Unfortunately, power supply cords fail often.
They face a lot of use and abuse in tattoo shops.
That’s why it’s smart to stock up on the best RCA cables for tattoo machines.
It’s always good to have a couple of extras on hand.
What’s the difference between a clip cord versus RCA cable?
Both kinds of power cords have one end that resembles a big headphone jack.
But the other end reveals the critical difference between a clip cord and an RCA power cable.
The clip cord ends in a Y shape with metal tips to connect to the coil tattoo machine.
Meanwhile, the RCA cable has a smaller jack on the other end that looks like an audio or video connector for a stereo. It plugs into a rotary tattoo machine.
Now, it’s possible to purchase a conversion kit that allows you to switch connectors. For instance, you can convert a clip cord connection into an RCA jack and power a coil machine.
But I suggest you try out whichever connection comes standard with your preferred tattoo machine. If you’re not happy with it, you can always make the changes later.
Today, we’ll review the best replacement RCA cables because you will need them soon enough.
Why do tattoo machine cables fail so often?
Humans are hard on power cords. We yank on them, step on them, and roll our chairs over the top of them.
One of the worst offenses is how we wind them up for storage or transport. Wrap them too tightly, and you’ll cause the thin wires inside to break (1).
If you need to clean up the cables, coil them loosely.
How to tell the good RCA cables from the bad ones
Price alone isn’t a good indicator of a product’s quality. We’ve all bought something expensive that disappointed us.
Unfortunately, our consumerist society makes it all too easy to purchase cheap products that end up in landfills too soon.
How can you tell if you’re getting a good quality RCA cable or not?
First, don’t fret so much over whether your connectors are gold or aluminum. Unless you’ve truly paid top dollar, the thin metal plating on the jack isn’t going to make much difference. It’s probable that the “gold” connectors are actually alloys anyway.
What matters more is whether the jacks stay connected to the tattoo machine and the power supply. If they come unplugged unexpectedly while you’re working, it’s a pain, and it doesn’t look professional.
Second, consider the insulation on the cable. Silicone is superior to the woven fabric as it’s straightforward to sanitize. But the nylon might protect the cord better from abrasion. You can always cover it with a plastic sleeve.
Finally, inspect the over-molding that covers the jack and the end of the cable. If the molding is separate from the insulation, there won’t be strain-relief protection against damage from yanking the cord (2).
Best RCA Cables for Tattoo Machines
Now, let’s see the best RCA cords for tattoo machines.
EZTAT2 Master Pro Tattoo Cord
The EZTAT2 RCA cable looks professional with its black insulation and silver-accented connectors.
Notice that the tips have a strain relief design connecting the jacks to the rest of the cord’s insulation. It’s the textured over-molding that prevents the parts from separating when bent or pulled.
Next, the silicone insulation helps prevent tangles. It’s also easy to clean. It makes the cable surprisingly thin and lightweight, yet sturdy.
Some artists prefer the 90-degree DC connector as seen on a similar RCA cable from the same company. It helps keep the cord out of the way of the rotary pen.
Both types of cable are a generous 6-feet long to allow you room to work.
Keep in mind that this cable is not compatible with a Cheyenne Hawk, but it should fit most other rotary machines.
Tattoo RCA and DC Cords – Yuelong
Yuelong offers two cables in this package. One is RCA and the other DC. They fit most standard machines and power supplies.
The 6.5-foot wires are thin and flexible. They are covered with silicone insulation. This has the interesting effect of making them fireproof.
The connectors are stainless steel regardless of whether they look gold or silver.
If you’re not happy with your purchase, they offer a satisfaction guarantee. That’s exactly what you want if you’re hesitant to purchase a brand you don’t recognize.
Fortunately, Yuelong isn’t a newcomer to the tattoo supply business.
JellyfishPro Sturdy Tattoo RCA Connector Cord
Choose from a ninety-degree right angle connector or a straight connector on this RCA cable. Both are 18K gold-plated.
In this case, it’s a bonus to have gold-plated connectors as they are resistant to oxidation and corrosion. Gold is also a good conductor of electricity.
The body of the cord is seventy-one-inches long. At 58g or 2 ounces, it’s not going to add hardly any weight to your pen. Plus, the black insulation is injection-molded to provide strain resistance.
The cable comes with a one-year warranty.
TTGO RCA Jack Cord, 6ft
Electronics manufacturer TTGO also offers an RCA cord for tattoo machines. It’s available in red, blue, or black.
The wire is covered in silicone insulation, with heavy-duty metal connectors. Instead of rubber over-molding, the quarter-inch phono jack has metal wire protecting its connection to the wire.
The RCA connector is mounted at 90° at the other end of the six-foot cord.
Moreover, the company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee if there’s a problem.
Dragonhawk Tattoo RCA Cord for Tattoo Machines
Dragonhawk offers one of the longest cords at 7 feet. They recommend it for their own rotary pens, but it’s compatible with other brands as well.
The connectors contain a high percentage of copper for excellent transmission of electricity. At the same time, the thin cable stays out of the way.
Choose from green and black or orange and green options.
BIGWASP Tattoo RCA Connector Cord for Tattoo Machines
The BIGWASP RCA cable is 79 inches, or 2m in length. It’s compatible with all rotary machines with an RCA interface.
The cord is insulated with injection-molded plastic that provide some resistance to abrasion and breaking. It weighs just 70g, or two and a half ounces.
