Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

Here, you can check out a complete guide to finding, using, and upgrading every tool in Stardew Valley.

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

Table of contents

A farmer in Stardew Valley needs a good set of tools to get things done around the farm and town. Luckily, you have a wide arsenal of different tools at your disposal, most of which can be upgraded to increase how efficient and powerful they are.

You'll start the game with only a small set of basic tools, but you'll acquire more over time and upgrade many of them in different ways. This guide will take you through every tool you can acquire and how to upgrade it, if possible. First, let's take a look at the most common ways to upgrade tools.

Updated April 13, 2024 by Jacqueline Zalace: With the 1.6 update of Stardew Valley, new tools have become available! We've added different versions of the Pan, as well as the new Iridium Scythe. Now, you can learn how to obtain and upgrade every tool that is currently in the game.

Where To Upgrade Tools

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

By visiting Clint, the Blacksmith in the southeast end of town, you can upgrade the following tools.

  • Pickaxe
  • Axe
  • Trash Can
  • Watering Can
  • Hoe
  • Pan

The process to upgrade each one is the same, making the entire process quite simple. Below, you can check out the upgrades and their costs. These upgrades need to go in order; you cannot skip a level.


Material Needed



5x Copper Bars



5x Iron Bars



5x Gold Bars



5x Iridium Bars


Each upgrade increases the efficiency of the tool, meaning it'll cost less energy to use. More specific effects also apply to some tools, which will be covered in each tool's section of this guide.

It takes two days to upgrade your tools, meaning you'll spend one full day without it. You can turn it in one day any time before the Blacksmith s, then you'll spend the next day without it, then the following morning, it'll be ready for pickup.

Upgrading Tools At The Volcano Forge

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

After completing the Community Center or Joja Community Development upgrades, you can access Ginger Island and find the Volcano Forge. This can be used to enchant your tools with special effects, which will cost Cinder Shards.

You can use 20 Cinder Shards and a Prismatic Shard to add a random enchantment to a tool. Some of these enchantments increase the effect of these tools, others make them faster, some remove the energy cost of using them, and some have unique effects.


Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

Your pickaxe will probably be the tool you spend the most time with throughout the playthrough, remaining useful long into the later years. It's used to break rocks, mainly in the various mines in the game. With each upgrade, it takes fewer hits to break rocks.

Upgrade Bonuses

Pickaxe Type


Basic Pickaxe

Break rocks

Copper Pickaxe

Breaks rocks in fewer hits

Steel Pickaxe

Breaks boulders

Gold Pickaxe

Breaks meteorites

Iridium Pickaxe

Breaks most rocks in one hit

At the Volcano Forge, there are a few enchantments you can give your pickaxe. "Efficient" makes your pickaxe use no energy. "Powerful" adds an additional power level to it. Finally, "Swift" makes using your pickaxe much faster.


Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

Your hoe is mainly used to till the soil, so you can plant seeds to grow crops. However, it's also used to dig up Artifact Spots (those little wiggling sticks around the valley). You can also till random sand anywhere to find things like clay, mixed seeds, or Cave Carrots.

Upgrade Bonuses

Pickaxe Type


Basic Hoe

Till one tile

Copper Hoe

Till in a 3-tile line

Steel Hoe

Till in a 5-tile line

Gold Hoe

Till in a 3×3 area

Iridium Hoe

Till in a 6×3 area

Hold the action button longer to increase the range.

At the Volcano Forge, there are five possible enchantments for the hoe.

"Archaeologist" doubles your chance of finding artifacts in Artifact Spots, while "Generous" gives you a 50 percent chance of finding double the items when you dig with your hoe. "Efficient" removes stamina drain, "Swift" increases the speed at which you can use your hoe, and "Reaching" increases the area of tilling to 5×5 tiles.

Watering Can

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

The watering can will be your nemesis early in the game, burning up all of your energy and requiring constant trips to refill, until you upgrade it or get some sprinklers. It's used to water your crops, but can also be used to fill your pet's water bowl and to solidify lava in the Volcano Dungeon.

Upgrade Bonuses

Pickaxe Type


Basic Watering Can

Water one tile

40 charges

Copper Watering Can

Water in a 3-tile line

55 charges

Steel Watering Can

Water in a 5-tile line

70 charges

Gold Watering Can

Water in a 3×3 area

85 charges

Iridium Watering Can

Water in a 6×3 area

100 charges

It's recommended to upgrade your watering can the night before it rains, since the rain will water your crops the next day, and then you can pick up your watering can the day after that.

At the Volcano Forge, you can add three different enchantments to a watering can. "Efficient", as always, removes stamina drain. "Reaching" is the same as it is for the hoe, increasing the range of the watering can to a 5×5 grid. "Bottomless" is very appealing, making your watering can hold an infinite amount of water and removing the need to refill it.


Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

The axe is used to chop trees and stumps as well as remove crops and placed objects. With each upgrade, it takes fewer hits to break stumps and chop trees down.

Upgrade Bonuses

Pickaxe Type


Basic Axe

Chop down trees in 10 hits

Copper Axe

Chop down trees in 8 hits

You can now chop Large Stumps

Steel Axe

Chop down trees in 6 hits

You can now chop Large Logs

Gold Axe

Chop down trees in 4 hits

Iridium Axe

Chop down trees in 2 hits

At the Volcano Forge, you can add four different enchantments to your axe.

