Smithing is a skill involving manufacturing metallic items out of bars after smelting their ores, which are found mainly via Mining or from minor sources like Thieving. This skill is most likely why you knew that Bronze is an alloy of Copper and Tin from when you were a kid.
Smelting ores into bars is done via furnaces found around the world, or the Superheat Item spell (with 43 Magic along with Nature runes and a Fire staff). Smithing the bars into various items is then done at any anvil around the world by Right-Click -> Using the bar on the anvil, with a hammer in the inventory.
Among other things, benefits to training Smithing include:
- Being able to put together the two half pieces of the coveted Dragon Square Shield at level 60
- Being able to combine a Draconic Visage and Anti-Dragon Shield into the elusive Dragonfire Shield at level 90, which is arguably the best piece of defensive/dragon-slaying gear in the game
Note that before you even consider the training section guide, see the "What to do with your materials" section of the Mining guide's conclusion if you've leveled up that skill first. You may amass several hundred thousand experience points in Smithing which allows you to use the last section of this guide to train to 99.
- The closest furnace to a bank is one in Port Phasmatys. The Al-Kharid furnace is second-closest if you haven't completed Priest in Peril or have 64 Agility with 10 Ectotokens/completed Ghosts Ahoy to get into the Port.
- The closest anvil to a bank is in western Varrock, there's a shack with two anvils in it just a few steps south of the bank. The anvils on Pest Control island are quite close to the bank as well, but one square further than the west Varrock spot.
- Smithing is almost never profitable unless you are willing to mine your own ores, and even then the ores tend to fetch a higher price than the manufactured items - meaning for profitability, Mining is what's better to focus on.
- Smithed items most commonly sold to other players are Ranged ammunition, specifically bolts Mithril and up or Cannonballs made from Steel.
Remember that all items you can smith give the same amount of experience per bar - smithing a platebody which requires 5 bars grants the same experience as smithing 5 axes requiring 1 bar each, and so on.
Levels 1 to 37 : Questing
Complete The Knights Sword to jump straight to level 37. You will need to purchase two Iron bars from another player to so, otherwise smelt 173 Bronze bars (requires 173 Copper+Tin ores each) to reach level 15 for Iron.
You can also kill Iron Dragons/Dwarves/Thugs for Iron bars instead, if you like:
Iron Dragons drop 5 of them guaranteed if you're able to kill them, while Dwarves and Thugs are much easier to kill and have an uncommon chance of a single Iron bar drop on every kill.
Levels 37 to 40 : Iron/Bronze Smithing+Smelting
After completing The Knight's Sword, 8,592.75 experience is needed to reach level 40. A few paths can be taken from here:
If you can acquire 153 Iron bars without having to smelt any ore, then simply smithing those into any items of your choice (Knives are recommended) is exactly enough to reach level 40.
If you're an Ironman/would rather mine your own ores to smelt, 102 Iron ore (assuming a 100% success rate with Rings of Forging/Superheat Item) smelted and smithed is just enough to reach level 40.
If you smelted 173 Bronze bars beforehand, smithing all of those into any items of your choice (Knives are recommended) will result in 4,865.625 experience - meaning you have another 3,727.125 to go.
If you can acquire 66 Iron bars without having to smelt any ore, then simply smithing those into any items of your choice (Knives are recommended) is exactly enough to reach level 40.
Smelting 45 Iron ore, and then smithing those bars is what you need to reach level 40.
Levels 40 to 53/68/99 : Questing + Gold Ore
The Family Crest quest is essential to complete in order to make training more efficient, as the Goldsmithing gauntlets choice at the end of the quest considerably boost the exp gained from smelting Gold ore - see the smelting chart further up for more information.
With the Goldsmithing gauntlets, smelting approximately 102,786 Gold ore is needed to reach 99 Smithing!
It is preferable to start gathering Gold ore from at least 60 Mining if you're doing it manually. Please see the Mining guide for more information and where to mine Gold.
Instead of mining your gold, you could always refer to the Keldagrim Method down below. While you can possibly start it right at 40 Smithing, 53 or 68 are preferred to smith certain Mithril items as you go - these are explained in the next section.
If you'd like to go to level 53 from 40, then approximately 778 Gold ore is needed.
If you'd like to go to level 68 from 40, then approximately 4,491 Gold ore is needed.
