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 tool 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 on everything you need to know before you choose the power source for your tattoo machines.
These are some common tattoo machine power supply brands you can look at:
Types of Tattoo Gun Power Supply
Analog power supplies were the first ones to come into the market. It is a basic type with simple settings like switches and knobs to adjust voltage output. Popular brands like 1Tattooworld and Dragonhawk offer analog supplies.
Digital tattoo machine power supply was a step up. It makes your life easy when reading the adjustment, showing the voltage levels and machine duty cycle on their digital screens.
MonsterPoint, Dragonhawk, Tmxx, OneTattooWorld are among the most popular brands, offering an amazing array of options.
Critical, Dragonhawk and Aurora are some forerunners when it comes to providing wireless power supplies that avoid the inconveniences surrounding numerous connecting wires.
If you don’t like all the wiring stuff, this would be the best option on how to power a tattoo gun without a power supply from a wall socket.
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These models are becoming more popular in the market and will surely provide the power and requirements you need.
Dragonhawk, TMMX, and MonsterPoint have excellent top-ranked dual power supplies that will suit all your power supply needs. This configuration is ideal for those that need to run two (2) machines during one session.
Best Tattoo Power Supply Manufacturers
Dragonhawk has good tattoo machines and is an industry leader when it comes to tattoo machines and power supplies. They have a wide range of models and all types of tattoo gun power supplies.
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Furthermore, they also provide accessories and complete tattoo kits which makes them a one-stop solution for all your tattoo machine needs.
Hurricane is another top brand in tattoo power supplies that specializes in high-end digital power supplies in their Hp series of models.
iPower offers stylish digital power supplies of all kinds that you can pick and choose for your needs. They also provide an app for iOS and Android phones to coordinate with your wireless tattoo machines via Bluetooth.
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 a variety of tattoo machines.
Friction provides you with a wide collection of power supplies that are portable and stress-tested to give optimal output. They have specially designed foot pedals and similar add-ons as well.
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.
Although it’s 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 important that you understand how it works and what kind of settings you would prefer.
Tattoo DC power supply, types and voltage
A tattoo gun 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 tattoo 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 make sure that the current is fed into the tattoo machine without any disruptions. Make sure your power supply is compatible with these connectors as required by your tattoo machines.
How does power supply help 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 to work with 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 art can greatly vary depending on the performance of your power supply.
Basic tattoo power supplies just need to be plugged in and adjusted for the voltage required. The level of voltage you choose from 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 of the power supply 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 your power supply.
In cases where more than one machine is plugged into the power supply, the general guideline for making things easy, is to use one as an outliner and the other as a shader.
Some power supplies are capable of showing the voltage levels and machine details on their digital screen.
Parts and settings in a tattoo machine power supply
- Power switch.
- Phone jacks to plug in your machine or machines (if featured) and a foot pedal.
- Switches to turn on and off the power supply.
- Digital screens.
- Knobs to control voltage levels.
- Your tattoo power supply settings should be in line 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, for wireless tattoo machines, the normal running voltage 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 important 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 as such but 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.
Tattoo Machine Power Supply Final Thoughts
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.