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It takes a special conversation for the ink to become one with flesh, its hues heavenly marred through the song of the skin. But to get the perfect tattoo you want stained and symbolized on you it’s going to take a lot more than an inch up on your ink selection. Granted, some inks are brighter and more brilliant than others not to mention safer—it’s definitely important to make sure your inks aren’t counterfeit and include an MSDS report—but that’s not all that makes the art applicable. Sometimes it takes the right tattoo machine just as a Gibson Les Paul makes a difference in the hands of an Eddie Van Halen when you hear that solo, so too can the tattoo tubes, tips, grips and machines make a difference in performance in potency.

Prided and fueled by imagination, it’s said that the handmade tattoo machines provide the most options and approaches for the experienced tattoo artist. And it’s going to take some experience in the tagging arts to truly know what you want. You’re going to need a power supply to keep up with those demands.  Tattoo power supply comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and needs, some will run you as low as $40 and some as high as $400. A souped-up won’t pitch the inks any brighter or send the needle through the skin any faster, what it does rather is increase the magnetic field to allow the ink to travel farther, faster and more precise. Power supplies may also include extra amenities such as a way to see the voltage, hertz, duty cycle and follow through.

Next you’re going to need to be selective about your coils, outer aesthetic and springs of your machine. Make sure you differentiate between which kind of tagging you got going on there, for tattooing outlines, you’re going to need an 8-wrap coil but if you’re going big, you may need to enlist the services of heavier coil, sizes go all the way up to a 14-wrap. Depending on your magnetic field changing springs can be considered a trial and error process, depending on the aesthetic housing of the machine. 99.9% tattoo machines are framed with metal. Metal frames vary in cost based on weight, design, accessibility, and how they work with the conductive forces you got going on in your hand.

Like a motorcycle, many riders have personal preferences for how they handle the road. The best tattoo machine can only be measured by the magnitude of your masterpieces. In other words, finding what brings out the best in you should come first before anything. Depending on your demands they can run cheap or can cost quite a bit. But the consensus is that handmade tattoo machines are the best in quality since they cater toward creativity and customization over production-line makes. As long as you’ve got the design, with practice, you’ll find the doing.