How To Count Jigsaw Puzzles Pieces

"Most jigsaw puzzles are square, rectangular, or round, with edge pieces that have one side that is either straight or smoothly curved to create this shape, plus four corner pieces if the puzzle is square or rectangular.

Some jigsaw puzzles have edge pieces that are cut just like all the rest of the interlocking pieces, with no smooth edge, to make them more challenging. Other puzzles are designed so the shape of the whole puzzle forms a figure, such as an animal. The edge pieces may vary more in these cases.

The most common layout for a thousand-piece puzzle is 38 pieces by 27 pieces, for a total count of 1,026 pieces.

The majority of 500-piece puzzles are 27 pieces by 19 pieces = 513 pieces.

A few puzzles are made double-sided, so that they can be solved from either side. This adds a level of complexity, because it cannot be certain that the correct side of the piece is being viewed and assembled with the other pieces." (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

Want to know how to count puzzles pieces?

The cut will determine how many. Short of being the person who designed the cutting pattern or the company/manufacturer who chooses the cutting pattern that states how many pieces the only way you can guarantee the jigsaw is complete is to physically do the jigsaw puzzle yourself.

The following is excerpts from various Q&A sites on counting jigsaw puzzle pieces;

  • Some jigsaws, particularly, Waddingtons & Tower Press jigsaws, have pieces with five connectors so even if you do the border and count the rest, you're not certain it's complete.
  • For example; some 500 pieced ones may have 502 pieces even the border is 20 x 26 pieces (520), some 750s have 750 pieces even though the border is 24 x 32 (768).
  • You could also have the other extreme where some pieces are in two bits some 1000 pieced. Some Waddingtons/Tower press ones have this setup with the border 38 x 26 (988).
  • Any jigsaws with whimsies will also be tricky in relation to 'just doing the border' pieces.
  •  Measure the thickness of one piece, then stack them up and measure the height, place them in a tube, preferably clear, of small enough diameter so the pieces won't fall down the side. A graduated cylinder would be perfect.
  • If puzzles are cut on a rectangular grid, then, assuming that the ratio of the puzzle dimensions is 4:3, one might expect a “1000-piece puzzle" to have 28 rows, 36 columns, and 36×28=1008 pieces
  •  If you want a realistic answer, just Google some 3000 piece puzzles and find many similar ones then get your best answer.

Final comments...

So...you've searched the internet for the exact number of pieces or contacted the Company to ask exactly how many pieces or your puzzle does not fit into the calculations shared above and you still do not have the answer - what do you do?

There really is only one answer. Physically doing the jigsaw puzzle yourself.  That will accomplish 2 things. One, you get an accurate count and 2, you will know IF there are any missing pieces - cause even the Company, manufacturer or the pattern cut designer can know IF there is a piece missing, right????

And to assist you with counting your puzzle while you are assembling it, see the following handy counting tool that is simply worn on your finger. Use a click for every piece you put into the correct place. It makes counting pieces a whole lot more fun!

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