About 13 years ago, award winning tattoo artist, Carson Hill, created a new tattoo machine powered by an air compressor. THis pneumatic tattoo machine helps to alleviate many problems artists face after long hours of tattooing, such as muscle fatigue.
According to Carson, there is not a “primary” benefit of using the pneumatic machines, “but rather a compilation of benefits.” Becuase these machines cannot be tuned, theyar are extremely consistent in the results they provide. They are very lightwieght especially compared to the traditional coil driven tattoo machines, making muscle fatigue relatively non-existent. The entire machine can be put into an autoclave, and using disposable air hoses all but elliminates cross-contamination.
Because these machines are so lightweight and consistent, they allow for some interesting effects not easily created with a traditional machine. One such effect is that of an airbrush. The ink appears to be applied at a more even depth. Harsh lines seem to be elliminated as well. Below are some pictures of tattoos created using the pneumatic tattoo machine created by Carson Hill.