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Whether you’re a beginner or professional tattoo artist, you realize the importance of a tattoo power supply—after all, without one, your tattoo machine won’t work.
That being said, choosing the right and best tattoo power supply can be tricky. In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know to make the right choice. We will also share with you the best tattoo power supply units on the market currently.
So, let’s get to it!
Tattoo Power Supply: All You Need to Know
When you create a list of everything you need to create your tattoo kit, a power supply should be second in order of importance. It is one of the most essential parts of any tattoo studio. It provides your tattoo machine with all the electrical energy it needs to do its job.
Considering the importance of a tattoo power supply, it makes sense that buying the cheapest option may not be the best decision—you need a device that is reliable and trustworthy and has a steady output of power.
In the past, tattoo artists had a tricky time when it came to powering their setup. They often had to use different types of power supplies that weren’t always considered safe. Luckily, things have changed and tattoo artists can now buy power supplies made specifically for the task at hand: tattooing. Of course, with the increase of options on the market comes a lot of confusion and it’s not as if tattoo power supply units on their own don’t trigger a lot of scratched heads, to begin with.
To help you navigate these waters somewhat, here are the basics of how tattoo power supply units work.
The first thing to understand is the types of power supply. You get analog and digital types.
Digital tattoo power supply units are the more professional option since they’re considered more accurate when it comes to checking the power and voltage. You also have the option of checking the values while your tattoo machine is off. Digital units are also more user-friendly and don’t require a lot of experience using. These power supplies nowadays have a touch LCD screen making them much more intuitive than outdated models.
You can also choose between unregulated and regulated tattoo power supply units. It is recommended that you purchase a regulated model to ensure you get an even more accurate reading of the voltage while you’re working. You’ll, however, have to save up a little longer as these machines run on the expensive side.
That being said, analog tattoo power supply units shouldn’t be pushed to the side entirely. They’re known for providing steady reading output to tattoo machines.
Besides the analog and digital options, you can now go wireless. These wireless tattoo power supply units are especially useful if you tend to get tangled up in wires as you work due to limited space. It also looks neater.
For pure professionals, there’s the choice of dual power supply. These units can support more than one machine. They’re expensive but the ability to plug in a liner and shader and effortlessly switching between the two makes the high price tag worth it.
The voltage a tattoo power supply uses is super important as it determines how much power your tattoo machine will have. Also, the higher the voltage, the more machines you can hook to one tattoo power supply. The strongest power supply will run around 18 to 20 volts. Of course, if you don’t plan on linking more than one machine to your tattoo power supply, you won’t need such a powerful voltage.
That being said, you should never choose a tattoo power supply that runs under 8 volts. That is because shading should happen between 8 and 10 volts, while lining runs between 4 and 10, sometimes 12 volts.
A quick search and you’ll see that some tattoo power supply units cost as little as $25 and others a whopping $500. Considering the different types of power supply units, especially unregulated and regulated devices, it makes sense that the price difference is so huge.
Unregulated devices won’t eat up all your money but they’re not as safe and reliable as the regulated types. Regulated tattoo power supply units help control power fluctuations, which means you can count on consistent supply. This is good news, especially when running at a high voltage since it’s easy for clients to feel the tiniest of change or malfunction then. If you can afford it, go the regulated route. Heck, why not save a little longer and buy the best right off the bat.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s discuss the best tattoo power supply units on the market.
5 Best Tattoo Power Supplies OverviewTable could not be displayed.
5 Best Tattoo Power Supplies Reviewed
1. Bronc Professional Tattoo Power Supply: Amazon’s Top Choice
There are two tattoo power supply units on the list that are somewhat more expensive than the others. The Bronc is one of them. This unit works on rotary and coil machines and has a large screen that displays a lot of readings and options to help you operate your tattoo machine to the best of its ability. Of course, all these blinking lights and the large number of selections can be confusing to beginners, so keep that in mind when deciding which machine to buy.
What’s especially nice about this tattoo power supply is the fact that you can connect more than one tattoo gun at a time and you’re also not limited to either the rotary or coil kind. This is great for tattoo artists who like to jump around between machines.
The Bronc supports a wide range of input voltage and comes with excellent output current overload protection and temperature management.
