Silk Touch is a very interesting Minecraft enchantment. It allows you to obtain blocks that you couldn’t get otherwise, like metal ores for example. It also comes in handy when you want to obtain a large amount of blocks that would require other slower and tedious processes (like Stone blocks, that require smelting).
So if you want to obtain this unique enchantment on one of your tools, keep on reading and let’s find out how to get Silk Touch in Minecraft. Note that these method will work for other enchantments as well, like Aqua Affinity, Protection and many more.
What Silk Touch does
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 Diamond Ore will drop a Diamond Ore block instead of a Diamond.
It doesn’t work on Mob Spawners: if you break a Spawner with a Silk Touch enchanted Pickaxe, the Spawner will break without dropping anything. See also: How to find ALL Mob Spawners in Minecraft.
If you want to check exactly how breaking a block is affected by Silk Touch, you can check here.
How to get Silk Touch
Basically there three different ways to get Silk Touch: by trading with Villagers, through the Enchanting Table and by using commands. Actually there is a fourth way: you can obtain a Silk Touch enchanted Book by fishing, but it’s so rare that I wouldn’t consider this option at all.
Note that you can use all the methods discussed below for many other enchantments, like Aqua Affinity for example, but some enchantments can be obtained only by trading with Villagers, like Frost Walker or Mending (which represents one of the 4 ways to repair tools).
Getting Silk Touch by trading with Villagers
Villagers will trade, among other things, Enchanted Books thet you can apply to your items (related topic: How to copy Books in Minecraft: 3 different ways). This may be considered the easiest way to obtain the Silk Touch and any other enchantment. Be aware that some enchantments can only be otained this way (like, for example, Mending. Silk Touch though is not one of them).
First you need to find a village. Once there look if you can find a Librarian. You can recognize them by the glasses and the red hat (that kinda looks like a book) that they’re wearing.
If you can’t find a Librarian, you will need to find an unemployed villager and place a Lectern in their house, close to the bed where they sleep. This way the unemployed villager will turn into a Librarian.
To craft a Lectern you will need 4 Wooden Slabs (of any kind of wood) and one Bookshelf block. This means that you will need a total of 9 Wooden Planks, 3 Leather and 9 Sugar Cane. You can find Leather as loot when you kill Cows, Donkeys, Hoglins, Horses, Llamas, Mooshrooms and Mules.
First you need to turn the Sugar Cane into Paper.
Then you need to craft 3 Books using the Paper that you just crafted and the Leather.
Now you will use Books and Wooden Planks to make a Bookshelf block.
You will now turn the 3 last Wooden Planks in 6 Wooden Slabs.
And finally you can put all the materials together to craft the Lectern.
Now, when you trade with a Librarian you can obtain different random items. If between these items there isn’t a Silk Touch enchanted book, don’t worry. You can reset the tradable items just by breaking and replacing the Lectern block and you can do it as many times as needed, until you will eventually find what you are looking for.
Once you have the enchanted book, all you need to do is combining it with the tool you want to enchant using an Anvil.
Note: Silk Touch, like any other level 1 Enchanted Book, will cost between 15 and 19 Emeralds.
Getting Silk Touch through the Enchanting Table
In order to use this method you will need an Enchanting Table, which can be crafted using 4 Obsidian blocks, 2 Diamonds and one Book. Keep in mind that the Obsidian blocks will require a Diamond Pickaxe to mine them.
This is how you craft it.
You will need to put at least 9 Bookshelf blocks around the Enchanting Table in order to get Silk Touch at level 17.
If you don’t know very well how to use the Enchanting Table, here is a very good video that explains everything about enchanting.
What is important to know for our purpose here is that when you put an item on the Enchanting Table, this will show you 3 options for that specific tool. Each one will require a certain amount of XP and Lapis Lazuli as cost of the enchantments. You can see only one of the enchantments that those 3 options would apply to your item by going on the icon with your mouse.
For example, in the screenshot above you can see that the cheapest option will give Efficiency I to my Iron Pickaxe, but I don’t know what else will be on it once I enchant it with this option.
If you see that one of the options will give Silk Touch that’s perfect, you can now enchant the tool that you wanted to use.
If none of the options shows Silk Touch you need to “refresh” the options. To do so, you need to apply one of the three options to an item. Once you have done it, you will see that all the three options changed.
So, what you need to do is to do this over and over again until you finally find Silk Touch. You could need to refresh them many times, so be prepared to enchant many different tools until you finally find what you wanted.
It could be a good idea to have with you many wooden tools (or stone tools, anything that you can throw away), start enchanting one of them with the cheapest option and continue until you don’t see the enchantment that you want.
Getting Silk Touch using commands
While holding the tool that you want to enchant in you hand, you need to type in the console:
/enchant @p silk_touch 1
Keep in mind that Silk Touch maximum level is 1, so there’s no need to change that number in the commands.
Best tools to enchant
You can apply Silk Touch to Pickaxes, Hoes, Shovels and Axes (see also Best Axe enchantments). The best option here is surely the Pickaxe, since you can use it to obtain many unique blocks.
A Silk Touch Shovel can also be useful because you can use it to get a Grass block (if you are wondering why you should do this, it could be useful if you want to put a Grass block in a biome where grass doesn’t grow, maybe because you want to build a garden there), but other than that there aren’t many other useful things that it can do.
As said before in this article, Silk Touch is perfect for gathering many blocks that would need a longer way to make them, like Stone and Glass blocks (both of them would require smelting). It is also the only way to get a Grass block and it is the only way to break an Ender Chest and have it drop as an item, which can be very useful in multiplayer servers.
Can Silk Touch pick up Spawners?
No, you can’t use a Silk Touch enchanted Pickaxe (or any other tool) to pick up a Spawner. If you try to hit a Spawner with a Silk Touch enchanted Pickaxe you will only break it and nothing will drop. Spawners cannot be moved in any way in Minecraft Survival mode. See more in details in Does Silk Touch work on Spawners?.
So that’s all about it. As I said, I personally think that the first method is the easiest one (without considering commands, which is, not surpisingly, much quicker), but you can try whichever you find more interesting. Following what we covered here you should be able to get this enchantment with ease either way. Thanks for reading, I hope I’ll see you again around here. Take care.