So I did a bit of googling and came across this forum. It states that anvils are "capped" at level 40, i.e., anything that costs more than 40 levels to enchant, rename, or repair, is "too expensive".

However, it also states that a workaround is to rename it first. This (by what I understand) should "reset" the cost, to some degree.

Is this the case? How can I circumvent/bypass the "too expensive" cap on the anvil in vanilla Minecraft?

  • 2
    You can access the player's inventory with an external app called NBTExplorer and modify the item. You can delete the RepairCost of the item. I didn't figure it's what you wanted so I didn't add an answer but figured I would note it, incase it helps.
    – IronAnvil
    Mar 18, 2018 at 5:02
  • 1
    You could also use the blockdata or entitydata commands to modify the RepairCost of the item in game.
    – IronAnvil
    Mar 18, 2018 at 5:09
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of If an item is too powerful to repair, am I screwed?
    – pppery
    Jun 25, 2021 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


What you're describing is an old bug - however there are still mechanics that cover this.

According to the minecraft gampedia renaming an item will not increase it's cost to do something else to it, however if you rename and do somethig else, to it, it's cost will still increase as if you were not naming it at all.

In survival, you can only work an item 6 times, including repairs (but as I stated not including renames alone), with the xp cost increasing each time.

In creative, you can work it 31 times before even then you will be unable to work it again (noting that if you work it this many time you will loose the ability to even rename it).

It's worth noting currently, the only vanilla way to reset this xp multiplier is to merge it with another damaged tool in a standard crafting table, however this will remove all enchants. Repairing it with another tool in an anvil will not work as that will take the highest xp value.


This is no longer the case. That was a bug, which was fixed in 1.8 if I am not mistaken.

The only way to circumvent the cap is by going into creative mode. In creative mode, this cap is ignored.

As mentioned by @Crafter0800 there is a second cap, which is the limit of an integer variable. Nothing can be done to an item once this limit is reached, even in creative mode

  • This is incorrect, even in creative mode there is a "second" cap which is hit when the required xp reaches the integer limit for the game (2147483647), which will make any work on the anvil impossible - even renaming. Mar 17, 2018 at 11:48
  • 2
    @Crafter0800 my answer is still correct, because I am referring to the too expensive cap, which is indeed is ignored in creative. There has been no mentioning of this second cap.
    – D-Inventor
    Mar 17, 2018 at 11:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .