There are so many different types and brands of tattoo supplies to choose from that deciding which tools and accessories to buy can be overwhelming even for seasoned tattoo artists. To simplify the decision-making process for you, we've outlined the different categories of tattoo supplies you need to do your job and highlighted some of the best brands below. Read on to learn about your options and hone in on the right tattoo supplies to add to your collection.
In addition to having comfortable seating for clients who are waiting to be seen and product display cases, it's a good idea to stock the front of your shop with a nice selection of tattoo flash books and/or flash racks that clients can peruse while they wait. We offer over 140 tattoo flash books and magazines from which you can choose, as well as 3 styles of flash racks made by TatSoul. You can choose from the wall-mount flash racks, single tier free-standing flash racks, and double tier free-standing flash racks shown below, then use whichever option(s) you choose to arrange your flash art in a way that clients can easily and comfortably peruse.
|Wall-Mount Tattoo Flash Rack||Free-Standing Single-Tier Flash Rack||Two-Tier Free-Standing Flash Rack|
You should also consider using some of your product display space in the front of your shop to show off tattoo aftercare products. Even if you give each client a tattoo aftercare sample, like a Hustle Butter pouch or a little tin of Tattoo Goo, most clients will want to get more before leaving your shop to make sure they have enough tattoo aftercare balm or cream to last them throughout the healing process. We offer over 100 different tattoo aftercare products from which you can choose, all by top brands like Tattoo Goo, Hustle Butter, H2Ocean, After Inked, Redemption, and other quality brands. Here are some of the tattoo aftercare options that come in handy display cases that you can easily set out in the front of your shop, as well as a few kits and options that come in larger containers for clients who want a more substantial amount of tattoo aftercare balm or cream:
Stocking Your Tattoo Work Station
Before you ever get to the point of seeing a client, you have to setup your work station with all the supplies you'll need to tattoo someone. Beyond the obvious things you'll need, like a tattooing stool for you and a tattoo chair for your clients, there are a lot of little elements you'll need to gather up--things like tattoo ink in a range of colors, ink cups, and stencil transfer. Below you'll see one representative item from each category of supplies you'll need to setup your work station and be fully prepared to tattoo clients. Just click on any image to see similar items and choose the products that you like best.
Tattoo ink bottles come in 1/2 oz. to 4 oz. sizes, so you can sample different colors and buy bigger bottles of those you like best or use most often. Choose from premium brands like Intenze, Eternal Ink, Alla Prima, Formula 51, and more. We also offer ink bottle holders to organize your tattoo inks.
|Ink Cup Holders, Ink Cups & Bottles
Ink cup holders and ink cups come in a variety of sizes so you can pour out just the right amount of each color you need for a particular job. We also offer empty bottles that you can use to mix your own colors and ink mixers that will help you blend your inks perfectly before you start tattooing.
Petrify is an invaluable tool when you're tattooing. You can use it to solidify a rinse cup filled with inky water so you can toss it in the trash instead of running to the sink constantly. It's also good to put Petrify in the bottom of your Sharps containers to absorb excess fluids that collect in them.
Every tattoo artist needs a reliable coil or rotary tattoo machine to do their job, and we have the best options available. Choose from tattoo machine brands like Bishop Rotary, Cheyenne, Ego, FK Irons, and more. Read Choosing the Best Type & Brand of Tattoo Machine for You for help picking a machine.
|Tattoo Power Supplies & Accessories
You'll need a reliable tattoo power supply unit to drive your tattoo machine, as well as related gear like clip cords and RCA cables. We offer a broad range of options to suit any price range and varying needs, like the ability to plug two machines into one tattoo power supply unit simultaneously.
|Disposable Tattoo Tubes
If you'd rather use disposable tubes than steel grips, tubes and tips, we have loads of great options. Shop for Precision Classic Tube & Grip Sets, Victory sets, PreSynergy grips with plastic or metal tips, and other great choices. Read Tattoo Tubes, Tips & Grips for help picking the best options for you.
Our Precision tattoo needles are some of the best on the market, but we also offer top brands like Kwadron, Envy and Cheyenne needles. Whether you need magnum needles, loose needles or a grouping in between, we have it. Read our Tattoo Needles article for help navigating your options.
|Tattoo Thermal Copiers
Making stencils is part of the job of tattooing, and having a thermal tattoo copier will make this part of your job so much easier. Our Precision thermal tattoo copier is a handy tool to have at your work station, and we have transfer paper like blue Thermofax paper and spare parts to go along with it.
