Anvils and Item Repair

There are two ways to repair items in Minecraft: with and without an Anvil.

Repairing Items the Easy Way

Items such as weapons, armour and tool can be repaired by placing two damaged items of the same type on a crafting grid:

minecraft item repair

The two items will be combined to a single one with durability equal to the two plus a small bonus (so to get best value from the repair, both items should be used until they are below 45% durability.

Any enchantments will be lost when repairing items this way.


MInecraft Anvil

Anvils allow you to rename items, repair enchanted items, and even combine the enchantments from different items, at the cost of experience points.


Crafting an anvil in minecraft

You’ll need 3 blocks of iron, plus 4 more iron bars, for a total of 31 iron bars.

###Renaming items

Now your enchanted sword can be called Excalibur if that’s what you want, or indeed you could call an apple "Derek" if that’s what takes your fancy.

Renaming with an anvil

Place your item on the left and type the new name in the box. The experince cost will be displayed, and if you’re happy, take the renamed item from the right.

###Item repair

Enchanted items can be repaired by placing either another item or the material from which they are made in the second slot.

An enchanted diamond axe can be repaired using either a diamond, or another diamond axe.

###Combining Enchantments

Place two enchanted items of the same type on the left, and if possible their enchantments will be combined into a new item.

Minecraft anvil combine enchantments

Two enchanted pickaxes can be combined to make an even better one - note that their durability is added so this is a repair job too.

  • Not all combinations are possible – you can’t have both Sharpness and Smite on the same sword, for instance.
  • Enchantment ranks can be added &emdash; you can combine two Bows with Power I to get one with Power II
  • The order in which you place the two items makes a difference: the anvil takes the first item and tries to add enchantments and durability from the second item if possible. This affects the cost, so try both ways round.

###Using Enchanted Books

Anvils are used to transfer an enchantment from an enchanted book to an item; place the item and the book in the slots - easy!

Anvil apply book

Two enchanted books can be combined on an anvil to make a new book with both enchantments.

Combining Books


The cost of repair depends on a number of factors, including how many times the item has been modified with the anvil. Operations that would cost more than 40 experience levels are not allowed. This means that you will only be able to repair your items a few times.

Anvil too expensive

These two pickaxes have a lot of high-level enchantments each, and combining them would just be too awesome to be allowed.