If you’re diving into the world of Team Fortress 2 (TF2), you need to get familiar with the Metal economy, especially Refined Metal. Widely used as a trading currency and crafting ingredient, understanding Refined Metal’s role will help enhance your in-game experience and let you make the best deals, always. Here is our quick guide for all you need to know about refined metal.

What is Refined Metal in Team Fortress 2?

Team Fortress 2 features an intricate trading system, where items such as weapons, hats, and miscellaneous objects can be exchanged among players. Refined Metal or ‘Ref’ plays a crucial role in this barter trade. It can be used to upgrade weapons or craft new items, while its steady value makes it an ideal trading currency. Before players were able to purchase items on the Steam community marketplace, refined metal was the main currency of TF2 trading. When players wanted to trade TF2 items, instead of dollars they would ascertain the prices by using refined metal.

Creating Refined Metal

First things first, how do you get Refined Metal? Refined metal can be obtained by crafting and combining pieces of lower-quality metals. Three reclaimed metals make one Refined Metal, while one reclaimed metal is obtained by combining three scrap metals. So, in essence, you need nine scrap metals to create one Refined Metal. A single scrap metal piece can be obtained by scrapping two items, which means that to craft a single ref you’ll need to sacrifice a total of 18 items from your TF2 inventory.

Trading with Refined Metal

Being a common currency in the TF2 economy, Refined Metal can help you acquire the items you need to bolster your performance and look in the game. If you want to trade with Refined Metal, you should first look up the prices for each of your items online. Although now most players choose to simply get their items from Steam community market, or third-party markets, some gamers still opt to buy TF2 items with refined metal.

Using Refined Metal in Weapon Crafting

Refined Metal is an integral component for crafting weapons. Each weapon recipe requires a specific amount of metal. Before using your hard-earned metal, be sure to check if crafting is the best option. Generally speaking, although you can use your Refined Metal to craft weapons and other TF2 items, it’s not really the most efficient method, and many players will tell you that you’re simply wasting resources this way. In most cases, it’s better to hold on to your Refined Metal and keep it for trading purposes.

Earning Real Money from Refined Metal

As surprising as it may sound, you can actually convert your in-game Refined Metal into real-world money. You can do so by trading the Refined Metal with players for items that are eligible to be sold on the Steam Community Marketplace. Here, you can sell them for Steam Wallet funds, which can be used to buy games or items on Steam.

Beware of Scammers

Despite Valve’s efforts, some players use underhanded techniques to scam others out of their hard-earned game items. Always double-check all trade deals involving Refined Metal to ensure you’re getting what you bargained for. It’s easy to get scammed out of your ref when you want to sell TF2 items quickly, so always take your time and pay close attention.


In Team Fortress 2, Refined Metal acts as both an ingredient for crafting and a trading tool. By effectively using Refined Metal, you can get access to a wealth of in-game items and even potentially earn real-world money. Just remember to always be cautious in your trading ventures to avoid scams, and make every piece of Refined Metal count!

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