9 Different Types of Mechanical Puzzles – Have You Seen Them All?

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Did you know that there are a bunch of different types of mechanical puzzles? In this post, we're going to be telling you about 9 kinds that you may not have heard of.

wooden mechanical puzzle group

Let’s check them out – here’s a quick list of our favorites and where to find them

ImageProductWhere to Buy
ThinkFun Shape by Shape Creative Pattern Logic Game For Age 8 to Adult - Learn Logical Reasoning Skills Through Fun GameplayPut-Together

  • Try to put together the puzzle into a specific shape
  • Set number of pieces and must try to put them together
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    Puzzle Master Secret Opening Box (Difficulty 6 of 10)Take-Apart

  • Take a solid puzzle and figure out how to take it apart
  • Originally made to carry small items
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    Twisted Nails Metal Puzzle, Bundle of 4 Identical Puzzles, for Ages 13 and OlderDisentanglement

  • Goal is free or to attach a certain part of the puzzle
  • A very easy answer
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    BePuzzled 30811 Cylinder Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 4) Puzzles For Kids & Adults Ages 12 & UpSolid Interlocking

  • One piece (the key) should be found and removed
  • Once removed, all other pieces to be separated
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    Spin Master Games Perplexus Epic, 3D Maze Game with 125 Obstacles (Edition May Vary), multicolor (6037972)Dexterity

  • Popular for a long time among different world civilizations
  • Teaches hand-eye coordination
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    Put-Together

    ThinkFun Shape by Shape Creative Pattern Logic Game For Age 8 to Adult - Learn Logical Reasoning Skills Through Fun Gameplay

    This is one of the oldest types of mechanical puzzles and requires users to try to put together the puzzle into a specific shape.

    One of the most popular types of put-together mechanical puzzles are tangrams, which require players to try to fit together various pieces of wood that have been cut into specific shapes and sizes.

    With any type of put-together puzzle, players have a set number of pieces and must try to put them together in a way that will match the final picture or result.

    These puzzles require a great ability to be able to think ahead and see what moves they will have to make in the future, as well as an ability to look back on what moves have been made and decide whether or not they further the puzzle.

    With many different pieces of different sizes and shapes, it’s easy to see how put-together puzzles can easily have many different combinations, with only one combination being the right one that will solve the puzzle.


    Take-Apart

    Puzzle Master Secret Opening Box (Difficulty 6 of 10)

    Secret opening puzzles, or take-apart puzzles, require the user to try to take a solid puzzle and figure out how to take it apart.

    These puzzles were originally made to carry small items and often still have a small area inside the puzzle where a hidden trinket can easily be stored.

    Unlike solid interlocking puzzles, where it’s very difficult to find the place to start taking apart the puzzle, take-apart puzzles generally make it very obvious where to start or what piece should come out first, but that doesn’t make it easy to complete.

    These puzzles often need to be twisted and turned in a variety of different ways to correctly remove the pieces.

    Pieces must be removed in the right order or users won’t be able to get them out of the puzzle and the puzzle will remain put together.

    Putting these puzzles back together can be tricky, but it is generally easier to put them together than a put-together puzzle.


    Disentanglement 

    Twisted Nails Metal Puzzle, Bundle of 4 Identical Puzzles, for Ages 13 and Older

    The main goal with a disentanglement puzzle is to try to free or to attach a certain part of the puzzle.

    The part that needs to be removed or attached is often a handle or a ring.

    Since these puzzles can be made from a wide variety of different materials, including string, wire, cast iron, and sheet metal, they are available in a wide variety of prices and sizes.

    While disentanglement puzzles may appear to be impossible to solve, they generally have a very easy answer that will allow the puzzle to be taken apart.

    It’s common for users to try to use force to pull these puzzles apart, but this is not the correct way to solve the puzzle and will often result in breaking the puzzle or causing it to become more difficult to solve.

    Once these puzzles have been taken apart and then put back together they can continue to be solved indefinitely, which makes them great for families who love to puzzle and have family members with different skill levels.


    Solid Interlocking

    BePuzzled 30811 Cylinder Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 4) Puzzles For Kids & Adults Ages 12 & Up

    One of the main features of solid interlocking puzzles is that the pieces are so well connected and interlocked that, at first glance, they appear to be completely impossible to separate.

    In solid interlocking puzzles there is usually one piece, often known as “the key,” that needs to be found and then removed first so that the rest of the pieces can be separated.

    When putting solid interlocking puzzles back together, all of the pieces will be put together first and then the key is the last one inserted to hold everything in place.

