Anvils in Minecraft are used to repair enchanted armor and tools, enchant certain items, and even as traps. To craft an anvil, open the crafting grid and place three iron blocks in the first row. Then place three iron ingots in the last row. Finally, place an iron ingot in the center of the 3x3 grid. To repair an item using the anvil, place the item to repair and its respective addition beside each other and drag the output to your inventory. Similarly, to enchant items using anvils, place a tool to be enchanted and an enchanting book in the two slots and drag the resultant output.
The anvil is an expensive recipe, but it has many uses and can help you progress towards end-game tools. An anvil can help you combine tools and enchantments by spending levels and repairing tools.
An anvil is made with three iron blocks and four iron ingots for a total of thirty-one iron ingots total. Place the three iron blocks across the top of your crafting table and an iron ingot in the middle with another row of iron ingots across the bottom.
Anvils themselves cannot be repaired. Using your anvil will cause your anvil to degrade, so try not to use the anvil unless you really want to. You will need to make a new anvil if your old anvil breaks.
To use an anvil to repair an item, place the item you want to repair in the left-most slot and another of the item in the right slot. If you are repairing an iron pickaxe, you can place another iron pickaxe to repair it. If the tool is iron or better you can use the same type of material to repair it.
Repairing will cost some levels, and the next subsequent repair will cost more levels for the same tool or armor.
Place the anvil and right-click on it to open its UI. The anvil can be used to combine enchantments together. Combining two enchanted books will combine the enchantments into the same book. Using an anvil on any item will cause this effect, so stacking all of your enchantments onto a book or tool will start to cost a lot of levels.
You can use these books to enchant weapons or tools. This can also be used as a way to upgrade your enchantments. Combining two of the same enchantment together will upgrade the enchantment to its next level so long as there is another level for the enchantment to reach. If you combine a Sharpness IV enchantment with another enchantment, either from a tool/weapon or a book, it will upgrade to Sharpness V.
Anvils have one of the highest blast resistance ratings in the game. They are on par with obsidian and are only outmatched by the naturally generated blocks in the game that are unbreakable.
If a player is killed by a falling anvil the game will state that “player was squashed by a falling anvil”.
An anvil has a 12% chance to become damaged. There are four states that an anvil can be in: undamaged, chipped, damaged, and eventually destroyed. On average an anvil will last for about twenty-five uses. An anvil can be damaged if it falls from a height that is greater than one block.
Anvils are one of the best-crafting stations in the game. It allows for combining enchantments and fully optimizing your tools and armor. The amount of iron used is not too concerning towards the end of the game. Anvils are expensive to ensure that players do not reach fully optimized tools too quickly.
A damaged anvil functions identically to regular anvils, it has degraded to a more broken state and will eventually break. You can still use a damaged anvil to repair or enchant your tools.
Villagers do not use anvils. They will not lower the durability of the anvil and the anvil is not a job block for villagers. The smithing table is a job block for the toolsmith.