How Long Does it Take to do a 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle?

Lots of adults enjoy 500 piece jigsaw puzzles. They're actually my favourite to do because I can enjoying completing twice as many designs as I would with the more readily available thousand piece ones.

500 piece jigsaws are perfect for beginners and also for adults wanting a puzzle that doesn't take too long to put together. Let's see how long they take on average along with 500 piece speed facts.

Newbies particularly seem to have an obsession with how long it takes to put a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle together. There can be no exact answer but I do have a rough estimate and more precise workings out for you.

How Long Does it Take to do a 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle?

How Long Does it Take to do a 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle? jigsaw puzzles time to finish complete

There's a short answer to this question and a long answer!

It normally takes anywhere between 2 hours (120 mins) to 6 hours (360 mins) to complete a 500 piece jigsaw. That's my own, personal calculation and I'd say I'm pretty average speed wise.

I tend to work on 500 piece jigsaws over 2 to 3 afternoons rather than sitting down to complete one in one session since I'm not personally interested in doing jigsaws at speed.

What Factors Affect the Time it Takes to Do a 500 Piece Jigsaw?

Design Factors: 

Not all jigsaw puzzles are equal. You can't expect that a jigsaw with a good spread of colours and patterns is going to take the same length of time to complete as a single colour jigsaw or one covered in a very tricky repeating baked bean or brussel sprouts pattern.

Each jigsaw design varies as to how easy or how difficult it is. You can get some very challenging 500 piece jigsaw puzzle designs that may take far longer than 6 hours to complete and some very easy designs that will be quicker to do than 2 hours.

There are some miniature jigsaw puzzles (for instance World's Smallest) where the pieces are so small that you have to pick them up and place them using tweezers. These may well take a lot longer than average to assemble.

Mood and Emotional Factors:

Your mood when doing the jigsaw may affect how long it takes you to complete it. If you're totally into the jigsaw and enjoying it, you'll probably complete it faster. If you're not enjoying the design or something has soured your mood, then it may take you longer than normal.

Stress and anxiety can be factors that mean it may take a lot longer to do and finish your 500 piece jigsaw puzzle design.

Interruptions can put you off your stride. Phone calls, people walking in and out, answering the door and other general interruptions can cause your jigsaw to take longer than it might normally. Each time you get interrupted, it can take a while to get back into the jigsaw construction zone.

Impairments and Health Factors:

Adults with hand and/or vision impairments, hand-eye coordination issues, memory decline (for instance dementia and Alzheimer's) and mental health issues such as depression may take longer than average times to complete a 500 piece jigsaw.

Fastest 500 Piece Puzzle Record

The fastest time recorded to put together a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle is 54:10 minutes. This was in 1984 by Joellen Beifuss from the USA at the US National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships in Ohio.

That timing works out to just over 6 seconds per piece which is incredibly fast.

How Long Does it Take to Finish a 500 Piece Puzzle?

Now unless you're wanting to go for some kind of speed record, or you're into speed puzzling, there's no need to worry about taking a more average 14 seconds - 43 seconds per piece which works out to 120 mins (2 hours) to 360 (6 hours) total.

Even if you take over a minute per piece, why does the speed actually matter? I can take ages looking for some pieces and then suddenly find a run of several very quickly. It's the process of enjoying doing the jigsaw that should matter to you a lot more.

Does it Matter How Long I Take at a 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle?

Doing jigsaw puzzles is not a race. Unless you have your heart set on speed puzzling or beating some kind of world record, doing jigsaw puzzles is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby.

Did you know, jigsaw puzzlers even get a special name. Find out what that name is here.

Imagine if you start trying to complete jigsaws as fast as you can, you'll miss the enjoyment of studying the artwork, taking your time to find pieces, getting that sense of achievement when you assemble different parts of the design, and you'll end up having to buy a ton of jigsaws so it will hit your bank account too!

Why worry over how long it takes. There is no competition. It is not a race. It's about enjoying the whole process of putting a jigsaw together, loving the artistry of the design and the sense of accomplishment that you can bask in when you do finish.

You're not better than anyone else just because you happened to complete a puzzle quicker. And you're not less than anyone else if you were slower.

My advice, slow down and enjoy the ride.

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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in medical, business, financial, legal, or technical matters. All images on this site are my own or are product and public domain photos that are used with permission.