25 Of The Best Grim Reaper Tattoos For Men in 2022

A Grim Reaper tattoo is considered a dark subject matter to some men. To others, it symbolizes the circle of life and the inevitability of death. The Grim Reaper is a popular tattoo because it comes in hundreds of different styles and it can be placed on many masculine areas of the body such as the tricep, chest, or shoulder blade. 

We’ve created a list of the top 25 best Grim Reaper tattoo designs for men we think you’ll love, no death required. 

1. Traditional Grim Reaper Tattoo

Traditional Grim Reaper tattoos are dark figures with cloaks on and scythes. Some artwork shows the face of the Grim Reaper and others simply have a dark shadow under the hood of the cloak. There is typically no color in a traditional style, as seen in the image below.

traditional grim reaper tattoo
@s.f.m.2_tattoo_art / Instagram

2. Simple Grim Reaper Tattoo

Looking for tattoo ideas with minimal detail? Simple Grim Reaper tattoos are the ideal choice. These designs have minimal shading with thick dark line work. This Grim Reaper tattoo design is less elaborate and is usually chosen as a memorial piece.

Simple Grim Reaper Tattoo
@richardblagg / Instagram

3. Grim Reaper Tattoo Drawing

Grim Reaper tattoo drawings are designed to look like pencil or pen drawings. They contain very little to no color but may have more intricate shading to give more depth to the Grim Reaper’s cloak. These Grim Reaper tattoos are usually bigger so it’s suitable to put on your leg or back, feel free to add other features like dead trees or gravestones for a more complete image.

Grim Reaper Tattoo Drawing
@tattrotten / Instagram

4. Grim Reaper Tattoo Outline

Grim Reaper tattoo outlines have no shading or color. The linework may be thick or thin but it’s simply the outline of the Grim Reaper. This type of tattoo is ideal for men who haven’t been tattooed before, as it will take less time to create. With outlined tattoos, you can always fill in more detail at a later stage.

Grim Reaper Tattoo
@discount_stab_shack / Instagram

5. Small Grim Reaper Tattoo

Small Grim Reaper tattoos are ideal for men who don’t want big elaborate designs. Smaller Grim Reaper tattoos are sometimes chosen as memorial pieces or something small to put on the wrist, chest, leg, or shoulder blade.

small grim reaper tattoo
@nyspeakeasytattoo / Instagram

6. Female Grim Reaper Tattoo

For men who prefer having female characters tattooed on their skin, a female Grim Reaper tattoo may be a design you’ll love. This tattoo artwork can be provocative and alluring and usually has distinct detailing and color. 

Female Grim Reaper
@emeraldtattoolodi / Instagram

7. Grim Reaper Scythe Tattoo

Most Grim Reaper artwork features the figure holding a scythe, a tool typically used to harvest crops. The scythe represents how the Grim Reaper harvests souls to take them safely to the afterlife. Grim Reaper scythe tattoos look most appealing when they’re big and bold so the best place to put this tattoo is on the back or arm. 

grim reaper scythe tattoo
@freak.steve / Instagram

8. Grim Reaper Skull Tattoo

The most traditional way to depict Grim Reapers, considered to be the embodiment of death, is with a skull for a face. To some men, this tattoo symbolizes bravery and their willingness to face death when it comes to them. 

Grim Reaper Skull Tattoo
@heavy_hitters_tattoo_ogden / Instagram

9. Cartoon Grim Reaper Tattoo

Cartoon artwork can be appealing tattoos if done correctly. Some men choose cartoon Grim Reaper tattoos for the aesthetics. Features of the Grim Reaper will be exaggerated and the artwork has lots of bold and bright colors similar to a cartoon strip. These tattoos can be added to an arm piece or tattooed on the wrist or leg. 

Cartoon Grim Reaper Tattoo
@matthewlimberstattoo / Instagram

10. Grim Reaper Santa Muerte Tattoo

In Latin culture, Santa Muerte is the female saint of death. She appears as a skeleton wearing a long dress and cloak, similar to the Grim Reaper. Some men combine the two figures and artwork because they’re so similar. Santa Muerte can be tattooed with a scale of justice, scythe, or holding a globe. She is a comforting symbol of faith and protection for men.

@abbiewaytetattoo / Instagram

11. Grim Reaper With Gun Tattoo

Grim Reaper with a gun tattoo could represent war and destruction done by man. It could also symbolize what war veterans have seen during their time in the military. The artwork can be done on the chest, arm, or leg. 

Grim Reaper with Gun Tattoo
@screamerztattoo / Instagram

12. Grim Reaper Tattoo Stencil

Grim Reaper tattoo stencil designs have simple straight and sharp outlines that are filled in with dark ink. You can add one or two colors to these tattoos but the idea is to make them look like stenciled drawings. This is the perfect Grim Reaper tattoo for men that prefer minimalistic artwork as opposed to detailed pieces. 

Grim Reaper Tattoo Stencil
@cfhtattooer / Instagram

13. Grim Reaper Hourglass Tattoo

Grim Reaper hourglass tattoos represent that we have limited time in our lives, an important reminder to live life to the fullest. In this artwork, the Grim Reaper is holding an hourglass to depict that time is running out and death is near. 

grim reaper hourglass tattoo
@brightbones / Instagram

14. Grim Reaper Clock Tattoo

Similar to the hourglass Grim Reaper tattoo, a clock tattoo can symbolize how fast time can go by, also a combination of two popular men’s ink designs. The tattoo artwork for the clocks shows Roman numerals as opposed to western numbers for aesthetic purposes. A Grim Reaper may be seen holding the clock or hovering below or above it. 

