A tattoo machine is a hand-held device generally used to create a tattoo, a permanent marking of the skin with indelible ink. Modern tattoo machines use electromagnetic coils to move an armature bar up and down. Connected to the armature bar is a barred needle grouping that pushes ink into the skin. Tattoo artists generally use the term “machine”, or even “iron”, to refer to their equipment.
If you’re just getting into tattooing, you might be a bit confounded by all the different types of tattoo needles available. What do all the codes mean? How is a round liner tattoo needle different from a magnum or a bug in tattoo needle? How do you know when you should be using which type of needle?
Tattoo tubes, tips and grips are core elements in every tattoo artist’s toolkit, but with so many options available, how are you supposed to know which ones will work best for you? To help you make an informed decision about which combination of tubes, tips and grips to put in your tattoo toolkit, we’ve broken down all of your options below and outlined the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Tattoo Tips are a wider style of flat tattoo tip that you can pair with larger groupings of flat needles, magnum needles or stacked magnum needles for filling in larger areas, blending and shading. They’re the best option for those tattoo techniques because you get maximum ink flow with a flat or magnum needle and magnum tattoo tip configuration.
Tattoo inks are solutions comprised of a carrier and a colourant. The carrier is the fluid that is used to transport the colourant to the application location. It may contain glycerin, water, isopropyl alcohol, and witch hazel.
Assembling the machine
A tattoo machine works basically the same as a doorbell. It moves like a sewing machine, and works by means of an electromagnet. The gun’s power comes from the coils. Electric energy alternates between positive and negative charges by means of a capacitor. When this magnetic field is activated, the armature bar moves up and down, which creates a full circuit around the frame. This circuit then causes the needle to move constantly up and down at a quick pace.
Sketching the “pattern”
Tattoos aren’t only beautiful when they’re perfectly developed, but when they’re in harmony with the body as well. Since everyone has a different body, it’s important to first sketch a pattern of the body before we start designing the tattoo.