15 Best Black Tattoo Inks Of 2021

Written by Baishali Bhattacharya
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Tattoos are one of the most elegant and expressive art forms. This personal form of body art enables you to express your personality, likes, and passions and even offer tribute and memorialize things or people close to you. In addition to the efficiency of the machine and the creativity of the artist, the key goal is to invest in a good tattoo ink for the best tattoos. Black tattoo ink is one of the most used tattoo colors and is a basic must-have for any artist. It gives you the best pigment for shading, outlines, or highlights.

But choosing the right black pigment is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of options on the market, and not all are effective. To help you out, we have researched and compiled a list of the 15 best black tattoo inks. Read on and take your pick!

Why Do You Need A Good Black Tattoo Ink?

Black tattoo ink is an essential product in every tattoo artist’s kit. It is richly pigmented and can also darken other colors effectively and quickly. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a novice, a black tattoo ink is as important to a tattoo artist as a cooking tool is for a chef. That is why it is important that you invest in a good black tattoo ink.

Let’s now take a look at the best black tattoo inks available online.

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Best Color Dispersion: Millennium Mom’s Black Onyx Tattoo Ink Check Price
Best For Tribal Design: Bloodline All Purpose Black Ink Check Price
Best Pigmentation: Dynamic Color Co. BLK(BLACK) Tattoo Ink Check Price
Best Japanese Ink: Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Ink Check Price
Best For Outlining: Kuro Sumi Outline Black Tattoo Ink Check Price
Best For Dark Skin: Dynamic Color Co. TBK (Triple Black) Tattoo Ink Check Price
Best For Shading: Element Tattoo Inks Nighthawk Black Check Price
Best Professional Formula: Millennium Mom’s Black Pearl Tattoo Outlining Ink Check Price
Best Vegan Formula: Hawink Tattoo Ink - True Black Check Price
Best True-Color Formula: Viking-Ink Black Dynamite Check Price

15 Best Black Tattoo Inks Of 2021

1. Best Color Dispersion: Millennium Mom’s Black Onyx Tattoo Ink 

The Millennium Mom’s Black Onyx Tattoo Ink contains pure colors and offers homogenized pigment dispersion. It is used by renowned tattoo artists like Marcus Khun and Murphy. The smooth flow rate enables a seamless application and gives you bright color that is long-lasting and stays solid. This dark black shade can also be used for tattooing rabbits and other livestock.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Long-lasting
  • A little goes a long way
  • Bottle comes with safety lock

Cons

None

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2. Best For Tribal Design: Bloodline All Purpose Black Ink 

If you are looking for a tattoo ink that does not turn greenish over time, this product by Bloodline is the perfect choice! It has a very thick texture, which makes it suitable for different purposes like outlining and tribal tattoos. It is also skin-friendly and does not cause any allergic reactions like regular tattoo inks. This dark shade shows up on any skin tone.

Pros

  • Adjustable shade
  • Highly pigmented
  • Good fragrance
  • Does not change color
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

None

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3. Best Pigmentation: Dynamic Color Co. BLK(BLACK) Tattoo Ink 

This professional quality pre-dispersed ink by Dynamic Color Co offers the most impressive pigmentation you can find on the market. It is well known for its smooth flow rate, which aids in precise detailing, outlining, and shading your tattoo. The ink is packed in a clear PET bottle, which is sterilized for extra safety. It gives you vivid results that heal fast and stay vibrant for the longest time.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Richly pigmented
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Budget-friendly
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

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4. Best Japanese Ink: Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Ink 

If you are looking for a tattoo ink that gives you dark shades with outstanding saturation, you have to give this black ink by Kuro Sumi a try! It is made of pure natural ingredients that prevent any allergic reactions or irritation on the skin. It is also ideal for shading and balancing, lines, and tribal work. This chemical-free ink provides long-lasting, vivid colors to your tattoos.

