The term ‘freehand’ in body piercing means the piercing is done without the use of forceps. Forceps, or clamps, are used as tension-devices to pinch the tissue being pierced and stabilize it properly so the piercing needle can be guided without sudden movement of the skin. A body piercing kit that features forceps is a standard piercing kit, while kits that do not feature forceps are referred to as ‘freehand’ kits. Freehand piercing involves massaging the skin to be pierced and then ‘tenting’ it up by hand (resembling a soft-pinching of skin) so that the needle will properly go through the desired area.
The photo above is of a standard body piercing kit that includes forceps, sterile piercing needles and sterile body jewelry. If you are a new apprentice body piercer, it is probably a good idea to always use forceps, as they allow you more control over the situation. Once you have experience in piercing, you may elect to do freehand piercing in the various areas of the body that are suitable for it. Once proficient at freehand piercing, you will find the process a bit faster and possibly less traumatic to the client since many times the pressure of the clamps is more of a burden than the actual penetration of the needle.