue. The red has a lighter tone than other brands.

Related: Top white tattoo inks reviewed

Each bottle has a ½ ounce of sterilized tattoo ink.

These highly pigmented tattoo inks flow smoothly no matter if you use a coil iron or a rotary machine.

StarBrite Colors Tattoo Ink – 4 Primary Color Set

Create your own custom shades when using this primary color set. It has Scarlet Red, Country Blue, Canary Yellow, and Leaf Green. Each one comes in a ½ ounce bottle.

Starbrite Tattoo Ink – Glowing Neon Set- 5 Colors

Look rebellious with neon tattoo ink. This collection has Blue Freeze, Bubblegum Pink, Lime Green, Mango, and Canary Yellow.

StarBrite Colors Sterilized Tattoo Ink – 25 Essential Color Set

Stock up your studio with 25 of the most popular StarBrite tattoo ink colors. This kit comes with half-ounce bottles of all types of colors from Yellow Ochre to Deep Purple to Jet Black Outlining. It also has neon Bubblegum Pink and Light Flesh Tone.

Bloodline​, Formerly Known as Skin Candy

Bloodline started making tattoo inks in 1995. They manufacture vegan water-based inks out of California.

Instead of dispersing the pigment using toxic carriers, their commitment to using water means that tattoos heal faster.

They have a wide selection of colors with a shelf life of more than two years.

If you’re in need of ultra-black ink for tribal designs, try this.

Skin Candy Tattoo Ink 14 Color Starter Kit by Bloodline

14Pcs Tattoo Ink Set 1 oz 30ml/Bottle Tattoo Inks Pigment...
  • Favored among professional tattoo technicians.
  • The color is bright, not easy to fade, color to maintain a long time.
  • Adopted pure plant pigments, show you natural color.

Have all the basics covered with this set of 1-ounce bottles. It comes with everything except black.

For example, it has All-Purpose White, Candy Apple Red, Bellbottom Blue, and San Brownadino.

Bloodline UV Blacklight Colors Tattoo Ink – UV Yellow
Bloodline also manufactures UV reactive tattoo inks that glow under black light.

One example is the UV Yellow available in a ½ ounce bottle.

Related: Best UV tattoo inks

Millennium Moms, aka Mom’s Ink by Millenium Colors

With a name like this, it’s no surprise that Mom’s tattoo inks are pure, bright, and safe.

They are vegan-friendly, with uncut, homogenized dispersion of the pigment. Artists will love how well they flow and how consistent the colors are.

The US company Technical Tattoo Supply has been manufacturing Mom’s ink ever since the 1990s. They now have a selection of more than 120 shades.

If you’re searching for black light-sensitive ink, try Mom’s Nuclear Colors.

Tattoo Ink Set – MOM’S Nuclear UV Blacklight Colors

Tattoo Ink Set - MOM'S Nuclear UV Blacklight Colors 9...
  • All nine of these colors are blacklight sensitive.
  • 9 bottles of 1/2oz UV blacklight tattoo ink
  • MoM's UV ink

Looking for colors that glow under black light? Check these out.

This set of nine ½-ounce bottles includes the following: Purple Haze, Blue Smoke, Atomic Green, Radiant Pink, Afterglow Yellow, Smoldering Orange, Red Dawn, Raging Magenta, and Invisible Fallout.

They do contain phosphorous since it’s the safest and best way to create that brilliant radiance. But they also look fairly vibrant under ordinary light too.

Please take note that the Invisible Fallout ink is literally invisible under normal lighting.

Millennium Moms EXOTIC SET Tattoo Ink

14 Millennium Moms EXOTIC SET Tattoo Ink 1/2 LOT Mom's
  • Smooth: A homogenized carrier/pigment mixture that flows easily
  • Vibrant: Highest possible pure pigment content ensures your work stands out
  • Consistent: Receive the color and quality you expect, each and every time

This set of fourteen ink colors is tough to resist. It features popular shades such as Kentucky Blue Grass, Viper Red, and Danger Zone Orange.

When left unopened, each ink has a shelf life of up to 5 years. Give them a shake every month or so in order to keep them in good condition when you’re not using them.

MOM’S Shading Series Set – Greywash
Mom’s also has this set with four shades of graywash. They go from dark to light gradients.

