What is a handpoke and how does this tattoo differ?

Hand tattoos are experiencing a big comeback. It is something unobtrusive and original. In addition, it does not hurt so much, and the price is more favorable. In the following article, we will look at the tooth of a handpoke tattoo. What…

Hand tattoos are experiencing a big comeback. It is something unobtrusive and original. In addition, it does not hurt so much, and the price is more favorable. In the following article, we will look at the tooth of a handpoke tattoo. What should you know about him?

Handpoke tattooing is a discipline for connoisseurs. Tatras who work this style are not found at all in most salons. With a few exceptions, of course – Duhovka is probably the most famous on the Czech scene.


You will meet handpokes much more often with enthusiasts who have bought a crockery and started it on their own. It’s a bit “underground” and out of the mainstream, but maybe that’s the magic of this technique.

What is handpoke tattoo and how is it different

Handpoke is a hand tattoo without the use of a razor . Tatar works everything on his own, no electrical gadgets help him. He tattoos only with a long, thicker needle with a tab (sometimes with a handle and resembling a pen), which dips into the ink and is inserted into the skin along with the ink that remains inside.

This is how dot by dot is spiked until the final motif is created. Thus, handpoke tattoos, unlike conventional ones, do not lie so much in clearly defined lines, but in dots. It is very difficult to tattoo a smooth line with a static needle, it really takes an experienced hand. It’s easier with the machine.

Handpoke tattoos tend to be minimalist . However, it can also be extensive, but then more sessions are needed, as the manual method in principle takes more time. It can be shaded and colored in the same way, but the perfect koi carp, as in the photo, will probably not be cut out by the Tatras. The most popular are geometric shapes , signs, symbols and motifs inspired by indigenous or ancient cultures .

History of handpoke

The history of handpoke tattoos may not even be perfectly mapped. There is a need to dress up in every civilization, tribe or community – whether they were ancient Egyptians, Berbers, Celts, Crusaders or women in the Balkans. This technique is as old as humanity itself , precisely because it is so uncomplicated and can be done even with a piece of sharp bone.

Hygiene? Same principles as with the machine

Some home tuner who will hand-tattoo you in your room may not care much for hygiene. However, most Tatras follow exactly the same principles as in any conventional studio. Tools must be sterile , gloves are worn at work . The environment should also be clean .

For handpoke enthusiasts, you will often come across tattoos in the field . This is not unusual. And if they follow the principles of cleanliness, tattooing in a meadow during an event is not dangerous at all. As a result, the process will gain a ritual or deeper personal meaning, and you will gain a completely different relationship to the resulting relationship.

TIP: Take a look at the 8 things you need to know about front tattoos .

3 great benefits of handpoke

It heals quickly. The handpoke tattoo technique is more gentle. When working with an electric razor, the needle sticks several times in one place. So the skin is logically more broken, it bleeds more, it heals more slowly. When hand-tattooed with a needle, it is usually stuck only once in one place. The depth of the puncture is the same, but the skin does not take up as much and is restored sooner. This makes healing much faster.

It hurts less. Why, we have already mentioned the paragraph above. It’s not as aggressive as an electric machine, so our bodies don’t have to sound so loud. But be careful – if you entrust yourself to someone very inexperienced, it is quite possible that it will hurt. But even so, it will not be something that cannot be managed.

It’s cheap. Or so they say. If you go to a professional tattoo parlor on a handpoke, expect higher rates than someone who works for a sidecar. A professional tattoo artist has to pay for a chair in the salon and it is his subsistence, so the price is logically higher. But basically, this technique is low cost – just the utensil alone costs 200 CZK plus a few hundred per color.

How long will it last

Has anyone told you that the handpoke won’t last? It’s not true. If you came across an inexperienced tattoo artist who did not lead the needle deep enough, then yes, in a few years you will see the ink. However, if you choose the right person, handpoke tattoos will adorn you for a lifetime.

You can influence it too. Do not drink alcohol before sitting and take care of the bush. Alcohol dilutes the blood and you then start bleeding while sitting. Ink bleeds poorly in bleeding skin. This can also result in the resulting motif not being as durable. And of course care. You have to take care of fresh tattoos , with a machine, and with a hand. And most importantly – never, ever take off your tattoo scabs ! You would tear them off with the ink in your skin.

How to take care of a new tattoo

Follow what the Tater tells you. Everyone has tried slightly different methods to take care of fresh tattoos. But basically the same thing – keep the first day covered, the next days kept dry and clean until healing. Avoid tight-fitting clothing and be careful not to tear the sheets.

What are the other alternatives?

If you enjoy body modification, why not try other alternatives to electric tattoo? In addition to handpoke, it is worth mentioning tattoos by embroidery . Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. He tattoos with a needle and thread, which is dipped in ink. Martin Štuler is a master in this technique. The original inhabitants of the Arctic – Eskimos, Evenks and others – were the first to decorate this style.

The Tebori technique is also popular . It is made with bamboo chopsticks and a needle. Tebori is typical of Japan, especially Yakuza. It’s a bit like a handpoke, the ink gets under the skin by injecting with tools.

While handpoke tends to be minimalist, tebori offer a much richer palette (even realistic) of motifs, colors and shadows. The technology itself is much more sophisticated. In the Czech Republic you can go to Karel “Charlie” Doležal on the camp.

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