Talk on tattoo machine grips and tips

Posted by on 26th January 2017

Talk is based on my personal experience and experience of artists I have discussed this subject.

Talk on basic tattoo equipment – tattoo machine grips and tips. Grips that we are using in our tattoo shop and shops I have worked in.
It’s not a review on brands it’s a technical talk on on grips and seeds of thought on hygiene and how or if you want to clean your tools or use single use products. There are options to clean and sterilize your grips or use disposables.
Some tips on what to do and some ideas on what to think about.
This talk is based on my personal experience and experience of artists I have discussed this subject. The products shown in video is what we have in shop, some of them we are not using any more. There is also a lot of other products available and feel free to comment if there is anything you can recommend.

Issues talked about in video:
– metal grips are solid and are great for coil machines to counter balance them and have a good grip, the downside is that you have to clean and sterilize them and there is nothing wrong with that if you do things correct. Often it comes down to laziness or attitude.
– metal tips – there is no real reason why to use them unless you have have found something super specific that work for your way tattooing, the real downside is that they are nightmare to clean.
– disposable tips are great, there are probably difference in quality but I haven’t seen some so bad that you can’t work with them.
– disposable grips are great solution, they come in sterile packaging and once you have used them you dispose them and done deal. Downside is that they are light, therefore working with heavier coil machines, machine seems heavy on the back of it and might be uncomfortable while you are getting used to it. Plus you have to know what brand to use with your machine because sometimes they are too thin for machine ( it also depends on fitting on machine). And there are many low quality products available on market and they can be a problem, they bend, they fall apart.
P.S. Hygiene is often big issue for some tattoo artists, they use their experience as an excuse because as far as they know nothing bad have happened. It shouldn’t be even a point on where you can cross-contaminate equipment or yourself and get some crazy disease, it sometime just comes down to being dirty and disgusting because no one wants to touch things that have been in touch with other peoples blood or god knows what.

Part 2

Cartridge machine grips.

We have artist working with Cheyenne machines therefore that is only machine I know anything about. Most common thing tattoo artist working with Cheyenne machines is they claim you don’t need to sterilize grip because the machine is made in such way that ink doesn’t get anywhere and covering it with plastic is just enough to keep it clean. The problem with that is that not always original tips are used and in video you can see what is the difference from point of view of ink leaking inside machine. Other thing is even with using original cartridges it the way they are used – if tattooist takes them out leaves on the work station where ink sprays and sometimes some dirty paper towels are and then switches back to same cartridge then all cleanliness is lost. There is also disposable grip for cartridge machines and then no what has to worry about is it clean or not.

In our shop we sterilize original Cheyenne grips in autoclave on full cycle and they work fine. And we have disposable grips as a back up if we did not have a chance to sterilize original grip.