What Types of Jigsaw Puzzles Are There?

If you are looking for a jigsaw puzzle, be it online or in a store, you will find a vast range of different types of jigsaw puzzles. The purpose of this post is to acquaint you with the different types of jigsaw puzzles, so you can make an informed choice when buying a puzzle for yourself or as a gift.

Mass-produced puzzles

Mass-produced jigsaw puzzles are the type available in many shops, from newsagents to toy shops, and come in numerous designs and sizes for all ages.

These puzzles are cut with a die, which is like a metal stamp, usually with a grid pattern, and tend to be the cheapest type of puzzle.

Artisan Puzzles

Like those we sell at Art and Fable, artisan puzzles tend to be of a much higher quality than cheap, mass-produced puzzles. Depending on the company, artisan puzzles will differ in design scope and quality; our artisan puzzles depict beautifully painted images from fables created by talented artists with great attention to detail. Completing an Art and Fable puzzle provides a tactile pleasure, as the smooth-textured velvet-like pieces in our puzzle collection promote a luxurious jigsaw experience.

While you can expect to pay more for an artisan puzzle, many people prefer to pay an extra £10 for the stunning designs available. Not only do you get a luxurious puzzle experience, but you can mount the completed puzzle as a picture as permanent wall art.

Personalised Jigsaws

Various online companies will make a customised jigsaw puzzle from a photo. This type of puzzle makes a nice gift; you can upload any picture, such as a photo of the person, their pet, or an activity they enjoy.

3D Jigsaws

The end result of a 3D jigsaw puzzle is a 3D model or sculpture., which is created by interlocking the pieces. 3D jigsaws are available in many designs and sizes, including famous buildings, vehicles, and everyday items such as coke cans. The pieces of 3D puzzles are commonly made from a dense foam that holds its form when the pieces are connected.

Note: while some jigsaw lovers like doing a 3D puzzle as a change, others dislike them intensely! The experience of completing a 3D puzzle is not the same as doing a standard 2D flat jigsaw. Therefore, if you want to try a 3D puzzle, it is a good idea to go for a budget model before spending money on a type of puzzle you find you do not enjoy.

Digital Jigsaws

It is not surprising that we can solve puzzles online in our digital age. Many sites offer free puzzles; you can choose from various designs and select how many pieces you prefer. However, for true jigsaw enthusiasts, online jigsaws are a poor replacement for a conventional puzzle. The pieces are already in the correct upright position, which makes solving an online jigsaw relatively easy. Playing online also denies the player a tactile experience.

On the plus side, many puzzle sites give you the record time for solving a particular puzzle, so you can see how well you do compared to others.

Wooden Jigsaws

Traditionally, wooden jigsaws were cut by skilled jigsaw makers using a saw. Usually, the cutter would not adhere to any cutting template but decide on the pieces’ shape and size as he went along.

The year 1987 saw the arrival of laser cutters, which significantly cut the production time required to create wooden jigsaws and lowered the cost. However, you can still find custom puzzles created by skilled cutters, making a cherished gift for any jigsaw enthusiast.

Floor Jigsaws

Children love floor puzzles, which usually consist of oversized, sturdy, colourful pieces. The pieces are made with thick cardboard and are easy to handle with a wipe-clean surface. Floor puzzles are generally large, usually at least four feet in length, so they require some space to complete.

Educational Jigsaws

Jigsaws, or dissected maps, as John Spilsbury the founder of jigsaws called them in the 18th century, were initially used as educational tools. Jigsaws with map designs, famous landmarks, animals, and plants are still used as teaching tools today, providing pupils with a fun way to learn.

Extremely Difficult Jigsaws

Particularly challenging jigsaws come in two forms – either they have a huge number of pieces (5,000 and upwards), or the finished design is very intricate or repetitive, and there is very little to differentiate between the pieces. These types of jigsaws are unquestionably not for beginners and doing one of these puzzles as a newbie is likely to put you off jigsaws for life.

Colouring Jigsaws

Colouring books for adults enjoyed immense popularity a few years ago, and some jigsaw makers and entrepreneurs saw a gap in the market they could take advantage of. Colouring puzzle designs are in black and white, you have completed the jigsaw, the idea is to colour it in, creating two activities in one.

Initially completing the puzzle can be challenging due to the monochrome design. Once coloured, you can take the puzzle apart and redo it to create a new experience with a somewhat easier puzzle.

Wasgij Jigsaws

Most classic jigsaws have the picture used for the puzzle printed on the box’s front or included inside as a life size sheet. This allows you to see how intricate a design is and if the subject is something you enjoy.

Wasgij (jigsaw spelled backward) puzzles are a modern invention that have an interesting take on the traditional jigsaw. The box design only provides a clue to what the completed puzzle will look like.

For example, on the box, you may have a group of people standing at the side of a lake with stunned expressions. You must imagine what they see that causes this reaction to get the final design.

Not having the design makes wasgij puzzles more challenging than traditional puzzles. However, they are usually created with vibrant contrasting colours, which helps users put together jigsaw sections.

So now you have a list of the more popular types of jigsaw puzzles. There are many other different jigsaw types, such as mystery puzzles, comic book puzzles, glow in the dark, so all ages have plenty to choose from.

If you are unsure where to begin, why not try one of our 500-piece artisan puzzles? Our goal is to help up-and-coming skilled artists increase their audience and allow puzzlers to enjoy their beautiful artwork of forgotten fables. Our jigsaw puzzles are premium quality, and with each puzzle we sell, we contribute to charity.