Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
For other uses, see Smithing.

Smithing is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Smithing is referred to as the art of refining raw materials and combining them to create or improve pieces of armor or weapons. It is one of the three crafting skills in Skyrim, falling under the Warrior playstyle, with parallels to alchemy for thieves and enchanting for mages.


Smithing is a multistage process with the number of stages depending on what items are being crafted and how raw the materials are. The process can be started at any intermediate stage if the right items are obtained, but every stage requires input materials, knowledge of the build, and its own tool. Input materials can be found in the world or purchased from vendors. Knowledge of new recipes can be acquired only through perks but some are available automatically. The tools listed below roughly outlines the end-to-end process.

Smithing stations[]


Balimund using a Tanning Rack.

These stations, required for various stages in the smithing process, can be found in any main city and most villages. They are also frequently found in forts and dungeons or outside mines. See the individual station pages for more specific locations.

Racial bonuses[]

Nord, Redguard, and Orc characters gain an initial five-point boost to Smithing.


The following actions raise the Smithing skill:

  • Crafting an item at a forge. Skill gain is dependent on the value of the item being crafted.[1]
  • Improving a weapon at a grindstone. The skill gain is based on the strength of the improvement made.
  • Improving an armor or shield at a workbench. The skill gain is based on the strength of the improvement made.


Last scabbard

A Smithing Skill Book.

The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the Dragonborn's Smithing skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.


"People say I'm making gold off of other people's misery, but what else would I do? Smithing is all I know. Next time one of my shields deflects a killing blow, they'll change their tune."

The following quests increase or help to increase the Smithing skill:


Main article: Trainers (Skyrim)
Level Trainer Location Prerequisites
Common Ghorza gra-Bagol Markarth Give her The Last Scabbard of Akrash
Expert Balimund Riften Collect 10 Fire Salts for him
Master Eorlund Gray-Mane The Skyforge in Whiterun Complete the "Take Up Arms" quest for The Companions.
Master Gunmar Fort Dawnguard after completing "A New Order" Only available with Dawnguard

Growth curve[]

The Smithing skill levels according to an exponential curve. This means each level costs proportionately more than the previous one.

Beneficial equipment[]

There are multiple objects and potions which benefit smithing within Skyrim. First are potions, which temporarily increases the smithing ability. There is also armor Enchanting which, depending on one's enchanting ability, can grant a much higher smithing ability as long as the user is wearing it.


The following chart lists the perks that become available to the Dragonborn as the skill is leveled up. In spite of the shape of the perk constellation implying otherwise, perks explicitly list their prerequisites (Daedric Smithing requires Ebony Smithing be taken first, and so forth).

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Steel Smithing** No requirement Can create steel armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Arcane Blacksmith Smithing 60,
Steel Smithing
Magical weapons and armor can now be improved.
Elven Smithing** Smithing 30,
Steel Smithing
Can create Elven armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Advanced Armors** Smithing 50,
Elven Smithing
Can create scaled and steel plate armor at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Glass Smithing Smithing 70,
Advanced Armors
Can create glass armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Dwarven Smithing Smithing 30,
Steel Smithing
Can create Dwarven armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Orcish Smithing Smithing 50,
Dwarven Smithing
Can create Orcish armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Ebony Smithing** Smithing 80,
Orcish Smithing
Can create ebony armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Daedric Smithing Smithing 90,
Ebony Smithing
Can create daedric armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Dragon Armor Smithing 100,
Glass or Daedric Smithing
Can create dragon armor and weapons* at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Smithing preks tree

Smithing perks tree

* Dragonbone weapons can only be created if The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard is installed.
** Bonemold armor can be created with Steel Smithing, Chitin armor can be created with Elven Smithing, Nordic armor and weapons can be created with Advanced Armors, and Stalhrim armor and weapons can be created with Ebony Smithing if The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn is installed.


The table shows what quality improvement an item will achieve based on Smithing level and if the Smithing perk for the item is taken or not.

Items can still be improved once they reach Legendary, but the description will not change.

