Chess sets are made using different kinds of materials such as wood, stone, glass, porcelain, and even metal. All of these have their own pros and cons, but hands down, a chess set made of wood is the most popular. Wooden chess sets have a timeless beauty in them which exudes elegance and charm that you will not see in other materials.
From the thousands of options out on the market today, how can you choose which is the best wooden chess set for you? Let us take a closer look at the best wooden chess sets that we found so you can get an idea what to get for your next chess set.
Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set
One of the most affordable wooden chess sets, the Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set is priced at just under $27. This is a good choice for those just beginning to learn the game because of the large 15″ x 15″ board and the chess quick start guide that comes with it. Some users think that the pieces are too light, but this wooden chess set makes it a good choice if you need to carry it around.
- Uses high-quality inlaid walnut
- Comes with felted interior with straps for storage
- Extra-large size ideal for beginners
- Has hand-crafted Staunton style pieces
- 3-inch King size
- Chess pieces are slightly lightweight
- The felt under the pieces are too thin
Chess Royal 30 European Wooden Handmade International Set
One of the best wooden chess sets on the market, the Chess Royal 30 European Wooden Handmade International Set because of its beautifully crafted and detailed carving of every single piece. Made from sturdy beech and bird solid woods that will provide you with years of durable use. Measuring 11.81 x 1.97 x 11.81 inches, beginners may find this set a bit small.
- Beautifully carved out of hornbeam wood
- The folding board is made of high-quality birch wood
- 100% handcrafted
- Made of renewable plantation wood
- Has a unique and detailed design
- The board is slightly small for serious players
- No available replacement pieces
Camaratta Signature Series Cooke Luxury Wooden Chess Set and Board
From one of the most highly respected chess craftsman, the House of Staunton, the Camaratta Signature Series Cooke Luxury Wooden Chess Set and Board is a masterpiece. It is one of the most luxurious wooden chess sets you can have but comes at a very high price of almost $3,000.
- Handcrafted in the United States
- Designed to withstand the rigors of practical play
- Made of premium quality natural boxwood
- The board is made of Bird’s Eye Maple and African Palisander wood
- Has a King height of 3.625 inches
Man Ray Chess Set
Designed by the Dada-Surrealist artist Man Ray, the Man Ray Chess Set has the most interesting and unique yet beautiful design of any wooden chess sets on the market. The King is designed as an Egyptian pyramid while the Queen is made with a cone shape. This chess set is not recommended for beginners who may find the design somewhat confusing, but if you love chess while getting a nice piece of artwork, then this is for you.
- Comes with abstract and geometric designed pieces
- The 32 pieces are made of solid beech wood
- The board is made of veneered beech wood
- Modern classic design
- Finely crafted
- Can be confusing to beginners
Sydney Gruber’s Painted Chess Set – Live Edge Design
Hand-painted by Alchemy artist Sydney Gruber, this painted chess set provides you with a colorful way of playing your favorite chess game. The black pieces are decorated with white and gold rings while the white pieces are painted with blue, green, orange, purple, red colors that will surely get the attention of your friends and guests.
- Hand-painted design
- Carved from walnut and maple woods
- Comes with a one-of-a-kind, live-edge style chessboard
- 16 x 16 inches board size
- Colorful and unique design
- Not for professional tournaments
- The colors can be distracting for beginners
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Wooden Chess Set
Know Your Purpose
Before indulging yourself in the best wooden chess set for your home, ask yourself, is this for decoration or serious playing? Of course, all chess sets can be played, but there are some that are designed specifically to add an artistic touch to your home. While some are designed with tournament playing in mind.
If you are a serious player, choose a chess set that has all the features you need to play your game right. You may also want something that is lightweight if you plan on carrying your chess set around.
If you are a casual player, you can also look at a wooden chess set that can be functional and still look good in your living room. You can even choose a chess set that will blend with your home’s décor.
Know Your Budget
There are wooden chess sets that go as low as a $10, but some can go as high as more than a thousand dollars. As mentioned above, the best wooden chess set for you depends on what your purpose of getting one is. The higher-priced chess sets are usually the ones that are designed mainly for decorative purposes.
If you are serious about playing the game, one main consideration you should look into is the design of the chess pieces. Choose pieces that are easily distinguishable, stay away from those that are unconventional in shapes and colors. You do not need these distractions so opting for the traditional designs are your best bet.
Durability is also at the top of your list. If you plan on using your wooden chess set regularly, choose one that is designed to take on the rigors of playing.
Finding the best wooden chess set that is right for you can be a big challenge. Like any other purchase, you want something that you will love and something that would let you enjoy playing your game. These are the best wooden chess sets on the market today, so it is highly recommended to check them out yourself to find your ideal set.