How to load tattoo ink

Written by marie cartwright
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How to load tattoo ink
(tattoo image by no-FaCe from

A tattoo gun makes creating body art a far easier process than the traditional stick-and-ink methods of old. Getting ink onto the tattoo needle itself is not difficult, but successfully using a tattoo gun on somebody else's skin takes years of serious practice. When assembling your gun and ink, make sure that you are working in a clean, hygienic setting. Always wear rubber gloves when setting up a tattoo gun and handling ink.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tattoo gun
  • Unwrapped tattoo needle
  • Tattoo ink caps

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  1. 1

    Unwrap the needle from its sterile package. Do not use the needle if the package is open or torn. Insert the needle into the tattoo gun. Hook the curved end of the needle over the plastic catch on the gun frame. This will hold the needle in place.

  2. 2

    Slide the needle tube over the needle until the needle pokes out from the hole at the front. Do not knock the needle against the sides of the tube, as it can dull the tip. Clamp the tube down once it is in place.

  3. 3

    Lay out your cups of ink in your work area. Make sure you have all the colours that you will need to complete your tattoo.

  4. 4

    Dip the tip needle into the ink cup. Tap the foot pedal controlling the gun a few times. This will draw some ink up into the ink reservoir in the needle tube. Do not completely fill the reservoir, as this will cause the ink to puddle onto the skin. Refill the reservoir as necessary.

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