FK Irons ONE versus Flux Max: Breaking Down the Machines with Gaston Siciliano | Painful Pleasures Community

FK Irons ONE versus Flux Max: Breaking Down the Machines with Gaston Siciliano

Find out the key differences between the FK Irons ONE and Flux Max tattoo machines... which one is right for you? This blog features insights from the engineer behind FK Irons: Gaston Siciliano.
by Danny Tress Last Updated: June 12, 2023

You can always level up your artistry with FK Irons, a brand synonymous with innovation and craftsmanship. And with two of their newest machines, the Flux Max and ONE, you can count on game-changing features and exceptional quality. We got the chance to chat with Gaston Siciliano, designer and engineer behind FK Irons, to fully understand how these cutting-edge models compare.  

So, which one will be your next daily driver? In this blog, we’ll dive into these two machines, featuring quotes and insights from Gaston himself. Then you can choose the best machine for you.  

FK Irons Flux Max: A Revolution in Tattoo Tech

FK Irons Flux Max tattoo machine with a purple and blue backdrop

If you’re an experienced artist seeking an amazing-looking machine with all the bells and whistles, the Flux Max might be your new top-drawer addition. With the Flux Max, Gaston Siciliano aimed to create a machine that was easy to operate, delivered reliable results, and had stunning aesthetics. His inspiration not only came to life, but the Flux Max exceeded expectations across the board. This advanced machine boasts several “industry firsts” that help you unlock your true potential. 

“It’s the first machine to have a built-in menu and Bluetooth connectivity. [It’s also] the first machine that connects with a wireless footswitch, offers different levels of eGive, and has a whole new design approach […] It’s loaded with features accessible whenever you need them. It’s also the quickest machine to charge or swap batteries.” 

The Flux Max, like many FK Irons machines, comes in several fire color options. Plus, (Star Wars fans, rejoice), you can even try this machine out in Star Wars-inspired designs as part of the FK Irons May the 4th Series.  

Aesthetics aside, you’ll also see the Flux Max comes in three stroke length. If you’re a traditional, new school, or anime artist, you should definitely have your eye on the 4.5mm stroke. It’s the largest stroke FK Irons has ever offered, helping you pack in color and pull your boldest lines.  

But you can also enjoy the Flux Max with a 2mm stroke for gentle shading and delicate details or a 3.2mm stroke as a solid all-rounder option. The Flux Max is also compatible with several FK Irons disposable grips and the FK Irons modular collection, so you can turn it into an RCA machine (if you’re into a more traditional, corded setup). 

FK Irons ONE: Craftsmanship Meets Accessibility

Tattoo artist hand holding FK Irons ONE machine in a shop

For artists seeking an equally exceptional, more accessible machine, ONE is your best bet. Gaston decided to make ONE by popular demand for a straightforward (but nonetheless expertly crafted) machine. While ONE may not have the built-in menu, clear readout screen, or wireless footswitch connectivity that you get with the Flux Max, it doesn’t even slightly compromise on quality. Even without all the special features, this machine gives you the same superb level of craftsmanship and quality as all FK Irons’ flagship models. 

“ONE will be most suited for artists starting out or professionals that don’t care for the additional features and simply want a reliable machine.” 

Consequently, ONE is an excellent choice for artists of all experience levels—but particularly if you’re a beginner trying FK Irons for the first time. Maybe you’re not totally ready for a big investment in all the high-tech features other models have to offer. So, ONE could be your high-quality gateway machine to the wonderful world of FK Irons and other high-tech models… and it’s perfect for any style. It comes in your choice of a 3mm stroke for versatile techniques or a 4mm stroke for all your bolder work.  

Not sure which stroke is best for you? Check out our guide for understanding stroke length here.

Behind the Machines: Quality = Guaranteed

No matter which machine you pick—the Flux Max or ONE—one thing you can count on is a kick-ass machine that’s above-all high-quality. Gaston values quality control during every step of the manufacturing process. So, no matter how the machines differ, you’re still getting a durable model that’s trustworthy and overall worth your money. 

“Quality control starts at every point of manufacture. There are more than 50 [quality control checkpoints] involved in the production of each machine. Once a machine is built by our staff, it is subject to a testing environment designed by our electronic and mechanical engineers where we can detect anomalies before a machine ships.” 

