If you’ve gotten a tattoo in the last century, you are probably familiar with the typical tattooists’ setup. It consists of a few standard components that plug into one another and the wall. If you step into a tattoo shop today, you may find a different story. Nowadays, we have the great fortune of using battery-powered tattoo machines.
Before we dive into the batteries, let’s look at the old school tattoo machine. First is the machine, which moves the needles and holds the ink. The machine is run from an adjustable power supply unit, which allows artists to change the voltage for different applications. Last is the foot-switch, which turns the power to the machine on and off.
There are variants to this that give batteries a run for their money. For example, you can buy power supplies that use gestures for hands-free control. There are plenty of nifty, corded gadgets out there to explore.
This setup runs on standard 110v power, just like your outlets at home. The power supply converts the voltage down to a usable level for tattooing. There are numerous benefits to being plugged in, including unlimited run time, and a constant voltage under load.
The standard tattoo setup has been tried and tested over the decades, so most of the kinks are worked out.
Sounds great right?
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the old school way, this day in age change is inevitable and we must adapt in order to thrive.
The Mad Tatter has adapted our setup to include several advancements in tech in the last few years. Some of these breakthroughs, which we’ll get into below, have finally reached a level to be practical for day to day use in the real world. For those of us in the tattoo industry, that means one thing.
Battery-powered tattoo machines.
It’s no surprise that batteries have come a long way in a very short time. It’s evident in our phones and tablets and it’s evident in the growing number of electric vehicles hitting the market.
Battery tech is finally advanced enough to be able to pack the punches we need. The newest generations of battery-powered tattoo machines are able to run all day long while maintaining a proper voltage.
Many of the first battery powered tattoo machines had their fair share of flaws. They had a short runtime which caused artists to have to switch batteries or worse, charge a battery, in the middle of a tattoo.
The first battery machines also had a hard time maintaining a consistent voltage while tattooing. This is essential, as the motor bogging down will affect the needles’ performance.
In the last few years, these obstacles have been overcome through improvements in technology. Better batteries keep the machines running how they need to be for the entire tattoo.
In addition to overcoming their initial flaws, battery-powered machines give the added benefit of portability. Moving around the client or resetting your station between clients is infinitely easier when you’re cord-free.
The lack of a cord and other equipment in the way also helps artists to reduce strain on their bodies. Tattoo artists notoriously suffer from joint pain as they age. Freedom of mobility allows artists to position themselves and their clients for comfort. Having more comfortable equipment reduces the wear and tear on their bodies over the long run.
Everyone has their preferences. Some artists prefer to stay plugged in and that’s fine too! We have a world of options out there today. The most important thing is to find what you like and do amazing work with it.
If you’re ready to see battery-powered tattoo machines in action, swing by and check it out!