It's clear that hitting enemies with a weapon wears them down. And I'm pretty sure that using weapons to destroy objects (like chopping down a tree or smashing ore) also wears them down.

But I'm not clear about things like:

  • Using a weapon to hit a switch in a shrine
  • Using a weapon to hit an object frozen with stasis
  • Charging and releasing elemental attacks with a rod (fire, lightning, etc.) where the rod does not hit anything.
  • Swinging a weapon that doesn't hit anything
  • Cutting through things with no real mass (like grass)
  • Hitting items that aren't reactive in any way (like a rock wall)

Basically, I'm trying to figure out when I need to go through the effort to avoid swapping weapons. It's a lot easier to use what I'm holding to whack a stasis-frozen boulder, but if it's wearing down a powerful weapon, it's probably a bad idea.

  • Great question; I'm also curious about things like blowing wind with the kurok leaf (might be covered under your elemental attacks bullet).
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:40
  • 2
    @GendoIkari I'd wondered that, too, but I'm fairly sure swinging the Kurok leaf to generate wind (without hitting anything) does NOT wear it down. Or wears it so little as not to matter. I've swung a single one many hundreds of times with no indication of any harm to it.
    – Jaydles
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:43
  • Not sure on the rest, but hitting a stasised object definitely wears down your weapon. I've broken a sword doing that. (Feel free to use this info in an answer.)
    – Kat
    Apr 17, 2017 at 17:41
  • Elemental attacks from wands definitely do damage. I lost my first one screwing around with it. Perhaps this would benefit from a community answer?
    – T.J.L.
    Apr 17, 2017 at 18:08

2 Answers 2


Things that DO decrease weapon durability:

  • Hitting enemies with a weapon.
  • Using a weapon to hit an object frozen with stasis.
  • Doing a jump slash anywhere on land or enemies ("x" + "y").
  • Using weapons to destroy objects (like chopping down a tree or smashing ore etc.)
  • Using the Master Sword beam attack (right bumper).
  • Hitting a switch in a shrine.
  • Swinging a fire/lightning/meteor/ice rod or wind cleavers (even when it doesn't hit anything).

Things that DON'T decrease weapon durability:

  • Cutting through things with no real mass (like grass or small bushes). This includes charged attacks.
  • Swinging at a wall (notice it makes no impact noise. If you do hear an impact noise, then it's hurting your weapon).
  • Doing a jump slash onto the water ("x" + "y").
  • Swinging a weapon that doesn't hit anything, including using the kurok leaf to generate wind and charged attacks. (The exception is any that generate elemental powers, like fire/lightning/meteor/ice rods, wind cleavers, etc.)
  • Hitting a lynel while riding on it's back.
  • 3
    Please feel free to add to this list as you see fit. :)
    – RedCaio
    Apr 17, 2017 at 20:57
  • Once I was playing around with a lighting rod and then the rod broke. What a waste of a weapon. At least it was fun-ish.
    – Bloonarius
    Feb 24, 2021 at 17:33

Power attacks (holding down X) DON´T decrease durability if they don´t hit anything, but if you finish the attack into the ground then they DO wear down your weapon.

  • 9
    That is already being mentioned in the accepted and highly upvoted answer :)
    – Mathias711
    Jul 6, 2017 at 14:17

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