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Tools, represented by ( are the miscellaneous items in the game which don't fall into any other category and include such stuff as containers, light sources, and musical instruments. Most tools can be used by applying them. Tools are 8% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 0% in containers, 0% on the Rogue level, and 12% in Gehennom.

The command to use tools is a (apply).

Name Cost Weight Cost:weight ratio Use (where not obvious) Prob (‰) Creation Magic?
Character accessories
blindfold 20 zm 2 10 Blinds you 50 No
lenses 80 zm 3 27 Spellbook reading 5 No
Eyes of the Overworld 2500 zm 3 833 Enlightenment 0 Monk quest artifact No
towel 50 zm 2 25 Blinds you, cleans face and hands 50 No
Pet accessories
leash 20 zm 12 1.67 Keeps pets nearby 65 No
saddle 150 zm 200 .75 Riding 5 No
bag of holding 100 zm 15 5.67 Makes items lighter 20 Contains 0-1 items Yes
chest 16 zm 600 0.027 35 Contains 0-5 items No
ice box 42 zm 900 0.047 Keeps corpses fresh 5 Contains 0-20 corpses No
large box 8 zm 350 0.023 40 Contains 0-3 items No
oilskin sack 100 zm 15 5.67 Prevents blanking 5 Contains 0-1 items No
sack 2 zm 15 0.133 35 Contains 0-1 items No
Tonal instruments Passtune
bugle 15 zm 10 1.5 Aggravates nearby soldiers 4 No
fire horn 50 zm 18 2.78 Ray of fire 2 Yes
frost horn 50 zm 18 2.78 Ray of frost 2 Yes
magic flute 36 zm 5 7.2 Lulls monsters to sleep 2 Yes
magic harp 50 zm 30 1.67 Tames monsters 2 Yes
tooled horn 15 zm 18 0.83 Scares monsters 5 No
wooden flute 12 zm 5 2.4 Pacifies snakes 4 No
wooden harp 50 zm 30 1.67 Pacifies nymphs 4 No
Atonal instruments
bell 50 zm 30 1.67 Wakes monsters, summons nymphs 2 No
Bell of Opening 5000 zm 10 500 Invocation get from quest nemesis Yes
drum of earthquake 25 zm 25 1 Creates pits, scares monsters, angers peacefuls 2 Yes
leather drum 25 zm 25 1 Wakes and scares monsters 4 No
magic whistle 10 zm 3 3.33 Teleports pets to you 30 Yes
tin whistle 10 zm 3 3.33 Calls pets 100 No
Light sources
brass lantern 20 zm 30 0.67 30 No
Candelabrum of Invocation 5000 zm 10 500 Invocation get from Vlad Yes
magic lamp 50 zm 20 2.5 Possible wish 15 Yes
oil lamp 10 zm 20 0.5 45 No
tallow candle 10 zm 2 5 Invocation 20 stack of 1 (4/7 prob.) or 2-7 (1/14 prob. each) No
wax candle 20 zm 2 10 Invocation 5 stack of 1 (4/7 prob.) or 2-7 (1/14 prob. each) No
beartrap 60 zm 200 0.3 0 No
land mine 180 zm 300 0.6 0 No
Unlocking tools
credit card 10 zm 1 10 15 No
The Platinum Yendorian Express Card 7000 zm 1 7000 Charging Tourist quest artifact No
lock pick 20 zm 4 5 60 No
skeleton key 10 zm 3 3.33 80 No
The Master Key of Thievery 3500 zm 3 1166 0 Rogue quest artifact No
grappling hook 50 zm 30 1.67 20 No
pick-axe 50 zm 100 0.5 Digging 5 No
unicorn horn 100 zm 20 5 Cure status effects, various other 0 Yes
bag of tricks 100 zm 15 6.67 Summoning monsters 20 1-20 charges Yes
can of grease 20 zm 20 1 Protects against mind flayers, drowning attacks, and water damage 15 1-25 charges No
crystal ball 60 zm 150 .4 15 1-5 charges Yes
The Orb of Detection 2500 zm 150 16.7 Invisibility 0 Archeologist quest artifact No
The Orb of Fate 2500 zm 150 16.7 Level teleport 0 Valkyrie quest artifact No
expensive camera 200 zm 12 16.7 Scare monsters 15 No
figurine 80 zm 50 1.6 Summons a monster 25 Yes
horn of plenty 50 zm 18 2.78 Produces food or some potions 2 Yes
magic marker 50 zm 2 25 Writes scrolls and spellbooks 15 30-99 charges Yes
mirror 10 zm 13 .77 Nymph and foocubus control, Luck management, scare monsters 45 No
The Magic Mirror of Merlin 1500 zm 13 115.385 0 Knight quest artifact No
stethoscope 75 zm 4 18.3 Get monster status information, detect secret doors/corridors 25 No
tin opener 30 zm 4 7.5 35 No
tinning kit 30 zm 100 .3 Prevents troll resurrection, tins corpses for intrinsics 15 No



A bag is either of the four: bag of tricks, sack, bag of holding, or oilskin bag.