Pros

  • High color saturation
  • Natural ingredients
  • Long-lasting
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Chemical-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Dries out fast

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5. Best For Outlining: Kuro Sumi Outline Black Tattoo Ink 

This super black tattoo ink by Kuro Sumi has a unique molecular structure that provides bright and long-lasting color. It is best suited for creating outlines. The long-lasting formula is curated using Japanese tattoo tradition that is handed down through generations. This tattoo ink has a perfect consistency to create a detailed portrait and tribal or Samoan tattoo. It does not contain any harsh chemical ingredients that can cause irritation to the skin.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Non-irritating
  • Natural ingredients
  • Long-lasting
  • Chemical-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

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6. Best For Dark Skin: Dynamic Color Co. TBK (Triple Black) Tattoo Ink 

The Dynamic tattoo inks are well known for their smooth flow, which aids in precise detailing, outlining, and shading of your tattoo work. This super black shade is ideal for darker skin tones. It comes in a crystal clear PET bottle that is sterilized in heat for extra safety.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Budget-friendly
  • Precise application
  • Speeds up healing
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Expensive

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7. Best For Shading: Element Tattoo Inks Nighthawk Black 

This super dark tattoo ink by Element Tattoo Supply is perfect for freehand stick and poke tattoos. It can also be used for perfectly shading and outlining your tattoos. The ink mixes well with any major brand of tattooing pigments (if needed). The top twist cap of this bottle has a seal lock to ensure safety. The unique formula quickens the healing time when tattooed correctly.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quick healing
  • Richly pigmented
  • Mixes well with other pigments

Cons

None

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8. Best Professional Formula: Millennium Mom’s Black Pearl Tattoo Outlining Ink 

Get your hands on this professional quality ink by Millennium Moms that is tested for flow rate, consistency, and pigment life. The bold and deep color gives your tattoos a dark and clear lining and can also be used for shading. The bottle comes with a tipped nozzle, which makes it convenient and easy to use. It goes on super easily and has the perfect consistency.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Long-lasting
  • A little goes a long way
  • Comes with a safety lock

Cons

None

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9. Best Vegan Formula: Hawink Tattoo Ink – True Black 

Although a new brand to the tattoo ink industry, the Hawink Tattoo Ink has occupied a special place with its professional quality pigmented colors. The pigments are formulated for easy absorption and last long without fading. The water solubility allows for low consumption and easy coloring. It also blends well with other inks that are suitable for lining and shading.  It is the perfect option if you are a beginner.

Pros

  • Easy absorption
  • Durable
  • Highly water-soluble
  • Highly pigmented
  • Does not fade
  • Blends well
  • Sterilized

Cons

None

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10. Best True-Color Formula: Viking-Ink Black Dynamite 

The Viking-Ink Black Dynamite offers one of the best quality tattoo inks on the market. It contains ultra-fine pigments that give you realistic-looking tattoos. It does not blowout, clog, or splatter when the machine is in use. It is a lightweight and fade-proof formula, is easy to work with, and is a great option for cover-up tattoos.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Highly pigmented
  • Ultra-fine pigments
  • Easy to work with
  • Fade-proof

Cons

None

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11. Allegory Premium Lining And Shading Black Ink 

The versatility of being able to work on both shading and lining is what makes the Allegory Premium ink a solid choice for any artist. It contains liquid dispersed pigments created after consultation with scientists and tattoo artists. Depending on the type of tattoo, this ink can be used and diluted directly from the bottle or mixed with water to obtain the desired shade. The formula goes on smoothly and seamlessly onto your skin without causing any irritation or allergic reactions.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Skin-friendly
  • Highly pigmented
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Smooth application

Cons

None

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12. Intenze Tattoo Ink Zuper Black 

The Zuper Black Tattoo Ink by Intenze has a unique texture and is perfect for creating artistic designs. It comes in a tamper-proof bottle to keep accidents at bay. It is also hypoallergenic and does not cause any irritation to your skin.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Ideal for dark skin
  • Sterile
  • Tamper-proof design
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Expensive

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13. Nocturnal Premium Tattoo Ink 

This organic tattoo ink is created by Jack Rudy and Franco Vescovi and is suitable for black lining and shading. It is one of the leading formulas on the market, is smooth and dark, and has impeccable fluidity. This ink is completely organic and made with three solid ingredients – sterilized water, organic pigment, and ethyl alcohol. This brand rose to popularity in a very short time for their richly pigmented, sterilized, and chemical-free inks.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Long-lasting
  • Organic formula
  • Non-irritating
  • Chemical-free

