All the entries in the wiki etc focus on breaking speed of blocks using 'the right tool', and I couldn't find anything about breaking blocks with 'wrong tool'. And I'm wondering what is the slowest block to mine with pickaxe obtainable legally in survival.

My last concrete making session ended up with a big hole in the 'concrete maker' as I was afk'ing using my diamond pickaxe (with mending enchantment) and missed the moment concrete ran out. Within range of a beacon set to Haste 2, the pickaxe chewed through the obsidian back of the concrete maker in matter of moments and proceeded to punch a hole in the wall of my super-smelter that happened to be behind that wall.

Are there any other materials more resistant to pickaxe than obsidian? I mean, at this point it seems like wool takes longer, but I'm not sure. I'm almost feeling like putting a nametagged zombie behind the obsidian, that would take a while to break with a pick.

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    I think snow is often used for this. But wood is better, I think. I'll try it once I have access to Minecraft again. It should be the block with the highest hardness that doesn't appear on the list screenshotted by Niffler. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 6:46
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    Actually, I don't need to start Minecraft for this, because the Minecraft wiki is awesome. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:35

2 Answers 2


The Minecraft wiki has a helpful table for the "hardness" of blocks and also their correct tool: https://minecraft.wiki/w/Breaking#Blocks_by_hardness (archive)

Since every block only has at most one correct tool (with the exception of swords breaking cobwebs and leaves a bit faster, for which the correct tool is shears), you can see what breaks with normal (hand) speed when using a pickaxe: All that don't have a pickaxe icon next to them. That also often gives you the added mining time for blocks where you don't get the drop due to using the wrong tool.
Haste doesn't matter for this question, because it affects all blocks and tools equally.

So, what is the hardest block that isn't broken faster with a pickaxe? Cobwebs. It takes 20 seconds to mine one by hand. The problem is that it's hard to get. If you need a lot of it, you'll have to explore a lot.
The farmable blocks with the highest hardness are wooden trapdoors and doors (4.5s), then chests, trapped chests and crafting tables (3.75s). They are mined much faster with the wrong tool, because you get the drop.
But there's no other block that breaks slower due to not getting the drop until you get to snow blocks (1s).
If you also have to hold down the "use" button for your AFK machine, then fences, logs, planks, wooden slabs and stairs (3s) might be your best options.

Alternatively, if that's possible in your case, you could design your farm/machine in a way that only water, lava, air or unbreakable blocks are in the direction you'll be mining, for example you could put it on top of the bedrock or hollow out the space behind it and add a water stream to get the drops.

Another option would be to constantly move blocks back and forth in the direction you mine. As long as the time to mine the moved block is longer than the time it stays in one place, you will never break it. Your best options here are the wooden blocks named above, since coal blocks (hardest movable blocks) are mined faster with a diamond pickaxe, even without enchantments.

Entities in the way also work, if you don't need something to place a block against. You can punch something and proceed to mine while still holding down the button, but if you start mining a block, you'll never hit a mob with that same button press. Your best options there are likely snow golems or paintings.

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    Cobweb likely solves my problem. Abandoned mineshafts aren't that rare (and I happen to have a vast one neighboring with my base and collected a couple stacks of cobweb too). Going down to bedrock is a little inconvenient for something as trivial as a concrete maker, and it requires a block to place the concrete dust against for breaking, so empty space doesn't solve my problem. Cobweb seems like a perfect solution though... other than needing a hopper underneath and wait for the concrete to drop into it.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:48
  • wooden trapdoors and doors have the silly problem: AFK concrete-maker requires the player to hold the 'attack' and 'use' buttons simultaneously... and the first thing to happen once you run out of concrete powder will be opening the door/trapdoor (use), and then proceeding to tunnel through whatever's behind.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:52
  • I edited my answer to also include that case. You'll probably want to use planks. Jukeboxes would be an equally hard block, but they can't be farmed, so you might as well use cobwebs. Also, moving blocks are a great alternative, I'll add that, too. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 10:53
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    Entities could also work, but not in your case. In case someone else with a similar problem finds this question, I've added them, too. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 11:02
  • Ah, snow golem, certainly better than a zombie! Too bad my base is in a savanna.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 12:01

After Obsidian are Ender chests

Ender chests take 4.25 seconds with a diamond pickax.

I got this info from a handy chart:

The following table shows the time it takes to break each type of block.

A red background indicates that the block cannot be harvested with that type of pickaxe. A yellow background indicates that the block cannot be harvested with that type of pickaxe, but still drops something. A green background indicates that the block can be harvested with that type of pickaxe.
enter image description here
- Pickaxe - Official Minecraft Wiki

  • obtainable legally in survival. And I got to that chart, it shows only items for which pickaxe is the "correct tool" (notice as it lacks anything made of wood)
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 2:16
  • @SF. it also shows the break time.......
    – iVhagar
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 2:28
  • and that after obsidian ender chests take the longest.
    – iVhagar
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 2:36
  • A haste II efficiency V diamond pickaxe can break obsidian in 2.15 seconds. Breaking a crafting table with the same should take 3.75s.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 2:49
  • this is with unenchanted pickaxes
    – iVhagar
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 3:02

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