The New Piercer’s Guide to Getting Started | Painful Pleasures Community

The New Piercer’s Guide to Getting Started

Congratulations! You've finished your piercing apprenticeship and are ready to start your career as a professional piercer. What do you need to get started? What essential tools, piercing needles and body jewelry should you purchase so you're prepared to handle standard piercings? We guide you on building your basic piercing supply toolkit in this article, <em>The New Piercer's Guide to Getting Started</em>. 

by PainfulPleasures Last Updated: May 14, 2021

We Offer a Variety of Piercing Kits Containing Body Jewelry and Piercing Needles in Standard SizesCongratulations on finishing your piercing apprenticeship! You now have two options for getting started as a professional piercer: You can open your own shop or find a licensed tattoo and piercing shop that’s looking for a piercer. Either way, you need to make sure you have a few things before you can actually start piercing–primarily, a piercing license (required only in some states), your bloodborne pathogens certification, any other certifications your state requires (ex. first aid), piercing supplies, and body jewelry.

You can read more about licenses and certifications, how to find out which ones your state requires, and OSHA requirements in the “Piercing Legalities” section of our Piercing Safely article. The purpose of this article is to guide you on the bare-bones supplies you’ll need to get started as a professional piercer. If you’re planning on opening your own shop, jump over to our Essential Supplies for Starting a Piercing Shop article.


Building Your Piercing Supplies Toolkit

If you go to work in someone else’s tattoo and piercing shop, they’ll probably expect you to purchase your own tools. The shop may cover the cost of piercing needles and body jewelry, but even if they do, they’ll likely look to you for guidance on what to order. It’ll be your job to ensure that you have the basics needed to handle standard piercing requests–piercings like belly button, eyebrow, tongue, lip, nose, and ear piercings. What should you order? Let’s start with the foundation of every piercer’s toolkit: piercing tools.

Piercing Tools

At a minimum, you’ll need the following piercing tools to do basic piercings:

Medical Supplies & Disposables

In addition to piercing tools, you’ll also need things like anti-microbial soap for skin prep and gloves. Here’s a full list of the basic medical supplies and disposables you’ll need to start piercing:

Piercing NeedlesShop by Piercing Needle Gauge

The next item on your list is one of the most critical things to have on hand as a professional piercer: piercing needles. There are so many gauges and styles available; how do you know which ones are absolutely essential? Here’s your cheat sheet for stocking the piercing needles you’ll need most:

Basic Body Jewelry

The final thing on your starter piercing supplies list is body jewelry. Here are the styles, sizes and quantities of basic body jewelry you should stock initially:Captive Bead Rings

As you can see, getting started as a professional piercer means making an investment. As long as you’re properly stocked, though, you’ll reap the rewards tenfold.


Special Tools & Unique Body Jewelry

Unique Captive Bead Rings for Rook, Daith and Other Ear PiercingsEven if you stock up on all the piercing supplies outlined above, there will still be times when you don’t have exactly the right size jewelry to do a piercing in a particular size or a special tool needed to do an unique piercing. There will also be times when a customer wants a unique piece of body jewelry as their starter jewelry. When those times come, tell your prospective client what you’re ordering just for them, set a date in a week or two to do their piercing, and then order what you need from us. Just add a note to the “Customer Comments” field in checkout stating that you need the items you’re ordering by a certain date, and we’ll get them to you in time. We can even overnight your order to you, if you have a client who’s in a hurry to get their new piercing.

Double Post Mayo Stand With 2 Tray Sizes


Ways to Save on Piercing Supplies

Keeping a healthy supply of body jewelry and other piercing supplies can be expensive, even when you find great deals. We understand that and strive to make it as affordable as possible for you to always have everything you need to practice your craft. We offer a variety of ways for you to save on the supplies you use most:

  • Look in the light gray box containing the “Add to Cart” button on any product detail page to see if we offer bulk price breaks on that item. This is a great way to save on products you use frequently, like our 14g Internal Straight Steel Barbells, which are half off when you buy 100 at a time. (Note that these price breaks only apply when you’re buying a single size, style or color in bulk.)
  • When you’re placing an order of $100 or more, shop in our Wholesale Store to take advantage of reduced pricing offered only to industry professionals. If you’re spending $500 or more, shop in our Distributor Store, where you’ll find our absolute lowest prices.
  • Sign up for our weekly emails to have coupons and other special offers delivered right to your inbox. Just go to your store of choice (Retail | Wholesale | Distributor), scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your email address in the sign-up box in the bottom-right corner. Alternatively, you can also visit the Events section of our site to see our current offers.

    Discount Body Jewelry and Sale Piercing Supplies

  • Check out our Sales & Deals section to see all the products we’ve marked down promotionally and the ones that are priced really low to move and make room for new inventory. You’ll find body jewelry galore in this section, like the nose rings to the right that have been marked down an extra 10%. Occasionally, you’ll also find discounted piercing supplies, too, like the 15%-off tray table to the right, which is perfect for setting up a sterile field before doing a piercing. We also have select piercing needles, needle and jewelry kits, discounted piercing tool kits, and more in our Sales & Deals section–even cases of Wavicide.


Simplify the Shopping Process

We know it can be time-consuming to build an initial order like the one outlined above, so we’ve added two options to make it easier for you to get everything you need:

  • You can click on any product name above to go right to the corresponding product detail page, where you can add the item to cart. The link will open in a new browser tab or window, so this page will always still be easily accessible for reference if you need to look back to see what sizes, colors, etc., to buy.
  • We’ve also prepared a shopping list that you can fill in using Microsoft Excel and/or print out and reference while you shop for body jewelry and piercing supplies.

Happy shopping and piercing!

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