Tattoo Kits: A Controversial Tool of the Artistic Trade


If you’re new to the tattoo industry, the ease and convenience of getting everything you need in one tattoo kit can seem extremely tempting. It’s less expensive than buying pieces alone and it means there’s zero chance of forgetting something critical to your work. On the other hand, most professional artists with real world industry experience tend to look down upon tattoo kits.

Is this reasoning justified, or are these kits just getting a bad rap? As with most things in life, the truth is a little more complicated than just a simple black or white answer. Below, we’ll examine both sides of the issue. Once you have all of the relevant facts on the subject, you can make a well-informed decision on whether or not tattoo kits are a good option for you.

The Dark Side of Tattoo Kits

Before we dive too deeply into the subject, this cannot be stressed enough: the right way to start a career or even an enthusiastic study of tattoo artistry is to find a professional artist and apprentice with them first. Self-taught tattoo artistry really is a bad idea. The risk of infection, permanent scarring, and other medical complications from someone who is not professionally trained in the craft is too great to be worth the risk.

Which leads us to the main reason why industry experts tend to look down their noses at tattoo kits: they pose a dangerous temptation for inexperienced non-apprentices to practice tattoo artistry under highly unsafe conditions. Virtually anyone can buy a cheap tattoo kit online, because most vendor websites don’t require any sort of proof of experience before they will sell you a kit. However, having to perform a background check on every single buyer is a time-consuming process that eliminates the convenience and cost-savings benefits associated with shopping online in the first place. As a compromise, many tattoo kits have educational materials included which strongly encourage safe and sanitary practices. This helps reduce the rate at which novices may inadvertently spread infections or accidentally tattoo someone under unsafe circumstances, but it’s no substitute for an official blood-borne pathogen control class (required in most states to work as a tattoo artist).

Another reason most professionals shy away from tattoo kits is because, in general, many of the available kits on the market don’t contain the best quality of products. Using low-quality materials can cause a whole host of problems. An improperly tuned machine, an inferior type of ink, or a poorly crafted needle can severely compromise the aesthetic quality of your tattoo. But that’s not all; cheap kits have a rare chance to spread infections even in perfectly sterile environments due to contaminated ink or improperly sealed disposable needles.

The Practical Side of Tattoo Kits

Even with controversy and negative attitudes, tattoo kits can still be extremely useful and are regarded highly by many professionals in the industry. There are two very good reasons for this: value and convenience.

Sure, there are tons of inferior “beginner” tattoo kits on the market trying to make a quick buck, but those are fairly easy to spot and avoid. There are several well respected manufacturers in the tattoo industry which arrange, package, and sell top-quality kits at highly affordable prices (compared to ordering the individual products and supplies separately). These cost effective savings are especially beneficial for privately owned tattoo parlors which have to manage overhead expenses in order to keep their small business going strong. And for apprentices, an affordable tattoo kit offers a low cost to entry into the business, which helps aspiring artists pursue their dreams without having to take on a huge financial risk.

The convenience of premium level kits cannot be understated, either. As mentioned above, you could undergo the tedious chore of sourcing each and every single machine component, bottle of ink, needle, and sheet of stencil paper from a different seller – or you could buy all of the necessary supplies all at once from the same source. Which option sounds better?

To take a look at some top-tier tattoo kits, click here to shop around our inventory. And don’t forget to take a look at our satisfied customer reviews!

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