How to Get an Axe in Animal Crossing

One of the very first items you become familiar with in Animal Crossing is the Axe, and in this guide, I’m going to talk you through exactly how you get it.

Axes are one of the most useful items in the entire game, and can be used to harvest key materials from rocks and trees. You need to complete some tasks for Tom Nook to unlock them in the first place, and then there are several ways to either craft or build them. Let’s get into it!

Axes at a Glance

To get an Axe you need to unlock it by completing tasks for Tom Nook. You will need to attend his initial DIY workshop and then donate 2 Bugs or Fish to him. After that, you’ll get a recipe to craft a Flimsy Axe, which can be upgraded to an Axe after buying the Pretty Good Tools Recipe Pack. You will also be able to buy one in Nook’s Cranny.

How to Unlock Axes

When you first arrive on your island, you’re very inexperienced in the ways of survival. And you’d think, seeing as this was his idea, that Tom Nook would be better than you, but far from it. Instead, he relies on you to set everything up on the island, and even makes you pay for the privilege. One of the very first things that he drops on your lap is getting a Museum, and to do that, you’ll need Bugs and Fish to donate to Blathers.

You can’t catch critters without tools, so Tom Nook gives you an orientation at the campfire. You need to attend this to progress in the game. He’ll teach a DIY workshop for you to get your first tools – a Flimsy Fishing Rod and Flimsy Net. Use these to catch at least two Bugs or Fish, and show them to Tom Nook. He’ll be so impressed that he will then give you the recipe for the Flimsy Axe. If you share an island, other players will then be able to purchase the Flimsy Axe recipe from Nook’s Cranny for 280 Bells.

However, the Flimsy Axe breaks easily and can’t be used to chop down trees, so you’re going to want to upgrade it as soon as you can. This is going to cost you 3,000 Nook Miles, so you’ll need to spend a fair bit of time completing various tasks around your island to earn these. Once you have 3,000, head to the Nook Stop terminal in Resident Services. You’ll have the option to buy items using your Nook Miles.

You need to select the ‘Pretty Good Tools Recipe Pack’ and pay for it then and there. It will automatically be delivered to your Nook Phone, and all the recipes will be immediately available. You won’t need to learn them from your inventory, they’ll just be in your collection ready to use. You can then head to any Workbench, and craft the different types of axes.

Once you have the crafting recipe for an Axe, you'll also be able to buy one from Nook's Cranny
Once you have the crafting recipe for an Axe, you’ll also be able to buy one from Nook’s Cranny

Getting Your Hands on an Axe

Once you’ve unlocked the DIY recipes, it’s time to craft your new axe. There are a total of four different types of axes available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Let’s go through the crafting requirements for all of them.

Flimsy Axe

This is the first type of axe that you’ll learn to craft, and it’s necessary as a material to build all three other types. To craft the Flimsy Axe, you’ll need:

  • 5 x Tree Branch
  • 1 x Stone

You can also buy it directly from Nook’s Cranny for 800 Bells, or from Wilbur the Dodo for 100 Nook Miles if you’re on a Mystery Island. It’s absolutely not worth spending the Nook Miles, but if you’ve got money to spare, buying it could be more time-efficient than crafting it.

Unfortunately, it will break pretty easily, so ideally you want to upgrade it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll constantly have to build new ones.

Selecting the Flimsy Axe Recipe
Select the Flimsy Axe Recipe from Nook’s Cranny if you weren’t the player that completed the DIY Workshop with Tom Nook.

Stone Axe

The next step up from its predecessor, the Stone Axe provides much more durability. In fact, it can be used more than twice as many times, making it an efficient choice of axe. To craft one, head to a Workbench with the following materials:

  • 1 x Flimsy Axe
  • 3 x Wood

Although it’s much better than a regular Flimsy Axe, it’s still only good for harvesting materials. If you’re looking to chop down trees, you will need either an Axe or a Golden Axe. You can’t buy a Stone Axe, so if you want one, you’ll have to craft it.


This is my preferred type, and I carry one with me at all times. I have it registered on my tool wheel so I can quick-select it every time I want to use it. The only downside is that I end up getting one less resource every time I chop a tree as I can only hit them two times each rather than three. If I were to hit them three times, then it would chop the tree down completely, which I don’t always do. I can go to town on Mystery Islands though, and chopping them down means I can turn any island into Spider/ Scorpion Island. To craft one, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 x Flimsy Axe
  • 3 x Wood
  • 1 x Iron Nugget

They have exactly the same durability as a Stone Axe. However, unlike the Stone Axe, you’re able to purchase one from Nook’s Cranny should you wish to. I’m lazy and rich (in-game, that is. In real life, I’m lazy and poor), so I tend to buy them rather than craft them. You can find the Axe in the cabinet, and it costs 2,500 Bells. Sadly, you cannot buy custom variants, and it’ll always just have a plain wooden handle.

All the materials necessary to craft an Axe
This is my favorite type of axe to use in Animal Crossing as I think it looks nicer than the Stone Axe.

Golden Axe

Ah, the coveted Golden Axe. These are the mark of a true veteran Animal Crossing player, and not just anybody can have one of these. You get the recipe for the Golden Axe after breaking a grand total of 100 Axes. That’s a lot of gameplay! Each Axe can sustain 100 hits, so you’d need to hit trees and rocks a total of 10,000 times! As you can imagine, very few players will achieve this goal (I’m still not quite there yet myself). However, once you hit that impressive milestone, the game rewards you with the DIY recipe that can then be crafted using the following:

  • 1 x Axe
  • 1 x Golden Nugget

Not only does it look beautiful, but it’s considerably more durable than the regular Axe. It can sustain double the hits before it breaks, making it a very convenient tool for your belt. Naturally, given its rarity, you cannot purchase a Golden Axe. The only way to obtain one is to craft it yourself, or to be gifted one by another player.

Now You’re an Axepert

Excuse the terrible pun, but it’s true, you’re now an expert on Axes! Time to take this knowledge from the screen into your game. Soon you’ll be running around chopping trees and mining rocks like it’s nobody’s business. Which, I guess it isn’t, but I guarantee the other residents will make it their business anyway.

My top tip is to use the Axe instead of the Shovel to hit rocks. That way, you’ll be able to break your Axes quicker, and unlock the Golden Axe.

As you get further into the game, you’ll unlock even more tools and items. If you ever feel like you need a hand getting used to how to use anything, then make sure that Creatures Crossing is your first port of call. We have the very best Animal Crossing guides on the internet!

I like to have the Axe easily available at the bottom of my tool wheel, ready for when I want to quick-select it.
I like to have the Axe easily available at the bottom of my tool wheel, ready for when I want to quick-select it.

FAQs (Frequently Axed Questions)

Question: Should I use the Axe or the Shovel to hit rocks in Animal Crossing?

Answer: Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. Personally, I prefer to use the Axe as I find it to be more accurate, but the Shovel can work very well too if you’re good at aiming. Either is an acceptable choice.

Question: What’s the best type of axe in Animal Crossing?

Answer: The best type of axe is undoubtedly the Golden Axe. This offers double the durability of a standard Axe, and looks beautiful when you use it. However, it’s hard to get, and so most players will have to decide between the Stone Axe and the Axe. Both have the same durability, but the Axe chops down trees whereas the Stone Axe leaves them standing.

Question: Can I buy an Axe in Animal Crossing?

Answer: Nook’s Cranny sells two types of axe. You can purchase a Flimsy Axe for 800 Bells, or an Axe for 2,500 Bells. Neither of these are customizable.

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