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300 Piece Hot Take

I always admire puzzlers who have the courage, time, space, and patience to do 5,000-20,000-piece puzzles. Even when following some puzzlers on Instagram, I am amazed to see how many people do over ten 1,000-piece puzzles in a single month. Don’t get me wrong, I love a thousand-piece puzzle, but sometimes I just don’t have the stamina and sometimes the time. This may be an unpopular opinion (a hot take even) but I have realized over the past couple of years, that a 300-piece puzzle is my favorite piece count. Let’s go over why I find them so appealing. 

Sur La Rue puzzle

Sur La Rue by Jacarou

Sur La Rue by Jacarou was such a fun image I did earlier in the year and was one of the pioneers in recent memory that paved the way for my new love for smaller piece counts. One of the things I love is that they aren’t a huge time commitment. I can complete a 300-piece puzzle in under an hour and can usually finish one while watching an episode of my favorite show. When I’m deciding between cleaning the house and puzzling, sometimes I can compromise if I decide to do a smaller puzzle instead. I have a bad habit of not being able to stop puzzling once I’ve started. My “One More Piece” button is permanently on repeat. This is a problem when I start a puzzle late at night or when I have other things on my to-do list. A good thing about 300 pieces though, I can start one at night without the risk of staying up too late and can usually still get the dishes done.

Night Owl Hoot puzzle

Night Owl Hoot by Ravensburger

Late night puzzling happens quite frequently, and my most recent transgression was when I started Night Owl Hoot by Ravensburger at 11pm at night. I have no regrets with this puzzle. I mean, come on - what a fun image!!!  It is bright and colorful perfection. Often the pieces in a smaller count are larger. There is so much satisfaction putting in these jumbo-sized pieces. The pieces are large and in charge – I am here for it. This is especially good when my RA is flaring up and grabbing smaller pieces is a challenge. I had such an enjoyable time doing this one and know I will do it again soon.

Up Up and Away puzzle

Up Up and Away by Buffalo Games

That’s another thing about my smaller piece counts, I do them over and over. I used to think spending $15-$20 on a 300 piece was a waste of money. Why would I spend so much on something that will be done so soon?? Well, I am realizing that my 300-piece puzzles get a lot of use. While I may only do my 1000-piece puzzles once, maybe twice, it is a different story for my smaller piece counts. I find my 300-piece puzzles incredibly fun and have done some of them upwards to six times.  What I find incredible is that the pieces seldom show signs of use. The larger pieces can take a lot of handling and I am surprised that my Up Up and Away by Buffalo Games Is still in perfect condition after five assemblies. If you know me, I LOVE hot air balloons and this image is lovely.

Earth Day puzzle

Earth Day by Cobble Hill

Sometimes I find that 300-piece counts give me the ability to take risks.  Moonlight Over Manhattan by Ceaco is the perfect example of how doing a smaller piece count makes me bold. It helps me step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am someone who loves a bright, colorful, clean line illustration, like Earth Day by Cobble Hill (which is next on my to-do list if you are curious) Doing a Thomas Kinkade, dark photograph image is not my normal jam. However, in a 300-piece count, I’m willing to take the gamble. The image was not impossible, and it made me strategize a bit differently. In the end I loved the result and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take me nearly as long as I had expected. 

Moonlight Over Manhattan puzzle

Moonlight Over Manhattan by Ceaco (End of Life Puzzle)

While writing this blog, I’m realizing that’s what the majority of my 300 piece puzzles are something different and out of the norm for me. For example, Autumn Express by RoseArt  was an image I did last month and was amazed how much I loved doing the foliage. I also did a really fun Escape puzzle called The Toy Factory by Ravensburger. I was very curious about this style of image and was glad that I started with a smaller piece count to understand how it works than going to a much larger, more complex escape plan. The Toy Factory by the way is the perfect Halloween puzzle if you like creepy vibes. I wish someone had warned me.

Autumn Express puzzle

Autumn Express by RoseArt 

Toy Factory puzzle

The Toy Factory  by Ravensburger


I enjoy breaking out of my box when it comes to puzzle images, but I don’t want to be discouraged by a larger piece count. In fact, it was doing some smaller piece counts that made me realize how much I love doing sky and water images. Now I don’t even question a larger sky puzzle. Doing puzzles in a smaller piece count has helped me expand my image preferences and has helped me work on strategy for harder images.

I know every puzzler has different preferences, so I’d love to know your take on this. Are you someone who enjoys 300 piece puzzles as much as I do??  Let me know down in the comments!!

Emilee – The Casual Puzzler

Comments - Add Comment 5.0 Stars 8
5 Stars
Andrea Simmons - Atlanta

I’ve never done a 300 piece but imagine I would love them for the same reasons. My smaller count puzzles are under 300. Perhaps if I saw 300s more often I would try some.

5 Stars
Marie Haskins - DePere, WI

I love the 300-500 piece, great sense of accomplishment, which makes it really fun

5 Stars
Jeff Mines - Hazlet, NJ

I just started puzzling this year and started with 300- and 500-piece puzzles. I’ve done one 750 from Ravensburger and now doing a 1,000 that I got as a gift. Maybe I should stick with lower counts for a while.

5 Stars
Lynn - Orlando

I'm right there with you with the smaller counts! Puzzles that would be impossible in a 1000 count are doable in a 300 or 500 count. I did a few 300 pc puzzles over the wknd. They aren't as taxing on my brain, and just what I need after a long work week.

5 Stars
Kajsa - πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ

I’ve been thinking smaller counts is beneath me, even 500 was to small most times. But I was smart before going into neurosurgery last week and bought a bunch of 200-300 ones, apparently even those are a bit too much at this point, so smaller puzzles really have a place. Also I think they can be really beneficial for practicing speed puzzling down the line.

5 Stars
Roderick Terrell - Fontana, California

I find that I do better with puzzles 1000 and under, but if I go too low in pieces, I get bored. 500 is about as low as I want to go. Anybody know of rainy day puzzles(images with or about rain)?

5 Stars
Jennifer Chang - Houston, TX

I loved Night Owl Hoot!

5 Stars
Virginia Fuller - ROANOKE

Thank you so much for this I been knocking myself for having to go to the smaller puzzle count not now Thank you and I am starting to find some of the 500 and 300 a challenge to so I now feel better ! I have RA and Lupus so when it’s rearing it’s ugly self the smaller puzzles are coming out !

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