What Not to Do When Traveling with a Pocket Knife: How to Fly Safely

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As pocket knife owners, we make it a priority to take our knife with us where ever we go. However, our pocket knives cannot go everywhere we go. We carry a pocket knife with us because it’s a tool, and we use it as such.

However many people have wrongly used pocket knives as weapons against other people. This has resulted in many knife regulations.

You cannot bring a pocket knife on an airplane. Ever since the horrific tragedy of 9/11 pocket knives, and other objects similar to them, have been banned from being brought onto an airplane.

Even though pocket knives have been banned from being physically brought onto a plane, there are ways to travel with them.

Please note that the ban from caring a small pocket knife on a plane was never lifted in 2013. The TSA abandoned this plan. Continue reading for more info on this.

When traveling with a pocket knife, you can:

  1. Mail the knife. (More info on this later. Don’t use the USPS!)
  2. Pack the knife in your checked in luggage. (Great if you’re out of the country travel.)

Location of Travel

The location of where you will be traveling is extremely important to consider. If you’re just traveling from one state to another, then you should check the knife laws in the state you’ll be traveling to. This is very important because each state has different knife laws.

Traveling out of the country

When traveling out of the country, it is absolutely imperative that you check with the country’s laws that you will be traveling to. This is definitely more important than traveling from state to state.

When traveling out of the country with a knife, you may have trouble going through customs, although it is possible. To combat this issue, when traveling out of the country it is recommended that if you absolutely cannot go without a knife while on your trip, purchase a knife when you’re out of the country. When you’re ready to travel back to the states, you can either leave the knife behind or send it in the mail.

Traveling from out of the country into the US

When traveling from out of the country into the US, it’s very important that you review the US knife laws, and even more specifically the state you’ll be sending it to. You don’t want to make the mistake of sending an illegal knife into the US by accident!

From now on in this article, all information will be based on traveling within the United States.

Does the Type of Knife Matter

The type of knife you’re traveling with is very, very important. Some knives that are legal in some states while they’re illegal in others.

When checking a knife into your luggage, be sure to consider the following.

Here’s a list of knives that are relatively safe to pack in your checked luggage:

  • Knives with a blade of fewer than three inches (Some can still be illegal);
  • Pocket knives;
  • Kitchen knives;
  • Tool sets with blades in them;
  • Most decorative knives with blunt blades;
  • Knives that are classified as tools;

Here are the types that you should avoid, as these knives are banned in some states:

  • Misleading knives resembling different objects, like a pen or a lighter;
  • Knives with a concealed blade;
  • Butterfly knives;
  • Flick knives, where the blade opens with a press of a button;
  • Throwing stars, death stars;
  • Push daggers;
  • Bowie knives;

Packing a Knife in Your Checked in Luggage

When packing you’re packing a knife in your carry on luggage, you’ll want to follow a few best practices and common sense.

How to Pack a Knife

When packing a knife in your checked in luggage, the TSA asks for you to do the following:

“Any sharp objects in checked bags should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.”


Alert the TSA Agents that You Have a Packed Knife

Even though you’ll be packing your knife in your checked in luggage, you’ll want to alert the TSA agents that there is, in fact, a knife in your luggage. The reason you should do this is TSA agents can be a little mixed up on the what’s allowed and what’s not allowed on checked in luggage.

This is just a safe practice to ensure you don’t get interrogated on why you’re carrying a knife with you. It also keeps you safe in case an agent accidentally cuts themselves in the event that they have to go through your luggage for security reasons.

Mailing a Knife

If you don’t want the hassle of taking a knife with you in your checked in luggage, the next best way to transport your knife is via mail. Although you are mailing the knife, make sure the knife is legal in the state you’re traveling to.

Mailing a Knife Through the USPS

It’s not recommended that you send your knife through USPS. The USPS doesn’t say you are not allowed to send a knife, however, many people who have used the USPS to ship their knives have reported that they tend to lose a lot of the packages that contain knives. Also, FedEx and the UPS are recommended because you are able to track the package.

Mailing a Knife Through the Fedex or UPS

When mailing a knife through the FedEx or the UPS, make sure you disclose the contents inside. FedEx gives a detailed inventory on an individual basis. The type of shipment must be known before the shipping charges can be determined.

When packing your knife, be sure to pack it securing and safely. Most often times, bubble wrap and packing peanuts will do the job just fine.

There you have it! Traveling with a knife is not overly complicated, there are just specific rules to follow.

I hope this article has helped you! If it has, be sure to share to it so it can help someone else!

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