Have you been thinking about trying your hand at tattooing? Perhaps, you’ve seen intricately designed tattoos, and now you have the desire to pick up the tattoo gun yourself. It’s a booming industry, after all, that’s expected to continue to grow sizeably throughout the next decade (at least).
As a beginner, knowing where to start in the tattooing world can be intimidating, though. Before diving into the world of tattooing, it’s important to understand the basics, which often starts with having the right equipment. And a beginner tattoo kit is a great place to start.
These kits typically include things like a tattoo machine, a power supply, needles, ink, transfer paper, and other essential accessories. However, not every kit has high-quality materials to carry you to your next career stage. In fact, some are downright disgraceful and should be avoided at all costs.
That’s what this guide is for. We’re about to cover the best beginner tattoo kits, their features, and why they stand out.
Do You Need a Tattoo Kit?
Do you need a tattoo kit if you’re a beginner tattoo artist? The short answer is…it depends on where you’re at in your learning process.
When you’re just starting, it’s important to take the time to learn the basics of tattooing before jumping right into using a tattoo gun. Whether taking an essential tattoo course or teaching yourself, you should start by learning about the history of tattoos, the art of tattooing, and best practices.
If you’re enrolled in a course, you’ll likely spend a few weeks learning about these basics before you even get to touch a tattoo gun. This is a good thing because it allows you to understand the process and develop your skills before you start working on real skin. Even if you’re teaching yourself, it’s important to take the time to learn the basics before you start tattooing.
One great way to practice your skills before getting certified is to draw your own designs. This will help you develop your artistic ability and get comfortable with the tools and techniques used in tattooing. Plenty of online resources and tutorials are available to help you learn the basics of tattooing.
Ultimately, the decision of when to purchase a tattoo kit is up to you. However, if you’re starting, it’s better to hold off on buying a kit until you’ve had a chance to learn the basics and develop your skills.
By the time you have a handle on tattooing best practices and techniques, you definitely will need to start looking into tattoo kits for beginners, though! That brings us to the next common question we receive from our students…
What’s a Beginner Tattoo Kit?
A beginner tattoo kit is an all-in-one package containing essential tools and equipment required for a new tattoo artist to get started with their journey. It usually includes a tattoo machine, needle cartridges, a power supply, sterile needles, tattoo ink, disposable tips, and other accessories.
However, not every tattoo kit comes with the same items. Scroll through to read about the items any good kit should have.
The tattoo machine, also known as a tattoo gun, is a handheld device that creates the tattoo. It consists of several parts that work together to move the needle up and down, transferring ink into the skin. There are two types of tattoo machines, coil, and rotary, with the former being the most common in beginner tattoo kits due to their high accuracy and ease of use.
Tattoo Machine Grips
A grip is an essential part of a tattoo machine that connects the machine with the needle cartridge. It helps tattoo artists maintain a firm grip on the machine while tattooing and prevents slippage. Most beginner tattoo kits come with adjustable grips that fit all hand sizes.
A tattoo machine requires a power source to function, and that’s where the power supply comes in. It converts the AC power into DC power and controls the voltage that runs through the machine, allowing the artist to control the speed and depth of the needle. Beginner tattoo kits usually come with a basic power supply that is easy to use and provides sufficient power to the machine.
Sterile needles are an absolute necessity in any tattoo kit (as you’ll soon learn when participating in any course on bloodborne pathogens). They come in various sizes and configurations and are used for different parts of the tattoo. They are disposable and must be used only once to prevent the transmission of infections.
Tattoo ink is responsible for creating the colors and designs on the skin. Beginner tattoo kits usually contain a limited set of basic colors that are easy to work with and mix. The ink should be high quality and free from harmful chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction.
Disposable tips connect the needle to the tattoo machine and prevent contamination. They come in different sizes and configurations, and the beginner tattoo kit should include ones that fit the needle cartridges provided.
Practice skin is a synthetic material that mimics the texture and feel of human skin and is used for practicing tattooing. Beginner tattoo kits typically include a few sheets of practice skin to give you a chance to hone your skills before working on real skin.
Stencil Transfer Paper
Stencil transfer paper transfers the design from the paper onto the skin. It allows the artist to create an outline of the tattoo and ensures the design is accurately applied to the skin.
Ink cups are small containers used to hold ink during the tattooing process. They should be disposable and come in different sizes to accommodate different amounts of ink. Some kits also come with ink cup holders or ink cups with bases that don’t require holders.
Finally, disposable gloves are a must-have in any tattoo kit. They protect your hands from contamination and prevent the transmission of infections. While you can purchase these cheaply at any grocery store, having a few to start with in your beginner kit is nice.
