Your tattoo power supply is the backbone of your set-up. It needs to be both reliable and generate a steady output of power to keep your machine going. But there’s more! Tattoo power supplies have made big steps forward in recent years. From simple power horses to advanced devices assisting you to get the best result from the tattoo session.
Find out what you really need
When looking for the best tattoo power supply you should ask yourself first: What do you really need? Are you just looking for a stable tattoo power supply that simply does its job and is easy to use or are you looking for a more advanced option with lots of features?
Tattoo power supplies can be divided into two categories: simple and advanced. First, we’ll have a look at the simple tattoo power supplies that we think are the real showstoppers. After that, we will have a look at the more advanced options, covering wireless tattoo options too.
The best compact tattoo power supplies
These tattoo power supplies are small, handy, easy-to-use and let you concentrate fully on your tattooing while operating flawlessly in the background.
This is our selection for the best tattoo power supply (compact):
The Critical Atom comes with one big dial, which you can turn to adjust the power, with a colour changing light indicator around it showing you instantly where you’re at. So instead of tattooing by Volt, you tattoo by power colour.
The Critical Atom and Atom X feature a Neodymium magnet that holds steady on any magnetic object. Upwards, downwards, sideways, you call it.
The successor, the Critical Atom X, takes the concept one step further with a digital, numerical display as well as the colour indicator. Furthermore, you can change between two pre-sets at the click of a button.
The dial has also been changed for up and down arrows you can touch to adjust the power, making the Critical Atom X easier to wrap and use during the tattooing process.
Because of its handy size and light weight of only 180 grams, you can carry this tattoo power supply literally everywhere.
The latest addition to the Critical Atom power family is the AtomX-R. This update enables wireless connection with the CXP19 wireless footswitch and brings a dual output, connecting to two machines with multi-machine presets.
Now that’s what we call an update!
Their solid quality, features and unbeatable prices make each of the Critical Atom series one of the best tattoo power supplies available.
TATSoul Nash: The TATSoul Nash has a great vintage look that combines durability perfectly with modern technology. It has a non-slip silicone base and a strong magnet to stick absolutely wherever you want it.
It provides a reliable, tightly regulated power that can be controlled via a dial with a surrounding colour voltage LED and number. It features ‘Jump Start’ and ‘Foot Pedal’ toggle modes to have you covered with all machines and foot switches. Due to its compact size, the TATSoul Nash works great as a travel mate.
If you travel a lot, you might want to check out the TATSoul Convention Power Supply that offers a robust and steady quality at a good value and serves more than well as a backup tattoo power supply.
The Cheyenne tattoo power supplies became popular at the same time as Cheyenne tattoo machines. This was because of a (then) modern compact design, reliability, and the possibility to connect Cheyenne machines without an adapter as well as a footswitch (adapter for other machines always included).
The PU II even offers two machine connectors and lets you choose which one should be running. The power indicator is clearly visible on top and, unlike the usual output in Volts, is in Hertz. These tattoo power supplies run from 60 Hz to 160 Hz and power any machine.
Cheyenne released a successor for the older PUs which is named PU IV. We will cover this tattoo power supply in the next section.
The best advanced power supplies
These tattoo power supplies are a little more advanced. They offer a lot of features to make your life in the studio and on the road more convenient.
These are our favourites for the best tattoo power supply (advanced):
It has the same handy features as its predecessors like an easy-to-read, full-colour display screen, for which you can even choose a preferred colour scheme. All tattoo power supplies from the XR Series have a session meter built-in that lets you set an hourly rate and track the session, calculating the price (in different currencies) for the tattoo in real-time.
The XRs provide endless features such as voltage pre-sets with several machine memory modes, touch user interface, pedal override and output information in Volt, Amps, Speed (Hz), Duty Cycle (%), and STL.
The Critical XR-D comes with an integrated oscilloscope for a visual approach to coil machine tuning.
Critical CX2-G2 Series: The CX2-G2 Series by Critical is based on the CX1-G2, which is famous for its compact design and robust quality. These tattoo power supplies can be easily bagged hygienically with a machine or bottle bag.
The CX2-G2 stands out with a session machine run timer, total machine run time (odometer) and a session currency meter that is based on the hourly rate set by the user. Jump Start is enabled for hard starting rotaries and you can run your machine without a foot pedal thanks to a pedal override button.
The power supply is fully digitally controlled by a microprocessor that is able to save pre-sets with 2, 4 or 6 machine memory modes. All information for output in Volts, Amps, Speed (Hz), Duty Cycle (%) and STL are visible on the display.
Eikon EMS420: Famous for their high-quality tattoo power supplies, Eikon’s EMS420 is one of the most precise devices on the market. The unusual design makes it easy to cover and clean.
The capacitive touch user interface allows control of all adjustments by touch, even when covered and used with medical gloves.
One of the best tattoo supplies on the market.
Eikon ES 500: The ES 500 by Eikon not only looks great! A quality design that is easy to integrate in your workplace.
Features including dual machine ports, 360° display rotation, multiple pre-sets, USB charging ports and wireless operation via footswitch make the Eikon ES 500 a serious contender for the title of the best tattoo power supply on the market when released.
Cheyenne PU IV: This modern tattoo power supply has a powerful magnet to make it hold fast on magnetic surfaces and can be converted easily with the integrated clip-on stand to stand up on any table.
The device is simple to operate with only 3 buttons and an on/off switch at the side, yet provides all you need and looks absolutely futuristic. The PU IV is the ideal companion for the Cheyenne SOL series.
You can choose between two display modes: voltage display (4.7V – 12.5V in steps of 0.1V) or bar graph display. An integrated stopwatch helps you track your working time.
Hover Power Supply by Darklab, FK Irons: The Hover is surely one of the best tattoo power supplies. Just recently released, this revolutionary power supply works with air gesture control. That means you don’t need to touch the device to control parameters, so there is absolutely no chance of cross-contamination.
The Hover is fully compatible with the upcoming Darklab LightningBolt and connects to other Darklab/FK Irons products as well as wireless devices via Bluetooth to upgrade firmware from the mobile app. And you can even charge your mobile device on two USB-ports.
The 180° rotatable screen displays all the information you need including machine/session timer and is able to save 9 different settings. The anti-slip magnetic base makes the Hover easy to fit on your workspace. This is the future.
Nobody is really a fan of cables; you trip over them or accidentally pull a cable and your new tattoo machine jumps of the table. Artists want to be free and move freely. This can only work when you are not attached to cords and that’s what wireless power supplies are for.
We’ve listed an overview of the best compact and advanced tattoo power supplies and taken a look at wireless options. Now it’s up to you to choose your favourite… or go wireless already?