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Must-Have Tattoo Equipment

If you are considering becoming a tattoo artist there are some tools of the trade that you must have before embarking on your new career. Regardless of how talented you are, there are some basic pieces of equipment, tools and supplies you must have to be successful. This article will discuss those must-haves. While they may vary by brand and type, they are still basically the same. A responsible artist will always purchase high quality tools to showcase their work.

Tools and Equipment

  • Tattoo machines or guns. Depending on your preference, you may use a traditional coil machine or a rotary machine. The coil machines have been around the industry much longer, but opinions on which is best vary by user. The rotary guns usually come as an all-in-one tool, where you may find yourself using 1-3 coils guns. One gun is used for outlining and another for shading. Some artists prefer to have separate guns for black/grey shading and color shading.
  • Tattoo chair. A good tattoo chair is almost as important as a good machine. Some of your clients will be spending quite a chunk of time in it and their comfort should be a top concern. The chair you choose should also be comfortable and accessible for you too.
  • Artist chair. You will need a comfortable rolling chair. Like your clients, you will be spending a lot of time in this chair.
  • Power Supply. You will need a specific power supply designed for your tattoo machine.
  • Good lighting. A good adjustable light is imperative.

Main Supplies

  • Ink. Tattoo ink can be found in endless shades and types. The materials used to make the ink can vary greatly. When you are first starting out, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options out there. Again, this is a personal preference and one you will figure out by trial and error. You will find options like organic and vegan-friendly inks. You will also see inks made from materials such as nickel, zinc, chromium, cobalt and more. Do your homework and plenty of research before purchasing ink for your shop.
  • Tattoo needles. There are many things that factor into which type of needles you will need to purchase. The first, of course, is what type of gun you have. Needles come in all shapes and sizes; round, flat, magnum, and so on. You must familiarize yourself with which type is used for what process and go from there.

Other supplies

  • Latex gloves
  • Disinfectant
  • Antiseptic
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gauze pads
  • Spray bottles
  • Needle trays
  • Green soap
  • Glass jars
  • Germicidal solution
  • Needle bars
  • Tweezers
  • Machine rack
  • Ink caps
  • Transfer paper

These are just some of the basic necessities you will need to begin tattooing.


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