Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
How do I become a tattoo artist?
Although tempting, becoming a tattoo artist is not an easy task. One must truly put his mind and heart into it in order to become successful. The first steps are also the most important ones, since it involves finding your “creative vain”.
Learning how to draw is the basis on which you will build on. Even though many successful tattoo artists didn’t get an art degree, nowadays, it is highly recommended to do so since the competition is fierce in the quality of artwork. Apart from drawing, a tattoo artist, must grasp basic design skills and be able to work with design software such as photoshop.
The next steps are to build a strong portfolio of your work which you can later use to gain an apprenticeship at a tattoo studio. This is a more complicated tasks as there are limited apprentice positions available. These days, you might even have to pay in order to apprentice for a renown studio or tattoo artist. There is no limit to how long an apprenticeship should last but usually your mentor will have finished your training within a year or two. This is also the phase in which you choose and purchase your first tattoo supplies. How exciting!
After finishing the apprenticeship, you will want to start your journey as a tattoo artist. To do that, you will need to get licensed and gain proper certification. Inform yourself about your local licensing requirements. Usually these include some training in health, safety and basic health care concepts.
Learning the trade and aiming to continuously progress in your artwork will be an ongoing part of your career. Our recommendation is to reach out to other artists, visit and participate at tattoo conventions, attend guest spots and establish your social media and online presence.
We also want to point out some no goes and don’t does. Buying cheap tattoo kits online and tattooing from home with no guidelines or knowledge of hygiene, is not a way to become a tattoo artist, you would rather be called a “scratcher”. Don’t be the reason people seek out tattoo removals later on. Something else to avoid is to copy another artists’ work. Nobody likes a copy-cat, so simply use references and turn them into unique pieces of art rather than copying the work of another artist.
What equipment is needed for tattooing?
In order to offer tattooing services, there are lots of products needed to create a professional and safe/sterile tattooing environment. We will not go into such detail, since regulations and laws differ by country/state. If we exclude the medical, sterilization and preparation equipment needed, the basic equipment to create a tattoo is quite simple. You will need: a tattoo machine, power supply, clip cord, foot pedal, needles and tattooing ink. At least that’s the basic set up that is used traditionally.
Due to the recent technological advancement, the basic set up has improved greatly. Nowadays it is possible to purchase a tattoo machine that has the shape of a pen that features a built-in power supply. Basically, you can now tattoo wirelessly. As a leading tattoo equipment manufacturer, we offer the Stigma® Force wireless pen machine.
Can anyone buy a tattoo machine?
Although it is legal for anyone to purchase a tattoo machine, we urge any buyer who is not a licensed tattooist to practice on fake skin and oranges before tattooing on living beings.
What is the best tattoo machine for beginners?
The Stigma product line is established in a way that every artist and apprentice can find the perfect machine that fits his needs and wants. If you are a beginner we recommend the following machines:
Stigma® Thorn pen machine: The Thorn is easy and comfortable to use. With a solid hit and a stroke length of 3.5mm it is an all-round master (it’s also available with 3.0mm and 4.0mm stroke length), smooth and powerful, great to perform every tattooing technique. Since it is only the shape and size of a grip you will be amazed by how enjoyable it is to use on a daily basis. The Thorn is chosen by professional and beginner artists due to its quality build and attractive price.
Stigma® Stylist pen machine: The Stylist is a convenient tool that offers versatility and optimum performance. Its adjustable stroke length allows you to modify the stroke length from 3mm to 3.7mm and anywhere in between. The adjustment can be done while working just by tuning the upper part of the machine. Artists choose the Stylist pen over others because it has an ergonomic design, it is lightweight, powerful and is in a good pricing range too.
Stigma® Hyper V3 machine (non-pen): The Hyper machine series are legendary tattoo machines in the industry. Every renown artist has worked with a Hyper machine during their career and that is for good reason. The Hyper V3 is still the most flexible tattoo machine on the market, with a stroke length that can be adjusted from 3.6mm all the way to 6mm, that can be tuned in seconds, which makes it the softest rotary out there. Beginner tattooists as well as professionals prefer to work with the Hyper V3 because of its flexibility and longevity.
What is the best rotary machine?
Although this question is asked very frequently it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer. Factors such as: the tattooing style, technique and personal preferences in a machine’s features play a big role when deciding which rotary machine to purchase. Since each artist is unique in these factors, we can say with certainty that the choice depends on what each artist desires in a machine.
What tattoo machines do professionals use?
Although there has been a shift from artists using coil machines to mainly working with rotary machines, there are still artists who prefer working with coil machines or perform more traditional tattooing techniques such as Tebori, Sak Yant, Hand-poke etc.
