Tattoo Kit Reviews Directory

Tattooing is an art that gets better with practice, and the right tools make a big difference. Today, tattoo artists have many choices when it comes to tattoo kits. Each kit is different and helps in its own way.

In this blog, we’ll break down:

  • Pros and cons of tattoo kits
  • What to think about before buying one
  • Our reviews of the most popular tattoo kits

Let's dive into the world of tattoo kits together. Whether you're just starting or have been tattooing for a while, there's something here for everyone.

Pros and Cons of Tattoo Kits

tattoo art kit

Tattoo kits come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding both will help you make the right decision for your tattooing.

The Advantages of Buying a Tattoo Kit

tattoo pen style design

When you’re brand-new to tattooing, a tattoo kit can get you on your way fast without having to spend hours doing research or hundreds of dollars on expensive tattoo supplies.

1

All-in-One Tattoo Artist Kit

If you’re new to tattooing and not sure what to get, a tattoo kit will give you everything you need to get set up so you can start tattooing on fake skin.

A tattoo starter kit  will include the following tattoo equipment:

  • Tattoo machine (or two tattoo machines - one liner and one shader machine if you’re using coil machines)
  • Tattoo power supply
  • Clip cord
  • Latex tattoo gloves
  • Ink caps
  • Rubber bands
  • Tattoo ink
  • Disposable needles
  • Fake skin
  • Tattoo designs (optional)

2

Affordable

Most people, when they want to try tattooing for the first time, will search for an “affordable tattoo gun kit.” 

There are two things you need to know about this. First, is that many professional tattoo artists will mock people who call these “tattoo gun kits.” Instead, you’d use the term tattoo machine kits. 

Additionally, tattoo kits let you get everything you need for a pretty cheap price, and that’s great for new tattoo artists who need to find an easy tattoo setup to start practicing. However, you get what you pay for. 

If you want to be a professional tattoo artist, you won’t be using the material you get in a kit for very long. You’ll want to upgrade to better materials.

3

Plug-and-Play  

Tattoo kits make it easy to get started within a few moments of opening the box. The materials inside tend to be beginner-friendly. 

Most tattoo kits come with a rotary tattoo machine or a tattoo pen machine. Rotary tattoo machines very easy to set up and don’t require a lot of knowledge about tattooing beforehand. 

You can find our top pick for the best tattoo kit in our article, “Best Beginner Tattoo Kit.”

The Drawbacks of Tattoo Kits

coil machine gun

While tattoo kits can be helpful to new artists, they aren’t a permanent solution.

1

Cheap Tattoo Kit Materials

With tattoo kits, you get what you pay for. And while kits can keep costs down, it’s important to understand that this might also mean an inconsistent power supply, a cheap foot pedal that’s easy to damage, and plastic-feeling fake skins that are hard to work with.

Using cheap materials can actually make it harder to learn because you’re fighting with low-quality equipment.

2

Cannot be Used on Real People

A tattoo kit will give you what you need to practice on fake skin. However, most tattoo kits come with a tattoo pen that cannot be properly sterilized without an autoclave.

That means that even some of the highest recommended tattoo kits for beginners have to be used in a professional tattoo shop to be safe for people. 

On top of that, the tattoo needles and tattoo ink inside is not safe for human skin. Most tattoo kits are assembled in areas with relaxed safety regulations. So, even if the ink says its safe for human skin and the needles say they’re sterilized…that might not be the case.

That’s why it’s so important to get your ink and tattoo needle selections from reputable tattoo supply companies. Painful Pleasures, Kingpin Tattoo Supply, Solid Ink, Dynamic Ink, and more are all great options you can trust.

3

There is no “Professional Tattoo Kit”

A “professional tattoo kit” isn’t really a thing. Artists working in the industry buy their supplies separately.

Some tattoo machines will be labeled as “professional tattoo kits” because the machines come with the appropriate bottle bags and a trial-size box for artists to test out new tattoo cartridge needles. 

But you won’t find a kit with inks, disposable gloves, practice skin, etc. because professionals will already have those items and prefer specific brands.

What to Look for in a Tattoo Kit

tattoo artist using tattoo machine on practice skin

Picking the right tattoo kit for you will require a little research. However, there are a few things to look out for while you’re shopping.

Quality Tattoo Machine

A lot of the tattoo kits out there will try to draw you in with fancy phrases like “advanced gear system” or “space aluminum frame.” The best tattoo machine kits will simply have a machine with a reliable and quiet operation.

Note: 

Professionals don’t use the term “tattoo guns.” If that term is used to describe your tattoo kit, you might want to pick a different kit.

Power Supply

A consistent power supply makes all the difference. If you don’t have a steady stream of power going into your machine, it’ll be impossible to tattoo straight lines or do consistent color packing because your machine will randomly stop moving.

Review from an Experienced Tattoo Artist

Professional tattoo artists will sometimes try out kits to see if they’re good enough for new artists to learn with. They’ll go through their entire tattoo process to see:

  • What the machine features are
  • If they can complete precise tattooing
  • If the machine is a versatile tool that can do lining, shading, and packing

Our Tattoo Kit Reviews

To help you decide on a kit, we’ve taken a look at the top-rated “best tattoo kits” on Amazon and other popular sites. You’ll find our thoughts on the popular Wormhole Tattoo Kit, the Dragonhawk Tattoo Kit, and more.

We test each kit by doing a tattoo design on practice skin and let you know whether the kit is worth the money.

Dragonhawk Tattoo Kit Review

April 4, 2022

This kit is set at a great price point that makes it ...

Dragonhawk Tattoo Kit Review

Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit Review

March 24, 2022

This tattoo pen kit is a great option for new artists looking ...

Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit Review

CNC Q2 Tattoo Machine Review

March 1, 2022

Offering more power than the average beginner tattoo machine, the Dragonhawk Mast ...

CNC Q2 Tattoo Machine Review

Become a Tattoo Artist With the Artist Accelerator Program

Having a career in tattooing is not only fulfilling, but it’s also the most stable way to make a living as an artist. However, for decades, the process to become a tattoo artist has been notoriously difficult. 

The apprenticeship process requires aspiring tattoo artists to work 50-60 hours a week without pay for 2-4 years. That, combined with the toxic culture of abusing apprentices, makes getting into the industry almost impossible for newcomers. 

That’s why we created the Artist Accelerator Program. Our online course provides a simple, structured way of learning to tattoo that has been proven to work by over 2500 successful students, with many of them having gone on to open their own shops all around the world. 

Inside the program, we’ll take you through every step of the tattooing process in 9 clear, easy-to-follow modules and support you along the way within the Tattooing 101 Mastermind online community.

In the Mastermind group, you’ll collaborate with other students, get answers to your questions, and receive personalized video feedback on your artwork and tattoos from professional tattoo artists. With this friendly community of both new and experienced tattoo artists, you’ll never be stuck again. 

When you join the Artist Accelerator Program, you’ll have instant access to the full course and the Mastermind community, as well as our 30-Day Flash Challenge and recorded interviews with tattoo artists from all over the world. 

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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