Grim Reaper Clock Tattoo
@andresantostattoo / Instagram

15. Realistic Grim Reaper Tattoo

Realistic Grim Reaper tattoos have a lot of dimension, shading and can sometimes appear as if it’s coming out of the skin. The skull and cloak have plenty of shading and highlights to give it more depth and to make it look more realistic. 

realistic grim reaper tattoo

16. Grim Reaper and Angel Tattoo

Grim Reaper and angel tattoos can represent the dark and light side of life, alternatively, they can depict heaven and hell. Others may choose this tattoo design to represent their conscience, this tattoo design is almost always done in black and white. 

Grim Reaper and Angel Tattoo
@totem.tattoo.studio / Instagram

17. Grim Reaper Smoking Tattoo

Smoking has been proven to cause various types of cancer such as lip and lung cancer, but the Grim Reaper, is immune to death, making this tattoo a fun one lacking any serious meaning. 

Grim Reaper Smoking Tattoo
@otrtattoo / Instagram

18. Grim Reaper Sleeve Tattoo

Sleeve tattoos are chosen by men who want to show their tattoos instead of hiding them. Designed to take up the entire arm, they may feature other designs such as trees, tombstones, and hourglasses. These tattoos have incredible detail to make them more realistic. 

Grim Reaper Sleeve Tattoo
@basilevs.tattoos / Instagram

19. Grim Reaper Forearm Tattoo

Grim Reapers are long slim characters making them ideal artwork to place on the forearm. Grim Reaper forearm tattoos can feature the entire body of the figure or just the face and scythe. 

Grim Reaper Forearm Tattoo
@maxink5.0 / Instagram

20. Grim Reaper Back Tattoo

A Grim Reaper tattoo can have a lot of detail work that won’t look aesthetically pleasing if it’s small. For larger, more elaborate pieces Grim Reaper back tattoos are the best choice. You can add other details to your back tattoos such as lanterns, boats, skulls, and a moon.

Grim Reaper Back Tattoo
@artbygoranfurjan / Instagram

21. Grim Reaper Hand Tattoo

For men who prefer to put their tattoos on display, a Grim Reaper hand tattoo could work well. The tattoo will be smaller to fit on the hand and will usually have minimal detailing. You can get this tattoo between the thumb and index finger or a full piece on the dorsal side of your hand. 

Grim Reaper Hand Tattoo
@jason_hampstead / Instagram

22. Grim Reaper Chest Tattoo

Another popular place to get a Grim Reaper tattoo is the chest. You can either have a full chest tattoo or a smaller piece on either side of the sternum. There’s also the option of having more detail going up into the neck area. You can choose any design with or without color. 

Grim Reaper Chest Tattoo
@jordan_oterski / Instagram

23. Grim Reaper Arm Tattoo

Most men choose Grim Reaper arm tattoos either as a full sleeve or half-sleeve design. This area is easy to hide when you wear long-sleeved shirts but you can also show it off when you wear tank tops. If you want to add more to your arm tattoos, bats, skulls, or a scythe will make good additions. 

Grim Reaper Arm Tattoo
@jeffaddztattoo / Instagram

24. Grim Reaper Shoulder Tattoo

Grim Reaper shoulder tattoos are smaller and if done correctly the position of the reaper can accentuate shoulder muscles. Sometimes men choose dark Grim Reapers to cover up unwanted tattoos on the shoulder as you can see in the image below.  

Grim Reaper Shoulder Tattoo
@jrocktattoos11 / Instagram

25. Grim Reaper Leg Tattoo

Legs are often an overlooked area to tattoo. However, it’s easy to get creative with Grim Reaper leg tattoos because you can add a lot of three-dimensional artwork and extra details to complete the piece. It should be noted that this is a painful area to get tattooed but it’s worth it if your tattoo artist can add unique detailing to your tattoo that suits you.

Grim Reaper Tattoos
@beatboxtattoos / Instagram

Final Thoughts 

Unlike other popular tattoos, you have many options to personalize a Grim Reaper design. There are thousands of designs to choose from. Some artwork may have fire or smoke coming out of the Grim’s eyes, or you could add more images around the tattoo such as bats, skulls, crows, or candles. 

No matter what design you choose, we hope the Grim Reaper tattoo ideas in this article inspired you to get a tattoo you’ll love.

Grim Reaper Tattoo FAQ:

What does a grim reaper tattoo mean?

Grim Reaper tattoos have many different meanings and they can represent something different to everyone who has one. The most popular representation of this figure is life and death or the circle of life; how short life is or how close we are to death every day; and bravery, courage, and the willingness to face death when it comes.

What is a grim reaper?

A Grim Reaper is a cloaked figure that is said to be the angel of death. The Grim Reaper causes death on earth and then collects the souls of the dead, some say that the Grim Reaper’s duty is to transport souls to the afterlife.

Why does the Grim Reaper hold a scythe?

A scythe is used in agriculture to harvest crops, however, the grim reaper hold the scythe to harvest souls and bring them to the afterlife. The scythe acts as a sever to the last ties a human has to life and earth. 

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