A Guide to Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

, Lifestyle


You probably have seen a tattoo or already acquired one. The tattoo has been a crucial part of the history of humankind as long as anyone can remember. A tattoo is an art, a part of life in some cultures, where else some cultures prohibit the practice completely. But we are not going to debate this long-fought topic. We are here to explore the world of tattooing, practices of tattooing in different cultures, learn about Hand Poke Tattoos, Machine Tattoos, and learn about the differences between the two of them. So grab your seat, folks, you are going to enjoy this ride! In this article, we give you the difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo.

According to Wikipedia, a tattoo is a form of body modification by inserting a design or a picture or a symbol using ink, dyes, or pigments into the dermis layer of one’s skin. Skin Health: 8 Things to Improve It. A tattoo can be permanent or temporary, comparing the durability and the time limit. Tattoos are done by professionals who are well trained to make tattoos on the skin. They are known as Tattoo Artists. In certain cultures, Tattoo artists are treated with great respect and are acknowledged as one of the most dignified people in society. Even today, in many cultures, people practice certain tattooing rituals that are running for centuries.

In Present

In present times, people are into tattooing for personal preference, religious views, and customs. Tattooing has been affecting people’s vibes, and some find it to be meaningful expressions of their personality and the reflection of their lifestyles, mindsets, and their logical views. Now let us go through the concept of tattooing and tattoos.

Concept of Tattooing

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

The very concept of tattooing is astonishingly simple to me. I know I am going to be bulldozed after this bold statement! But come on, guys! It’s my way of seeing the practice, no offense. To me, tattooing is a form of art that is practiced to showcase one’s personality and the way he thinks of this beautiful world. Yeah, I know I missed the “Cultural Practice and Rituals” part. But let’s face it guys, WE are the culture. Please abide by the rules directed by our ancestors or making our ones, we all are in the circle. Culture is a strong concept itself, and I am too small to fight with it. That’s completely my way of thinking lads, do let me know if you have different views. It would help if you needed before doing the tattoo.

Coming back to the topic, the word “Tattoo” comes from the Samoan word, ‘Tatoowhich means “to Strike.” Practicing and making tattoos is known as tattooing. In different types of culture, the methods of making tattoos differ like Stick and Poke tattoo.

Art is unique in itself and has been a prime part of our lives. I am repeating myself over and over again because it is very crucial. When we are going through the evolution of tattooing and explore how it has been affecting people’s lives across centuries, trust me, you won’t be taking me lightly. So I urge all of my readers to read my articles with a little pinch of patience, a hand full of enthusiasm, and a heart full of love.

Evolution of Tattoos and Tattooing

As I said before, Tattoos and Tattooing have been the practice for centuries, as long as humanity could remember. We can also see evidential reference on ancient mummified human remains, which has clear examples of tattoos on their body parts.

The oldest reference yet was discovered in 2018 when archeologists discovered two mummies from Egypt, which were dated between 3351 and 3017 BCE.

Notable encounters of tattoos and practice have been seen over the centuries in different civilizations. Ancient tattooing methods and customs have been scripted among Austronesians, Papuans, and Melanesians as they gradually moved into the islands of Indo-Pacific.

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Tattooing Curiosity leads the Europeans from the very beginning. Maybe the worthy example would be the “Painted Prince” – a slave named ‘Jelly’ who was from Mindanao, Philippines. Jelly was tattooed from chest to toe. He came into the limelight before the Voyages of Captain Cook. Jelly was eventually bought by the English Explorer, William Dampier. Dampier brought Jelly to London to make him a puppet prince for the British Venture into the Spice Islands. He made up frictional stories to attract the audiences.

In the Americas, most of the tattoos are done by Polynesian and Japanese first-timers. On the contrary, tattoos had great demand in the port cities. The first-ever legit tattoo artist in the States was a German Immigrant, Martin Hildebrandt. Tattoo bandings were also used lately to identify soldiers and track criminals in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Freemen also used tattoos as protection papers to avoid arrest.


Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Story of Hand Poke Tattoos

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo


After years and decades of evolution, tattoos and tattooing have become a part of the daily dosage of people’s lives. Now let’s move on to the topic which we were required to discuss.

In the recent few years, Hand poke tattoos or “Stick and Poke” tattoos are gaining the popularity which it deserved all this time. Simplistic symbolic designs and graphical contents can be imprinted on your skin beautifully by simply taking a sticking needle, pigment ink and poking them on. This is one of the simplest and probably the most intimate methods. It is one of the oldest tattooing techniques in the world.

This technique is so ancient that we cannot predict the exact date of its invention. But evident preferences are seen in the ancient mummies where a single needle and ink were used, which were found in Egypt. Many cultures in certain parts of the globe use different types of poking needles, which are initially made out of bamboo sticks or similar materials that are found in nature. Tribes of Thailand use similar incredibly sharpened bamboo sticks as the poking equipment.

