If you’re starting up in the tattoo industry, you’re in for a fun ride.
You’ll need a lot of creative flair, a lot of hard graft, and a fair bit of tattoo shop equipment to get your started.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the essential tattoo supplies you need to get you started – and it’s all available from Body Shock!
Sometimes called tattoo guns, these machines come in three main forms: one for lining, another for black and grey shading, and a third for colour shading. The latter isn’t essential, but very useful. If you’re a beginner, go for aluminium or steel machines – they’re lighter and easier to handle initially than the copper and iron alternatives.
You will need a power supply (a main unit to power your tattoo machine), as well as a foot switch, spring clip cord, and feeler gauge.
Medical Supplies and Sterilisation Equipment
It’s imperative you keep your kit and studio immaculate, and have ample medical supplies on hand. You will need the following:
• Cover bag for your machine, and cover sleeve for your headrest
• Tattoo after care antiseptic
• Surface disinfectant sterilisation
• Tattoo topical antiseptic ointment/cleanser
• An autoclave bag for storing tattoo equipment after sterilisation
• Alcohol prep pads and rubbing alcohol
• Disinfectant wipes
• Medical waste container
• Tattoo autoclave (stericlave)
• Latex gloves
• Cleaning brushes for tubes and tips
• Tattoo machine rack
• An ultrasonic cleaner and cleaning solution
• Germicidal solution to keep equipment sterile
• Needle trays
• Disposable razors
• Bandages, wraps, and hospital tape
• Sharp pair of stainless steel medical scissors
• Tongue depressors
• Needle supplies
There’s a fair bit of equipment required where needles are concerned. You will obviously need needles (round liners and magnum or flat shaders), but you will also need needle bars, a soldering gun and stainless solder, flat and round tubes, sharp containers for disposal, rubber nipples, rubber bands, grips, and tweezers.
Art and Stencil Supplies
As you gain experience you will find what works best for you, and what you like to have at hand. To start with, however, you will need black and coloured inks, ink bottles (4 oz), and a cup holder.
You will also need your tattoo designs on flash sheets, watercolours and pencils, and a thermal copier.
Some of these items you will need immediately, as you can’t start without them. Others can be built up over time, as you gain more experience and skill and expand your studio.