Animal Crossing
Image: Nintendo Life

You're not going to get far in Animal Crossing: New Horizons without an axe, and the good news is that it's one of the first tools you'll be getting your hands on.

To unlock the axe recipe – basically the document required to craft an axe – you'll need to speak to Tom Nook in the Resident Services tent. Give him fish or bugs (the ratio doesn't matter) and he'll give you the recipe for a flimsy axe, which is the weakest axe in the game. It won't last long before breaking, but at least it will get you on your way. When you have the axe you can chop trees to get the wood required for crafting other items.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Flimsy Axe

To create a flimsy axe, you'll need:

  • x5 Tree Branch
  • x2 Stone

A flimsy axe is good for harvesting wood from trees... and not much else, really. It'll break quickly, so you'll probably want to upgrade.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Stone Axe

However, that's not all – if you want an axe that's good enough to get materials like iron nuggets from rocks then you'll need a Stone Axe. Again, this is in the 'Pretty Good Tools Recipe' which you buy from the Nook Stop.

The materials you'll need are:

  • x1 Flimsy Axe
  • x3 Wood

Like the flimsy axe, you can swipe at trees and harvest wood all day without worrying that you'll chop down any of your trees. To do that you'll need to upgrade your flimsy axe with different materials...

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Axe

To get a more robust axe and be able to chop down trees, you'll need to purchase the 'Pretty Good Tools DIY Recipe' from the Nook Stop terminal in Resident Services, which costs 3000 Nook Miles.

Once you've got that, you'll need the following items to create the axe:

This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).

We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.

If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.

And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!