How to Use a Tattoo Gun?

How to Use a Tattoo Gun?

Tattooing is an art form that’s been around for centuries, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re looking to get into the world of tattooing, one of the first things you’ll need is a tattoo gun. A tattoo gun is a device that injects ink into the skin to create a permanent image. Although it might look intimidating, using a tattoo gun is actually quite simple with the right instructions and tips.

This article will provide all the information you need to know about how to use a tattoo gun, including what types of guns are available, safety considerations, and advice for looking after your equipment. Read on for everything you need to know about getting started with a tattoo gun!

What Is A Tattoo Gun?

A tattoo gun is a device that injects ink into the skin to create a permanent image. It uses an electric motor to drive a needle bar, which moves up and down at high speed and penetrates the skin with tiny needles. Tattoo guns come in different sizes, shapes, and types – all designed for different purposes. The most common types are rotary and coil machines. 

Rotary machines use a single needle bar, while coil machines have multiple needle bars that move up and down together. Both types of machines can be used to create different styles of tattoos, from delicate line work to bolder shading. [2]

Coil Tattoo Machines

Coil tattoo machines are the most common type of tattoo gun used in professional shops. These machines have a set of coils that are wired together to create an electromagnetic circuit. When the power is turned on, the coil creates a current that moves through the needle and causes it to vibrate rapidly. This vibration allows for quick and accurate line work and shading.

What Is A Tattoo Gun?

The best way to use a coil tattoo machine is to start with the needle at its lowest speed setting and gradually increase it until you’ve achieved the desired effect. Be sure to keep an eye on the pressure of the needle against your skin, as too much pressure can cause serious damage. The most important thing is to keep the needle at a consistent distance from your skin, as this will help create clean lines. [5] 

Rotary Tattoo Machine

The most commonly used tattoo gun is a rotary machine. It works by using an electric motor to drive a small needle up and down rapidly, penetrating the skin to deposit pigment into the dermis layer. The speed of the needle can be adjusted for different line thicknesses or shading on the tattoo design, and the machine has many other settings available to adjust the needle’s performance.

The rotary machine is a good choice for tattoo artists as it is lightweight and easy to use, with an adjustable range of stroke lengths and speeds. It also provides a consistent ink flow, allowing the artist to create a smooth and even result with each job. To get the best results when using a rotary machine, it is important to understand how to adjust the settings for different effects and techniques. [5]

Rotary of Coil?

The two main types of tattoo guns are rotary and coil machines. The rotary machine is a motorized device made up of an armature bar, spring, and needle. It uses a circular motion to push ink into the skin. Rotaries offer more precision than coils which makes them more suitable for artists with a lot of experience.

Coil machines are made up of coils, a frame, and a needle. They use an electric current to create a magnetic field which then moves the needles up and down to penetrate the skin. Coils are great for shading tattoos as they can make quicker strokes than rotaries. [5]

Wondering How Deep Tattoo Ink Goes?

Tattoo ink is injected into the dermis, which is the second layer of skin. This area is primarily made up of collagen and provides a permanent spot for the tattoo ink to stay in place. The dermis lies between the epidermis (the outermost layer) and the subcutaneous tissue.

The depth of the ink will depend on a few factors. The type of tattoo machine being used, the gauge of the needle, and the pressure that’s applied while injecting. Professionals usually start with a light touch and gradually increase their pressure as they create a tattoo. [2]

Wondering How Deep Tattoo Ink Goes?

How To Set Up A Tattoo Gun Correctly

Step 1 – Arrange The Components

Before setting up the tattoo gun, make sure to have all the necessary components in place. Most kits will include a power cord, foot pedal, clip cord, and one or more needle sizes.

Start by connecting the power cord to the gun’s main socket. Be sure to firmly secure it in place with a locking nut. Next, plug the power cord into a wall outlet.

Attach the foot pedal to the power cord and also secure it with a locking nut. The pedal will allow you to control the flow of electricity while using the tattoo gun.

Connect one end of the clip cord to the foot pedal and plug another end into the gun’s socket. The clip cord provides a steady electrical flow from the power cord to the gun’s motor. [3]

Step 2 – Prepare The Needles

Once the tattoo gun is properly connected, it’s time to prepare the needles. Choose a needle size that works best for your project. Typically, larger needles are used when shading and coloring while smaller ones are used for line work. Make sure to sterilize the needles with an autoclave or by boiling them in water before use.

