What you need to know about tattoo tips
Tattoo tip is one of the core elements in every tattoo artist's toolkit. With hundreds of options in store, it is very important to know which type of tattoo tip is necessary to use for a certain design. Even if you have the budget, it is still best to be informed on what each tip does and how it differs from each other.
There are 3 different types of tattoo tips- round tips, diamond tips, and flat tips, including the magnum tips. Different types of tattoo work and needle configurations require a certain type of tattoo tip. You'll need most, if not all, so it's a good idea to keep a variety of tips on hand at all times.
To start, here are the different types of tattoo tips and their characteristics:
Diamond Tattoo Tips
Diamond tattoo tips are perfect for thin, clean, and straight lines. The “V” form in this type of tip supports the needle and prevents it from wobbling around, and this is what makes diamond tattoo tips ideal for finer line work. Diamond tattoo tips are mostly used with single needles, 3s, and 5 round liner needles, and round shader tattoo needles in particular. This tip also allows you to see the needle clearer than with round tips.
Round Tattoo Tips
Round tips are more suitable for thick lines. But they don't cradle tattoo needles the same way diamond tips do, so the tips may wobble a bit in a round tip, particularly when you're working around a curve. Use round tips with round liner needles, super tight round liners, extra super tight round liners, round shaders, and textured round shader tattoo needles.
Flat Tattoo Tips
These kind of tips are best when used with flat tattoo needles. Flat needles and flat tattoo tips are the ideal combination for tattoos that need shading in geometric areas or when making an avant-garde tattoo. A lot of tattoo artists use flat tattoo tips to create their line work because it produces neat lines. However, if you are not that experienced in this field, stick to diamond or round tips when lining.
Magnum Tattoo Tips
Magnum tattoo tips are just like flat tattoo tips, but have a wider style. You can combine it with larger group of flat needles, magnum needles, or stacked magnum needles for filling larger areas, blending or shading. With these tattoo tips, you get maximum ink flow when paired with a flat or magnum needle and magnum tattoo tip configuration. Magnum tips have two different styles- the open- mouth magnum tip, and closed- mouth magnum tip.
Cleaning tattoo tips
Using autoclavable tattoo tips will help save you money and effort when it comes to cleaning these items. However, it requires maintenance. Tattoo tips and other materials need to be cleaned thoroughly then autoclave them in between uses. Cleaning supplies like tattoo gloves, disinfecting solution, scrub brushes, and the likes are the ones you need when dealing with autoclavable tools.
You need to properly clean your tools before autoclaving them to avoid damage and baking debris onto your instruments. To clean your tools, wear your tattoo gloves, and rinse the tools with warm running water. Giving them a gentle scrub with a brush and water beforehand is suggested. All of these steps are necessary before placing these tools in the autoclave bags and run through an autoclave.
- Matthew Nelson