For times when you want to draw tattoo designs free-hand or manually add embellishments to a stencil you've applied, you'll need good tattoo pens. Our Precision mini tattoo pens are the best around, but we also carry Skin Skribe surgical markers, Skin Doodlers and other options.
|Tattoo Light Boxes
A light box is an invaluable tool for tattoo artists. It will allow you to trace designs that clients bring in, combine images to create unique designs, and give each of your clients the custom tattoo they want. We offer several different light box options of varying prices, so there's one to fit every budget.
|Stencil Transfer Products
When you're ready to apply a completed design to a client's skin, you'll need a proper stencil transfer product like Stencil Bond or Stencil Stuff. We also carry Electrum Stencil Primer, Red Devil Stencil Remover, System One Tattoo Grip Stencil Transfer Formula, and other quality options.
|Tattoo Anesthetic Options
Not everyone believes there's pleasure in the pain of getting a tattoo, so it's important to keep tattoo anesthetic products on hand to ease the pain of those clients who need a little help getting through the tattooing process. Choose from a broad range of tattoo numbing creams, sprays and gels.
|Tattoo Antiseptics & Skin Cleansers
Before you tattoo a client, you have to properly prep their skin. That means washing it with a quality skin cleanser like Green Soap and applying a proper tattoo antiseptic like Providone Iodine or alcohol. We have all the skin prep supplies you'll need, including cleansers, razors and washer bottles.
|Tattoo Bandage Supplies
After tattooing each client, you'll need to bandage up their tattoo before sending them on their way. TatuDerm is a great product for this purpose, and it comes in single sheets and rolls. We also offer Dri-loc pads, different types of medical tape, gauze, and other bandaging supplies.
No tattoo work station is complete without a proper Sharps container to collect used tattoo needles. We offer Sharps containers in a variety of sizes ranging from portable 1 quart options to 28 gallon containers. We also have Sharps cabinets that lock and come with glove box dispensers.
Tools to Maintain a Sterile Work Environment
In addition to the core tattoo supplies shown above, you'll need to invest in some proper protective gear and disinfectants that will help you maintain the most sterile work environment possible. We carry everything from clip cord covers to machine bags, tattoo sleeves to disposable aprons and more to protect you and your equipment, as well as a variety of disinfectants and cleansers you can use to clean up your work station in between clients. You can visit our Tattoo Cleaners, Disinfectants & Bio-hazard Containers section, our Tattoo Gloves section, and our Tattoo Covers & Protective Gear section to see all of the choices available to you, or check out our most popular options below.
Black Dragon latex gloves are a favorite among many tattoo artists, but not everyone can wear latex gloves. That's why we also carry a nice selection of nitrile gloves and other latex options. Choose from a range of sizes and styles that include powdered and powder-free varieties and more.
|Tattoo Sleeves & Disposable Aprons
Protect your exposed forearms or long-sleeve shirts and the rest of your clothing from ink and other fluids while you work by sliding on our disposable tattoo sleeves and black plastic aprons. Our tattoo sleeves come in easy-dispense boxes of 100, and our black plastic aprons come in packs of 100, too.
|Clip Cord Covers
Cover your clip cords and other tattoo cables with our clip cord cover bags or rolls of cut-to-length clip cord cover. Choose from regular and extra-long clip cord cover bags, which come in easy-dispense boxes of 200 bags, or rolls of cut-to-length clip cord covering that each measure ~1,100' long.
|Blue Barrier Film & Dispensers
Blue barrier film is a handy tool for protecting a variety of surfaces while you tattoo. Each roll comes with tear-off squares of blue barrier film that you can use to cover power supply knobs, light switches, and other surfaces. You can even use it to bandage tattoos before sending clients home.
|Machine Bags, Bottle Bags & Grip Sleeves
Our Precision brand machine bags, bottle bags and grip sleeves come in really handy when you need to quickly cover your equipment before you start tattooing. Our bottle bags come in boxes of 200, our machine bags come in boxes of 250, and our grip sleeves come in packs of 100.
|Dental Bibs, Drape Cloths & Exam Table Paper
Drape cloths, dental bibs and exam table paper will help you quickly cover all major surfaces in your work space before tattooing. Use dental bibs to cover metal trays before laying out equipment or to protect clients' clothes. Use drape cloths or exam table paper rolls to cover tattoo tables.
Cohesive wrap serves a variety of purposes for tattoo artists. You can use it to wrap your tattoo grip to pad it to the perfect thickness for your comfort, which will also keep your grip protected (i.e. it's a good alternative to grip sleeves). You can even use cohesive wrap to bandage fresh tattoos.
|Sani Hands Professional Germicidal Wipes
In between stages of the tattooing process, you'll need to clean your hands. PDI Sani-Cloth germicidal disposable wipes are a handy tool to have in your work space so you can quickly yet thoroughly clean your hands. You can even place canisters in wall-mount holders for added convenience.
|Madacide Surface Disinfectant
Madacide is a fast-drying surface disinfectant that you can use to wipe down any surface in your tattoo work space. It comes in gallon bottles, smaller spray bottles, and wipe form. It effectively cleans, deodorizes and sanitizes against odor-causing organisms and disinfects hard surfaces.
