Is there a way to break blocks with a redstone/piston system and then pick them up with a hopper in vanilla Minecraft. I want to make an automatic cobblestone breaker.

I know that I can break sand, I want to know how to break stone.


Not possible in vanilla. For automatization you should use some mods, they are just for this.

If you want really a lot of cobblestone vanilla way, just make yourself Effi 5 diamond pickaxe and place beacon with Haste 2 , then you can break mountains in seconds :)

If you do skyblock, automatic grinding of stone is maybe useful, but can be considered as "cheating" :)

  • Not necessarily, you could use TNT. – GoneBoyGone Aug 23 at 18:09

you can use command blocks. place a redstone torch under the block you want to break and a command block above. then the command is:

/setblock <x> <y> <z> minecraft:air 0 destroy

in your case it will be:

/setblock 0 0 -1 minecraft:air 0 destroy

other than that there is no vanilla way. (this is also not very vanilla)

to pick it up by a hopper place the torce on a wall under it and place the hopper at least 2 blocks under the cobble to make shure that you don't power the hopper

  • As a quick note, Vanilla Minecraft means unmodified game(no mods), so this would be a completely 'vanilla' way, but unusable for survival. – RavenM May 14 '15 at 10:44
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    @that's what I ment. (Vanilla means usable in any stage of the game, command blocks are only usable in creative) – BRHSM May 14 '15 at 16:32

Here is a proof-of-concept video, illustrating a system using TNT. The cobble is generated and blown up by TNT; and then transported by water to (presumably) a hopper. There are other ways to achieve the desired effect -such as using creepers/withers/etc (through a monster spawner or darkened room) - which could be done, for example, by using creepers and ocelots with directing corridors, to get the creeper to where you wanted him to go.

If you're looking for an easy way, just get a whole bunch of gunpowder and make loads of TNT. Otherwise, I'd suggest trying the "creeper and ocelot" method.


It is impossible to break blocks like cobblestone using only redstone or pistons. However, there are several mobs such as the Wither, Ghast, and the Creeper that can break blocks. My suggestion for making a block breaking system would be to use these creatures of mass destruction.

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    Of these mobs, Ghasts can't blow up stone and Creepers literally have limited use. Using a Wither Boss works, but requires an insane amount of work if all you want is cobblestone. – MrLemon May 6 '15 at 9:20
  • @MrLemon The generators involving Withers worked in a snapshot. A defense mechanism was subsequently added, and those generators stopped working (if you found a newer design that still works, please link to it, as it would provide an answer to the question). A creeper needs to see you in order to explode. This implies that 1) you'll be taking damage and 2) you'll have to be standing there. Problem 1 could be solved with a beacon of regeneration. I don't see a way around problem 2. – Rainbolt May 6 '15 at 15:51
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    @Rainbolt ImpulseSV has built a Wither-based tree farm on the Hermitcraft Server, but it's scattered across several episodes. This is the episode where he captures the Wither. I haven't seen it completely but It involves Iron Golems and Snowballs. – MrLemon May 6 '15 at 16:13
  • @MrLemon Good find. If I could watch the video right now, I'd summarize it, link to it, and post my own answer. In any case, this answer isn't really useful. You can't do much of anything with only redstone and pistons. – Rainbolt May 6 '15 at 16:24


Tnt is a good way of breaking blocks, since they explode. Beware that they can also destroy the blocks too, so it isn't a good way of collecting either.


One way to do this wold be to have an observer block facing down at the cobblestone which triggers a piston to push the cobblestone when it appears, you have pistons further down that push these lines of cobblestone into a big stockpile, there you can mine it or blow it up.

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