Most of the tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch will break. How long they last before they break varies depending on the tool type.
As you play the game you’ll upgrade from Flimsy tools to Golden tools, though this will take a while. In the meantime, it’s important to note how much life your tools have before you go on a huge fishing adventure or set off to an island.
Note: If you’re sick of building new tools from scratch, using 1 Customization Kit to change the color of the tool will reset that tool’s durability. This will work with the standard Shovel, Fishing Rod, Bug Net, and Watering Can.
Axes wear down each time you hit a tree, even if you don’t get any wood from the hit.
- Flimsy Axes: 40 uses each
- Axe (Metal): 100 uses each
- Stone Axe: 100 uses each
- Golden Axe: 200 uses each
Shovels wear down each time you hit a rock, even if you don’t get any minerals from the hit. Shovels do not wear down from digging empty holes, but will wear down when digging up flowers, trees, fossils, or other buried goods.
- Flimsy Shovel: 40 uses each
- Shovel (Metal): 100 uses each
- Golden Shovel: 200 uses each
Slingshots only wear down when you hit a balloon out of the sky. Firing your slingshot into the air will not wear down your tool.
- Slingshot: 20 balloons shot down
- Golden Slingshot: 60 balloons shot down
Fishing Rod durability
Fishing rods only wear down when you catch a fish. Casting your rod without catching anything will not cost any durability. Catching trash still wears it down.
- Flimsy Fishing Rod: 10 fish caught
- Fishing Rod: 30 fish caught
- Golden Fishing Rod: 90 fish caught
Bug Net durability
Bug nets also only wear down when you catch a bug. Hitting people with your net or missing bugs will not cost durability.
- Flimsy Net: 10 bugs caught
- Net: 30 bugs caught
- Golden Net: 90 bugs caught
Watering can durability
Based on our tests, the Flimsy Watering Can lasted for 20 flower waterings. However, if we didn’t water anything, the durability would still decrease, but by a lesser amount. Watering nothing 30 times made it so the can only could water flowers 17 times before the Flimsy Watering Can broke. Watering nothing once and then watering only flowers made it last for 19 waterings.
These tests lead us to believe that the each time you miss a flower or water nothing, the tool durability goes down by .1 use. The regular Watering Can lasted about 60 uses for us, but we’re unsure if the number of flowers watered with each pour contributed to the wear, since the regular can waters multiple flowers at once.
Once you unlock the upgraded Nook’s Cranny, you’ll have access to some tools that are cosmetically different, like a colorful fishing rods and outdoorsy slingshots. Based on our tests, these have that same level of durability as the standard (non-Flimsy) tools.
Note: Ladders, Vaulting Poles, and Wands do not break.
Correction (April 1): A previous version of this guide had the wrong durability for the Flimsy Net and Rod. We’ve corrected this with the right information.
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