31 Small Tattoos For Men You Need To See Before Getting Inked

Only when you are looking for a tattoo, you’ll realize that getting one isn’t as simple as it seems – some people get a tattoo to express who they are, some like to signify a moment, and some get inked for the fun of it, and you can be any of them. Whatever the reason, a tattoo is special, and it doesn’t have to be big, small tattoos for men have always been in trend; small tattoos are the perfect first tattoo or a fun addition.

31 Small Tattoos For Men You Need To See Before Getting Inked

A great way to add detail to your body is through a stand-alone tattoo. Even if you prefer large tattoos, smaller ones can act as fillers or pieces to enhance your existing ones – and if you want to get inked, you are on the right page for the best small tattoos.

This article has 31 unique tattoos for men that will inspire you to get one right now! With roots from all around the world in different colors, designs and details, these tattoos for men will steal your heart for sure, so keep reading, and by the end, you’ll find the tattoo that will be your forever favorite.

Should I get small Tattoos?

When all you see is men with armbands, significant heavenly art and quotes, you might wonder, why should you go for small tattoos? But having a tattoo isn’t about following the trend or fitting in; you should go for a small men’s tattoo if you meet these criteria:

  • Your skin is sensitive.
  • You have low pain tolerance.
  • You are getting your first tattoo.
  • You want to hide your tattoo.
  • You like a minimalist design.
  • You want a budget-friendly tattoo.
  • You want to have multiple tattoos.

Well, there are many reasons to get a small tattoo, and there is none to not—time to find your cause and move on to the next step, tattoo placement.

What are the best areas for small Tattoos?

The classic tattoos have always been around the arm, legs or chest. However, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore; the best thing about getting small tattoos is that you can have them anywhere on your body.

Probably the most standard placements for small tattoos for men are neck, wrist, ankle, behind the ear, finger and arm.

Though every person chooses a tattoo depending on their unique preferences, there are some tattoos that are universally liked. Some popular small tattoos for men are crown tattoo, king tattoo, forearm bands, bicep bands, anchor tattoo, linework and cross tattoo.

What should I know before getting a small Tattoo?

Although, every person’s experience differs, the main factors when it comes to getting a small tattoo (or any tattoo ideas as a matter of fact) are your pain tolerance, how discreet you want the tattoo to be, if you’ve had any tattoos before and do you plan on getting a tattoo closer to this one.

Where should I get my tattoo from?

No matter how small a tattoo you want, a good tattoo place ensures you leave with no regrets. 

If you want a happy and healthy tattoo, you need an excellent tattoo place. To find the proper tattoo parlor/studio for you, here are the obvious things you must check before getting inked:

  • A good artist
  • A sterile studio
  • Accuracy
  • Price
  • Age requirement

Now that you are aware of the basics, it’s time to move on to some inspiration. Are you ready for your next favorite tattoo? Let’s find out!

The best small tattoo ideas for men

Small tattoos for men based on area

Biceps, back and lower legs are immensely popular areas for men to get tattooed so here are some other areas you can get small tattoos that suit you.

1. Finger Tattoos

There is something charming about finger tattoo ideas, and the best thing is that they are small and can be as adorable or edgy as you want. They can be a medium of your expression, or you can have a secret tattoo, too; although the placement is vital; additionally, finger tattoos are simple and clean designs.

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If you are thinking of simple tattoo ideas for your finger, keep in mind it doesn’t have to be serious, you can have some fun with it; match your tattoo with your aesthetic may it be minimal, goth or cute.

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Small tattoos for men do not have to be detailed or extraordinary, they can hold meaning and still be the most uncomplicated tattoo you’ve seen.

For example, a band across one of your fingers can be fun, but that tattoo symbolizes your wedding; however, you decide the design you want to get, consult your tattoo artist, edit it, and you’ll have your perfect choice.

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Religious tattoos for men have also been in trend since forever, you see them across generations, and they probably hold a deep place in your heart. So if you want to etch your faith on your body, a finger tattoo or a symbol can be the right fit for you; you can get simple tattoos in black and white, or you can get them in color too.

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Want to have fun with your imagination? Finger tattoos for men are perfect for it. Find an animal you sketched, an anchor tattoo, a matching tattoo with your best friends or an image that you can’t get out of your head and when you do, just go for the tattoo!

