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Since ancient times, black tattoo inks have been an essential tool for tattooing.
It’s been made with various ingredients like soot, bone black, and rusted metal.
Some tattoo inks included pigment from printer toner and automotive paint.
Needless to say, it wasn’t always the healthiest thing to inject into the skin.
But the top black tattoo inks are safer than ever before.
They are made from rich pigments suspended in a non-toxic carrier liquid.
Plus, they are sterilized to prevent infections.
Instead of turning green over time, modern black tattoo inks retain their deep, dark color ink.
And it’s possible to find the exact shade of black you need for portraits, tribal sleeves, and more.
Today, we’re going to review the best black inks for tattoos from the best brands of tattoo ink.
If you don’t want to read the full article then check out our favorite products in the table below.
|1||Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Color Ink Pigments, Vegan Professional Tattooing Inks, Double Sumi Tribal...||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Kuro Sumi Japanese Tattoo Color Ink Pigments, Vegan Professional Tattooing Inks, Eggplant and Purple...||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Kuro Sumi - Outlining Black Tattoo Ink - Professional Tattoo Ink & Tattoo Supplies for Outlining &...||Buy on Amazon|
In decades past, tattoos were often done with Indian ink that was composed of dark green and blue pigment.
Over the years, the pigment breaks down into its composites. That’s why old black tattoo inks tend to turn greenish-blue.
Modern tattoo inks consist of pigments like carbon black, iron oxide, powdered magnetite, and jet. The pigment is suspended in a carrier like glycerin, pure water, or witch hazel.
If you request an MSDS sheet from the ink manufacturer, you’ll get an idea of what’s in the inks you’re using.
Obviously, if you buy cheap black tattoo inks, you won’t get the performance of high-quality tattoo ink.
The color won’t be as crisp.
But worse, cheap tattoo inks use sketchy ingredients like heavy metals. Those toxins travel throughout the body and lodge in lymph nodes where they’ve been mistaken for cancer.
Also, bargain tattoo inks may not be sterilized. They may use carrier liquids like alcohol that slow down healing or cause infections.
Trust us; the price difference isn’t worth the consequences.
You and your clients will be much happier using the best black tattoo ink.
If you’re not sure where to start, where to go next with your art, check out this free resource for ideas.
Tattoo Johnny provides thousands of ideas organized into categories like Polynesian, lettering, gangster, funny, and Gothic.
You can also browse through flash books. We recently reviewed more than 30 of the most popular tattoo books.
Would you like to experiment with making your own black tattoo ink? There’s a recipe online that’s easy to follow (4).
You’ll need medical-grade glycerin, propylene glycol, vodka or witch hazel, a blender, and pigment.
It’s possible to order dry pigment from a tattoo supply house. Or you could make your own by burning wood.
Don’t forget gloves and a dust mask to protect your skin and lungs from the pigment.
But if it seems like too much work, we hope you found what you need among the best black tattoo inks for tattooing.
Kuro Sumi is a Japanese brand that’s now manufactured in the United States. They are one of the most popular and trusted tattoo inks on the market.
Artists like Tattoo Lou, with 50 years of experience, recommend them as a superior choice.
There are two crucial points in Kuro Sumi’s favor.
First, their tattoo inks are vegan friendly, and they contain organic pigments.
Second, each color is bright and long-lasting.
As for the Double Sumi Tribal Black, artists say that it’s the ideal solid black shade for filler. It’s very smooth, it saturates perfectly, and doesn’t fade.
Keep in mind that Kuro Sumi, like all popular tattoo ink brands, has a problem with counterfeits. If you receive a bottle with a black and white label, it’s not the real deal. Their labels are maroon and white.
Try the Eggplant and Purple Black shade to add a zing to portraits.
If you do stick and poke tattoos, the black outlining ink from Kuro Sumi is of high quality and is highly recommended.
Otherwise, it lays down a deep black color for lining and filling.
Save a little money by getting a set of Kuro Sumi tattoo inks. This one includes black and two shades of gray wash for lining and shading. It makes transitions straightforward as you won’t have to blend your own washes.
Ingredients include pigments in a base of glycerin and witch hazel.
The Dynamic Color Co. has been in business in the USA for almost three decades. Their Triple Black ink has a very high black pigment load which leads to a deep, intense color.
Some artists find that this is their favorite shade for the lining. It’s also frequently suggested for cover-ups and reworking.
Ingredients include carbon black, isopropyl alcohol, acrylic polymer, and water.
Dynamic black regular black tattoo ink is ideal for tribal tattoos and outlining. It comes in a convenient eight-ounce bottle.
Millennium Mom’s Black pearl Ink contains homogenized, uncut pigments in a base of water and glycerin. The result is ink that flows fast and smooth.
It’s another US company that’s been around for almost three decades. They offer more than 60 colors, including black-light ink.
The Black Pearl shade is perfect for lining and shading. Tattoo Artists have commented that it doesn’t dry out in the ink cups and they never have to go back over lines.
Why do we advise buying tattoo inks from American companies? It’s because the FDA has rules regarding ink safety.
The Black Onyx color from Mom’s Inks is used by famed tattoo artists like Brian Murphy and Marcus Kuhn.
