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When I go to create metal out of duplicate items in TF2, I often find that the duplicate item I want is an item I have equipped. Invariably, even though I have multiple copies of this weapon, it will always use the equipped item copy and un-equip that item from my character, forcing me to re-equip it afterwards.

It would be a lot easier if I could just always use the item not equipped, thus saving me from having to fix my loadouts every time I craft with an equipped item. Is there a way to choose an un-equipped copy of an item for crafting purposes?

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Last I knew, Valve changed it so that crafting items favors unequipped, unique items before all other item types. How is it that you are having this problem? I haven't had it for around a year. Might go check when they changed this. – Dispenser Aug 8 '14 at 14:36
@Dispensador A year? I know I've had to re-equip items as recently as last month...I'll double check...once my internet is working again at home. :/ – Zibbobz Aug 8 '14 at 14:57
I was thinking that using the auto sort for the backpack helps in that regard. Not sure, really, but when I craft I never worry about losing items I have equipped. I also have almost all stranges. – Dispenser Aug 8 '14 at 15:00
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you select the "View Entire Backpack" option, you can pick exactly which copy of an item you want to select. Otherwise, it'll always pick the first one it finds (both when you equip an item and when you pick something to craft with, hence why they always seem to collide).

Note however that because of the "empty" slot at the top-left of the list, everything will be shifted one spot to the right compared to when you browse your backpack normally.

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