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Beginner's toolkit: Discover the best apprentice tattoo kits

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Starting as a tattoo apprentice can be tricky, especially when you need to pick the right tools. Many tattoo starter kits are missing important items or have tools that aren't good, which can slow you down.

We created this guide to show you the best apprentice tattoo kits so you can start on the right foot with the equipment you need to do well.

1. Tattoo Stencil Kit

 

Tattoo Stencil Kit

 

For those looking to perfect their stencil skills, the Tattoo Stencil Kit is an indispensable tool. This kit includes:

  • 5 x A4 SPIRIT Brand Manual Impact Hectograph Carbon Paper: Authentic SPIRIT brand carbon paper known for reliable transfers. Allows for drawing directly on the paper and transferring to the skin.
  • 5 x A4 Tattoo Tracing Paper (63gsm): Ideal weight for tattoo practice, ensuring smooth tracing.
  • 1 x Professional Body Editing Pen: Water-based, super fine-tipped for freehand design directly on the skin.

2. MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Coil)

 

MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Coil)

 

Perfect for apprentices who are ready to start tattooing with traditional coil machines, the MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Coil) includes everything needed to start tattooing right away. This tattoo starter kit includes:

Equipment and tools

  • Padiy Irons Coil Tattoo Machine: A sturdy machine ideal for learning the art of tattooing.
  • Hurricane Digital Power Supply: Provides smooth and stable power for precise tattoo application.
  • Professional Clip Cord and 360-Foot Pedal: Ensures reliable connectivity and easy control during tattooing sessions.

Inks and colouring supplies

  • 3 x 1oz Grey Wash: Perfect for shading and gradient techniques.
  • 5 x 1oz Radiant Ink: Includes essential colours such as White, Blue, Black, Red, and Yellow, offering a basic palette for various designs.

Consumables and accessories

  • 50 x Assorted Tattoo Needles and 50 x Assorted Tattoo Tubes: Various sizes for different detailing and shading work.
  • 1 x 1oz Spirit Stencil Cream: For clean and clear stencil transfers.
  • 500 x Ink Cups and 1 x Box of 100 Gloves (available in sizes XS, S, M, L, or XL): Essential for maintaining hygiene and organisation.
  • 200 Machine Bags and 250 True Gent Clip Cord Sleeves: Keeps equipment clean and protected.
  • 100 Disposable Aprons, 100 Tongue Depressors, 10 x Practice Skin, and 100 Disposable Razors: Additional supplies for practice and maintaining a sterile environment.

Maintenance and cleaning

  • 1 x Petroleum Jelly, 100 x Alcohol Swabs, and 1 x Green Soap: For skin preparation and post-tattoo care.
  • 1 x 500ml Squeezy Bottle and 1 x 500ml Trigger Spray Bottle: For easy dispensing of cleaning solutions.
  • 100 x Rubber Grommets and 100 x Mixing Sticks: For machine maintenance and ink mixing.

Educational materials

  • 1 x Eye Loupe, 1 x Line Drawing Book, and 25 x Tracing Paper: Tools and resources to aid in the learning of tattoo design and application techniques.

Cleaning papers

  • 1 x Couch Roll and 1 x Wiper Roll: For keeping the working area clean and sanitary.

3. MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Rotary)

 

MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Rotary)

 

For apprentices who prefer a more modern approach, the MTS Pro Tattoo Kit (Rotary) offers a comprehensive setup with a focus on a rotary tattoo pen. This includes:

Tattoo machine and power supply

  • AVA Duke K2 Tattoo Pen: A versatile and easy-to-handle rotary tattoo pen suitable for both lining and shading.
  • Hurricane Digital Power Supply and 360-Foot Pedal: Provides reliable and adjustable power, essential for precise control during tattooing.

Inks and colouring supplies

  • 3 x 1oz Grey Wash: Ideal for subtle shading and advanced grayscale artwork.
  • 5 x 1oz Radiant Ink: A vibrant colour set including White, Blue, Black, Red, and Yellow, offering versatility in tattoo designs.

Cartridges and stencil supplies

  • 1 x True Gent Cartridges Sample Box and 1 x MTS Premium Cartridges Sample Pack: High-quality cartridges in various sizes to experiment with different techniques.
  • 1 x 1oz Spirit Stencil Cream: Ensures clear and lasting stencil marks for accurate application.

Consumables and accessories

  • 500 x Ink Cups and 1 x Box of 100 Gloves (available in sizes XS, S, M, L, or XL): Keeps the workspace organised and maintains hygiene.
  • 200 Machine Bags, 250 True Gent Clip Cord Sleeves, and 100 Disposable Aprons: Protects equipment and the artist from contamination.
  • 100 Tongue Depressors, 10 x Practice Skin, and 100 Disposable Razors: Essential for preparation and practice sessions.

Maintenance and cleaning

  • 1 x Petroleum Jelly, 100 x Alcohol Swabs, and 1 x Green Soap: For skin preparation, cleaning during and after the tattoo process.
  • 1 x 500ml Squeezy Bottle and 1 x 500 ml Trigger Spray Bottle: Convenient for dispensing cleaning solutions and green soap.
  • 100 x Rubber Grommets, 100 x Mixing Sticks, and 1 x Pigment mixer: Useful for machine setup and ink preparation.

Educational materials

  • 1 x Eye Loupe, 1 x Line Drawing Book, and 25 x Tracing Paper: Helps in refining drawing skills and transferring designs.

Cleaning papers

  • 1 x Couch Roll and 1 x Wiper Roll: Essential for maintaining a clean and hygienic work surface during tattooing sessions.

This rotary tattoo kit is designed to offer everything a beginner needs to start practicing and perfecting their craft, with a focus on the ease of use and versatility provided by the rotary machine.

4. Micropads Skin Simulation Kit

 

Micropads Skin Simulation Kit

 

A unique addition to any apprentice's arsenal is the Micropads Skin Simulation Kit. This kit includes:

4 high-quality skin-textured pads: These pads are crafted from pure silicone, which closely mimics the texture and feel of human skin. The silicone material offers a realistic surface on which apprentices can practice various tattooing techniques, from outlining to shading and colour packing.

What to look for in an apprentice tattoo kit

Quality of equipment

The equipment in your tattoo kit is crucial. It should include reliable and straightforward tattoo machines, ideally suited for a beginner yet capable of professional performance.

Whether the machines are coil or rotary, they should align with your comfort level and the style of tattooing you wish to pursue. Also, a high-quality, adjustable power supply is essential as it controls the speed and power of the machine, impacting your ability to create detailed, precise tattoos.

Range and quality of inks

Your kit should come with a diverse selection of high-quality inks. This variety allows you to experiment with different designs and styles. Make sure the inks are sterile and comply with health standards to ensure they are safe to use.

A good mix of tattoo ink colours, along with black and grey washes, will enable you to work on a wide array of tattoo designs and master various shading techniques.

Needles and cartridges

Look for a kit that includes a variety of needle sizes and types, such as liners and shaders. This assortment will help you practice different techniques and discover your preferences. It's vital that the needles are pre-sterilised and individually packaged to maintain hygiene and safety standards.

Practice materials

High-quality practice skins or silicone pads are a must. They provide a realistic texture that mimics human skin, which is essential for honing your technique without the need for human models.

Also, check for transfer papers and stencil creams, which are crucial for accurately transferring your designs onto the skin.

Hygiene and safety equipment

Your kit should contain adequate protective gear like gloves, as well as disinfectants and cleansers to maintain a sterile work environment. Also, ensure it includes barrier products such as clip cord covers, machine bags, and barrier films to protect your equipment and prevent cross-contamination.

Educational resources

Especially important for you as a beginner are guides, manuals, or access to online tutorials. These resources can provide invaluable insights into proper techniques and safety procedures, helping you build a solid foundation in your tattooing skills.

Additional accessories

Consider kits that come with extra setup tools like armrests, workstations, and organisers. These can help create a professional environment and make the tattooing process more efficient. Art supplies like pens for sketching, tracing paper, and drawing books can also be beneficial for developing your designs before tattooing.

Reviews and recommendations

Before making your purchase, take some time to research the brand and read reviews from other tattoo artists. Their experiences can provide you with insight into the reliability and performance of the kit you're considering.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right tattoo kit is an important first step in your apprenticeship. The best kit gives you the tools you need to practice safely and improve your skills. It helps you start your tattooing journey confidently and build a solid foundation for your future tattoo career.

Make sure you pick a kit that fits your needs as you grow from a beginner into a skilled and professional tattoo artist.

 

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  • Mark Joshua Luz
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