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The Best Home Tattoo Kits for Tattoo Artists

closeup of someone wearing black gloves and using a tattoo machine to draw a tattoo on someone else's skinIf you’re a tattoo artist of any level of experience, a tattoo kit is a worthwhile investment to make for your art. A tattoo kit generally consists of a tattoo gun or guns, colored inks, a power cord, and often other accessories. There is no comprehensive list of additional accessories and supplies, as this varies by kit. They may include extra needles, an instruction manual, and much more. However many or whichever supplies and extra tools a tattoo kit may include, they all have the same basic goal in mind: to allow you to start tattooing right away, without needing to buy other items separately. This will save you both preparation time and money, and proper, extensive preparation is a key part of being a tattoo artist at any level. It’s impossible to get started until you have the correct tools on hand, and investing in a good tattoo kit can be a great way to get to that point.

Choosing a Tattoo Kit

This is what you’ll want to look into before buying a tattoo kit:

  • Colors: The number of colored inks will vary considerably depending on which kit you decide to buy. Some may only have a handful, while others will provide you with a dozen or more options. Kits with a greater range of colored inks will generally be pricier, but greater variety also means buying new ink less often, which will save you money in the long run.
  • Gun or Pen Machine: The tattoo gun or pen machine is generally the most important part of any tattoo kit, so be sure to look closely at the gun provided in any kit before buying one. Rotary type machines are a better choice for beginners since they’re easier to handle, while coil machines are a bit more of the traditional pick. Some kits will include both types, so you can always opt for both if you’re not sure which is best for you or if you want to try both.
  • Accessories and Supplies: Tattoo kits can come with a whole slew of accessories and extra supplies. Multiple needles or pens, extra grips, gloves, manuals and guides, grommets, O-rings, disposable gloves, and more. The accessories you receive will depend on the kit in question and which type of gun it includes. Some even come with transfer papers or other practice skins for practicing with your new gun before you apply it to your own or others’ skin. Consider what types of extra supplies and accessories you’re looking for and purchase your kit accordingly.

Best Overall: Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine

black bullet-shaped tattoo machine with a carrying case, black tape, and other accessories

This is an all-around complete tattoo kit with several extra supplemental accessories and supplies. With this kit, you get a specialty tattoo pen machine, power supply, 20 WJX ink cartridge needles, a carrying case, foot pedal, DC power cord, and a box for the machine. The rotary tattoo machine with its custom motor is made of strong, light aluminum with an ergonomic design to prevent fatigue during use. The motor and advanced gear system is designed to operate quietly and with minimal vibrations while also providing more accuracy and power, making it a good option for experts and beginners alike. The machine is shaped to feel and grip like an actual pen in your hands. It has a working voltage of 6 to 9 volts. The cartridge needles have a special silicone rebound membrane for flexibility and protection, made of safe medical grade LG PC. They also increase ink storage and absorption thanks to the close-mouthed tips that also hold the needle steady. Needles can be switched in and out quickly during use. The tattoo machine is compatible with all cartridge needles type, so if you have another preferred brand of cartridge needle it can be used with this kit. The machine is especially ideal for precision line work and shading thanks to the comfortable grip and low vibrations.

Best Value: Dragonhawk Complete Tattoo Kit

two black tattoo machines with packets of needles, rubber bands, a black gloves, and other assorted accessories

Here’s a tattoo kit that offers you a wide variety of additional supplies and accessories for one fair and affordable price. You receive not one but two tattoo machines for shading and lining, ten different colored inks, LED digital tattoo power supply, foot pedal, clip cord, a protective shielding glove, transfer stencil paper, several practice skins, and rubber bands. The machines are made of cast iron for extra strength, while the power box’s consistent power output lends the machine increased reliability and efficiency. The power supply, coupled with the foot pedal and clip cord, gives you accurate and quick activation and voltage adjustments while you work. The high-quality composite copper springs are made to be anti-fatigue with high elasticity to improve working life. This kit is designed for beginners and experts alike.

Best for Beginners: Grinder Tattoo Kit by Pirate Face Tattoo

four tattoo machines with seven different colored tattoo inks, a carrying case, instructional booklet, and assorted other acessories

This is a tattoo kit with two guides perfect for helping beginners find their footing and a slew of accessories and supplies. The whole kit consists of four tattoo machines with ten wrap coils, four machine grips, a carrying case, a 110-to-230-volt power supply, 50 sterile needles, seven bottles of tattoo ink, 27 disposable nozzle tips, eight stainless steel nozzle tips, an adjustable tool kit, one sheet of stencil transfer paper, a pair of disposable gloves, an ink cup holder, 100 ink cups, a two-hour Welcome to Tattoo DVD, and a 240-page instructional book about tattoo basics. The machines are made of lightweight, durable steel and are versatile, designed to be easy to work with, and modify as you progress. Each of the four machines can be tuned to shade or line. Each of the seven bottles of ink comes in a different bright, vibrant shade, and the numerous needles guarantee that this kit’s supply will last you a long time through many tattoos.

Best for Beginners

Best Color Options: Solong Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit

four multicolored tattoo machines with various inks, a black carrying case, and assorted other accessories

If you’re looking for a tattoo kit well supplied with a plethora of colored inks, this is the kit for you. You get a whopping 54 bottles of ink, each in a different sharp, bright, positive color. The ink is vegan-friendly, free of animal products and harmful substances, and sterilized by gamma rays. It’s also micro-dispersed for easier use and faster healing; since skin injected with this ink has less scarring and scabbing, it ultimately retains more of the color’s pigment. Besides these 54 high-quality inks, this kit also contains four handmade carbon steel tattoo machine guns, 50 tattoo needles, ten disposable tattoo tips, 100 ink cups, a stainless steel cup holder, a set of gun adjusting tools, 50 mixed color grommets, 50 rubber O-rings, two disposable gloves, two aluminum alloy grips, five tattoo tip cleaning brushes, a dual-sided and reusable practice skin, power supply, clip cord, foot pedal, and ink caps. You’ll also receive a complimentary professional online guide for setting up the tattoo kit, multiple tattoo designs, and a free tattoo teaching video. All in all, this is a well-equipped tattoo kit with ample supplies that is suitable for tattoo artists of any experience level.

Best Color Options

Solong Tattoo Complete Tattoo Kit 4 Pro Machine Guns 54 Inks Power Supply Foot Pedal Needles Grips Tips Carry Case TK453-US

This tattoo kit comes with 54 bottles of high-quality, vegan-friendly ink that will heal faster and provided brighter, sharper pigments.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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