Minecraft: Here’s How To Break Down Armor

Can You Break Down Armor

Armor requires a lot of materials to be used. For a full armor set, for example, you’ll have to use up to 24 iron ingots or diamonds if you want to make it even better. But armor is so valuable against hostile mobs but it’s also kind of a nuisance having to acquire new materials to create another full set. So can you break down armor in Minecraft to avoid having to acquire the materials again?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • You can’t break down all armor in Minecraft, but that’s only part of the answer. Iron and gold armor can still be broken down and repurposed.
  • To do this, throw them in the furnace and smelt them. Each piece of armor will yield one nugget of the ingredient the armor was made from.

Armor types

In Minecraft, there’s a total of 6 armor types, out of the 6, only two can be broken down. You can obtain leather armor, gold armor, chainmail armor, iron armor, diamond armor, and netherite armor. Out of the 6, you can craft 4 in the same way, while with netherite and chainmail armor, you’ll have to use a different approach.

How to craft every armor piece

Helmet – to craft a helmet, place three materials in the top boxes of the crafting table and then another on each side of the crafting table. You can also make a helmet out of a turtle shell which will give you water breathing for 10 seconds and 2 points on your armor bar.
Chest plate – To craft a chest plate, fill the crafting table with your chosen material and leave one slot empty in the middle column at the top.
Leggings – To craft leggings surround the edges of the crafting table with your chosen material as if making a chest, then remove the middle material on the bottom.
Boots – To craft boots place two pieces of your chosen material on top of each other as if making a stick. Repeat on the other side for the other boot.


The only way to obtain chainmail is to get lucky, hoping a mob wearing it will drop it. Please don’t get your hopes up, though; it’s pretty rare and useless since it’s more durable than leather and gold armor. To craft netherite armor, you’ll have to pick up ancient debris, smelt it to get netherite ingots, and upgrade the gear to netherite armor in the smithing table.


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Is Netherite armor the best

Stats-wise, netherite armor is the best and lasts a long time, even without enchantments. The problem might be finding ancient debris but remember, to upgrade your armor to netherite armor, all you need is one ingot for each armor piece.

Best enchantments for each armor item

Golden Boots – Unbreaking III, Fire Protection IV, Mending
Turtle Shell Helmet – Protection IV, Unbreaking III, Respiration III, Aqua Affinity, Mending, Thorns III
Helmet – Protection IV, Respiration III, Aqua Affinity, Unbreaking III, Mending, Thorns
Chest Plate – Unbreaking III, Mending, Thorns, Protection IV
Leggings – Protection IV, Unbreaking III, Mending, Thorns, Swift Sneak III
Boots – Protection IV, Feather Falling IV, Unbreaking III, Depth Strider III, Frost Walker II or Depth Strider, Mending, Thorns III, Soul Speed III

How to increase your armors lifespan

To increase your armor’s lifespan, you’ll want to have mending on each armor item. Mending will allow you to reset the durability for experience points practically. Another option is to merge two damaged items or repair them in an anvil or grindstone.


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What is durability

That little bar you see whenever you start using your item is durability. It affects all tools, weapons, and armor. It has a numbered value, that represents how many actions you can take before it breaks.

How to make durability visible

This number is not visible in-game by default, so you’ll have to turn it on yourself. To do this, you’ll have to press F3 and H keys. What will happen is that all items will then have detailed info on their durability when you hover over them. This refers only to Java Edition while for Bedrock Edition, you’ll have to download a resource pack under the name ”Durability Viewer”.

Deconstruction table

Deconstruction Table

Deconstruction tables are available in certain mods that allow you to fully break down both armor and tools. It’s a simple mod that you can download on any major mod website but I recommend curseforge.com seeing as the linked mod is updated for newer versions of the game. Originally, the mod was made and last updated in 2018.

To use it, you simply place your tool or weapon in the item slot on the left and it’ll deconstruct it on the right. In order for the mod to be balanced, it’ll take away some of the let’s say diamonds you’d get from a chest plate so instead of 8 diamonds, you’ll get 7 diamonds.

To break or not to break

If you don’t want to use mod is it even worth your time to break down iron and gold items into gold and iron nuggets? If you don’t want to have a chest monster full of unusable armor pieces then no, but if you want to have a chest just for that and occasionally break down the items inside then yeah, it’s worth it.

The reason why I recommend you turn on the durability viewer is that that way, you can use the item to its maximum potential and still get some value out of it in return when it has one durability left.

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