The tattoo is a fashion that different aged people would like to wear in different parts of their bodies. To get the desired tattoo, many tattoo artists use different tattoo machines.
The truth is, without the best tattoo machine, you shouldn’t expect to have a great tattoo design. This means a tattoo machine plays a vital role in the tattooing process.
A tattoo artist can’t depend on only 1 tattoo machine since the cleaning process is there between each tattooing session. Also, running a tattoo studio with a single tattoo machine is impractical. Moreover, different types of tattoo machines are available in the market.
Let’s start the discussion.
How Many Tattoo Machines do You Need?
What is a tattoo machine?
The main part of a tattoo machine is either an electromagnetic coil or a motor that powers an armature bar to go up and down. A needle grouping is attached to this bar that works to apply ink into the skin.
With the above definition, you may think that tattoo machines are simple things. But the truth is, to become a master on a tattoo machine, you have to learn many things. For this, you need to read the available instruction manual provided with the machine.
This article has discussed the details of different tattoo machines. Also, reading this article, a tattoo artist can decide how many tattoo machines are required to continue his/her tattooing business successfully. Learning about the working process of every component is necessary. Learning in-depth knowledge will help you customize the machine with different parts when required. Also, you can do the simple fixings of the machines. Moreover, you can buy a better machine in the future.
What Are the Types of Tattoo Machines?
Different types of tattoo machines are available in the market. Let’s look at the classification of the tattoo machines.
Coil Tattoo Machine
Most tattoo artists use a coil tattoo machine. Coil tattoo machines come at a wallet-friendly price, and they are user-friendly. This is the reason for their popularity among tattoo artists.
An electromagnetic circuit works in a coil tattoo machine that inserts the needle into the skin. The armature bar rapidly moves up and down because of the alternating electromagnetic current in the coil. As a result, the needle gets inserted into the skin to create a tattoo design. Coil tattoo machines are made of a wide range of materials, designs, shapes, and sizes.
Coil tattoo machines create noise, and you may feel disturbed when dealing with them. They are powerful and professional tattoo artists love to work with them because they deliver precise results. Also, they don’t require much maintenance. Compared to other tattoo machines, they are bulky.
Coil tattoo machines are again classified into 3 categories. Let’s learn from below.
Linear Tattoo Machine
These single-purpose coil tattoo machines are well-known for creating dominant outlines in a tattoo design. Their performance is faster than other coil tattoo machine types. And they don’t penetrate on skin deeply to create a tattoo design.
Shade Tattoo Design
From the name itself, you can get an idea that these coil tattoo machine types are ideal for creating tattoo shading with black color. The armature is long and helps a tattoo artist to penetrate deeply on the skin.
Color Packer Tattoo Machine
When you need to fill the color, this tattoo machine will give the best result. A tattoo artist can apply a highly pigmented tattoo color on the wearer’s skin because it goes deep on the skin. The best feature of this tattoo machine is that you don’t need to redo the tattoo design since they always deliver precise and consistent tattoo results.
Rotary Tattoo Machine
An electric motor provides power to the armature bar of a rotary tattoo machine. As a result, the bar let the needles work into the skin.
Rotary tattoo machines are lightweight and thus, working with them is stress-less. When the tattoo design is large, working with a rotary tattoo machine is preferable. Also, a beginner or novice can easily work with it due to the easy to use feature.
Additionally, the great thing is, rotary tattoo machines can be used as both shading and lining. They don’t create much noise and don’t need much maintenance.
Pneumatic Tattoo Machine
It is an expensive tattoo machine that uses an air compressor to create a design on human skin. In 2000, popular tattoo artist Carson Hill invented the pneumatic tattoo machine. In the beginning, the machine was patented as the Neuma Tattoo Machine. This machine is ergonomically designed and similar to a pen.
It will never give you hassle when cleaning. Besides, compared to the other 2 tattoo machine types, it is lightweight.
The upgraded pneumatic tattoo machines feature a variable stroke profile. This way, it can perform as both a rotary and coil tattoo machine. It allows a tattoo artist to sketch a tattoo, design blending, and creating soft-grays in the tattoo design.
How to Pick the Best Tattoo Machine?
What considerations do you need to keep in mind when buying the best tattoo machine for beginners? Below are a few questions and answers you need to remember.
Know Your Skill Level
If you are a beginner, you should look for a tattoo machine that is easy to use. Don’t buy a tattoo machine that comes with advanced features. In the beginning, you will find advanced features hard to use and understand. It is similar to buying a Porsche when you are trying to learn driving.
So, when you decide to buy a tattoo machine, make sure to look for simple models. This will help you to save a few bucks when learning the tattooing process.
Do you want to be a professional tattooist, or is it just a hobby?
The requirements of a professional tattooist or a hobbyist will differ a lot. A hobbyist considers tattooing fun while a professional looks for an opportunity to improve his/her skill. Hobbyists don’t have any plan to recover the expense of buying a tattoo machine.