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Have a favorite quote? Or a message that you hold close to your heart? It’s time to keep it closer and get it tattooed. The area between your fingers is the best place to ink something special and keep it away from the center of attention.

2. Wrist Tattoos

Even though you want a small tattoo, your wrist gives you a little more area to play, so if you want simple tattoos and do not want to hide them, wrist tattoos are for you; they look good, neat and are easier to maintain than finger tattoos.

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You can choose a tattoo design for men from earth, the solar system, galaxies beyond and everything in between. Everything from present and past, living or extinct, can be inked on your wrist to keep you smiling and the art in your vision.

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Men’s tattoos do not have to be edgy or hyper-masculine; you can have simple tattoos, after all, everyone likes flowers and buds. Soft tattoos can also be your excuse to add a pop of color to your wrist tattoo, a hint of color may not be the craziest thing you do, however it ensures your small tattoo stands out.

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Another smaller tattoo is the one for wanderers – a mountain tattoo, night sky and scenic views are some of the most popular wrist tattoo ideas; you can find your favorite and make your hobby memorable with a simple tattoo.

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Are you a movie or series buff? You can get a small tattoo referencing your favorite movie or a tattoo that demonstrates a gadget on your wrist; it can be a quote from a movie or a symbol that is meaningful (or not).

3. Neck Tattoos

If you have been looking for a tattoo design, you know you are mesmerized by neck tattoos for men, neck and behind-the-ear tattoo designs look amazing, and they gain everyone’s attention.

And those who like to flaunt their ink, these simple tattoos are for you.

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Thanks to Justin Bieber, the wings behind the neck have become a popular tattoo. And why wouldn’t it be? These tattoos look fabulous – wings tattoo always symbolizes freedom, free spirit and great personality.

4 . Back of the ear Tattoos

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If you are interested in tattoo designs that symbolize freedom, behind-the-ear tattoos are for you; this area gives you enough space to let your creativity flow.

No matter what your inspiration is, having that tattooed behind your ear is a great idea, dragon and animal tattoos are some popular small tattoos.

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The neck and behind-the-ear area are good positions to get a quote tattooed, so if you have been thinking of getting a quote or phrase tattooed, you know where to get it.

These days, the idea of getting tattoos in other languages is also popular, so maybe your favorite phrase or quote translated in another language is your tattoo.

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The area behind the ear is also famous for people to get subtle and cute tattoos; it helps if you can accept your struggles or showcase your emotional journey on your body, after all, it has to matter to you only.

5 . Leg Tattoos

Small men’s tattoos look great on and around the leg area. Calves and ankles provide enough space to take care of the details, and the tattoos look super cool; you can have a simple tattoo on your leg and have tiny tattoos as fillers.

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If you have a favorite painting or art piece, there is no stopping you from getting it tattooed on the body; and if you can not get your inspiration tattooed as one piece, you can choose your favorite part of it; add a small size tattoo that honors your art, and enjoy looking at it anytime you want.

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Your hobbies can be your smaller tattoos too. For example, if you like to ride bicycles, your tattoo designs can be around your ankle and if you like to run, you can tattoo a pair of shoes or you run, it is simple to choose the right tattoo if it is something you like.

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Another great small men’s tattoo idea is a cute animal because if you have a pet, you know you want to keep them around all the time; pet tattoo designs look great on your ankle or calf, and you can keep your pets close to you always – even if you don’t have a pet, you must have an animal you like, feel free to explore the numerous ideas.

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Want to have fun with your imagination? Your leg tattoo can be the right opportunity; you can bring your own art or a sign to your tattoo artist, and they’ll help you transform that to life.

6. Chest Tattoo ideas for men

Chest and shoulder areas are not painful, and they also look good; however, the discreteness of the simple tattoo depends on you; you can keep them hidden, and you can show them when you want.

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With space as wide as the chest, you can even draw galaxies so don’t be shy when it comes to finding inspiration for a chest tattoo; it can be any piece from the universe, even a planet.

Imagine Saturn with all its glory tattooed on your body, you can even pick a tree, scenery or a constellation; as long as you want a small tattoo and it’s something you like, you’ll be fine.

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One of the most popular simple tattoos (not just in chest tattoos) is a bird or a flock of birds, you can get them anywhere, from your fingers to your neck to your chest.