Why choose the Bronc to power your tattoo machines?
- It’s compatible with rotary and coil tattoo machines.
- It can handle more than one machine at a time.
- It has a large display with a lot of settings—although some may see this as a negative.
2. Dragonhawk LCD Dual Tattoo Machine Gun Power Supply: Budget Friendly
If you choose this tattoo power supply, one thing is sure: you’re buying quality without breaking the bank. Dragonhawk is a known brand in the tattoo industry. They’re especially popular for offering entry-level tattoo equipment and accessories that are close to the same quality as more expensive brands.
One thing is sure, you won’t have to worry about performance issues with this tattoo power supply. It is an efficient unit that is reliable. Although this is a dual tattoo power supply meaning it can handle both rotary and coil type tattoo machines, you can only plug in one machine at a time. This may be seen as a drawback for professional tattoo artists who want to experience the ease of switching between machines.
Also, if aesthetics is important to you, this tattoo power supply comes in cool and vibrant colors to compliment your tattoo studio.
Why choose the Dragonhawk LCD?
- It is affordable, yet good quality.
- It works with rotary and coil tattoo machines (but only one at a time).
- It comes with anti-fatigue mode.
- It’s manufactured by a trusted brand.
3. Pirate Face Tattoo Dual Digital Tattoo Power Supply: Best for Rotary Tattoo Machines
Pirate Face is another brand that offers inexpensive options to tattoo artists without compromising much of the quality of their products.
This tattoo power supply is only compatible with rotary tattoo machines although it is listed as a dual power supply. After testing it, it became clear that it struggled to keep up with the power of coil tattoo machines, so we thought it best to remove coils from the mix entirely. That being said, you can plug in both your rotary liner and shader at once IF your machine isn’t too powerful. In that case, you’ll only be able to run one at a time.
The foot pedal is covered with stainless steel, a welcome change that will contribute to its durability.
Why buy the Pirate Face Dual Digital Tattoo Power Supply?
- It’s inexpensive.
- Perfect for rotary tattoo machines.
- Can handle both liner and shader at once.
- Foot pedal covered in stainless steel.
4. Mast U1 Tattoo Battery Wireless Power Supply: Best Wireless Option
This is one of the best wireless tattoo power supply units on the market. It is compatible with the majority of RCA rotary tattoo pen machines.
Wireless power supply batteries give tattoo artists a lot of freedom. They’re also easy to use—all it takes is the press of a button. Powering on the Mast U1 automatically sets it to 10V which you can then change to anything between 6V and 11V.
These batteries are durable and you can expect them to last a very long time. Wireless options tend to be more expensive, so you will have to pay a little extra for the freedom that comes with it.
Why buy the Mast U1 Tattoo Battery?
- It works on most RCA rotary tattoo pen machines.
- It’s easy to use.
- It has an impressive voltage range.
5. TATELF Tattoo Power Supply: Best for Beginners
This tattoo power supply works with both rotary and coil tattoo machines although it performs its best with rotary machines. It is a great unit if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure how tattoo power supplies work. It has an intuitive LCD digital display and the controls are easy to understand and tweak.
The TATELF tattoo power supply makes use of precision power dials that are highly customizable. That being said, it’s not always accurate so you should be careful when you tweak it to get it just right.
Another thing we like about this tattoo power supply is the manufacturer’s great customer service. The fact that the unit comes with a satisfaction guarantee is also nothing to scoff at. So, if you buy it and happen to not like it, you can return it and get a full refund.
Why choose the TATELF tattoo power supply?
- Great option for beginners.
- Easy to understand.
- Works with both rotary and coil tattoo machines.
- Comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Tattooing requires precision. That is why a dependable tattoo power supply is paramount. After all, you want your equipment to compliment your talent and help you reach perfection.
In your search for the best tattoo power supply, you need to remember to check the specs—voltage foremost as this will indicate the power output you’ll get. We also recommend you save up and buy a regulated model as this will make it easier for you and more comfortable for your clients.
Other than that, you’ll have to check that the unit you have in mind is compatible with your tattoo machine. There’s the wireless option to consider—a great choice if your space is limited and you’re tired of getting tangled up in cords daily.
This article armed you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice. It is in your hands now. Whatever you decide, happy tattooing!