Levels 53/68 to 99 : The Keldagrim Method
For this you will need a Fire Staff, a large amount of cash, copious amounts of Nature runes, and 43 Magic for the Superheat spell. Also requires at least 40 Smithing for Gold, or 53 Smithing for Mithril Bolts/68 for Mithril Platebodies.
With completion of The Giant Dwarf, one may enter the city of Keldagrim and go into the Blast Furnace minigame area (the minigame itself is not available yet) to buy ores from Ordan the Ore Seller down the stairs there.
Ordan stocks up to 100 of a lot of ores; most notably iron, gold, mithril, and coal.
Right next to Ordan is also a collection of anvils, so if you bring a hammer with you along with stacks of Nats and money, you can buy a few ores, Superheat them, smith them, and repeat.
The method involves depleting the Gold ore stock by purchasing an inventory-full at a time, Superheating all of them and dropping the bars, and then purchasing Mithril ores and Coal until the Gold stocks are full again. You should have just enough inventory space to Buy-5 Mith ores and then to Buy-10 twice for Coal, which fills up the rest of your inventory to quickly and easily Superheat 5 Mithril bars at a time.
You can either turn these Mithril bars into platebodies (68 Smithing required), or unfinished bolts (53 Smithing required):
- The unf. bolts are stackable, which allows you to keep your inventory from filling up to prolong your trip until you run out of cash/nats, BUT the inventory space taken up from the stack means you won't be able to do the easy Buy-5 Mith/Buy-10x2 Coal method above. Minor, but still worth mentioning.
- The platebodies alch for 3,120 coins, which means only a minor loss if the ores are at/near full stock (as prices become steeper as the supplies dwindle). Obviously, alching the product frees up inventory space to prolong your trip until you run out of cash/nats, and then you can go bank to get more.
- The platebodies are smithed at a faster rate than the bolts are (5 bars at a time compared to 1 at a time), resulting in a slightly better experience rate, but this may be detrimental as you might make the Gold AND Mithril/Coal stocks run out if you go too fast.
- Having a large stack of feathers banked for the bolts, or selling the bolts to other players, will result in a large amount of Fletching experience/cash. You could even bring a stack of feathers to complete the bolts as you smith - simply equip the bolts into your ammo slot as they're completed so you don't waste an inventory space taken up by the feathers.
A Dwarven miner comes in every ~30 seconds or so to deliver a random piece of stock in random quantities (from ~10-30), this may boost your experience rates if you get lucky and he refills the gold/etc faster than the normal waiting time for shops to restock things.
You might even be able to buy out all the Mithril, Coal and Gold if you're fast enough, in which case move on to Superheating the Iron ore instead until the rest restock or simply wait/go do something else. You can apply the same logic with what to make as Mithril here, except with knives instead of bolts.
Minimum prices for the ores are as follows (at the max stock of 100):
- Mithril: 243
- Coal: 67
- Gold: 225
Maximum prices for the ores are as follows (at the min stock of 1):
- Mithril: Unknown
- Coal: 199
- Gold: 670
Advantages of the Keldagrim method:
- Fastest method to 99 Smithing without a doubt
- Cheaper over buying ores from other players
Disadvantages of the Keldagrim method:
- Expensive over manually Mining Gold ore yourself, expect to spend at least ~20M (not even counting the cost of Nats/Pess to make Nats)
- Very click-intensive, you'll be dropping quite a lot of inventories of Gold bars after manually superheating Gold ores too
- Ore costs aside, less profitable than manually mining as you won't be banking the bars
- Keldagrim itself is quite far from any teleport locations, meaning repeated trips back and forth from doing things like Farming runs will be quite tedious
With the most optimal RNG of the Dwarf replenishing stock and at max clicking efficiency, the Keldagrim Method averages out to about 150,000 experience per hour.
Due to the cost of the Keldagrim Method, however, the average person is recommended (and will most likely be forced) to split between Mining their gold and buying the ore. Due to the variance of restocking mithril/gold, gauging the exact amount to buy of each would be inaccurate.
In conclusion, Smithing might just be the most unpopular skill in the game:
- It is arguably the slowest and most expensive to train
- It hardly results in breaking even on costs, much less gaining actual profits
The only tangible benefit of leveling it up high are bragging rights, but compared to most of the other difficult skills, Smithing is even moreso deserving of that honor. The end-goal of Runescape is to max out every skill, however, so if that's what you're here for: so be it.