How to Assemble a Tattoo Gun?

Are you thinking of wearing a tattoo yourself?
First of all, you need to purchase a tattoo machine and all other necessary accessories.
But don’t think you are all done, and just after purchasing all accessories, you can start wearing a tattoo.

You have just completed the initial stage to become a great tattoo artist.
The fact is, you need to set up the machine first.

And if you want to get your required tattoo result, the tattoo machine set up is significantly essential.

If you wrongly set up the tattoo machine, you will not get an excellent tattoo design and end up with a dull shading and lining.

Now, the question is how to assemble a tattoo gun?

Well, stay with me. I will guide you in assembling a tattoo gun following a correct way.

Don’t be much excited, be calm, and let’s start setting up a tattoo gun.

How to Assemble a Tattoo Gun?

Part 01: Picking the accessories

Step 01: Purchase a starter tattoo kit

Purchase a starter tattoo kit

Do you know what the benefit of purchasing a tattoo kit is?

The best tattoo starter kit comes with all necessary equipment that is required to start a tattooing studio. Thus, you don’t need to purchase the items separately.

Although some tattoo starter kits are cheap in quality, if you know how to utilize them, nothing can stop you from becoming a great tattoo artist.

  • Be re-mindful to purchase the best tattoo machine for beginners. A cheap tattoo machine can do damage to a person’s skin.

Step 02: If required purchase tattooing items separately

Are you looking for better quality tattooing items? If yes, then you should purchase tattooing items separately.

Purchasing separate items gives you freedom in choosing the things that you want to set up the machine.

  • Moreover, the lifespan of separate items is more than tattoo starter kit items.

Step 03: Get the necessary tools you require while setting up a tattoo machine

An Allen key set and a screwdriver will be a handy tool when you are setting up a tattoo machine. Check the kit instruction manual to learn whether you need any other tools or not, to set up the device.

Step 04: If you are new, seek advice from a professional tattoo artist

If any of your family members or friends or known persons are working as a tattoo artist, request for a session from the person.

  • You may find one or a few professionals who will show their interest in sharing a session of setting up a tattoo machine.

Part 02: Setting up the tattoo machine

Step 01: Wash your hands with sanitizer

Wash your hands with sanitizer

You can’t avoid taking the utmost care of your tattoo machine. So, precaution is a must before working with a tattoo machine. As a part of precaution, wash your hands using the best tattoos antibacterial soap and wear latex hand gloves.

Step 02: Get yourself familiarized with the machine

Before starting assembling the tattoo machine, you need to get acquainted with the device.

The machine frame supports all parts to stay together. Then the device has 2 electromagnetic coils. The responsibility of these 2 coils is to provide power to the machine. With the help of the coil, the armature bar rapidly moves. And the armature bar is linked with a striped needle. The electromagnetic coil gets joined with the power supply.

  • You can remove or replace all the accessories of the machine if required.

Step 03: Assembling the barrel

Give an intent look to the machine grip. You will find 2 sides of the grip. One side is for the tube, and another side is for the grip. Remember, the needle mustn’t surpass the tip greater than 2mm and lesser than 1mm.

  • If you find excessive blood while working, be noted the machine need is too long.

Step 04: Machine Set up

Take out the needle that you have received with the machine. You will find different sizes and types of needle come with the device.

A tube is there towards the tip, install any of the needles through the tube. Make sure the needle remains undamaged while assembling. If it happens, the tattooing process will be painful.

Step 05: Confirm the nipple is secured

The other name of the nipple is grommet, which protects the needle and grip to the base of the needle. Put a nipple on the armature bar pin. Fasten the round open end of the needle over the nipple.

Step 06: Regulate the needle

Once the tube is assembled, then it is necessary to fine-tune the needle length. You need to adjust the tube vice if you need to fine-tune the needle’s exposure. You will find the tube vise, which is placed between the armature and needle. It is basically an adjustable screw.

