Best Market Value when Comparing Tattoo Inks

When an individual is seeking to modify their body permanently with a tattoo, their artist’s craft is not the only factor that is important. First and foremost, a customer needs to look at the ink the artist is using, for the quality of the art will be heavily impacted by the quality of material that they utilize. When deciding what inks are the best, there are two brands that are commonly used by artists that run head-to-head on the market today.


Eternal Tattoo Ink products were formulated in the United States and their products are manufactured in Brighton, Michigan. They are commonly used by tattoo artists who seek high intensity color that lasts. Kuro Sumi on the other hand, originated in Japan and has only just recently made its mark for production in the United States over the past decade. Both inks are widely known around the world for their high quality colors, but Eternal is more commonly known and used by high-end tattoo artists.

Although both of these brands are available worldwide, their brand recognition varies because their marketing and distribution methods are very different. Eternal Inks sell directly online to consumers from their website, but yet they are very selective on who they distribute to wholesale in order to maintain their reputation. Kuro Sumi, however, is just the opposite. They do not follow a business to consumer model, and their products are only available through large distributors, which are located all over the world. Therefore, Kuro Sumi inks have a better brand recognition amongst veteran and novice tattoo artists for they can be purchased from a wider variety international distributors.


Color selection is very important to all tattoo artists. Although most artists have the ability to combine the basic colors together to create the perfect combination, their jobs are made easier with having a large selection of inks to choose from. When comparing these two brands, Eternal Inks blow Kuro Sumi out of the water.

Eternal Tattoo Inks have a selection that not only includes various gray-washes (different shades of gray) they have 273 different shades of bright colors for artists to choose from. Although this may be too many to choose from, especially for novice artists, having a vast collection makes an artist seem more professional. The other benefit is if a tattoo artist runs out of a particular shade, there is a color that is close in comparison that can be used.

Kuro Sumi offers just under 100 different shades, with a smaller selection of gray-washes. This benefits a tattoo artist because they are not boggled down choosing between two shades that are not very different from one another. The company is able to narrow their market because their selection is more concise; however they limit their audience for large shops that are looking for a greater variety.


The longevity and brightness of tattoo ink is vital to both the artist and the consumer. If an ink is dull, or has a quick expiration, the tattoo will not look as clean and crisp over time. Many artists use pictures of their work as their portfolios to draw in more business, and if the ink quality is not superior, it won’t matter how great the piece is, it will not get the review it deserves unless the artist uses high quality materials in the process.

Eternal Tattoo Inks are known internationally for their brightness and lasting shelf life. Many of the top tattoo artists around the world will utilize Eternal Inks, because their color stays bright in the skin over decades. Their colors are known not to fade, and their initial contrast on various skin tones are incredible.

Their competitor’s ingredients were formulated in Japan, where some of the best traditional work originates from. Their colors are not as bright, and the company does not offer as wide of a selection in trending colors such as neon or blacklight inks. However, their tones take on a more neutral tone and their black inks have incredible longevity which are great in traditional and tribal tattoo design. Kuro Sumi inks are great for novice artists who are just beginning to experiment with utilizing different shading, and can easily be used for cover up pieces.


Tattooing is usually a contracted profession, and artists typically are responsible for purchasing their own supplies. So, the cost of their equipment, including inks, is very important. Although a tattoo may cost $100, the cost of inks can determine whether or not the artist is going to reap in a large net profit.

Eternal Inks offers a selection of four different sizes, which impact the price of the product. They also offer a large range of sets that you can purchase, which contain anywhere from six to sixty different colors. A typical bottle of ink, which is one ounce, will cost less than ten dollars. However, a four ounce bottle will cost an artist approximately $45 for a four-ounce bottle.

Kuro Sumi also offers a range of bottle sizes, which tend to run a little less expensive. Their sets are not as comprehensive as Eternal, for they have a limited color selection. The four-ounce option will cost the consumer about twenty dollars less per bottle. However, because you cannot purchase the product directly from the company, the price will increase due to the mark-up of the distributor.


Eternal Inks has an incredible reputation for being one of the top brands on the market. Many online reviews not only compliment the company’s selection and quality, but their availability, ease of purchase and associated tattooing products such as machines and aftercare. Consumers include the artists themselves, as well as the customers that have been tattooed by this ink. There were limited reviews stating negative comments pertaining to infection or fading, and most frequently the cost of the ink being so expensive.

Kuro Sumi products also had rave reviews, however their reviews were less frequent when comparing different online sites and speaking to different tattoo artists. Their inks are less expensive; however almost no reviews referenced the cost of their product. Most comments relate to the distributors that carry the products, which can both positively or negatively impact the reputation of the ink company.

Overall, Eternal Tattoo Inks would be the brand I would most likely choose as a consumer or as an artist. Their selection, availability, and quality outweigh the price that you will pay per bottle. Although Kuro Sumi is an excellent brand, they do not offer the selection that most tattoo artists would seek and limits the ability to create gorgeous bright masterpieces. If you are looking for a more traditional or tribal-like tattoo, or if you are just starting out with a basic set of ink, this would be the company to go with. However, a professional in the field will most likely choose Eternal when making a product choice.