How Long Does It Take to Finish Jigsaw Puzzles of Different Sizes?


Have you ever sat down to do a jigsaw puzzle and wondered how long it will take? Here is our thoughts on long different size jigsaw puzzles take to complete. Got a spare 7 hours?

Jigsaw puzzles were invented around the middle of the 18th century by John Spilsbury, a British cartographer and engraver. The first puzzles were known as 'dissected maps' and had educational purposes. Today, jigsaw puzzles are for FUN and continue to be one of the best hobbies around for the young and old of body (and heart). 

Whether you are an ardent fan of jigsaw puzzles, you are looking for a fun game that doesn't require staring at a screen (sorry, Netflix), or you are looking for a present for a special person (hello, mum), it's helpful to understand the average completion time of a particular puzzle.

Of course, the image being pieced together will play a role in the completion time, but the number of pieces in the puzzle is also a good barometer. In this blog post, we will highlight the average completion times for jigsaw puzzles of different sizes. We will also offer some tips for completing jigsaw puzzles and highlight some of their many benefits. Are we the biggest jigsaw puzzle nerds on the planet or what!? 

How Long to Finish a Jigsaw Puzzle?

As noted, putting together a jigsaw puzzle of a clear blue sky will be more challenging than an image with different colours and features that are identifiable. In this section, we will look at the average completion time for jigsaw puzzles ranging in length from 500 to 5,000 pieces.

For a 500-piece puzzle, the solving time range is between 2 and 7 hours, with an average solving time of 4 hours. A 1,000-piece puzzle has a solving time range of 5 to 12 hours and an average solving time of 9 hours.This kind of time of time is our preference. It's great for leaving out on the table and chipping away at over a week or two. Makes your jigsaw puzzle pretty good value for money when you consider all those hours of entertainment!

If you are tackling a 2,000-piece puzzle, then there is a solving time range of 11 to 24 hours and an average solving time of 17 hours. For those who really like a challenge, a 5,000-piece puzzle has a solving time range of 36 to 64 hours, with an average solving time of 45 hours (nearly 2 whole days!).

Incidentally, the jigsaw puzzle with the most pieces was completed by students of the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It consisted of an eye-watering 551,232 pieces! Ahhh, do NOT try that at home!

Tips for Completing Jigsaw Puzzles

There is little more satisfying than making real progress with a jigsaw puzzle and every piece you pick up is the exact one you were looking for. Conversely, jigsaw puzzles can be frustrating when you feel like you have reached a dead-end or aren't sure of where to go next. Let's look at some useful tips for completing puzzles with the minimum of fuss.

Before anything else, you should always create a workspace that is big enough for your puzzle. The finished puzzle may be very small, but you will need a much larger space and you don't want to have to move somewhere else halfway through a puzzle. Your kitchen table will now be referred to as 'the puzzle table'. 

Always start by turning every piece of the puzzle picture-side up and then sort the pieces by pattern and colour. This is a useful way to breaking the puzzles down into a series of small puzzles. You should also create a pile edge and corner pieces.

When starting to put the puzzle together, it helps to first complete the border, which defines your puzzle and helps you to visualize it better. After this, it's a good idea to focus on easier sections of the puzzle, including sections where there are faces, printed signs, windows, doors, and the outline of buildings—these will be easier to piece together.

The more difficult pieces, such as fields, sky, and water, can be left aside until the easier and more manageable sections have been completed. There may not be very many 'clues' with these more difficult sections and this is certainly the most challenging part of puzzle-making. The trick is to remain patient, take breaks if you get frustrated, and simply take it piece by piece until the end.

Once you have finished the jigsaw puzzle, be it a square, rectangle, or round puzzle, take some time to admire your efforts and pat yourself on the back. Many people like to glue their puzzle together and frame it. You can also scramble the puzzle and store it away for another day or loan it to a friend who is eager to take on the challenge. Who can complete the puzzle the fastest? 

Benefits of Making Jigsaw Puzzles

Making jigsaw puzzles is a great mental exercise, which is important at every stage of life. Making puzzles can improve our spatial reasoning, memory, and our ability to solve problems. Brain exercises like making jigsaw puzzles can even boost our IQ.

Jigsaw puzzles can be completed solo or with a group of friends, which can lead to better teamwork and collaboration. Key skills that are honed while making jigsaw puzzles include:

  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Finger strength

If you have had a long and stressful day, sitting down to make a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to leave your other concerns behind. Because making a puzzle requires so much concentration, you won't be stuck worrying about work or social problems.


Understanding Completion Times for Jigsaw Puzzles

As you can see there are different factors when determining the average length of time it takes to complete a jigsaw puzzle. The most difficult puzzles are those with few colour contrasts and few distinguishing features. That's why puzzles with sky, fields, and water are so difficult.

The above information regarding average completion times will help you if you are deciding on the size of the puzzle you wish to buy. If you are looking for incredible jigsaw puzzles that double as art, then Journey of Something is here for 100% of your art puzzle needs! We have a great range of puzzles, games, art kits, and accessories all designed by artists.



I have been doing jigsaw puzzles as long as I can remember.My great grandmother always had a puzzle going. As every visitor stopped in they would grab a seat at the table and would work on the puzzle as they caught up on all the family news. Puzzles were passed from one family member to another sometimes notes were included to let the recipient know that a piece was missing and from where.I can still see the faces of family bent over the table deep if concentration. Great memories of great times.

Lolita Spaid May 14, 2024

To Karen Robinson on the March 16, 2023 comment. I appreciate the comment of sectioning a finished puzzle. I’ve not thought about bagging each though. Blue ribbon coming your way.

Fred King May 14, 2024

Thank you for this article. My husband and I have homeschooled all of our seven children and, as well as time for reading, math, sports, chess, games, play and prayer, we regularly made and raced jigsaw puzzles which we felt would exercise their brains. Among them, the best time for a 100pc was 7min, a 300pc was 39 min, a 500pc was 63 min and that is on the first attempt. Of course it varied with the difficulty of the puzzle. We keep a book of the hundreds we have raced, comparing our times on the same puzzle. They now range in age from 26 to 39, two are teachers, two are psychotherapists, one is a physiotherapist, one is a property manager, one is a musical director. More importantly, although some have married and some live at a distance of several hours, they love to spend time with one another, and their nieces and nephews. I just raced my youngest daughter a 300pc puzzle; she completed hers in 43min and I (age 68) did mine in 57min. Moreover, we “solved all the problems of the world” while we enjoyed this time of bonding.

Virginia Platt May 14, 2024

I can do a 1000 piece puzzle in 4 days if I’m bored and have the time. Not sure how many hours I put I t it but a good guess is 20 hours

Iim May 14, 2024

I have begun building puzzles since I had hip surgery. It gives me something to look forward to. Since January, I have completed 6 puzzles, all various pieces. Now, I look forward to working on puzzles, even though I have returned to work. Thank you for the enjoyment.

Craig May 14, 2024

That’s interesting. I can do a 100 piece puzzle in about an hour, but a 500 piece puzzle takes me about 20 hours, several hours a day for a week. That’s why I generally limit myself to 300 pieces. When I do a 500 piece puzzle, I take it apart into four pieces which I bag separately, so I can enjoy it later without taking up my game table for a week.

Karen Robinson March 16, 2023

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