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Tattoo Calculator by
First Class Tattoo - NYC

Are you looking to get a tattoo but not sure how long it will take?  Though it is impossible to give an exact quote, our Tattoo Calculator will provide an estimated time on how long your tattoo will take based on specific factors such as color, size, and details. Refer to our guide below to help correctly enter your tattoo information in our Tattoo Calculator.

Tattoos Specialist Mikhail
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Tattoos Specialist Abigail
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Discover How Long Your Tattoo Will Take to Complete


How Does Size Impact How Long a Tattoo Will Take?

Long story short, the bigger the tattoo you are looking to get, the longer it will take. This is simply because there is more space the artist needs to apply ink too. If you are looking to get a small outline on your hand, it could be as little as 30 minutes to get your tattoo. Though, if you are looking to get an entire sleeve of tattoos on your arm, it could take up to 30 hours and multiple sessions to complete. Below is an estimated time frame for different-sized tattoos:


  • Fingerprint Size

    • Between 30 minutes to an hour

  • Palm-sized

    • Between 3-6 hours

  • Full Sleeve

    • Between 15-25 hours

  • Large Tattoos

    • Between 15-30 hours


Make sure to consider the size of your tattoo when using our Tattoo Calculator to estimate your overall time frame.

Will Colors Make a Tattoo Take Longer?

Simple black tattoos are generally quicker to do than tattoos involving many colors. This is due to the fact a tattoo artist will have to layer multiple colors onto one another to make the color more vibrant and visible. The more color you are looking to add to your tattoo, the more time it will take.

What About Realistic Tattoos?

Realistic tattoos will require additional color gradation. This will create more work for the artist, therefore adding to the time it takes to complete your tattoo. 


If you are looking to get a realistic tattoo, make sure to adjust the level of color and details in our Tattoo Calculator to account for the time it will take our artists to focus on color gradation. If you are looking to just add some color, adjust the color section accordingly.

How Long Does Detailing Take in a Tattoo?

While some tattoos, such as outlines, require no detailing or shading, others of more realistic pictures or cartoon characters require specific details to make them stand out. Smaller pieces will generally be easier to apply details, while large tattoos will require more time. So, when you are trying to estimate the time frame of a tattoo, you must consider how detailed you want your piece, on top of the size of the tattoo. 

Realistic Tattoos Require More Color, but What About Detailing?

It is likely a realistic tattoo will require more detail as well. While more colors are applied to help the tattoo stand out, different details like shading and thickness of lines will also be carefully added to contribute to the realism of the tattoo. 


Be sure to adjust the level of details section of the Tattoo Calculator accordingly to reflect your desires.


Your Choice of Artist

While the most important factors that contribute to the length of time of a tattoo are size, color, and details, who you choose to do your tattoo will also determine how long it takes to complete your tattoo. Different artists will all work at their own speed to do a tattoo. One artist could have 20 years of experience and be an expert at detailing while another could be in their beginning years of tattooing. This doesn't mean the quality of your tattoo will be sacrificed, but it may take more time to complete depending on the artist. 


Our Tattoo Calculator helps account for this under the “Artists Choice” section. Simply choose your preferred artist when filling out the fields to receive the most accurate estimate of how long your tattoo will take. 

Benefits of Our Tattoo Calculator

For those who don't have any prior knowledge of tattoos, it could be difficult to even begin to determine how long your desired tattoo will take to complete. To help, our Tattoo Calculator estimates the time frame it will take to complete your tattoo. 

Saves You Time

Rather than visiting different websites and researching all of these specific factors, our calculator does it all in one place for you. This saves you time and lets you focus on getting your tattoo as soon as possible. 

Helps Plan Your Schedule

Depending on the size of your tattoo, it could take multiple sessions to complete. Our Tattoo Calculator helps you plan your schedule accordingly.

Provides Expectations

The time it takes to complete your desired tattoo could be exactly what you expected, or something completely different. Our calculator helps to provide an accurate time frame for the completion of your tattoo. 

To Recap

How long your tattoo takes could depend on a few different factors. While color, size, and detailing are some of the most important, the artist who does your tattoo can also impact the time. Our Tattoo Calculator considers all of these factors to help provide an accurate estimate of how long your tattoo will take to complete. 


Make sure to adjust the calculator accordingly to fit what you want for your tattoo. While our calculator will predict an estimated time, make sure to confirm the actual time frame of your tattoo with your artist once you have discussed the details of your piece in person. 

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