By Mat Fay
The most important instrument that a tattoo artist can invest in to have a successful business is a tattoo gun. Without it, they are nothing. Those who are serious about their trade will want nothing but the best, or at least the best that they can afford. Before buying such a key piece of equipment it is important to do some serious research to ensure you know what you are buying.
First off, you will want to research the various materials that a tattoo gun can be composed of. You don’t want your gun to be flimsy or break, so go for a quality metal such as iron, brass or copper. This will give a nice weight in your hand and will stay steady while you work. If you are still practising then you may want to choose a cheaper, less quality metal so your tattoo gun is more affordable, but if you are done practicing and ready to explore the art of tattooing you will want something of a higher quality which will last you for many years.
The next decision is the size of the gun and variety. Normally a tattoo gun is either built for drawing lines or for shading, although there are machines out there that can do both with adjustments. The gun you choose depends on your experience level and how comfortable you are with fine tuning your machine. Generally only tattoo artists who have been around for many years will go for the all-in-one model as it requires a lot of tuning and needs a practised hand.
Those who are just starting out may want to look for tattooing kits which contain everything you need to get started in the business, it will save you money and help you figure out just what type of equipment you need in the future.
There are also different coil sizes available which in turn handle different needle sizes. For example, 8 wrap coils are usually used for outlines using smaller needles, while 10 wrap coils are for 8+ needle groups. It just depends on what type of needles you are going to use. As you build your business you will probably start adding on new instruments as your clientele grows and you begin taking on more complicated designs.
Once you have your tattoo gun, or guns, you will be one step closer to opening your own tattoo parlour, or joining someone else’s. The next step is to start stocking up on supplies such as inks, needles, tubes, machines, power supply and sterilization supplies.