What Are Tattoo Supplies and Equipment?

Finding the best tattoo equipment is an important part of any tattoo artist’s job as the supplies you use often determine the quality of the tattoo itself.  Whether you are starting out as a new tattoo artist or are looking to find a new hobby and have always found tattooing interesting, ensuring that you are purchasing high-quality tattoo supplies is incredibly important! Even the best tattoo artist will be restricted by the quality of the supplies that he or she has! This blog will look into the different tattoo supplies that are necessary for creating the very best tattoo and what materials and equipment are needed through the process.

What Tattoo Supplies are Needed?

There are a number of supplies needed to tattoo and you will have to invest in both fixed materials as well as disposable materials, which will need to be purchased on a regular basis. Both of these types of tattoo supplies are incredibly important and skimping on them could lead to tattoos fading or even not being done accurately. Whether you are looking to begin the process of learning how to tattoo or even just want to find out more about what to look out for if you are a professional, the following are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to tattoo supplies.

Fixed Tattoo Supplies

The fixed materials that you purchase will be reused so it is vital that you purchase items that are not just going to get the job done, but also be long-lasting additions to your tattooing kit. The power and precision of the fixed materials used to tattoo impact the longevity and the overall look and consideration should be made when it comes to the supplies that you purchase. The following is a list of the fixed tattoo supplies that should be purchased.

Tattoo Machines

Tattoo machines refer to a hand-held device that is used to transfer ink from the needle to the skin. Tattoo machines are intricate and have been designed to ensure that when the ink is transferred from the needle to the skin, it hits the exact right spot within the skin to ensure the tattoo is permanent. Tattoo machines work by using electromagnetic coils that are able to move an armature bar up and down. The needle used will be attached to the armature bar and ensure that it is precisely aligned with the skin. Tattoo machines work in fast rhythmic sequences whereby the armature bar and needle are consistently plunged into the skin in precise, and continuous motions, transferring the ink directly into the dermis layer of the skin.

The quality of the tattoo machine that is used should always be considered as this will be the device responsible for transferring the ink to the skin. These items can often be quite pricey, but getting the best tool to perfect your craft is vital!

Power Supplies

When it comes to powering up tattoo machines, you want to be sure that you have an accurate and dependable power unit. Different power supply units offer up different voltages, which has an effect on the tattoo machine. A tattoo artist should be able to adjust the voltage of the power supplied to the tattoo machine during the process, which is why external power units are needed. Different patterns and styles used throughout the process will need a different voltage to ensure precision and exact lines, colors or shading are used.

Cables and Grips

Tattoo cables and grips are other fixed materials used when you tattoo. A tattoo grip ensures that the hand of the tattoo artist rests easily and comfortably on the machine. This is extremely important as the grip ensures that the hand of the tattoo artist does not slip or get caught in an uncomfortable position that could result in mistakes being made on the tattoo. There are a variety of different grips that can be used and the one that you decide on will depend on your own hand and the most comfortable position to place it. Most grips are designed using elastic fibers with a non-woven cotton material as this ensures that the grip is attached to the machine but not to your actual hand or the gloves you may be wearing.

A cable is used to connect the gun to the power supply and it is an important element to consider. As you will be tattooing consistently for a period of time, the cable needs to be able to withstand high temperatures and function effectively to ensure that power reaches the tattoo machine. When it comes to tattoo supplies, both the cables and grips are extremely important elements to consider and they should be of the highest quality!

Disposable Tattoo Supplies

Not only do tattoo artists have an assortment of fixed materials that they will use for different clients but they also need disposable ones. Disposable materials should never be used more than once as they may transfer blood and organic matter from one customer to another. While you should only use these kinds of materials once, they are also incredibly important and an artist should never skimp on the disposable tattoo supplies that they purchase. The following is a list of tattoo supplies needed that should only be used once!


A tattoo artist will likely need quite a few needles as there are different tattoo needle sizes and styles that are capable of certain things! Tattoo needles are one-time use items and should never be used on more than one person. This is to ensure that no bacteria, germs or blood from others are transferred into your skin. Different needles are needed for different things and there are five general types of needles that are used; flat, round, shader, magnum and turbo. These different needles produce different types of lines and shades and if you are getting a more intricate tattoo, you may find that the tattoo artist needs to use a variety of these needles throughout the process.

If you are a tattoo artist, you will understand the importance of having the very best needles as they help ensure that the ink is transferred onto the skin in the most precise way possible. Though you will not be able to use the same needle again if it has already been used, you should be able to find offers of good tattoo supplies that can be purchased in bulk.

Tattoo Inks

When it comes to tattoo supplies, the ink that is used is another important disposable product. There are many different colors of ink that can be used when tattooing and it is always good to have a wide variety. An ink that is not of the best quality may reduce the look of the tattoo and it may end up fading as a result of the ink. Purchasing ink that is of the highest quality will ensure that you are able to create vibrant, beautiful and long-lasting works, so be sure the ink that you purchase is known to be good. In America, inks should be approved by The Food and Drug Administration as they assess whether or not the ink is suitable and safe for use. It is incredibly important that you purchase ink that has been approved by this department.