Choosing the Best Tattoo Supplies

This tutorial is meant to assist if you want a new tattoo power supply and have never done it before. We’re here to assist you in selecting the ideal solution based on your power source, and machine types as new power options are continually being created. Davey Arnold, a staff artist, offers his best advice and information on choosing your next supply.

Beginning with the (power) source.
Before anything else, you must be aware of the power requirements in your nation. Although most power supplies are branded “100V NORTH AMERICA” or “220V EUROPEAN,” you are ultimately responsible for determining the required voltage. It’s safe to suppose that you are one of the clever ones because you read before placing your order, but if you forgot, you might look at a helpful power output chart by country here.

Different Tattoo Power Supply Types
You’ll need to know a few different power supply kinds to choose from. The digital power supply is the type you’ll see the most of. Although they can be found in various sizes and designs, digital power supplies always contain a digital display. Suppose your machine starts to behave during a session. In that case, you can immediately identify if the power source is the problem because the digital display provides a simple reading to observe from a distance. More voltage, up to 18V and beyond, can typically be delivered using digital power supplies.

An analogue display is used in the power supply, a slightly earlier design. Analogue displays resemble a barometer or compass face; they are visible, but you must remain close to monitor your power levels until you become accustomed to reading them. While it used to be the case that analogue power supplies had a longer lifespan than digital ones, this difference has mostly closed with the introduction of new digital supplies.

Finally, wireless power supplies are the newest power sources available. While wireless adapters have been available for some time, native wireless power sources are now beginning to appear on the market. You can connect these power supplies to your foot switch on any channel you wish; they don’t require antennas or long wires. The drawback of these setups is that they are frequently very expensive to purchase as a full set. With a wireless pedal, these pricey little dudes may cost you well over $400.

Type of Machine Matters
When purchasing a new power supply, it is important to understand your devices to maximise performance. Because voltage varies by build, you should know the ideal voltage range for each machine (e.g., your liner performs best between 6V and 8V, etc.). Grab a multimeter and check your power supply output if you have been running your devices within a certain range but see that it keeps increasing over time. You may be receiving less voltage than you think you are.

I prefer to use an analogue power supply whenever I utilise my coil machines (which is typically when I’m lining). It doesn’t run out of charge and provides adequate power for my liners. I don’t mind using it for large outlines and little one-off items because I’ve experienced fewer problems with my analogues over the years. I’ll probably just use my analogue power supply if the tattoo is only an outline or a grayscale image. Disclaimer: Since I’ve had this analogue power supply since I was an apprentice, this may be more of a nostalgic post than anything else.

Now, I’ll use my digital power supply if I’m utilising my rotary machines or my Neuma hybrid because it has more power, and those machines can operate at much higher voltages than 14V regularly (the Neuma is better off with the air pump, honestly, way better performance). Using an analogue power supply with a maximum output of 15V when I could need much more to get my machines to perform at their best makes no sense.

These individual preferences develop over time due to tattooing frequently with various machines in various settings. I would advise sticking with a digital power supply if you don’t feel comfortable making a choice, you’re a new artist (ideally an apprentice), or you have various machine types. They can work with more machines because they are less expensive and offer a larger variety of output levels. That’s a big problem if you’re somewhat novice because you’ll be testing out various pieces of equipment as you learn.