On the other hand, to a professional tattoo artist, the right tattoo machine means investing, which means the tattoo artist has a plan to recover the tattoo machine’s expenses. So they come out with a plan to make a profit. Buying the right tattoo machine is not fun for them; they buy it to deliver the best result to their clients.
Other Essential Factors
- A lot of research will give you the best result for sure. Since many models and designs of tattoo guns are available in the market, researching will help you make a shortlist of the best-suited tattoo machines for your tattoo studio. Read the reviews of the different websites to get the best tattoo gun kit.
- You will be able to narrow down your list when you decide on your cost. However, don’t worry about picking the best tattoo gun because, at every price point, there are the best products.
- A homemade tattoo gun set can be a good option for beginners. They are quite a convenient option because necessary accessories and components are available with the set.
- Before buying a tattoo machine, consult with a professional tattoo artist. This is why a professional can guide you on the right path by sharing knowledge and opinion. There might be some tattoo artists available who can build a tattoo machine for you as per your specification. This also can be a good option to consider.
- Tattooing is not only buying a tattoo machine; it also requires other attachments and accessories (like stencil machine). The tattoo result also depends on these add-ons, so you have to pick them carefully.
What is the Best Way to Use a Tattoo Machine?
The actual tattooing process is a bit tricky. It would be the best to learn how to assemble a tattoo gun and the working process of different parts of the tattoo gun. Blindly using tattoo machines is dangerous.
But what is the right process for using a tattoo machine? Below we shared a few advisable steps to get the best use of a tattoo machine following the right process.
- Always remember to read the instruction manual when dealing with a commercial tattoo machine. Undoubtedly, you will get all the information related to your tattoo machine in the instruction manual. But if the manufacturer is not from the United States, you may find it difficult to understand the manual language. At this point, you have to look for video tutorials on YouTube.
If you have a homemade DIY tattoo machine, ask for an operational tutorial from the person who built it. As a result, accurate information is confirmed.
How to Make Your Tattoo Machine?
Tattoo machines are easy to use thing. Professional tattoo artists prefer making their own tattoo machines. With a few attachments and accessories, you can make a tattoo machine of your own following the below basic steps.
1# First, you will need to gather the required attachment:
- 9V battery along with clips,
- Electric motor (small),
- Wires (red and black)
- Cutting knife
- Tattoo needles (sterilized) or a roll of guitar strings, and
You will need a toothbrush or a spoon or plastic ball-pen to make the frame.
2# The base needs to get an L-shape. Keep the one end needs longer compared to other.
3# Cut the ballpoint barrel to its half and remove the tip made of stainless steel. You have to make a tube with this ballpoint barrel.
4# Now you can make a tattoo needle using either a guitar string or a sterile needle. But a guitar string is not safe to use. So, it would be best to go with a sterile needle. The sterile needle end has a ring, remove it and twist it to 90° at about 1 cm away from the new tip. Let it sit via the ink tube.
5# Use the wire and batteries to make the switch. Cut a red-colored wire to its half. When the insulation gets exposed, cut these pieces up to ½ cm of plain wire at the edges. Battery screws require undoing until the 2 the wire-end are slid. Before making a connection between the battery and clip, attach it on the other side. The black and red color end should make contacts with the motor. Once the switch flicks, tattooing process should start.
6# Before inserting the rotor tip, you should check the needle movement. You can do this by dropping superglue into one of the holes in the motor. Now place the needle inside the opposite hole where you put glue.
7# The mechanism needs to be attached to the frame. The measurement needs to be checked to ensure the needle is perpendicular to the frame’s long end. When you have found the correct spot, the motor needs to tap into the frame; remember not to cover the wires. Place the battery at the bottom of the motor with face-to-face contact on the outer edge of the shortest part of the frame.
8# The switch needs to be placed on the motor contact points and ensure taping it between the motor end and frame. Make a connection between the clip and battery. And make sure the whole thing is not creating sparks before everything gets connected.
9# The ink tube needs to be attached to the handle. Ensure the motor is not turned on, and the needle should be passed within the buttonhole, which should take place on the other side of the glue rotor. Then place it inside the tube. The needle needs to be adjusted to the uttermost distance, not to jam when it is moved. It should be fixed at about a ½ cm at most extensions.
You are all done in making a basic handmade tattoo machine. You can make the best-customized tattoo machine on your own with more decent attachments.
How many tattoo machines do you need – the answer to this question depends entirely on the frequency of your work and the type of tattoo design you are dealing with. It would be the best to keep a pair of tattoo machines of each type to make the tattooing process faster.
Tattoo machines are the heart of the tattooing process. The result of a tattoo depends on the type of tattoo machine being used. Be careful and cautious when picking a tattoo machine for your tattoo studio or business, or DIY project.