When you use this pre-made set, you’ll get consistent shading every time.

Radiant Colors

Radiant Colors makes their ink in the USA. They use an uncut homogenized pigment. The ink is sterilized of course.

Radiant Colors 7 Color Primary Set Tattoo Ink

Tattoo Ink Radiant Colors 7 Color 1/2oz Primary Set - Made...
  • 7 Primary Color 1/2 Oz Tattoo Ink Set
  • Made in the USA
  • Tribal Black, Super White, Canary Yellow, Lime Green, Scarlet Red, Tiger Orange, Blue

This basic set ensures that you have everything you need. It includes Tribal Black, Super White, and primary colors so that you can mix your own shades.

Victor Portugal Set of 6 — 1oz Bottles — Radiant Colors Tattoo Ink

Famous tattoo artist Victor Portugal is a master shader who does biomechanical, realistic, as well as portrait tattoos.

If you’re itching to improve your shading work, then try this personalized set with four shaders and one-liner. It’s great for black and gray art.

Dynamic Inks

Dynamic Inks was started back in 1990 in the USA.

Fans like the company’s ethics, along with their ultra-vibrant shades.

In fact, their tattoo inks are so bold and flow so smoothly that you may need to cut them to create softer tones.

The large bottles that they use come in handy when you go through a lot of this product.

Dynamic Black Ink Bottle

Sale
Dynamic Black Tattoo Ink Bottle 8oz
  • Professional Quality Pre-Dispersed Inks: Proudly made in the USA, Dynamic Color provides premium...
  • Authentic and Hygienic: We’re aware of the large volume of fraudulent products on the market,...
  • Time-Tested, Reliable Healing: Say goodbye to stubborn healing processes or unhappy clients. Dynamic...

Buy what just might be the best tattoo ink for outlining. This 8-ounce bottle of Dynamic Ink is a best seller for a reason.

The packaging is straightforward and not flashy. It doesn’t need to be because it has one of the best reputations in the industry.

Dynamic Color Triple Black Tattoo Ink

The Triple Black ink is the darkest of the blacks with a very high pigment load. Compare it with the regular Dynamic Black and see for yourself.

It’s made with carbon black, acrylic polymer, isopropyl alcohol, and water.

Dynamic Color Tattoo Ink Set of 12

This set of tattoo inks is American made and comes with a dozen bold colors like Fire Red, violet, green, and black.

The Tattoo Ink Brands to Avoid

After reviewing the best tatto inks, it’s almost a shame to have to mention the tattoo ink brands that are not that great.

Without naming specific brands, we can give you some guidelines.

In general, tattoo inks made in the USA or the European Union are supposed to follow higher safety standards. They avoid heavy metals and other toxins as per FDA rules. You can even request the safety data sheets (SDS) to learn about any potential hazards.

Also, reputable companies make sure to maintain fresh stock and put an expiration date on every bottle.

We have to note though that not every country has stringent rules about ink ingredients and production. This is the reason why many artists won’t buy cheap tattoo inks made in Asia.

If you’re ever curious about an ink’s safety, or whether the ink you bought is counterfeit, just contact the manufacturer directly.

Features of Trustworthy Ink Brands

It’s ideal if you can ask seasoned tattoo artists which brands they prefer and why.

Also, consider these points:

  • Where were the tattoo inks manufactured? The USA and the European Union have strict health and safety regulations regarding tattoo ink. Tattoo inks sold in California have to meet even higher standards.
  • How long-lasting are the colors? The inks could look great in the bottle, but how will it last long-term?
  • Look at the ingredients. Does the company use organic, vegan-friendly components? It’s likely these will be safer for the skin.
  • What kind of colors does the company offer? Do their top tattoo inks work well together?

It’s worth it to use only the best tattoo inks. The quality and beauty of the pigment will reflect on your reputation as an artist.

Pre-dispersed Inks Versus Mixing Your Own

Most tattoo artists buy pre-made inks. Pre-dispersed inks have more consistent color and presentation. It’s obviously easier than mixing your own from dry pigment and a carrier too.

Conclusion

We hope that we have you some insights into knowing which brands of tattoo ink you can trust.

After all, your reputation and your clients’ safety are on the line.

What are your favorite tattoo ink brands? Why do you love them? Let us know in the comments below.

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