Stardew Valley Tool Upgrades | Best Tools to Upgrade

Stardew Valley Tool Upgrades

Making your dream farm is hard work. It’s a tiny bit simpler in Stardew Valley, but you’ll still need a ton of different tools for the job.  Your collection will grow quite quickly, and they are all critical for maximizing profits and getting new products. Thankfully, you can upgrade these tools so you can get your farm moving more efficiently. That being said, if you’re just starting, what tool upgrades in Stardew Valley matter the most? What do upgrades do? And should you only focus on upgrades? Our quick guide will try and help you out.

What are the Best Tool Upgrades in Stardew Valley?

From the Blacksmith, the best tool upgrades in Stardew Valley belong to the Pickaxe. Upgrading the pickaxe allows you to go deeper into the Mines and gather materials faster with better quality. It will also allow you to clear out the Boulders on your farm, which can be good for expanding your supply. After that, we suggest you upgrade the Trash, the Hoe, and then the Watering Can.

You upgrade your tools at the Blacksmith. You give it to him with the gold and materials, and it becomes unavailable for the rest of the day and the next day. The Blacksmith will have it ready that morning, so be sure to swing by and recollect it once it’s done! Clint will even work during holidays, as long as you gave him the tool before the holiday began.

What Do Tool Upgrades Do?

Stardew Valley Tool Upgrades

Your tool upgrade benefits change based on the tool. Each one has a unique perk that gets unlocked based on the upgrade level it reaches. The four upgrade levels – Copper, Steel, Gold, and Iridium – need five bars of the same name to acquire. You’ll also need 2000, 5000, 10000, or 25000 gold, based on your upgrade path (this gold cost is halved for the Trash Can).

The following five tools can be upgraded at the Blacksmith:

  • Hoes
    • Copper: Three tile lines of farm-ready land, instead of one.
    • Steel: Five tile lines of farm-ready land.
    • Gold: 3×3 square of land.
    • Iridium: 6×3 square of land.
  • Pickaxes
    • Copper: Can break all basic rocks in one hit, and all rocks of Mine Levels 40-79 in two hits and breaks Copper Nodes in two hits.
    • Steel: Can break Boulders, can break the barrier to let you talk to the dwarf, and can mine most types of resource nodes.
    • Gold: Can break Meteorite, and can easily mine most types of resource nodes.
    • Iridium: Can break most rock types in a single hit.
  • Axes
    • Copper: Can break Large Stumps, one-two fewer swings to break a tree.
    • Steel: Can break Large Logs, two-four fewer swings to break a tree.
    • Gold: Three-six fewer swings to break a tree.
    • Iridium: Four-eight fewer swings to break a tree. Fully grown trees now fall in two swings, and stumps now break in one.
  • Watering Cans
    • Copper: 55 charges; can water three tiles in a line.
    • Steel: 70 charges; can water five tiles in a line.
    • Gold: 85 charges; can water a 3×3 square of tiles.
    • Iridium: 100 charges; can water a 6×3 rectangle of tiles.
  • Trash Cans
    • Copper: Sells trashed items for 15% of their monetary value.
    • Steel: 30% of their monetary value.
    • Gold: 45% of their monetary value.
    • Iridium: 60% of their monetary value.

Fishing Pole, Backpack, and Scythe Upgrades

While it’s not exactly one of the tool upgrades, players can also get their Fishing Pole upgraded in Stardew Valley. The Fishing Pole is upgraded at Willy’s Fish Shop. It costs 25g to get a basic one, then 500, 1800, and 7500 for each upgrade. You can only get the Fiberglass Rod and Iridium Rod from leveling up your Fishing proficiency.

  • Fishing Poles
    • Training: Catches basic fish.
    • Bamboo: Can catch any fish.
    • Fiberglass: Can use Bait to catch better fish easier.
    • Iridium: Can use Bait and Tackle to catch better fish even easier.

There are two other tools that you can upgrade: the Backpack and the Scythe. The Backpack is unlocked from the start. You can upgrade the Backpack essentially whenever you’d like. These upgrades are available from Pierre’s General Store.

  • Backpacks
    • Large Pack (2,000g): Gives you 12 more slots, to a total of 24.
    • Deluxe Pack (10,000g): Gives you 12 more slots, to a total of 36.

The Scythe can only be upgraded once:

  • Scythe

Tool Enchantments

Stardew Valley Tool Upgrades

A new addition via Patch 1.5, Tool Enchantments are an alternative upgrade method. You can have an upgraded tool and an enchanted tool, so using both of these methods is important! To Enchant a tool or weapon, you must get to the Forge on Ginger Island. Then, you must spend one Prismatic Shard and 20 Cinder Shards. You can reroll enchantments by spending one shard, and you are guaranteed not to get the two most recent enchantments.

There are 11 total upgrades that the Axe, Fishing Rod, Hoe, Pickaxe, and the Watering Can that you can acquire. These enchantments are randomly selected from the options available from the tool. Upgrading a tool or weapon does not negate the enchantment applied to it.

  • Axe
    • Efficient: No Stamina Drain.
    • Powerful: Adds two levels of Power.
    • Shaving: Grants three extra wood from tree cutting, three wood from Mushroom Trees, and an extra chance to gain hardwood or produce from stumps and giant crops.
    • Swift: 33% faster tool use.
  • Fishing Rod
    • Auto-Hook: Automatically hooks fish and trash (basically, ignores the nibble).
    • Efficient: No Stamina Drain.
    • Master: Adds extra Fishing Level to the player.
    • Preserving: Half of the time, don’t spend bait and tackle.
  • Hoe
    • Archaeologist: Doubles chance of finding an artifact.
    • Efficient: No Stamina Drain.
    • Generous: 50% chance to double item after digging.
    • Reaching: Increases charge-up capacity. Increases maximum area to 5×5 square.
    • Swift: 33% faster tool use.
  • Pick
    • Efficient: No Stamina Drain.
    • Powerful: +1 Power Level.
    • Swift: 33% faster tool use.
  • Watering Can
    • Bottomless: Infinite water; no longer needs to hold charges.
    • Efficient: No Stamina Drain.
    • Reaching: Increases charge-up capacity. Increases maximum area to 5×5 square.

What Is the Best Enchantment for Each Tool?

While Enchantment are random, you can still reroll multiple times for each tool. That means you can search for exactly the correct enchantment for your tools! So, what is the best enchantment for each tool in Stardew Valley?

  • Axe: Shaving
  • Fishing Rod: Preserving
  • Hoe: Generous
  • Pick: Powerful
  • Watering Can: Efficient

That being said, Efficient will always be a good choice! Not spending stamina means you can funnel food and energy-based resources into other projects… Like money! Putting Efficient on everything can be legitimately strong because of that.

Loving Stardew Valley, but don’t know where to start? Check out some of our guides to this fantastic farm game!

Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.