Can You Bring Can Openers on Planes?

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Tin can opener on white background
Source: Flickr

Carry-on bags

Yes, with conditions

Checked luggage


Rules for Flights in the USA

Can openers that can’t be used as weapons are generally allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on flights in the United States by the TSA. However, can openers like the level type opener and the P-38 might be confiscated when traveling in carry-on baggage because they have a sharp edge and are considered dangerous objects. Although their blade is under 6 centimeters / 2.36 inches the security agent always has the final call on it.

It’s advised to pack can openers with a sharp, exposed edge as well as Swiss Army Knife-type can openers in checked baggage. If the can opener has a sharp edge and it’s packed in checked luggage, the sharp edge must be protected with some kind of cover to protect the security agents from accidental injuries while performing random searches.

Rules for Flights in Other Countries

The United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and China

On flights within the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and China, can openers aren’t specifically mentioned in the allowed (and prohibited) list of items. Generally, though, the rules are very similar to the US – they’re allowed without restrictions in checked luggage, and only can openers that can’t be used as weapons are allowed in hand luggage.


Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.

Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring can openers onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Can Openers on Planes

Can I bring a handheld can opener with a sharp edge on a plane?

Handheld can openers are allowed on a plane in the United States. When traveling in a carry-on, the type of can opener shouldn’t have sharp edges or ends like the P-38, or it will get confiscated. Side can openers, key chain openers, and butterfly can openers are usually considered safe and allowed through security, but the security agent has the final call. Pack other can openers in your checked baggage.

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Can I bring a Swiss Army Knife with a built-in can opener on a plane?

Swiss army knives are allowed on planes in the United States with certain restrictions. If you’re traveling with a swiss army knife you must pack it in your checked baggage exclusively. If you need some of its functions on the cabin, like for opening a bottle, pack instead a TSA-approved multitool.

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Can I bring electric can openers on a plane?

Theoretically, you can bring electric can openers on a plane in the United States. Although allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, overall is safer to pack in a carry-on to avoid possible damage when traveling in cargo baggage.

Do I need to take out can openers when going through security?

Overall, you don’t have to take can openers outside your bag when going through security at airports in the United States. TSA only asks for computers, tablets, game consoles, and liquids to be removed from your bag during the security inspection.

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Is canned food allowed on planes?

Canned food is permitted in carry-on and checked baggage on planes in the United States. Yet, TSA recommends packing food in checked baggage, as canned food must also comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule and cans with excess liquid might get confiscated at the airport.

Can I eat canned food during the flight?

Generally, you can eat canned food during a flight in the United States. Still, some airlines might have restrictions if the food’s smell is strong or if it’s likely to cause an inconvenience to you and other passengers.

Find Out the Packing Rules for Similar Items

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