Guide to Evaluating Laser Tattoo Removal Machines

What’s the Best Tattoo Removal Machine?

Whether new or used, these laser tattoo removal machines have proven to be the best picosecond and nanosecond lasers available. We’ll be breaking down the machine’s features, pros and cons, and the price range of the machine. 

1) Candela PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

The Candela PicoWay Laser tattoo removal machine is top of our list. This machine uses a photoacoustic effect rather than a photothermal effect which reduces the risk of the skin heating and damaging the surrounding tissue. This laser comes with the wavelengths 1064 nm and 532 nm installed. 785 nm and 730 nm are separate handpieces that can be purchased to attach to the laser machine. We recommend this laser as your ultimate tattoo removal machine due to the variety of wavelengths available and photoacoustic technology. This is also the laser that we use in our studios. See our before & after gallery for results.

Pros: This laser is FDA certified, it uses photoacoustic effects to minimize surrounding skin damage, offers 4 picosecond wavelengths to target ink color across the spectrum, and minimizes the risk of hypopigmentation for darker skin types. This laser can also be used for acne scars, wrinkles, and benign lesions. 

 Cons: The Candela PicoWay Laser is one of the most expensive lasers on the market. Retails around $175,000 for a regular consumer. It will take multiple sessions to see complete removal results and depending on your state’s laser regulations, it can only be operated by a certified laser professional, RN or doctor.  

Best for: All tattoos. With 4 wavelengths and adjustable handpieces, the Candela PicoWay can target ink color across the spectrum and tattoo size. 

Price range: $$$$

2) Quanta Pico Discovery Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

The Quanta Pico Discovery tattoo removal machine uses the Nd: YAG (1064 nm, 532 nm) wavelengths and 694 nm available. 

Pros: The Quanta Pico Discovery laser tattoo removal machine uses the 1064 nm, 532 nm, and 694 nm wavelengths which target most ink colors across the spectrum and uses a photoacoustic effect to shatter ink while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. The Quanta Pico Discovery laser uses fractional treatments which take advantage of two different laser actions. The laser uses “LIOBs for collagen remodeling and ablation of damaged skin through picosecond ‘cold’ ablation” which is good for treating wrinkles and acne scars.

Cons: Just like the Candela PicoWay laser, the Quanta Pico Discovery is more expensive than most. It will also take multiple sessions to see complete removal results and depending on your state’s laser regulations, it can only be operated by a certified laser professional, RN, or doctor.  Unlike the Candela PicoWay laser, the Quanta Pico Discovery laser only uses 3 wavelengths to target ink color.

Best for: Most tattoo types and sizes. 

Price range: $$$$

3) PicoSure Tattoo Removal Laser by Cynosure

The PicoSure Laser tattoo removal machine by Cynosure is the world’s first picosecond aesthetic laser. It uses 3 wavelengths (1064 nm, 755 nm, 532 nm) and photothermal effects.

Pros: The PicoSure laser has 3 wavelengths that can target most ink colors across the spectrum. It operates in picoseconds which should reduce the risk of surrounding skin damage and has an adjustable spot size of up to 10mm.

Cons: The PicoSure laser uses photothermal effects vs the PicoWay which uses photoacoustic effects. The photothermal effect uses heat to break the ink particles apart which puts the client at risk of burns and hypopigmentation. It’s also not safe to treat skin types 5 and 6 with the 755 nm wavelength. Hypo or hyperpigmentation can occur as a side effect, along with a higher risk of causing scar tissue. This laser will take multiple sessions to see complete removal results and retails around $100,000 for a regular consumer.

Best for: Most tattoo types and sizes. 

Price range: $$$

4) Lutronic Spectra Nano Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

 The Lutronic Spectra nano laser tattoo removal machine uses four wavelengths (1064 nm, 532 nm, 585 nm, 650 nm) to target all ink colors across the spectrum. It operates in short 5-10 ns pulses and has different spot sizes available.

Pros: The Lutronic Spectra laser utilizes multiple wavelengths to target all types of ink pigments and utilizes auto sensing spot sizes. The laser operates in short 5-10 ns pulses and offers .8 mm – 8 mm spot sizes. 

Cons: The Lutronic Spectra does not offer the largest spot size available (10 mm) which is important because smaller spot sizes target the shallow ink and larger spot sizes target the deepest ink within the dermis. It also has a disadvantage working in nanoseconds compared to picosecond lasers. The pulses are longer than the picosecond lasers which requires more energy and distributes more heat into the surrounding tissue. 

Price range: $$$

5) Cynosure RevLite SI Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

The RevLite SI laser tattoo removal machine is a q-switched multi-wavelength laser that treats tattoos, acne scars, wrinkles, and pigmented lesions.

Pros: The RevLite SI offers two wavelengths (1064 nm, 532 nm) to treat most ink pigments across the spectrum. It also offers a SmartInfinite (SI) handpiece, photoacoustic technology, and precision beam technology. This laser also offers multiple handpiece options to adjust spot size.

Cons: The RevLite SI only operates in two wavelengths which are best for black and red pigments but do not target blues and greens as well. Again, the laser operates in nanoseconds which is a shorter pulse duration than the picosecond lasers causing more heat to distribute to the surrounding tissue and the largest spot size is not listed as available on the website.

Price range: $$$

6) Quanta Q Plus C Laser Tattoo Removal Machine

The Q Plus laser tattoo removal machine can have two different laser sources inserted, the pure q-switched or hybrid q-switched technology. It also has 6 different configurations available for adaptability.

Pros: The Q Plus laser offers the Optibeam II handpiece which offers different flat-top spot sizes and contact skin cooler to keep the target area cool when treating. It also offers twain handpieces to treat hair removal with the Twain IPL or tattoo removal with the Twain 2940. 

Cons: Each piece of the laser is an additional cost vs being automatically integrated. The Q Plus laser can offer Q-switched Er:YAG wavelength options at an additional cost. The laser also operates in nanoseconds vs picoseconds which distributes more heat to the surrounding tissue. The initial laser is an investment that will cost more with all of the additions. 

Price range: $$$$

7) NEATCELL Hand-Held Laser Tattoo Machine (At-Home Option)

The Neatcell Hand-Held Laser tattoo machine is a small portable laser that you can purchase from Amazon. It claims to be a picosecond pen with 9 kinds of light output frequencies and 4 kinds of light intensity. This product is mainly used to remove moles, “wash tattoos” and spots.

Pros: It can be purchased and operated by regular consumers, and it’s cheaper than professional removal services. It’s a hand-held laser pen that comes with a USB charger and protective eyewear. 

Cons: The Neatcell Hand-Held laser is not FDA certified and does not require a certified laser professional. It does not explain the 4 kinds of light intensity or 9 kinds of light output frequencies and will likely take longer to see complete removal results vs professional services. There is also the risk of hypopigmentation occurring due to the lack of knowledge and experience by the consumer. Given what you already know, the pen does not create a big enough spot size, have enough power, or pulse duration to effectively remove a tattoo.  

Best for: At-home DIYers and small tattoos.

Price range: $

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