Before 2005, Richard "Bez" Beston designed computer games like Need for Speed and Destruction Derby. He'd never held a tattoo machine let alone inked an award-winning tattoo. When he discovered his true calling, he wasted no time making a name for himself in the tattoo industry. He opened a tattoo shop, Triplesix Studios in Sunderland, England, and worked tirelessly to hone his craft and build his business. He worked 7 days a week to master the art of tattooing and soon discovered his niche was realism tattoos.
In 2008, Bez turned heads at the Llandudno, Wales, Jam tattoo convention by winning awards for UK Male Tattoo of the Year, Best Portrait, Best Large Colour Tattoo, Best of Day, and Best at the Convention. Suddenly, the whole tattoo community was buzzing with news about Bez and Triplesix Studios. The shop was instantly booked solid for the next year, and people traveled from as far as Dubai to get inked by the world-renowned Bez and his equally talented staff of tattoo artists.
At the time, Bez favored Neuma pneumatic tattoo machines--a rare choice for any talented tattoo artist. Despite being totally autoclavable and lightweight, pneumatic tattoo machines have never gained the same popularity among tattoo artists as coil and rotary machines. Knowing that, when Bez decided to create his own dream machine, he opted to utilize the rotary model, but it was his take on a traditional rotary tattoo machine. He called it the Little Ego, but there was nothing small about the power Bez's first rotary tattoo machine crammed into a lightweight, ergonomic little package. At the start of 2013, Bez's Little Ego took off with the same fiery start as his own tattoo career.
What Makes Ego Tattoo Machines Special
After the Little Ego tattoo machine first hit the market, several more models were released in quick succession. Tattoo artists can now choose from the Little Ego V2, the Apex Overkill, and the Apex Nano. All three Ego tattoo machines are some of the lightest rotary machines available.
The Little Ego V2 is made from high-quality, scratch-resistant plastics protected by a special UV coating. The Apex Overkill and Apex Nano are carved from solid blocks of aircraft-grade aluminum. All three models utilize another of Bez's remarkable inventions: the Power Triangle System. Every Ego tattoo machine comes with several different triangles, each of which has a different rubber density that's identified by its color. These power triangles allow artists to alter the give of their Egos with ease. They simulate the traditional spring effect inherent in coil tattoo machines and give tattooists the ability to use rotary machines with the same flexibility, versatility and reliability that coil machines offer. Tattoo artists can utilize any combination of Bez's power triangles to configure their Egos to work perfectly for lining, color packing, shading, and blending.
Watch the video below to see Bez demo the Ego and show you why you need one of these rotary tattoo machines in your tattoo toolbox:
The Little Ego V2
Bez's Little Ego V2 rotary tattoo machine is super lightweight and has a wrist-friendly, ergonomic design. It's perfectly balanced for maximum needle control, and its weight distribution gives the Little Ego V2 an almost pen-like feel that completely eliminates wrist pain while you work. This rotary machine's external composition of scratch-free, UV-coated plastic makes it easy to clean, too.
The Little Ego V2 includes some major improvements over the original Little Ego, including a new streamlined frame, an optional needle bar stabilizer (you can still use rubber bands instead, if desired), the Power Triangle System for altering give, a new tube vice clamp, and an improved motor. The Little Ego V2 is also lighter than the original Little Ego, and it comes with an Ego 1.5m power cable with a phono connection.
The Ego Apex Overkill
The Apex Overkill is one of the newest additions to the Ego line of rotary tattoo machines. This Ego is sleeker and more powerful than any of its predecessors. Each Apex Overkill is crafted from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum and weighs in at less than half a pound (actual weight: 0.27 lbs.). Encased in this futuristic machine is a Swiss-made Maxon "Overkill" motor that allows you to tattoo effortlessly at a low voltage.
Like the other rotary machines in the Ego line, the Apex Overkill tattoo machine utilizes Bez's Power Triangle System, which gives you the versatility of a coil machine but with the reliability and consistency of a rotary machine. Each Apex Overkill comes with a variety of different power triangles in different rubber densities so you can alter the give of your machine to suit your needs perfectly. When you purchase one of these rotary machines, you'll also get a guillotine vice clamp and an Ego 1.5m power cable with a phono connection. It's available in solid black, black or purple with neon green accents, and silver, steel gray, red, and blue with black accents.
