A man’s chest is a colossal canvas, and when inked it can be prominent symbol of pride.
Now, there’s no doubt about it, women will notice when you take off your shirt. But all clichés aside, there’s an interesting debate when it comes to tattooing the chest.
If you ask men who have gone through the process, some may tell you the sternum is the worst part of the process. Other guys will say the collar bone deserves the award for being the most painful part.
However, truth be told, the chest is riddled with bones and nerves. It’s not the worst spot for body art, in fact it is one of the most popular sites for the 50+ best tattoo ideas. At times it can feel like you’re sending a shockwave throughout your skeleton. Either way, it is what it is.
To send some ideas and designs your way, I’d like to share with you the top 87 best chest tattoos for men. The pieces found in this guide are truly remarkable and creative masterpieces. From portraits with the upmost intricate detail to rugged body armor that looks like it’s been through the battlefield.
Each of these manly tattoos tells their own story.
Best Chest Tattoo Ideas
This black and gray piece is a combination of illustrative and realism in black and gray. It is highly rendered adding dimension such that the first thing that draws you in is the huge lion in the middle which looks like it’s crying to crawl out of the stomach. This masterpiece requires commitment from both the tattoo artist and the customer since this kind of work takes time, just like every great art piece. And, it takes time, too. The artist who patiently did this art work is not only skilled and very talented, but also possess the heart to finish such a large creation.
This minimalist design for the chest tattoos compliments the arm band with geometrical patterns in black fine lines. This is splashed with cool pastel colors on one side of the chest.
A name immortalized at the center of the chest with birds and featherlike impressions along the shoulder lines designed like a soft black cloak. This looks like a free hand design customize on the body of the wearer. It does not overpower the structure of the body, and leaves ample space for the eye to breathe and appreciate the artwork.
The skull spewing tentacles of an octopus like flame. This is impressive work on details and rendering of the tentacles in black and gray such that it looks very realistic. It creeps from one side of the chest to the other. The contrast of the tentacles as it further reaches to the other side intensifies. This is a very bold chest tattoo that the wearer must have a bigger personality to match.
This is hands down a jaw dropping, elaborate, highly pigmented half body suit tattoo. The collaboration of the artist and wearer must be given a standing ovation. The amount of work, talent and commitment to complete an enormous body of art is astonishing. It is a gallery of tattoos centered on the skull with added intricate detailing and rendering to make it look realistic and cohesive.
This is a romantic themed chest tattoos which pays homage on eternity, union and companionship. The birds look simple in its illustration, but looking closely there are fine dot details intricately done on the feathers which gives it depth. This is a well thought out design carefully placed to compliment the body structure of the wearer.
A tribal inspired chest tattoo design, boldly covering one side arm up until the midsection of the chest. It is fluid like water such that it gives the viewer an illusion of a cloth like armor draped on one side of the shoulder.
A very inspiring set of words, stunningly inked with a deep meaning to match right below the collar bone which is one of the more painful area to inked on. The wing gently spread out at the other side of the chest looks and feel light yet heavily countered in black. These two sets of simple chest tattoos for guys provide contrast in meaning, the longstanding battle of good and evil.
This is a modern interpretation of geometrical patterns wherein the placement was taken into consideration to fit the contour of the wearer’s well-toned body.
A half chest tattoo in black and gray which is big enough to be instantly understood. This is one of those pieces where first impression is captured right away by its audience. It may be illustrative in style but rendered enough to provide some realism. The skull design was popular then, and it’s still stealing the limelight now. What is astonishing on this piece is you can’t actually tell whether the wolf is about to swallow the skull or about to spit it out. If the message is all about survival and conquering death in all of its forms, then the artist is successful in getting that across.
The Japanese koi fish in black and gray realism. It has masculine attributes which makes it powerful and courageous in the water. It will always endeavor to survive in the water no matter what. A popular subject matter for Japanese inspired ink work. It is very flexible and can be interpreted in various ways. It can be presented muted tones or the background can be switched into vibrant tones, either way, this fish will still be a standout.
