I've heard that breaking the wrong type of block with a tool, e.g. sand with a pickaxe, uses up twice as much durability as breaking the correct type. Is this true?



Breaking sand with a pickaxe will damage the tool one point (using up one point of durability), the same as breaking any other type of block.

This goes for axes, pickaxes and shovels, you can break any type of block with them and incur no penalty.

The only case where double damage is done to a tool is when using a sword to break blocks, or using a tool to hit mobs. Hitting a mob with a tool will cause two damage to the tool per hit, breaking a block with a sword causes two damage to the sword.

The exception to this is blocks which break instantly, like torches, beds, paintings, redstone etc. These cause no damage to any tools, or swords.


  • 3
    Note that the double damage rule even applies when the sword is the "right" tool for a block, such as glowstone. Does a bed really count as a "breaks instantly" block? There's a significant time difference between breaking a bed and breaking a torch, and breaking a bed isn't significantly faster than breaking leaves. – Random832 Sep 26 '12 at 12:50
  • 4
    Wait, when did this change? – SaintWacko Sep 26 '12 at 12:53
  • @Random832 Sword being the 'right' tool means there is no tool. Sword is listed on the wiki as the 'right' tool because it's fastest, due to it being slightly faster than hand-breaking. – fredley Sep 26 '12 at 13:02
  • @fredley I would assume this wouldn't be listed if it weren't also faster than a pick or a shovel. – Random832 Sep 26 '12 at 13:10
  • @Random832 That's the point. There is no tool that is correct for Glowstone or glass, but a sword is slightly faster than punching, so it's listed as the 'correct' tool. – fredley Sep 26 '12 at 13:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.