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Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

Hi there mates! I would like to know your opinion on Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits. I'm actively seeking and apprenticeship, and would like to buy their "professional" kit. I think it's a bargain for USD189.99 but that price makes me wonder about the quality of the hardware. Although I will not use it on people (most likely will be practiving with fake/pig skin) I'd like it to offer me a real feel for what it is to actually tattoo something. Your comments will be most welcome. Thanks in advance!


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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

I wouldn't bother buying any of Hildebrandt's cheap machines at all. Their $10 to $30 machines are basically glorified shiny ornaments. The more expensive machines they sell are OK(ish) as are their spare parts and supplies. If you're going to buy a kit make sure they have heavy weight tattoo machines, because you will end up buying more later on after you realise the light weight machines are a pile of crap. If your going to spend any money you will be better off buying good quality, reasonably high priced heavy weight machines first.

Because you will spend lots of money of cheap rubbish machines again and again and again until you bite the bullet and buy good products. For the price of a kit, you would be better off buying two good tattoo machines and a power supply from a supplier and then source cheap inks, grommets, ink caps etc off the internet for practice. Practice skins are crap, honey dew melons and grapefruit are better for practice (and way cheaper with better results)
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

Thanks for your comments mate! Appreciate your opinion for sure. I just thought about it because I would only use it occasionally on practice surfaces only, not on a heavy, long session on real skin. As I said, I just want to check if I really CAN tattoo (I just love this art form since I was a kid). What are your recommendations based on a budget of around USD200? Since those machines are going to be used for practice only, I won't aim to buy top notch hardware right away. Also, I will sure appreciate if anyone reading this post that actually used Hildbrandt hardware (if any hehe) could post some feedback. Thanks again for your comments!
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

For mid priced coils ($80) I bought a Mad Max and a Hammerhead from ProTat in Australia. (I think that's their generic names) but they are black and heavy and easy to rebuild and maintain. For cheaper but hard working rotary tattoo machines I use a Stealth Rotary, genuine ones go for around $100. Power supplies start at $20 and go to $400. But Hurricane power supplies are good if you can one from a reputable supplier. The Hong Kong guys can be a bit shonky when they don't work.

The rest of a tattoo 'kit' isn't much. Its basically a pack of various sized needles, some tubes, caps, ink, tools and practice skin. You can do a bit of shop on Hildebrandt and buy all the bits and pieces cheaply. Proper tattoo machines are worth every penny you spend and you won't be throwing good money on bad products. Especially if you get into tattooing , you will want something that goes the distance, even for practice work on leather or fruit.

Its a bit like pencils, sure you can buy generic HB pencils at a dime store for 20 cents each or you can spend $2.50 on a genuine Staedtler pencil. The Staedtler pencil is going to be smoother and stronger than the cheap one.
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

Duly noted mate! Thanks for the advice. I will start searching for those machines you mention and keep my research going. I'm most certainly interested in this fantastic craft and art form and really hope I can be part of this great community :) Take care and thanks again!
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

The inkstars and valstruds coil machines they sell are junk. The coil cores are plastic. Plastic with small iron tops glued on and wrapped in cheap wire that is painted copper. When the guy above said it is an ornament he was truly correct. They were advertised as 10 wrap coils and the back coil actually had 13 wraps. The frames are bent there are no yokes so they don't hit like you need. Color is out of the question trying to push mags etc.
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

I started out with a hildbrandt tattoo kit and for the purpose of practicing and doing some tats, I had no complaints. Originally bought a cheap dragonhawk tattoo kit on ebay and boy was that a piece of a crap so I guess I didnt have a great comparison to start with. It wasn't until I got a pair of Micky Bees that i got a taste of what a good machine should run like, I would say the hildbrandts were half the machine my micky bees are. The latter were defintely more able when it came to pushing bigger needles. Mind the fact that the micky was about 5 times the price of the hildbrandt, if you look at it that way, it was actually a deal! So to answer the op's question, for the purpose of practicing and figuring out if tattooing is what your gonna do, they'll work out.
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RE:Hildbrandt tattoo machines/kits

Oi oi,
So you are looking to apprentice, Hildbrant is a good company however don't buy a kit of any kind. In your arsenal of tattoo machines you should have at least 8 machines for different parts of the body. 4 liners soft hitter for older people's skin, diabetics, and parts of the body that are firm or more solid, and for doing small work with smaller needle groupings. A liner for common more of a medium hitter. A hard liner for larger needle groupings and a hard hitting speed liner for long dragged out sessions when you get laying your lines out properly. Your shades one soft hitter for greywash, medium hitter for common detail shading, two hard hitters for a color packer and black packer. All of your machines should function as a workhorse. May I recommend watching the apprentice course video from monstersteel.com and subscribe to machine gun magazine from Eikon device for educational purposes before you buy anything. Then you will have a point in the right direction until you find the right professional apprenticeship. Good luck.
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