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In TF2, I get an item about every 45 minutes. So how many days would it take for me to get enough weapons to smelt up to one refined metal, considering I'm playing for about 45 minutes a day?

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    Item drops happen every 30-70 minutes (average 50), so 45 isn't always going to be long enough to get one.
    – Powerlord
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 19:16
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    There's also a cap on how long you can get items for per week, but if you're only playing for 45 minutes a day you won't hit it (it's somewhere around 10 hours per week, resetting at iirc 0:00 UTC Wednesday).
    – Powerlord
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 19:20
  • Thanks @Powerlord, I've incorporated the drop range into my answer below :)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 2:17

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Bare minimum? Given 1 Refined == 9 Scrap at 2 weapons apiece, 18 play sessions of ~45-50mins.

A drop can happen anywhere between 30 and 70 minutes (with 50 minutes being the average), so you may have to vary your play times a bit if you want to guarantee a drop.

Of course, all this is assuming that each drop is a compatible class weapon to be used in smelting. Remember, in order to scrap two weapons, they must come from the same class. For example,

  • You can scrap a Sandvich with a Tomislav (both for Heavy)
  • You can scrap a Force-a-Nature with a Mad Milk (both for Scout)
  • You can't scrap a Sandvich (Heavy) with a Mad Milk (Scout)

So realistically it will probably take a bit longer than 18 sessions.

You could also swap/trade for compatible weapons to make the process quicker. Sites like Scrap.TF make this easier. Of course, once you go down that route it may just be easier to trade for what you want rather than worrying about scrapping & crafting stuff.

You can read more about Drops and Crafting on the TF2 Wiki.

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    I'm not affiliated with Scrap.TF btw, but I have used them in the past.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 12:29
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    i absolutely LOVE scrap.tf, so considering I use them, 18 days? Sure, thank you.
    – user199801
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:40
  • Isn't there a max amount of drops per week or something? That would hinder it at greater play amounts.
    – The Man
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 15:54
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    @ShadowZ - the drop cap is 10 hours per week, so even assuming that every drop takes the maximum 70 mins, you'll only miss one or two. The other thing to keep in mind is that if a player plays less than the playtime cap in a week, their leftover time will be added to the next week, so a player who does not play for one week will receive twice as many items the following week.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 23:34
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    If we are throwing in the swapping of weapons at scrap.tf into consideration, then it would only make sense to also consider the much rarer item drops that are not weapons, such as hats or paint. Most hats average a little over 1 refined in value, and depending on the hat you could be getting a lot more. To throw that into the calculations though would be very difficult, but just felt like I had to share :)
    – WaveX
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 2:08

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