The Wireless Tattoo Machine is the new alternative for artists that need to take their work anywhere.
Tattooing is a highly specialized art. From people who start as hobbyists to professional tattoo artists, everyone who is into the industry has their own styles and preferences.
The choice of equipment is just as important as the artist when it comes to tattooing. If you’re new to the industry, in this guide we’ll introduce all the important aspects regarding this cordless technology.
What is Wireless Tattoo Machine?
As it name says, the term “wireless”, refers to a piece of equipment that can operate without the need of using a power cord.
In this case, a wireless tattoo machine will have the same principal by being operated with a power source (batteries pack) connected directly to the armor of the machine. There is a couple of options you will find in terms of controlling the voltage system including:
1- Using a battery pack that allows you to switch the voltage directly from the pack or,
2- Using a foot switch that will be wireless connected to the battery pack then adjusting the voltage.
Any of the two (2) options will give you the liberty of not using any cords however there will be some advantages and disadvantages for each one of them. We will discuss it in the coming sections.
This technology is relatively new within the tattoo industry and just a few brands are manufacturing their machines to make them compatible.
While wireless adapters have been in use for some time now, native wireless power supplies are hitting the market and have gained quite a lot of popularity.
However, as they say – no two snowflakes are alike, the same goes for the wireless tattoo machine. Each of them differs on the basis of their working and features. Thus, you must make the right choice while picking one.
Considerations When Buying a Wireless Tattoo Machine
If you have been in the market for some time or just starting to learn about tattoo machines, this new technology can be an option to consider; nevertheless, there are a few points I recommend you take into account before doing the investment.
The first thing you have to look for is the battery chemistry; this includes the battery lifespan, running time whilst in operation and the charging time. From these three (3) points, I would say the most critical one is the running time (work for hours and not thinking about recharging the batteries).
It is critical that you pay attention to any change in power while tattooing. This could be an indication that your battery is running low. If this is the case, I recommend you connect a fresh charged battery set as soon as practical.
Depending on the chemistry, charging a battery pack from flat could take anywhere around 1 hour.
A wireless tattoo machine provides you with increased dexterity and flexible usage as you no more have to deal with bulky cords. The addition of a battery as power source will increase the overall weight of the machine.
If the wireless machine is going to feel heavy and make work difficult, it is not worth the extra bucks you are paying for it.
Look into the weight of the machine along with the battery and all the add-ons attached.
Needles are usually sold separately and most machines have specific needle protrusion dimensions. This makes them incompatible to use with other types of needles.
This is not so different for cordless tattoo machines; this is clearly seen with the Scorpion Tattoo Machine range, which uses a magnetic feature to secure and operate the needles.
If you ended buying a machine that does not require a cord connection, I would recommend you include the set of needles compatible with that machine.
Ask your provider if there is other tattoo needles that are compatible with your new machine.
As well as needles, there is some specific machines that are only compatible with a wireless feature. For instance, I tested one of my friends coil custom tattoo machines and got a little bit frustrated due to the low voltage response. I’m guessing, a 10 coil machine was a bit too much for the battery pack we connected.
Most of the brands hitting the market are focusing their attention to modify their models and create a wireless configuration with rotary tattoo machines.
Lastly, if you are willing to test your current machine, take into account that the machine has to have a RCA connection.
Wireless Tattoo Machine Power supply
As mentioned earlier, wireless tattoo guns are still evolving and several models vary on how they connect to a power supply. As wireless models use batteries, the power supply unit can be more adaptable and easy to use.
Look into how your tattoo machine will connect to adapters and how easy it is to plug in and use it with batteries.
The most common models in the market are the one where you can change the voltage on the battery pack. This is something that can be handy however a couple of flip-sides I found is the potential cross-contamination and the overall weight.
On the other hand, only Ink Machines have manufacture a system that can offer the feature of controlling the voltage by using a different set of battery packs calibrated to operate at your selected voltages.
The wireless system will detect which battery pack will be used and the controller will give you real time readings while operating.
Wireless machines are only worth their money if they are more comfortable to use when compared to their wired counterparts. See if the machine fits your style, doesn’t compromise your hand speed and is a long term ergonomic fit.
An ergonomically designed machine with a proper grip will aid in better user experience.
Most cordless tattoo machines are sold as a complete kit that includes foot pedal, batteries, power supply, charging lines, adapters, tattoo guns, and compatible needle.
The price of the kit can vary depending on the components and their quality.
This could be a trade-off you will have to make when choosing a wireless machine. More cost with more functionality or less cost with necessary features alone.
Make the choice that works best for you but remember that not to compromise the quality of your work just for a few additional dollars.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages
Having a cordless tattoo machine can provide positive or negative aspects so you better think about them and balance the benefits of going wireless.
Some of the benefits we have found are:
- Less cords and connection to worry about.
- Portability so it can be carried anywhere with ease.
- Less elements to decontaminate.
- Not sure yet but it can reduce your electrical bill cost.
Surely there will be more advantages with this new technology however, there is a few downsides to consider too:
- You will have to have more than 1 battery pack to ensure you have enough power to finish the tattooing session.
- Additional weight to your tattoo machine. This is not ideal if the machine you want to use is already heavy (e,g., frame made of iron).
- If you let the battery pack run too low, it could impact the speed of the needle therefore affecting the quality of the tattoo.
The last disadvantage is the low number of machines that can operate wireless. This will change overtime as more brands see a way to sneak into the market.
Brands That Offer a Wireless Tattoo Machine Configuration
Dragonhawk being a pioneer in the tattoo industry has an amazing wireless model under the name Dragonhawk Mast Rotary Tattoo machine. It has a wireless power supply and the kit also has 10 pcs of needle cartridges.
I can say that Ink machines could be called as the pioneer of the wireless tattoo machines. They have several stylish top models to choose from. These are the most relevant ones:
Swiss Tattoo Machines:
The Swiss Tattoo machines have come up with a couple of alternatives that aim to give a powerful performance. From the two cordless models, the Unchained model is one of their top wireless rotary tattoo machine.
Dragoart is another well-known wireless rechargeable rotary pen machine that deserves your attention. There is no much information too add to this model but still worth looking at it.
With every passing day, the world of tattooing is only getting bigger with enhanced tools and new technologies. Cordless tattoo machines have undoubtedly made it easy and more comfortable for tattoo artists.
What I most like is the possibility of taking the tattoo kit anywhere I want.
The big downside to these otherwise amazing machines is their apparent high cost and additional weight. But newer models are making up for it and have provided well-designed tattoo machines that are both comfortable to use.
What are your views on this? Have you ever used wireless tattoo machines? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
Some other cordless products for compatible tattoo machines: