Choosing the right power supply for your tattoo shop is vital to getting the most out of your equipment. There are three types of power supplies available: analog, digital, and wireless. Digital supplies have a digital read which makes it easy for artists to read the output and identify if the supply is causing any issues. Analog supplies have an analog display, which reads like a barometer. Artists unfamiliar with analog displays have to stay close to the machine to read output levels. Wireless power supplies are fairly new to the scene, but they have the advantage of not requiring direct power sources (e.g. chords).
There are several factors to consider when choosing your power supply. Different machines require different voltages. Today’s power supplies are available from 1.5 volts to 20 volts, with digital power supplies typically having higher voltages than analogs. Depending on the number of machines you use, you may want to consider purchasing a power supply that hooks up more than one machine.
Size and weight may also matter depending on the type of work you do. Portable power supplies are available for the traveling tattoo artist who does work at various studios. Semi-portable power supplies are most often kept in one studio (though they technically are portable, moving can be cumbersome). Large laboratory-size supplies are also available exclusively for use in one studio.
Prices of power supplies vary depending on all these factors. Remember the most expensive units may not be necessary depending on your needs. Also keep in mind that certain tattoo machines are only compatible with certain power supplies. Since every tattoo artist uses different equipment, it’s your responsibility to review their requirements and pick the supply that’s best for you.