Tattoo artists take pride in their artwork, and to perform at their peak ability, they look for the best equipment for their needs. Not only do you need the right tattoo machine, you also need the right equipment to power one or more machines.
Here are some tips for how to purchase the right power supply for you and your machine:
- Determine the voltage required. Tattoo power supplies come in a variety of volt range outputs with some capable of running as low as three and as high as 12 to 15. Some portable power supplies can run as low as 1.5 volts and larger power supplies can run as high as 20 volts. The higher the voltage, the more power you get.
- Decide on the type of power supply. You can find analog and digital power supplies in both regulated and unregulated models. Depending on your confidence level and what kind of power output reading you prefer, you'll want to look at each type available. A digital readout will be more accurate and easier to read while you're working, but they tend to be higher priced. Regulated machines are also higher priced, but provide you with a constant voltage even if the tattoo machine isn't running.
- Think about fluctuations. The amount of power required at any given time during a tattoo may change depending on the amount of pressure being used as the tattoo needle pierces the skin. Many regulated machines will help compensate for these fluctuations, whereas others may not.
- Take into consideration your regular tattoo machine. Some tattoo power supplies are only recommended for a coil operated tattoo machine, whereas others can be used for a rotary machine and still others can be used for both.
- Contemplate the number of machines you can hook up. Many tattoo artists prefer to set up a separate machine for lining and another for shading. It's convenient to have a power supply that allows you to plug in two machines at once and just flip a switch to move back and forth in between them. This perk, like most, will increase your final price tag.
- Contemplate size, weight and portability. A smaller tattoo power supply doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up power. Many companies sell more compact units for those that either don't want to take up a lot space at their shop or who travel frequently as a guest artist. For traveling artists, you especially want to think about the overall weight of the machine and how portable it will be.
- Factor in price. You can find a tattoo power supply as cheap as $40 or as expensive as $300-400 or higher. Before deciding if the price is right, carefully take into consideration all of the factors above. You may be able to find more than one reliable machine that meets or exceeds all of your needs. If this is the case, then you start elimination based on price.
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