Key Differences & Similarities: ONE vs. Flux Max 

Clearly, both ONE and the Flux Max are excellent choices. But, as with choosing anything in your setup, it all comes down to what’s right for you. Maybe you already have an idea of which machine is better for you, but to guide your decision-making further, let’s dig into the nitty-gritty differences and likenesses. 

Adjustable Features 

The Flux Max gives you a wireless PowerBolt battery pack that offers a built-in menu and Bluetooth connectivity. Access to these features gives you game-changing benefits, such as: 

  • A session timer  
  • Adjustable eGive 
  • Left-hand mode 
  • LED light voltage indicators so you can always clearly see your operating voltage 
  • Compatibility with a wireless footswitch 

On the other hand, ONE provides a straightforward experience without these additional features. Consequently, if you choose ONE, you don’t have to worry about connecting to an app, and can enjoy tattooing in a simple, no-frills way. Plus, this is a great choice for you if you don’t love the idea of having excess equipment in your setup (like a wireless footswitch).   

Battery Management

FK Irons ONE machine with travel case, batteries, and battery charger

ONE machine features a drop-in Panasonic battery, which is a great option if you’re a traveling artist who prefers a minimal setup. You can easily stock up on 18500 mAh batteries more affordably than it costs to purchase back-up PowerBolt units. Moreover, ONE machine features a quick-disconnect cap system, so you can conserve battery life with a simple turn of the cap.  

The Flux Max, on the other hand, gives you a rechargeable PowerBolt battery pack. You can purchase this machine with one PowerBolt or two for double the power. While this is costlier, the PowerBolt gives you all the amazing benefits listed in the “Adjustable Features” section above. Plus, like ONE, the Flux Max also lets you disconnect to conserve battery life—but you have to do it via the menu on the battery pack. Additionally, you’ll need a USB power cord for a quick jolt to turn your Flux Max on. ONE just requires you to turn the cap to the “on” position. 

“Drop-in batteries are more accessible and give you more battery cells for your money. The trade-off with the PowerBolt battery system is conveniency and the upmost features for your buck. 

The charger on the PowerBolt is built into each unit. On the other hand, the drop-in cell system requires the PCB (printed circuit board) to be on the machine itself, and you have to use the external charger that comes with your purchase to replenish your battery.” 


The Flux Max features a brushless motor, while ONE operates on a brushed motor designed by Darklab. Both motors are super-durable, deliver equal power, and carry a one-year warranty. However, you’ll find brushless motors tend to reach your desired speed faster, run for longer, and deliver more torque. They also tend to run more smoothly and quietly. Brushed motors, on the other hand, have a somewhat shorter lifespan than brushless ones, due to wear-and-tear to the motor’s brushes over time. Nevertheless, ONE’s brushed motor is designed to be of the highest quality, and is more cost-efficient than the brushless motor in the Flux Max.  So, either way, you’re getting an excellent motor… choosing which one is right for you just comes down to your preferences and priorities!

Weight and Ergonomics: Familiar Comfort

FK Irons Flux Max machine on a countertop with blue lit background

Despite their differences, both ONE and Flux Max machines offer similar weight and ergonomics. ONE weighs in at 213 grams, while the Flux Max is slightly lighter at 205 grams. When you hold either machine, the difference in weight is pretty much unnoticeable. 

Choosing the Right Machine for You 

Before committing to a machine, it’s important to consider: 

  1. What you want out of a machine
  2. Your experience level
  3. Your budget

It’s certainly an individual experience when it comes to choosing the machine that’s right for you… but it should always be a fun experience, too. And FK Irons remains committed to offering the supplies you need to reach your maximum potential, all while enjoying the process: 

“[Our mission] is to make tattooing more fun by allowing artists to focus on what matter the most to them: The art. Before, in the coil days, you had to be a handyman to be able to tune your machine and get it to work properly. That whole hassle has gone away, and our machines are a plug-and-play experience. The device evolution had a lot to do with the growth of our industry as before, people were intimidated by the mechanical and technical aspects of operating a machine.” 

With the intimidation factor being replaced by more accessible equipment capable of any style, tattooing has certainly become more fun. FK Irons continues to innovate and fulfill that mission. All you have to do is pick the right machine and make your vision come to life. 

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