Stave Puzzle Types

What Kind of Puzzler Are You?

Since the launch of Stave in 1974, our founder - Steve Richardson - has invented many new jigsaw puzzle genres. Our Traditional puzzles are elegantly beautiful - full of special figure pieces and clever crafting ploys to deceive you. Tricks and Teasers earned him his title of Chief Tormentor, while Limited Editions are our masterpiece puzzles, pure and simple!

Our commitment to family fun and our devotion to puzzle making has transformed the idea of the jigsaw puzzle from a very simple diversion into a highly expressive and entertaining art form. Stave puzzles are collected and treasured around the world as unique and precious heirlooms. Using lots of imagination and a little bit of magic, we handcraft each puzzle - piece by piece - using precision jigsaws with blades no wider than an eyelash. After the cherry back is carefully sanded and polished to a soft gleam, the puzzle is placed inside a beautiful keepsake handmade box. There's no other puzzle in the world quite like a Stave and there's no other experience like solving one.

Below is a guide to help you navigate your way through the puzzling world of Stave...but if you're still feeling confused, give us a call. We love to chat!

Why Choose Stave Puzzles?

Red Carpet
Customer Service

Experience Stave Puzzles top notch customer service not found in today's marketplace.

By a Stave Artisan

Every Stave puzzle is handcrafted by a skilled Stave artisan - no templates or fancy gadgets here - just the artisan and their saw!

Product Quality
Beyond Compare

Only puzzles that meet our highest standards of quality will be sent to customers. If a puzzle doesn't "fit" these standards, the artisan will recraft the entire puzzle.

Traditional puzzles start with the finest art available. We offer a vast array of categories and themes — beautiful landscapes, colorful florals, or muted impressionist scenes, for example. Traditional puzzles are often crafted with an irregular edge that may vary depending on the size of the puzzle. You may request names, dates, and special figure shapes (called silhouettes) to be crafted into your puzzle. We will fill it with charming, clever, and elegant silhouette pieces according to your wishes OR you can just let us surprise you! The number of custom pieces depends on the size of the puzzle. The larger the puzzle, the more special pieces you can request. You'll also discover special cutting features within the puzzle designed to surprise, confound, and delight you!

Teasers were invented by Stave to give you more challenge per puzzle piece. The artwork is specifically designed to maximize befuddlement and minimize solving clues. The exterior pieces interlock together as one snug frame, but the center is where you’ll find your challenge.

The interior Teaser pieces nestle together, while still leaving some void (or empty) space between each piece. Think this sounds easy? Think again! Teasers are just enough to tempt you, clever enough to challenge you, yet manageable enough to solve. A surprising challenge you wouldn't expect for this size puzzle.

Teaser puzzles are rated from 1 to 4 swords in difficulty.

Puzzle Teasers Rating - 1 out of 4 Requires extra concentration
Puzzle Teasers Rating - 2 out of 4 Requires extra concentration & patience
Puzzle Teasers Rating - 3 out of 4 Requires extra concentration, patience & aspirin
Puzzle Teasers Rating - 4 out of 4 Requires extra concentration, patience, aspirin & Valium

TroubleMakers are a mind-boggling experience that will baffle, bemuse, and bring you hours of entertainment. Simply put, a magic piece acts as a keystone allowing you to swap it with other pieces in the puzzle. This in turn creates several completely different puzzling solutions. Easier said than done!

TroubleMaker puzzles are rated from 1 to 4 forks in difficulty.

Puzzle Troublemakers Rating - 1 out of 4 Holy Smokes! You did it!
Puzzle Troublemakers Rating - 2 out of 4 You feel feverish as your temperature begins to rise.
Puzzle Troublemakers Rating - 3 out of 4 Requires you to loosen your collar and let out some steam.
Puzzle Troublemakers Rating - 4 out of 4 Be prepared for an eruption, you might as well throw yourself into an inferno!

This is how Steve Richardson, our Chief Tormentor, earned his title. Trick puzzles are a diabolically difficult genre in which some pieces will fit in more than one place. Think about it. A puzzle like this will have multiple ways of fitting together - but only one correct solution. We’ve cooked up lots of Trick designs at different levels so you can pick your poison according to how smart, or shall we say brave, you’re feeling.