Once the needles are ready, attach them securely to the gun’s motor. Most tattoo guns come with a needle bar, which is used to secure the needle in place. Make sure to tightly lock it into place before continuing. [3]

Step 3 – Assembly

Once the components are in place, it’s time to assemble and test the tattoo gun. Start by turning on the power switch and adjusting the speed and voltage as needed. Make sure to find a comfortable setting for your project before continuing.

Test the gun by plugging an empty needle into the motor and pressing the foot pedal. The gun should start running as soon as the pedal is pressed. If everything is working properly, you are now ready to use the tattoo gun! [3]

How To Set Up A Tattoo Gun Correctly

How To Use A Tattoo Gun?

Step 1: Understand Your Kit

Your tattoo gun kit should come with everything you need to get started. A typical setup will include the gun itself, at least a one-foot pedal for controlling the speed and power of the needle, an ink cup holder, a range of needles in different sizes and shapes, along with a selection of different colors and types of inks. Assembling and adjusting the gun correctly will give you the best possible results. [1]

Step 2: Organize And Set Up Your Tattoo Equipment

Organizing and setting up your tattoo equipment is an essential step in the process. Start by cleaning the gun, foot pedal, and power supply with a cloth dampened with alcohol. Ensure needles are securely attached to the gun and that all connections between components are secure. Adjust the power supply so that it provides enough energy to make the needle go through the skin. [1]

Step 3: Prepare The Tattoo Needles And Sterilize Them

Before starting the tattoo, prepare the needles and sterilize them according to the directions provided with your kit. This is an important step to ensure that all equipment used is clean and free of any possible contamination. Dispose of used needles after use and replace them with fresh ones each time. [1]

Step 4: Put Your Tattoo Machine Together

Gently put the tattoo gun together, connecting all components properly and ensuring everything is secure. Make sure the connection between the power supply and the foot pedal is secure. Once you have done that, adjust the settings on the gun to ensure accuracy when using it. [1]

Step 5: Connect To The Power Supply

Connect the tattoo gun to the power supply and use your foot pedal to adjust the speed and power of the needle. Once you are happy with the settings, you can start using the gun. It’s important to keep a steady hand while using it, as any sudden movements could result in mistakes or uneven lines on your tattoo. [1]

Step 6: Test The Tattoo Machine

Before beginning the tattoo, test the gun on a piece of paper or other material to ensure that it’s working properly. This will also help you get used to using the gun and will give you an idea of what kind of results to expect. [1]

Step 7: Create A Tattoo

Once you are happy with the settings on your tattoo gun, it’s time to create a design. Start by tracing out the outlines of your chosen design and then fill in the lines using the gun. Remember to keep going over the area until it is fully filled in. [1]

Prepare The Tattoo Needles And Sterilize Them

How To Put Ink In A Tattoo Gun?

Putting ink into a tattoo gun is an important part of the process. It’s not as hard as it may seem, but you should take your time and make sure everything is done correctly.

The first step in putting ink into a tattoo gun is to choose the right type of ink. There are many different types of ink available, so you should do some research to decide which one is best for you. You’ll also want to consider the type of design you are working on and the size of your needle when choosing an ink.

Once you have chosen the right type of ink, you will need to prepare it for use in your tattoo gun. Most inks come in a bottle and will need to be diluted with distilled water. You should mix the ink and water together until it reaches a consistency that is slightly thinner than syrup.

Next, you will need to fit your needle into the tattoo gun. Make sure you do this carefully as there are very small parts involved. Once the needle is securely attached to the gun, you can fill it with your prepared ink. To do this, simply unscrew the top of the tube and use a squeezable bottle to carefully fill the tube. Make sure that you don’t put too much ink in as it can cause a clog.

Finally, once the needle is filled with ink, you will need to adjust the needle depth. This is important as it affects how deep the ink goes into the skin. Different types of designs require different depths, so you should consult an expert if you are unsure about this step. [1]

Is It Hard To Use A Tattoo Gun?

Using a tattoo gun can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With some practice and preparation, you’ll soon master the art of tattooing.

