v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.


From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Pickaxe sprite preview.png

A pick is a digging implement / weapon that can be forged (using the weaponsmithing labour) from most weapon-grade metals, such as copper, iron, bronze, bismuth bronze, steel, and adamantine, but not silver, (although other weapons can be forged from silver). Picks are essential for a properly-functioning fortress: miners require picks to strike the earth, dig tunnels, carve staircases and everything else related to the removal of rock and soil tiles. You will need to purchase or create picks on embark, as miners won't bring their own. Without picks, your dwarves will be stranded on the surface, forced to live like elves. The quality and material of a pick have no effect on its speed when digging through rock; that depends solely on the user's Mining skill level.

Picks can also be used as weapons. They inflict EDGE type damage, tend to impale or dismember enemies, and gain damage bonuses dependent on the user's Mining skill level. Picks are brutally effective, combining slashing and impaling with velocity of blunt weapons and big, but not unwieldy, weapon mass (more than war hammer, but less than long sword) and generally far better than anything that isn't a whip or scourge (and will be better than them if it's made from good materials and with good quality; and because pickaxes can be produced by dwarves, it's more likely to have many of them and have soldiers experienced with them). Unlike when digging through rock, quality and material are both important when using a pick as a weapon. Since a steel pick can penetrate most armor, picks are effective weapons against any foe, armored, forgotten elemental, bronze, or otherwise. Almost all dwarves can equip picks; some must use two hands (which makes them more similar to real-life ice axes than actual real-life human pickaxes, which are two-handed and as big and heavy as a maul while still having the same small contact area).

Because of all pluses of the pick, you may want to make it the №1 weapon in your fortress, and give it to nearly all military personnel, with small exceptions (weapon masters of something except pick, who can compensate the fact of inferiority of their weapon by being experienced with it, and those who can't wield a pick with one hand, and therefore would be better with "something smaller + shield" or "2x something smaller"), who could also double as your miners in peacetime (you never know what peculiar stuff you may stumble upon in the underearth, and miners are the first to encounter it; also, mining skill is used for both striking and actually mining, so sending your troops to mine rocks can help with increasing their skills, not to mention the fact an entire platoon sent to community service can do their work much quicker than the 1-4 civilian miners a fort usually has).

Note that military dwarves will never select a pick as a weapon if allowed "individual choice" - they must be specifically assigned picks as part of their uniform or on their equip screen.

Forging and Melting[edit]

  • Metal picks cost one metal bar to forge, or four adamantine wafers.
  • When a non-adamantine metal pick is melted down, it will return 1.2 metal bars, for an efficiency of 120%.
  • When an adamantine pick is melted down, it will produce 1.2 wafers, for an efficiency of 30%.
"Pick" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: tekkud
Elvish: mubara
Goblin: otez
Human: tekud
Ranged and ammunition
Blowgun and blowdart · Bow and arrow · Crossbow and bolt
Edged (slashing)
Edged (piercing)
Dagger · Morningstar · Pick · Pike · Spear
See also: Attack types