Most professional tattoo artists use tattoo machines that are manufactured by known brands in the industry such as Stigma-Rotary®. That’s not only because they are popular brands, but because they offer quality tattoo equipment created by educated and highly experienced engineers. Manufacturers such as these, help shape the industry and create a more enjoyable tattooing environment for the artist and his clients.
Where to buy tattoo equipment?
In case you cannot purchase products directly from the manufacturer, we urge artists to buy their tattoo supplies at authorized distributors. Official tattoo suppliers offer a larger range of products which are authentic and of top quality. If you purchase your equipment from eBay or Amazon, there is a high risk, that you will receive a counterfeit product which was built with cheap components and may cause damage when tattooing or simply malfunction and break down. Before buying any product, inform yourself about the manufacturer and always check their website to see their current product line. We receive way too many messages from frustrated artists who didn’t inform themselves prior to their purchase and invested in counterfeit equipment that broke down or lacks expected performance.
Where can I purchase a Stigma-Rotary® Machine?
Stigma-Rotary® machines are only available to purchase through our official distributors for the moment.
Can I still purchase a previous machine/product models?
Unfortunately no, the product line that is currently available is the one you see on our website.
A few of our distributors might still have previous models available, however, please make sure you purchase only from one of the official distributors listed on our website to avoid counterfeit products.
Stigma® does and will continue to provide repair service (including spare parts) for machine models that are not in our current product line. Get in touch with our technical support team to learn more.
What type of cartridges can I use with Stigma-Rotary® machines?
You can use any conventional cartridges with Stigma® tattoo machines. Make sure that you use needle cartridges that have a built-in membrane to ensure that no liquids and/or inks leak into the machine and the motor.
The best option are the Stigma-Rotary® Advanced Safety Cartridges.
Where do I find the serial number?
All products manufactured by Stigma-Rotary® wear a unique serial number to ensure their authenticity.
Tattoo machines: have the serial number engraved on the machine body. On pen machines, you will find the serial number when unscrewing the grip.
Comfy Click Grip: you will find it when unscrewing the grip.
Motorplugs: have the serial number engraved on the motorplugs’ body
How do I become a Stigma® ProArtist?
We receive sponsorship requests on a daily basis by artists from all around the world. We recommend artists to produce the best work that they can and always try to progress in their artwork. If you want to become part of the ProTeam, you should tag @stigmarotary in your work and add the hashtag #stigmarotary for us to be able to follow your work and growth. If we see outstanding work done with Stigma® equipment, we might offer you a sponsorship. Another highly important factor is that artists who want to apply for a sponsorship must participate at tattoo conventions.
Give or No Give?
There is no answer to this question; some artists prefer machines with give or adjustable give while some others prefer machines with no give at all. Both types of machines can produce quality work; it all depends on the artist’s technique and tattooing style. If you are confused and you don’t know which is better we recommend you experiment with both types to find what works best for you.
What is adjustable give? Which Stigma® machines feature it?
What is digital give and boost? Which Stigma® devices feature it?
The digital give acts similar to the regular (mechanical) give but with a few differences.
On the Force wireless pen:
The motor of the Force as a default runs in constant mode which means the stitching speed is not
affected by the skin’s resistance.
Enabling give will allow the machine to respond to the skin’s resistance and become softer. By choosing between 3 levels of give you can adjust the sensitivity and softness.
GIVE-1 is subtle and allows for easier shading, GIVE on the 2nd and 3rd level will make
the machine even softer and sensitive to the skin.
Choosing the best option is subjective. You should experiment and pick the one that works best for you.
Enabling boost will allow the machine to run without dropping the stitching speed but
it will also respond to the skin’s resistance and become punchier and faster on difficult areas
to ensure optimal results.
The digital give & boost smart function is also available on the Pilot Wireless System which allows you to use it on any machine, regardless the brand. (results may vary depending on machine type, motor etc)
What is stroke length? Which Stigma® machines feature it?
Stroke length is the distance the needle travels while the motor is running.
For example, a machine with a stroke length of 4.5mm would have a longer distance to travel which allows it to go deep into the skin and with great force making it ideal for color packing or bold lines while shorter stroke lengths are better for shading techniques.
Power Units & Wireless
How do I charge the Force Power Pack? What is the charging time?
To charge your Force Power Pack simply use any USB-C cable and plug it into a USB power brick like a phone charger. You can also charge it in your car, laptop, power bank etc. Since the Force Power Pack has pass through operation built-in, you can also charge the device while working.
The charging time of the Force power pack is around 90-120 minutes.
How do I update my Stigma® wireless devices?
In order to update the firmware on your Stigma® wireless device you’ll need to download myStigma® app (available soon on Android & iOS) and follow the instructions on screen.
How do I pair the Force wireless pen with the Pilot Foot Switch?
Long press the ON/OFF button on the Force to enter the Settings menu.
Navigate using the UP and DOWN arrow buttons and go to 3.Footswitch.
