While tattoo machines and power supplies get the most attention from tattoo artists, they can’t function without clip cords and foot switches. Clip cords deliver power to the tattoo machine. Standard cords have a jack to plug into the power supply and a clip cord on the other which connects to the machine. You can also use accessories such as disposable clip cord bags to keep your cords free of ink or blood to prevent contamination between customers.
It’s important to clip the cord properly to the binding posts of your tattoo gun. The positive end of the clip cord should correspond to the positive post and same with the negative. Improper connection can lead to overheating and short circuiting.
Foot switches (also known as pedals) are used to turn the tattoo machine on and off while remaining connected to the power supply. Quality foot switches have sturdy springs to prevent artists from accidentally pressing the pedal when they don’t mean to. Pedals come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights to match your needs. While most pedals available today are connected to power supply units with cords, wireless pedals are now available.
Remember to follow best practices when setting up your tattoo station. Keep your pedal to the side while setting up to avoid accidentally turning on your tattoo machine. Before starting work, you should always press the pedal to make sure your needle is running smoothly and at the speed you want. If not, adjust the power supply as needed.