How do I prepare the tattoo machine for use?

By Vlad Barikhin, Vlad Blad Irons CEO
March 22, 2024
Table of contents:

Preparation and inspection of components

At the initial preparation stage, the tattoo artist should make sure that all the necessary components are in good order and ready for use. Key items include the tattoo machine, needle, rubber bands to stabilize the needle during operation, grommet (a special gasket to secure the needle to the machine), handle (disposable or reusable steel), gloves to ensure a sterile process, connecting cable to the power supply, the power supply itself, and a foot pedal to control the machine.

Ensuring sterility

Before starting to assemble the machine, several critical steps must be followed to ensure the sterility of the process. Hand cleanliness is a must, so the technician must wash his hands thoroughly and treat them with antiseptic. Gloves are recommended to prevent direct contact with machine components and minimize the risk of contamination.

Unpacking disposables

Special attention should be paid to unpacking disposable supplies, such as needles and pens, immediately prior to use. This process not only demonstrates to the client a concern for safety and hygiene, but also ensures that the materials remain sterile until they are used.

Preparing the connection cable

The connection cable that provides the electrical connection between the tattoo machine and the power supply unit must be protected. The use of a special protective sheath not only prevents possible contamination, but also contributes to the longevity of the cable by protecting it from damage.

Following these initial conditions and preparatory procedures is the foundation for a successful and safe tattoo artist, ensuring high quality results and customer satisfaction.
«Let's say these are recommendations from an artist to other artists. Let's start with the classics.»
Vlad Barikhin
Vlad Blad Irons CEO

Preparing the needle for work

Unpacking the pen and needle

It is important to properly prepare the basic instruments before proceeding. Unpack the pen and needle, making sure they are sterile and undamaged. This is the first step in ensuring the quality and safety of your work

Needle bending

To ensure optimal performance of the tattoo machine and to prevent undesirable phenomena such as ink leakage or uneven lines, the needle must be properly prepared. Bend the needle slightly in two places: where it will be pressurized by the rubber band and near the soldering point. This will ensure that the needle is stable during use.

Creating a bend for proper alignment

To make the needle as accurate as possible, create a slight bend in the part of the needle near the soldering point. This bend will help ensure that the needle is properly aligned with the skin, which is the key to creating clean and even lines.

Prevent lateral needle movements

Proper bending of the needle also helps prevent lateral movement of the needle during the tattooing process. This helps to avoid potential problems with ink leakage and uneven lines, ensuring a high quality tattoo.

Installing the grommet in the needle

Use a grommet, a small but important part, to securely connect the needle to the machine. The grommet should be placed directly into the hole at the end of the needle. This will ensure a tight and stable connection between the needle and the handle of the tattoo machine.

Correct soldering position

When inserting the needle into the pen, it is important to pay attention to the position of the solder - it should point downwards. This will ensure that the needle is positioned correctly and interacts effectively with the skin.

Positioning the needle

Determining needle protrusion

Determine that the tip of the needle protrudes from the handle by approximately 1 mm. This optimal distance allows you to achieve the necessary depth of penetration into the skin without the risk of excessive deepening, which is important for the quality of the tattoo and the comfort of the client.

Handle lock

After adjusting the needle position, the handle must be securely locked with a screw. This will prevent it from accidentally shifting or dangling during the work process, which can lead to unpredictable results and reduced quality of the tattoo.

Use of rubber bands

Selection of rubber bands

Before you begin, it is important to carefully select the rubber bands that will be used to stabilize the needle. Choose different densities to ensure optimum pressure on the needle. Depending on the required stiffness, several belts can be used at the same time.

Tape distribution around the handle

Evenly distribute the rubber bands around the handle of the tattoo machine. This will help ensure even pressure on the needle and avoid side shifts or vibrations during operation. Proper tape distribution is key to the stability and accuracy of the tattoo.

Connecting the connection cable

Cable connection peculiarities

When connecting the connection cable to the tattoo machine, it is important to know that for machines with bipolar capacitors, the polarity of the connection does not matter. This simplifies the connection process, as the cable can be connected to any of the available pins without the risk of incorrect installation.

Connecting the cable

Carefully connect the connecting cable to the tattoo machine, making sure the connection is secure. Correct connection of the cable ensures stable power supply to the machine and smooth operation during the tattooing process.

Final checks

Checking the machine's operation

Once the tattoo machine has been assembled and set up, it is important to make sure it is working properly. To do this, press the pedal and carefully observe the machine's response. Make sure it starts up without delay and runs smoothly, without jerks or unexpected stops.

Checking the anchor rod

An important aspect of the inspection is the functioning of the anchor rod. It should operate at an adequate speed, ensuring that the needle moves evenly. Check that the speed of the rod remains stable when the needle and rubber bands are loaded. This ensures even and accurate ink transfer when applying the tattoo.

Assembling and loading machines

Placing the machine on a cloth

Once the machine is fully assembled, inspected and ready for use, it is usually placed on a clean cloth. This is not only an additional hygiene measure, but also a way to organize the workspace, providing easy access to all necessary tools.

Careful handling of machines during the session

During a tattoo session, it is crucial to handle the machine carefully so as not to disturb its settings and ensure the quality of the work. Proper handling and keeping the workspace clean contributes to a successful tattoo session and client satisfaction.
Understanding the different types of tattoo machines is crucial for every artist aiming to excel in this field. The journey of exploration doesn't stop here; in the next article, we will delve deeper into the realms of tattoo machine performance and reliability, aiding artists in making informed decisions for their craft.
This video shows the process of getting the tattoo machine ready for use. Don't forget to turn on the subtitles!
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