"Efficient" removes any energy usage from use of your axe. "Powerful" adds two power levels to it, and "Swift" makes it faster to use. "Shaving" is a unique enchantment only available to axes. It grants you three extra wood from oak, maple, pine, palm, and mahogany trees and will give you three pieces of wood when chopping down mushroom trees.

It also gives you a chance at getting some extra hardwood from stumps, as well as a chance to harvest extra produce from giant crops.

Fishing Rod

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

The fishing rod is tacitly accepted to be one of your main tools, but you won't start the game with it, nor will you be able to upgrade it at Clint's. Your first fishing rod will be given to you by Willy on the second day of your file. This rod will be a Bamboo Pole, and it's very basic.

To get a better fishing rod, you'll need to level up your Fishing skill. At level 2, you'll receive a letter from Willy stating that he now has a Fiberglass Rod for sale for 1,800 gold. This rod lets you use bait. Then, at Fishing level 6, he'll have an Iridium Rod for sale for 7,500g. This one lets you use both bait and tackle.

Those of you who have real trouble with the fishing mini-game can purchase the Training Rod from Willy for 25g, which is much easier to use. However, it only lets you catch common fish.

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

With each Fishing level, you'll require less energy to use your rod. At levels one, four, and eight, you'll be able to cast the line a tile further. Additionally, each level increases the size of your "fishing bar" in the mini-game and the minimum size of the fish you catch. Each level also decreases the max time it takes for a fish to bite your line.

Upgrade Bonuses

There are four Volcano Forge enchantments for fishing rods. "Auto-Hook" automatically hooks any fish or trash that bite your line. "Efficient", as per usual, reduces the energy cost of the fishing rod. "Master" adds an extra Fishing skill level while holding the enchanted rod. Finally, "Preserving" adds a 50 percent chance for bait and tackle to not be consumed on use.


Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

There are only three scythes in the game, and none of them can be upgraded. Instead, you will find need to find the two additional scythes in the valley.

Scythes do not use energy.

The initial scythe is given to you as part of the starter toolset. It is used to cut down grass, weeds, and trees that are small enough. It's also used to harvest Amaranth, Kale, and Wheat when they're ready. If you have a silo on your farm, cutting grass gives a chance to add hay to the silo, about a 50 percent chance for each tile of grass cut.

Golden Scythe

Once you unlock the quarry, you can enter the quarry mine. Make your way through this cavern and defeat or bypass the enemies to reach the end, where you'll find a statue that looks like a Grim Reaper. It'll be holding the Golden Scythe, which you can just take. This scythe has a larger cutting radius than the standard scythe and has a 75 percent chance of harvesting hay.

If you lose the Golden Scythe, you can't get another one. Be careful with it!

Iridium Scythe

The Iridium Scythe is found in the Mastery Cave, which means that you will need to reach level ten with all five skills first. This is the most powerful scythe in the game, and can harvest crops grown under soil.

Copper Pan

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

The pan is a fun little tool that you might not get a ton of use out of. By completing the Fish Tank bundles at the Community Center, you'll remove the glittering boulder near the mines. You can also just purchase its removal from Joja, titled "Panning" for 20,000g.

After this is done, Willy will give you a copper pan, and sell additional ones for 2,500g in his shop. When you see a bit of glowing or shimmering light in any body of water, you can use your copper pan to pan for ore; it doesn't consume any energy.

When panning, you'll find ores, gems, and other items. The amount of luck (with both daily luck and food/other buffs) you have at that moment will determine what you find. If you have the Tracker profession, you can see a small green arrow pointing to panning locations off-screen in your current area.

The pan can be upgraded to steel, gold, and iridium, with each level giving you a higher chance to find rare items. Additionally, you will have a higher chance of spawning a new panning spot with upgraded pans.

Milk Pail, Shears, & the Auto-Grabber

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

These items cannot be upgraded.

These are two more tools that may not stay in your inventory long term, as they're easily replaced a fair way into the game.

The milk pail allows you to gather milk from cows and goats; you can purchase them from Marnie's Ranch for 1,000g. The Shears sell from Marnie's shop for the same price and are used to collect wool from sheep. Both use energy and increase your Farming skill when used.

At Farming level ten, Marnie begins selling an Auto-Grabber. This machine, when placed inside a barn or coop, will do the job of shears and milk pails, collecting wool and milk and placing them inside to retrieve like a chest. They will also collect laid eggs, duck feathers, and rabbit feet. They sell for 25,000g each, but you can also find them in the Skull Cavern's treasure chests.

Milking and shearing your animals by hand increases your friendship with them, while an Auto-Grabber will not. Auto-Grabbers also do not increase your Farming skill.

Trash Can

Stardew Valley: How To Upgrade And Use Every Tool

You might not even recognize the last tool on this list as a tool until you see it's upgradeable at the Blacksmith. This tool is the trash can visible on your inventory screen, which is typically used to delete items without selling them.

When upgraded at Clint's, the trash can will "reclaim" some of the value of the item. Basically, you'll sell it for a portion of its value instead of just deleting it.

Upgrade Bonuses

Pickaxe Type


Basic Trash Can

Reclaim 0% of value

Copper Trash Can

Reclaim 15% of value

Steel Trash Can

Reclaim 30% of value

Gold Trash Can

Reclaim 45% of value

Iridium Trash Can

Reclaim 60% of value

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