Ok, so I picked up a pickaxe while in the Gnomish Mines. Unthinkingly, I used it before testing it for its BUC.

Well that was dumb, it has become welded to my hand.

What is a good method of removing it?

So far, I have tried praying and dipping, but neither seemed to have much effect. I have a few scrolls, but I am unsure of what they actually are.

Now, with this being a pickaxe that is welded to my hand, I am not allowed inside stores, so I can't easily go buy a scroll of remove curse either!

  • sadly i got trapped between levels...on one floor i had killer bees surrounding me, and on the other a pack of wolves...my pickaxe couldn't deal with either
    – erik
    Mar 14, 2011 at 20:14
  • 1
    Your recent questions seem to always eventually end with a story of woe. I hope that bad luck streak doesn't continue.
    – Grace Note
    Mar 15, 2011 at 14:57
  • 1
    Isn't that always the case with Nethack? Its a learning process...you run into X and learn how to remedy it with Y the next life...
    – erik
    Mar 15, 2011 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways to remove curses from equipment other than the very obvious "Use the remove curse effect from scrolls or spellbooks".

  • If you have a potion of holy water, you can use that to bless it. Yes, it uses up your holy water, but that sacrifice will probably get you a lot further than the lost equipment slot and offense of having a pickaxe welded to your hand.

  • If you dip a cursed item into a fountain, the water may glow and uncurse the item. This isn't guaranteed, and you may rust the item in the process, but it's a simple way to handle that. This is an uncommon, but not rare, chance. Beware all the dangers of fountains, though.

  • An uncursed or better scroll of enchant weapon or scroll of enchant armor should uncurse offending equipment, if my memory is correct.

  • Prayer works, but the chance depends on the item. It's more successful when you've got both hands welded onto the same weapon than it is if you have only lost the utility of a single hand. But if you can afford the prayer, this is a simple way to get it done.

  • A magic trap has a chance of removing curses on your person. This is not a very good chance and can easily spell your demise early on, though.

  • If you have a wand of cancellation, then that will cancel a curse, as well as any enchantments on the item. If you plan to use it, consider dropping all the rest of your stuff so you don't cancel all of that.

  • You can also opt to get the item stolen. Nymphs can steal it from you, regardless of the status, so you can entice one to steal it right off of you.

  • Polymorph can also remove the item, if you turn into a form that doesn't have hands for example or otherwise cannot wield it. Or, if you're hungry, you could turn into a xorn or rust monster to just eat that metal pickaxe.


The item is cursed. Some reliable uncursing methods are:

  • Praying works if you're in good with your deity.
  • If dip it enough times in a fountain, it will eventually uncurse with a message "The water glows for a moment."
  • Dipping it in holy water will instantly uncurse it.

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