Getting tattooed can be an expensive undertaking, and for good reason, not to mention that it’ll last a lifetime. And the general rule with tattoo cost is that the larger and more complex a design is, the more expensive it will be. But even so, small tattoos can also be quite costly.
If you’re considering some work on your digits—which comes as no surprise given the placement’s total trendiness at the moment—it’s natural to wonder “How much does a finger tattoo cost?” If you focus on the fact that fingers are relatively small in size compared to the rest of the body, you might be expecting that tattoos there won’t be particularly pricey. But it’s still an investment—tattoos can be pretty expensive. “For something small on the finger, I would charge my shop minimum of 100 dollars. If it were a bigger piece or several fingers, it would likely be 250 dollars or more,” says Toronto-based tattooer Valerie Tan, who works at the Vision Seekers studio.
And while finger tattoos are typically less expensive than larger tattoos elsewhere on the body, the price still depends on a slew of factors independent of their physical location. In asking Tan how much does a finger tattoo cost, she replies that “the cost of any tattoo is based on size and design,” says Tan. “The more detail and color you would like, the more it will cost.”
Finger tattoos may cost less because they require less space and design
Despite the potential of some intricate detailing, smaller-scale sketches are required for fingers because there’s such a limited amount of body to work with. Tan says that small finger tattoos usually don’t take longer than 15 to 30 minutes to complete, hence their low cost.
What’s more, many artists charge minimums and/or by the hour, so a tattoo that takes less than an hour to complete will cost your artist’s lowest possible price in most cases. Bigger finger designs can sometimes take over an hour depending on their levels of complexity—and that’s the point at which the price will vacillate. Keep in mind that Tran specifically works with a rotary machine. Finger tattoos can take significantly longer to complete if your artist employs a hand poke method, so that can affect its duration, too. (Here’s our guide on the difference between the two.)
Finger tattoos often require touch-ups, which can add to their cost
While touch-ups won’t obviously factor into the initial bill for your finger tattoo, they can add to its cost over time. Especially because it’s very common for finger designs to fade. because they’re in a high-traffic area that experiences a great deal of bending and rubbing. Although some artists offer free touch-ups to their clients, not all artists do, and having to pay to fix your design regularly can really add up.
The artist’s experience—and price range—will also be a factor
The price of any tattoo—and thereby, any finger tattoo— can vary significantly between artists, of course. However, if you think about the fact the relatively short while it will take, keep your eyes peeled for an artist’s or shop’s hourly rate and minimum price. Broadly speaking, artists charge an average of around $100 per piece, so regardless of size and style, that’s the least a finger tattoo will cost you.
Both popular and highly experienced tattooers tend to have higher minimums and hourly rates, though, so odds are $100 is is only a part of the total sum. Let’s say you’re planning to get tattooed by Brooklyn’s Bruno Levy, for instance—even the smallest finger piece could cost you $250 dollars, while at New York’s Bang Bang, a similar design could easily start you at double that.
If you’re willing to try the handiwork of a novice artist or apprentice, this is where you can save yourself a few bucks. New Zealand’s Gaia Rowntree, a newer-to-the-scene artist based in New Zealand, says she charges a minimum and hourly rate of 50 dollars, a common average for someone with similar experience to her. Some shops even require apprentices to tattoo for free, although you should bring treats—and still be sure to generously tip your artist anyway. (Here’s our complete guide to tipping your artist correctly.)
The bottom line
Keep in mind, you’ll need to figure out your artist’s rates to know the answer to how much does a finger tattoo cost. Rates are usually listed on artist and shop websites, but if you can’t find them, it’s completely normal to request the information from your tattooer. After all, you should feel comfortable asking them pretty much anything related to their work—and you.
If you liked our post How Much Does a Finger Tattoo Cost, be sure to check out How Much Does a Finger Tattoo Hurt?