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  1. #1
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    Stylus type machines and cross contamination.

    Soooo, this new wave of pen style machines has me looking on in great anticipation. However, I am really concerned with the cross contamination factors involved, namely with the inner workings. If diaphragm sealed carts are not used do they get back spray all up inside of them? I also am still a little unsure about just how sanitary simply wrapping and then wiping the grip with germicide actually is. In theory if that is acceptable, then why shouldn't I be able to just use a disposable cart grip with a standard cart type machine over and over until the grip wears out? These are just some of the reasons why I have yet to use carts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Butternuts's Avatar
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    There really is no guarantee that wrapping a grip and wiping it down afterwards properly cleans it and there is no guarantee that using a diaphragm cart is going to prevent contaminates getting up inside the machine . There is no possible way of guaranteeing that, as there are no indicators of any form telling you sterilization has been achieved unlike using an autoclave. The plunger part of the cartridge that goes inside these machines are so easy to contaminate as they are on your contaminated work station and something could get on them without you even noticing. I could be wrong but I thought I remember seeing, I believe it was an FK Irons video, with the owner saying he doesn't get tattooed at conventions anymore b/c he sees a lot of people using non disposable grips and just wiping them off between clients. Weren't they selling a Delrin RPG grip that couldn't be ran in an ultrasonic cleaner or autoclaved and their instructions were to wrap it and wipe it down afterwards?

    I think us every day tattooers, whose livelihood depends on our work, reputation and ability to run a clean shop need to use our heads when it comes to some of these new products coming out. After all, if you start using one of these new machines that you are unsure of how sanitary you can keep it and produce a slew of infected tattoos with it, your client isn't going to be blaming the machine builder, it's going to be your reputation getting damaged.

    I've used pen machines before because they were the new thing and everyone was saying you're good to go if you autoclave the grips and clean the cartridge housing part of the machine with a cold sterilant and Q-tip, etc, etc. But I really had to sit back and think to myself there are many other awesome machines out I could be using that takes this "what if" completely out of the equation.

    Bottom line is, don't take some of these builders word as gospel especially if it contradicts what you already know about cross contamination and clean work area. They got a business to run and that business is selling shit to make money.

    I recently purchased my own tools and equipment and have been building my own machines because I am honestly over it. I'm over the crap shoot of spending $500+ on some of these stupid machines that are labeled as the "be all, end all" of tattoo equipment to get it and it either sucks or version 2 or 6 comes out a month later.

    I'm no master welder or machinist but it is a liberating feeling knowing I can make my own machine, built to the parameters I know I like at any time I want to for less than $150 and will yield results I am happy with. It makes me sick thinking about how much money I've spent chasing that golden tattoo machine goose.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butternuts View Post
    There really is no guarantee that wrapping a grip and wiping it down afterwards properly cleans it and there is no guarantee that using a diaphragm cart is going to prevent contaminates getting up inside the machine . There is no possible way of guaranteeing that, as there are no indicators of any form telling you sterilization has been achieved unlike using an autoclave. The plunger part of the cartridge that goes inside these machines are so easy to contaminate as they are on your contaminated work station and something could get on them without you even noticing. I could be wrong but I thought I remember seeing, I believe it was an FK Irons video, with the owner saying he doesn't get tattooed at conventions anymore b/c he sees a lot of people using non disposable grips and just wiping them off between clients. Weren't they selling a Delrin RPG grip that couldn't be ran in an ultrasonic cleaner or autoclaved and their instructions were to wrap it and wipe it down afterwards?

    I think us every day tattooers, whose livelihood depends on our work, reputation and ability to run a clean shop need to use our heads when it comes to some of these new products coming out. After all, if you start using one of these new machines that you are unsure of how sanitary you can keep it and produce a slew of infected tattoos with it, your client isn't going to be blaming the machine builder, it's going to be your reputation getting damaged.

    I've used pen machines before because they were the new thing and everyone was saying you're good to go if you autoclave the grips and clean the cartridge housing part of the machine with a cold sterilant and Q-tip, etc, etc. But I really had to sit back and think to myself there are many other awesome machines out I could be using that takes this "what if" completely out of the equation.

    Bottom line is, don't take some of these builders word as gospel especially if it contradicts what you already know about cross contamination and clean work area. They got a business to run and that business is selling shit to make money.

    I recently purchased my own tools and equipment and have been building my own machines because I am honestly over it. I'm over the crap shoot of spending $500+ on some of these stupid machines that are labeled as the "be all, end all" of tattoo equipment to get it and it either sucks or version 2 or 6 comes out a month later.

    I'm no master welder or machinist but it is a liberating feeling knowing I can make my own machine, built to the parameters I know I like at any time I want to for less than $150 and will yield results I am happy with. It makes me sick thinking about how much money I've spent chasing that golden tattoo machine goose.
    solid logic. I agree.

  4. #4
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    Very sketchy.a lot of artists are turning a blind eye in favor of the convenience. If a quick wipe down between clients was adequate It would have been enough for steel tubes also. I personally feel that wrapping the grip does not prevent cross contamination adequately at all and disposable grips are necessary

  5. #5
    Knows Whats Up! Patrick's Avatar
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    I think if the machineís interior is accessible and able to be disinfected properly, itís not a problem. The Stylus is a good example. Grips are autoclaved, one screw to pull the motor off the body and the body is autoclaved. Interior is wiped down with Madacide and slap it back together. Iíve never understood to logic (or lack of) of wrapping and wiping the grip and calling it good. That would never fly with standard grips.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    I think if the machine’s interior is accessible and able to be disinfected properly, it’s not a problem. The Stylus is a good example. Grips are autoclaved, one screw to pull the motor off the body and the body is autoclaved. Interior is wiped down with Madacide and slap it back together. I’ve never understood to logic (or lack of) of wrapping and wiping the grip and calling it good. That would never fly with standard grips.
    who is going to do that after every tattoo with their cart machine? You would have to have at least 4 of them.

  7. #7
    Knows Whats Up! Patrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Phillips View Post
    who is going to do that after every tattoo with their cart machine? You would have to have at least 4 of them.
    I do exactly that. I donít use my stylus for everything. So, itís not a big deal. And I need to be able to sleep at night. So Iím not going to cut corners with my or my clients safety.

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  9. #8
    Senior Member turnrock's Avatar
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    Cheyenne and NATS now sell disposable grips for the Hawk pen.

  10. #9
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    It takes like 15 minutes - and you can do other things while its claving. Take the grip off - wipe it down - make sure its clean. Throw it in a bag with an integrator, or in a kidney try with no bag and and integrator. Finish your tear down and wipe down your machine, start the set up for you next tattoo. Integrators give you a pass fail sterilization indicator ensuring both temp and time has been achieved and cost next to nothing. it's like ten min

    By the time the station is cold sanitized, and set up the cycle is done, take it out and let it look - check the integrator - put the kidney tray on the station to let it cool and by the time you have everything set up etc it's usually ready to go.
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