Looking for a source on what exactly consumes durability on tools such as:

  • Fishing poles
  • Bug Nets
  • Axes
  • Shovels
  • Watering Cans

And not tools, with no durability, such as the Ocarina, Vaulting Pole, and the Ladder.


  • Do misses consume durability?
    • Player character whiffs, hitting nothing but air
    • In the case of the fishing rod, character performs the action but does nothing if not close enough to water.
  • Do trivial actions consume durability?
    • Hitting an NPC in the face with an axe, shovel, net
    • Hitting any non-action item with an axe, shovel, net (such as hitting a building, or a non-farmable rock)
    • Watering an NPC with the watering can, or just watering anything that isn't a flower
    • Using a shovel to dig up dirt (but not anything that isn't dirt, like Fossils, Flowers, Trees, etc.)
    • Using a shovel to fill in holes
    • Using a shovel on a rock that has already yielded the daily items

1 Answer 1

  • Axe: Consumes durability when hitting a tree(even if you don't get any wood), no other times.
  • Shovel: Anytime you hit a rock, or when digging holes to dig up flowers, trees, fossils, or other buried goods. Not when digging holes with nothing in them.
  • Slingshot: Hitting balloons out of the sky. Hitting other things or missing will not count.
  • Fishing Rod: When catching fish or trash. No other times.
  • Bug Net: Catching bugs. Missing or hitting people does not count.
  • Watering Can: Not currently completely understood. It seems like not watering anything for a day is worth one flower, and missing a flower is worth one tenth of watering a flower.
  • 2
    Does this imply that striking rocks with the axe does not consume durability?
    – poundifdef
    Apr 4, 2020 at 5:14
  • Yes that is correct
    – Toron
    Apr 4, 2020 at 5:49
  • 1
    What axe did you test with? Because stone axes do lose durability when used against rocks.
    – jaxad0127
    Apr 7, 2020 at 1:20
  • I did not personally test this instead sourcing it from this article. polygon.com/animal-crossing-new-horizons-switch-acnh-guide/2020/…
    – Toron
    Apr 7, 2020 at 19:13
  • 1
    I also confirm that my stone axe broke against a rock.
    – LudoMC
    Apr 25, 2020 at 22:06

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