In Stardew Valley, you’re as good as your tools. As you progress through the game, you’ll need to upgrade your tools to save energy and do more in less time. Those are the two primary reasons for tool upgrades. Unless you’re upgrading your tools, you’ll get behind, and you won’t be able to unlock advanced levels of the game.
You’ll be spending more energy doing manual tasks, or you won’t be able to mine boulders, cut down stumps, or reclaim monetary value. Now, when you upgrade a tool, remember that you’re not going to have it with you for two days. So, schedule your upgrades accordingly.
➡️ Benefits of Upgrading Tools
Before we jump into the process of upgrading tools, let’s take you through the benefits:
- Increased capacity or power
- Reduced time and energy spend
- More monetary value
- Improved abilities, covering more surface area
Your tools are essential in Stardew Valley. Your entire livelihood, as well as survival, depends on the 5 tools you start off with. As the game progresses, you’ll need to rely on these tools to craft certain items, move certain items around the farm, as well as find/forage items of value.
The basic tools won’t get the job done, and every time you’re trying to progress in the game, you’ll notice the tools falling through. That’s when you know it’s time for an update! Anyway, let’s dive into the process of upgrading tools to the highest quality in Stardew Valley.
How to Upgrade Tools in Stardew Valley
Upgrading tools in Stardew Valley is easy but can take time. You have to go to Clint’s Blacksmith Shop to upgrade your tools. The shop’s open on all days between 9 AM – 4 PM and is on the other side of the river, next to Mayor Lewis’s house.
- Go to Clint’s Blacksmith Shop.
- Right-click on Clint.
- Click on Upgrade Your Tools from the drop-down.
- Each tool upgrade will be listed here.
- Pick the one you’re looking to upgrade if you have the money and the bars required.
- Go home, pick it up in 2 days.
- Repeat the process for other tools.
Note: Clint usually takes a couple of days to upgrade each tool. You cannot upgrade multiple tools at once, even if you have the gold coins and other items.
How to Get Your Starter Tools in Stardew Valley
You start off the Stardew Valley journey with a few hand-me-downs from Clint. It appears in a cutscene, and you receive:
- An axe to chop wood
- A pickaxe to break stones and ores
- A hoe to plow the soil
- A scythe to cut grass and harvest
- A watering can to water crops
- A trash can to throw away stuff
How to Upgrade Your Starter Tools to Copper in Stardew Valley
To upgrade these tools to their copper counterparts, you’ll need gold coins and copper bars.
|Copper Hoe||2000 gold coins, 5 copper bars||2 days|
|Copper Pickaxe||2000 gold coins, 5 copper bars||2 days|
|Copper Axe||2000 gold coins, 5 copper bars||2 days|
|Copper Trash Can||1000 gold coins, 5 copper bars||2 days|
Note: A scythe can’t be upgraded to a copper scythe.
Now, the important question is how to get your hands on copper bars?
➡️ How to Get Copper Bars in Stardew Valley
Go to the mine at the foot of the mountains in Stardew Valley. Start breaking stones with your pickaxe. As you proceed through the levels, you’re sure to come across red nodes. Once you break them down, you’ll get copper ores. Copper ores are most likely to be found between floors 2 – 39.
You’ll also find coal when you break stones in Stardew Valley. Keep them safe, as you’ll need 1 coal to process copper ores into copper bars.
You’ll also need a furnace to get copper bars. Each copper bar requires 5 copper ores and 1 piece of coal to process a copper bar in 2 in-game hours. So, for 5 copper bars for a tool upgrade, you need a minimum of 125 copper ores and 5 pieces of coal. You can also buy copper ore for 75 gold coins from Clint’s Blacksmith Shop between 9 AM – 4 PM if you have the money.
However, we recommend you go mining! That’s because when you mine your first copper ore, Clint will come and give you the blueprint for a furnace. To build a single furnace, you require 20 copper ores and 25 pieces of stone.
How to Upgrade Your Copper Tools in Stardew Valley
Once you have progressed in the game, you’ll find tree trunks that are too hard to chop with your copper axe. Or, big boulder stones that your copper pickaxe can’t break. What’s the solution?
A tool upgrade to the next best possible category – steel.
|Steel Axe||5000 gold coins, 5 iron bars||2 days|
|Steel Pickaxe||5000 gold coins, 5 iron bars||2 days|
|Steel Hoe||5000 gold coins, 5 iron bars||2 days|
|Steel Watering Can||5000 gold coins, 5 iron bars||2 days|
|Steel Trash Can||2500 gold coins, 5 iron bars||2 days|
When you upgrade to a steel axe, you’ll be able to chop tree trunks and get hardwood. Hardwood’s highly sought after, and it’s a necessary ingredient you have to give Robin for house upgrades later.
When you upgrade to a steel pickaxe, you’re able to break stones with a single hit, and that saves your energy. Similarly, with each upgrade, your tool becomes stronger and lets you have more perks! A steel watering can have its capacity increased to 70 charges and can water up to 5 tiles.
➡️ How to Get Iron Bars in Stardew Valley
You can get iron bars in Stardew Valley once you smelt iron ore and coal in a furnace. Go deep in the mines, and you’re likely to get iron ores between levels 40 – 79. They are typically gray or blue rocks.
You’ll also need coal. Buy them from Clint’s Blacksmith Shop or get them from stones you break at the mines. You can also get pieces of coal from breaking barrels and chests in the mining levels.
You must have already received the furnace blueprint from Clint at this point in the game. Use 5 iron ores and 1 coal to make an iron bar. For all upgrades, you’ll require 25 iron bars, so be sure to mine or buy 125 iron ores.