Clean Room Tattoo Supplies
After tattooing a client, you'll have to take your reusable tools, like steel grips, tubes and tips, to your clean room and give them a good scrub and/or soak before autoclaving them. There are a handful of products that are invaluable for cleaning up your tattoo gear, as shown below. If you'd like to read our tips for how best to clean your equipment, be sure to check out our Proper Tattoo & Piercing Tool Maintenance article, too.
|Wavicide Disinfectant Soaking Solution
Wavicide is a glutaraldehyde-based sterilant that you can use to soak your tattoo tools. It's non-corrosive, cost-efficient, has a lighter aroma than other cleaners, and is highly-effective. It requires no activator or mixing, and it has a 1-year shelf life. It's a great disinfectant to have on hand in your shop.
|Sklar Soak for Surgical Instruments
If you'd rather use a glutaraldehyde-free solution to soak your tattoo tools, Sklar Soak is a great alternative to Wavicide. Immersing soiled tools in Sklar Soak for 3 minutes substantially reduces the risk of exposure to many infectious organisms, like TB and HIV-1, as well as bacteria and fungi.
|Sklar Kleen Hand-Cleaning Solution
If you'd rather wash your tools by hand instead of soaking them in a solution like Wavicide or Sklar Soak, Sklar Kleen is the perfect cleaner to use. Simply rinse your instruments under warm running water, then apply Sklar Kleen and scrub them with steel, brass or nylon bristle brushes.
|Ultradose & Ink-Out 2-Step System
Ultradose and Ink-Out tattoo tube cleaner put together are a 2-step system for thoroughly cleaning your tattoo tubes. The company now also makes an ultrasonic cleaner rack system that you can use to clean tubes on two tattoo machines simultaneously without disassembling them.
After soaking or scrubbing your tattoo tools, you'll need to bag them in sterilization pouches and run them through an autoclave steam sterilizer. We carry 3 different autoclaves from which you can choose, as well as a spore testing kit that you should use to test your autoclave periodically.
|AutoClean Autoclave Cleaner & Enhancer
AutoClean is a cleaner and enhancer for your autoclave that will keep it free of hard water scale and lime deposits. Just add 1oz. of solution to each quart of water required, bring your autoclave to pressure, shut off the heat without releasing the steam, allow it to cool, and drain the machine.
The products shown above are just a sampling of the thousands of different types of tattoo supplies we carry. You can view our entire selection in our Tattoo Supplies section, or utilize the links in this article to navigate just to those sections from which you need supplies.
All of the product links in this article point to our Wholesale Store, where we offer reduced prices to industry professionals placing orders of $100-$499.99. If you plan on spending $500 or more on an order, we invite you to shop in our Distributor Store to take advantage of the lowest prices we offer tattoo artists and other industry professionals. For additional savings, keep an eye out for bulk price breaks listed in the "Add to Cart" area of select product detail pages. You can also enjoy additional savings of 10%-20% by applying the coupons in our weekly e-newsletters to your orders. To subscribe to our mailing list, just go to your preferred store (Retail | Wholesale | Distributor), scroll to the bottom-right corner of any page, and enter your email address in the newsletter sign-up box.
Helpful Info for Tattoo Artists
Did you know that we offer a full library of informative articles for tattoo and piercing artists, as well as educational information for the general public? You can point clients to our Information Center for tips on tattoo aftercare, body jewelry care and more, or read our educational articles for industry professionals to enhance your own knowledge of everything body mod related and learn more about our products. For instance, if you found this article on tattoo supplies to be helpful, you may also be interested in these related articles that discuss specific types of tattoo supplies in more detail:
- Precision Tattoo Supplies
- Options, Benefits & Tips for Using Tattoo Practice Skin
- Coil vs. Rotary Tattoo Machines
- Stigma Rotary Amen Tattoo Machines
- Accessories for Coil Tattoo Machines
- Tattoo Tubes, Tips & Grips
- UV Tattoo Ink: To Use or Not to Use?
- Tattoo Needles & Codes
- Helpful Items for Traveling Tattoo Artists
- Choosing the Best Tattoo Ink for You
- Choosing a Tattoo Power Supply
- Our Take on Tattoo Tape
- SkinLock FAQs
- Dragonfly Tattoo Machine FAQs
- Cheyenne Hawk Tattoo Machines & Professional Tattoo Equipment