Tattoo machine supplies can be found here and there in your local area and online tattoo stores. For professional tattoo artists, they have no problems in choosing a suitable machine for their working and they can even built a handmade tattoo machine to meet their special needs, but things may be a bit difficult for tattoo starters. To get a proper one, you should know as much about tattoo machines as possible. The first thing to know is the classification.
According to the functions, they fall into two big categories: liner machines and shader machines. A liner tattoo machine works with tattoo needles inserted into it in a circle pattern to outline a design and define the lining details, while a shader tattoo machine colors the design and make shades with needles grouped in flat rows. A shader is usually a bit heavier than a liner as the wrap coils it contains may be larger to give the extra power for big shading areas. So it’s common to find a liner machine with 8 coils and a shader with 10 wrap coils. Those classical tattoo machines with 10 wrap coils for both liner and shader can be a good way to save your budget, but you should change the contact spring when you need to change the function.
But for mechanical point of view, tattoo machines can be divided into coil machines and rotary machines.
Most of the above liner and shader machines belong to coil ones, running on wrap coils, which are known for years to be pretty helpful for tattooing. Rotary tattoo machine runs on a wheel, or something like a pulley system that sets a motor for the machine. At the very beginning, this kind of tattoo machines were thought to be less effective than coil ones, but after many years’ of improvement, they now are frequently in use by most professional tattoo artists. Some rotary tattoo machines have three functions all in one machine, suitable for body, eyebrow and lip.
Each type has its own highlights and drawbacks. Before you start to get your tattoo machine supplies, you should at least make a survey about that and talk about the tattoo supply store owner or some tattoo artists available in your reach for more advices.