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Bottles of tattoo inks on a shelf.

The Best Tattoo Ink 2024

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With so many ink brands on the market, it’s hard to decide which is the best tattoo ink for you. The diversity of brands and colours can be overwhelming but making a good selection is crucial for the result. You want ink that is bright, vibrant, long lasting and above all – safe for your customer.

We will show you how to spot a reputable brand and give you an overview of the best tattoo ink out there.

What you should look for in tattoo inks

When looking for the right tattoo ink it’s important to take several things into consideration. The most important one is that your ink is safe. That means, your ink should be produced to the highest industry and health standards as well as the packaging they come in.

Inks should be sterilised and sealed when you buy them, so they cause no harm to your customer. The best tattoo ink companies have information on their production and quality control on their websites (and the required Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for download). Also, you will want to have ink your customer’s skin will accept won’t cause any allergic reactions in the short and in the long run. Aiming to use tattoo inks made from natural pigments, and that are vegan, can definitely help with this.

Good manufacturers produce cruelty-free inks and are proud to do so. You can usually spot a reputable manufacturer by looking on their website and by checking the previously mentioned.

Another important point is to buy your inks only from reputable sources. Many tattoo inks get copied and there are a lot of counterfeits out there. Only by buying from a trusted tattoo equipment supplier (like Barber DTS) can you be sure to have the product you want.

The best tattoo ink to use always depends on your needs

When it comes to choosing the best tattoo ink there is no straight answer. The best tattoo ink is always dependent on your needs. Of course, you want to stick to a reputable brand that produces inks under the highest standards, but you also must consider the purpose, style, your own preference and last but surely not least, the skin of your customer.

Bottles of tattoo ink on a desk.

If you want to tattoo thick outlines you would want to use another ink than when you are doing fine lines or filling big areas. Furthermore, your style and preferences come into play. If you tattoo in a realistic style you will need a different range of colours to those a neo-traditional artist would use. A black and grey artist will most probably use other inks for their tattoos than a blackwork artist. That is, because the first one works with smooth shades and maybe wants to dilute their ink to do so, whereas the other one relies on pure black that goes easily into the skin.

Also, the way you are tattooing should be taken into consideration when choosing the best tattoo ink for you. What might have the ‘right feel’ for one artist might not be for another. It’s best to try what feels right for you and listen to recommendations from other artists.

The skin of your customer is another variable. Some skin is easier to work with than others. Your choice of ink might also, at times, depend on the customer. With experience you will get a feeling how ink will alter over time and with different skin types. So, to achieve a similar result, you will make your choice of ink dependent on your customer’s skin.

Which is the best tattoo ink brand on the market?

Picking one brand as the best tattoo ink brand on the market is difficult, because a few brands could be considered as such. They stand out for their experience and history, the use of organic ingredients, advanced production, packaging, marketing and of course, their high-quality inks. The biggest brand is definitely Eternal Ink.

“I’ve used all of the top brands over the years and they all behave very similarly as in some are thick some are thin some opaque and some translucent so you have to experiment with them all to get an idea how each colour works and how they interact with each other. What I have noticed with Eternal is that the batches are consistent, other brands I have used I’ve noticed that I would re-order a colour and it’ll be different to the previous batch. Eternals quality control is spot on.”

Lianne Moule, Immortal Ink, Essex, UK

Other big players in the market are Intenze, World Famous Ink and Fusion Ink. All of these brands offer a wide range of black and grey washes and colours. But keep in mind, that a colour is not only one tone. There are many nuances to each colour and with all the inks available, there is a palette for every tattoo. When you are looking for, say, the best blue tattoo ink for a tattoo, you will have to look at the colour scheme of the tattoo and make your choice of ink accordingly. It would be frustrating if one colour pops out and doesn’t work with the other colours.

Product box of Eternal Ink Portrait Skin Tones.

Most ink brands offer ‘signature sets’ with colours that work perfectly with each other. Some of these sets follow a certain theme (like Portrait Skin Tones by Eternal Ink) while others are composed by artists to represent their style (like Liz Cook Colours by Eternal Ink).When deciding on the best tattoo ink brand you need to ask yourself what you are looking for exactly. Many brands produce high quality inks, but the choice depends on your personal taste. Many artists cannot and will not decide on the best tattoo ink brand for them and use a variety of different inks from different brands. If you want to know how the colours of a brand will look in action, you can have a look at their sponsored artist team. They are a great reference to see what is possible to create with the inks the brand provides.

Here are some of our favourite brands:

Logo of Eternal Ink.

Eternal Ink is famous for their long history in making tattoo inks. Their credo is “Made for artists by artists”. They know exactly what the professional tattoo artist is looking for in tattoo inks and the standards they set are the best in the industry. The quality control is spot on and the consistency is unmatched. Their (signature) sets are the most popular in the industry.

Here you can shop the entire Eternal Ink range at Barber DTS.

Logo of Intenze Tattoo Ink.

Founded by tattoo artist Mario Barth in 2002, Intenze Tattoo Ink is a pioneer setting high safety standards and creating new colour palettes. With a clear vision to create the safest inks on the market that work for any artist under any condition, Intenze became one of the industry leaders.

Here you can find the entire range of Intenze tattoo inks.

Logo of World Famous Tattoo Ink.

World Famous Ink created its own formula for tattoo inks with strong, bold and bright tattoos in mind. With over 50 years of experience in the tattoo industry, World Famous Ink manages to produce outstanding vegan tattoo inks that are easy to use thanks to their optimal consistency. The colours always claim to be vibrant and vivid, and heal just as well.

World Famous is also exemplary when it comes to quality control and manufacturing processes, making it one of the most popular and best tattoo ink brands in the world.

You can shop World Famous Ink here.

Logo of Fusion Ink.

Developed between Adam Everett and Next Generation Tattoo Machines, the Fusion Tattoo Ink range of products are some of the best quality tattoo inks available in the industry. Fusion Inks are rich in pigments and popular for their intensity and brightness. Their sponsored artist team with artists like Nikko Hurtado, Jeff Gogue and Mike Cole speaks for itself.

Shop here for Fusion Ink.

The best black tattoo ink

Choosing the best black tattoo ink for you is a hard one. There are a lot of good and very popular black inks on the market, like Dynamic Black, Panthera, MAXX Black from Eternal Ink, Intenze’s Zuper Black. And they are popular for a reason.

But, like already mentioned, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. They are the most used and many artists swear by them.

Here we’ve listed a few of our favourites for the best black tattoo ink:

A bottle of Dynamic Black tattoo ink.