Trick puzzles are rated from 1 to 5 lightning bolts in difficulty.

Puzzle Tricks Rating - 1 out of 5 Hors d'oeuvres-taste Stave shenanigans.
Puzzle Tricks Rating - 2 out of 5 Faint of heart? This may be your limit?
Puzzle Tricks Rating - 3 out of 5 Be prepared to do battle.
Puzzle Tricks Rating - 4 out of 5 If they made Pepto Bismol for the brain, this is when you would need it.
Puzzle Tricks Rating - 5 out of 5 What part of 'impossible' don't you understand?

Tormentors are cleverly designed by a sadistic Stave artist to push you out of your comfort zone. You’ll find no 2-way tricks or fun frames to hold the pieces nicely together. What you might find are plenty of pieces the same color or shape, but don’t expect that to help you. Just when you think you are making progress, you come to a standstill. Your challenge is to make sense of the multiple puzzle sections and wrestle them together. Stave Tormentors really live up to their name!

Tormentor puzzles are rated from 1 to 5 exclamation points in difficulty.

Puzzle Tormentors Rating - 1 out of 6 You’re feeling like a genius!
Puzzle Tormentors Rating - 2 out of 6 You start to strain your brain!
Puzzle Tormentors Rating - 3 out of 6 Frustration creeps in!
Puzzle Tormentors Rating - 4 out of 6 The real agony begins!
Puzzle Tormentors Rating - 5 out of 6 Hair pulling, expletives, and screaming ensue! Get the POINT?!
If you haven't gotten the POINT yet... ☠

Treats are more than a Tidbit, but not quite a Teaser - no trick pieces or devilish teaser elements here. Treats offer a wide range of challenge and puzzlement. Some are designed with solid areas and offer room for personalization. But don’t let the name fool you — others are designed with repeating colors and void spaces for an extra puzzling wallop!

Treat puzzles are rated from 1 to 4 hearts in difficulty.

Puzzle Treats Rating - 1 out of 4 Good for your heart.
Puzzle Treats Rating - 2 out of 4 Gets your heart racing.
Puzzle Treats Rating - 3 out of 4 Your heart might skip a beat.
Puzzle Treats Rating - 4 out of 4 Time to monitor your heart rate.

Small in size, BIG in fun! Tidbits are the right amount of puzzle for when you have just a few moments to relax. Tidbits make great gifts for any occasion OR no occasion at all. Available in only 50 pieces only, these puzzles can not be personalized but will include a couple of crafter-selected silhouette pieces.

Stave Limited Editions are our masterpiece puzzles, pure and simple. They are a favorite with many of our collectors, for sure! Generally, we craft only 50 of each, so their rarity is guaranteed. All are created from commissioned artwork specifically designed for jigsaw puzzling. Each design goes through months of conceptualization, creation, and fine-tuning, until we are certain we have a puzzle that will thrill you with its art, its cleverness, and its overall puzzlement. Limited Edition puzzles offer a variety of puzzling elements including Trick, Double-Decker, Mystery and Riddle. Some are even hand-painted!

Want to get really personal? From something as simple as adding a frame to creating an elaborate collage, our Stave artisans will magically turn your photos, cards and other memorabilia into a one of a kind custom puzzle to be treasured for generations to come. You can request names, dates, and special figure shapes (called silhouettes) to be crafted into the puzzle. The perfect gift for the person who has everything.

We can design and create corporate puzzles for many purposes: team building devices for company retreats, souvenirs for special seminars, and appreciation gifts for guest speakers or donors. They also make unique commemorative gifts for weddings, reunions, birthday bashes or whenever a high quality gift is required.

Need Help Finding the 'Perfect Fit'?

Our commitment to family fun and our devotion to puzzle making has transformed the idea of the jigsaw puzzle from a very simple diversion into a highly expressive and entertaining art form.

If you need help finding the perfect puzzle for you or gift for a friend (or puzzling foe) - we're here to help!

"The folks at Stave Puzzles represent a class of unsung companies that do things right—deliver superior customer service, on time, in a way that satisfies and even delights customers."
—Tom Peters, Co-author of In Search of Excellence.
Named Stave Puzzles “Product of the year" in 1991.