There are few things more compelling than a good hand tattoo – they never fail to draw a reaction from onlookers.
Outside of facial tattoos or prison tattoo, hate and gang ink, no style of body art draws more ire from potential employers than a tattoo style employing the wrist, hand and fingers.
While stigma surrounding visible tattoos has started to fade, hand and finger tattoos remain controversial outside of a tattoo shop, and can also draw sparks in the tattoo parlor as well.
Sometimes a tattoo artist won’t do them on principle (especially for the inexperienced guy off the street), while others won’t tattoo hands and fingers because of the likely necessity to frequently touch up or completely re-do a tattoo design.
Others artists love the freedom of expression that tattoo style on the hands and digits can exemplify when etched with skill and design smarts.
It’s the one place other than the neck or face that can’t be covered up or concealed. They require being ready to confront society with confidence and commitment, but they are growing into one of the 50+ best tattoo ideas. for 2020.
The top 90 hand tattoo and finger designs in this collection show what is possible with the right tattoo style, a skilled tattoo artist, and a prominent canvas to work with – from there you can draw your own conclusions on whether it’s the right kind of tattoo inspiration for you.
See more about – The Top 135 Best Tattoo Ideas for Men
1. Knuckle Tattoo
Whether you’re thinking about a special ring finger tattoo, a tiny tattoo on the fingers and knuckles, or a larger piece that encompasses the entirety of the hand, the possibilities are endless.
Each finger may be used as an individual canvas that relates to a larger idea, paying homage to a figure on each finger, or just a part of a larger idea to play with illustrative designs on the knuckles.
Since your hand and fingers are one of the most prominent areas you can get a tattoo etched, make sure you’re set on the piece, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it!
See more about – The Top 101 Knuckle Tattoo Ideas
2. Palm Tattoo Ideas
There are serious considerations to make before getting a tattoo on the palm of your hand, so don’t make the decision on a whim.
The skin in this area regenerates faster than any other place, which means the presentations are bound to fade over a much shorter period of time – often within months even for bold black line tattoos.
Thus, be prepared for constant re-inking sessions needed to maintain the condition of a palm design.
Inner hand tattoos have also earned a reputation for being quite an endurance feat, so take your pain threshold into consideration as well.
See more about – Top 100 Best Palm Tattoo Ideas
3. Hand Tattoos for Men
Not for the timid, hand tattoos are a choice made by those seeking a bold tattoo.
For ‘white collar’ professionals, or anyone hoping to one day work in the professional world, this can be seen as a very bad idea, whether it’s a religious design or full on x-ray skeleton image.
Times have definitely changed when it comes to tattoos in mainstream society, but hand tattoos can still be problematic.
See more about – Top 41 Badass Hand Tattoos for Men
3. Skull Hand Tattoos
A skull tattoo adds further provocative imagery to the already bold choice of hand tattoo design.
Some skull and skeleton hand ink incorporates macabre elements like flesh and blood and spooky color, while other alternatives strike an old-school note by focusing solely on the skeletal essence involved in its contour.
See more about – Top 80 Best Skull Tattoo Ideas
4. Rose Hand Tattoo Ideas
Hand tattoos are a staple in contemporary body art so of course there are awesome rose tattoos.
Along with skulls and odes to family or friends, the beautiful flower is one of the most enduring classical tattoo icons.
A rose hand tattoo can look edgy and excellent when applied in different colors linked with feelings or situations, which are often transferred to add another layer of meaning for the collector.
See more about – Top 101 Best Rose Hand Tattoos
5. Hand Tattoos for Women
The hand tattoos a woman chooses to wear can say a lot about their personality and sense of style. For ladies unafraid to show their love of ink to the world, a hand tattoo is a great choice.
Badass and beautiful tattoo isn’t confined to gender norms, so ladies should rock the skull knuckle tattoos, or the phoenix bird tattoo, rather than only stick with the outdated idea of traditional feminine tattoo design and placement.
See more about – Top 73 Hand Tattoos for Women
6. Finger Tattoos
Whether intricate or simple in execution, finger tattoos are a rapidly growing phenomenon in the tattoo industry. Digit tattoos are paving the way for an ever-evolving creative talent.
