A tattoo power supply does exactly what you might expect — it delivers a steady supply of electricity to your tattoo machine. It powers the needles in your tattoo iron, enabling you to lay down clean, even lines of ink. The power supply is the heart of your tattoo setup, so it’s important to purchase one that’s reliable, easy to use, and compatible with your equipment.
If you’ve never purchased one before, the options can be overwhelming. Do you need a digital display? Is an analog display okay? Are they all created equal?
In general, as long as the supply is compatible with your tattoo machine, it should be fine. However, it is important to control for quality and consistency.
Since the quality has such a big impact on your tattooing ability, it’s worth taking time to find the right option for your budget and existing setup. We’ve gone through the available options and chosen our five favorite models. This is a great place to start your research and find a power supply that makes your work easier.
Top 5: Tattoo Power Supplies Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
If you’re interested in the Dragonhawk Mast Pen Rotary Tattoo Machine, this gift box is a great choice. It comes with a power supply as well as the tattoo machine itself, so you can expand or start your tattooing setup.
The kit also includes a set of gas-sterilized cartridges, the rotary tattoo pen, and a foot pedal, so you have everything you need to get started. The included carrying case keeps everything safe and organized, which is handy if you travel to clients or conferences.
Each piece of this kit is compact, so it’s a breeze to set up in virtually any studio location. It is a breeze to use, either with this rotary setup or with another brand. Simply press the button for a few seconds until it lights up; at that point, you’re ready to start working.
This option delivers a constant stream of electricity to the tattoo machine. This ensures that the powerful motor and sophisticated gear system can run smoothly at all times, giving you excellent control and accuracy.
The two work together to create the high puncturing power and fast speed you need for crisp lines. As you work, the low-vibration design keeps your space quiet and peaceful, so you can concentrate on the finer details of your art.
Do you like to monitor your power supply closely while you work? If so, this option can provide all of the information you need. It features a large digital screen, so you can get a readout at a glance.
Bright blue numbers tell you the output voltage, and the glowing setup offers high-visibility readouts in dim or bright settings.
The digital display also allows easy operation. You can switch between your favorite lining and shading modes using the integrated memory modes. Choose between conventional and maintained foot switch modes to suit the way you prefer to work, and turn the unit on and off with the simple toggle.
If you travel for work, this one is a useful accessory. It’s compact and lightweight, so you can slip it into your carry-on bag for safe transport. The supply connects using a standard adapter, ensuring easy setup.
This product offers an output voltage between 3 volts and 18 volts, giving you a broad range of options to suit most tattoo machines. It’s built with a current overload protection system that helps regulate the incoming power and protects the internal electronics from unexpected power spikes.
You can use this one safely in temperatures ranging from 41 degrees to 113 degrees; in other words, it’s safe to use in most professional or outdoor settings. You can even do tattoos at festivals or concerts without worrying about overheating.
The Biomaser Hurricane comes with a variety of connector options, so you can use it with virtually all tattoo machines. It’s designed specifically for use with rotary tattoo systems. It comes with a convenient adjustable base that’s compatible with most desks and workstations; it holds the screen at a viewing-friendly angle for easy reading. With its compact, lightweight design, this model is a breeze to carry.
The highlight of this one is the high-visibility display. The digital screen features brilliant blue letters that are easy to ready in any lighting. The large numbers show you exactly what voltage output you’re working with, eliminating the guesswork and ensuring that you’re always getting the right setting for your machine.
When you’re working, the last thing you need is to stop to fiddle with complicated buttons and dials. To help you adjust your settings quickly, this machine features large, easy-to-read buttons.
Clear labels make it easy to reduce or increase the voltage; you can also switch between lining and shading with a quick tap. Or, save up to six different configurations and choose your favorite options quickly. Your presets are saved, so you can connect it to different machines without losing your settings.
If you like a more old-school look in your tattoo studio, this One Tattoo World Power Supply will fit right in. It features a metal box and front-mounted dials that create a vintage vibe. With its bright red color, this one suits an eclectic space or a studio with an edge.
On the front, you’ll find a brilliant blue LCD screen that displays the output voltage. The large numerals and illuminated viewing area make it easy to tell your power level at a glance.
The set also includes a foot pedal, so you can control your system without using your hands. Crafted from stainless steel, the pedal is designed to last, even in a high-volume tattoo parlor. Need to connect two tattoo machines at once? This product also includes two clip cords for that purpose.