A splash of simple patterns worn on one side of this well-toned chest. It works well with his skin tone and muscle contour. This type of design does not overpower the body structure of the wearer and can move with him. The fine lines are expertly done. The human body is not a flat surface, creating lines with precision is a huge achievement.
This definitely fits the definition of a warrior tattoo. It looks sinister enough to match the personality of a warrior as the eyes lead you to look at the menacing center of this creation. The black contouring makes this piece look like it should be worn by a brave man.
The potential of this outline is exciting to think about. Once the eagle shaded and filled in with vibrant colors, this piece will look outstanding.
A very striking piece inspired by geometrical shapes placed on both side of the chest.
A gallery of small tattoos gathered across the upper chest area. This is a design simple enough not to overwhelm the chest and enough space for the skin to breathe.
The first thing that comes to mind is, wow! The tiger is so cool, looks very beastly enough to scare the kids but the blue nose and tongue mutes out the snarl because it’s a stark reminder that it’s not real. It’s tattooed to make it look like this enormous tiger is about to break away from the whole ensemble. This tattoo is definitely not for the faint hearted. The background alone has several colors and heavily shaded packed with details that the skin will take on so much grinding to achieve these vibrant colors.
It is definitely a great idea to come up with a design that moves along with your body. Movement must definitely be factored in. This is great for the guys who are looking for a unique piece that draws enough attention but also simple enough to not overwhelm the body.
These lovely horses’ reflection on a metal plate. They are illustrated masterfully and shaded in black and gray. The play of contrast is fluid enough to make the horses like they are moving. And in contrast the body armor looks very vibrant and detailed. The artist made sure that there is harmony once the whole concept is executed to fit into one cohesive design.
A biochemical piece on side of the chest which looks like the skin was ripped off to reveal that underneath it is parts of a machine. This such a breathtaking piece of art. Genius in so many levels that the onlooker will spend so much time just talking about it. It looks very masculine and would even look great for men of any skin tone.
This chest tattoos take on the traditional Americana design outlined in black ink. The imploring bird wings spread out on the upper chest area looks awesome.
The tribal minimalist design taking on sacred geometrical patterns divided in half. These precise and fine lines are extremely difficult to create taking into consideration that the skin is not a flat surface to work on. A straight line can be affected with several factors. This design is placed well that it complements the contour of the body. There is also enough space for the eyes to breathe. This creation is exquisite but certainly does not overwhelm the chest area.
A heart and animal chest tattoo with the armored soldier. It is definitely well executed particularly the hair area of these animals. It also gave enough space contrast so as to provide depth.
This is an enormous skull with geometrical shapes as an accent. It starts at the base of the neck until the lower torso. This is a cool way to embrace a large concept for the upper body area, starting on the shoulders, chest then down the stomach area. There are several bits and pieces here that can be lifted for inspiration.
In this creative piece it looks like the skull was added into the customer’s body in this Japanese inspired theme for the arm which extends until upper portion of the chest. This is great example of a body art done by section.
The all-knowing and powerful third eye looks attached to the skin like a patch work shaded in a compelling tone. It is surrounded with intricate and detailed patterns of geometrical shapes.
This is an interesting boat piece which looks like it’s been lifted out of a comic book. There is wit and humor in this illustration even with the how the clouds and wind is presented. This is a chest tattoo that kids and the kids at heart will enjoy discussing since it has a story chart.
This is a very modern approach to tribal inspired tattoos. It is predominantly still shaded in solid black in some sections like the collarbone area. The lines are not perfect nor the outline of the shaded area but it is how it should be. The lines executed by hand is never perfect.
A spectacular geometrical pattern draped on the arm wherein additional details was extended to form an amazing half chest tattoo.