Though, as you can expect, your bony fingers are more than just hard to ink, they’re painful too thanks to a bunch of nerve endings.
See more about – Top 75 Finger Tattoo Ideas
7. Small Hand Tattoos
For some people, choosing a tattoo location involves finding a place easy to cover. For others, that consideration doesn’t really matter.
When making the leap into highly visible tattoos you don’t have to get huge pictures drawn on your backs like a paintings, or a sleeve design covering a limb.
A small tattoo or even tiny tattoo could be the best option for you, especially for a hand or finger tattoo design.
See more about – Top 63 Small Hand Tattoo Ideas
8. Lion Hand Tattoos
A man’s hand is his power and strength. The hand is a tool, and it is also a weapon.
The lion symbolizes power, courage, pride, strength, and even royalty, so it makes that a magnificent creature of this kind is a popular motif in visible hand tattoos.
Why show off a lamb when you can sport a lion?
See more about – Top 40 Lion Hand Tattoo Ideas
9. Simple Hand Tattoos
Cultures from around the world have decorated their hands with bold and often astonishingly detailed tattoo art for thousands of years.
Sailors, warriors, and priests often tattooed sacred symbols onto their hands for protection against evil, as well as in honor of loved ones.
Whether entrepreneur or tradesman, hand tattoos in their simplest rendering remind us of where we come from, what we love, and what compels us to keep going.
See more about – Top 71 Simple Hand Tattoo Ideas
10. Traditional Hand Tattoos
American traditional tattoos are a mix of nautical imagery, war themes, and nods to tattoo tradition stretching back even before Sailor Jerry’s time. They feature bold lines, limited color, and simple design techniques.
Some types of traditional tattoos still have the meanings they were ascribed in Sailor Jerry’s day, such as the anchor for crossing the Atlantic Ocean, or the dagger as a serviceman’s symbol of life and death.
Contemporary tattoo has built upon the legacy of Sailor Jerry with technical advancements and creativity. These days hand tattoos, a no no in much of the old school, deploy stunningly vibrant variations of traditional old school work.
See more about – Top 61 Traditional Hand Tattoos
11. Geometric Hand Tattoos
Hand tattoos hold a unique place in the world of ink, and for good reason. The artistic skill required is both delicate and courageous, with the wearer’s full awareness brought to bear as they work with their hands day in and day out.
With geometric tattoos a handshake, wave goodbye, or toast can make simple everyday gestures into performance art.
See more about – 40 Geometric Hand Tattoo Ideas
12. Tribal Tattoo for the Hand
Tribal hand tattoos, as a representation of people, culture, and religion – particularly for those of the Polynesian Islands and NZ Maori – are treated in a more positive fashion to other visible tattoo types.
A tribal tattoo is most often deployed in in blackwork, however more colors are being used in the rich traditional designs that are some of the oldest known to tattoo.
Tribal ink allows the intricate design patterns to work with or against the flow of the hands and fingers while telling the collector’s story – often as a coming of age, or design related to their place within their people’s culture.
See more about – Top 41 Tribal Hand Tattoo Ideas
13. Ring Tattoo Ideas
While many people think of knuckle letters that spell out words like “LOVE” or “HATE” when they hear “finger tattoo” this old school tradition is just one approach that can be applied to the digits.
A growing trend in the tattoo community sees people choosing to get tattoos inspired by rings to signify special occasions, while friends may choose to get matching tattoos.
Other collectors may simply enjoy the look of having a permanent ring they never have to take off.
See more about – Top 75 Best Ring Tattoo Ideas
14. 3D Hand Tattoos
Tattoos have evolved as artwork and the possibilities have grown significantly. You are no longer limited to the flat plane that your skin offers — with the right artist, you can create artwork that looks larger than life and seems to rise right off your body.
The unique anatomy of your hand creates some interesting possibilities for 3D tattoos. You can play off the different bones and tendons to create intricate and interesting design themes.
See more about – Top 50 3D Hand Tattoo Ideas
15. Side of Hand Tattoos
The greatest benefit of a side hand design is the flexibility to use the edges of the palm for a truly meaningful phrase, word, or image.
The area can comfortably accommodate words, a tribal design, small image, asnd is popular for matching tattoo.
