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Hanging the needle out

Posted by pistolerosha on 10/12/10


I was wondering if there is any difference between hanging your needle out really far or not at all. I've seen some folks hang their needle out like a good 1/4 inch or further sometimes. I have always kept my needle flush with the end of my tube and on the occasions that I tried to hang my needle out I'm always paranoid of catching skin with it (sometimes I do).

The only explanation I've ever received for hanging out the needle is so that you can see what you're doing better but I've never had an issue seeing what I was doing by not doing so. However if there is some other benefit I'm missing out on then I will start to put forth the effort to become able to do so.

Any input would be appreciated.



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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by travelingtom on 10/12/10


sometimes depending on the area of skin that your working on or the size of the client, you have to go just a cunt hair deeper, and it helps to feel the line your trying to pull as well. also it keeps the ink from pooling out of the tip. if you cant control the depth of the needle, i would not recommend hanging the needle out until you feel comfortable doing so, just my 2 cents


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by Tony on 10/12/10


Heres how ive been doing it lately, with awesome results. Im useing a cutback liner with a fairly long stroke (for a cutback liner) I let the needle hang out really damn far, but heres the thing. I turn the volts way down, and it would appear im going deeper then i should, but im not. I have to adjust everything to the kind of skin im tattooing but heres the benifits..

ultimatly the lower volts+ little extra depth balance out with the tension of the skin and you get a perfect line. You can either get solid one pass lines, or build them up till the cows come home because this way is very undamageing to the skin.

Like tom mentioned, you can feel and hear if the needle penetrating the skin properly.

obviously you can see WTF your doing perfectly, it allows me to line without gritting my teeth and hopeing for the best.

the ink tends to not pool onto the skin as much, however i noticed there seems to be a limit to how far you can hang it out, at a certain point it stops flowing/ does not flow as well.

Clients seem to be able to stand it much better, they say they can barely feel it.

Heals beautifully

im sure theres more benifit im not thinking of..


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by Tony on 10/12/10


i would strongly suggest useing the lowest volts possable when getting used to hanging the needle out far, and pay more strict attention to holding your machine straight up..

When im rideing the tip its usually because its a piece that does not require ultra precision, something organic, or greylined stuff or whatever. skulls..etc.

I tend to use a more conventional and more powerfull liner for rideing the tip because you need it to always penetrate as deep as you set it..if i get any weak lines i go back with the needle hanging out to strengthen them up.

Thats just me tho, ive done it all other ways too, but thats what im doing now and it workes perfectly for me.. Also, all of that technique is based mostly off of useing tight 5s and 7s


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by SuicideRed on 10/12/10


Totally agree with Tony on this! Cannot really add anything he has not said. I started hanging my needle out about a year and a half ago because I just wasn't getting the results I wanted. I haven't even thought of trying to ride the tube since! Wouldn't dare! Pieces heal faster and look better. Give it a try man!


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by anthony on 10/13/10


great post tony, good insight.

this is one of my favorite topics to read about. always full of different answers and none of them are wrong.

good stuff.


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by Tony on 10/13/10


thanks tom and anthony, i like reading that kind of stuff too..

One tip i forgot to add was this, when i line, my paper towel isint very wet, it makes stretching the skin alot easyer, most of my stretch is being done by my paper towel hand.

also a thin layer of lube on the skin goes a long way twards helping the ink puddle stay under controll.

To the OP, i can get perfectly precise lines rideing the tip as well, but you dont realize how much faster and easyer it is when you hang the needle out untill you do it. It really frees up your hand motions, it allows you to do things you wouldint otherwise be able to do easyly.

Try it when your redoing old tattoos, thats how i tought myself.


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by ironwolf13 on 10/14/10


will there are three way to do this . you can ride the the tip of the tube ,tip of the needle ,and hang needle out . i have tattoo for 17 year's i still do all three ways it all depends on the work .if its a real big pieces i run it of the tube tip for a long line .but to get the real detail work i mite hang the needle out but mostly i just set it for riding the tip of the needle with not hang out with a long stroke .i also have machine to run on one pass and i have some set up to build lines .


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RE:Hanging the needle out

Posted by shadow on 10/14/10


One thing to strongly consider when riding the tube, is the extra wear and tear on the freshly punctured skin caused by the drag of a stainless steel tube. This can be especially bad when using mags as the needles will groove out slots in the tip and cause a rough edge. Even if you're using disposables this can cause unneeded trauma. Not shocking information, I know, but I noticed a huge difference in how my work healed once I stopped riding the tube. Ha, "riding the tube"! Radical, dude!


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