How to Choose the Right Tattoo Machine
Whether you’re a seasoned tattoo artist or a novice, you already understand the significance of a tattoo machine. A studio’s reputation isn’t solely based on its artists; the type of technology used is equally important. As a result, it is imperative for a tattooist to invest in high-quality, long-lasting tattoo equipment, such as a tattoo machine.
If you’re planning to purchase a tattoo machine for your studio, you should first read this article. We’ve outlined all of the crucial factors to consider before buying a tattoo machine in this article.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
- Why is it important to invest in high-quality tattoo equipment?
- Types of Tattoo Machines
- Rotary Tattoo Machine
- Coil Tattoo Machine
- Pneumatic Tattoo Machine
- Shader Tattoo Machine
- Liner Tattoo Machine
- 7 Important Considerations To Make When Buying Tattoo Machine
- Tattoo Machine Quality
- Tattoo Machine Durability
- Tattoo Machine Cost
- Tattoo Machine Size
- Tattoo Machine Ink
- Tattoo Machine Tubes and Needles
- Tattoo Machine Cartridges
- Pro Tip: 1. Seek Expert Artist’s Help.
- Pro Tip: 2. Don’t Make Hasty Decision
Why is it important to invest in high-quality tattoo equipment?
A studio without the right tattoo equipment is as good as a lab without an x-ray machine. Tattoo artists can only produce incredible tattoos when they are well-equipped. Moreover, being well-equipped also helps tattoo artists to retain their customers. The tattoo machine is one of the essential pieces of equipment for every incredibly talented tattoo artist.
The machine’s operation is affected by the length, width, tension, angle, and stiffness of the spring. Contact gaps, capacitors, and even the kind of machine and its degrees of deflection can all constitute machine tuning variations. The type of machine being used, as well as the sort of tattoo the artist is doing, necessitate correct machine tuning.
We hope this has answered your question. Now it’s time to look at the different types of tattoo machines.
Here we go…
Types of Tattoo Machines
Tattoo machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From a technical sense, liners and shaders are the most popular machines, with the most common are rotary, coil, or pneumatic tattoo machines.
1. Rotary Tattoo Machine
Rotary tattoo machines were the first devices to use rotary technology, devised by Samuel O’Reilly and improved over time by tattoo artists. The needles in rotary machines are driven by an electric motor. One of the most recent enhancements is the addition of an armature bar, which is a common feature of coil machines. Improvements have recently been made to make this machine pneumatic, rather than the electric motor that is now employed.
2. Coil Tattoo Machine
This is the most commonly used tattoo machine. In a coil tattoo machine, the needle grouping is moved by an electromagnetic circuit. From single-coiled machines to triple-coiled machines, there are various options.
They can be manufactured out of a variety of materials and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Machines with two coils are considered standard. The coils are usually 8 to 10 wraps long. The impedance or resistance created by the coils is utilized to manage the machine’s speed and power. The skin is less traumatized as a result.
3. Pneumatic Tattoo Machine
In the year 2000, tattoo artist Carson Hill invented the first pneumatic tattoo machine and filed for a patent. A pneumatic tattoo machine is lightweight and driven by an air compressor. The needles in pneumatic tattoo machines are propelled up and down by compressed air. Unlike traditional coil machines, which require complete disassembly before being placed in an autoclave, Pneumatic Tattoo Machine doesn’t require any major disassembly, as the entire machine can be placed in an autoclave without making it simple to sterilize the machine.
4. Shader Tattoo Machine
As the name implies, shader tattoo machines are used to shade black or black-based inks, while they can also be used to shade other colors.
This machine’s saturation level is low. To make it cycle slightly slower, it has a larger contact gap than a liner (approximately 2mm–3.5mm). Besides, lines can also be etched with this machine. Certain artists use this type of equipment for all lines since it allows the lines to be retracted with less stress to the skin.
5. Liner Tattoo Machine
Lastly, in the list, we have Liner Tattoo Machine. A liner tattoo machine’s goal is to apply ink to the skin in a single pass in order to create a prominent line. It makes use of a short contact circuit (about 1.5mm–2mm), which allows the machine to cycle more quickly.
These aren’t the only types of tattoo machines available for tattoo artists. A “cutback,” which uses firmer front springs, is a frequent variant. This is more often used in liners, but it’s also been seen on shader machines for portrait work. Tattoo machines are usually divided into long stroke and short stroke machines. Longer-stroked machines are better for coloring and shading, and sculpting lines while causing less skin harm. Shorter-stroke machines are typically employed for lining in a single pass approach, as well as in a shader set up to generate a more subtle black gradation, such as in portraiture.
Before you do anything else, you should first compare and select which type is best for your studio. After you’ve made this critical selection, you may focus on other significant considerations to ensure you receive the greatest tattoo machine possible.