Cons

None

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14. Kokkai Sumi Tattoo Black Lining Tribal Shading Ink 

This tattoo ink by Kokkai Sumi is one of the best formulas for tribal tattoos. It is super thin and goes on the skin very easily. The formula is carefully curated by tattoo masters of Japan, using traditional methods. It is lightweight and perfect for shading and lining.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • High color saturation
  • Affordable

Cons

None

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15. Starbrite Tribal Black Tattoo Ink 

If you are looking for a smooth textured, consistent flowing ink for your tribal tattoos, this black ink by Starbrite is your go-to. The ink is richly pigmented and offers vivid color saturation that lasts really long. It helps maintain the healing process without causing any irritation to the skin.

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Long-lasting
  • Good consistency
  • Vegan
  • Nickel-free
  • Iron-free

Cons

None

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The next sections cover everything you need to know about tattoo inks – the ingredients, characteristics, and buying guide. Keep scrolling for more information.

 What Ingredients Make Up The Best Tattoo Inks?

Black is the most commonly used tattoo ink. It contains natural pigments made from powdered jet, magnetite crystals, amorphous carbon, bone char, and wustite. The ingredients include carbon, iron oxide, and logwood.

What Are The Characteristics Of The Best Tattoo Inks?

  • The tattoo ink follows the safety, quality, and purity regulations of the US or EU standard.
  • The ingredients are organic, vegan, and safe for the skin.
  • The pigments are long-lasting and give you a solid design.

What To Look For In The Best Black Tattoo Ink?

  • Purpose

Before you purchase a black tattoo ink, you must be aware of what it would be used for, the type of tattoo you want, and the category it falls under. From poke and stick to gray washing, lining, shading, and filling or tribal – the choices are many. Knowing what your ink will be used for gives you an idea of the category of ink you need to consider.

  • Formula

The type of ink also plays a major part in the selection process. Vegan inks are made from natural resources and plant-based glycerin, while non-vegan inks might contain heavy metals that can be toxic. Also, sometimes, inks are tattoo specific. For example, an ink that is specifically designed for shading and lining cannot be used for tribal tattoos.

  • Quality

Before choosing any ink, make sure that the formula is well pigmented and of high quality. As tattoos stay as a symbolic mark throughout your life, it is really important that you choose the best.

  • Consistency

There are no rules for this, but it is better to choose a black tattoo ink that is not too dry or too thick. The perfect consistency is choosing one between these two. If your ink seems watery, you can try shaking the bottle for the perfect consistency.

Black tattoo ink is one of the most important and essential requisites for any tattoo artist. Choosing the right one ensures that you have solid and bold tattoos that last a lifetime. The tattoo inks that have made it to our list have been evaluated on various paraments – like the quality, pigmentation, durability, thickness, style, and safety of the formula. Take your pick from our list and flaunt your body art in style!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Do I have to buy different black tattoo inks for different uses?

Yes, you need to have different tattoo inks for different purposes or styles.

What if I develop a rash or allergy to tattoo ink?

If your skin develops a reaction after tattooing, it is most probably due to contaminated and unsterilized tattoo equipment. Sometimes, it may also be due to bad quality ink. Make sure to consult with your dermatologist in case of any allergy or rash.

Is vegan tattoo ink safer and better?

If your tattoo ink is vegan, it does not mean it is better or safer for you. But it is safer and better for the animal kingdom, and we suggest you make a guilt-free choice.

Will black tattoo ink cause a blowout effect?

The blowout effect depends on the artist’s grasp and not on the ink. Proper positioning and light pressure help you avoid it. If you press too hard on the client skin, it will cause a blowout effect even with the best ink in the market.

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Baishali has a master’s degree in English and is an associate editor. She specializes in makeup and fashion and reviews products that fall under these categories. Prior to this, she worked with a digital marketing company in Kolkata where she wrote stories on travel, beauty, and home décor. When she is not working, Baishali loves reading and having intense discussions over a cup of tea.