Recommended Posts

Since I'm left handed, I thought this might be a good topic. How many of you guys are left handed tattooers, and if you are, do you use left handed machines? I've never used one, but does it make that big of a difference? I've only been tattooing for a few years, and never really thought about it until recently, but does anyone else have experience using them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm a righty but a friend of mine, thad Ritchie, made a machine for me. It's a great shader and I use it often. The only thing is it's a lefty machine. Thad ain't even a lefty!!!! Not sure why he builds his machines this way. But I DO find it awkward to set it up before tattooing with it. I imagine you getting lefty machines would feel better for you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question! Hope my answer is solid to understand.

Most figure that it don't matter one bit but it goes deeper than that.

It's not so much that the machine was built for a left or right handed individual as much as it is a matter that most people are right handed and given that you will find most early tattoo machines that were made were those with what was considered "logical" side binding posts on them which led the wires towards the outside of the right handers wrist, also notice when adjusting the contact screw and tube vice that it is also set up for a right handed individual, well thought out for the majority but not for the southpaws, but necessary for the majority at that time and era. Enter the side by side rear binders, no more "outside" wire on the side of the machine to contend with and even less so after the advent of the clip cord but still set up for the right hander for adjustments and changing tubes with the forward contact screw binding side to the right of the machine. Now some have argued that the weight of the large one sided machines like the Jensen "Special" or Walker frame adding to comfort for the right handed vs. left is and always will be up for debate as the "weight and gravity effect" is always the argument, come across from left to right the weight is against the hand and from right to left it's away, but moot argument when a lighter frame design is considered such as the Waters #2.

So, to be clear, a true "left handed machine" is one that has the left side plate, whether heavy or light, so that the adjustment for the contact screw can be adjusted with the left hand and the tube vice drilled opposite and tapped opposite so that the wind nut adjustment is more easily done with the left hand (not a concern with the tube crusher center forward which is consider ambidextrous) makes it a true left handed machine, hand such a machine to a right handed individual who is seasoned as a professional and they will find it annoying and they would feel like a monkey trying to crack a coconut when chucking up a tube the first time, hand it to the southpaw and they will find it very special and feel like they are more in welcome in the world, as you well know, "It's a world for right handers".

If one should have a lightweight frame with rear clipcord capabilities, a wingnut contact screw combo adjustment and a forward tube crusher type tube vice/chuck then all should be ambidextrous, but you never hear of anyone stating that the machine is ambidextrous, ha!

It's a good feeling when a southpaw finds tools made specifically for them, it's something that right handers take for granted. Hope this sheds light on your subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

after 20 years I got my first lefty , no difference noticed except that the machine is backwards in my drawer(all are frame side down)

for me as a lefty , I prefer a righty with side binders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is an old thread, but i thought it was an interesting topic, as I am a lefty, and I just started as an apprentice.

I know that my teacher will probably have a few places to get lefty machines from, but does anyone know of any that i can look at?

I have to buy my own equipment, and if i can find some to look at at home, then i can go and show him and ask him about it.

I have a righty machine at the moment, but my Teacher says it's too heavy to start out on.

His quams with the right handed machines is the whole weight argument, having to do with shading and such. Not really looking to get into that discussion, as i see what he's saying, and having a left handed machine would be nicer anyway, in my opinion.

Anyone have any places i can look for some lefty machines? Doesn't matter to me if they're "famous" or not. but it would probably be good to start out with some well known worldwide brand name, as people have suggested to me. I'm just looking for a nice, basic workhorse that's not going to feel like a lead anchor, because when i start practicing i'm going to practice a lot. frames i like are the bulldog, rogers, teacup, clipper, and iron loop type frames. I'd like to at least get a liner and a shader to start out with, i know i'll probably learn how to take them apart and set them all up different and all that, but i'd like to have a full set eventually and i can just dedicate a machine each to lining, shading, color packing, and light shading.

and just to clarify: Teacher = an actual tattoo artist at a shop, i'm not going to some "tattoo college", haha. It's also a sign of respect, because this man has 32+ years of experience, so i know he knows a ton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Danny Fowler that has no sideplate,the contact arm comes off the springshelf. Its ambidextrous.Not really for sale although I might consider it. Havent really used it much.Just thought I'd mention a non traditional approach.just looked it up...."new Fusion" #740

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a Danny Fowler that has no sideplate,the contact arm comes off the springshelf. Its ambidextrous.Not really for sale although I might consider it. Havent really used it much.Just thought I'd mention a non traditional approach.

Danny is a piece of work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a Danny Fowler that has no sideplate,the contact arm comes off the springshelf. Its ambidextrous.Not really for sale although I might consider it. Havent really used it much.Just thought I'd mention a non traditional approach.just looked it up...."new Fusion" #740

send pictures?

i guess it depends on how much i like it as to whether i'd make an offer you might like. but i am looking more for a sideplate type machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always shocked when I see a guy tattoo left handed. Not that I'm right handed I just like to shock myself.

That out of the way I never have had a "left handed" machine, although I have seen a pic of left handed Waters, with Wagner's name stamped on it. So that goes way back.

I don't know the answer to this really. I'm sure it personal preference. I just lay the a little more over the side of my hand.

Of course I've also had people tell that I'm left handed, and therefor I cannot tattoo. I love that rumor. Makes me wonder if it goes back to "sinister", a word that's Latin root means, "From the left"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 2 lefties I know, Freddy and PeeWee, had been zapping a long time and I've never seen either or them use or see PW build anything other than 'normal' frame styles.

I don't think their tattooing would 'improve' because of any changes like that.

My mentor is a lefty, and so am I. He only uses "normal" machines. He says it works out well because he always gets to look at the frame. Makes sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.