What is the difference between a piercing gun and a hand clamp? Is the hand clamp a piercing gun?
There are only 2 ways of piercing:
1) Hollow needle. A hollow needle does the piercing and jewelry is then added following the insertion of the needle.
2) Piercing gun/hand clamp: These methods both pierce with the jewelry and there is no needle involved. The hand clamp is a piercing gun without a spring. The force of the hand essentially pushes the earring through the skin vs the "gun" which is spring loaded.
Throughout my years as a piercer, I have successfully used BOTH the hollow needle method and the Blomdahl medical ear piercing system which is essentially a gun with a sterile and disposable clamp and earrings. Anything that comes into direct contact with the skin is sterile and disposed of immediately after use.
I will use a piercing gun on babies because they are not able to be held still enough during a piercing for me to use a needle. With older clients I almost always use a needle because it widens the choice of jewelry I am able to use. It is also a better way to pierce for multiple piercings where I'm working in very small areas. For cartilage I always use a needle. My professional observation is that both needle and gun piercings will heal well and function exactly the same once fully healed. My angle and placement is also the same regardless which method the client prefers.