The 7 Best Tattoo Kits

Updated January 20, 2018 by Tina Morna Freitas

7 Best Tattoo Kits
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. With one of these comprehensive tattoo kits, you can ink up any part of your body in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Many include instructional manuals, practice skin, ink, and other materials to get you trained and ready to roll. But remember, a tattoo is for life, so don't go too crazy until your skills are up to snuff. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tattoo kit on Amazon.

7. Shark Pro

Despite the name, the Shark Pro is only suitable as a beginner set. It's low cost makes it the perfect choice to start learning how to tattoo, but the inconsistent power source means you may want to upgrade before moving onto human skin.
  • includes 4 different machines
  • dvd of reference designs
  • no ink included
Brand Shark
Model pending
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Pirate Face Grinder

Beginners will love the instructional materials that come with the Pirate Face Grinder. The 2 hour DVD along with the 240 page instructional booklet cover all the fundamentals of learning the art, plus tips for planning out your career.
  • 8 stainless steel tips
  • machines do not come pre-tuned
  • included ink does not stick well
Brand Pirate Face Tattoo
Model pending
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Eyepower S-R01

The Eyepower S-R01 is an economical choice if you want to outfit yourself with just the basics. It comes with two ready-to-use guns and a variety of different-sized line and shading needles. It also comes with a lockable, lightweight plastic kit box.
  • even includes practice skin
  • compact for easy storage
  • instructional dvd is poor
Brand eyepower
Model S-R01
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Rehab Ink Complete

The Rehab Ink Complete comes with a cool skull ink holder and seven half-ounce bottles of Mom's Millennium ink. The two included guns have low-vibration frames and high quality brass contacts to ensure you can create consistent designs.
  • includes four gel grips
  • guns have accurate needle placement
  • does not come with a case
Brand Rehab Ink
Model pending
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Solong TK356

The Solong TK356 comes with forty 8 ml bottles of colored ink and one large 10 oz bottle of blank ink, so you should be able to get through a lot of designs before needing to order more. It also includes 10 different sizes of stainless steel needle tips.
  • amazing value set
  • all inks are gamma ray sterilized
  • foot pedal remote is poor quality
Brand Solong Tattoo
Model TK356
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Dragonhawk Complete

The Dragonhawk Complete lives up to its name, as it has everything you need to get started as a skin artist. The four high quality machines included have copper coils and steel frames, and they are each tuned for fine lining, shading and coloring.
  • locking travel case
  • stainless steel foot pedal
  • digital power supply
Brand Dragon Hawk
Model pending
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Hildbrandt Pro 3

The Hildbrandt Pro 3 is a kit you can continue using beyond the beginner and apprentice phases of your inking career. The dual power supply allows you to keep two machines running at once, and the kit comes with a membership to the "Teach Me to Tattoo" website.
  • seven ink colors
  • touchscreen display
  • multiple liner and shader settings
Brand Hildbrandt
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Five Best Reasons To Get A Tattoo

The decision to get a tattoo is an intensely personal one, not to be made lightly, as tattoo removal can be time consuming, expensive, and painful. If you find a design that moves you, getting that tattoo can be just as satisfying as a getting killer pair of designer heels. But whereas fashions come and go, tattoos are here to stay, and you can't donate them to the local Goodwill.

Getting a tattoo on a whim is the leading cause of tattoo regret. Here are some of the most popular "regret-free" reasons to take the plunge and get that first tattoo.

In Memoriam. A memorial tattoo can be in honor of a deceased loved one, or a tribute to a special time in your life. These tattoos can help keep a special memory close to your heart, literally, if you choose to put it there.

Become an art collector. The most talented tattoo artists can do so much more than copy a photo or choose a special font for your favorite quote. If you find the right artist, you can turn your arm or your back into a living, breathing art gallery.

You have traditional values. When you choose to get a tattoo, you are taking part in a group ritual that is thousands of years old. In a society that has so few rituals anymore, getting a tattoo can offer an instant feeling of camraderie with others who have been inked.

Do it for love. If you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve, here's a way to do it without even saying a word, and without any sleeves. While it might be a good idea to hold off on getting inked with the name of that awesome girl you met online last month, a tattoo honoring your significant other or children can be a beautiful thing.

Express yourself. Tattoos are all about sharing something personal about yourself in a very public way. If you are more of an introvert, in might be best to put your tattoo in a place that is easily covered, so you only need to expose your true self when the mood strikes.

Should I Become A Professional Tattoo Artist?

Most professionals will concur that the path to becoming a tattoo artist begins with being an artist. Beginner tattoo kits can be a great way to experiment and practice, but success in the industry goes far beyond following patterns and pre-made designs.

Creativity and talent is key, but art classes like art history, color theory, and composition/life drawing classes will put you on the right path of honing your skills and building a portfolio.

The most important and exciting step in your career as a tattoo artist is to find an apprenticeship with a reputable artist in your area. An apprenticeship can last anywhere from six months to two years, and this is just the beginning.

The majority of tattoo artists are self-employed, so entrepreneurial and customer service skills are a must. Don't panic if these things don't come naturally to you, a good apprenticeship will get you prepared. You will not just be learning how to use the tattoo machine, you will be learning how to connect with clients and run a business.

Finally, all states have licensing requirements you will need to fulfill before opening up your own shop. Since regulations vary greatly by state, here is another way you can benefit from a mentor who really knows their stuff.

A Brief History Of The Tattoo

Although the oldest-known tattoos were found on the Iceman, a 5,300 year old mummy discovered in a glacier by German tourists, archaeologists have unearthed possible tools that suggest tattooing could have been practiced during the Upper Paleolithic period in Europe, over 10,000 years ago.

Much like today, ancient cultures had a myriad of reasons, from religious to decorative, for tattooing one another. Iceman and his unusual arrangement of tattoos have scientists convinced that some tattoos were also intended for therapeutic measures. Nearly all his sixty-one tattoos correspond to classic acupuncture points, a practice once thought to have originated nearly two thousand years later in Asia.

The first tattoo artists did not have needles and ink at their disposal, but used a similar technique by rubbing charcoal into fine incisions. And they certainly did not have access to disposable gloves and individual needles. That's a far cry from modern techniques that are now safer than ever for both tattoo artist and client alike.

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Last updated on January 20, 2018 by Tina Morna Freitas

Tina Morna Freitas is a writer who lives in Chicago with her family and two cats. She enjoys making and sipping margaritas and aspires to be a crazy cat lady once all the children are grown.

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