I know that by using the Silk Touch enchantment, we get the ore block instead of the metal. But what is the benefit of that? I mean that if we get the ore block, for example diamond, we have to convert it from its ore to diamond in a furnace which is waste of time. So what is the benefit of getting the ore block instead of diamond?

6 Answers 6

  • You can store ores before you get Fortune enchantment, then place the ores and get higher yields than before without Fortune
  • You can store EXP this way (for example in coal) - just get the EXP later when needed by placing ores and breaking them
  • Ore Fortune breaking at home is safe, you do not need to carry your expensive Fortune III pickaxe around lava in mines. Just get the ore home, place at floor and break it safely without losing materials or pickaxe.
  • Ores use smaller amount of inventory space compared to ingots/chunks of material, especially Lapis (you can fill one inventory space just with like 4 lapis ores broken by fortune III, so having ores you can carry like 16x more)
  • IF you use mods, the ones like GregTech or IndustrialCraft offer another way of ore processing, possibly getting multiple products (or byproducts) from one ore (macerator, ore refining etc, ore duplication process in general)
  • Decoration
  • Combinations of aforementioned methods

Be aware that some of those practics do not work on some servers, where placing of those ores is banned. Then some of the mentioned methods are not valid. However every Good and normal server has this not blocked. (as of in new versions the duplication bugs are hopefully resolved)

  • 1
    You can compress items in inventory as blocks though.
    – Random832
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:31
  • @Random832 Yeah of course, but from my experience, I don't take crafting table into mines, so this would be another complication (and one used slot in inventory). Normally one just fills inventory and then goes home, where he has infrastructure in safety to deal with ore processing. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:55
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    "I don't take crafting table into mines" - but you do presumably take wood for torches? So crafting tables can be made. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 17:44
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    You don't carry your expensive Fortune III pickaxe through mines, but you do carry your precious Silk Touch one?
    – Bergi
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 2:24
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    well sure @Bergi because a silk touch pickaxe left at home has no value; it's value is associated with going out and mining. Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 7:54

Antoine Hejlík's answer covers most of the benefits, but there's a few extra ones;

- There's several blocks that can mainly only be obtained through Silk Touch

Ores, mycelium & grass for spreading purposes, and Ice Blocks

The other answers (and comments) seem to be forgetting about the dear Ice Blocks, even though they have several uses!

  • Can be used to create a variety of traps
  • Can be used to to amplify the Soul Sand slow (Place an Ice Block directly beneath Soul Sand)
  • Can be melted on demand to create water (and moved around beforehand) replacing a piston/water setup, and giving 'some' freedom.
  • Can create 'speed' tunnels. Running and jumping on ice in a 2block tall tunnel is faster than running!

All thanks to silk touch :)

I haven't played Minecraft in a while, so there may be other uses now!

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    Yes, but Ice block is not an ore. This is not a question about general use of silk touch, so there is no need to mention Ice and other stuff, which can be obtained by Silk touch :) Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:52
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    What is the 'piston setup' you're talking about? Is it another way to carry water blocks other than buckets / ice blocks? Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 15:18
  • Antoine Hejlík> Very true, I saw an accepted answer and thought the added Ice explanation wouldn't hurt :) Should've maybe made it a comment instead.. I'm still new 'using' the site! @user6245072 It's not the most beneficial thing in the world, but you can piston an iceblock close to heat (torch/lava), and have it melt into a watersource, whereas you can't move the water source blocks (to my knowledge) - Instead of just having a piston retract, letting water flow from a pre-placed source. Probably useless to most, but in tight redstone contraptions, you can't have water everywhere :)
    – Pawaox
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 17:37
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    @Pawaox It is good, but it is also good to stay on topic :) Btw for water, you know that you can use dispenser and water bucket, right? :D Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 19:14

the main use of silk touch is for mining solid stone as opposed to cobblestone.

Silk touch mines the initial object in place of the item it drops (cant remember all the objects it affects though)

But say you were building a stonebrick castle, a silk touch pickaxe would mean you would not need to refine the cobblestone, as silk touch picks would directly mine smoothstone for you.

this means you can create the stonebricks faster and without using as much coal.

Theres probably more to it that ive missed but thats the key point, use your silk touch to mine objects that would normally drop other items, to get the original object. (Perhaps glowstone for example - give that a try and you may get a solid block in place of dust, but dont quote me on that one as ive not done this in a looong time.)

EDIT/tl;dr - When using silk touch for mining, its typically used either for transporting blocks like grass that arent otherwise easy to access, to obtain blocks like glowstone or stone brick more resource efficiently or to mine ores directly for decorating purposes. Another possible use would be, as mentioned by @Robotnik below, would be to try and move ores to locations that are easier or safer to mine with other pickaxes with other enchantments. Taking a redstone ore block up uses less inventory space than 5 - 10 redstone dust, meaning you can move it up more efficiently to mine again later with a higher droprate pick, or just to save inventory space when mining.

  • It seems like you didn't understand the question. I know what silk touch does but i am asking about the benefit of getting an ore than the metal.
    – DeMize
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 10:40
  • @DeMize as mentioned before - it collects the raw item. the only benefit when mining ores - at all - is to collect the ore block as a decoration. Otherwise you are wasting resources and time on cooking and smelting it. Meaning, as i said, the purpose of silk touch is to collect the raw item, either for decoration, to remove smelting or to save time and mining uses for some items. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 10:50
  • It also allows you to transplant Grass/Mycelium to areas that don't normally have it without building extensive dirt bridges. For example, down near bedrock, or if you're building a fortress/city in the sky
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 10:52
  • @Robotnik Theres a good use for it that I didnt think of. But can you think of anything for ores? (apart from dirt ore, since grass and mycellium are probably not what the question is about. :P) Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 10:54
  • @Alex Spencer Can you add what you just said in the answer?
    – DeMize
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 10:57

In addition to Antoine Hejlík answer if you plan to have your world alive in upcoming patches and provably store those resources its always better to save raw materials for example if they add the fortune IV enchantment, in the other hand if fortune is nerf you can process before updating.


Redstone ore blocks light-up when you touch them. Since this counts as a block state change, it will trigger BUD Switches (redstone circuits that create a signal in response to a block changing). This is useful when you want to make a contraption that doesn't use any visible levers, buttons, or plates, such as for a booby trap or secret door.

Positioning redstone ore blocks can be done one of two ways

  1. Pushing them with pistons
  2. Using Silk Touch

The latter is a lot less tedious

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    What has this to do with silk touch mining? I don't see any relation
    – Arperum
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 7:47
  • @Arperum Fixed.
    – aebabis
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:55

It doesn't affect just ores. Having a silk touch can help you mine certain objects without breaking them. For example, if you mine glass or glass pane with a regular pick, it destroys it with nothing left, or if you mine glowstone using a regular pick, it will give you 2 or 3 glowstone dust, which is 1/2 or 3/4 of its regular value.

Plus, with the ore block you can also make traps to keep trollolololols out of your territory by using them to set traps or something, because it also makes mining stone give you just stone instead of cobblestone.

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