Stardew Valley

Enhancing Your Farming Arsenal: Tool Upgrades in Stardew Valley

From tending to crops and raising animals to exploring mines and building relationships, Stardew Valley offers a rich and rewarding experience.

Central to this experience are the tools that players utilize throughout the game, as they serve as the backbone of productivity and progress.

Importance of Tool Upgrades in Stardew

In Stardew Valley, tools are indispensable assets that empower players to shape their farming and adventuring endeavors.

From the humble watering can to the mighty sword, each tool serves a specific purpose and becomes a vital companion in the player’s journey. Tools are instrumental in maximizing efficiency and reaping the rewards of hard work.

Stardew Valley - using watering can

Players can unlock and upgrade their tools through a robust tool upgrade system to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. It allows players to enhance their tools’ capabilities, making their farming and exploration tasks more manageable and rewarding.

How to Unlock Tool Upgrades

Basic Tool

You’ll be equipped with basic tools when starting your farming adventure in Stardew Valley. These tools can be used to perform essential tasks but lack the efficiency and power required for more challenging activities.

Copper Tool

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the game mechanics and gained some experience, you can upgrade your tools to the copper tier. 

Stardew Valley - copper bar inventory

To unlock copper tool upgrades, visit the local blacksmith, Clint, and provide him with the required resources, usually 5 Copper Bars and 2,000g per tool. These upgrades will significantly boost your tools’ efficiency and speed.

Steel Tool

As you progress further and encounter tougher challenges, upgrading your tools to steel tier becomes essential. You must gather iron bars and additional gold to unlock steel tool upgrades.

Visit Clint again to transform your trusty copper tools into their steel counterparts, with 5 Iron Bars and 5,000g for each tool. Your farming and mining tasks will become more efficient with increased durability and effectiveness.

Gold Tool

The gold tool upgrades offer an even higher level of performance and durability. These upgrades will require more precious resources, including gold bars and gems.

clint blacksmith shop stardew valley

Seek Clint’s expertise again, equipping yourself with 5 Gold Bars and 5,000g, and you’ll be rewarded with gold tools that ensure unrivaled efficiency and effectiveness.

Iridium Tool

The iridium tier is the pinnacle of tool upgrades in Stardew Valley. Iridium tools epitomize power and versatility, making even the most arduous tasks feel like a breeze. 

To unlock iridium tool upgrades, you must delve into the depths of the Skull Cavern, a treacherous mine teeming with danger and rare resources. 

Collect iridium bars and other valuable materials to craft these tools and elevate your farming prowess to unprecedented heights. Bring 5 Iridium Bars and 25,000g per tool to Clint for the best tools.

Stardew Valley - iridium needle dagger

How to Upgrade Tools in Stardew Valley

To upgrade tools in Stardew Valley, specific resources and materials are required for each tier. Players must access the Blacksmith and Clint’s tool upgrade services. Here’s a step-by-step guide to upgrading tools:

Requirements for upgrading tools

Gather resources and materials, such as ores and money.






5 Iridium Bars



5 Gold Bars



5 Iron Bars



5 Copper Bars

Basic Tool



Process of upgrading tools

Visit Clint at the blacksmith shop, select the tool you wish to upgrade, provide the required materials, and wait for the upgrade.

Each tool upgrade takes two in-game days before it’s available for pickup at Clint’s. A notification will pop up at the start of your day if the tool is ready and upgraded.

Benefits of upgraded tools in different activities

Enhanced efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and improved farming, mining, fishing, and foraging performance.

Upgradeable Tools in Stardew Valley


The humble axe is essential for clearing debris and trees from your farm and the surrounding area. Initially, the basic axe has limited cutting power and can only handle small trees and branches.  

However, by visiting the local blacksmith, Clint, you can upgrade your axe to its copper, steel, gold, and iridium versions. With each upgrade, the axe gains increased power and durability. 

The copper axe, for example, allows you to chop down larger trees with fewer swings and can break down Large stumps, saving you valuable energy and time. 

The steel axe further enhances this, with the ability to chop down Large Logs and consume less energy making gathering wood for construction projects and crafting easier. 

Finally, the gold axe provides maximum cutting efficiency, allowing you to fall trees with minimal effort, requiring only 4 hits for fully-grown trees. The last upgrade, an iridium axe, takes only 2 hits to chop a fully-grown tree and one hit for smaller ones.

