It’s good to know when you’re buying come from a legitimate retailer, whether you’re a new chess player or an experienced one. You get peace of mind purchasing through only the best chess set manufacturers that make your experience more pleasurable.
Different brands fill different needs, some better than others. Whether you’re into collecting reproductions, rare wooden sets, or simply out for a new set of pieces and boards, you’ve come to the right review.
In this article, we take a look at everything these brands have to offer, from luxury sets to the design of the pieces, wooden or material boards, plastic pieces, clocks, bags, and other equipment.
5 Best Chess Set Manufacturers (Our Review)
House of Staunton
Made In: Alabama, USA
Average Price: $160
Founded by Frank Camaratta in 1989, the House of Staunton is a chess retail store that’s grown to stock one of the most comprehensive inventory of chess sets and chess equipment in the world. They’re also known to stock high-quality chess pieces made of rare materials.
The name of the company references the famous Staunton-style chess pieces, which are the only accepted style for tournament play.
The company specializes in wooden chess sets, ranging from standard quality sets to collector’s items. The sets are available in the traditional Staunton pattern but also include modern pieces with finely detailed crafting.
The rare and collectible chess sets are made from the highest quality of materials like blood rosewood, genuine ebony, black poisonwood, Tasmanian blackwood, and natural boxwood, to name a handful. Naturally, the more rare or expensive the wood is, the more it’s going to cost you.
That’s not to say that all of their products are expensive. House of Staunton has a range of budget-friendly options without losing the quality that’s become synonymous with the brand. The range of premium and low-cost items make House of Staunton a one-stop shop for almost any chess need.
They’re also one of the biggest suppliers of chess tournament sets around the world. They have a huge amount of chess accessories along with their sets and pieces. A lot of people who play chess are familiar with Staunton as a result, and they’re widely regarded as one of, if not the best manufacturer there is.
Grabbing yourself an entire set or even just a few pieces from the House of Staunton is guaranteed to be a worthy investment. While it tends toward being pricier than other shops, it’s a fair price to pay for the quality you receive.
- High-quality products
- Household name
- International shipping
- Good customer services
Made in: Somerset, UK
Average Price: $90
Chess Baron is an online shop originally from the United Kingdom but it also maintains branches in Canada, France, and the USA. Their North American branch, ChessBaron USA, was launched in 2004 by Baron Turner.
The company’s driving philosophy is to stand out from the competition through low-cost, high-quality chess equipment, a user-friendly shopping experience, and artful product photography. That’s right, the company’s dedicated photographer, John Turner, is great at capturing the finest details of all the chess pieces and other equipment in beautiful, high-fidelity shots.
Why is this important? Chess Baron aims to provide their customers with as much detail of the chess piece or set as they would see in brick-and-mortar chess stores. This makes it easier for anyone who isn’t a fan of online shopping and wants to enjoy the sensation of standing in a shop and examining your favorite chessboard.
By giving detailed information along with highly detailed pictures, Chess Baron gives you an accurate idea of what you’re buying before you pay for anything. Many online stores only have a single thumbnail shot, which isn’t always enough.
When many products are shot in the same way it can become a blur if you’re trying to remember what that one specific chess set looked like, especially when you’re in a hurry to get through the checkout process.
Chess Baron has a range of categories to choose from, including travel and magnetic chess sets, chess for the blind, themed sets, and chess computers. All of these categories can be easily filtered by the price which makes it friendly to anyone on a tight budget.
Chess Baron isn’t offering anything out of the ordinary. Rather, they’re placing a focus on transparency and honesty with their customers, offering a lower cost for a standard quality set, board, or chess piece with the pictures to go with it.
- Good product photography
- User-friendly online store
- Staunton pieces available
- Average quality at best
Made In: Washington State, USA
Average Price: $80
Chess House has a reputation of being a trustworthy online store with a wide range of high-quality products where customer satisfaction is of primary importance. They offer a 100% guarantee on returns and refunds if customers aren’t satisfied with their purchase.
They offer free resources, such as a chess rulebook for anyone eager to learn how to play chess. Chess House also offers some helpful tips and tricks to help new and experienced players play to the best of their abilities.
The online chess store has a large variety of products to choose from besides the usual chessboard, chess pieces, or chess sets. This selection includes electronic chessboards, chess computers, clocks, scorebooks, cases, and a lot more.
However, for chess sets under the $50 line, variety becomes quite scarce. It’s a shame, but it’s to be expected when a company’s main goal is set on product quality rather than quantity.
