Animal Crossing: New Horizons Guide – How To Get Every Tool

Getting tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is different than in previous games where you would simply buy them. Although tools are still available to purchase, it’s much more cost-effective to make them yourself using ACNH‘s new crafting system.

At the start of the game, you can only craft flimsy tools with low durability until you unlock their upgraded versions.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get every tool, from the very first recipe to the highly-coveted golden tools.

All you’ll need to do is gather a steady stock of crafting materials, earn some Nook Miles, and simply progress through the game.

If you would like to learn more about island living, check out our ACNH tips and tricks guide to help get you started.

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How To Get Flimsy Fishing Rod And Net

Animal Crossing New Horizons Filmsy Net

At the start of your first full day in New Horizons, you’ll receive your NookPhone, and Tom Nook will invite you to take his DIY workshop inside the Resident Services tent. Upon accepting his offer, he’ll ask you to deliver five branches.

Doing so will allow you to craft the Flimsy Fishing Rod, which can be used up to 10 times before breaking. In addition to the Flimsy Fishing Rod, Nook will give you the recipe for the Flimsy Net, which also has a durability of 10 uses.

How To Get Flimsy Axe

Animal Crossing New Horizons Flimsy Axe

Once you have secured the Flimsy Fishing Rod and Flimsy Net, Tom Nook will ask you to show him any fish or bugs you find. After you’ve brought him at least two examples, he’ll give you the recipe for crafting the Flimsy Axe, which can be used to chop trees or strike rocks up to 40 times.

How To Get Flimsy Watering Can

Animal Crossing New Horizons Watering Can

The Flimsy Watering Can recipe can be obtained by bringing Tom Nook four additional examples of local fish and/or bugs. Along with the recipe, Nook will also give you some seeds to plant.

The Watering Can is a useful tool for gardening and essential for getting hybrid flowers to bloom. The Flimsy version can last for up to 20 uses.

How To Get Flimsy Shovel And Vaulting Pole

Animal Crossing New Horizons Vaulting Pole

To get the Flimsy Shovel, you’ll first have to make sure you’ve shown Tom Nook a total of five fish and/or bugs. Afterward, you should receive a call from Blathers requesting you to set aside some land for the island’s museum.

The next day, the museum will open at the location you have selected, and Blathers will be inside. Talk to him, and he’ll give you the recipe for Flimsy Shovel, which can be used to dig up buried items, plant trees, and flowers, and strike rocks up to 40 times.

Blathers will also give you the recipe for the Vaulting Pole, which allows you to cross rivers. It’s one of a few tools with infinite durability, so you’ll never have to worry about crafting more than one.

How To Get Slingshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Slingshot

The Slingshot recipe can only be obtained by purchasing it from Timmy (and later Nook’s Cranny) for 300 Bells. You can use the Slingshot to pop up to 30 gift balloons before it breaks. There’s no way to upgrade your Slingshot other than crafting a Golden one.  

How To Get Ladder

Animal Crossing New Horizons Ladder

To get the crafting recipe for the Ladder, you’ll have to complete a couple different tasks, including:

  • Pay off your moving costs
  • Build your home
  • Build Nook’s Cranny
  • Build your first bridge
  • Place and furnish three plots of land for new villagers

After you’re done, Tom Nook will tell you that one of your recipes requires flowers, which grow natively on your island’s cliffs.

It’s at this point he’ll give you the recipe for making a Ladder, which allows you to climb up or down between different elevations. Just like the Vaulting Pole, the Ladder has infinite durability and will never break. 

How To Get Pretty Good Tools

Animal Crossing New Horizons Pretty Good Tools

To upgrade your Flimsy tools to their much more durable standard versions, you’ll have to have already paid off your moving costs using Nook Miles.

Once that’s done, head to Resident Services, visit the NookStop kiosk, and select ‘Redeem Miles.’ Purchase the Pretty Good Tools recipe in order to unlock the following tool options:

  • Metal Axe (100 uses)
  • Metal Shovel (100 uses)
  • Fishing Rod (30 uses)
  • Net (30 uses)
  • Watering Can (30 uses)

After you’ve spent 70,000 Bells at Nook’s Cranny, the shop will expand and begin selling more expensive custom tools with better durability and unique designs. 

How To Get Golden Tools

Animal Crossing New Horizons Golden Tools

Unlocking the Golden version of each tool will require you to hit a couple of different milestones. While Golden Tools have much higher durability than both Flimsy and standard tools, they will still break after roughly 200 uses.

Lastly, to craft a Golden Tool, you’ll need at least one Golden Nugget, which has a rare chance of dropping while striking rocks.

  • Golden Fishing Rod: Complete the fish section of Critterpedia (80 fish in total)
  • Golden Net: Complete the bug section of Critterpedia (80 bugs in total)
  • Golden Axe: Break 100 Flimsy, Stone, and/or Metal Axes
  • Golden Watering Can: Obtain a 5-Star island rating
  • Golden Shovel: Help Gulliver 30 times
  • Golden Slingshot: Pop 300 gift balloons

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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