How To Setup a Tattoo Machine

In my last article, I listed down the top 10 best rotary machines. If you bought the machine or already own it then this article is for you.

Here I will show you how to assemble your tattoo machine. There are so many things in the tattoo kit, you may feel overwhelmed at starting.

If you are looking for a good tattoo kit then check this one. However, my suggestion is to buy every individual thing separately because of better quality.

In the long term, you are paying less money because things will last longer. A kit is a convenient option.

As we all know there are two types of tattoo machines coil & rotary. Rotary machines are easy to assemble. You can find coil machines a bit tricky for beginners.

Either you are using a rotary tattoo machine or a coil tattoo machine I will show you the tutorial for both machines.

If you want to know how a tattoo machine work? Then check How does a Tattoo Machine Work?

Here are things that you must know

Coil MachineRotary machine
A Tube (collectibe name of stim, grip & tip)Cartridge needles
NeedlePower Supply
Power SupplyPower cord
Power cordPeddle
Rubber band

You also need ink, sanitizer, etc but in this article let’s just focus on how to assemble a machine.

How To Setup a Rotary Machine

Assembling a rotary machine is pretty straightforward. You need a machine & cartridge depending on the tattoo work that you can want to do.

Just insert your cartridge into the tattoo machine and rotating until you don’t feel the click.

Your machine is assembled. If you want to learn how to connect with the power supply then click here to jump on this section.

How To Setup a Coil Machine

When you are buying a coil machine kit there are two machines. One of the lining & the second is shadow.

The lining tattoo machine has a short front end spring as you can see in the screenshot below.

lining & shadow tattoo machine
left side is lining machine

Depending on the machine type you need to select a different needle.

For assembling the coil machine, first ready your tube. The tube is the collective name of stem, grip & and tip. Here is a photo of all of these three things.

 stem, grip & and tip

First, slide the stim in the back end of the grip and tighten the screw with the hex wrench. Do the same thing for other end with the tip.

coil machine

Make sure you just insert enough stim & tip into the grip for the screw to secure them in place.

Then put the nipple on the armature bar before attaching the needle eye. It helps to snug the needle.

assemble tattoo coil machine

You can also use grommets. Grommets is basically similar to nibble but it first inserted into the needle eye than on the armature bar. 

Installing a nipple is easy than a grommet. So that’s why a large number of tattoo artists prefer nipples.

Now create a slide bend in the needle before inserting it into the tube. It prevents from jumping off the armature bar while making a tattoo. It also helps needle grouping sit flush in the tip.

Now carefully while inserting the needle into the tube. Don’t force, if you found your needle stuck somewhere then pull it back and again insert it slowly.

Now grab the machine and pop back through the frame and flew up. Now put the needle bar on the nipple that you have installed on the armature bar.

If you are facing any difficulties then lose the stim & grip screw. Don’t forget to tighten again once you installed a needle eye on the nipple.

Now tighten the frame.

The last step is to stop the needle from popping off the armature bar. For that, we need a rubber band. You can use more than one rubber band.

Your machine is assembled, but for starting tattooing you still need to do a few things.

Power Supply

Either you are using a rotary or coil machine connecting with the power supply doesn’t require separate steps. It is a common process for both machines.

First of all, connect your assembled machine to the power supply by the power cord.

In the closed socket connect your peddle with the power supply. In case you don’t know the function of peddle. Consider it on & off switch. Your hands are busy in tattoos, so you can control power from the foot.

Now attach your power supply with the main connection and turn on the switch. Place your foot on the peddle to see if everything is working correctly.

If you found your machine working then great you are good to go. Dip your needle & tip into ink.

Now you can start practicing. For beginners, I recommend practice on the orange. You can also buy skins online.

Best Practises for Tattoo

  1. In starting always wear hand gloves. If you don’t do the starting then you can find it odd in real life. Make this thing your habit
  2. Place a plastic wrapper on everything that you touch while tattooing for disinfection.
  3. Make a 45-degree angle while tattooing.
  4. Be careful with the needle out part from the tube. Your client will feel more pain if it is more than required.
  5. Tighten all screws carefully, losing things can cause damage to your machine or and other things.

Final Words

Either rotary or coil machine, assembling is the easy part. You feel complicated at starting but it is a piece of cake.

However, you should do it carefully because lose a screw can cause damage. That’s why I prefer & use rotary machines.

If you have any questions or queries, let me know in the comment section. We are here to help.

You can also check: Top 5 Best Tattoo Machines in 2021

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