The shovel is one of the most important tools in Minecraft, built to dig blocks, collect resources, and carve paths. In Bedrock edition, shovels are even used in crafting to make boats. Players can enchant their shovels to increase their efficiency and durability, making them more effective at collecting resources and digging through tough terrain, alongside a few other more specific enchantments. Below, we’ll break down the best shovel enchantments in Minecraft.
The 5 Minecraft Shovel Enchantments, Ranked Worst to Best
Without further ado, let’s get right into our list!
The Mending enchantment is an unusual one. Of the five different enchantments you can apply to shovel, this one should be your last choice. Mending is hard to acquire, typically only appearing in books hidden throughout the overworld and Nether. If you manage to get a copy, it’s not a good idea to apply it to an easily-replaceable shovel. Instead, save Mending for more important items, like a Diamond or Netherite sword or axe, or your best pickaxe. These items will reward you much more over time than a super-high-quality shovel.
Let’s say you did decide to use mending on your shovel for whatever reason, though. Maybe you’re playing on a map that’s all sand, or you’re running massive clay farm and want to maximize the resources you can get out of a single shovel. While the enchanted item is in your hand, Mending allocates all your earned XP into repairing the item’s durability. Unfortunately, it’s pretty tough to earn XP via a shovel.
Unbreaking can be applied to a wide range of items, and you’ll especially want it on your shovel. In Minecraft, your equipment’s durability is reduced by a certain amount every time you use it. Each level of Unbreaking raises the chance that your item won’t take any durability damage when used.
Unbreaking has three levels that you can apply to your shovel. Three levels of Unbreaking on your shovel increases its average durability by 300%, preventing you from using more pieces of iron or diamonds to make good shovels. You can easily get all three levels of Unbreaking via an enchanting table. Combining together multiple shovels with Unbreaking applied to them will give you a higher level of enchantment. You can also find shovels with Unbreaking already on them in the chests found in the Ancient City, Nether Bastion structures, and the End City.
The number three spot on our list of the best shovel enchantments in Minecraft goes to Efficiency. This enchantment increases the speed at which you can use a shovel to mine items in front of you. This is useful when farming flint for arrows, collecting sand, or excavating soil. It’s also helpful in the Nether, since soul sand slows you down when you walk over it. Efficiency reduces the time of each swing of the shovel, so long as you’re using it on blocks that the shovel is already designed for.
You’ll get this enchantment via the normal method of enchanting your shovel at a table. You can enchant a shovel all the way up to Level 4. In order to get the fifth level for your shovel, you’ll need to combine two Level 4 shovels at an iron, which may cost you a significant amount of XP. You can also find shovels with a high-level efficiency enchantment hidden inside chests at various structures.
Silk Touch allows you to harvest any kind of block, provided the block can be harvested with the enchanted tool. The main reason you would want a shovel with Silk Touch is that it’ll allow you to pick up some kinds of blocks that would otherwise be ruined by your shovel, like grass or mycelium blocks. This can let you transplant mycelium or grass to otherwise uncovered dirt areas. It’s the only way you can harvest full blocks of snow, which instead break down into snowballs. Silk Touch lets you use all sorts of blocks for some more unusual builds, especially blocks that would otherwise always be destroyed by attempting to break them down and pick them up.
Silk Touch is incompatible with the Fortune enchantment. It can be achieved at the enchantment table and only has one level of enchantment that can be applied. It usually takes three levels of enchanting but might show up for less. You’ll occasionally find Silk Touch as an enchanted book inside various structures, but it might be smart to save that version of the enchantment for a pickaxe since those can pick up a wider range of blocks.
Lastly, Fortune takes the top spot on our list for the best enchantments that you can get for your shovel. This enchantment makes every “loot” item you pick up with a shovel generate more items for your inventory. The biggest advantage to having a Fortune shovel in Minecraft is how much it speeds up farming for flint to make arrows. Generally, looking for flint involves using a shovel to break down big piles or deposits of gravel. This gravel is destroyed if a piece of flint is found inside of it. The Fortune upgrade makes it so you’ll find more flint when you do this, speeding up how quickly you can make a big pile of arrows on your way into the Nether.
There are three levels to Fortune. With the top level, every piece of Gravel you mine with that shovel will give you some flint. Stack that with all the other upgrades on this list (except for Silk Touch), and you’ll be able to turn huge piles of gravel to flint and clear entire deserts without needing to replace it. Fortune is a great upgrade for any tool, and your shovels will serve you a lot better with it than without it. You can get it at the enchanting table as long as you have enough bookshelves surrounding the table.
Join the High Ground!
That’s it for our list of the best shovel enchantments in Minecraft — thanks for reading! Having a bunch of these enchantments stacked on your shovel will make those early levels of the mine that much easier. Let us know your thougths in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this!