3 Things Every Professional Tattoo Setup Must Have

3 Things Every Professional Tattoo Setup Must Have

Specialized knowledge and a lot of practice aren’t the only things you need to start your tattoo career. You’ll also need some equipment! While there are dozens of tools you’ll acquire as you make your way through the industry, we’ve compiled the essentials you should pick up to get started. Read on to learn three things every professional tattoo setup must have.

Tattoo Machine

Unless you’re planning to work incredibly inefficiently, you’ll want a tattoo machine. The two main types are rotary and coil machines. While coil machines offer easier shading and greater precision, they’re recommended for veteran artists. Coil machines are more cumbersome, leading to significant fatigue if you have a full day of clients.

Rotary machines are quiet and light but without the punch of a coil machine. They offer a gentler option than the coil machine and can do linework and shading. Beginners will have the most luck with rotary machines—if this is your first tattoo shop, a rotary machine is probably the way to go.


Comfort is king, especially if you need your clients to sit still for a few hours. Many new tattoo artists neglect the chair, assuming that any seat will do. An uncomfortable chair is a surefire way to discourage your clients from coming back for another tattoo—even if the ink looks great, no one wants to sign up for hours of pain with additional discomfort thrown in.


Finally, you can’t tattoo someone if you don’t have ink! High-quality inks are essential if you want to stay in business since cheaper options often contain chemical irritants that can make the process uncomfortable for your clients.

Ingredients like ethanol, pure water, Listerine, and glycerin are common carriers and are usually a good sign of quality. Of course, ink is no good if you don’t have a safe place to store it. Tattoo ink cups are the perfect option to keep your ink fresh for longer.

Now that you know the three things every professional tattoo setup must have, pick up your equipment and start your career on the right foot.

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