Quality Skill Required Effect
Without Perk With Perk Armor Weapon
Fine 14 14 +2 +1
Superior 31 22 +6 +3
Exquisite 65 40 +10 +5
Flawless 100 57 +13 +7
Epic 134 74 +17 +8
Legendary 168 91 +20 +10

Each additional quality level beyond Legendary improves Armor by 3.6 and other items (weapons, helms, boots, etc.) by 1.8. The skill related to the item will also affect how much it does. So the bonus is significantly larger on the armor on someone with the corresponding skill.

Alchemy and Enchanting can improve results significantly via the Fortify Smithing effect allowing for greater improvements at a given level than the table shows. Combining both alchemy and enchanting to improve one another and then combining both to improve Smithing as much as possible can be very powerful.

The improvement of armor and weapons requires one smithing material per item improved. These items can be obtained by tanning, smelting, or other means of obtaining items.

Smithing Category Crafting Material
Long Bow Firewood
Hunting Bow Leather Strips
Leather Leather
Iron Iron Ingot
Steel Steel Ingot
Nord Hero
Ancient Nord
Dawnguard HeavyDG
Red Eagle
Valdr's Lucky Dagger
Ghost Ectoplasm
Scaled Corundum Ingot
Banded Iron
Steel Plate
Dwarven Dwarven Metal Ingot
Elven Refined Moonstone
Orcish Orichalcum Ingot
Ebony Ebony Ingot
Glass Refined Malachite
Nordic CarvedDR Quicksilver Ingot
StalhrimDR StalhrimDR
ChitinDR Chitin PlateDR
Chitin HeavyDR
BonemoldDR Bone Meal
Dragonplate Dragon Bone
Dragonscale Dragon Scales
Falmer Chaurus Chitin
Nightingale Void Salts
Jewelry *

* The only known piece of jewelry that can be improved is the Aetherial Crown, with a Dwarven Metal Ingot. However, since it has no armor rating, only its value will be increased.