The Bottom Line
A beginner tattoo kit should contain all the essential tools to start tattooing. These include the tattoo machine, needle cartridges, power supply, sterile needles, tattoo ink, disposable tips, practice skin, stencil transfer paper, ink cups, and disposable gloves. Choosing a high-quality beginner kit that includes all the necessary components to ensure a safe and successful tattooing experience is essential.
Tips For Buying a Beginner Tattoo Kit
A tattoo kit is an investment, and you want to ensure you get the best value for your money. We’ll provide you with a few great options below. Before, though, here are some tips to help you make the right decision:
Research the Tattoo Kit Brands
As mentioned above, not all tattoo kits are created equal. Research and look for reputable brands known for producing high-quality tattoo kits. Even if they’re slightly more expensive, it’s often helpful to look for kits with everything you need to get started, including the tattoo machine, needles, ink, and practice skins.
Look for a Versatile Tattoo Machine
As a beginner, you want a tattoo machine that is easy to use and versatile. Look for an adjustable machine so that you can change the depth and speed of the needle. This will allow you to create a variety of lines and shading.
Check the Quality of the Needles
The quality of the needles is important for both the safety of your clients and the quality of your work. Look for tattoo kits that come with needles made from high-quality materials that are safe for use on the skin.
Consider the Price
While you don’t want to skimp on quality, you also don’t want to break the bank on your first tattoo kit. Look for kits that are priced affordably for beginners. Remember that you can always upgrade your kit as your skills and experience improve (in fact, you likely will!).
The Best Beginner Tattoo Kit for New Tattoo Artists
Now that you know all about beginner tattoo kits, it’s time to explore some of your options. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here is a brief breakdown of some beginner kits with great reviews that consistently rank as the favorites among beginner tattoo artists.
Wormhole Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit
The Wormhole Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit includes everything you need to get started, including tattoo machines for liner and shader, ink, needles, clip cord, power supply, foot pedals, and more. Plus, with the machine frame crafted from iron and an RPM of 6000-7200, you’ll enjoy top-notch quality in every stroke.
In addition to the powerful machines, the kit includes 20 random colors of 5ml tattoo inks, ensuring you have a wide range of colors to work with.
You won’t find yourself lacking in tools or resources with 20 assorted tattoo needles, 20 disposable tips, and a mix of small and medium ink cups (plus more). The kit even comes with tattoo transfer paper, nitrile gloves, O-rings, and rubber bands, ensuring you have literally everything you need to practice and create unique tattoo designs that impress.
Grinder Tattoo Kit by Pirate Face Tattoo
This kit comes with four machines that are easy to tune, work, and light because they’re made of steel and run on magnetic coils that produce far less noise than other tattoo guns. Perfect for both lining and shading, these machines will help you master the art of tattooing in no time.
What sets this kit apart is the pure and easy-to-apply tattoo ink produced by Radiant Colors, a renowned brand based in the USA. Unlike cheaper inks in other kits, this ink is homogenous, producing a solid, bright, and long-lasting color that your clients will love.
But that’s not all! This limited edition pack also comes with a book titled Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo. It’s perfect if you’re seeking an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist, as it provides realistic advice and tips. In addition, the kit includes a carrying case in black and a power supply that is compatible with both 110V and 230V.
Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2
The Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit 2 is one of the best beginner tattoo kits available in the market (and you can upgrade to another similar kit if you’re interested in a carrying case).
The basic kit, though, includes everything from the tattoo machines to the ink and foot pedals. This means that even if you are an amateur or a newbie in the tattooing world, you can easily use this kit.
The kit contains two tattoo machines made of cast iron with 20 wrap coils for a more efficient and powerful tattooing experience. Its elastic spring is made of high-quality composite material, ensuring a smooth and consistent tattooing process. The ten premium colors in the kit by world-renowned Immortal Inks are brilliant and vibrant.
Another great feature is the LED power supply with a clip cord and foot pedal. This feature allows the user to adjust the voltage quickly and easily, making the tattooing process more reliable and efficient. Plus, the tattoo needles and tips are 100% sterilizable for safety purposes.
Solong Complete Tattoo Kit for Beginners
The Solong Complete Tattoo Kit for Beginners has three tattoo machines specifically designed for lining, light shading, and heavy shading. All three machines produce designs that last for a long time.
Aside from the tattoo machines, the kit also includes all the materials necessary for a beginner: power supply, needles, foot pedals, tips, ink caps, and, of course, tattoo ink. The inks come in a set of seven bottles, each 5ml in size and positive colors.
To help those new to tattooing, the Solong kit has complete professional online guidance, including a tutorial on setting up your kit and tattooing. If anything goes wrong with the kit, the warranty period ensures full replacement across all the items.
Enroll in a Tattoo Course
Ready to put your beginner tattoo kit to good use? Enroll in a tattoo course at the Florida Tattoo Academy. If you’re not ready to make the leap just yet, schedule a time to see our beautiful Tarpon Springs or Orlando campus!