How To Assemble Your Tattoo Gun?

By Team

Are you trying your hand at tattooing but don’t know how to set up a tattoo machine? This is a significant step towards becoming a pro tattoo artist, but it isn’t hard.

Here is a well-detailed tattoo machine setup guide to follow. Read and learn!

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

You must sanitize your hands before handling the tattoo gun to avoid contaminations. Clean your hands using antibacterial soap.

Master Your Type of Tattoo Machine

Familiarize yourself with the machine by checking the frames holding all the accessory components together. Have a look at the two electromagnetic coils that power your tattoo gun. Having a good understanding of your tattoo gun and the individual components helps you buy a suitable starter kit. With the right starter kit, you will have all the parts needed for your tattooing.

Organize the Tools Required for Your Tattoo Gun Setup

To effectively set up your tattoo machine, you need a small screwdriver, contact screw and an Allen key set. Note that your starter kit determines the tools needed for the machine setup process. With all the tools in place, you don’t have to face delays to look for items when doing the machine setup.

Set Up the Barrel

To set up the barrel, you need to have a look at the assembled grip of your tattoo machine. Find two sides, one for the gun’s tip and the other for the tube. Set them to the recommended length, depending on your machine.

Use the small screwdriver to tighten the two contact screws on the grip. You should not allow the needle to exceed the tip with over 2 mm, but it also can’t be less than a millimeter. If the needle is too long, it causes excess blooding.

Inspect the Tattoo Needles

Before setting up the needles, inspect them. Check the needle quality to ensure they aren’t bent or have any other flaws that cause bad tattoos or excessive bleeding. Note that tattoo needles with imperfections affect ink flow, leading to scar tissue formation or other problems.

Throw away all dull needles and ensure you only use proper needles. Before using the needles, make sure you sterilize them to avoid inflammations and infections. There are skin infections you can get from unsterilized tattoo needles.

Set the Cosmetic Needles in the Tube

Now that you have confirmed you have the correct needles, set them in the machine tube slot. With different kinds and sizes of needles, install them according to the tattoo you want to create. Hold your needle bar with the bar facing down and the needle part facing up. Hold the needle tube with the washout facing upwards and install the needle bar into the tube.

Only allow the armature bar part to get into contact with the tube and not the needles. This helps protect your needles. Hold the needle firmly on your tattoo gun’s base. Do this by placing the armature nipple on your armature bar pin and then tightening your needle’s round open end onto the nipple. Adjust your tattoo needle to the proper length by fine-tuning the screw between the needle and the armature bar.

Install the Tube to the Tattoo Gun

With the tattoo needle intact in the tube, install the tubes in their slots on the tattoo machine. Slide it up to allow you to tighten the wingnut connecting the machine and the tube. Turn the needle eye loop of your needle to the left side and then install the armature bar nipple. If you don’t insert your tattoo needle on the armature bar properly, there will be no ink flow when tattooing. There will also be excessive bleeding when creating the tattoo.

Insert a Rubber Band

Insert a rubber band around the needle and the tattoo gun to allow equal pressure distribution to the needle. The rubber band also helps stabilize any needle’s movement inside the tube. This helps you create a clean line when creating the tattoo.

Connect the Tattoo Gun to the Clip Cord

A clip cord helps in delivering power to your tattoo machine. Your clip cord has a jack for plugging into the power supply. Connect the other jack to your machine.

Connect the Machine to the Power Supply

At the bottom of your tattoo machine, you will find a place where the clip cord connects your tattoo gun to the power unit.

Test the Tattoo Gun

After completing the machine setup, test whether it’s working right. You can test on yourself or use an apple or pears with similar characteristics to human skin.


What should a tattoo machine be set at for the lining?

Your tattoo machine should be set up on six volts for the lining. It should not make a crackling noise.

What is the proper voltage for my tattoo machine?

The machine should be around seven to nine volts when lining and eight to 10 volts when shading. Always check the user manual to find the ideal voltage depending on your machine.

Which direction should my machine eye loop face?

Ensure the eye loop of your needle bar should face left.

Leave a Comment