How to Upgrade Your Steel Tools to Gold in Stardew Valley
The next best upgrade to progress in the game is gold. This is the third tool upgrade you’ll be receiving in Stardew Valley.
|Gold Pickaxe||10,000 gold, 5 gold bars||2 days|
|Gold Axe||10,000 gold, 5 gold bars||2 days|
|Gold Hoe||10,000 gold, 5 gold bars||2 days|
|Gold Watering Can||10,000 gold, 5 gold bars||2 days|
|Gold Trash Can||5,000 gold, 5 gold bars||2 days|
|Gold Scythe||It can’t be purchased|
A gold pickaxe can break open a meteorite and break stones, iron ores, and copper ores in a single hit. As for a gold axe in Stardew Valley, it can chop down a fully grown tree in 4 hits, in comparison to a steel axe’s 6 hits. You can also break down bigger tree trunks.
A gold watering can has its capacity increased to 85 charges and can water up to 9 tiles at once. A gold hoe can also cover 9 tiles, whereas a gold trash can lets you reclaim 45% of what you’re throwing away.
However, you can’t upgrade a gold scythe from Clint’s Blacksmith Shop. You need to obtain it later in the game.
➡️ How to Get the Gold Scythe
- To get the gold scythe, you must complete the Community Center bundle and receive Bridge Repair as your reward.
- Next, cross the bridge and have the Quarry in Stardew Valley unlocked.
- When you reach almost the end of the Quarry floor, you’ll come across a statue of the Grim Reaper.
- That’s where you’ll find the much-coveted gold scythe.
The gold scythe looks like a lot of effort, but that’s because it offers tremendous benefits for the player. You can not only use it as a premium farming tool, but also inflict damage to monsters in the Quarry Mine or the Skull Cavern. You can use it to save energy, collect more times, and fight back when you have been cornered.
➡️ How to Get Gold Bars for Gold Tool Upgrades in Stardew Valley
You can smelt a gold bar with gold ore, and coal in a furnace. Once you keep mining through the levels, you’ll start finding gold ores between levels 80 – 120. They can also be spawned at the Quarry, or found in the Skull Cavern.
You can also buy gold ores at the Blacksmith’s Clint Shop for 400 gold coins.
How to Upgrade Your Tools to Iridium in Stardew Valley
Iridium is the highest tool upgrade you’ll receive at Stardew Valley. This upgrade should come to you in Year 2 or 3, depending upon your progress.
|Iridium Pickaxe||25,000 gold, 5 iridium bars||2 days|
|Iridium Axe||25,000 gold, 5 iridium bars||2 days|
|Iridium Hoe||25,000 gold, 5 iridium bars||2 days|
|Iridium Watering Can||25,000 gold, 5 iridium bars||2 days|
|Iridium Trash Can||12,500 gold, 5 iridium bars||2 days|
You’ll need a minimum of 125 iridium bars to upgrade all your tools to the highest quality in Stardew Valley. The process is the same: have the bars and the gold coins ready. Head over to Clint’s Blacksmith Shop and click on Upgrade Your Tools and pick the Iridium variety.
You can only pick one tool to upgrade, and you’ll have to come back to collect it as well. During this time, you can’t buy anything else at Clint’s shop or ask him to process geodes. He’ll shoo you away, saying he’s working on your upgrade.
An Iridium pickaxe will break all the rocks in Skull Cavern and the Quarry in 1 hit, and Diamond in 2 hits. An Iridium axe will chop a tree in 2 hits, and big stumps in a single hit.
An Iridium watering can will water 18 corresponding tiles, with its charges being raised to 100. An Iridium hoe will cover 18 tiles as well. And, an Iridium trash can will help you reclaim 60% value of the items you’re throwing away. After this update, if you click on Upgrade Your Tools, Clint will show you the following:
➡️ How to Get Iridium Bars
The process to smelting an Iridium bar is similar to all other metal bars. You require 5 pieces of ore, and 1 coal. You’ll find Iridium ore in the Skull Cavern, but you can’t go in there until it’s unlocked, or you have the strongest weapons. That’s because Skull Cavern is such a place where you can die.
It’s best to go to the Skull Cavern on the best day, as said by Welwick’s Oracle TV channel. If you have a Four Corners Farm or a Hill-Top Stardew Valley farm, you’ll find them in the mines when you’re at Mining level 10.
You can also find Iridium bars in the mines (though, not as frequently as Skull Cavern or Volcano Dungeon) once you cross level 100 in the mines.
Don’t Rush to Upgrade Your Tools
Well, there’s no specific timing to when you should upgrade your tools. However, upgrading depends on different games levels that you unlock and the array of ingredients it gives you access to.
For example, you can only upgrade your basic tool to a copper one, once you have started mining copper ore and made a furnace to smelt copper bars. Likewise, the steel upgrade depends on iron ore mining, the gold upgrade depends on gold more mining, and the Iridium ore depends on unlocking Skull Cavern and Volcano Dungeon.
For the first three upgrades, it’s possible to unlock them in Year 1. However, you’ll have to wait to step into Year 2 and unlock other areas and get Iridium only when you’re in Year 3 or more.
While you’re waiting on Clint to finish your tool upgrades, you’ll need a place to rest and recoup. So, check out our post on how to make and use your shed in Stardew Valley. Whether you’re using it for celebrating Christmas or as a brewery, the options are endless!
A writer and an editor for 7+ years, Gargi Ghosal is one of the Top Writing Voices (LinkedIn, 2023). With over 500 published articles to her name, Gargi has been a writer at Geekflare, MUO, iGeeks, TechGyd and the lead subeditor for an international… read more