Minecraft: Sword vs. Axe, Which One Is Better & Why?

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Minecraft features a range of classic weapons and tools for players to use throughout the game, whether it be for farming resources or taking down aggressive mobs. The sword and axe have both been staples for countless Minecraft players for ages, and many still wonder whether the Minecraft sword or axe is better.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Swords are better weapons in Minecraft, as they have a faster attack speed, room for combat-focused enchantments, and are more practical to craft in the long run.
  • Axes are versatile and can be a good choice in some combat instances, as they have higher damage and shield-inhibiting attributes, but they have a slower attack speed, lower durability, and cost more to craft overall.

Sword vs. axe

Minecraft players have wondered whether the sword or axe makes the better weapon for many years, and the topic is still surrounded by debate today. Swords were the classic choice for most Minecraft players many years ago and considered the superior choice for combat instances.

But axes seem to have gained a ton of popularity due to them inflicting more damage in the Java version. Still, the amount of damage is not the only thing to consider when choosing the ideal weapon for all your adventures in Minecraft.

There are a ton of factors that can come into play, including crafting recipes, durability, damage, attack speed, available enchantments, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at how these aspects compare between the sword and axe in Minecraft.

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Crafting

The crafting recipes for weapons and tools have a massive impact on how practical they will end up being in Minecraft, as everything boils down to the resources available. These two weapons are quite equal in terms of crafting, as they can both be crafted using the following materials:

  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Iron
  • Gold
  • Diamond
  • Netherite

However, crafting an axe will end up costing you more resources compared to the sword crafting recipe, as seen below with stats thanks to the Minecraft Wiki:

sword vs axe minecraft 2

Durability

In terms of durability, the sword and axe amount to more or less the same if they have both been made out of the same material. The main concern here is that a sword only loses one durability point per hit, compared to the axe, which loses one durability point when chopping wood and two durability points per hit on a mob.

This means that, although the durability is equal in theory, swords are twice as durable as axes since axes end up breaking far more quickly. Axes in Minecraft will come out being around three times more expensive than swords for the same number of hits on mobs.

Damage

Both axes and swords scale up damage depending on the resources used to craft them. Technically speaking, axes inflict greater damage compared to swords in Minecraft Java edition, with nine damage compared to the seven damage inflicted by swords. However, they inflict one damage less than swords in Minecraft Bedrock edition.

sword vs axe minecraft

However, axes do have one special trait that can make them pretty useful over and above the damage points inflicted. They have a 25% chance to disable the opponent’s shield for 5 seconds after the hit and also lower the durability of the enemy’s shield and armor in the process, which can come in handy in a range of situations.

Attack speed

In the Minecraft Bedrock edition, there is no difference between the attack speed of a sword versus an axe. However, in Java, all swords have a 0.625-second recovery time between hits, which is significantly slower when using an axe.

The attack speed of an axe will vary depending on the type of material that was used to craft it. The slowest recovery time is 1.25 seconds when made of wood, and the fastest is 1 second when it’s made out of Netherite.

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Enchantments

Both the sword and axe can be enhanced with some really great enchantments in Minecraft, detailed below:

SwordAxe
Bane of Arthropods
Curse of Vanishing
Fire Aspect
Knockback
Looting
Mending
Sharpness
Smite
Sweeping Edge
Unbreaking
Bane of Arthropods
Curse of Vanishing
Efficiency
Fortune
Mending
Sharpness
Silk Touch
Smite
Unbreaking

But, the main difference is that the enchantments available for axes in Minecraft are not exactly cut out for combat situations, such as Fortune, Silk Touch, and Efficiency. Rather, they make axes more useful when gathering resources -fair enough since axes are technically classified as tools.

The sword has some great room for enchantments, primarily through the Knockback, Fire Aspect, Looting, and Sweeping Edge enchantments. If you love using enchantments to enhance your weapons’ attributes in Minecraft, then the sword will definitely be the better choice here.

Versatility

Axes definitely win when comparing versatility since swords can only be used for combat while axes are multi-purpose. Although they are not the best weapon, axes are the go-to choice if you are heading off for whatever the Minecraft world has in store and can only carry one or the other.

Which one is better and why?

There are only a handful of Minecraft players who enjoy using an axe as their primary weapon in Minecraft Bedrock edition. Most players feel that, although the chance of lowering armor and shields can be handy, axes do not offer enough benefits to outshine the classic sword.

It is trickier to say which is the better weapon in Minecraft Java since their effectiveness will rely on additional factors, the situation you are in, and personal preferences. However, swords still seem to be more useful for most combat situations – not to mention that they are cheaper to craft.

The sword appears to be the superior choice if you’re more focused on combat and want to enhance your weapon with the best enchantments possible. On the other hand, the axe’s special traits can be good for certain circumstances.

It all comes down to whether you want to benefit from the axe’s damage inflictions and special effects or are more interested in the swiftness of the sword. However, both swords and axes can be perfect for different instances in Minecraft, and it’s always best to have a solid sword for fighting topped with a durable axe for farming resources.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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