Needle vs Gun: Tattoo Techniques

Over the years the piercing industry has seen a change in what is considered to be “industry standard”. If you are like myself or like the majority of people born before the year 2000, chances are you probably had your ears pierced at Claire’s or at a random kiosk in the mall with a ‘piercing gun’.

Times have changed. Smoking on planes is a thing of the past and so is piercing with a ‘gun’… needle is the new black.

The benefits of piercing with a needle: Needles are cleaner, more accurate, and far less painful than guns. Their sharp hollow point creates a clean hole that allows the jewelry to rest, giving room for the wound to drain and to heal.

Don’t get me wrong, some people still prefer getting pierced by the gun rather than by a needle. It’s often the more cost-efficient and speedy method — and for piercings like the lobes, it’s not all bad.

One of the biggest disadvantages of piercing with a gun is that; guns are reusable and it is almost impossible to properly sanitize them. They’re made out of plastic, which means they can’t go in the autoclave (the machine we use to sterilize all of our tools) or it will ultimately melt to goop. It’s also important to note that guns are closed unit devices. That means you can’t take it apart to properly clean each individual compartment.

Needles are single-use. Need I say more?

Once you are pierced with a needle, the needle immediately gets disposed of. You will always be the first and last person to make skin to needle contact with that needle. As mentioned, the needle creates a hole, it does not break through the skin by applying pressure — it actually removes a small chunk of your skin (depending on the gauge) which then is filled in by the appropriate size jewelry. This process promotes healthier cleaning and healing habits.

On the other side of the coin, guns actually cause the jewelry to squeeze tightly against your ear making it difficult to clean.

While earrings are technically tapered and sharp in appearance, they are not as sharp as the needles used by a professional piercer. Let’s go over the last two words in that sentence… ‘professional piercer’. This means:

‘Someone who has been trained, someone who has extensive knowledge on how to avoid cross-contamination and how to properly sterilize their tools. Someone who spent at least 12-18 months learning all of the afore mentioned before they can refer to themselves as a ‘professional piercer’.’

You won’t get this level of dedication to the craft at your local Claire’s, no shade, just stating the facts.

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Welcome to North York Ink! A local tattoo & piercing studio providing the community of North York with quality tattoos and piercings close to home. When hard work and devotion merge with passion and creativity, the possibilities are endless.