One feature we love on this unit is its dual power supply — it enables you to connect a liner and a shader at the same time. When you want to switch between the two machines, it’s as easy as flipping a switch. If you’re working in another country, the 110/220V selector switch on the back makes it easy to accommodate an international voltage level.
Compact and portable this HoriKing Power Supply fits into any work space. It features a strong magnetic base, so you can set it on a metal surface and rest assured that it will stay in place. Don’t have a metal table? It also includes silicone grips for other surfaces.
Built with a CNC-machined anodized aluminum housing, this one is tough and durable. Use it in a standard studio, or take it with you to outdoor events, industrial spaces, or other harsh environments. It’s compatible with both coil and rotary tattoo machines, so it’s a breeze to move it from one machine to the next.
To control this one simply use the integrated rotary knob. A quick push turns the power on and off, changes the voltage, or switches between modes. With the included foot pedal, you can use both maintained and momentary power modes.
Creating a specific studio aesthetic? It can contribute to the mood. It features a color-changing light that adds a subtle glow to your space. The color changes with the voltage, so it’s easy to tell your output without stopping to read a screen.
When you’re looking at tattoo power supplies, it’s easy to get confused by the different specs and options. In the end, however, most power supplies work with most tattoo machines. However, there are a few factors you can consider to make the right choice for your studio.
Most tattoo power supplies deliver a wide range of voltages; usually, you can select which voltage you want depending on the work you’re doing. Before you buy a power supply, it’s a good idea to check the voltage range on your existing tattoo machine and compare it to the power supply. Make sure the two systems line up; that way, you don’t have to worry about a weak power supply or a potential overload.
Ease of Use
When you’re working on a tattoo, you probably don’t want to spend a great deal of time configuring your power supply. That’s why it makes sense to look for a unit that’s easy to use. Can you see the buttons clearly? Is it easy to change voltages or switch between lining and shading modes on the fly? If the answer is no, you may want to move on to a different model. User-friendly units make your life easier, whether you’re in your studio or traveling.
As a tattoo artist, you probably work with plenty of light on your client’s skin. When you turn to check out your voltage readout, that difference in lighting can make it difficult to see. As you look at different power supply options, look for models with high-visibility screens or dials. Illuminated screens are ideal; they’re easy to see in any light.
The final consideration in choosing a tattoo power supply is the style. Since power supplies come in a broad range of designs, shapes, and sizes, it makes sense to choose one that fits your personality and your available space. Classic designs fit a retro-inspired studio, while sleek digital displays fit into a high-tech work area.
best tattoo power supply
Each of these tattoo machine power supplies can deliver the power you need for fast, accurate tattooing work. Our top pick is the Biomaser Hurricane;
We love the easy-to-read screen and the simple button layout, as well as the portable size. Check out the Hurricane to upgrade your in-house or mobile tattoo system.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is a tattoo power supply?
A standard power supply for a tattoo machine is a small power unit that transfers electricity to the gun and associated equipment from an electrical outlet. It also monitors and controls the voltage and gives a tattoo artist the ability to better control the speed and depth of the needle or needles. Tattoo power supply units come in a variety of sizes and designs, including wired analog and digital touchscreen models that mount to tabletops, mirrors and walls and styles that charge portable wireless tattoo machines.
What are the differences between analog and digital power supplies?
An analog power supply looks like a square or rectangular box that features a white background voltage display, a manual red or black arm, knobs, dials and switches. Digital power supplies are normally portable and hand-sized with many models featuring a touchscreen with menu selections. Digital power supplies offer more options than analog ones, such as audio feedback for setting changes, special modes for specific tasks, custom preset options, job-in-progress run-time stopwatches and timers and alert-style notifications.
Is an analog, digital or wireless tattoo power supply better?
The power supply that you pick depends entirely on your current needs and plans for the future. Although a digital unit offers more features, analog machines can work just as well when it comes to basic needs, such as displaying and controlling the voltage you're using at any specific time and indicating setting changes with LED lights that change color or dials that make clicking sounds. Additionally, many digital touchscreen power supply units and most wireless ones are far more expensive than their wired analog and non-touchscreen counterparts.
Why is power control so important when using a tattoo gun?