Each upgrade requires a certain number of ores and an additional fee. Once upgraded, simply equip the axe to clear your farm or explore the woods more efficiently, making your foraging experience less tiring.

Types of Axe

Tool Improvements


Chop down trees in 2 hits


Chop down trees in 4 hits


You can now chop Large Logs

Chop down trees in 6 hits


You can now chop Large Stumps

Chop down trees in 8 hits


Chop down trees in 10 hits


The trusty pickaxe is another indispensable tool in Stardew Valley, allowing you to break rocks, gather ores, and explore the depths of the mine. Initially, the basic pickaxe could only break small rocks and had limited reach. 

However, you can enhance its capabilities by upgrading it at the blacksmith’s shop. Like the axe, the pickaxe can be upgraded to copper, steel, gold, and iridium. With each upgrade, the pickaxe becomes more durable and increases braking power. 

The steel pickaxe further improves efficiency, making it easier to mine valuable minerals as you go down the deeper levels of the Mines. It also allows you to clear your farm of boulders to maximize your farming space

The gold pickaxe is second to the last upgrade, allowing you to break even meteorites. Lastly, the iridium pickaxe can break rocks in only one hit and boulders in three.

To upgrade your pickaxe, you must gather the necessary ores and visit Clint at the blacksmith’s shop. Each upgrade requires specific materials and a fee. Once upgraded, equip the pickaxe and easily break rocks and mining ores.

Upgrade Bonuses

Types of Pickaxe

Tool Improvements


Breaks rocks in 2 hit

Break diamond nodes in 2 hits

Break boulders in 3 hits


Breaks meteorites

Breaks iridium notes in 4 hits


Breaks boulders

Breaks iridium nodes in 6 hits


Breaks rocks in fewer hits

Breaks copper nodes in 2 hits


Breaks rocks


The hoe is essential for tilling the soil, preparing it for planting seeds, and uncovering buried artifacts. The basic hoe has limited reach and can only till a small area at once. However, by upgrading the hoe, you can significantly improve its functionalities.

Stardew Valley - using a golden hoe

Like other tools, the hoe can be upgraded to copper, steel, gold, and iridium. Each upgrade increases the tilling range, allowing you to till more soil in a single action. 

The copper hoe covers a larger area of 3 tiles in a straight line, making preparing your fields quicker and more efficient. The steel hoe further expands the range to 5 tiles on a straight line, reducing the time and energy required for soil preparation. 

Its next upgrade, the gold hoe, covers a 3×3 area equalling 9 tiles, enabling you to effortlessly till vast expanses of land. Finally, the iridium hoe has the maximum area of effect at a 6×3 area, resulting in tilling 18 corresponding tiles.

To upgrade your hoe, visit Clint at the blacksmith’s shop and provide him with the necessary materials and payment. Once upgraded, equip the hoe and till the soil by approaching it and pressing the action button.

Types of Hoe



Till in a 6×3 area (18 tiles)


Till in a 3×3 area (9 tiles)


Till in a 5-tile straight line


Till in a 3-tile straight line


Till one tile

Watering Can

The watering can is crucial for watering your crops and ensuring their healthy growth. Initially, basic watering can have a limited range and only water a few crops simultaneously.

You can purchase the upgrades for the watering can. The watering can be upgraded to copper, steel, and gold, each offering improved functionalities. Starting at the basic water can, it has a capacity of 40 charges before needing to be refilled by a body of water.

The copper watering can allow you to water a larger area at 3 tiles in a straight line, reducing the time and energy required to maintain your crops while holding 55 charges. 

stardew valley watering plants

The steel watering can increase the coverage area even further at 5 tiles in a straight line, enabling you to water multiple crops simultaneously while holding 70 charges.

The gold watering can, with 85 charges, allows you to water an extensive range of crops with a single action on a 3×3 area, resulting in 9 corresponding tiles watered.

Ultimately, the iridium watering can have the largest water capacity at 100 charges and can water a 6×3 area, watering 18 corresponding tiles.

Trash Cans

The trash can is a unique tool that allows you to throw away your items while getting a percentage of their value. Its base version, the basic trash can, cannot return any value. However, by upgrading the trash can, you can unlock its true potential.