As far it goes, poking equipment was found way back in the 4rth millennium BC in France, Scandinavia, and Portugal. But when people started to consider this as a “Barbaric Practice,” it started to decrease the popularity it. People of the working class still practiced this tattooing method, but it was gradually decreasing.

The stick and Poke method requires precision and patience, as it is a time-consuming method. Thus it is preferred only with designs of minimal linings or simplistic shade elevation.


Step-By-Step, “Stick and Poke”

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Now here is a quick step by step description on how to make a Hand Poke Tattoo. I strongly recommend performing under an expert. It needs some equipment- a sterilized poking needle, pigment ink, and a good pair of hands. Starting from the top, sterilized poking needles. You probably don’t want to get poked and catch an infection, right!

Different types of ink can be used, such as dye or pigment. The pigment is preferred to be the go-to as it gives vibrant and lasting after-effects.

Now, the hardest part, Tattooing!

First, you need to do some testing. Poke some needles without ink on the sterilized skin so that the person can have an idea of the needling pain. Then sketch with a non-infective pen so that you can have a good game plan ahead of the gig. Then start poking with as fine as possible by the outlines pre-drawn sketch of your tattoo. Remove the excess in with some make-up removing pads soaked in rubbing alcohol. Continue the same pace and pressure all way long. Finish the El-Picasa and Voila!

You have your first Hand Poke Tattoo. Some things must be followed before, during, and after tattooing. So, everything should be STERILIZED! The ink should be non-allergic, and your skin should be washed with rubbing alcohol properly. There are some aftercare measures needed to be performed for the prevention of any disruption.

This method is easy, hustle free, and less painful than other tattooing methods. But you will have to bear this in mind that it has limited options in designing patterns.

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Evolution of Machine Tattooing

Tattooing is sometimes preferred as printing. The first-ever tattoo machine was invented in 1876 by our very own DC King, Thomas A. Edison. Samuel O’Reilly rediscovered the possibilities and reinvented the tattooing machine by adding multiple needles and an ink tank on top of the machine. So, modern-day Tattoo machines come in different sizes, models, and shapes as per the needs of a tattoo artist.

Percy Waters made a model that can be a close resemblance to the modern-day tattoo machine. The machine he made had two electromagnetic coils that were set close to each other were marked parallel to the former one. It has a spark shield and an on/ off switch. So, he was a prominent name in the tattooing industry and was a successful tattoo artist of his time. Many happy and legendary tattoo collectors from that era used to make tattoos from him. Before doing a tattoo, a man must need to know a guide to the difference between hand poke tattoo and machine tattoo.

In 1978, Manfred Kohrs invented a new type of tattoo machine, The Rotary Tattoo Machine. After that, the tattoo machine business was gone bananas. Artists started to like about the fact the machine does the poking and ink dropping by itself using a motor.

So, this encouraged artists to be more innovative and expressive. Customers started to like the idea despite being in pain. The after results were an eye, and people started to get more into it.

Now several companies manufacture various kinds of tattoo machines as per an artist’s needs. The customers are getting more and more engaged with complex designs as well.


The Tattoos are done by a Tattoo Machine.

The range of variety is enormous when it comes to the tattoo machine. I mean, come on, dude! You have a freaking printer. With the right men and write tools, you can make your own Mona Lisa on your skin. 3D art is also one of the wonders of modern-day tattoo machines.

People are getting more creative and showcasing their creations with great pride. But there are some hiccups or, as I say all the time, puddles on the highway. The thing is the tattooing process using a tattoo machine is pretty painful. Such painful experiences deprive the customers sometimes.

Yet people are tolerating this pain to be inked. Some get a tattoo of his birth date. Some prints, beautiful designs, and patterns, and some chose animals and greenery. There are some who like their wife, loving one or their favorite personality to be inked on their skin forever.

What I am trying to say that Tattoo machines open the doors to enormous possibilities and innovation. But it comes with some pain and a pretty healthy bill. How to Build New Healthy Habits with these 7 Ways?

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Difference between Hand Poke Tattoo and Machine Tattoo

Which One to Choose!

Which one should I choose? Stick and Poke Tattoo or a Tattoo Machine?

In conclusion, if someone asks me this question, then I will be answering this like a proper idiot. Hideous right! Let me explain why. At the end of the day, people are the king of their own world. Some like their eggs to be poached, some like to see the sunny side up, and some like it hard. People have their own preferences. In other words, you want to have a simple art. Hand Poker is the best for you. If you want to avoid the pain, Hand Poke it is. So, if you want your girlfriend’s face and a 3D love note on your forearm, dude, you need to hit the Tattoo shop pay some bills, and get inked with the machine.

At the end of the day, people will be doing tattoos to express love, hatred, gratitude, life goals, and even turtles! The tattoo has become a part of people’s lives. This practice gives hope and joy to a certain group of people.

However, we should embrace this form of art with all our hearts. So, no matter what your culture is or what religious preference you wish to prefer, making people happy is the prime goal of humanity. In addition, we have to celebrate humanity no matter what our race, ethnicity, religious views, and culture is. And save the turtles!



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