Machines: A love story

Machines: A love story


Hello friends, it’s Zack, your neighborhood friendly Evermore Tattoo artist.

I’m here to talk some more about the industry we all love so much.  Today’s topic of interest is in the tools we tattooers use on a daily basis, more specifically a “tatty zapper gun”.  Seriously though if you tattoo artist refers to his tattoo machine as a tatty gun or any other ridiculous term probably best to run away.  One of the most important tool of the trade is our machines, like any hand crafted tool they can be a well oiled finely tuned piece of equipment, or a total nightmare causing you to fight, swear and sweat with all of your tattoos.  If any tattooer has tried to run some small lines on the collar bone they know what I am talking about.  However it does not ever have to be a fight, the right machine for the right job will make any circumstance a breeze.  This does come at a cost however…your time, energy, and in some cases sanity to figure out and be willing to tune and maintenance your machines often.

There are so many working parts that all have to work in harmony to produce either perfect square bold traditional lines, or the tightest fine delicate line in the industry.  These machines and their very nature of how they are constructed to do those jobs could not be more different.  Being willing to learn the tricks and take the time to tune your machines to do those very different tasks should be your first priority before you begin any tattoo.  It can be the difference of “nailing it” or “phoning it in”.

The good new is to get started in your quest for nailing it you don’t have to be an engineer or know how to build a great machine frame.  There are so many amazing tattoo machine builders that specialize in creating the perfect tool to get the job done that you are after.  The reality is however, that perfect machine that makes it feel effortless will not last forever.  Like most things mechanical, their parts are designed to wear out over time.  That once perfect color packing machine will become a sad paper weight not capable of anything if you are not able to continually maintenance and tune it.

This brings me to my next point, say you are so tired of the constant adjustments and tuning and decide to just hang up your traditional coil machine and spring for a rotary.  Without getting to technical because that would be boring, a rotary machine is essentially a motor that spins giving you the effect of a coil without all the extra moving parts.  That can be rad for so many reasons, maybe in another post I can go over that. Sticking with the topic at hand, it is a bummer when some tattoo artists don’t ever really grasp the tuning and maintenance of their machines and just give up so to speak.  Switching over to a rotary is like going from driving a finicky manual transmission to an automatic.  Sounds pretty killer however imagine how much better of a tattooer you could be if you mastered both.

There are so many things that a well tuned coil machine can do better than a rotary and vise versa.  I guess my point is this, deciding to become a tattooer was a really hard road for pretty much all of us, and we are super prideful of the industry and believe it should be held as something special and sacred.  The same should be felt about our tool of the trade.  Taking the time to learn how to maintenance and tune your traditional coil tattoo machine will ensure that one day it will not become obsolete.  Technology, innovation and progression to make the job easier is always great in any industry.  However imagine how much stronger of an artist you would be to adapt to this new movement if you have already mastered the fundamentals of your tools that have been a part of our history.

Again this is just my humble opinion, in know way am a trying to preach the right or wrong way. I am just excited and love tattooing and enjoy sharing some of the day to day struggles and triumphs of our craft.

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