Side hand tattoos are often rendered in black ink and gray, but color can also be incorporated.
An abstract design or a simple phrase can work better than a more complicated image for this particular spot on the body, and be aware that they are often subject to fading or fall out.
See more about – 40 Side of Hand Tattoo Ideas
16. Wedding Ring Tattoos
A wedding ring is the traditional symbol that represents the eternal bond between two people but for some folks something a bit more permanent than an actual wedding ring is necessary to symbolize their love.
A growing trend in the tattoo community sees more and more people using a wedding ring tattoo to represent the eternal bond they share with their partner and the effect created with ring tattoos can be quite appealing.
See more about – Top 59 Best Wedding Ring Tattoo Ideas
Hand Tattoo FAQs
What are the best hand tattoos?
Hand tattoos are now at their most complex artistic point in ink history. The best and most popular designs include:
- American traditional fill (daggers, stars, lettering)
- Animal motifs
- 3D tattoos
- Pop culture (anime, film, television and books)
- Geometric symbols
- Tribal tattoos
- Wedding, ring finger and matching tattoo art
Do some tattoo artists refuse to do hand tattoos?
Some stigma surrounding visible tattoos has faded over the last twenty years but hand and finger tattoos remain controversial.
Sometimes a tattoo parlor or artist won’t do them on principle, while others won’t tattoo hands and fingers because of the likely necessity to frequently touch up or completely re-do a tattoo design.
Should women get hand tattoos?
A woman should get whichever tattoo she wants, wherever they choose to get them! Your sex and gender should never hamper tattoo inspiration and execution.
Badass and beautiful tattoo isn’t confined to gender norms, so ladies should rock the skull knuckle tattoo or the killer wrist mandala, rather than stick with outdated ideas of traditional feminine design such as a tired flash butterfly tattoo.
Why are hand tattoos called jobstoppers?
“Jobstoppers” refer to tattoos that are difficult, if not impossible, to hide on places like the face, hands and neck . They often impede employment for the visibly tattooed in professional settings.
In the past, tattoos—especially highly visible ones like a good hand tattoo or symbolic neck tattoo —carried strong associations with criminality.
Do hand tattoos last?
Tattoos on the back of the hand are the most likely to age gracefully than finger, knuckle, or side of hand tattoos, especially if they are deployed with bold blackwork.
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays and other natural wear and tear means that these pieces will age faster and more dramatically than tattoos on parts of the body that don’t get the same amount of exposure.
How bad do hand tattoos hurt?
Hands are one of the more painful areas to get tattooed, due to the fact that the area is mostly bone and ligament, with a few nerves thrown in.
Also, your tattoo artist will need to repeatedly go over some areas, so the skin may feel especially tender.
What is ink ‘fall out’ for hand tattoos?
Rapid tattoo fading and ink “falling” out often occurs with hand, finger, and foot tattoos.
Skin is constantly regenerating, and this effect occurs more rapidly in the areas that are exposed to abrasive surfaces or constant wear.
You may find that your hand tattoo may need touching up, or even in extreme cases getting re-done after a period of attrition.
Do ring tattoos last?
Finger skin is much thicker due to continual use, making the job more difficult. Ink here has a tendency to “fall out” and can create a faded, ghostly image.
Artists may try packing ink deeper than they would otherwise, which can lead to blown out or imprecise looking designs.
Are finger tattoos a good idea?
Because fingers are such active parts of the human body, a finger tattoo idea doesn’t always work out the same as tattoos located elsewhere.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to get a finger tattoo. The best finger tattoos are really punched in solid blackwork to reduce fading, smudging, and illegibility.
How much does a hand tattoo cost?
Hand tattoo pricing starts at the shop minimum of $50-$150 for the smallest and easiest inked linework pieces.
Pricing can go all the way up to $800 for complex work that utilizing the entirety of the hand and fingers.
Remember, it’s customary to tip your artist 15-20% for a job well done.
Do finger tattoos last?
Because of how much you use your hands and the density of finger skin, a finger tat is subject to fading at a much faster rate than something like a back tattoo design.
This can be mitigated by limiting your color palette to just black, and your tattoo artist using thick, solid linework. Be aware that no matter what, a finger tattoo will not be as bright for as long as a tattoo located elsewhere.