If you are a tattoo artist, you might already know the importance of a good tattoo machine power supply.
Having the right tools can make or break your business. This is why it is essential that every device is powerful enough to support you in inking out as far as your imagination can take you!
For this to happen, it is necessary to have a state-of-the-art tattoo power supply. So how do you do that? Here is a rundown of everything you need to know before you choose the power source for your tattoo machines.
These are some common power supply brands you can look at:
BRONC PIRATE FACE AURORA 2 BIOMASTER
Table of Contents
What Alternative Do You Have for Power Supply?
The analog models were the first ones to come into the market. It has simple settings like switches and knobs to adjust voltage output mainly. Popular brands like 1Tattooworld and Dragonhawk offer analog supplies.
1TATTOO WORLD AMERIVOLT
The digital configuration was a step up. It makes life easy when reading the adjustment, showing the voltage levels and machine duty cycle on the digital screen.
MonsterPoint, Dragonhawk, Tmxx, and OneTattooWorld are among the most popular brands, offering a fantastic array of options.
Critical, Dragonhawk, and Aurora are some forerunners in providing wireless tattoo power supply equipment. Luckly for us, there is enough brands now in the market that help reduce the inconveniences surrounding numerous connecting wires.
The best thing about this technology is that most of the tattoo machines with wireless features in the market are compatible.
If you don’t like all the wiring stuff, this would be the best option on how to power a tattoo gun without a wall socket.
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The dual option
Dragonhawk, TMMX, and MonsterPoint have excellent top-ranked dual power supplies that will suit all your needs. This configuration is ideal for those that need to run two (2) machines during one session.
Best Tattoo Power Supply Manufacturers
Dragonhawk has great value tattoo machines to offer and is an industry leader in the power supply too.
One thing that I like is the wide range of models and types they offer, so you can select the best for your needs.
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DUAL LCD AIRFOIL
Furthermore, they also provide other accessories and complete tattoo kits, which makes them a one-stop solution for all your tattoo machine needs.
Hurricane is another top brand for tattoo power supplies, specializing in high-end digital models.
I’m a lover of big buttons and easy readings and that is what the HP-2 precisely offers. As an additional feature, it also provides the storage of six (6) different voltage settings. Not that is needed but some artists may like it.
Lastly, it also differentiates settings and features between liner and shading works; I think this is handy.
Still, a long way to becoming strong in the market, iPower offers stylish digital power supplies of all kinds that you can pick and choose for your needs.
I’d say what makes them stand out from the other brands is the app that was developed for iOS and Android phones alike. This may be a nice thing if you have a wireless tattoo machine, but will it be versatile when tattooing?
Inkstar provides a complete solution to all your tattooing needs, from needles to power supplies. They provide high-performance, durable power supplies that can go well with various tattoo machines.
As you know, Cheyenne is one of the oldest brands in the market. This has put them in a good position to understand what is best to power a tattoo machine.
They are offering three (3) versions: Power Unit 1 (connects one machine), 2 (connects two machines), and 4 (connects one machine only). What happened with 3? I don’t know.
From what I gather, these units have been built to power their specific models, being Unit 4 versatile and powerful.
If you have the budget, you would be buying a device from a reputable brand.
Eikon is a tattoo machine and power supply manufacturer known for providing a range of tattoo-related premium tools and machines to their name. Their equipment is claimed to be top-notch and comes in several variations to suit your needs.
One of the best models offered by the brand is the ES500, which is capable of supplying very low and high voltages, making it great for a wide range of machines.
Although expensive, Critical Atom power supplies are consistently ranked as some of the top power supplies in the market.
They provide high-performing power supplies of all types, dual, wireless, and digital, along with add-ons and accessories like connectors and wireless foot pedals.
How Does Your Tattoo Machine Power Supply Work?
Before you pick a power supply, it is crucial that you understand how it works and what kind of settings you would prefer.
Tattoo DC power supply, types, and voltage
The power supply’s job is to transfer electricity to your equipment.
It reduces the voltage levels of 110V or 220V AC to 2 – 18 Volts of Direct Current (DC), which would be suitable to operate your machine.
A DC power supply can be of two (2) types: rotary and coil. While rotary machines use a DC electric motor (with a rotor and stator), coil machines use coils of wire wrapped around a steel core.
An RCA connector is used to ensure that the current is fed into the tattoo machine without disruptions. Make sure your power supply is compatible with these connectors as required by your tattoo machines.
How does the power supply work in tattooing?
Proper supply helps you control the amount of current fed to your machine so that you can fine-tune it corresponding to a particular activity like outlining or shading.
– For line work, the most common voltage falls in the range of 7.5 to 7.8 volts.
– For shading, it would be between 8 to 10 volts.
– The quality of your work can significantly vary depending on the performance of your power supply.
The voltage level you choose will either slow down or fasten your tattoo machine. The higher the voltage, the faster it will work.
Optimal use for one or more machines
The optimal use also depends on the machine you use. It has to be mechanically tuned to run slow or fast.
Next comes the consideration of how many machines you want to plug in and use simultaneously with the power unit.
In cases where more than one machine is plugged into, the general guideline is to use one as an outliner and the other as a shader.
Some devices are capable of showing the voltage levels and machine details on their digital screen.
Parts and settings
– Power switch.
– Phone jacks to plug in your machine or machines (if featured) and a foot pedal.
– Switches to turn on and off.
– Digital screens – LCD.
– Knobs to control voltage levels.
– The settings should align with the type of machine. Check for compatibility and voltage levels.
– The recommended voltage for rotary machines is 7.5 to 8.5 volts (coloring) and 8-9 volts (lining).
– For coil tattoo machines, lining requires 7.5 to 8.5 volts, and shading requires 8 to 12 volts.
– Lastly, the average running voltage for wireless tattoo machines is around 10 volts.
What is the duty cycle in your power supply?
You might be wondering about the duty cycle and why it is essential to understand it.
In a coil machine, you may know that the front spring will touch the contact screw, pushing the bar towards the coils (closest end) when electricity is injected.
In a rotary version, there is no duty cycle, but it can be considered with the stroke length; the longer the stroke, the less time the needle is inside the skin.
So, the duty cycle is the percentage of time your machine (in this case, milliseconds for a machine) is powered on; in other words, the time the needle is in the skin.
Keeping your duty cycle at 50% is considered optimal, translating into soft and gentle tattoo jobs.
The quickest way to adjust the duty cycle is by adjusting the contact screw (for coils) or the stroke (for rotaries), so power on your machine, read what the power supply unit is showing, and see how it behaves while you do this.
It is important to note that a tattoo machine usually runs from 4 to 12 volts.
There are quite a lot of choices and options when it comes to powering your machines.
As explained before, it is not possible to recommend what would be the best power setting to feed your tattoo machines as this depends directly on the way you do your job.
From what we have seen so far, digital tattoo power supply options are somehow the best due to their configuration and assistance to the artist.
On the other hand, the manufacturers and the market are now targeting other options; in this case, the wireless configuration is becoming more appealing to some artists.
Choosing the perfect tattoo machine power supply that will satisfy your needs should not be too complicated. We recommend you research to find the one that best suits you.