Each size tattoo needle grouping is paired with a matching tattoo tube tip.  The tip guides the needle and allows for ink to flow evenly. Below is a chart to help you match the correct needle sizes to their corresponding tips.  If the opening of the tip is too big for the needle, the needle will not be stable and the ink will not flow evenly.  If the opening is too small, the needle will not fit through.  This post has a handy chart that covers the most common sizes for sizes and their corresponding tips.

Tattoo Tube Tips / Tubes

Traditionally come in stainless steel or some other metal that can be autoclaved.  Nowadays the disposable route is most common. The benefits of disposable tattoo tubes and grips include not having to spend time autoclaving them, instills trust in your client because you are using only new tubes on him/her and you don’t have to buy autoclave equipment & sterilization pouches.

If you are practicing and you have both, it is better to save your pre-sterilized disposable tubes for skin work and use your stainless-steel tubes for practice.  You can hand wash the stainless-steel tubes used for practice.  Use a tattoo tips cleaning brush set to remove stubborn bits of ink.  Stainless steel tubes MUST be autoclaved before they can be used for skin work.

Disposable Tattoo Tube Grips

Disposable Tattoo tube grips are pre-sterilized and come in one piece with tube, tip and grip combined.  A disposable tube grip is a convenient and practical way to ensure your tube grip is sterile.  There is always the danger of contaminating one of the pieces in a 3-piece tube, grip and tip setup.  Disposable tube grips eliminate that worry by having a single sterile piece ready for use.

Stainless Steel Grips and Other Metal Grips

Grips are made with stainless steel, copper, aluminum, plastic and many other metals.  Grips usually come with a tube or stem.  The grip serves as a handle for the artist to grip the tattoo machine.  The base of the grip has a hole where the tube tip goes into.  You screw down the tip with the tightening screw at the base.  Same with the stem at the top.  Grips must be autoclaved before they are safe to use for tattooing.