Bird tattoos look nice, and they exhibit a free nature – birds with their flapping wings, ready to fly, show that you have the same spirit; you can find a bird tattoo you like and keep it close to you so you can hear a hum and freedom clearly.

7. Shoulder Tattoo ideas for men

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People often keep their favorite quotes and lines framed, they save any lesson close to their heart, so why not do that literally? Yes, get your favorite quote or phrase tattooed on your chest that way it can stay close to your heart, and you can have an awesome small piece!

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Small tattoos on men look amazing on the shoulder, and you can keep them a secret too; a phrase, a date or a name, anything looks good on the shoulder; maybe your inspiration holds a special place, it would be the best small tattoo.

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If you want small badass tattoos that are a little out of the box than generic ones, you can check out small tattoo ideas for a collar bone tattoo. You can go for a snake, a flowering vine, a ribbon or a phrase twined across the bone; even if you choose simple tattoos, you’ll know they clearly look good.

Colorful tiny tattoos for men

While black ink tattoos are the norm, a colorful small tattoo design is unique and you have multiple style options here. And there is no limit to colorful tattoos; you can get anything and everything you want without the two-dimensional quality of simple black and white tattoos.

1 .Tattoos for men inspired by art

If you have a favorite painting and want to get a tattoo, you already have your forearm tattoo idea, so don’t hesitate and adorn your small tattoo ideas.

As they say, you only live once, so don’t think twice and get a colorful tattoo; if you want to hide the tattoo, you can go for sure, however with a tattoo so magnificent, you won’t be able to show it off.


If you can’t seem to find a tattoo in black ink, explore colored ones and your tattoo design can come from all around the world.

If you can’t choose a tattoo from your artist, keep an easy artwork from your inspiration by your side during the consultation. If you have learned about a small artwork from other countries, you can look for ideas there as well, so be ready to explore complex and simple tattoos!

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2. Tattoo ideas for men inspired by animation

If you like of animated films, you can have so many more tattoo ideas; it doesn’t even have to be an animated film you can get your ideas from; they can be some festive supplies; look at this gingerbread man. Spooky, right?

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Colorful tattoos aren’t only artsy; they are fun too; do you remember your favorite animated character or are you a Disney fan or perhaps you like spooky things. Whatever you are a fan of, a colorful tattoo can bring it all to life, therefore this can be one of the best small tattoos for men.

3. Delicate Tattoos

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If you want delicate tattoos, you need to get a tattoo design that expresses it; small tattoos for men are in numerous forms. For example, koi fish tattoos, snake tattoos, and flower tattoos.

4. Tattoos inspired by hobbies

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Like black ink and white ink tattoos, a colorful tattoo design can also show your interests because you do not need to have an elaborate and fancy hobby to show off to the world, small tattoos nicely do the trick. A tattoo is for you, and you can celebrate even the smallest of your hobbies in a tiny space like your upper arm so make it about your interests not someone else’s interpretation.

5. Rainbow Tattoo

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If you cannot decide on one color, why not choose them all by being an ally and getting a rainbow tattoo design to add a pop of color and stand up for the LGBTQ+ community.

A minimal line that shows the gradient of colors can be a lovely yet minimal option, you can do your take and make these colors a circle or even an infinity symbol, anything that describes your style.

Meaningful tattoo for the travel enthusiast

Traveling allows people to experience things they could never know otherwise, and what are we if not our experiences, right? So honor the travel enthusiast in you with a meaningful tattoo, a simple tattoo that inspires others.

1. Plane Tattoo

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Small tattoos are also a great conversation starter because you will have so many stories to share and they can inspire someone who is interested. Maybe you can find your next travel partner in between a small conversation and the best part is that there are numerous tattoos available for travelers.

A simple tattoo inspired by your destinations, journeys and the people you met can give you an idea of what your small tattoo design should be.

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More Small Tattoo Ideas For Men

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These are the best small tattoos you can get and all the inspiration you need to get your small tattoo or multiple small designs. May it be your very first tattoo or a fun addition to your body art, getting inked will be a lot easier when you like your design. And maybe this article gives you enough ideas to create your very own small tattoo for men that is personal and your interpretation.

So what is your next cool small tattoo going to be?

Kai Falmer