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On Java Edition, you would put the Item/Object with Mending in your off hand to restore the Durability of it while farming mobs. Sadly, Bedrock Edition does not has the off hand mechanics like Java Edition (you can only use a Map and Shield) so you can't do "the easy way".

What is the most effective way to restore durability with Mending? I have tried to use my Sword on the first slot and the tool on the second slot to quickly switch before grabbing the XP orbs, but this is a bit tedious and is not guaranteed to work.

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You could try to set up an auto-smelter (one without hoppers to take things out of the furnace so you could pick up the smelted items to get exp. points) and equip your mending item while taking the smelted items out of the furnace, and over time the exp. will increase your mending item's durability.

Since as long as you are holding the item with mending while you're picking up exp. orbs or getting exp. points, the durability of the item will increase.

Some recommended items to use in an auto-smelter like that would be kelp (to cook into dried kelp), and bamboo (can be used to craft sticks, which could be used as furnace fuel), both plants can be grown on mass and could be easily farmed automatically.

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Generally, the best way to repair mending items is via an XP farm while not wearing other items with Mending on them. For now, the following behavior is "working as intended" on Bedrock:

In Minecraft, you gain experience by:

  • killing mobs
  • mining ore
  • smelting
  • breeding animals
  • fishing
  • trading
  • disenchanting items in a grindstone
  • drinking bottled experience

Of these methods, the two that tend to be the easiest to automate are killing mobs (via a mob farm built at a mob spawner) and pulling cooked kelp out of an auto farm/smelter. Set one of those farms up, make sure you equip 1 mending item at a time, and collect XP from the farm.

I use a mob farm to repair netherite gear with Mending. In my experience, a mostly damaged item takes ~10 minutes at the farm to repair.

I also have a trading hall and iron farm in my world. To gain emeralds, I usually sell a bunch of iron each session to a group of armor/weapon/toolsmiths I've installed in the trading hall. That usually nets me enough experience to top off lightly-damaged items. However, for heavily-damaged items, the mob farm is much more efficient.

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