Although there is some protective over-molding, reviewers say that these cables don’t necessarily last longer than any other brand. They tend to break where the cord meets the connector.
Fortunately, the company offers a satisfaction guarantee.
HAWINK Rotary Tattoo Machine Power Cord RCA Connector P315C-1
In your search for a spare RCA cable, this one is compatible with everything except the Mast pen.
If you look past the color, the sturdy construction resembles the TTGO cable reviewed above.
It has coiled metal reinforcing the phono jack and plastic over-molding on the RCA connector.
But still, reviewers say it will probably only last for a few months of use.
Tazay Tattoo RCA 8ft Long RCA Jack Cable for Tattoo Machine
This brand puts a decent length of over-molding where the cable meets the connectors. The cord is protected by silicone for flexibility and strength.
The silicone is also straightforward to wipe clean.
The specs say it’s six and a half feet long and weighs just over 2 ounces, or 67g. It comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
One user said they’ve had it working for about a year.
TAONE Silicone 2.4 Meter 8′ Feet Tattoo Machine RCA Plug Cord
The second-longest RCA cable I found is 8 feet or 2.4m. It’s available in blue, purple, or black.
It’s for use with any brand of tattoo machine with compatible connectors.
The tips have gold plating to improve the connection. Meanwhile, the silicone insulation hides the copper lead alloy inside.
The thickness of the cable and connectors adds a bit of heft. It weighs 110g or nearly 4 ounces.
It comes from a tattoo supply company that offers a satisfaction guarantee.
STIGMA RCA Cord for Tattoo Machine P351
Stigma’s RCA cable is skinny, flexible, and lightweight. You might mistake it for your headphone cord.
It has the typical rubber injection-molded protection over the connectors.
It’s compatible with their brand of rotary pens as well as those from other companies.
Autdor Tattoo RCA Cable – 6.5ft
What if you have both rotary and coil tattoo machines in your shop? Then this two-pack may save you money.
It includes a clip cord for coil machines and an RCA cable for rotary pens.
Both cables feature aluminum alloy connectors with gold plating. Then, the inner core of the wire is oxygen-free copper for extra-low resistance. It’s insulated with abrasion-resistant silicone.
This is yet another company that offers a satisfaction guarantee.
ITATOO Tattoo RCA Cord for Rotary Tattoo Machine
ITATOO has the most colorful as well as the longest RCA cables.
Each one measures 8.2 feet or two and a half meters. Choose from black, green, navy blue, purple, red, orange, and fuchsia. All are compatible with standard tattoo machines that have an RCA connector.
There are two downsides, however.
First, instead of silicone, the outside of the cord is nylon. The fabric makes it wear-resistant, but difficult to clean. You’ll definitely need plastic sleeves for it.
And second, reviewers say the cable is bulky. I’m not surprised as the package is over 5 ounces. The specifications don’t say how much the cord weighs by itself.
At least they offer a six-month warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Hisight Tattoo Clip Cord Covers
I found the two most popular brands of clip cord covers.
The first one includes two hundred cable sleeves in transparent blue plastic. Each one is 2 inches wide by 31 inches long. One side is sealed and the other is open.
They should be suitable for any type of pen style rotary machine.
Tattoo Clip Cord Covers – Yuelong
The next type of cord sleeves has a slightly thicker polyethylene plastic in either black, blue, or transparent options.
One end is open, and the other is sealed. They come as one long strip of one hundred twenty-five pieces. But they are joined with easy-to-tear perforations.
Each one measures 2 inches wide by 32 inches long.
AmeriVolt Tattoo Gun Machine RCA Jack Conversion Kit Plug Adaptor & Clip Cord Set
At the beginning, I mentioned that there are conversion kits available.
If you’re tired of using clip cords, you can make the switch to RCA in just a few minutes.
The included RCA cable is six-feet long. You’ll be plugging it into the included clip cord adapter once you’ve installed that on the machine. The compact profile and minimal weight shouldn’t take much getting used to.
RCA Adapter for Converting Spring-Style Tattoo Clip Cords to RCA Cords by Painful Pleasures
If you don’t need an additional RCA cable, here’s the basic conversion kit. Mount this on the coil machine so that you never have to use a clip cord again.
It converts the spring-style tattoo clip to a single RCA connector.
Since it’s a universal product, it should be compatible with practically every coil tattoo machine on the market.
Redscorpion Tattoo Foot Pedal 360-Degree Foot Switch
Do you know what else has a tendency to wear out? The foot switch does.
Here is a spare that you might like better than your original model. It’s discreet black with the image of a red scorpion on the top.
Since it’s a 360° switch, you don’t have to worry about how you place your foot on it. Also, the bottom has a non-slip pad, so it doesn’t scoot around where you can’t find it.
It comes with a silicone-insulated power cord with a phono jack for the power supply.
As an artist, you’re probably going to go through a lot of RCA cables. It’s a good idea to have a few spares for travel and backup.
You might also find that you prefer the reliability of an RCA connector over finicky clip cords.
I hope the reviews today helped you settle on a few necessary purchases for your shop. If you like what you found, please come back and drop us a line.
1. https://www.consumerreports.org/electronics/tips-for-avoiding-power-cord-problems/ by Allen St. John, published February 25, 2017, accessed September 18, 2020
2. https://superuser.com/questions/1408103/are-all-power-cords-made-equal by Attie, published February 21, 2019, accessed September 18, 2020