Animal Crossing New Horizons ShovelSource: iMore

I know the feeling. You just got done reeling in a big catch when, poof. Your Fishing Rod has broken...again. You head back to the DIY table to make a new one, but you're out of Iron Ore, so you have to go mine some more...and it just takes forever to get back to fishing, which was what you were enjoying before your rod broke.

Build your paradise

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Build, craft, then build again

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes place on a deserted island. Start with a tent and upgrade to a house, customize it to your liking, make friends with the villagers, and use the tools you've made yourself to design an island paradise however you want.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons introduced tool durability alongside its DIY systems, and it can be a little frustrating. However, one way to help yourself out is to be aware of how many times you've used each tool, so you know approximately when you're going to need to make a new one.

Here's a quick guide to tool durability in Animal Crossing: new Horizons:

How many uses does each tool have?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Cj FishSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Fishing Rod

The most basic fishing rod, the Flimsy Fishing Rod, will break after 10 catches of anything -- fish, trash, rocks, and so forth. Casting your line and not catching anything does take down the durability. And your rod won't break during the Fishing Tourney.

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A better, regular Fishing Rod will break after 30 uses. The Colorful, Fish, and Outdoorsy Fishing Rods available from the upgraded Nook's Cranny have similar durability.

The Golden Fishing Rod lasts for 90 casts.

Net

The most basic net, the Flimsy Net, will break after 10 catches of anything -- bugs, blossom petals, snowflakes, and so on. Swinging your net and missing does not cause it to lose durability.

A better, regular Net will break after 30 uses. The Colorful, Star, and Outdoorsy Nets available from the upgraded Nook's Cranny have similar durability.

The Golden Net lasts for 90 catches.

Shovel

The most basic shovel, the Flimsy Shovel, will break after 40 "uses" which include hitting a rock once and digging up a fossil, flower, or other buried item. It does not wear down just from digging empty holes.

A better, regular Shovel will break after 100 uses. The Colorful, Printed-Design, and Outdoorsy Shovels available from the upgraded Nook's Cranny have similar durability.

The Golden Shovel lasts for 200 uses.

Axe

The Flimsy Axe will lose one point of durability each time you hit a tree, even if you don't get wood. However, it has a slightly higher durability than other flimsy tools at 40.

The Stone Axe is a bit better, and gives you 100 hits without chopping a tree down entirely. The regular Axe has the same durability, but the third hit will knock a tree down.

A Golden Axe chops trees down like the regular axe, but will last for 200 hits.

Slingshot

There is no flimsy Slingshot available. A regular Slingshot will last for 20 shots, but it only counts if you hit a balloon. Colorful and Outdoorsy Slingshots from the upgraded Nook's Cranny have similar durability.

A Golden Slingshot will last for 60 shots.

Watering Can

The Watering Can can be a bit difficult to pinpoint, given that it seems to lose durability from watering nothing -- but not as much as it loses from watering flowers. However, it's worth noting that watering multiple flowers at once still only counts as one use. So your best bet is to position your flowers in spots where you can stand and water as many as you possibly can with one use.

The Flimsy Watering Can lasts for approximately 20 successful waters, but only waters one flower in front of it.

An upgraded Watering Can lasts for approximately 60 uses, and will water a 3x2 rectangle of flowers in front of the player. The Colorful, Elephant, and Outdoorsy Watering Cans have similar durability.

Finally, the Golden Watering Can will last for 180 successful waters, and will water a 3x3 square of flowers in front of the player.

Vaulting Pole and Ladder

Both the Vaulting Pole and Ladder have no alternate versions, but they also have infinite durability.

How do I get basic tools?

Acnh Fishing Outfits SprinkleSource: iMore

When you start the game, you will gain access to Flimsy Tools first by completing Tom Nook's DIY workshop. You unlock this extremely early -- he'll ask you to come to the tent on your first full day on the island. Talk to him to start the workshop. You'll get recipes for the Flimsy Fishing Rod, Net, and Axe.

The Flimsy Watering Can comes as a recipe after you've shown Tom Nook at least four bugs or fish, which he will request after the DIY workshop. The Flimsy Shovel recipe is gotten from Blathers, once you've brought him to the island from showing Tom Nook 15 bugs or fish. You'll also get a recipe for the Vaulting Pole at this time.

To get the regular recipes, you'll need to purchase the "Everyday Tools A-Z" from the Nook Stop for 3,000 Nook Miles. This will get you the regular versions of almost everything, the Stone Axe and Axe, but it won't get you the Slingshot or the Ladder. The Slingshot recipe you can buy from Timmy for 300 Bells.

The Ladder is gained by progressing through Tom Nook's requests until he asks you to set down plots and furnish three new villager homes. While furnishing these houses, Nook will call you and give you the Ladder recipe.

Special tools with unique designs, such as Colorful or Outdoorsy, don't do anything unique -- they just look cute. You can buy them from Nook's Cranny after it upgrades, but you can't craft them.

How do I get the Golden Tools?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

  • The Golden Fishing Rod is obtained once you catch one of every fish in the Critterpedia
  • The Golden Net is obtained once you catch one of every bug in the Critterpedia
  • You'll be sent a Golden Axe recipe in the mail once you break other axes 100 times
  • The Golden Slingshot will be attached to a golden balloon that spawns after you pop 300 balloons
  • Gulliver will mail you the Golden Shovel after you help him 30 times
  • Isabelle gives you the Golden Watering Can recipe once you obtain a 5-star rank for your island

Is there any way to stop tools from breaking?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Cj FishSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Unfortunately, there technically isn't a way to keep tools from breaking permanently. Even the best tools, the Gold tools, break eventually.

However, one strategy you can use if you don't want to keep crafting new tools is to customize your tools. Customizing a tool resets its durability, so if you keep track of the durability of, say, your Fishing Rod, wait until it gets down to 1 or 2, and then customize it, it will be back up to 30 uses.

This does not work with either Flimsy or Gold tools, however, as neither are customizable.

Still struggling with your tools?

Got tool questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Build your paradise

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Build, craft, then build again

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes place on a deserted island. Start with a tent and upgrade to a house, customize it to your liking, make friends with the villagers, and use the tools you've made yourself to design an island paradise however you want.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Main

Animal Crossing TitleSource: Nintendo

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