Without precise, incremental control of power to your tattoo gun, you can accidentally inject a needle too deep, tear skin and cause injury to your client. Conversely, without enough power at a steady output, you might not go deep enough, which results in the tattoo fading in spots in the future or faster than normal. Errors with lining and shading also occur if you use a power supply that doesn't provide high, steady control of power to maintain output when needle pressure varies and allows fluctuations that can make the needle slow too much as it enters the skin and distributes ink.
How many tattoo machines can I hook up to a single power supply?
Some of the latest tattoo power units allow you to attach as many as six machines at one time and customize memory settings to move effortlessly between the machines with the flip of a switch or the press of a button. That said, these units are often extremely expensive. Many professionals purchase a unit that can handle two machines so that they can work with a client using one for lining and one for shading without interruption to their workflow since manually swapping needles and supplies mid-job can result in mistakes.
How much voltage do I need for lining and shading?
A power supply set to a higher voltage makes the connected tattoo machine run faster and gives the user greater control over the gun and needle. Professionals often recommend that a tattoo artist experiment with between 7 to 8 volts for lining and 8 to 12 volts for shading with wired equipment and settings near 10 volts with wireless equipment. You can discover with practice over time the voltage that works best for you and your equipment.
What does duty cycle man on a tattoo power supply display?
The term "duty cycle" refers to the percentage and milliseconds of time that passes when the circuit opens, closes and then opens again. Although the term is often used in relation to coil machines to describe the time that passes when the contact screw touches the front spring to open the circuit and cycles, it can apply to both coil and rotary machines. It also refers to how evenly the gun is running when the needle enters the skin, which means that a 50-percent duty cycle indicates that the circuit opens and closes at an even rate.
How do I get my money's worth when buying a tattoo power supply?
From a basic perspective, the unit should include at least one clip cord and a power control foot pedal or other similar power control tool in addition to enough amps, volts and compatible jacks to match your needs and tattoo equipment. It's important to read online user reviews to confirm that the unit you like lives up to its stated output and provides accurate readings at all times. You might also want the unit to provide a continuous power preset mode so that you can rest your leg or hand when needed; power loss memory retention so that you don't lose preset modes when you turn it off or during outages; sleep/standby mode to reduce setup time and save on electric bills; and compatibility with both 110- and 220-volt outlets in case of international travel.
Does a tattoo power supply manufacturer's warranty matter at all?
The warranty periods offered by manufacturers for tattoo power supply units typically vary between six months and two years with longer warranties often linked to higher-end units that cost more money. Many consumers have come to believe that a warranty isn't worth the extra cost even though a tech support or limited warranty might help prevent the loss hundreds of dollars if the unit suddenly stops working, especially with a digital touchscreen one. Always check the manufacturer's warranty terms before purchasing a unit to make certain that it offers a customer satisfaction guarantee and coverage for technical support and parts or whole-unit replacement.
Why does a CE-certified label matter when picking a tattoo power supply?
A Conformité Européenne or European Conformity (CE) mark on an electrical product like a tattoo power supply indicates that the manufacturer claims that they followed important environmental, health and safety standards, directives and regulations mandated for designing, producing and selling products in the European Economic Area. Although this mark is required in European markets, it's also found on products throughout the world. It doesn't guarantee truthfulness on the manufacturer's part, but a CE certification means that the product is likely high quality given that the manufacturer must produce upon request documentation proving that they conformed to the requirements.
Why is fine tuning my tattoo machine to match the power supply so important?
When your tattoo machine and power supply don't work together at optimal performance levels, you can't control the power and speed as much as necessary for high-quality tattoo work. Tuning your equipment helps prevent tattoo gun and needle vibrations that can cause injury and adversely affect the straightness of lines and the smoothness of line edges. Beyond tuning your equipment, you also need to maintain it to prevent dirt and debris from interfering with electrical output as seen, for example, with dirty contact screws on coil machines.
Why might a tattoo gun power supply stop working?
Interruption with power, easily recognized by the lack of a buzz/hum, glowing lights or digital display, can occur for a variety of reasons. Since a loose clip cord connection or dirty contact screw often cause power supply problems, check those areas first, if applicable. Also, check all other parts that open and close the electrical circuit for damage, especially if you're using a machine that features brass or steel screws since they can create sparks that damage the front spring.
A great tattoo power supply keeps your machine running smoothly, so you can work on your masterpieces with ease. By taking time to choose the best model for your studio, you can enjoy streamlined functionality and ease of use.