Gunpowder Kegs
Large Gunpowder Keg icon
General Attributes:
Is Stackable Yes (40)
Fuel Value 5
Explosion Resilience 1
Is Fluid Blocker No
Tool-related Attributes:
Digging Method Hack mini
Digging Resilience 3

Description (From Recipaedia)

A Gunpowder Keg is a sealed, wooden container filled with gunpowder, with a short fuse attached on the top. The fuse can be lit with a match or initiated electrically. The keg will explode after several seconds with a devastating force, destroying blocks and killing any creatures within the 'blast range'. Certain blocks, such as stone, iron and diamond are more resilient to explosions than others. Use detonators to cause an instantaneous explosion without fuse delay.

Player with Keg


Gunpowder kegs are crafted using Gunpowder and wood planks.

  • The small keg requires 1 gunpowder and 2 planks.
  • The medium keg requires 2 gunpowders and 4 planks.
  • The large keg requires 3 gunpowders and 6 planks.
Small Gunpowder Keg-0

Explosive Force and Damage

The following explanations assume you are playing in Adventure, Challenging or Cruel mode. All damage is reduced in Harmless mode and ignored in Creative mode. The Explosive Power of each keg is as listed in the recipaedia.

The blast range and safe distance were determined by experiments (by Stanimus).

The blast range is the distance where the player is immediately killed and the safe distance is how close you can stand and not get hurt by the initial blast. Debris can still hit you, however.

Keg Size   ---   Power   ---   Blast Range   ---   Safe Distance
  • Small -           60 EP            6 blocks                 8 blocks
  • Medium -     240 EP          10 blocks               12 blocks
  • large -          960 EP          14 blocks               16 blocks

The blast range is a sphere. I.e., 9 blocks from a small keg is safe when you are straight along a row of blocks and you will be safe if you circle around the keg at the same effective distance. This applies vertically as well - a player 9 blocks above a small keg explosion will also be safe.

These numbers are only valid in open-air conditions. The kegs were exploded over water, which is not affected by the blast. Explosions inside a cave or tunnel or building will be different. The explosion calculations take that into account and explosions can be magnified in enclosed spaces. The numbers do NOT account for you getting hit by flying or flaming debris, either.

There can be 3 types of damage to the player from an explosion. The first is the initial blast force which is deadly if you are inside the blast range. The player may also be hit by flying debris. You can also be set on fire by flaming, flying debris, which will cause additional damage over time if you do not douse the fire immediately. Flaming debris can be thrown as far away as 30 blocks from ANY size keg. If you place multiple kegs it can throw debris extremely far away! The bigger ones will throw more of it.

IMG 0319

Size comparison of gunpowder kegs.


  • Gunpowder kegs are found in the items section of the Recipaedia, not with the weapons.
  • You should never light kegs with a match. The keg will likely explode before you can get far enough away unless you have a very strong wall to run behind.
  • As of 1.28 Gunpowder kegs can be shot by a Dispenser and will ignite when they are launched, so they explode when they land.
  • Bullets fired by Musket and Fire Arrow can also be used to ignite a keg.
  • If you're standing at the edge of a block, you might be counted in the closer one for damages. Give yourself a bit of extra room, for safety. Use 9 blocks instead of 8, for instance.
  • Gunpowder kegs do not block liquids.
  • It is not advisable to use gunpowder kegs to obtain ores as it will destroy most rocks and ores. They are useful if you simply want to clear an area without using up time and your tools.
  • See the Weapons page for the list of all weapons (rather than the Recipaedia category).
  • They still explode when dropped as an item. Meaning if a block on fire, thrown in magma or thrown into a Campfire and so on, when still explode.
  • Using a Gunpowder Keg as a fuel in a Furnace, the furnace will explode instantly and possibly kill you!