If you are looking to be a tattoo artist, there is much equipment you will need to purchase. Below is a list of some of these essential items.
Tattoo Machines (Sometimes called tattoo guns)
There are 2 main machines used for tattooing; one is for lining, another is for black and grey shading, while sometimes artist even use a third machine for color shading.
Beginners should use aluminum or steel machines, as they are lighter than their copper and iron counterparts. Its up to your preference.
1. Power supply: Main power unit that runs your tattoo machine
2. Foot switch
3. Spring clip cord
4. Feeler gauge
Medical Supplies and Sterilization Equipment
1. Surface disinfectant sterilization
2. Tattoo antiseptic aftercare
3. Tattoo Topical antiseptic ointment and cleanser
4. Machine cover bag and headrest cover sleeve
5. Waste disposal container
6. Tattoo autoclave (stericlave): Decontaminates the tattoo equipment by exposing it to steam at high pressure
7. Rubbing alcohol and alcohol prep pads
8. Disinfecting cleaning wipes
9. Tattoo arm sleeve cover barrier or latex gloves
10. Tubes and tips cleaning brush set
11. Autoclave bag: Stores tattoo equipment including needles after the sterilization process
12. Ultrasonic cleaner and solution: Cleans residue coming from the tattoo tools e.g. tubes and tattoo needle
13. Tattoo machine rack: Holds machines when they are not in use
14. Germicidal solution: Maintains the sterilization of tattoo equipment
15. Needle trays
16: Spray bottles: One containing a mixture of 1/4 soap and 3/4 water, and a second holding isopropyl alcohol
17. Glass jar: Carries sterile ink caps
18. Stainless steel trays with sealing tops: One for liner and needle bars, another for shader needles and a third for shader and liner tubes
19. Green soap: For prep and clean up only!
21. Disposable razors
22. Bandages, handi wrap and hospital tape: Used to cover the tattoo
23. Tongue depressors
24. Stainless steel hospital scissors: Should be sharp!
Tattoo shop furniture and supplies
1. Rolling artists chair
2. Tattoo work table: Glass top or linoleum table that should hold all your equipment and supplies
3. Customer chair
4. Adjustable light source: Should be free standing
5. Basic weight-lifting bench: This is used by customers getting tattoos on their backs and legs
6. Paper towels
1. Needle bars
2. Needles: Round liners and magnum/flat shaders
3. Needle jig and needle bar jig
4. Soldering gun and stainless solder: Fuses the needles together and attaches the needles to the bars
5. Round and flat tubes
6. Sharps containers: To dispose of the needles
7. Rubber nipples
9. Grips: Prevents finger cramps
10. Rubber bands
Art and stencil supplies
1. Colored inks: Black ink included
2. Ink caps
3. 4Oz Ink bottles
4. Cup holder
5. Flash sheets containing tattoo designs
6. Watercolors and pencils: Colors the flash sheets
7. Thermal copier: Transfers a copy of the tattoo design onto the skin
Though this list may appear extensive, you can also start with the most basic items and build up your tools and supplies with time. Remember, do not skimp on the quality of supplies you purchase!
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