In order to be a successful tattoo artist, you will need technical skills and creativity, but you will also need the right equipment. In fact, no matter how beautiful a design might be, without the right tools, the finished product will never be able to truly showcase your potential as a tattoo artist.
One of the most important tools that you will need is a tattooing machine, as the choice of tattoo machine will inform your choice in other tools. This guide is here to help you learn all you need to know in order to find the right tattooing machine for you.
PHOTO CREDIT(S): Joe Raedle / Getty Images
What Type of Tattoo Machine Should You Use?
The first question that any beginner will need to ask themselves when buying their first tattoo machine is what type of machine you want. There are two types of tattoo machines, the rotary and the coil tattoo machine.
While both machines achieve the same end goal, in depositing the ink in the dermis (the second layer of the skin), the way that they achieve this is very different. The rotary machine uses a needle bar that is attached to the nub on the top of the motor; the motor then rotates the needle back and forth. This creates a fluid, constant motion that works to produce a smooth line.
The coil tattoo machine works in a slightly more complicated manner than the rotary machine. The coil machine uses two coils that are charged to create an electromagnet effect, which pulls the armature bar down and into the skin. This downward motion then forces a spring which momentarily breaks the circuit bringing the armature back. The coil machine works in a hammer-like motion to more forcefully put the needle into the skin.
Which Type of Machine Should You Be Using?
The different types of tattoo machines do not only function in different ways but are very different to use. The rotary machine is less forceful, which means that it is easier on the client and produces tattoos that heal more quickly. Since there is constant power being supplied to the rotary machine, it creates a much more fluid line.
The coil tattoo machine is heavier and more powerful than the rotary machine; it also creates a much louder ‘tattooing’ sound. When you are deciding which machine to buy, it is recommended that you stick to what you know and what you have experience in. Don’t underestimate the difference between machines.
Finding the Right Model
The most important part of buying a tattoo machine is choosing the right type for you. That being said, your purchasing choices can definitely be enhanced by choosing the right model. You should look at reviews and ask for recommendations to ensure you are getting the very best value for money. It is also important that you consider the power supply of the machine to ensure it is compatible.
Not only will you need to invest in your tattoo machine, but for it to be usable, you will also need to purchase additional tools. You should purchase needles, grips, feet, and a lip cord. You will need to purchase these tools when you buy your machine to ensure your tattoo machine is usable.