I was working on an update to our manuals yesterday and had to recreate a higher resolution picture of the tattoo machine diagram we did back in 2013. I can’t believe it has been that long since we have updated some of these manuals! We have people asking every now and then about what part names are and what parts do what on a tattoo machine so I figure this would be something people need to find a lot. Here is our newly updated tattoo machine anatomy diagram for 2019. Some of the names for the diagram may be different depending on which part of the country you are from, for example, some people call the back binding post a back post, spring screw, deck screw, my friend Jerry calls them his ex-wife… etc..
A lot of people have moved on towards the rotary and the pen nowadays. I for one still bear some nostalgia for the humble coil tattoo machine. There is just something about the loud buzz, occasional spark and weight of the damn thing that harkens back to a lost era of smoke-filled drunken rooms of old school tattoo artists that have never met a nosy healthy inspector in all their lives. There was a time when the new apprentice had to burn this diagram into their minds and see it in their dreams. Today? A lot of new artists wouldn’t be able to tell you what 10 things are on a traditional coil machine.