Tattoo Gun Parts
I wanted to keep the tattoo gun parts on a separate page, since
many of the parts in a tattoo kit are for the tattoo gun alone. The accompanying equipment is listed on the
previous page. The following are parts of the tattoo gun that will come along with the gun and are for attaching to
the gun, but will be loosely packaged separately.
Tattoo Guns - Kits will come with a selection of guns, usually from 2 to 6 or
more. You need multiple guns so you're not constantly having to clean each one when you need a different color, and
so you can have different needles handy without having to switch those constantly also, as when you need to switch
from outlining to shading needle work. You'll need separate guns for liner needles and for shader
Tattoo Gun Grips - Grips are the part of the tattoo gun that you grip with your
fingertips while doing a tattoo. The better quality grips are made of stainless steel, but they also come in
aluminum and plastic. They need to have 'treads' or texture on them, so your fingers don't slip while you're
working. Fingers slip from many reasons, including the vibration of the gun, spilled and wiped ink, slippery
surgical gloves, sweat, petroleum jelly, whatever happens to get wiped on them on purpose or by accident. So the
shape, size, and texture are important for a non-slip grip.
Tattoo Needles - You'll need an assortment of needles, ranging from round liner
needles for outlining tattoos with different line widths, to shaders for shading different sizes of area coverage.
A starter tattoo kit will have a handful of both needle kinds, in different shapes and sizes.
Tips - Tips must correspond to the needle sizes and shapes, since they are the
hollow guides, with cuplike ink reservoir built into their shape, through which the needles pass at the very tip of
the tattoo gun. Your kit will have a selection of tips for both round and shader needles. These can be either
reuseable or disposable. Reuseable tips are usually stainless steel, and need to be heat sterilized between uses.
Disposable tips are usually plastic, and need to be thrown out after a certain number of uses since they are more
susceptible to wear and tear. Like the other gun parts, they must be cleaned and sterilized between uses. You can
get cheaper plastic disposable tips that can be thrown out after each use also.
There are many small parts to a tattoo gun, and many of these parts wear out
quickly; your starter kit will include enough supply of these easily-worn parts to get you through a lot of
tattoos. These will include grommets for the butt end of the needle, o-rings for the armature joints, and rubber
bands for wrapping around the coils and horizontally stabilizing the needle vibration (if you've ever watched
anyone tattooing, you'll see one or more rubber bands wrapped around their machine; there is a reason for this,
it's not for fashionable affectation). There are other parts to the gun that must be changed according to what kind
or size of needle, grip, and tip you're using, so there will be the matching selection of these also, mainly needle
Power Supply - Tattoo guns are electric machines, and need a power supply to feed
them consistent and stable power, and in the correct amount. Cheaper power units can surge unexpectedly and change
the speed of the needle, and can burn out or misfunction sometimes almost immediately. Some work great, some don't.
It's important to read user reviews, which are handy for each product if you're ordering a new or used kit from
Amazon through our affiliate store.
Foot Pedal or Foot Switch - while you're tattooing, both your hands are needed.
And since a tattoo gun is a pretty vibration-heavy, and kind of unwieldly contraption, you don't want the motor
controls to have to be operated by your fingers while you're trying to draw smooth lines and shade accurately; so
your feet come into play. The foot pedal is attached by cable to your tattoo gun's power supply, and you'll need to
get used to keeping your foot in a manageable position where it's always able to trip the pedal on and off.
Constantly. And, once again, quality matters; cheaper pedals can stop working properly almost immediately, or can
last forever. Read the reviews.
Adjustment and Cleaning Tools - a set of any tools you need for adjusting the
tattoo gun parts should be included with any starter or professional tattoo kit. Also included will be a few little
brushes of the size and shape necessary for cleaning parts, like getting inside of tubes and tips and