How to Make a Tattoo Gun Out of Hair Clippers

Making your own tattoo gun is a fun project that can help you practice your skills as a tattoo artist. There are a lot of DIY methods of making a homemade tattoo gun. In this situation, you might be wondering, “how to make a tattoo gun out of hair clippers?”

Clip one end of an 11-gauge guitar string onto the moving blade of the electric hair clippers. On the side of the clippers opposite the side on which the guitar string is attached, glue or tape an empty ink tube from a Bic ballpoint pen.

Read on to know more about the fundamentals of a homemade tattoo gun, how to make it from hair clippers, and the potential dangers of getting tattoos.

What Do You Need to Make A Homemade Tattoo Gun?

Before going on to making the tattoo gun with hair clippers, it is important for you to understand the basics of making a homemade tattoo gun.

  • A source of power is the first item you’ll require. A battery pack can be used, although it is not advised due to the potential for instability.

In that case, picking up a foot pump power source from a local tattoo parlor is the best alternative. You can get them without spending a fortune, and they will simplify your life immensely.

  • Then, a container for the needles is required. A tattoo grip can be purchased from a store, however, an old brush handle maybe something similar can do in a pinch. Make sure it’s been properly cleaned and sterilized before use.
  • The actual needles are what you’ll need now. You may either buy them already sterilized from a tattoo parlor or do it yourself. If you’re going to be doing it yourself, give them a good five minutes in the boiling water.

After gathering all of your materials, you can begin assembly. Put the needles on the grip first, making sure they’re on there securely. Turn on the grip after you’ve connected the power source to it. Your tattoo gun ought to be operational at this point.

Tattoo Gun Out of Hair Clippers: Step-by-Step Guide

By following a few fundamental steps, you may convert a pair of hair clippers into a tattoo gun. These steps are as follows:

Things You’ll Need

Before starting any DIY project it is important to have an understanding of the items you will need before. For this project, you will need the following things.

  • Electric hair clippers
  • 11-gauge guitar string
  • BIC ballpoint pen
  • Tape or superglue
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Screwdriver

Step 01: Remove the Metal Guard

A piece of an 11-gauge guitar string, attached with needle-nose pliers to the electric hair clippers’ spinning blade, will make a handy pulley. It’s possible that you’ll need to use a screwdriver to free the metal guard from the blade.

Step 02: Glue a Bic Pen

Glue or tape the empty ink cylinder from a Bic pen to the end of the clippers against the side where the guitar chord is fastened to the blade.

Step 03: Insert the Guitar String

Run the guitar string’s loose end through the ink cartridge. The needle can be held more securely by the use of the tube.

For maximum sharpness, use the needlenose pliers to slant the guitar string’s cut; then, trim the string so that it is just long enough to be drawn into the blank ink tube and then released when the clippers are turned on.

Tattooing practice requires inking the guitar string/needle, turning on the clippers, and applying the ink to a banana, potato, or even other fruit/vegetable with a thin, edible peel.

Dangers of Makeshift Tattoo Gun

A makeshift tattoo gun made from hair clippers is not safe to be used on humans. This is because the needle will jiggle back and forth as it is not the real deal.

Because of this, it is unable to tattoo a sharp line. Because of the rudimentary nature of the tattoo machine, the depth to which the needle is inserted cannot be adjusted, as you can with a real tattoo gun.

Therefore, it’s possible that the needle won’t be able to penetrate human skin sufficiently to make a high-quality tattoo. Under no circumstances should this device be used to tattoo either you or someone else.

You might only use this for practice on fruits or vegetables.

How Can I Sterilize Tattoo Needles at Home?

The sterilization of tattoo needles is an essential step in the process of getting tattoos. There are a few different methods that you can use in your own house to sterilize your needles, and each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Method 1: Using Autoclave

Utilizing an autoclave is one of the more common approaches. Steam is the active ingredient in autoclaves, which kills harmful microbes and viruses. The use of an autoclave has a number of benefits, including the fact that it is efficient and rapid.

The usage of an autoclave comes with a few potential drawbacks, the most notable of which are the possibility of high costs and the need for specialized training.

Method 2: Using Boiling Water

The use of water that has been brought to a boil is another common approach to sterilizing tattoo needles. Bacteria and viruses can be killed by boiling water because the high temperature denatures their protein membranes.

The simplicity and low cost of boiling water are two of the many benefits that come with this process.

One of the drawbacks of using boiling water to sterilize needles is that it takes a very long time to do it, and it is also very possible to accidentally damage the needles in the process.

Before beginning the tattooing process, it is essential to check that the needles you will be using are clean and sanitary, regardless of the approach that you decide to take.


Is pen ink safe for tattoos?

No. Tattoo artists don’t advise using pen ink because of the inherent risks. Because it is not sterile, pen ink can spread disease. As this ink isn’t designed to be absorbed by the skin, it will likely disappear soon.

How does the tattoo machine function?

In a traditional machine known as a magnetic coil machine, coils are passed through by an alternating electromagnetic current, which quickly turns magnets on and off.

This yanks on a spring-loaded armature bar, causing it to oscillate up and down, which in turn causes the armature bar to tap the needles into the skin.

Which needle should be used in a handmade tattoo gun?

Typically, a #12 needle (with a diameter of 0.35mm) is used for stick-and-poke tattoos. Use smaller needles, like a size 6 or 8, for better precision and control.

Smaller openings allow less ink to flow through them. However, smaller needle sizes, like #6 and #8, allow for more precision.

Last Words

Making the choice to permanently alter your skin with a tattoo is significant.

Do not use a makeshift tattoo machine (often termed a “jailhouse rig”) on your own skin; instead, use it to practice the art on an apple, banana, or potato, all of which have skin that may be easily punctured.

A professional tattoo parlor is a place to go if you’ve decided to get a tattoo or pursue a career in tattooing.

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