How to Repair Items in Minecraft


Featured image credit: Mojang

Items break in Minecraft when you’ve used them enough times.

Even that nice diamond pickaxe you took the time to make will eventually break.

In this post, I’ll show you how to repair items in Minecraft.

There are three ways to repair a damaged item in Minecraft. And you can use either a grindstone or an anvil to repair your gear. You can also use an enchantment such as mending to a similar effect. I’ll cover all of those here.

But first, let’s talk a bit about items and durability.

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Minecraft Durability Meaning Explained

Minecraft durability meaning explained
You can see the durability of an item by looking at the green bar below the item. Here I’ve also toggled on advanced tooltips to see the exact durability as digits.
(Image credit: Mojang)

Every tool, weapon, and armor in Minecraft has a durability that depends on the type of material and the item.

The durability is visible as a green bar below each item in your inventory.

Note you can only view an item’s durability in survival mode. That’s because items are unbreakable in creative mode if you want to see the exact durability of an item, press F3 + H to see the advanced tooltips.

The items with the lowest durability are made from leather; the highest is Netherite.

When you use an item, like a pickaxe, to break a block, this reduces the durability by one. Repairing an item is equal to restoring its durability.

So now, let’s look at how you can repair different items in Minecraft.

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1. Use a crafting table to repair items

Item repair crafting table Minecraft
Here I’ve combined a non-enchanted sword with an enchanted one. As you can see, repairing items this way will combine the durability of both items but remove the enchantment.
(Image credit: Mojang)

The simplest way to repair items in Minecraft is to place two types of the same item in the crafting grid on the crafting table.

This will combine the durability of the two items and give a small bonus. However, you’ll lose any enchantment.

Also, you won’t achieve any experience points for losing any enchantments.

Thus, using the crafting table for repairing items is Minecraft’s simplest but least cost-effective way.

2. Using a Minecraft Grindstone to repair items

Minecraft Grindstone
Here I’ve placed a grindstone in the cold polar night of Minecraft.
(Image credit: Mojang)

A grindstone is one of the repair tools available in Minecraft.

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A grindstone is usually found at a village weaponsmith and is a useful tool.

But you can also build it yourself.

How to craft a grindstone in Minecraft

Here’s the grindstone recipe so that you can craft one easily yourself. You need two sticks, a stone slab, and planks.

Minecraft Grindstone Recipe crafting
Here I’ve created a grindstone using the crafting table.
(Image credit: Mojang)

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Combine two similar items on a Grindstone to repair an item

Now you’ve got a grindstone, it’s time to repair your broken stuff. You do this by combining two items of the same type on the grindstone.

Repairing stuff this way is pretty simple to do. Just place two items – one in the top slot and one in the bottom slot – on the Grindstone to combine them into a single repaired item.

Minecraft Grindstone repair golden pickaxe
I combine two golden pickaxes into a single repaired item using the grindstone.
(Image credit: Mojang)

So fx, if you have a pickaxe that you want to repair, then you can combine it with another pickaxe of the same type.

This combines the durability of the two items into one. The combined durability is equal to the sum of the durabilities of the two input items.

You also get a 5 percent durability bonus (up to the item’s maximum durability). This means that you should only do this when both items are below 50% durability. Otherwise, you’d be wasting some of the durability of both items.

If either of the items is enchanted, you get a small experience bonus, but the enchantment is lost in the process.

Luckily there’s a way to circumvent this by using an anvil instead, which I’ll describe in a moment.

But repairing items this way is a great way to clean up a messy inventory. Instead of carrying multiple damaged pickaxes, you can combine them to have one pickaxe with full durability.

Again, doing this on a grindstone will remove any enchantment, which is why it’s often better to repair an item on an anvil (if you have one).

Speaking of which…

3. Repairing items using an Anvil

Minecraft Anvil
Here’s my beautiful anvil.
(Image credit: Mojang)

You can also repair an item on an anvil by combining two of the same type. Using an anvil to repair stuff won’t strip your item of its enchantment.

An anvil is a great tool for a lot of things. You can do all sorts of things once you craft an anvil: repair enchanted items, combine different enchantments, drop on the heads of friends and foes, and give an item a new name to your liking.

Enchanted items can be repaired using the anvil by placing the item in the first slot. Then you need to place one of a couple of things in the second slot: a similar item, item material, or an enchanted book.

Making an anvil isn’t hard to do, either.

How to make an anvil in Minecraft

Anvil recipe in Minecraft
Here I’ve created an anvil using a crafting table.
(Image credit: Mojang)

To craft an anvil, you’ll need three iron blocks and four iron bars.

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You’ll have to farm 31 iron bars to have the necessary resources to craft an anvil.

  • First, place three iron blocks on a crafting table in the top input slots.
  • Second, place one iron ingot in the center and three in the bottom row.
  • When done right, you’ll see an anvil in the output slot.

That’s a lot of mining, but it’s worth it. Iron ore isn’t the rarest material in the game. You should find everything you need after a little time spent mining.

If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an anvil, you can use a pickaxe to harvest it. If you use anything else, nothing will drop.

Now that you have your anvil, you have three different ways to repair your gear.

  • The first is to combine two of the same gear – like on the grindstone.
  • The second is to add material – like on the grindstone.
  • The third is to use enchantment to increase the durability of your gear.

So let’s quickly have a look at each method.

Method 1: Combine two similar items on an Anvil

Minecraft Anvil combine similar items repair
Here I combine two golden pickaxes into a single repair one using the anvil.
(Image credit: Mojang)

The first method combines two items of the same type on the Minecraft anvil. You put the item that needs to be repaired in the first slot and the item used for repair in the second slot.

Repairing an item this way will cost you enchantment points.