The Ego Apex Nano
The Apex Overkill rotary machine has been such a hit in the tattoo community that Ego decided to design a mini version: the Apex Nano. Weighing in at just 0.18 pounds, Ego's Apex Nano is lighter and even more impressive than its predecessor. Like the Overkill, the Apex Nano is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and includes a powerful Swiss-made Maxon motor, called the "Nano". The Nano motor allows you to tattoo effortlessly at an even lower voltage.
With the Apex Nano, you'll have complete control of your machine's give and throw thanks to Bez's Power Triangle system. The different rubber densities of each power triangle allow you to configure your rotary machine to work as if it had the conventional back and front spring effects inherent in a coil tattoo machine. It comes in solid black or black with your choice of white, yellow, red, pink, or blue accents. In addition to the power triangle system, each Apex Nano also comes with a guillotine vice clamp and an Ego 1.5m power cable with a phono mini jack connector.
Bez's Alpha Style Ego Bio Grips
Bez's Alpha Style Ego Bio Grips are high-grade silicone grips make tattooing with an Ego rotary machine even more comfortable, which is hard to imagine since Egos are already so ergonomic and effortless to use that they should be called Ergos instead of Egos!
Bez's Bio Grips are autoclavable and come in three different styles: The standard Alpha Style Bio Grip, the Lip-Free Alpha Style Bio Grip, and the streamlined Smaller Alpha Style Bio Grip. The shape of these grips provide a more marker-like experience while you tattoo, allowing you to work comfortably with a lighter grasp on your grip. They add to the already wrist-friendly design of Ego rotary machines and provide optimum balance while you work.
The standard Alpha Style Bio Grip and the Smaller Alpha Style Bio Grip both have extended lips at their tips that ensure you won't develop calluses on your fingers when working for extended periods of time. All three options are sold in 2-packs and your choice of several colors. The standard and lip-free models fit nicely over tattoo tubes in the 19mm-25mm size range, and the smaller model works with 15mm-19mm tubes.
If you thought the Ego line ended with three rotary tattoo machine options, Bez's Power Triangle System, and the Ego Alpha Style Bio Grips, there's another surprise in store for you: Ego Hawkflow and Ego BioHawk disposable Hawk cartridges. These tools allow Cheyenne fans to use the Cheyenne Hawk cartridge system with any rotarty tattoo machine, including the Little Ego V2, the Apex Overkill, and the Apex Nano.
The Ego Hawkflow and BioHawk Disposable Hawk Cartridges offer you two different grip styles from which to choose so you can find the best one to fit your hand, but otherwise they share the same benefits. Available in your choice of blue or gray, both the Ego Hawkflow and Ego BioHawk Disposable Hawk Cartridges will give your Ego or other rotary tattoo machine a high-end upgrade. These ergonomically-designed tubes are made from an incredibly soft silicone-type material that provides maximum comfort while you tattoo. Their inner tubes and back stems are made from high-quality, durable ABS plastic, and a needle plunger bar is included with each tube.
Each Ego BioHawk and Hawkflow Disposable Hawk Cartridge is individually-packaged in a blister pack, pre-sterilized with EO gas, and intended for a single use. These "one and done" simple cartridge systems allow you to use just one tube per tattoo, so you get the most for your money. Both styles are sold in boxes of 15 disposable cartridges.
Tattoo With Pride. Get an Ego!
There's no shame in having an Ego... rotary tattoo machine, that is. With one of Bez's Egos in your hands and tools like the Power Triangle System and Alpha Style Bio Grips at your fingertips, you can take your craft to new levels. You'll be able to tattoo for hours on end in total comfort, creating art that justifies being an Ego-maniac. Ready to step up your game? Get an Ego!
Learn more about Bez and Triplesix Studios by visiting them online:
- Visit Team Ego on Facebook
- Check out the Team Ego Website
- Visit Triplesix Studios Online
- See Bez's Work on Instagram
You can also learn more about Bez in the Sunderland Echo by reading their online article, Tattooist Bez Makes His Mark.