The process itself is simple. You will use a hand-held machine called a tattoo gun to inject ink into your skin. This machine works by creating an electrical circuit that causes the needle to move up and down very quickly. This motion is what will break up the ink into tiny particles, which your body will then absorb. [1]

Lining And Shading Tattoo Guns: Difference In Use


Apart from the type of machine, needles are another important factor to consider when learning how to use a tattoo gun. Different machines require different types of needles in order for them to work correctly. Typically, lining and shading guns both use round liners and magnum needles. However, while a lining gun will typically only use one needle at a time, a shading gun typically uses multiple needles in order to create a more gradient effect. [4]

Power And Speed

When using a tattoo gun, it is important to keep the power and speed settings in mind. Both lining and shading needles will require different settings depending on the type of line or color you are trying to create. Lining needles need higher power and speed settings than shading needles because they are used to make thinner lines. Shading needles, on the other hand, need more power and less speed because they are used to create thicker lines. It is important to remember that too much power or too little power can lead to poor results and possible skin damage. [4]

Coil Type

The coil type is yet another factor to consider when using a tattoo gun. Coils can be either single-coil or dual-coil and the choice of which one to use depends on the particular job you are doing. Single-coil machines are typically used for lining because they offer more power and control, while dual-coil machines are typically used for shading because they provide more coverage and can create a smoother gradient. [4] 

Is It Hard To Use A Tattoo Gun?

Machine Weight

Finally, the weight of the machine is also an important factor to consider when learning how to use a tattoo gun. Lining guns tend to be lighter than shading guns because they require less power and are easier to maneuver. If a machine is too heavy, it can cause fatigue in the arm, which can lead to shaky lines or errors in the tattooing process. Therefore, it is important to find a machine that is not too heavy or too light in order to get the best results possible. [4]


Is it hard to use a tattoo gun?

Using a tattoo gun is not necessarily hard, but it requires an understanding of how the machine works and practices to master it. It’s important to remember that the power of the needle should be adjusted for different types of skin and different areas on the body as well as new needles. Getting comfortable with your machine will take time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time!

Do you push or pull when tattooing?

It’s important to remember that when you are tattooing, you should always pull the gun away from your skin and not push it in. Pushing the machine into your skin can lead to a number of issues such as uneven lines or worse. Also, make sure that you use short strokes with the gun so that the needle doesn’t become overworked and start to cause damage to the skin.

How do you set up a tattoo gun for beginners?

Setting up your tattoo gun for the first time can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and patience, it can be done!

The first step is to make sure that you have all of the necessary components. Generally, this includes the power supply, foot pedal, armature bar, tube grip, needle cartridge, and ink. It’s important to refer to the instructions provided with your machine to ensure that all of the components are connected properly.

How do you practice using a tattoo gun?

The best way to practice using a tattoo gun is on practice skin. You can purchase or make your own practice skin by stretching out the loose skin of a fruit (such as an orange) and pinning it to a firm surface. Once you have your practice skin, you can begin practicing your lines and shading techniques. It’s also important to remember that the power of your machine needs to be adjusted for different areas of the body and different types of skin. Make sure to take it slow and steady while you practice!

What speed should I run my tattoo gun?

The speed at which you run your tattoo gun depends on the power of the machine, the type of skin, and the area being tattooed. Generally, it’s best to start with a low-speed setting and then adjust as needed. It’s important to remember that if the speed is too high, it can cause damage to the skin and if it’s too low, it won’t be able to penetrate the skin properly.

Do you drag the needle when tattooing?

It’s important to remember that you should never drag the needle when tattooing as this can cause damage to the skin. Instead, use short strokes and move the needle away from your skin in one direction. This will help ensure that the lines are even and prevent any potential damage.

Do you drag the needle when tattooing?

What angle do you tattoo at?

When tattooing, it’s important to make sure that you are using the correct angle. Generally, the best angle for a tattoo gun is between 30-45 degrees. This will help ensure that the needle penetrates deeply enough into the skin without causing any damage.

How deep should the needle go when tattooing?

The depth of the needle when tattooing depends on the area being tattooed and the type of skin. Generally, it should go no deeper than about 1/8 inch into the skin. Going too deep can cause damage to the skin, so take care when adjusting your machine’s power setting!

Why do tattoo artists dip their needles in water?

Tattoo artists will often dip their needles in water before starting a tattoo. This helps to lubricate the needle and reduce friction, which can cause damage to the skin if there is too much. It also helps to keep the needle from becoming overheated due to excessive use. Dipping the needles in water regularly helps to keep the needle cool and comfortable for both the artist and the client.

Useful Video: How To Hold A Tattoo Machine?


We hope this guide has helped you understand a bit more about the art of tattooing and how to use a tattoo gun. Always remember that safety should come first, so make sure your gun is in good working order and all needles are properly sterilized before each use. Additionally, be sure to follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper set-up and maintenance. With these tips in mind, you should be able to safely and effectively use a tattoo gun.