Wrench Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Wrench Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Wrench tattoos are undoubtedly popular tattoo designs that have been around for decades. These tattoos come in a variety of designs, styles, sizes, and shapes and can be drawn on various parts of the body.

During the 2000s, wrench tattoos became increasingly popular and were one of the most desired designs of that time. These tattoos symbolize deep love and respect for wrenches as tools and also represent a passion for building and fixing things. They are especially popular with individuals from professions that involve mechanical work.

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What is the History of Wrench Tattoos?

Wrench tattoos are some of the most common and sought-after tattoo designs and grew in popularity, especially during the late 1990s and 2000s. Since a wrench is one of the most simple and essential tools required in all kinds of mechanical work, people started getting wrench tattoos to show respect to and signify the importance of wrenches – and tools in general.

Although modern wrench tattoos saw a massive increase in popularity in the 21st century with the introduction of modern tattooing techniques, people have been tattooing wrenches on their bodies since the 19th and 20th centuries. The wrench itself is an old tool and workers, mechanics, and tinkers have been using it for centuries.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that wrench tattoos have been popular among mechanics and workers since the 19th century and maintain their popularity to this day.

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What Do Wrench Tattoos Symbolize?

Wrench tattoos can symbolize many different values and interpretations depending on the individual wearing them and the profession they belong to. While that is the case, there are certain common values that all wrench tattoos convey and symbolize. 

Some individuals get wrench tattoos as simply a sign of respect for the tool and all tools in general. Tools have been used by mankind since the advent of civilization and continue to be an integral part of our daily life in all aspects and professions. Since people get tattoos of things they value in life, getting a wrench tattoo is one way for them to show reverence for tools.

For many individuals, a wrench tattoo symbolizes the connection between humans and tools. They are simply an extension of humans themselves as they helped build and shape our world.

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What Do Wrench Tattoos Mean?

We’ve explored the major values that wrench tattoos symbolize in detail. Next, let’s dive deeper into the different meanings and interpretations of these tattoos. Here is a list of common meanings and explanations behind wrench tattoos.

  • Symbolize respect for wrenches and tools in general
  • Symbolize work, progress, and advancement
  • Also convey a love for manual work and crafting various things or repairing broken items
  • A wrench is commonly associated with creativity, strength, a desire to fix things, intelligence, and good workmanship
  • Wrenches are also a symbol of masculinity for many men, although wrench tattoos are popular with both men and women
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Characteristics and Styles of Wrench Tattoos

While wrench tattoos are usually simple tattoos with straightforward designs and styles, they have some unique characteristics and properties that set them apart from other tattoos. Let’s have a look at them.


The majority of wrench tattoos are made with black ink and feature adjustable wrenches, combination wrenches, as well as open-ended ones. The adjustable wrench is perhaps the most popular type of wrench drawn in tattoos primarily due to the versatility of the tool. 

Wrench tattoos also differ based on the amount of detail they feature. Some are simple drawings of the tool whereas other depictions are crafted in intricate detail, even showing the manufacturer’s name and model number.


Wrench tattoos come in a plethora of styles and designs. While some can be simple drawings featuring a single wrench, others can be more complex tattoos also featuring roses, skulls, chains, flowers, pistons, hands, etc. 

These tattoos can also be big and small depending on the size of the drawn wrench. Some tattoos may fit into smaller areas of the body while bigger ones can spread out over a large area.

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Where Do Wrench Tattoos Usually Go?

You can have wrench tattoos on most parts of your body suitable for tattoos. Depending on the size of the tattoo, the style, and the wearer’s preference, these tattoos can be drawn on a number of different areas of the body. Here are some of the most common places these tattoos go:

  1. On the bicep or upper arm
  2. On the shoulders
  3. On the chest (larger ones cover the whole upper portion of the chest)
  4. On the forearms (on the backside and the inside)
  5. On the wrist (on the back or the side)

Wrench tattoos can also go on the thigh or the lower leg but they are less common and less preferable on these areas of the body by individuals.

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Some popular Wrench Tattoo designs

Wrench tattoos come in a plethora of beautiful and intricate designs based on different tastes and preferences. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular wrench tattoo designs out there. Check them out below!

  1. Wrench and roses tattoo (upper arm)
  2. Hand gripping open-ended wrench (forearm)
  3. Simple adjustable wrench tattoo (inner forearm)
  4. Two adjustable wrenches head-to-head (upper chest)
  5. Small combination wrench tattoo (lower forearm)
  6. Wrench through skull tattoo
  7. Wrench and skull tattoo (forearm) 
  8. Geometric wrench tattoo (lower leg)
  9. Simple detailed open-ended wrench tattoo (forearm)

Final thoughts

Wrenches are incredibly useful tools and have been so for decades. Although they’re simple and basic tools, they allow us to build, create, and fix more complex inventions. Due to the power, versatility, and usefulness of wrenches, wrench tattoos are greatly popular with those who want to honor this tool and convey their respect for it. 

In this guide, we explored the history, meanings, and designs of wrench tattoos and also looked at their meanings and interpretations in great detail. Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoyed it!

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