Press the + (plus) button once to enter the menu and once again to start the pairing process.
Press the Pilot Foot Switch 3-5 times and you'll see the success pairing message on the Force's screen.
Press the ON/OFF button again to exit.
Stigma® Advanced Safety Cartridges
Are Stigma® cartridges compatible with RPG Click grips?
No, Stigma® Advanced Safety Cartridges are unique and will only fit in to a Stigma® grip.
Can I use Stigma® cartridges with machines from different brands?
Yes, you can use the Comfy Click Grip which is compatible with almost all rotary and coil machines out there. Due to its interchangeable receiver, the Comfy can be used with either Stigma® Advanced Safety Cartridges or any other major cartridge brand.
There are two versions available: one with a backstem connection and another with a screw-on vise.
Alternatively, you can choose to use the Stigma® Disposable Grips which is also available with a backstem or screw-on vise connection type and again will fit most rotary and coil machines out there.
Please note that the Armor Disposable Grips are different and compatible with all standard cartridges.
Repair service & warranty
How long does my warranty last?
Stigma® products are warrantied to be free from manufacturing defects for 12 months from the date of purchase. Stigma® will repair manufacturing faults of the machines free of charge within 1 year from date of purchase. Proof of purchase/invoice is required to claim warranty.
The motor is generally not covered by warranty because of the many factors that have influence on the lifespan of a motor when it was in use and a manufacturing fault can be excluded. Please note that poor quality power supplies may reduce the lifespan of the motor. It is very important that “clean” electricity without fluctuations is used to run a machine.
Why and how is the warranty voided?
The 1-year warranty is voided if the product shows signs of:
- machine being dropped
- poor/improper maintenance
- ink/liquid within the internal body and motor components
- being tampered with
- unauthorized repair or modification
- parts to be worn out from excessive/improper use of product
- electrical or mechanical overload from natural wear
- not following user manual/instructions
- having used the wrong type of lubricant on a machine
Does Stigma® provide a repair service or spare parts?
Stigma® offers service and spare parts at reasonable prices. We will service / repair products at our workshops as affordable as possible for a minimal charge (20 Euro) as repair service charge additional to shipping costs etc.
That includes machine models that are not in our current product line. Get in touch with our technical support team to repair service your machine/device.
How can I help to speed up the repair process?
Repair/service time is accelerated when getting in touch with our technical support team directly instead of contacting the seller of the product. Our distribution partners can only give very limited technical advice and do not carry spare parts or offer repairs. Often, Tattoo Supply stores collect products before sending them to a manufacturer for repair/service, which means that the process will take much longer. If you get in touch with us directly, you will have your device/machine back in no time.
What happens, if I try to fix my device/machine by myself?
The 12-month warranty (from date of purchase) will be voided if the product has been tampered with or shows signs of unauthorized repair/modification.
How do I clean my Stigma® machine?
Remember to always bag/wrap your equipment when setting up your workstation to eliminate any risk of cross contamination. Make sure that you use needle cartridges that have a built-in membrane to ensure that no liquids and/or inks leak into the machine and the motor.
The best option are the Stigma-Rotary® Advanced Safety Cartridges.
Pen machines: you must unscrew the grip and autoclave it (do not use ultrasonic or any other corrosive chemicals). Remember to only autoclave the grip and no other part of the machine since it will damage it permanently. After autoclaving the grip make sure to smear a small amount of lubricant (Super Lube/synthetic grease) in the inside of the grip before screwing it back onto the machine.
Other machines: machines such as the Hyper V3, V4 and the Shot must be sanitized by cleaning / wiping the outer surface thoroughly with a disinfectant damp cloth or a paper towel previously soaked in alcohol (isopropyl).
Do I have to lubricate or maintain my machine/device?
That depends on the machine model. You will find all necessary instructions about lubricating/maintaining your tattoo machine/device in the user manual that came with the machine when you first purchased it.
Remember to only use synthetic grease (Super Lube) to lubricate your equipment if necessary.
Using oil lubricants is not recommended and should be avoided.
What type of power supply will I need?
All Stigma® Rotary machines work with almost any power supply but good quality power supplies from known brands as well as the Pilot Power Supply are strongly recommended.
If you cannot click your device, then the digital version of the manual is not ready yet and you should check again later.
We offer service (including spare parts and repairs) for all of our machine models including those that have long ceased to be part of our current product range. The repair process will be as reasonable and inexpensive as possible and if it is not covered by the warranty, you’ll be informed of all costs before the repair is carried out.
Please note that in order for us to offer you efficient service and to give you the best possible advice, it is necessary to describe the issue with your machine or the spare parts you want to order as precisely as possible and always state the exact product model (eg 6W Motorplug V2, Hyper V3 etc) and the serial number which you can find permanently engraved or lasered on the machine.
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