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I understand that repairing an item requires two items of the same type, and that putting them together in a crafting area will create a new item with more durability than the ones being repaired, but I'm wondering about the numbers behind the action.

Is the act of repairing items merely a convienience or is it actually beneficial to get the most out of said items.

Example: Two diamond shovels. If they have 10 uses left each, and I put them into a crafting area to repair them, do I get an item with 20 uses left, or does it actually give me MORE uses in the new item than the sum of the uses left in each damaged item?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You get more uses.

According to the Minecraft Wiki article on it, the formula is:

floor( Item A uses + Item B uses + (Max uses / 10) )

So not only do you save inventory space by combining ("repairing") partially used tools, you actually get more uses out of the combined tool.

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Just so I'm clear, you're saying it's more resource-efficient to make two tools, use them alternately, and combine them they're when they're both ~33% durability, then it is to just make a new tool when the old one breaks? – user19220 Jan 29 '15 at 22:19

According to Notch:

If item 1 has 10 uses left, and item 2 has 10 uses left, you'll end up with something like 25 uses in the final product.

And according to the wiki, the exact algorithm is:

floor(  Item A uses + Item B uses + (Max uses / 10)  )
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