Just how big is a 1,000 piece puzzle?

Just how big is a 1,000 piece puzzle?

Well, a thousand-piece puzzle is a thousand pieces big... right?

Suppose you dig down deep enough into a website listing or search out the delicate 8 point font on a puzzle box. In that case, you'll usually be able to find the finished puzzle dimensions. It seems like this is nearly as important of a question as to the piece count of the puzzle. Especially when you're looking at multiple brands of puzzles. There is no standard size for a 1,000 piece puzzle. Or a 500-piece puzzle. Or a 2,000 piece puzzle and so on. 

I'll admit something here... I'm not a colossal puzzler. We did them as kids, especially on family vacations up north. My mom is from Minnesota, so that should be pretty self-explanatory! I spend almost every day designing, printing, cutting, and boxing puzzles. I don't really find the time to put them together unless I'm experimenting with a new puzzle material and getting a sense of the feel and fit.

Puzzle Piece Size and Playability

With that admission out in the wild now, I will also say that I know what I don't like, and that's itty bitty tiny puzzle pieces. It's not fun to me. It's not relaxing for me. I've developed this entire line of scenic landscape puzzles on the premise of it being a relaxing activity. Not an activity where you need to concentrate with a pair of tweezers between your fingers. With reading glasses drooping down the bridge of your nose. Face fitted with an intense stare and a bit of pleading to get that itty bitty piece to do just right. 

I know that some will disagree with me. They might enjoy the challenge of a small piece puzzle. And that's ok! The great thing is that there are choices out there. 

I really want people to be able to have fun putting my puzzles together. Being able to chat and reminisce about this being a place they've visited or can't wait to visit. Maybe talking about the integrated StoryPieces™ and how scary it was when they came across that bear at Yellowstone National Park.  

For me, puzzles are a very tactile sensation:

  • The texture of the paper on the piece.
  • The weight or heft of the piece (which is why wooden puzzles are amazing!).
  • The size of the piece. 

These factors - the fun, reminiscing, conversation, tactile sensation all factor into the playability of a puzzle. Indeed, there are other factors involved in playability. Things like, are the pieces cut differently enough so that there it won't fit into multiple places? Do the pieces fit well - is it wholly interlocking or partially interlocking with some push-fit necessary? My puzzles are mostly interlocking, with some push-fit necessary around the StoryPieces, and then pieces interlocking into those pieces. Have you ever tried to put an interlock into an armadillo back? They don't like it, I'm telling ya! 

So that leads us back to the question at hand, just how big is a 1,000 piece puzzle?

Puzzle Sizes

When I first started designing puzzles, I'm sure that I looked around a bit and tried to get a general sense of just how big various piece count puzzles were. I figured that was an essential first step to being a puzzle maker! 

I recently started working on 1,000 piece designs for all of my puzzles. This time, I just jumped straight into it without worrying about what sizes everyone else was doing. Today, a customer came into the retail store. I showed her one of the first 1,000 piece puzzles that I had cut the other day to compare to the 500-piece version, and she remarked that the pieces were so perfectly sized and easy to handle. She enjoyed the higher piece count puzzles more than something like a 250 or 500 piece, but she just wasn't able to handle the pieces as well because they were just too small for her.

That got me thinking about this blog post and seeing if I could round up a few different sizes for different manufacturers and piece counts.

I come up with my piece sizes (at least as an approximate) by multiplying the width times the height and dividing by the piece count. This gets me pretty close to the average piece size in the puzzle, without the interlocks. The interlocks can add up to 45-50% to the overall puzzle piece size. But, even if a piece has 4 "innies," the piece will still be in the ballpark of my calculated size. My calculation really is for calculating the meat or body of the piece. 

Puzzle Piece Size Comparison

But it's all about the numbers. I went through 7 different manufacturers' websites and pulled a random puzzle for various piece counts. This is by no means an exhaustive list since many manufacturers (and some on this list) make puzzles ranging from 60 to 4,000 pieces. 

Manufacturer

Piece Count

Puzzle Dimensions

Average Piece Size in Inches (L*W/Piece Count)

Wimberley Puzzle Co.

250-Pieces

10x15”

0.60

 

250-Large Pieces

16x20”

1.28

 

500-Pieces

16x20”

0.64

 

500-Pieces

18x20”

0.72

 

1,000-Pieces

22x33”

0.73

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Games

100-Piece

11x15”

1.65

 

300-Large Pieces

15x21.25”

1.06

 

500-Pieces

15x21.25”

0.64

 

1,000 Pieces

19.75x26.75”

0.53

 

 

 

 

Springbok Puzzles

120-Pieces

8.5x11”

0.78

 

350-Large Pieces

18x23.5”

1.21

 

400-Pieces

20.5x26.75

1.37

 

500-Pieces

18x23.5”

0.85

 

1,000-Pieces

24x30”

0.72

 

 

 

 

Ravensburger Puzzles

200-XXL Pieces

14.2x19.3”

1.37

 

500-Pieces

14.2x19.3”

0.55

 

1,000-Pieces

19.7x27.6”

0.54

 

 

 

 

Sunsout

300-Large Pieces

18x24”

1.44

 

500-Pieces

18x24”

0.86

 

1,000-Pieces

19x30

0.57

 

 

 

 

Masterpieces

100-Piece

14x19”

2.66

 

300-Ez Grip Pieces

18x24”

1.44

 

500-Pieces

19.25x26.75

1.03

 

1000-Pieces

19.25x26.75

0.51

 

 

 

 

EuroGraphics

100-Pieces

13x19”

2.47

 

250-Pieces

13x19”

0.99

 

500-Pieces

19.25x26.625”

1.03

 

1,000-Pieces

19.25x26.5”

0.51

 

We can all conclude that 100-piece puzzles are pretty darn big pieces!

But, through this, we can calculate the average size and finally answer the question, "how big is a 1,000 piece puzzle?"

The average piece size/body of the piece is 0.588"! About half the size of a standard stamp.

The average short side of a 1,000 piece puzzle is 20.421".

The average long side of a 1,000 piece puzzle is 28.657".

That answers that! 

 

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