Copper Pickaxe – All You Need To Know About Your First Upgrade

Have you been spending a lot of time mining lately? Wish you could advance in the mines a little bit faster? It might be time to upgrade to a Copper Pickaxe!

A screenshot from Stardew Valley in which the farmer is using a Copper Pickaxe to destroy a boulder.
A Copper Pickaxe in action.

Why do I need a Pickaxe?

The pickaxe is one of the farmer’s main tools. It’s most commonly used for collecting various resources in the mines. You need a pickaxe to be able to break rocks to collect Stone, break ore nodes to collect Ore, collect Gems embedded in rocks, and find various Geodes.

Pickaxes are also used to move artisan machines like Cheese Presses or Tappers, and furniture such as Plants, Chests, and Scarecrows around. Without a Pickaxe, you would not be able to move many items on your farm.

Why should I upgrade my Pickaxe?

The farmer starts with a basic, stone Pickaxe that does its job well in the early game. Its primary use is for breaking rocks to collect Stone and it can break most rocks with one or two hits. Large boulders that you find in the mines can also be broken with a basic Pickaxe, though it will take quite a few swings. A basic Pickaxe can also break Copper nodes in three hits.

However, things start to get rough once you reach level 40 in the mines. At this level, the rocks are half-frozen, and they are tougher to crack. With a basic Pickaxe, you need to hit every single rock twice before it breaks, and sturdier rocks three times. Each strike of your pickaxe a small amount of Energy, and having to hit the rocks more times to destroy them means spending more and more Energy.

Once your Energy is depleted fully, you become Exhausted. With this debuff active, the farmer begins to move at an incredibly slow pace. If you continue to do actions that cost Energy, you are put at risk of passing out. At that point, you’ll wake up at Harvey’s Clinic, having lost 10% of your money, up to 1000 gold.

Note that even if you stop before you reach the point of exhaustion, having low Energy effectively means you will have to leave the mine. If you could more efficiently use your Energy, you could probably progress far deeper into the mine. This is where a Copper Pickaxe comes in!

How do I get a Copper Pickaxe?

In order to upgrade your Pickaxe, you’ll need three things in your inventory:

  • A basic Pickaxe
  • Five Copper Bars
  • 2000 gold

Once you’ve got all three, head on over to the Blacksmith’s shop and speak to Clint at the counter. In your dialogue with Clint, select the option “Upgrade Tools”, and you’ll see the following menu:

Select the tool you wish to craft, and Clint will get it done.

Clint tells you that he will have the tool ready for you in a couple of days. Keep in mind that choosing to upgrade your Pickaxe means you’ll have no Pickaxe for the next two days. If you were planning on doing some mining, redecorating, or cleaning up debris on your Farm, know that you won’t be able to get those things done smoothly without your Pickaxe.

In two days’ time, return to Clint during his working hours to get your shiny new tool!

Where do I get Copper Bars?

Copper Bars are items crafted from Copper Ore. Copper Ore is fairly plentiful in the mines, particularly up to level 40 of the mine. In order to make five Copper Bars, you need a total of 25 Copper Ore and 5 pieces of Coal. Coal can be found by breaking rocks, looting Minecarts within the mines, killing Dust Sprites (found in levels 41-79 in the mines), or by recycling.

Clint also sells both Copper Ore and Coal for 75 and 150 gold per piece respectively, but that is quite pricey in the early game. You’re better off spelunking and finding these on your own.

A cluster of Copper Ore nodes.

When you’ve got both the 25 Ore and 5 pieces of Coal, you need to use a Furnace. The crafting recipe for a Furnace is unlocked once you’ve collected a single unit of Copper in the mines. Each furnace requires 25 Stone and 20 Copper Ore to craft.

When the Furnace is ready and placed on your Farm, you’ll be able to craft a Copper Bar by placing your Copper Ore in the furnace, while having Coal in your inventory as well. It takes 30 in-game minutes for five pieces of Copper Ore to turn into a Copper Bar.

Do this five times, and you’re ready to visit Clint!

Where is The Blacksmith?

The Blacksmithy is found on the eastern side of Pelican Town, south of the Joja Mart and slightly north of the Museum. It’s open for business between 09:00 am and 16:00 pm every day.

The Smithy.

What Can a Copper Pickaxe do?

A Copper Pickaxe is twice as efficient as a Basic Pickaxe. Essentially, the benefit of this upgrade is the ability to conserve more Energy while mining. Anything you would normally use a Pickaxe for, you can now do at the cost of less Energy.

The Copper Pickaxe is also a necessary milestone before you can upgrade your Pickaxe any higher. Though the difference between the basic Pickaxe and the Copper Pickaxe isn’t very significant, you cannot craft the much superior Steel, Gold, or Iridium Pickaxes without upgrading to Copper first. Each subsequent upgrade uses a different, more valuable metal, and costs a bit more money.

When Should I upgrade My Pickaxe?

A Copper Pickaxe is a very nice quality-of-life upgrade, but unless you’re focusing very hard on mining, you don’t need to prioritize it too much. However, of all the tools that you can upgrade – Axe, Hoe, Trash Can, Watering Can – the Pickaxe should definitely be your first priority.

The Copper Pickaxe doesn’t necessarily increase your profits from the mine, so you may want to hold off on upgrading it until you’ve got some weight in your wallet. Focus on purchasing things that will make you money in the early game like crops. You don’t want to spend all your money on a Copper Pickaxe, then be unable to do any farming because you can’t afford to buy seeds.

That being said, improved efficiency does mean you can stay in the Mines longer, and collect more valuables to sell. So, in a way, the Copper Pickaxe will earn you more money, as imperceivable as that may be.

is the Copper Pickaxe Worth it?

The Copper Pickaxe is a fantastic investment that will make mining twice as efficient. It’s a necessary tool to be able to upgrade your Pickaxe later into Steel, Gold, and Iridium, and gain more benefits with the tool. It is 100% worth it!

Meet the author

I'm a content writer and an avid video game player whose favourites are either chill RPGs or super competitive shooters with no in-between! If anyone is still reading this please help, Joja has trapped me in a guide-writing factory and I'm so tired of drinking Joja Cola.

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