7 Important Considerations To Make When Buying Tattoo Machine
The major considerations when buying a tattoo machine include:
1. Tattoo Machine Quality
The first and foremost consideration is the quality of the tattoo machine. Of course, you cannot compromise on its quality. As a rule of thumb, you should always consider the quality of the tattoo machine prior to buying one. You don’t want to buy a unit with poor quality or worn parts. Remember, the machines that are in good shape will perform better and more safely, reducing the chance of injury to your consumers.
Make sure you inspect everything thoroughly before purchasing. If you’re buying it online, make sure to look through the pictures carefully. Besides, read reviews. If there are very few or no reviews, it’s a red flag, buy from a vendor with many reviews. There is no point in investing your hard-earned money on a poor-quality product. Don’t ever compromise on the quality of the tattoo machine; it is the most crucial factor to consider. Copper, iron, or brass tattoo machines are the best options. It may be a little expensive at first, but you’ll see that you made the perfect choice in the end.
2. Tattoo Machine Durability
Buying a tattoo machine is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Of course, you don’t want to squander your hard-earned cash on a haphazard tattoo machine. As a result, it’s critical to think about the machine’s durability before purchasing it. If you’re shopping online, read the reviews left by previous customers. If you’re having problems finding a long-lasting piece online, seek advice from fellow artists or the person who taught you how to tattoo.
3. Tattoo Machine Cost
Different versions of tattoo machines are available on the market, and their prices vary according to their construction and features.
The rule is to pick one that you can afford while still meeting all of your tattooing objectives. If money is an issue, used models are a good option because they are less expensive. However, even if it takes adding a few pennies, you’ll have a better chance of getting better value with a fresh one.
4. Tattoo Machine Size
Whether a tattoo machine is light or heavy is determined by its size. A tattoo machine can be compact and comfortable. There are larger versions available that can be considered as well. However, you will need to consider how the machine’s weight would affect your tattooing procedure.
5. Tattoo Machine Ink
Ink is one of the most critical tattoo machine supplies to think about when purchasing your machine. You will need to consider the maximum amount of ink a tattoo machine can hold. Keep in mind that certain tattoos can be rather huge, necessitating a lot of ink in one sitting. A decent tattoo machine should contain a reasonable amount of ink before needing to be refilled, allowing you to complete even the most enormous tattoos with ease and smoothness.
6. Tattoo Machine Tubes and Needles
Different needle sizes are used for different functions, and the tubes keep the needles in place when they penetrate the skin. You will need to consider how many needles it can accommodate to meet customer preferences. There are two types of needles and tubes, namely, reusable and disposable. Before buying a tattoo machine, you’ll need to see how simple it is to clean and disinfect the reusable needles and tubes in between tattoos.
7. Tattoo Machine Cartridges
Tattoo cartridges have recently been developed as an alternative to needles in recent years, and many tattoo artists are now using them in their tattoo arrangements. Cartridges are only compatible with a limited number of machines, such as the Cheyenne line of machines and any pen-style rotary machines. On the plus side, setting up cartridges is usually faster and easier than putting up traditional tattoo needles, but they are also more expensive. Many cartridges come with a safety membrane that prevents ink from flowing back up the tube and into the machine, making your setup much more hygienic.
Pro Tip: 1. Seek Expert Artist’s Help.
Undoubtedly, the tattoo machine is the most expensive item you will purchase when you begin your career as a tattoo artist, but it is also the most crucial. More often than not, artists buy two tattoo machines, one for outlining and the other for shading. If you find making the right choice difficult, seek more experienced tattoo artists’ help; read reviews about different tattoo machine brands, and follow the aforementioned considerations. FOLLOW THEM, AND YOU’RE GOOD TO GO!!
Pro Tip: 2. Don’t Make Hasty Decision
Indeed, the prospect of purchasing something new causes a rush of adrenaline in the blood. And we’d like to get our hands on it right away. When it comes to buying a tattoo machine, however, this is not the best approach. As previously said, purchasing a tattoo machine is an expensive endeavor. That is why it is critical not to make a hasty decision. Allow yourself some time to consider various machine types and their functions. Consider the type of tattoo artwork you’re skilled at before investing in a tattoo machine.
Putting it all together…
So these are the important considerations when buying a tattoo machine. Hopefully, these pointers mentioned above will help you buy the best tattoo machine. Remember that no matter how fantastic the design is, the tattoo will not look great if it is done by someone who lacks the essential skills, expertise, and equipment. As a result, getting the correct tattoo machine is A MUST. Being well-equipped can make a big difference in how your customers see you, so make the right choice!!
Happy Tattooing… ☺ ☺