Artificer (Achievement)
Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy


Click to show a list of Smithing strategies.
  • Crafting iron daggers is a good start, as the materials are common and cheap.
  • Crafting Leather items can be an effective method if the Dragonborn hunts animals that produce hide upon their death.
  • Crafting jewelry levels up the skill faster (the more valuable the items, the faster it does).
  • The Dwarven Smithing perk not only allows the Dragonborn to create and improve their own set of Dwarven armor and weapons early in the game, but also to make these items—especially Dwarven Bows—to sell. The gold spent making them can be earned back by trading with 20% better prices, which can be achieved by getting Haggling perk in the Speech skill tree or enchanting any wearable items with Fortify Barter.
  • Crafting Elven Swords at Smithing level 60 or 70 can be more efficient than Dwarven, although it is more expensive.
  • If the Hearthfire DLC is installed, making construction materials helps to level up fast, making nails levels up Smithing the fastest compared to making other construction materials.
  • As to show the impact of the value of the item for raising the skill, it takes to raise Smithing from 15–100 crafting of:
  • Completing The Companions questline allows the use of the Skyforge to produce "Nord Hero" armor and weapons. The Skyforge is the only location for crafting these items.
  • To maximize skill gain, complete the quest "Unfathomable Depths" to obtain the Ancient Knowledge ability, activate the Warrior Stone, and sleep in a bed to obtain the Rested Effect or Lover's Comfort effect. If the Dawnguard add-on is installed, obtain and equip the Aetherial Crown. The Lover Stone can be used as an alternative to the sleeping effects, if, for instance, the Dragonborn is a lycanthrope.
  • The Transmute Mineral Ore can be used to convert Iron Ore to Silver Ore, then Gold Ore. Despite the time and Magicka costs, it significantly improves Gold yields while simultaneously raising the Alteration skill and Smithing skills.
  • Smithing two gold rings from one gold ingot, enchanting them, and then selling them for profit will increase the Smithing and Enchanting skills simultaneously, as well as leveling the Speech skill and making a profit for the Dragonborn. This can be repeated infinite times.
  • When improving an item at a grindstone or workbench, the Fortify Smithing yields additional experience as well as improve the sale value of the item being improved.
  • Blacksmiths and general goods merchants sell iron ore inexpensively in small amounts.
  • All mines and Dwemer ruins provide raw materials for Smithing, such as Dwemer artifacts and scrap metal; making Dwarven armor and weapons from this scrap is one way of quickly leveling Smithing, although this tactic is only effective with the Dwarven Smithing perk. The ingot yield to weight ratio, from least to most weight, is:
Piece WeightIcon Ingot yield
Small Dwemer Plate Metal 2 3
Large Dwemer Plate Metal 2 3
Bent Dwemer Scrap Metal 2 3
Solid Dwemer Metal 25 5
Large Decorative Dwemer Strut 15 2
Large Dwemer Strut 20 3
  • Obtaining the Prowler's Profit active effect allows for a steady supply of precious gems, which can be used to forge valuable jewelry.
  • If Dawnguard is installed, smithing arrows also raises Smithing.
    • One very efficient way of increasing Smithing is to smith Dwarven bolts (Dwarven Metal Ingot + Firewood=10 bolts). This can only be done after the Dwarven Crossbow is unlocked in the quest line offered by Sorine Jurard. Nchuand-Zel is an excellent source of Dwarven Metal, as it has much of it (300+ per run), and is fairly close to a smelter. (This has the added bonus of providing huge amounts of crossbow ammo, which may be sold for pure profit or kept and used with any crossbow.)
  • A fast way to buy supplies in order to make items on the forge is to make sure to go to both forges in Whiterun, Warmaiden's, and the Skyforge. Remember to not only buy from Adrianne, who is outside of Warmaiden's on the forge for most of the day, but to also go inside the shop and buy from her husband Ulfberth War-Bear. The other merchants (Belethor, the Drunken Huntsman owners and Honningbrew Meadery) may also sell various ores and/or ingots. The advantage this place has is the fact that there is a smelter, workbench, and grindstone, which are all required to level Smithing.
  • Making Dwarven Bows is a fast method to level up the Smithing skill.
  • Making multiple gold jewelry will level Smithing up quickly.
  • Note: The fastest possible way to increase Smithing is to clear any Dwemer Ruin and collect all of the Dwemer items. Every piece respawns in a day, allowing for continuous free Dwarven Ingots. To get Iron Ingots, one can clear Halted Stream Camp and mine all of the veins. There should be roughly forty-eight ore. The veins regenerate after thirty in-game days. Craft Iron Helmets until Smithing ranks up to 30, then spend a perk point on Dwarven Smithing. Afterwards, smith Dwarven bows. After the Smithing levels up past level 60, one can quickly gain profit and experience by improving the bow at a grindstone.


  • Being a Combat skill, Smithing is affected by the Warrior Stone power and the Seeker of MightDR ability.
  • Like using Soul Gems with Enchanting, stolen ingots used in smithing do not cause the improved object to become stolen. An improved stolen object remains stolen, whether or not the ingot used was stolen.
  • Combining Ancient Knowledge with the Warrior Stone will cause this skill to increase 35% faster.


This section contains bugs related to Smithing (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If you have a shield equipped while using the forge a slight animation bug occurs.
  •  PC   360   After improving a weapon at a grindstone, the red and green totals, that indicate the damage increase or decrease, may only register the weapon's base value prior to being improved.
    • Solution: To resolve this, either equip another weapon, or un-equip the current weapon.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Minor cosmetic glitches may occur during the armor selection window when a Smithing station is activated.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Smithing stations fail to activate. The view switches to third person and stops, but after a second or two, movement restores and the crafting menus do not appear.
    • Fix: Reload previous save.
    •  PS3 (Fix:)   Going into hiding, then using a combat spell, such as Flames, on a blank section of wall should re-focus the view and reset the station.
    •  PC (Fix:)   Using the console command player.tai should fix the issue.

See also[]