A mag is a tattoo needle with two rows, one on top of the other. They're stacked as you would stack soda cans laying on there side, four on the bottom and three on top for a seven mag. The two rows are spread apart more than a round so the pigment dispersal is a little smoother. It would be like comparing a fine point pen to a magic marker. The little detailed stuff is for the pen while the magic marker is for larger jobs. The mags are made by soldering your needles in a row and laid out flat. Solder at the back, next use a single edge razor blade to weave the needles. One on top, one on bottom, then one on top, ect. Then with the razor in place another layer of solder is applied to hold this configuration. A stacked mag is where they lay four down and solder them, then lay three down and solder those. Then they solder the two layers together. This would be to make a seven mag stacked. Because they are closer together they are smaller, so a nine mag stacked will fit in a seven mag tube tip. Proper use of a mag is at an angle. You want the mag to lay flat on the skin, but lay it down so it penetrates at a slight angle. If you try to use a mag straight on the skin like holding it will pinch the client and stick in the skin causing the needle to jump. If the needle is flat on the skin then you need to elevate the eye loop till you have about a forty degree angle. You should drag a mag, not push it. What this means is that you should pull the machine away from the tip of the tube, similar to driving a car in reverse. If you push the mag forward it will have a tendency to go under the skin making it difficult for the needle to retract and move forward again. Solid coloring with a mag is very similar to coloring with a lining needle. You want to color in the circular motion but due to the mag being wider like a paint brush you cover more area faster. Think of using a mag like using three lining needle side by side to color. If you go slower then you will cause more damage to the skin. Pay attention to the texture of the skin by wiping away all the extra pigment while you tattoo. It takes practice but you can turn a mag on its side to use the edge needles like a liner. This will make filling in close to the line work a lot quicker. One way to practice using a mag needle is to buy one of those large black markers that have the tapered tip. Practice using the marker at a flat angle to make a bold line, and then turn the marker to get a finer line. Just remember to go backward to simulate needle use.
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