Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos

Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos – My Experience & Tattoo Meanings

Would you believe if I say that needles scare me to death? You probably read on the title of this article that I am comparing my experience towards machine ink tattoos VS traditional tattoos. Yeap! I’ve experienced these 2 types of inks BUT that doesn’t mean that my pain tolerance is high. I’ll tell you why but more of that later.

Before anything else, don’t give me that “judging face”. People who have tattoos on their body deserve more respect than that. I am not judging you or anything but I just want to make myself clear as early as possible. Of course, that was just for disclaimer’s sake. Lol. But if you think I’m dirty? Feel free to exit. Joking again!

In this article, I want to give you a slight idea about the experience especially if you’re planning to get inked soon! Recently, I just got my first machine ink tattoos and posted it on my Instagram stories. As a result, I received tons of messages from friends and followers too. So to my readers, in case you still don’t know, YES I have tattoos on my body now. Minimalist tattoos to be exact.

The Difference Between Machine Ink Tattoos and Traditional Tattoos

Firstly, let’s try to differentiate the two: Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos. Let’s learn about how it is performed, the materials used, procedure, etc.

Machine Ink Tattoos

By the word itself, machine ink tattoos are done with a machine and it is the modern way of getting tattoos nowadays. Furthermore, machine ink tattoos are considered a minor surgery since it involves needles incised on your skin.

A wide range of dyes and pigments can be used in tattoos. For instance, inorganic materials like titanium dioxide and iron oxides to carbon black, azo dyes, and acridine, etc. Tattooing supplies should always include needles, tubes, tips, and grips, ink, a machine, stencil products, and a power supply.

Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos

Traditional Tattoos

On the other hand, uses an old-style procedure and materials. “Traditional” meaning a long-established procedure which obviously does not require a machine. The needles are manually incised on the skin by using another stick (piece of wood) to hit (batok) the needles. The materials used are from what people can see in the forest or natural environment. For instance, using materials like thorns for the needle and charcoal for the ink.

I experienced my first ever tattoo which is a traditional tattoo in Buscalan. And this experience was truly extraordinary! Why? Well only because my first ever tattoo was from the oldest mambabatok (tattoo artist) in the Philippines – Apo Whang Od. Read here: BUSCALAN DIY TRAVEL GUDIE.

Big needle – pomelo thorn
Small tattoo – calamansi thorn
Ink – charcoal ink

Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos
Traditional Tattooing in Buscalan, Philippines

“Which one is more painful?”

Many have asked me this question the day I posted on my Instagram story about my first machine ink tattoo. Most people, myself included, are curious which one is more painful. As for me, I have compared it and all I can say is the pain is just the same. The pain does not rely on what procedure you will try, either it’s the traditional way or the modern way. This is because the pain primarily depends on which area of the body you will get a tattoo.

A good example will be getting a tattoo on your rib cage. It doesn’t really matter if you will use traditional tattooing or machine ink because the pain is highly intense in this area of the body. This is due to the bones that are highly exposed in this area. Another example is tattoo at the back of your shoulder. There is enough body fat and skin in this area which is why I didn’t even felt pain in here. In fact, I even giggled more than enduring the pain.

“Where is the least painful area?”

Like I have mentioned earlier, the least painful part is the area where there is thick skin. For example, the back of your shoulder, back of your arms and most area at the back. You can expect for the tattoo pain to be worse on your ribs, feet, ankles, neck, backs of your knees, or insides of your elbows.

Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos
Location: Upper Right Back of Shoulder

“How much does it cost to get a tattoo?”

How much does it really cost and what are the factors that affect the price? You have to understand that the price depends on significant factors like the size of the tattoo, which area of the body you will put it and the artist. For minimalist tattoos, expect the price ranging from PHP500.00 – PHP1,000.00 per tattoo. For bigger tattoos, it usually cost PHP2,500.00 – PHP10,000.00. Again, this depends on the factors stated above.

Insider tip: if you have lots of minimalist tattoos, you may want to have them all in one session. It will be cheaper compared if you will have 2 separatte sessions (separate days). The reason is because of the time and change of materials. (Machine Ink Tattoos VS Traditional Tattoos)

“What to do and not do before getting a tattoo?”

Preparation before your tattoo session is important. Although it’s just a tattoo session, it is still considered as a minor surgery. It is very important to take note of the things below:

  • Do not drink alcohol, it thins your blood which can make you bleed more
  • Avoid the sun, you do not want to get a tattoo on a sun-burnt skin
  • Wear loose shirts preferably with stretchable fabric. This will allow the artist to get easy access while tattooing. If you are planning to get tattoo on your upper legs or bikini line, wear underwear with ties so you can adjust it.
  • Eat enough food and stay hydrated
  • Do not get a tattoo when you are stressed or tired
  • Shave the part of the body especially if your tattoo is big and needs shading

Important Tattoo Care

  1. Moisturizer/lotion – remember to use non-flavored moisturizer or lotion. Keep your tattoo moisturized on the 3rd day.
  2. Do not use petroleum jelly. Avoid using petroleum jelly since it tends to give a burning sensation to the skin. This will not be good for the tattoo because it will result to ink fading.
  3. Do not apply alcohol on the wound.
  4. Clean it with soap and water when you take a bath. Always keep your hygiene clean! Do not allow your body to be dirty.
  5. DON’T SCRATCH OR PEEL IT OFF! Let time heal it. It can be really itchy on its first week, but you have to prevent from scratching it if you don’t want to get tattoo keloids.

Helpful link: Clink here for more tattoo care suggestions and why it’s important to take care of it.

As of June 2020, I have 7 minimalist tattoos on my body

Honestly speaking, I thought getting my first machine ink tattoos will be the first and last. After having an actual experience, I realized that the pain is truly addicting! For some reason I can’t explain. Lol. If you will ask me if I still have plans on getting more tattoos then the answer is YES! Although I only plan on getting minimalist tattoos. πŸ™‚

Tattoo:Location:Meaning:
3 Dot Signature (Apo Wang Od)Left Collar Bone
Scorpion (Apo Wang Od)Upper Spinal CordStrength and Protection
Semicolon (;)Left WristSymbol for Depression
Fall Down VII, Get Up VIIIRight Elbow LineFall down 7 times, get up 8 times
Love MyselfUpper Right BackI am contented with my life
This Too Shall PassRight Bikini LineEverything will come to pass soon
WaveLeft RibMy love for the ocean

My traditional tattoos are from Apo Wang Od in Buscalan. And my first 5 minimalist tattoos are from Jai Hernandez in Dagupan, Pangasinan. πŸ™‚


Help me improve my article! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. πŸ™‚
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