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First appearances

Beta 1.7
PE Alpha 0.2

Data value

dec: 359 hex: 167 bin: 101100111



Shears are a tool used to obtain Wool from Sheep, collect Red Mushrooms from Mooshrooms, get String from Cobwebs (with a Silk Touch enchantment the actual Cobweb), destroy Wool Blocks more efficiently, harvest placeable Tall Grass, Large Tall Grass, Ferns, Large Ferns, Dead Bushes, Vines and to safely remove Tripwire without creating a Redstone pulse.


  • Primary use:
    • Shears are the most efficient way to get Wool from Sheep, producing 1-3 wool blocks (as opposed to killing a sheep which produces only 1 wool block). Sheep will grow more wool once sheared, giving you another chance to shear them. Sheep can also be colored with a Dye before shearing, allowing the player to acquire colored wool instead of the natural colors of sheep wool (white, light grey, grey, black, brown and pink).
  • Secondary uses:
    • By using shears on Leaves you can obtain placeable leaf blocks that do not decay. Without shears, destroying a leaf block has a chance of it dropping a sapling or an apple.
    • Shears can also be used to harvest Grass, Ferns, Large Tall Grass, Large Ferns, Dead Bushes and Vines. Note that when harvesting dead bushes it doesn't use up durability on the shears.
  • Other uses:
    • Cobwebs can be destroyed by shears in half a second, dropping one piece of String. With a Silk Touch enchantment the cobweb drops the actual cobweb block.
    • You can get Red Mushrooms from a Mooshroom, which then turns the mooshroom back into a normal Cow.
    • You can use shears to break Wool faster
    • Breaking a tripwire with shears doesn't create a Redstone pulse.

When using an Anvil, you can give shears various enchants for improved capabilities. To shear a sheep in the Pocket Edition, you must touch and hold down on the screen, similar to breaking a block, instead of tapping the sheep.


Ingredients Crafting recipe Description

Iron Ingot

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Shears

Iron Ingot
Iron Ingot

Damaged Shears

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Shears
Shears Shears

Grid layout Shapeless.png

The durability of the two shears is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.

Speed and durability[edit]

The following table shows various things about shears. Colors indicate what will be dropped when the block is broken:

  • White: The original block.
  • Blue: The Block's normal drop (i.e. string, seeds, sapling, apple).
  • Red: Nothing.
No shears breaking time Shears breaking time Durability loss Right click with shears

20 s 0.4 s 0.4 s[note 1] Yes

Dead Bush
0 s 0 s No

0 s 0 s Yes

0 s 0 s Yes[note 2]

0.3 s 0.05 s Yes

0 s 0 s[note 3] Yes

0.3 s 0.3 s Yes

1.2 s 0.25 s Yes

Yes 5
Red Mushroom

Yes 1–3
  1. Shears with Silk Touch
  2. Not on double grass (bug?)
  3. Using shears won't trigger a redstone pulse.



1.7 Shears were introduced into the game. They were first mentioned by Jeb on Twitter[1] The tweet revealing Jeb's work on shears was written in Swedish (Jag jobbar på shears nu) which translates to "I'm working on shears now".[1] Shears were originally planned as a way to defuse TNT, but Jeb dropped this shortly after deciding TNT would only detonate with redstone or fire.[2] Before Beta 1.7, sheep would drop 1-3 wool blocks at most when hit, but shears can harvest up to 4 wool blocks per sheep.
1.8 They can be used to harvest Fern, Vines and Long Grass.
Official release
1.0.0 They can harvest Red Mushrooms from a Mooshroom and turn it back into a normal Cow.
1.1 11w49a Sheep drop only 1-3 wool blocks when sheared, but they can also regrow their wool by eating grass, which is part of a plan to have animals stay in the game longer.[3]
1.2.1 12w06a One can use shears to harvest Dead Bushes.
1.3.1 12w21a The Player can purchase shears with emeralds.
12w22a Shears can be used to break Tripwire string and not set it off.
1.4.2 12w38a Added a sound when using shears on sheep.
1.4.6 12w50a Silk Touch can now be applied to shears by combining it with a Silk Touch I enchanted book in an anvil. With Silk Touch I on shears you can collect cobwebs. Also, you can give shears an Unbreaking enchantment using the anvil too.
1.8 1.8-pre1 Breaking wool blocks with shears now reduces their durability. In previous versions shears only took durability damage when they destroy or break tall grass or leaves, the damage remaining the same for all other blocks.[4]
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0 Added shears to survival mode.
0.8.0 build 3 Added shears to creative mode.
Console Edition
TU3 Added shears.


Issues relating to "Shears" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Shears are the only tools except the sword that has a specific right-click action (shearing sheep and mooshrooms) and left-click action (collecting leaves, vines, string from cobwebs, dead bushes, and tall grass).
  • Shears are the only tool that are used to break blocks that only have one version (made with iron ingots); as opposed to pickaxes, hoes, axes and shovels that can be made out of wooden planks, cobblestone, iron ingots, gold ingots and diamonds.
  • If leaves are sheared with shears, they will not drop saplings, unlike using a tool with a Silk Touch enchantment on leaves, which will occasionally drop saplings.


  1. a b