This chest tattoo is one of the best examples of memorializing a love one. A beautiful portrait with haunting brown eyes. A splash of color is added to showcase the delicate paper roses. The sparrow brooding and looking downwards in melancholy. This is a piece worth wearing.
The double portrait is so cool. The face inked on one side of the chest looks stunning. It was deliberately tattooed on one side of the chest, and positioned it in a way that it is perfectly nestled on top of the chest.
A great chest tattoo idea, draped like a champion. The intricate patterns were done in a way that it hugs you.
This is a religious creation depicting the pain and suffering of Jesus on the cross. It has amazing color, plus the shading and contouring added depth such that the end result is a more realistic approach on the body.
The Phoenix is known to be a bird of high moral standards and prosperity. Thus, the tattoo is also worn by people of similar traits. Phenix has also the ability to be consumed by its own fire and and eventually rise from the on its own
A classic tribal tattoo which has been blackened on side of the arm. It is very bold with solid black forearm. The geometrical patterns on the chest area is very impressive which matches tattoo on the arm.
Have faith in God all the time. He will provide, even when we didn’t. The tree of life with its intricate details and rendered in black ink.
The brave and enduring heart is at the center of the chest. This is the best inspiration for those who wants to get an ink and be given a central theme about ageing. One day we will grow old and gray, and the skin will not look as good since it’ll shrink and shrivel. Your tattoos will do the same. Age with you.
An enormous sugar skull inked on the skin and masterfully rendered that it looks so real such that the whole chest looks as if there’s an actual eye that’s going to pop out.
The heart in geometrical pattern and delicately inked in very fine lines. This is a small piece of chest tattoo which is very meaningful in its placement and a constant reminder that it is the beginning and end.
A watercolor inspired bird draped on the upper chest contoured in black with strokes which mimics that of the water color. This is so majestic in color and form.
Chest Tattoo FAQs
Do tattoos on the chest hurt?
Pain ratings for body modifications on the chest area is bearable but quite high. Numerically, from the scale of 1-10, 10 as the highest, pain ranges from 8-9.5. The sternum, ribs and breastbone area, wins as the most painful among all the sections of the chest.
Outlining is tolerable versus the shading and filling in a large portion of ink is being loaded into the skin. Shading at the sternum area is like being scratched with a broken glass on the same spot, over and over. It is even considered normal for tough guys to pass out, cry and grunt loudly when the needles start to hit the midsection.
Why does it hurt?
Because ink is being drilled into your skin over and over. It is getting a good amount of beating. It would definitely help to prepare, mind, body & spirit for the tattoo session. Provide ample time for the preparation. Grab some Advil and some numbing cream before heading to your session.
How much is a chest tattoo?
The cost for a chest tattoo will depend on its size, design and style, rate of the tattoo artist and number of hours to complete the chosen art work. The chest is a vast area to work on. A full scale chest tattoo may take about 12 hours or more to complete depending on the pain tolerance of the customer. The quality of the skin and its capacity to take in ink as modification process progresses. If the skin is healthy and tight, tattooing will be a lot easier compared to when it’s loose.
If the hourly rate averages from $100 to $150 of a regular tattoo artist whose portfolio is impressive enough, with 3 or 4 sessions to complete the body art, then the cost may $1,200 to $1,800. If you want to add more details and more colors, customize in a way that it looks like it’s an extension of your skin, or add more dimension to make it more realistic, then the cost can also go up.
If you are working on a budget, ensure you do not sacrifice quality and safety. The last thing you want to happen is badly botched tattoo the end doing alterations after, worse spend more for a removal. You also don’t want to end up incurring injuries or infections only because you didn’t want to spend a few dollars more on a reputable artist who has a licensed shop wherein your safety and well-being are taken into consideration.
Getting inked is an investment. It is a permanent body modification and will be part of your skin for a very long time. It absolutely makes sense if you execute this desire to get a tattoo carefully and diligently. Get it right the first time because the price of regret entails removal which is totally more painful, like ten times more plus twice more expensive.