Combining the durability of two similar items will give the repaired item durability equal to the sum of each item (up to the maximum level of that item).

Combining two items into one using an anvil gives a bonus of 12 percent durability (up to the maximum level of that item) as opposed to only a 5 percent repair bonus on a grindstone.

Combining Enchanted items at the Anvil

Also, when combining items in the crafting grid on an anvil, you won’t lose any enchantments as you do by using a grindstone.

Another cool thing is that if your item isn’t enchanted and you use an enchanted item in the second slot, the enchantments from the sacrificed piece will be transferred to the repaired item.

Combine one enchanted and non-enchanted items on anvil Minecraft
Here I’ve combined a diamond pickaxe with an enchanted diamond pickaxe using the anvil. As you can see the repaired item gets the enchantment when you use the anvil (as opposed to repairing stuff on the grindstone and crafting table)
(Image credit: Mojang)

If both items have compatible enchantments, they’ll be combined at the expense of experience points. The cost is based on the total enchantments on the target and sacrifice.

Combine enchanted items on anvil Minecraft
Here I combine two enchanted diamond pickaxes into a single enchanted diamond pickaxe. Because there are more enchantments involved, this cost is more than combining the example above where one of the pickaxes wasn’t enchanted.
(Image credit: Mojang)

Some enchantments can be combined using the anvil. Place one enchanted item on the anvil and then put another item of the same type in the second slot.

If it’s possible, you’ll be able to combine the enchantments to make your item even better. Being able to make a new item with better enchantments is worthwhile.

Not all enchantment combinations are possible. One of the most common examples is combining sharpness and smite on the same sword.

These two enchantments aren’t compatible, and it simply won’t work. Keep this in mind so that you don’t waste materials.

Using this idea to increase enchantment ranks will help a lot. You can craft two bows that have Power I.

Then you can combine those bows to create one bow that has Power II.

It’s a nifty trick that can help you to get the best equipment possible in the game.

Method 2: Adding crafting material using the Anvil

How to repair item with material on anvil in Minecraft
Here I add a single gold ingot using an anvil to repair my broken golden pickaxe.
(Image credit: Mojang)

You can add crafting material to repair items as well.

Say you want to repair a diamond sword. You can do so by placing a diamond in the second slot to repair the sword.

Putting one diamond in the anvil will add 25 percent durability (up to the maximum durability of the item).

You can also put multiple pieces of material to increase durability. So if you add two diamonds, it will increase the durability by fifty percent. 

Item repair material and item anvil Minecraft
Here I use 3 golden ingots to restore my golden pickaxe back to maximum durability.
(Image credit: Mojang)

If it’s a golden pickaxe, you need to add gold, if it’s iron armor, you need iron, if it’s a Netherite tool, you need Netherite, and so forth.

Here’s a table that shows material repairs what item:

MaterialItem Repair
[Acacia, Birch, Crimson, Warped, Dark Oak, Jungle, Mangrove, Oak, Spruce]
Wooden weapons. Wooden tools. Shield.
LeatherLeather armor
[cobblestone, cobbled deepslate, blackstone]
Stone weapons. Stone tools.
Iron IngotIron weapons. Iron tools. Iron armor.
Gold IngotGolden Weapons. Golden tools. Golden Armor.
DiamondDiamond Weapons. Diamond tools. Diamond Armor.
Netherite IngotNetherite Weapons. Netherite tools. Netherite Armor.
Scute (drops when a baby turtle turns into an adult)Turtle Shell helmets.
Phantom MembraneElytra

In other words, you can repair your weapon or tool on an anvil by adding additional material to your original weapon.

Sacrificing one material will repair 25% of the tool’s or weapon’s maximum durability.

This is much more convenient than using another item of the same type due to the cost of repair being much less.

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Method 3: Using enchantments to repair or increase the durability of items

Unbreakable sword enchantment anvil Minecraft
Here I enchant my golden sword with the unbreaking enchantment level III.
(Image credit: Mojang)

You can use the unbreaking enchantment to increase the durability of tools, weapons, and armor.

You place the tool or armor on the anvil in the first slot and then a book with the unbreaking enchantment in the second slot.

The maximum level of unbreaking is three.

For armor, there’s a 70 percent chance that durability is used when taking damage.

For weapons, there’s a 25 percent chance that durability is used.

However, an enchanted tool can last up to three times longer.

3. Use Mending to repair items

Mending enchantment Minecraft
Here I carry the enchanted book of mending in my offhand to restore my sword’s durability in battle automatically.
(Image credit: Mojang)

The last method is to use the mending enchantment to repair your gear.

Mending is a treasure enchantment, meaning the only way to obtain it is through chest looting, fishing raids, or trading with librarian villagers.

Because mending is a treasure enchantment, it can’t be enchanted on an item on an enchanting table or anvil. Instead, you must wear the enchantment book with mending in your offhand.

Doing so will automatically repair your gear.

Using mending restores two durability levels to an item at the base cost of one experience orb.

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In Closing

A better understanding of how to repair items in Minecraft will serve you well.

It’s generally better to use the anvil to repair items, but that’s only true if you use enchanted items.

Combining items of the same type in the menu will work fine if you have normal equipment. When you’re using enchanted items, it’ll be possible to do so many things with an anvil.

You’ll be able to keep using items for longer now that you can repair them. This makes it more practical to keep enchanted items in your inventory.

You can use them and then repair them as necessary. It won’t be possible to repair the items forever, but you will get a lot of use out of them.

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Jan has played video games since the early 1980s. He loves getting immersed in video games as a way to take his mind off stuff when the outside world gets too scary. A lifelong gamer, the big interest led to a job as a lecturer on game sound at the University of Copenhagen and several written articles on video games for magazines.

Read more on the About Page.