    While there are some solid interlocking puzzles that are made out of plastic, generally speaking, these puzzles are made from wood or metal. These higher quality materials ensure that the puzzles will last for a long time.

    Some solid interlocking puzzles will fall apart once the key is removed, making it very difficult for users to determine where the pieces came from and where they are supposed to go when the puzzle is put back together.


    Dexterity

    Spin Master Games Perplexus Epic, 3D Maze Game with 125 Obstacles (Edition May Vary), multicolor (6037972)

    These puzzles have been popular for a very long time and have been used by most different civilizations throughout the world.

    They are often referred to as being “games,” but they are technically puzzles since they are only solved by one person.

    These puzzles often have the additional benefit of teaching hand-eye coordination and other skills to children, although modern dexterity puzzles can vary and may not teach these same skills.

    Because these puzzles are to be completed by one person, they are a great option for a puzzler who loves to work on puzzles, but doesn’t always have someone who will work with them.

    Additionally, dexterity puzzles tend to become easier the more they are practiced, which is great news for anyone who wants to improve their puzzling skills.

    From catching a ball in a cup to moving a ball through a maze, dexterity puzzles cover a wide range of puzzles, which means that it’s easy to find one that will meet the needs and the ability level of the user.


    Sequential Movement

    Schylling 15 Puzzle

    These puzzles require users to complete a number of moves or steps in a certain order so that they can reach their goal.

    There are many puzzles that fit into this category, including sliding block, counter, solitaire, rotating cube, and route puzzles.

    When the person completing this type of puzzle is able to figure out the order in which they are to move their pieces, then they will be able to easily move through the steps to beat the puzzle.

    Since all movements have to be completed for the puzzle to be solved, users must be willing to backtrack and even to start over, if necessary.

    Some of these puzzles, such as sliding puzzles in frames, are very popular and are mass marketed, which means that you can easily find them in a variety of styles and sizes. However, when these puzzles aren’t completed correctly, then it can be very difficult to get them back to square one to complete.

    These puzzles have the benefit of being able to be put down to be worked on at a later time, unlike other mechanical puzzles, such as solid interlocking ones, which can easily fall apart.


    Folding

    LingAo 12 Panels 5 Rings Master Magic Folding Twisty Puzzle Cube (12 Piece), Black

    Folding puzzles only have one movement – and that is folding, but they tend to be very difficult since the folds all have to be completed in the correct order and direction for the puzzle to be completed.

    These puzzles have a specific goal that the user tries to complete by folding the puzzle over and over.

    When the puzzle is folded correctly, then the user will win. This is generally obvious because they were able to create a specific picture of design on the face of the puzzle.

    Modern folding puzzles are hinged or designed to fold in all directions, which makes them much harder than older folding puzzles were.

    Since these puzzles can be made out of any material, including plastic, they are generally fairly affordable and easy for most puzzlers to find and to buy without overspending.

    Plastic folding puzzles do, however, run the risk of breaking easily during use.


    Impossible

    Glass Bottle Puzzle, True Genius - Brain teasers, Adult Puzzle

    Impossible mechanical puzzles are ones that, at first glance, appear to be impossible.

    They include a wide variety of different types of puzzles, including ones where users try to remove a certain object from a bottle or try to get something out of the side of the bottle.

    Because users have to think outside of the box when completing this type of mechanical puzzle, they are often thought of as being harder than other types.

    Users have to rely on friction, gravity, and other forces to be able to complete these puzzles, especially when they are unable to reach inside of the bottle to move items or to shift parts of the puzzle around.

    Even though there are some modern takes on impossible puzzles, these puzzles have been around for a very long time.

    They are generally not a puzzle that can be solved in one sitting, requiring users to come back to them time and time again to solve them.


    Rotating

    Hasbro Gaming Rubik's 3X3 Cube, Puzzle Game, Classic Colors

    Rotating mechanical puzzles come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the most common rotating puzzle on the market today is the Rubik’s cube. 

    Users who try to solve these puzzles must turn not only the parts of the puzzle, but also the puzzle itself so that they can easily see it from all sides to easily solve it.

    Since there are so many different ways for the puzzle to move, it can be really tricky to quickly solve these puzzles.

    They are similar to impossible mechanical puzzles in that it is very common for users to work on them for a while and then to put them down to come back to them at a later time.

    Rotating puzzles are designed to be completed by users of all ages.

    Some rotating puzzles have set steps that can be memorized to solve them quickly, which adds a whole additional element to this type of puzzle.