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Pickaxe is a tool within Skyrim. It is used primarily to mine the various ore beds found throughout Skyrim, needed specifically for smithing. It can be found at any mining location or bought from most general goods and blacksmith vendors. It can also be used as a weapon, though a very weak one. Likewise, you can enchant a pickaxe like any other weapon, however, you cannot upgrade a pickaxe in any other way. When using the pickaxe as a weapon it requires only one hand to use, unlike mining which requires two.

A pickaxe is required for mining. Mining, though time consuming and tedious, is the easiest way to obtain ore without buying it. Mining also results in finding jewels, which sell back for a good price or can be used in the smithing of Jewelry.

Note: When attempting to mine, the view automatically changes to third person, and the character will mine until the ore vein is depleted. This leaves the potential for unsuspecting attacks from behind. Pressing Tab on the PC, B on an Xbox controller or Circle on PS3 stops the mining activity. You can also mine by equipping the pickaxe and attacking the ore vein every three hits you will get one ore. This is a much faster way to mine and leaves you free to defend yourself if you get attacked.