Tattooing is defined by the creative possibilities resulting from the combination of an artist’s imagination and the power and versatility of their tool, the tattoo machine. To make that marriage work, artists need ergonomic and reliable tattoo tips, grips and tubes. Luckily, PainfulPleasures carries a wide selection of industry-leading tattoo supplies at some of the best prices you can find online, including reusable and disposable tattoo tubes, grips and tips.
What Are Tattoo Tubes?
Tattoo tubes cover the tattoo needle during that machine's operation and provide the artist a solid point for gripping the machine. There are different types available, but the main distinction to consider is whether you want reusable or disposable tattoo tubes.
Types of Tattoo Machine Tubes
Reusable Tattoo Tubes
Reusable tattoo tubes are made of stainless steel that can be autoclaved between uses, reducing the cost of your tubes over time. They are slightly heavier than disposable tattoo tubes, but offer more customization options, since they can be paired with the tattoo grips and tattoo tips that suit your needs and preferences as an artist.
Disposable Tattoo Tubes
Disposable tattoo tubes are made of plastic and individually sealed in sterile bags. While you'll need to continually purchase new tubes, you'll never have to worry about properly disinfecting them. Disposable tattoo tubes generally combine the tube, grip and tip into a single object, meaning that they are less customizable. But they're also light and there are so many styles available that you're likely to find one that suits you.
What Are Tattoo Grips?
Tattoo grips are exactly what they sound like–a grip that wraps around a tattoo tube to provide an ergonomic, controllable point of contact with the tattoo machine. There are tons of reusable stainless steel and disposable tattoo grips out there.
How to Choose a Tattoo Cartridge Grip?
When shopping for tattoo grips, it's important to know what machine you intend to use them for, since many companies like Peak, FK Irons, and InkJecta now manufacture adjustable grips for their specific lines of tattoo machines.
What Are Tattoo Tips Used For?
Tattoo tips help control the tattoo needle as it exits the tube. Again, there are both reusable and disposable options, but tattoo tips also come in specific styles that pair with specific types and uses of tattoo needles. For that reason, you should know what needles you plan to use with your tips and have an assortment of tips available depending on which types of needles you use most often.
Popular Types of Tattoo Tips
Diamond tattoo tips
are best for creating fine, clear lines with small needle configurations.
Round tattoo tips
are best for thicker line work and accommodate larger needle configurations better than diamond tips.
Flat tattoo tips
and magnum tattoo tips are designed for the flat needle configurations used for large-area filling, shading and blending, or any other application requiring maximum ink flow.
What are Tattoo Covers & How Are They Used?
Tattoo covers provide even greater flexibility and customization to your tattoo machine. Regardless of what style of tube and grip you're using, there are tattoo covers available that can help make them more ergonomic and comfortable for long-term use. There are simple disposable options like cohesive tape or memory foam covers, or reusable options like autoclavable silicone covers.