How to Connect a Tattoo Gun to a Power Supply

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Things You'll Need

  • Tattoo gun

  • Power supply with power cord

  • Clip cord for power supply

  • Foot pedal

The beginnings of a tattoo

Learning how to connect a tattoo machine properly and adjust the power of the machine is one of the first steps in a successful tattoo apprenticeship. The power supply controls the speed of the needle, which in turn affects the speed of the work as ink is implanted underneath the skin. Choosing an incorrect setting can lead to pain and scarring for the sitter, so learning how to properly connect and configure your tattoo machine is an important task.


Step 1

Plug in the power supply. The power supply may come with its own power cord or you may need to purchase one. Make sure the cord and the supply are the correct voltage for your outlets.

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Step 2

Plug the foot pedal into the tattoo power supply. Move the foot pedal away so it cannot be accidentally activated while setting up the machine.

Step 3

Attach the clip cord to the face of the tattoo power supply unit. There will be an area for the clip cord to be attached near the power settings for the machine.

Step 4

Attach the prongs of the clip cord to the upper and lower binding posts of the tattoo gun, near the coils. The prongs should attach securely and not come unhooked when the machine is moved.


Step 5

Press the foot pedal to test the machine. The needle should move smoothly and rapidly. Adjust the power supply settings until the machine runs smoothly at the desired speed for your piece.


Tattooing is an art that requires training. It may be illegal to tattoo a person without proper certification, training and an apprenticeship. Do not attempt to tattoo someone unless you are a trained professional.


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