How to Set up a Coil Tattoo Machine

How to Set up a Coil Tattoo Machine? 2022

How to Set up a Coil Tattoo Machine? 2022

As any tattoo artist knows, having the right equipment is essential for creating quality tattoos. Among the most important pieces of equipment is the tattoo machine. One type of tattoo machine gaining popularity is the coil tattoo machine. Coil machines are known for their reliability and precision, making them good for beginners and experienced tattoo artists. If you’re thinking of investing in a coil machine, you need to know about setting it up.

What is a coil tattoo machine?

A coil tattoo machine is a type of tattoo machine that uses coils to create the tattoo design. The coil machine has a power supply that provides the electrical current to the coils. The coils are connected to the armature bar, and they move up and down, which makes the needle move in and out of the skin. The power supply can control the speed of the needle movement.

What will you need to set up a coil tattoo machine?

  • Tattoo machine
  • Coils (two)
  • Spring (one)
  • Armature bar
  • Capacitor (electrolytic capacitor, 0.01µF to 0.1µF, 400v or higher)
  • Footswitch
  • Clip cord
  • Power supply

How to set up your coil tattoo machine?

  1. First, you will need to gather all of the necessary supplies mentioned above.
  2. Next, you will need to assemble the machine. Start by attaching the coils to the machines’ studs. Make sure that the coils are facing the right way, with the north poles pointing towards the front of the machine. 
  3. Once the coils are in place, attach the spring to the rear stud. Make sure the spring is oriented correctly, with the coils pointing to the rear of the machine.
  4. Next, attach the armature bar to the front stud. The armature bar should be positioned to level with the coils. 
  5. Now, it’s time to connect the capacitor. Connect the positive lead to the front stud and the negative lead to the rear stud.
  6. Finally, connect the footswitch and clip cord to their respective terminals on the power supply. 

Your coil tattoo machine is now ready to use! Test it out before you start tattooing clients to ensure that everything is working properly.

How do you troubleshoot common issues with coil tattoo machines?

If you’re in the market for a coil tattoo machine, you may be wondering how to troubleshoot common issues that can arise. Fortunately, most problems with coil machines can be easily resolved with a little bit of know-how. One of the most prevalent difficulties is poor contact between the skin and the needles. This can be caused by various factors, including incorrect needle depth or a loose contact screw. If you’re having trouble with poor contact, try adjusting the needle depth or tightening the contact screw. Another common issue is improper tension on the springs. This can cause the machine to run too fast or slow, leading to premature spring wear.

Finally, if your machine is skipping or stalling, the power supply is likely not providing enough current. Try replacing the power supply or using a higher-voltage power source. With a little bit of care and maintenance, your coil tattoo machine will provide years of trouble-free service. However, this can cause the machine to run too fast or slow, leading to premature spring wear. If you think your machine’s springs are too tight or too loose, consult your owner’s manual for instructions on adjusting them.

Below is a bit of detailed help for the problems you may face while setting up a coil tattoo machine.

How to install the tube and needle?

1. Unscrew the back cap of the gun to open it up.

2. Take your tube and screw it into the front portion of the gun where the needle will go.

3. Hand-tighten the connection until it’s snug, being careful not to over-tighten and crack the tube.

4. Next, insert your needle into the tube. Again, hand-tighten the connection until it’s snug. 

How to fix the tension on the springs?

1. To adjust the tension on the springs, start by unscrewing the back cap of the gun.

2. Next, locate the screws that hold the springs in place. These will be located on either side of the machine.

3. Use a screwdriver to loosen or tighten these screws until the spring tension is where you want it.

How to set the stroke length of a coil tattoo machine?

1. The stroke length of a coil tattoo machine is adjusted by loosening or tightening the set screw on the armature bar.

2. To adjust the stroke length, start by unscrewing the back cap of the machine.

3. Next, locate the set screw on the armature bar. This will be located near the front of the machine.

4. Use a screwdriver to loosen or tighten this screw until you have achieved the desired stroke length.

How to set the voltage?

1. To set the voltage, start by unscrewing the back cap of the gun.

2. Locate the voltage adjustment knob on the power supply.

3. Use a screwdriver to turn this knob until the voltage is where you want it. 

Once you’re happy with the setting, screw the back cap back onto the machine. Then test out to assure the smooth running of the machine before you start tattooing clients. 

If you’re having trouble adjusting anything on your tattoo machine, consult a professional tattoo artist for help.

How to take care of your coil tattoo machine to last longer?

1. Be sure to clean and sterilize your machine after each use.

2. Avoid getting the machine wet or exposing it to excessive humidity.

3. Store the machine in a cool, dry place when not in use.

4. Inspect the machine regularly for any signs of wear and tear.

5. Take it to a professional tattoo artist for maintenance and tune-ups.

You can keep your coil tattoo machine running smoothly for many years by following these tips!


Q: How do I choose the best coil tattoo machine for my needs?

A: When choosing a coil tattoo machine, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Size and weight of the machine: You want a comfortable machine to hold and easy to maneuver.
  • Type of coils: There are two types of coils commonly used in tattoo machines: round and flat wounds. Round wound coils are more common and tend to be less expensive, while flat wound coils are less common but provide a smoother tattooing experience.
  • Voltage: Most coil tattoo machines run on either 4 volts or 8 volts. A 4-volt machine may be all you need if you’re starting. But if you’re looking for more power, an 8-volt machine may be better.
  • Price: Coil tattoo machines can range from around $100 to $500. Therefore, it’s important to find a machine within your budget that will meet your needs.

Q: How often should I oil my machine?

A: It’s good to oil your machine after every use to keep it running smoothly and prevent rusting.

Q: What sort of oil should I use on my machine?

A: You can use any light oil, such as 3-in-1 oil or sewing machine oil. Avoid using heavier oils, such as WD-40, as this can gum up the work.

Q: How do I know if my machine is tuned properly?

A: Your machine is properly tuned when it runs smoothly and evenly. If you find any unusual noises or the machine seems to be running rough, it’s time for a tune-up.


We’ve walked you through how to set up your coil tattoo machine. It can be tricky, but with a little patience and some practice, you should be able to get it right. Once your machine is set up, make sure to take care of it to last as long as possible. Keep your tubes and needles clean and in good condition, and always use fresh ink when working with a client. Now that you know how to set up your coil tattoo machine. Then get started on creating beautiful works of art!

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