So, you want to start your own tattooing business? That’s a lot to think about. But hopefully, we can make it a bit easier by talking you through the top 7 tattoo supplies that every artist needs.

We won’t waste your time. Let’s get right into it.


Tattoo needles come in five general types — turbo, shader, flat, round, and magnum. Special types like cartridge needles and textured needles also exist for those more advanced tattooists. Within each category, you find various sizes.

Choose your needles wisely because they determine the quality of your work. We suggest having a variety of types and sizes on hand, depending on the style(s) you wish to specialize in.


Don’t risk your gun slipping while you work. No matter how steady your hand is, you’ll need a grip. It’s up to you whether you go with disposable ones or a reusable metal model.

Tips and tubes help you accurately insert the needle into your machine, ensure optimal ink flow, and aid in safe cleaning. You should always choose easy-to-clean tubes and tips, so you don’t risk damaging your carefully selected needles.


Barrier gel, like S8’s Advanced Tattooing Gel, seals stencils to your client’s skin, decreases heat, reduces needle burn, and vastly improves ink saturation. But unfortunately, it’s one of those products that often go forgotten when people put together their tattoo supply list. So, don’t let that happen to you!

Alongside all of the benefits we’ve just mentioned, it decreases glare. No, that won’t help your clients. However, it’ll certainly reduce eye strain for you, allowing your eyes to stay happy and healthy for years to come. 


Some artists like to make their own ink. However, the majority buy a full set. That way, they have a huge variety at their disposal. We suggest you do the same!

Just remember that they could have varying consistencies and pigmentations.

As for ink cups (i.e., the small vessels that hold your tattoo ink while you’re working), they come in a variety of sizes — small, medium, and large. It’s worth stocking your supply cupboard with all sizes, so you can change them depending on the size of your client’s tattoo.


Purchasing the right tattoo machine ensures you produce the best quality work. Consider it your paintbrush. You can’t paint a masterpiece without it.

They come in two different types with unique properties:

  • Coil Tattoo Machines — It’s the most common type and buzzes while you use it. You’ll find it easy to control, regulate, customize. There are three kinds of coil machines: shaders, liners, and color packers.
  • Rotary Tattoo Machines — It’s the classic machine. It is easy to handle, causes less cramping, and is magnificently lightweight. Not to mention that it’s quieter than its coil cousin and won’t need switching for shading or lining.


Transfer paper ensures you achieve the perfect outline on your client’s skin before you start tattooing. Not to mention that it allows you to play around with the placement before making it permanent.

We know our customers wouldn’t be without our S8 Red Tattoo Stencil Transfer Paper. It’s a must-have for tattoo artists everywhere.


Last but definitely not least, you need to gather some sterilization equipment and medical supplies. Your client’s health, happiness, and wellbeing should be your top priority. So, don’t forget to add the following to your list:

  • Needle cleaner
  • Surface sterilizer
  • Cover sheets
  • Machine cover
  • Gloves
  • Vaseline
  • Waste disposal container
  • Cleaning set for tubes and tips
  • Sterile ointment
  • Numbing creams (for overly sensitive skin)

Remember, these are just the essentials to get you started! There’s a whole world of tattooing supplies out there for your consideration.

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