How Long Does It Take to Do a 1000-Piece Puzzle

Doing a puzzle is an engaging hobby and can strengthen your mind, but it can also be time-consuming. If you don’t have a lot of free time, you probably want to know how long it takes to do a 1000-piece puzzle.

A thousand-piece puzzle could take you anywhere from 3 to 10 hours. This, of course, is a rough estimate based on the average time of completion. It depends on numerous factors such as the difficulty of the puzzle, your own experience in solving puzzles, and the type of puzzle you've chosen.

It's good to know just what you're getting into, so continue reading as we explore how long it takes to do different types of puzzles and go over some tips to help you up your speed. 

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How Long it Takes to Complete a 1000-piece Puzzle

The time it takes to complete a 1000-piece puzzle varies from individual to individual, and there are a few factors that come into play. 

The short version is that the average person can complete a 1000-piece puzzle in around 3 to 10 hours. 

This depends on several factors; the first and most obvious is your experience. How many puzzles have you put together? If the answer is few to none, you're probably going to be around that 10-hour mark.

Your experience also goes hand in hand with the difficulty level of the puzzle. One who has never completed a puzzle in their life doing the hardest 1000-piece 3d puzzle they can find probably isn't ever going to finish.

There are also different types of puzzles that you can choose from, like the aforementioned 3d puzzles or the plain old flat ones. You may learn more toward one or the other. Puzzles are a fantastic way to pass the time and exercise your mind, so regardless of the time it takes or your experience level, it's worth exploring them to see what fits you.

How Long it Takes to Complete 500-Piece Puzzle

So, maybe sitting around a table for 10 hours isn't your thing, that's fine. It just so happens that they make 500-piece puzzles. A 500-piece puzzle will drastically cut your time and is a much better place to start if you're a newbie.

For a 500-piece puzzle, you're looking at two to six hours. The same disclosure for the 1000-piece puzzle applies here. This is a rough estimate as many variables go into the completion of a puzzle, most of which depend on the individual taking on the challenge and the difficulty of the challenge taken.

How Long it Takes to Complete a 2000-Piece Puzzle

Maybe 1000-pieces just isn't enough for you, and you need something more to keep you engaged. Why not try a 2000-piece puzzle for a little extra challenge?

The time it'll take the average person to complete a 2000-piece puzzle is drastically longer than that of a 1000-piece puzzle. So, if you're a puzzle enthusiast, this is definitely the way to go.

The 2000-piece puzzle takes the average person anywhere from 15 to 20 hours; that's almost a full day! If you got the extra time and an obsession with jigsaw puzzles, then this should be your go to.

Does it Take Longer to Complete a 3D puzzle

3D puzzles are a very interesting spin on the classical jigsaw puzzle. Some of them are very similar to models, and they come in a variety of objects from buildings, to planes, to cars, and more. However, they can be much more complex than the average jigsaw puzzle. 

While 3D puzzles can be a little harder than their flat counterparts, the difference isn't as large as you might think and they won't add much time to the completion of your puzzle. The cool thing about them is that once you've completed one, instead of putting it in the picture frame, you can glue it together and have a little statue to liven up a room.

The Fastest Completion of a 1000-piece puzzle

As a related but interesting side note, there is actually real competitions about who can complete certain length puzzles the fastest.

The fastest time a 1000-piece puzzle has ever been completed was one hour and one minute at the national jigsaw championship in Ohio back in 1986. The record holders are Joellen Beifuss and Pam Kerstetter. 

So, are you the competitive type? If so, maybe it’s your turn to take a swing at the title of “fastest puzzler in the world.”

How Can I Do Puzzles Faster?

If you’re looking to up your puzzle game, then there are actually entire essays dedicated to the techniques, strategies, and other tips that help people solve puzzles fast.

To make it easy, we’ve summarized it in just X tips:

  • First, start with the edges but ignore the corners. For nearly every puzzle, it’s fastest to start by singling out edge pieces. You can identify edge pieces because of their entirely straight side with no shape cut into them. While you pick them out, sort them into their place on the table by looking at their color and texture.
  • Forget the edges. This tip is surprising, but many puzzling masters agree that looking for the corners is wasted time. Really, they make a good point—looking for corners means combing through 1000 pieces just to find four. If you find one randomly, then great! Set it aside and move on, just don’t waste time looking for them specifically.
  • Next start picking out obvious pieces. These are pieces that have textures, bits of image, or coloring on them that makes them easy to put into their location. If it’s not immediately obvious, then move on from the piece.
  • Always look for similar colors. Sorting by color or texture is the best way to split pieces up in 95% of puzzles. If you want to be very advanced, sort the pieces into a gradient of their colors in a rainbow pattern—this makes it exceptionally easy to find pieces in the mid to late puzzle.
  • Fill in small sections, not necessarily from the edges. It’s instinct to start by building in from the edges, and while it can work, it’s not always ideal. Instead, look for obvious smaller sections of the puzzle to put together. Depending on the puzzle, it could be a particular shape, pieces with hard lines that connect, or even just their general texture.
  • Get pieces off the board. In the early stages of a puzzle, you just want to reduce the overall density of how many pieces are still unplaced. Placing pieces as you find them, as best you can see, makes it gradually easier to complete the remainder of the puzzle since you are thinning out how many pieces you have to sort through to get a fit.

In the end, a large part of puzzling speed just also comes down to practice. The more puzzles you do, the faster you are going to be!

The Bottom Line

Hopefully you now have a better estimate of how much time you should expect a 1000 piece puzzle to take you. Since it’s somewhat variable, the only way to get faster and faster is to use good technique and practice!

Of course, it's not all about speed. Sometimes it's about winding down at the end of a long day without pressure. Regardless, puzzles are an excellent way to kill some time, spend time with loved ones, and relax your mind.

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