Deciding on whether you want to apply smite or sharpness to your sword all depends on what your main uses are going to be. Because they are mutually exclusive this means that without commands you cannot apply both to the same weapon in vanilla Minecraft.
So which one should you choose?
Well, Smite deals extra damage to skeletons, zombies, withers, wither skeletons, zombie pigmen, skeleton horses, strays, husks, phantoms, and drowned.
Whereas Sharpness deals added damage to anything you hit with your sword.
Whether you’re playing the java or bedrock edition of Minecraft. Smite adds 2.5 damage for every level.
Smite l: Adds 2.5 extra damage.
Smite ll: Adds 5 extra damage.
Smite lll: Adds 7.5 extra damage.
Smite IV: Adds 10 extra damage.
Smite V: Adds 12.5 extra damage.
So if you’re main uses for the sword are going to be killing the majority of hostile mobs from the list below, then smite would be the better solution and the best enchant to apply over sharpness.
Hostile Mob list that Smite works on:
Skeletons, zombies, withers, wither skeletons, zombie pigmen, skeleton horses, strays, husks, phantoms, and drowned.
If you can get Smite 5 on a diamond sword then you’ll be able to one hit both zombies and skeletons as long as they are not wearing any armor pieces.
On the bedrock edition of Minecraft. Sharpness adds 1.25 extra damage for every level. Whereas on the java edition the first level adds 1 extra damage and any further levels increase the damage by 0.5.
Sharpness l: Adds 1.25 extra damage.
Sharpness ll: Adds 2.5 extra damage.
Sharpness lll: Adds 3.75 extra damage.
Sharpness lV: Adds 5 extra damage.
Sharpness V: Adds 6.25 extra damage.
Sharpness l: Adds 1 extra damage.
Sharpness ll: Adds 1.5 extra damage.
Sharpness lll: Adds 2 extra damage.
Sharpness lV: Adds 2.5 extra damage.
Sharpness V: Adds 3 extra damage.
So as you can see if you are going to be killing hostile mobs then sharpness wouldn’t be as beneficial as having Smite. This is why you’ll commonly get sharpness on most of your sword enchantments because smite is a rare enchant because of the extra damage it does to specific mobs.
Which one to choose?
It’s simple if you are going to primarily use your sword to kill hostile mobs then opting for the smite enchant would deal far more damage and kill the mobs a lot quicker.
If you’re going to be using the sword to kill players in the game then you should probably look at getting sharpness.
But the majority of people will be playing a standard survival mode meaning that you’ll benefit from smite more than sharpness.
You can only get Sharpness 5 on a diamond and golden swords through the enchant table. So if you want Sharpness 5 on an iron sword you’re going to have to get a sharpness 5 book from the enchant table and use an anvil to apply.
The easiest way to get level 5 enchants?
Getting Sharpness 5 or Smite 5 from the enchant table requires a fair bit of look. Unless you’ve got unlimited levels to keep wasting trying to get the highest level. You’re best bet is to use villagers to get the enchant. A librarian has the chance of getting the level 5 version of the enchants towards the end of his trade. It means you’ll have to trade and breed villagers quite a bit.
But trading with villagers means you’re going to build up a good supply of emeralds which you’ll need because they don’t sell Sharpness or Smite 5 for cheap.
Mutually exclusive enchants
As we’ve mentioned sharpness and smite are what is known as mutually exclusive enchants meaning that they cannot be applied together on the same sword without commands being used.
Other enchants that are mutually exclusive to sharpness and smite is Bane of Arthropods. Bane is used to dealing extra damage to spiders.
Hopefully, you now know which enchant you should apply to your next diamond sword. Although it can be frustrating that you cannot apply both sharpness and smite to the same weapon.
Most survival Minecraft players would benefit more from smite than sharpness in the long run. But that’s why smite is rarer to get.