I've noticed that if I stand just within max range of reaching a block, my tools will break it faster than normal. Is this a bug of some sort, or an intended mechanic? (by just within range I'm about 1\4 of a block, no more, from being out of range of reaching the block)
It doesnt ALWAYS work but 90% of the time it does. I've managed to do it with Diamond and Steel Pickaxes and Diamond and Steel Shovels. (I havent play tested every quality tool but I have no reason to think its the quality of the tool that matters)
I've managed to break stone, ores of all quality, netherrack, soulsand and dirt this way. I havent tested it against other blocks but it may apply to all blocks.
To Duplicate: Try taking a diamond shovel, and break a dirt block (note the time it takes) Then break all the dirt blocks in a line that you can reach, and walk foward just a bit to be in range of the next. Then click and hold and walk foward at the same time. You should be able to break dirt blocks as fast as you can walk. (which is faster than you should be able to) This seems to be the easiest way to reproduce the situation. Note that dirt blocks with tall grass on them seem to not work for this (Bug?)