When puzzles were first invented, they were made from wood, and carpenters used jigsaws to cut the pieces (hence their name). Perhaps that’s why you feel so good about putting together a wooden puzzle – there’s something more satisfying about the original format. The best wooden puzzles for adults these days are made with ultra-precise cutouts and high-quality image printing. While the image or theme of the puzzle will likely be the first thing that catches your eye, there are a few additional features to consider when shopping.
Clean, meticulous edges are among the most desirable characteristics of a wooden puzzle. Especially when laser cut, these sharp edges ensure that parts are smooth and fit together precisely. It is also good if the parts are thick and durable. Shape-wise, it’s usually more fun when varied and unique (some puzzles even include fancy pieces like tiny unicorns or mini-ships that are shaped to match its theme).
The quality of the image on the puzzle is another important consideration. You want to select a wooden puzzle with high quality printing and good color reproduction so that the image is crisp and clear. Some puzzles are even scratch resistant, so the picture won’t start to look marred or scuffed over time.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the size and number of pieces that come with the puzzle. Often, the more parts, the bigger it will be when fully assembled (and the longer it will take to complete). Before making a purchase, make sure the puzzle you’re considering isn’t too large for your intended workspace.
With these criteria in mind, I’ve rounded up seven of the best wooden puzzles for adults below, all of which are on Amazon.
1. This colorful owl themed puzzle with quality laser cut pieces
Number of pieces: 330
Dimensions: 9.9 x 17.1 inches (also available in other sizes)
With over 1,100 reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.8 stars, this beautifully colored Unidragon puzzle is a popular option on the site. The high-quality laser-cut parts are not only thick and durable, but also uniquely shaped, which makes building more challenging. It features charming novelty pieces that are shaped like trees and other forest creatures. Plus, it features premium artwork and comes in three sizes.
“This is hands down the best puzzle I’ve ever put together – and I’m going to have more!” wrote a reviewer. “The pieces are thick, sturdy and extremely creatively shaped.”
2. A beautiful linden puzzle designed for book lovers
Number of pieces: 1,000
Dimensions: 19.7 by 29.5 inches
For people interested in a more difficult wooden puzzle (it’s not too much overly difficult), this cool “Shelf Barrage” option is a great choice. Cut from premium basswood, the misty image shows a large library-style bookcase transforming into a landscape of trees and a flowing dam. It comes with a high definition reference poster and the rectangle is divided into areas marked “A” and “B” to make it easier if needed.
“The quality is excellent; the pieces don’t bend and the image doesn’t peel off,” one fan noted. “I love that it has different shapes for the puzzle pieces. It allows it to be difficult without being overwhelming like some other puzzles that only have two shapes for the puzzle pieces.
3. A fun and sporty puzzle perfect for golf lovers
Number of pieces: 462
Dimensions: 10 by 15 inches
If you are a golf lover, this is one of the best wooden puzzles you can find. The meticulously cut pieces are smooth and precise with fun and entirely unique shapes – no two in the set are alike. The box is sturdy and the print features rich colors with a scratch resistant surface.
Just note that this is a difficult puzzle with fairly small pieces, according to some reviewers. “Some of the challenging puzzle pieces are shaped like golf carts and tees, and made it so much more fun!” wrote a fan. “It filled a weekend of free time, and I would recommend it not only to golf enthusiasts, but also to puzzle enthusiasts of all types!”
4. This artistic puzzle with a musical theme
Number of pieces: 340
Dimensions: 14 by 11 inches
Dubbed “Birth of the Viola”, this art-themed wooden puzzle looks like a colorful painting, making it the perfect option to hang on your wall when you’re done. The laser cut parts are from Finnish birch and the print is crisp and precise. The coolest part, however, is that some of the pieces are shaped like musical notes and instruments, like guitars and trumpets.
5. A unique octopus puzzle with long winding tentacles
Number of pieces: 231
Dimensions: 17.3 by 13.6 inches
As far as unusual puzzles for adults go, this is one of the weirdest and best. Instead of the traditional rectangular or square shape, it takes the form of a giant octopus, with coiled tentacles. The laser cut pieces are made from high quality, thick and sturdy poplar wood, and they have beautiful color reproduction. Amazon reviewers noted that it was challenging and exceptionally fun.
“Great riddle! Took me over 16 hours and worked hard to the last piece,” one Amazon user wrote. “I’m [definitely] get another one.
6. This fantasy puzzle that depicts an epic battle with ships and dragons
Number of pieces: 300
Dimensions: 14.57 by 14.57 inches
Ship lovers will enjoy this colorful fantasy-themed puzzle filled with dragons, mermaids, and sunken secret treasures. Crafted with scratch-resistant wood and sturdy interlocking pieces, it’s strong and durable while being artistically designed. The 300-piece puzzle is challenging to put together and features several unique shapes, including an anchor and a miniature boat.
“Loved the feel of the wooden pieces,” noted one reviewer. “The unique shapes were fun and the irregular shape of the puzzle made it harder. The more often I put it together, the more fun I had.
7. This cute, brightly colored unicorn puzzle
Number of pieces: 319
Dimensions: 16.1 x 12.2 inches (also available in additional sizes)
This cute puzzle is the perfect reminder that unicorns aren’t just for kids. Printed with a kaleidoscope of baby pinks, reds and blues, the magical-looking puzzle is bright and colorful. It has smooth laser-cut parts and a curved cloud-like border. Plus, it comes in three sizes.
“Every detail of this puzzle was created with care,” wrote one fan. “It comes in a beautiful hardwood box with a lid that turns into a stand to view the completed puzzle when assembling. The pieces are even boxed so if the lid comes off the pieces won’t fall out easily. […] This is not your typical cheap cardboard puzzle and would make a great gift.