Trash cans be upgraded to copper, steel, gold, and iridium versions. With each upgrade, the trash can increases the monetary value gained from items deleted, allowing you to earn even while throwing away items.

The copper trash can is the first upgrade, reclaiming 15% of an item’s monetary value when thrown away. The steel trash can further enhances this ability, with a reclaiming value of 30%.

The gold trash can provides 45% reclaiming value, and the iridium trash cans return 60% of the thrown item’s monetary value.

Upgrades on the trash can require the same amount of mineral bars as the other tools but only need half of the payment of gold to Clint. The copper upgrade costs 1,000g, the steel is 2,500g, the gold is 5,000g, and the iridium costs 12,500g.

Other Tool Upgrades

Unlike the tools Hoe, Pickaxe, Axe, Watering Can, and Trash Cans, some tools cannot be upgraded at the Blacksmith and require purchases or completing quests for upgrades. Below are the other top-used tools as examples:

fishing and rod timing stardew valley

Fishing Rod

The starting tool, a training rod, can be upgraded to a bamboo pole, a fiberglass rod, and an iridium rod. The basic fishing rod, however, has limited casting distance and needs help catching certain fish types.

To enhance your fishing abilities, you can upgrade your fishing rod. To obtain the upgraded fishing rod, visit Willy’s Fish Shop on the beach and purchase the upgrade. Each upgrade comes at a cost, and the higher the upgrade, the more expensive it becomes.

The bamboo pole is given to the player by Willy or purchasable at his shop for 500g. The next upgrade, the fiberglass rod, extends your casting range, allowing you to reach fish in deeper waters and use bait.

It’s purchasable at Willy’s Shop for 1,800g upon reaching Fishing Level 2. The iridium rod, the ultimate upgrade, provides the most significant boost, allowing you to use bait and tackle to increase your chances of catching rare and valuable fish. 

Purchasing fishing rods

It costs 7,500g at Willy’s Fish Shop, available at Fishing Level 6. Once you’ve acquired the upgraded fishing rod, equip it, approach a body of water, and cast your line by pressing the action button.


The scythe is primarily used for cutting down grass, hay, and weeds on your farm. The basic scythe has limited reach and requires multiple swings to clear larger areas. Upgrading the scythe can make the process more efficient and save valuable time.

The scythe only has one upgrade, from a scythe given at the start of the game to a golden scythe. Its upgrade is notably more powerful, but it can only be obtained by reaching the end of the Quarry Mine and cannot be purchased.

Use the action button to swing the scythe and watch as the area is quickly cleared.

chopping grass stardew valley

Benefits of Upgraded Tools in Different Activities

Upgraded tools bring numerous benefits across various activities in Stardew Valley:


Upgraded tools enable players to clear land more efficiently, plant crops quickly, and harvest them on time, maximizing farm productivity.


With upgraded pickaxes, players can delve deeper into the mine, breaking harder rocks and uncovering rare minerals and valuable artifacts.


Upgraded fishing rods improve casting distance and increase the chances of catching valuable and unique fish, enhancing the fishing experience.


Upgraded scythes allow players to gather foraged items faster, chopping up wood while saving time and energy during expeditions.

Stardew Valley - chopping down mahogany tree

Tips and Strategies for Efficient Tool Upgrades

Prioritize tool upgrades based on your gameplay goals [1]. Focus on tools aligning with your current objectives, whether expanding your farm, delving into the mine, or becoming a master angler.

Maximize resource gathering and efficiency by planning your activities. Gather the necessary materials in advance, optimize your daily routines, and use bonus days such as rainy weather for additional resource collection.

Manage time and energy effectively by balancing tool upgrades with other activities. Plan your days carefully, allocate time for rest and social interactions, and use energy-restoring items like food and beverages.


Players can tackle more challenging tasks, explore hidden areas, and uncover valuable resources by unlocking tool upgrades and utilizing their enhanced abilities.

Remember to prioritize your tool upgrades based on your gameplay goals, manage resources effectively, and make the most of your time and energy. 

Mathew has nursed a love of video games since childhood. Now, as an adult, he enjoys playing challenging games as much as he enjoys relating with other gamers. Matthew created Hypernia to give gamers like himself accurate and reliable information about games, servers, communication protocols, and much more.

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