Part 03: Setting up the power station

Step 01: Pick up a power supply from your nearest store or online

Based on the specifications and voltages, the characteristic of power supply varies. You may or may not get a power supply with your tattoo starter kit. Even if you get, you need to adjust it as per your requirement.

Moreover, you can replace your power supply with a different one, if required.

Also, the power supply cost is not more than a tattoo machine.

  • Adjusting power is the core responsibility of a power supply. Both analog and digital power supply is similarly effective in doing this.

Step 02: Scrutinize the power supply

Before running the machine, check the fuse. Also, make sure the device is going to get the recommended voltage.

Remember, you will get a controller with an affordably priced power supply to control the power and fuse that is required for the machine.

However, the cheap power supply doesn’t contain this controller.

So, don’t purchase a cheap power supply. Because to get a fantastic tattoo, proper power is mandatory.

Step 03: Purchase a foot pedal and a clip cord

If your power supply doesn’t contain a foot pedal and a clip cord, you need to purchase these 2 items separately.

A foot pedal will not cost you much $, and setting up is also unnecessary. Besides, a clip cord will assist you in getting the connection to the tattoo machine from the power supply.

Part 04: Connecting all the accessories

Step 01: Connecting the foot pedal to the power supply

Foot Pedal

The responsibility of a foot pedal is similar to a sewing pedal. The foot pedal provides power to the needle. If you need, you can regulate and control the power using the foot pedal.

Step 02: Make a connection between the power supply and machine

A visible location at the bottom of the tattoo machine to connect the clip cord in order to provide power to the machine.

Be informed; the power supply has 2 inputs. Make sure; you have connected the wires in their exact location.

Step 03: Run the machine for test purpose

After you have connected and assembled everything, now you need to do a test run. You should not do a test run on human skin.

You should purchase practice skin to get a realistic feeling while tattooing.

Once you press the foot pedal, the needle will give you consistent performance without doing any problem.

Step 04: Practice, practice, and practice

Practice Practice and Practice

Do practice on practice skin or apple or any other fruits where you can control the tattoo needle.

Apples are similar to human skin.

While practicing, if you find the fruit is getting damaged, it means you are giving more pressure on the fruits.

Now, your tattoo machine is assembled. And the more you do practice, the more you will become a great tattoo artist.

You need to control your hands precisely so that you can give absolute pressure and stroke, depending on the design.

And always keep in mind, a wise saying “practice makes a man perfect.”

Difference between Setting Up Process of Lining and Shading Tattoo Gun

As a novice, do you know different tattooing machines follow different styles and techniques to give you a fantastic tat?

At first sight, you may think liners and shader tattoo machines are similar. But the fact is, dissimilarities are there. And before using them, you need to understand how to set them up.

In short terms, the liner is responsible for creating the outline. On the other hand, the shader will assist you in coloring and pigment on the skin.

Nevertheless, 4 significant factors distinguish assembling one machine from another.


You will find the most definite difference in the needle numbers and their formation, which is how they are placed at the bar.

You need to use a set of 1 – 7 needles in a circuit when setting up a liner tattoo machine.

On the other hand, in terms of shader tattoo machines, more than 4 needles need to assemble in a straight line.

It is significantly vital to use the correct set of needles for the right type of machine.

For easy understanding, liner needles are marked as RL, and shader needles are marked as RS.

Speed and Power

Generally, liners work faster, and thus you will get a precise outline. Shaders need high voltage to enter into the skin and ensure long-lasting pigment.

Since the shader creates high vibration, you need to cope up with the shader.

Type of the Coil

Best Tattoo Gun Kit

When you are setting up a shader, the thumb rule is, the coil needs to come with higher wrap. This way, enough power gets produced for several needles.

So, 10 – 12 wrap coil is required for a shader, and an 8 wrap coil is sufficient for liner.

And adjusting the gap between the armature bar and front coil is necessary.

You can easily accomplish the task by altering the tension of the rear spring and fine-tuning the rear screw.