If you see an unknown bag, first try to loot it, unless you are low on HP (say, HP<25). If it is a bag of tricks, it "develops a huge set of teeth and bites you!", causes 1-10 points of damage, and becomes identified. Otherwise, you loot it like any container.

If it is not a bag of tricks, it is either a sack (7/12 chance), a bag of holding (4/12 chance), or an oilskin bag (1/12 chance). (The chances are for randomly generated bag.)

Since sack costs 2, and all other bags cost 100, you can identify the sack with price identification.

To identify the bag of holding, pick up just enough stuff to be burdened, but if you drop a small object, you are not burdened anymore. Then put a lot of stuff into your bag. If you are not burdened anymore, it is a bag of holding.

Oilskin bags are rare, and can be identified by not belonging to other types.

If you found a bag in a 1*1 room at the last level of Sokoban, it is a bag of holding.

If you found a bag in a bones pile, it may well be a bag of holding, and has 80% chance of being cursed. When you open a bag of holding, each item has 1/13 chance of disappearing. You may want to uncurse the bag (wand of cancellation, holy water, scroll of remove curse) before looting it.


Each lamp is either a magic lamp or an oil lamp. A newly generated lamp has 1/4 chance of being magic. Magic lamp costs 50, and oil lamp costs 10, so you can use price identification.

If a lamp "flickers", "flickers considerably", "seems about to go out", or "has gone out", or "has no oil", it is an oil lamp.

If an unknown lamp is blessed, and in case it is magic, you want to use it for a wish immediately, just try to rub it (don't forget to snuff it before) until you see a djinnie. If you rubbed it 20 times, and each time you got the message "Nothing happens", you have less than 1/320 (about 1 in 3.5 billion) chance it is a magic lamp.


Just apply it. If you produce a "high whistling sound" or a "shrill whistling sound", it is a tin whistle. If you produce a "strange whistling sound", a "normal whistling sound", or a "high-pitched humming noise", it is a magic whistle.

However, if you found it in bone piles, it is probably cursed. Cursed magic whistle has a 50% chance of producing a high-pitched humming noise, in which case it may wake up nearby monsters, so use with caution. Newly generated whistles are always uncursed.

Price identification doesn't work for whistles, as both cost 10.

From randomly generated whistles, 3/13 are magic.


A horn is either a fire horn (5/11 chance), a frost horn, a tooled horn, or a horn of plenty (2/11 chance each).

Tooled horn costs 18, other horns cost 50, so you can use price identification to separate tooled horns from others.

You can identify a horn by applying it.

  • If it produces food or water, it is a horn of plenty.
  • If it asks "Improvise?", it is a tooled horn. You may play a tune, or improvise. In the latter case, you will wake up and scare nearby monsters.
  • If it asks for direction, it is either a fire horn or a frost horn. Give a direction to determine which one is it. Unless you have reflection, stand at a big corridor or one end of a big room to not hurt yourself. Also be careful not to hurt your pets or peaceful monsters.
  • Note that uncharged fire or frost horn would behave as a tooled horn.


It is either a magic flute or a wooden flute. 1/3 of randomly generated flutes are magic.

Magic flute costs 36, wooden flute costs 12, so price identification works.

When played, with wooden flute you either "trill" or "toot", and with magic flute you "produce soft music".

Uncharged magic flute behaves as a wooden flute.


It is either a magic harp or a wooden harp. 1/3 of randomly generated harps are magic.

Both cost 50, so price identification does not work.

When played, wooden harp priduces "lilting melody" or "twangs", while magic harp with charges "produce very attractive music".

Uncharged magic harp behaves as a wooden harp.


It is either a drum of earthquake or a leather drum. 1/3 of randomly generated drums are drums of earthquake.

Both cost 25, so price identification does not work.

When applied, a leather drum would "beat a deafening row!", awake and scare nearby monsters. A drum of earthquake would "produce a heavy, thunderous rolling!", awake and possibly scare all monsters on the level, and create pits around and possibly under you.

Uncharged drum of earthquake behaves as a leather drum.

While your can identify a drum by applying it, you may not want to do it, as the effects of the drum of earthquake are rather strong.


There are two kinds of these, a wax candle and a tallow candle. The only differences between wax and tallow candles are their lifespans, value, and that eating tallow candles breaks vegetarian conduct, so you probably don't need to identify a candle. If you still want to, use price identification. Tallow candle costs 10, and wax candle costs 20.

Tallow candles are much more common. 4/5 of all randomly generated candles, or stacks of candles, are tallow.

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.