How to Find Out the Durability of a Tool in "Minecraft"
By Matt Koble
Updated September 22, 2017
Tools in "Minecraft" help you break down blocks for building materials and clearing the environment. Every tool deteriorates as you use it and will eventually break. This makes knowing the tool's durability important for effective use. While you'll see a bar under each tool denoting the general "life" of a tool, you can also find exactly how many more times you can use the item before it breaks.
Vanilla "Minecraft" -- the base game with no mods installed -- allows players to check an item's durability in game. While the info isn't shown by default, a certain key combination enables the figure. While in-game, press "F3-H" at the same time. Open your inventory and hover your cursor over a tool you've used. You'll now see two numbers; the first represents a tool's current durability, while the second shows the tool's starting durability. For example, a partially depleted Diamond Pickaxe might say "300/1561." 300 represents how many more times you can use the Pickaxe, while 1561 represents how many times you can use a new Diamond Pickaxe.
Weapons and Armor
Weapons and armor in "Minecraft" also follow the same durability rules as tools. For weapons it's the exact same idea; the durability number represents the number of times you can use the weapon before it breaks. With armor, the number represents how many hits your character can take while wearing the armor. Any hit from an enemy or enemy weapon will lower the armor's durability by one point, regardless of the enemy's strength. Certain damage types don't affect armor, including damage from falling, fire and drowning.
The durability toggle command works in both single and multiplayer modes, but not in Creative Mode, where tools are unbreakable. Turn the display off by pressing "F3-H" again. No durability statistic shows when you hover over an item you haven't used yet, like a new sword. When you press "F3" you will also enable debugging information, which will show a collection of statistics and figures on your screen. You can press "F3" again to disable this without also pressing "H" to disable the durability stat. Using a tool on the wrong object, like using a shovel to cut down a tree, uses two points of durability per hit.
A number of "Minecraft" user-created modifications enable you to see your durability stat. The "Show Durability" mod shows the same stat the "F3-H" command shows, but you'll also see durability stats for unused tools. The "Show Durability 2" mod is similar, but also shows the durability stat of your selected tool above the hunger bar in your HUD. "Durability101" shows the durability stat on top of every applicable item in your inventory so you don't have to hover over an item to see its durability stat. See Resources for links to these mods.
Information in this article refers to the Windows version of "Minecraft," version 1.6.2. Commands and the ability to access durability information may differ depending on which version of "Minecraft" you're playing.
Matt Koble has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on websites such as DoItYourself. Koble mostly writes about technology, electronics and computer topics.