Workhorse Irons is a collaborative project dedicated to sustainably creating and providing the tattoo community with high quality handmade tattoo machines and tattoo supplies at reasonable prices.
Our Evolving Mission...
For years we have focused our efforts on quality and care…providing the best tattoo products and customer service possible. We have always believed in the importance of sustainability and equity within tattooing, but it has not been the driving force as we’ve worked very hard to keep up with demand without sacrificing quality. These are beliefs we have lived out in our day to day lives with some overflow into projects and unspoken policy. The need for increased attention on these matters has become much more evident these past few years. We recognize this and our own short comings and apologize for the delayed response. We are now shifting gears to focus more energy on eco conscious tattooing and equity within tattooing…it is time to bridge the gap and do our part to continue moving tattooing in a positive direction. However, it is crucial for us to do this while still maintaining the same level of product quality and customer care we have always provided. We will never compromise quality as it is our foundation.
Moving in this new direction, we believe it is our responsibility to set forth comprehensive initiatives and shared information to benefit the health and longevity of tattooing and tattoo artists. This will take time, but we are committed to the following focal points to help guide us on our journey…
The backbone of everything we have done since day one and still the driving factor in everything we create. All products are composed of and made from high quality ingredients - whether that is the type of raw iron used in the foundry or which glycerin is used in our lining ink. Quality starts at the beginning and is in every step along the way. Nothing leaves our facility without passing a rigorous three phase quality control test. We are known for our quality and dependability and will always stand by the the products we produce. Our goal has always been to make your job easier and allow you to make the best tattoos possible without any quality issues from your tattoo machines or supplies. This hasn’t changed and never will.
When we started Workhorse most tattoo supply companies had the worst customer service. Yes it was kind of tongue in cheek clever leaving a message on an answering machine hoping you would receive a COD package within a week or so, but it was very unreliable and far from convenient. We set out to provide the same, if not better, customer care and support that you would receive from any reputable business. It really didn’t seem like much, but it changed everything, customers were thrilled and many companies followed suit for years to follow. We have always believed that if you are buying something from us, you deserve the highest degree of attention and care possible. Orders must ship quickly, emails must be replied to right away, and if there is ever any problem it is taken care of immediately. Above and beyond is the goal. Whether buying a $1000 machine or a $5 spring, you are equally important to us and will be given the proper attention in a timely fashion. We are eternally grateful for all of our customer's support over the years, because without you we would not be where we are today.
For years we have produced and sourced as much as possible locally. On the machine side of things, the vast majority of what we make is made in house or down the street by one of our partners. The supply side this has been much more challenging, but we have done what we can and continue to seek out better ways to produce all our products. It is imperative that eco tattooing becomes the norm and that single use plastic becomes a thing of the past. This has been on our hearts for quite a while now, but we have not had good options until recently to start feasibly replacing the plastic disposable items in our lineup with compostable and/or biodegradable alternatives. We are now actively and aggressively working to remove all plastic products from our lineup to help do our part to bring about more sustainable tattooing. We are thrilled with our partnership with Good Judy…their products are great and they are very knowledgeable regarding bioplastics, compostability, and the proper certifications that go along with doing it right. We are also working to reduce our packaging and the impact of shipping supplies all over the world. Please keep an eye out as we continue to release more eco tattooing options over the next couple years.
We believe we can use our platform to act as leaders to help bring greater equity to tattooing, working as an example to create a more inclusive environment for tattoo artists and their clients. Our goal is to help educate the builders we represent, while also creating expanded core values as a company that extend beyond quality and customer service. We are working on tangible/actionable plans to engage the world and live out some of these values. We have been in talks with various experts and consultants, but do not want this to just be some basic HR/PR policy coupled with some fine crafted words. We want it to be real and effective. While we are not completely certain what this looks like, we have been educating ourselves and others so we may continue this ongoing dialogue to bring change.
Our efforts include new internal codes of conduct, trainings, shared resources, and tangible consequences. This expanded focus will be measured through action…how we engage and interact in the realm of tattooing, how we communicate and promote ourselves and others, the diversity of the builders we work with, where our money goes, the products we carry, how they are made, and ultimately what we put our time and effort into.
Thanks for your time and patience with us as we figure these things out and move towards a more sustainable and equitable future.
What is the difference between this and any other machine available?
WHI's are built by tattooers, for tattooers. We know what makes an outliner just that. We know why a shader needs to run slower, and how to make that happen. The builders represented by Workhorse are all quite adept at tattooing in their respective styles and know how to construct a rock solid tool, a tool that make your job easier. In short, we aren’t a bunch of investors looking to make a buck off of tattooing. We are tattooers with the best interest of the tattoo community in mind.
Why do they cost less than the machines you’ve been building for years?
WHI is able to offer machines at a lower cost than other “handmades” due to the fact that each builder involved will be using the same foundry, machinist, industrial supply house, and shipping agent as one another. In other words, we’ve pooled our collective resources, and we all save a few bucks without compromising the quality of our machines, or the integrity of ourselves.
What are the machines “made of”?
Most frames are constructed of a malleable “ductile” iron, some are also offered in brass and aluminum. The coil cores and armature bars are low carbon steel, which promotes conductivity and minimal magnetic flux. Brass binding posts and silicon bronze alloy contact screws insure proper contact between critical points of electrical circumvolution. All coils are “6 wrap” or “8 wrap”, with the occasional 10 wrap, which actually means there are literally either 6 or 8 layers of magnet wire encircling the insulated steel core.
What kind of “turnaround” time is there from when I place an order?
Orders placed on the website by 12pm noon EST will typically ship the same day. Sometimes though customer demand is higher than our production capabilities, and we will NEVER sacrifice quality for quantity. Please be patient - we put a lot of care into our products, and that takes time.
Is there any type of “guarantee” you can offer me?
Yes. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your purchase from WHI. Should you have a problem with a machine, simply drop us a line via telephone or email, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible, to determine how we can be of service, and to make sure you’re happy with your tools.
Will these machines be produced in limited numbers?
Of course, after all, we are human. We’re not quite sure just how many of each will be made, but as we learn from our mistakes, and from each other, we will be forced to introduce frame designs that implement new theories. This is a learning process for us and machine building is our passion. Our goal is not to flood the market with mass-produced pieces of garbage that folks can’t use every day, but to mature and move forth in our craft slowly over time.