Minecraft players need tools to get through the game and successfully survive. Without tools, a player’s actions may become limited due to the game mechanic, where doing anything barehanded will do no good. Important tasks such as mining and chopping wood that players must do to progress through the game rely heavily on the usage of tools, and for that manner, players must craft their own set of tools as early in the game as possible.
One of those tools is a pickaxe. Just like in real life, Minecraft pickaxes are mainly used for mining alone, but in the game, the pickaxe has other purposes as well. As there are various ways to use a pickaxe in the game, this article will tackle each and discuss its specific uses.
What is a Pickaxe in Minecraft?
A pickaxe is a tool in Minecraft that is mostly used for mining. It is one of the most commonly used tools in the game, along with the axe. The pickaxe can mine all ores and rock-based blocks and other types of blocks. Like all the other tools in Minecraft, the pickaxe has a total of 6 tiers which players can craft, namely: wooden, stone, iron, golden, diamond, and netherite. The durability of each pickaxe tier will vary depending on the material used for crafting. For example, a diamond pickaxe is much sturdier than a wooden pickaxe because diamonds are stronger than wood. The higher the durability of the pickaxe, the faster you can mine.
How to Craft a Pickaxe in Minecraft?
Crafting your first pickaxe is quick and easy. The recipe for each pickaxe tier has the same pattern except for the material used. This means you can use the same crafting pattern when crafting pickaxes of different tiers and replace the current crafting material with another. You need the right items and a crafting table, and you’re good to go.
To craft a [wooden] pickaxe, you will need two sticks and three crafting blocks (in this case, three planks). When crafting a pickaxe, the pattern should be followed exactly; otherwise, the crafting recipe will not work:
- Open the crafting table menu and look for the 3×3 crafting grid.
- First, place one plank on the top-left slot, top-center slot, and the top-right slot for three planks on the top row.
- Next, place one stick on the centermost slot and leave the left and right slots empty.
- And finally, place one stick on the bottom-center slot.
- Once the image of the wooden pickaxe appears in the results slot, click and drag it into your inventory to complete the crafting process.
How to Use a Pickaxe in Minecraft?
1. Pickaxe used for mining
The pickaxe’s primary purpose is to break stone and metal-based materials faster. This includes ores, rocks, and other blocks that have a similar type. Each block broken by the pickaxe reduces the durability of the pickaxe by 1. However, this does not apply to blocks that can be broken instantly, as the pickaxe will not lose durability.
For every pickaxe tier, the amount of use increases gradually, with netherite being the most durable. The pickaxe tier also matters when breaking higher-level ores and stones. For instance, an obsidian block can only be broken using a diamond pickaxe. Breaking an obsidian block with any pickaxe below diamond-tier will instantly break the block and drop nothing. Hence, players should be careful and take note of the right pickaxe tier when mining valuable blocks.
2. Pickaxe used as a weapon
Compared to actual in-game weapons such as swords and tridents, the pickaxe is weaker when used as a weapon. This, however, does not interfere with players should they choose to use the pickaxe as a weapon alternative. The pickaxe deals slightly greater damage when hitting mobs than using the player’s bare hands. For every attack you deal with, the pickaxe to a mob loses two durability, so it is highly advisable not to use the pickaxe as a weapon and use it for mining.
3. Pickaxe used as a fuel source
Wooden pickaxes can be used as a substitute for coal, charcoal, or any other flammable material in a furnace by acting as the fuel source for smelting materials. But like all the other tools in Minecraft, this only works for wooden pickaxes. Any tool tier of the pickaxe, such as diamond, golden, or iron, is not flammable. Hence, it cannot be used as fuel in a furnace. You can only smelt up to 1 item in the furnace per wooden pickaxe fuel. Therefore, you will need multiple wooden pickaxes to smelt more items. You can use this method when your wooden pickaxe is about to break or has low durability.
4. Pickaxe used as a smelting ingredient
Golden and iron pickaxes can be used in a furnace as an ingredient for smelting. You can obtain an iron or gold nugget by smelting an iron pickaxe or a golden pickaxe. This might not be the best way to use your pickaxe, especially with a tool that has stronger durability than wood, but you can make use of this method once the durability of your iron or golden pickaxe is low or is about to break. So instead of losing your pickaxe through breaking, you can try smelting them in your furnace to obtain valuable resources such as iron and gold nuggets.
5. Pickaxe used as a distraction
Piglins are well-known neutral mobs hostile to players at first sight, especially when players are not wearing golden armor. The piglins will not cease attacking the player, not unless they wear armor in gold-tier. Fortunately, you can take advantage of their love for gold. By dropping a golden pickaxe on the ground while attacking you, they will become distracted for a few seconds by picking up the golden pickaxe before placing it in their inventory and then resume attacking you. But the good thing is, a few seconds is all you will need to successfully slip away while they still have their attention on the golden pickaxe that you dropped on the ground.