Weight of the Machine

This will affect your work fast. Shader tattoo machines are more substantial than liner tattoo machines.

So, if you want a consistent performance from your tattoo machine, you have no other choice except practicing.

The fact is, everything gets straightforward after hard work and practice. If you want to be a great tattoo artist, hard work and practice is a must.

Tips and Tricks

Holding a tattoo gun correctly is significantly crucial. Don’t put much pressure on holding the tattoo gun. Gently press the needle tube, like you hold a pencil or pen. Meanwhile, the tattoo machine will be over your hand. Be noted; while working, the machine will create vibration. Steadily hold the tattoo gun.

Human skin is consisting of 3 primary layers. The middle layer is known as the dermis. At this middle layer, the ink takes its place for a lifetime. While tattooing, this layer is your target depth. Under the skin, the depth range of this layer is 0.04” – 0.08”. If you go much deeper than this depth, you will cause damage to the skin. Also, your customers will get a high level of pain.

Once you are confident about doing a tattoo on human skin, the best way to confirm is, practicing on yourself before tattooing on the customer. This way, you will understand how much deep you need to go, how it feels, how much speed do you need. After being 100% confident about your skill, you should start tattooing on another person or your customer.

Some manufacturers or artists manufacture tattoo machines which don’t require any setup. Simply unbox the device and start using it. So, you can look out for those machines to make yourself one step ahead.

If the device is giving an inconsistent performance, you should readjust the machine.

Before Starting a Tattoo Business What other things Need to Know?

What do you mean by the word “safety?” Is it only about your client? Or for you also while tattooing?

At the time of tattooing, the safety checklist has to follow for both the customer and the artist.

A lot of precautions required to keep yourself out of any trouble when you are passing a tattooing session. Also, you need to maintain a few state rules and regulations while starting a tattoo business.

Readout this section to learn more.

Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

It is necessary to obtain and maintain a state license to tattoo if required.

And keep the license in a place where it is visible and kept safely.

Maintaining OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard is a must. This is not only for your clients, but also for you, and your office staff will be protected following this standard. Also, you need to have a clear idea about the standard.

Don’t allow any client for a tattooing session if s/he is intoxicated.

Make sure your client is of legal age.

Safety Checklist

Wash your hands before starting a tattooing session. Wear latex gloves while preparing the ink for tattooing and when you are working on your customer’s skin. Once you complete tattooing, throw away the latex gloves into a bin. Don’t think of using the same latex gloves again. And wash your hands with the best tattoos antibacterial soap.

Some tattooing instruments are there that you need to reuse them. You have no other choice except that. Make sure, before reusing, you have sterilized them with proper sterilization methods.

Purchase the best autoclave machine for your tattoo studio.

Make sure you have several antiseptics and ointments in your hand. You need to keep a record of these 2 items because you should not run out of them at any given time. Because you don’t know when you will need any of these items badly.

Don’t forget to maintain a safety checklist. This way, you will be able to know whether you have missed any safety precautions or not before starting a tattooing session.

Remember, your customer will be delighted if he found you are giving top priority to safety. Indeed, it is a characteristic of a great tattoo artist.

Frequently Asked Question

Is there any way to define the needle depth of the tattoo machine?

The tip of the needle should still be very small. It shouldn’t be more than the tip of a sharp pencil.

Is there an alternative option available for the power supply box?

Basically, the answer is NO. You have no other choice except to use a power supply box. Otherwise, power will be inconsistent in the machine, and your client will get much pain during the tattooing session. To be on the safe side, if you don’t have a power supply box, purchase one from your nearest store or online. They are impressively inexpensive.

Is there any other way to sterilize the tattooing equipment except using a sterilizing machine?

Yes, you can spray alcohol. But be aware of covering up the wires. Also, after every use of the device, use a plastic bag to cover the machine.

Sum Up

Although you may think you can’t handle a tattoo machine, everything is possible with practice. Improve your skills by doing a lot of practice. One day you will find yourself as a great tattoo artist in the world.

Best of luck!