The Chess House chess sets are suitable for all ages. Some chess pieces are made from solid plastic for children and beginner chess players, and others are made from wood with fancy and detailed designs.
Customers who sign up for their e-mail subscriptions service are the first to be notified about any sales or when certain items move to the clearance section. Chess House also offers free shipping on all its products to any place in the United States.
Chess House is known for its efficient and responsive customer service team. Members of the team are accommodating and reasonable, happily finding a way to set things right with the customer if they have any complaints.
They’re helpful when it comes to finding replacements for any pieces in a chess set, even if you bought it years ago. They can also provide you with useful advice or recommendations if you’re looking for something specific.
- Customer satisfaction guaranteed
- Free shipping to US customers
- Features several other products
- Wide range of quality chess pieces
- Variety is not included below certain prices
Made In: Punjab, India
Average Price: $230
ChessBazaar is a relatively new company to the chess world. Established in 2007, ChessBazaar specializes in wooden chess sets, even manufacturing the majority of these sets on their in-house.
Some of the ChessBazaar chess sets and pieces they sell are available in plastic, but since they specialize in making their own wooden chess sets, it’s often better to stick to those when making a purchase. Their wooden chess set stocks are much more abundant and attractive than their limited amount of plastic sets.
What sets them apart with their wooden chess sets is that they offer reproduction sets of famous chess pieces and chessboards from earlier years. These reproductions include Soviet-era, European Timeless, and Jacques Vintage chess sets.
ChessBazaar has a wide variety of wooden chess sets that vary in shape and size, and range from the basic sets for casual chess players, tournament-standard sets, luxury, and decorative sets.
It’s no surprise that ChessBazaar is an attractive shop to many collectors looking for luxury chess sets to add to their inventories. It’s plain to see that many of the products on display are being marketed as collector’s items.
ChessBazaar has replicas of practically every set that made an impact in the game’s history. Everything ranging from pre-Staunton, modern designs, and the World Championships. With all of that in mind, you may have started to wonder if ChessBazaar can still be affordable.
They stock sets and pieces that are budget-friendly, but what should grab your attention is their lowest price guarantee. They’re willing to match a price when you show them the same product being sold for cheaper somewhere else.
They’re not invincible, however, and still manage to receive a complaint here and there. Usually, it’s a complaint that some pieces’ weight is different from the rest of the set, old chess sets starting to crack, or that there’s some dye that got smeared on one of the lightly colored pieces.
- Quality wood chess sets
- Collectible reproduction sets
- Affordable prices
- Good customer services
- International shipping is free
- Shipping can take days
- Returns can be a hassle
Average Price: $130
The Chess Store is known for its outstanding customer service and finest chess sets featuring the Staunton pattern. It was established in 1999 and has become a leading retail store for everything chess-related.
While not having as prominent of a reputation as other brands, The Chess Store has managed to garner a following for being a reliable and honorable retailer.
The Chess Store stocks an impressive range of items from chess sets to accessories. What’s more, they produce products from well-known designers like DGT, Italfama, Simon & Schuster, and Wood Expressions, to name a few.
Their stock includes chessboards, clocks, travel bags, scorebooks, DVDs, decorative sets, themed sets, Staunton chess sets, and storage boxes. There’s a lot to pick from in one online shop, which is convenient because it makes it easier to assemble the gear you want in one go.
Most of the stores mentioned stock at least some wooden chess sets. The Chess Store ticks that box, too. While they may not specialize in them, they still have a decent variety.
They have a fairly wide range of plastic chess sets available, too. This is good for both beginner and tournament players, as well as anyone who wants to take their set along on vacation.
While their wooden sets come from India, their plastic sets are made in China. Some of these plastic sets aren’t as commonly found in other places, so you can find some rare sets: specifically their Guardian Set, the Zukertort Set, and the Pro Tourney.
While they aren’t the cheapest store out there, they ask for a fair price when compared to their competitors.
- Extensive line of products
- Stocks familiar brands
- Fair prices
- User-friendly website
- International shipping is costly
It can be a tough decision to pick between any of these retailers. Each has its own flair that makes them stand out from the rest.
Do you want those gold-standard chess pieces that are the only ones of their kind to be allowed in tournaments? The House of Staunton is where you’ll be looking. A highly collectible, wooden chess set reproduction in European Timeless? ChessBazaar.
We’re not saying that these are the only places to browse through when looking for your next chess set. What we are saying is that you couldn’t go wrong with any of these choices.