Updated to 1.20
It is tricky to decide what enchantments you want to have on your Axe. There are 9 available for now, with more coming that are already being tested, but without using cheats it’s impossible to have more than 5 of them on a single Axe.
We want to make sure to use the best ones. That’s why we are here to see the best combination possible, to rank them from worst to best and to see how to get the ones we chose.
The available enchantments for Axes are:
- Bane of Arthropods
- Curse of Vanishing
- Silk Touch
Some enchantments cannot coexist in the same item, so we will see all the incompatibilities for every single enchantment.
Before seeing in details all the available Axe enchantment, let’s see an optimal way to combine them together.
There is no limit to the number of enchantments that we can put on an item in Minecraft, so we only have to decide a list of compatible encantments.
An overall good combination would be:
- Efficiency V
- Silk Touch
- Sharpness V
- Unbreaking III
Otherwise you could change Silk Touch with Fortune III (Silk Touch and Fortune are incompatible) if you wanted to farm crops with your Axe. Or you could decide to replace Sharpness with a more specific offensive enchantment, like Smite.
There is no reason to not put Efficiency, Mending and Unbreaking though.
To see how to combine all those enchantments on the same Axe, you can check How to put multiple enchantments on an item in Minecraft.
Axe enchantments from worst to best
9 – Curse of Vanishing
If you enchant an Axe (or whatever other item) with the Curse of Vanishing, the item will disappear when you die if you have it on you or in your inventory. It won’t be dropped as usual, it will cease to exist in the world you are playing in.
This may seem like a pointless enchantment, but it has its use in multiplayer: an item enchanted with it will not fall into enemy hands. Most of the times you don’t want to have anything enchanted with it though, that’s why it had to be ranked at 9th place.
- Curse of Vanishing cannot even be removed by using a Grindstone (to see more about Grindstones you can go to 4 ways to repair a Bow in Minecraft).
- There can only be level 1 of this enchantment.
8 – Bane of Arthropods
This enchantment make your Axe deal more damage to arthropods, which are:
- Cave Spiders
- Spiders (related topic: Do Spiders take fall damage in Minecraft?)
This enchantments goes from level 1 to level 5, each level will add 2,5 damage to your Axe (or Sword) when used against arthropods and it will also apply a slow effect on them.
Even if very useful against a certain kind of mobs (we will see that against these mobs it deals more damage than Sharpness) it is very situational, since there are not many enemies affected by it and arthropods are not that big of a threat anyway.
It is incompatible with Sharpness and Smite.
7 – Smite
Smite will make your Axe deal more damage to undead mobs. It’s conceptually similar to Bane of the Arthropods, the difference is that it will affect:
- Skeleton horses
- Wither skeletons
- Withers (related topic: Potion of Decay)
- Zombie horses
- Zombie piglins
- Zombie villagers
Smite goes from level 1 to level 5 and each level gives an extra 2.5 damage against all these mobs, so up to 12.5 extra damage.
Even if still a specific enchantment, there would be a larger number of enemies affected by it than with Bane of Arthropods. All considered, Sharpness should be a better choice than Smite, but if you want to know all the pros and cons of the two enchantments, you can check Smite vs Sharpness in Minecraft.
Smite is incompatible with Sharpness and Bane of Arthropods.
6 – Fortune
Another enchantment that helps a lot gathering materials. Basically Fortune increases the amount of blocks dropped when you break one. It doesn’t apply to everything though, in fact you won’t get more wood by chopping trees with a Fortune enchanted Axe.
Fortune will increase the amount of Seeds and Saplings. It also increases the chances of Apples dropping. How Fortune works exactly is quite complicated, so if you want to investigate its mechanic further check here (related: Does Fortune work on Ancient Debris?).
Although quite useful, this enchantment is more exciting on Pickaxes since a Fortune enchanted Pickaxe will help you mine more precious materials like Gold and Diamonds (related: Is Gold stronger than Iron?).