If you can only afford one black ink, get the Blackout. It’s a deep, dark black for lining, lettering, shading, and tribal tattoos.
If you’re hunting for a black shade based on the tattoo pigment color, this one uses 77226.
Intenze professional tattoo ink just hit the two-decade mark. They involve artists in the creation of their tattoo inks. Some of the big names that promote Intenze inks include Mark Mahoney and Bob Tyrell.
The company employs biochemists to keep their inks sterile. Then they test them by way of a third-party laboratory. But that’s not all.
Intenze stores their inks in controlled conditions to keep them fresh and sterile.
When you buy Intenze tattoo inks, you can make sure that they are free of mutagenic toxins, yeasts, spores, and bacteria. They abide by FDA and EU quality standards.
That all sounds great, but what about the color? Happily, True Black is a favorite lining ink of artists around the world.
Professional tattoo ink Zuper Black is the deepest black ink that Intenze makes. You can purchase it in either small 1-ounce or large 12-ounce bottles.
Suluape Black ink was designed in collaboration with the Suluape Tatau family of Samoa. It’s a rich shade that’s perfect for tribal tattoos.
The artist Petelo Suluape says he’s proud of its blend of traditional and modern formulas that gives his work a “unique radiance.”
HAWINK created this vegan-friendly and high-quality tattoo ink. It is pure, absorbs easily, and is positive.
If you do precision work with fine lines, get this one. We consider this some of the best tattoo inks out there.
Artist Bob Tyrell is famed for portrait work. He created the Dimension Black ink for Intenze.
Radiant Colors is a US company that makes pre-dispersed black tattoo inks. The pigments are uncut and homogenized. Then the tattoo inks are irradiated for sterilization.
It’s possible to find their vibrant inks in ½ ounce bottles which allows you to try them without investing a lot of money.
Artists who prefer Radiant Colors say that they have a thin consistency and flow quickly.
Drawing black Ink manufactures black tattoo inks in the USA. They have bright colors that flow easily. There are economical prices that make them a favorite choice of new artists.
Moreover, each tattoo ink is sterilized by irradiation to kill harmful microorganisms.
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If you do heavy black lines and tribal work, give StarBrite’s Tribal Black a try.
Skin Candy and Bloodline tattoo ink are the same company based in California. They’ve been around since 1996. We feel this is one of the best tattoo inks out there.
Their manufacturing facility is state-of-the-art with a special pigment dispenser that ensures consistency between batches.
The carrier for the pigments is something “zero water.” It’s purified with UV filtration and reverse osmosis.
The company suggests shaking the bottles before dispensing the tattoo ink, then stirring with a handheld mixer.
The all-purpose black ink is thick and dark. Combine it with Magnum needle groupings for tribal work, but cut it with distilled water for outlining and shading.
Stigma Black Color Ink has a shelf life longer than two years. Just make sure to mix it well before using it.
Allegory black tattoo ink is designed for shading, outlining, and tribal art. It’s made in the USA from organic pigments and packaged in a plastic bottle free of PET.
The company does not use acrylics or solvents in its ink.
Panthera is made by an Italian company called Futura. It’s popular throughout Europe and has a growing presence in the USA.
Interestingly, Panthera only makes a range of black colors and one shade of white. Each one withstands fading in sunlight.
The XXX Tribal Black tattoo ink is the deepest color they offer. It comes in a five-ounce bottle.
Panthera’s liner black tattoo ink has a dark velvet sheen. It’s also resistant to UV light to keep it from fading in the future.
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Artist Ralf Nonnweiler collaborated with Panthera to formulate this smooth black shade. It’s superb for subtle details.
Viking Tattoo Ink manufactures in the USA. It’s one of the few brands licensed for use in Spain. These inks are popular throughout the rest of Europe and the USA, too.
The vegan formulas are sterilized for safety. They saturate well and are vegan friendly.
Although there are more than 150 colors available, we selected just two shades for this review. The Black Tribal doubles as a liner.
The Black Fill tattoo ink also performs well for lining and shading.
Expand your skillset with inexpensive black tattoo inks and practice skin.
If you’re familiar with DragonHawk, you might recognize the Kokkai Sumi tattoo ink.
This is a black shade with a thin consistency that you can use for shading, lining, and tribal work.
Aspiring artists have commented that Element’s dark Black tattoo ink dries quickly and tends to fade, but it’s just fine for practice work.
Solong’s black tattoo ink comes in a four-ounce bottle. The pigment is water-soluble, and the ink is sterilized by gamma rays.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to the best black tattoo ink.
Some are formulated especially for lining, others for shading, and still others for precision work.
Modern black tattoo inks are ready to go right out of the bottle as they are pre-dispersed and sterile.
Furthermore, they are available in a wide variety of shades for every imaginable type of art.
Let us know what your favorite black tattoo ink is and why you love it in the comments below.
3. https://www.livescience.com/60503-tattoo-ink-body.html by Amanda Onion,
4. https://www.thoughtco.com/mix-your-own-tattoo-ink-602245 by Anne Marie Helmenstine,
Last update on 2023-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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