Tattoo Coil Capacitor

The importance of insulation!

Black And Grey Tattoo Shading Techniques

" insulation's make me overload..."

-Ace Freheley

For a machine to function properly, or just to function at all, it is mandatory to understand the importance of insulation. The flow of the current through the machine's wires must be restricted to the wires only, and anything that comes in direct contact with the wires or wire terminals-- the upper and lower binding posts for example, need direct contact with the terminals. Exposed wires should never touch the frame or coil post, this will only ground the flow of current and produce a non operational machine, until the grounding problem is corrected.

What should be insulated?

Starting from the most basic parts:

Coil Posts

Coil Posts should be insulated to prevent copper wire from making contact with them. A piece of insulation tape is recommended to surround the post only where the wire will be wound, between the upper and lower plastic / nylon / neoprene retaining washers. Even though the copper wire used to wind the coil bobbins usually is insulated, the insulation is usually thin and may easily be stripped off, exposing the wire inside.

Coil Bobbins

Coil Wires

The wires exiting the coil assembly must be insulated with a heat shrink before they are connected one coil to the other and wires to terminals. Because of the proximity of the wires exiting the bottom of the coil bobbins, to the yoke or base of the frame, it is important to make sure the wires are totally insulated all the way to the plastic retaining washers on the coil, from which they exit. Remember to leave a space of un-insulated wire for connection to the terminals.

Capacitor wires

The capacitor wires which exit the top and the bottom of the cylindrical capacitor should be insulated as well. The capacitor will sit very close to the frame once installed and may run the risk of one of it's wires making contact with the frame. Insulating the capacitor itself is also recommended as on occasion, the capacitor may not already be equipped with adequate insulation and may also cause grounding problems if it makes direct contact with the frame. Heat shrinks come in a series of colors and sizes to match the thicknesses of the wires and capacitor and can be used for aesthetic purposes as well as functionality. Remember to leave a space of un-insulated wire for connection to the terminals.

Tattoo Machines Wiring Conections

A properly insulated capacitor with A properly insulated coil assembly.


Assembly Coil Tattoo

Using a heat gun to heat shrink wires produces smooth results.


The terminals attached to the capacitor and coil wires will still conduct current so it is important to insulate the lower part of the terminal, leaving exposed enough of the ring on the terminal to accommodate the binding post so it connects directly and completely to the said terminal.


The only screws which should not touch the machine frame are the screws which connect the binding posts to the frames. These should be insulated by using plastic or nylon t-washers, or flat plastic / nylon washers OR a piece of electrical or insulation tape (if you do not have t-washers) around the threads so no part of that screw will make contact with the machine frame. The coil securing screws are the only screws which can touch the frame.

Tattoo Coil Wire
A perfectly insulated machine...this one will not have grounding problems.

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    How to insulate a tattoo machine?
    7 years ago
  • Pasi Ryyn
    How to connect tattoo coil to capacitor?
    7 years ago
  • Marina
    Are tattoo machine capacitor important?
    4 years ago
  • kevin
    Where to connect wires on tattoo gun?
    4 years ago
  • Malva
    How tattoo machine coils work schematic diagram?
    4 years ago
  • odetta
    How to assemble tattoo bobbin?
    4 years ago
    How to connect te all the wire coil machine tatoo?
    3 years ago
  • walton johnson
    What the wire from the bottom of the coil to capacitor?
    3 years ago
  • yorda
    How to ground wire your tattoo gun?
    3 years ago
  • bowman
    How to rewire tattoo coil wraps?
    2 years ago
  • cecil
    What capicator for tattoo coil?
    5 months ago

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