Fortune is incompatible with Silk Touch.
5 – Unbreaking
Whenever you use an Axe, whether it is to attack a mob or to chop some wood, it will lose some durability until eventually it will break. With the Unbreaking enchantment, there is a chance that one use will not reduce your Axe’s durability.
So technically the item’s durability is not increased, but it will decrease more slowly, making it last longer (see in details here).
Unbreaking goes from level 1 to level 3 and each level will increase the chances to skip durability reduction. To see how it works more in detail, you can check here.
4 – Silk Touch
Silk Touch is a very interesting enchantment. It allows you to obtain blocks that you couldn’t get otherwise, like Bee Nests for example.
If you break a block with a Silk Touch enchanted tool, the block will drop exactly itself instead of what it what would usually drop. For example, a Stone block will drop a Stone block instead of a Cobblestone one. Or a Melon will drop a Melon block instead of Melon Slices. A Silk Touch enchanted Axe is actually a very efficient way to farm Melons.
If you want to check exactly how Silk Touch affects breaking a block, check here.
- There can only be level 1 of this enchantment.
- Silk Touch is incompatible with Fortune.
3 – Sharpness
A Sharpness enchanted Axe will deal more damage. Sharpness goes from level 1 to level 5.
In Java edition, this damage will be equal to 0.5*level+0.5, so from 1 to 3.
In Bedrock edition it will be equal to 1.25*level, so from 1.25 to 6.25.
Sharpness didn’t make it to the first place since the following two enchantments can be considered more useful, but if your main goal is to deal damage you should think of Sharpness as the best one.
It is incompatible with Smite and Bane of Arthropods.
2 – Mending
This is an enchantment that you probably want on all your favorite items, it is probably the best way to repair enchanted items.
If you hold a Mending enchanted Axe in your hands, every time that you get an experience orb, this will be used to repair the item instead of going into your experience (only if the Axe is damaged). To see how exactly this process works you can check here.
It is completely automatic and it doesn’t have all the Anvil drawbacks, so it is really nice to have it to keep your favorite enchanted Axe (or any other tool or piece of armor) forever. Or at least until you fall into Lava.
There can only be level 1 of this enchantment.
1 – Efficiency
This is a very nice enchantment to have on a tool that you want to use for gathering resources. An Efficiency enchanted Axe will break wooden blocks a lot faster. Efficiency paires well with a Haste II Beacon.
Efficiency goes from level 1 to 5 and it speeds up the chopping process from 25% at level 1 up to 45% at level 5.
Using an Efficiency enchanted tool is also quite satisfying to use. Check this out:
How to enchant an Axe with the enchantments that you want
The best way to select and put together all the best enchantments is by collecting the respective Enchanted Books and combine them on one single Axe with an Anvil. You can check how to use an Anvil here.
We already covered the ways to get all the enchantments that you want in the How to get Silk Touch article, so if you are interested in how to do it you can click in the link and take a look. The methods described there work for every other enchantment.
How to enchant an Axe with commands
If cheats are allowed, you can enchant your Axe by typing:
/enchant Jack Efficiency 5
Where “Jack” is the name of the player holding the Axe that is going to be enchanted with Efficiency V. You can use this with all the other enchantments. This way you will not even have to worry about incompatibilities and put all the enchantments on one single Axe.
You can use Axes primarly to chop wood or to break wooden blocks. They are also the only tool that can turn Wood into Stripped Wood and Stripped Log, which are basically used for ornamental purposes.
It isn’t rare to find Axes used in PvP combat, because their damage is higher than Swords damage.
Axes are also slower than Swords: when using an Axe, after hitting you will have to wait longer before being able to hit again. Players can decide wether to prefer a faster paced Sword offensive or few fatal Axe blows.
Something worth mentioning it’s also that you can apply less offensive enchantments on Axes, for example Fire Aspect is only available for Swords.