- Written by JASMINE HAN JASMINE HAN
- Published: 01 November 2013 01 November 2013
Quiet tattoo machine favourite of some professionals, despite price tag
Hearing the buzz from a tattoo gun may scare people from getting artwork done on their bodies, but the technologically advanced Cheyenne Hawk Thunder — a rotary driven tattoo machine — is silent and some tattoo artists say it's even calms the nerves.
Steve Peace, a tattoo artist of 17 years, co-owns Immaculate Concept Tattoo and Piercing. Peace first started using this machine a few months ago.
"It makes the tattoo work that much crisper and that much cleaner when you do photo realism. Its just that little edge that you need," Peace says. "It's crazy how much easier it is to get into the skin."
This machine is not widely used, as the tubes and needles cost about 10 times more than the ones for the original machines.
Peace says he believes artistic talent should match the best equipment, as this machine, he says, produces better artwork.
"You have your talent behind you, that's one thing, but when you have a machine that gets the line that little bit crisper, why wouldn't you?" Peace says.
About the machine
The Unimax website, which supplies the tattoo machine, describes the Hawk Thunder as being counterbalanced with a stronger motor.
Mike Magee, a tattoo artist of 11 years, lives in the small town of Geraldton, Ont. and is a guest artist at Immaculate Concept.
While tattooing an abstract piece of art on his client Paul Young's arm, Magee says his wrists feel better after using the machine,
"When I had the traditional machine, I was getting a lot of wrist problems from the weight of the machine," Magee says. "Switching has definitely helped my speed as well as my wrists."
Less noise, less stress
Magee has also had a few people comment that this machine doesn't make them as nervous as other machines have.
"Some people find the traditional tattooing a little intimidating when they are first fired up," Magee says. "I've actually had a couple people (say) to me that when I start the machine they are not as nervous."
As ink is injected one millimeter beneath the skin's surface, the pain and skin damage to the client is about the same as having a tattoo done by an original machine. But clients have a clearer, cleaner and tighter tattoo to look forward to in the end, Peace says.
"What I say is if your tattoo makes you dizzy when you look at it, you know you've hit it out of the ballpark," Peace says. "You can't see any parts of the ink that aren't there, it's just so photo realistic it doesn't look like a tattoo."