Although at first glance you might think that sharp objects on planes are a clear no-go, actually, some of them are allowed.
For instance, you can bring particular types of scissors, clippers, nail files, and other sharp beauty tools. Most of the times, though, they have strict restrictions for the length and type, which is why you should read this article.
Here we’ll explain all the TSA (Transport Security Administration) rules for sharp common beauty tools on airplanes. We’ll find out which tools are allowed, which types are banned, where can you pack them, and all the additional restrictions you need to know about.
Can You Bring Scissors on a Plane?
According to the TSA, you’re allowed to bring specific types of scissors in hand luggage, and all types in checked luggage. Even though most sharp objects are prohibited from hand luggage, scissors with a blade length (from the pivot point to the end) of less than 4 inches (10 cm) are allowed, regardless if they have pointy ends or not.
If you’d rather pack your scissors in checked luggage, you should make sure that they’re packed safely. The blades have to be concealed so that the security agents don’t get injured while performing spontaneous searches. Wrapping them in a cloth or a bag should be enough.
In fact, this rule doesn’t apply only to scissors – any sharp object packed in checked luggage should be safely concealed. Otherwise, if the security agent accidentally gets injured, you could get sued.
However, you should remember that TSA only regulates airlines that are operating within the U.S. In other countries, the rules might be slightly different. For instance, in Europe, EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) only allows scissors with blade length below 2.3 inches (6 cm). Other countries and regulators might ban scissors entirely, so if you’re flying internationally, bring cheap ones, and always let the security agents know you’re carrying scissors in your hand luggage.
Which Scissors Are Airplane-Safe?
Whenever getting scissors for your travels, try to find ones that are labeled “TSA-approved” or “Travel scissors.” Also, make sure that the length of the blade is really short, and that the ends are rounded, not pointy.
Usually, the blade on these will be 4 inches or less, and they’ll be foldable, so they take up less space. Don’t get any expensive ones though, because each security agent is allowed to act on their own behalf, so sometimes they might be confiscated even if the TSA says they’re legal.
If you’re looking for good travel scissors, the Fiskars Foldable Travel Scissors are a solid choice, because they’re cheap and TSA-compliant.
What About Other Sharp Beauty Tools?
Can You Bring Nail Clippers on a Plane?
Many people don’t know this, but actually, all nail clippers are allowed on planes. According to the TSA, nail clippers are allowed in checked luggage and hand luggage. When packed in checked luggage, you should make sure that the sharp parts are securely packed (wrapped in cloth or in a plastic bag,) so that the security agents don’t get injured when performing an inspection.
Both types of nail clippers are allowed – the ones that look like scissors with short blades, and the smaller ones that you ‘squeeze together’ to bring both blades together.
Can You Bring Nail Files on Planes?
According to the TSA, nail files (plastic and metal) are allowed both in checked luggage and hand luggage. Even if the end part is sharp and made out of metal, they’re still allowed. When packed inside checked luggage, nail files should be properly secured so that the security agents don’t get injured.
Can You Bring Nail Pushers on Planes?
Although nail pushers aren’t specifically mentioned on TSA’s website, we’d say that they’re generally allowed on planes. If nail files, knitting needles, and a few other sharp objects are allowed, we don’t see any issues with nail pushers. Just make sure that they aren’t too large, and preferably choose ones without pointy ends.
That said, each security inspector can confiscate any items they think are dangerous, regardless of what the TSA says. So if your nail pushers are too large or sharp, they might be confiscated.
Can You Bring Tweezers on Planes?
According to the TSA, tweezers are allowed in hand baggage and checked luggage. No specific limitations are set for the size, so you can bring any tweezers you like. That said, you should properly secure them when packed inside checked luggage so that the security agents don’t get accidentally injured.
Can You Bring a Pocket Knife (Swiss Army Knife) on a Plane?
Pocket knives, multitools with knives, and swiss army knives are banned from hand luggage. In fact, only blunt butter knives and plastic knives are allowed in hand luggage.
Should You Pack Sharp Objects in Checked Baggage or Hand Luggage?
Whenever you’re traveling with checked luggage, we’d recommend packing all the sharp items inside checked luggage instead of your carry-on. Although some sharp objects are allowed in hand luggage, the rules differ between airline regulators and airlines. So while in the U.S. scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed in hand luggage, in other countries they could be banned from hand luggage.
As mentioned earlier, when packing sharp objects inside checked luggage, make sure to secure them properly. Here are a few ideas on how you could do that:
- Put sharp objects in lockable wooden boxes or plastic containers.
- Wrap sharp objects in bubble wrap.
- Put the sharp blade between two cardboard pieces and tape them together.
- Put your sharp objects inside a sock, and put inside a bag with the following text: “Attention, sharp objects inside.”
And if you choose to place sharp objects in hand luggage, double-check that they’re allowed, and always when going through the security, let the security inspectors know that you have sharp objects inside, like scissors, tweezers, or nail clippers. You don’t have to pack them as safely as in checked luggage because only you yourself will be removing them, not security agents.
When traveling with sharp beauty tools, you should be extra careful with what you bring.
Scissors below 4 inches, nail clippers, tweezers, and nail files are all allowed in your hand luggage within the U.S. but might be banned in other countries if you’re traveling internationally. So always bring only cheap tools that you wouldn’t be too sad to lose. Also, it’s a good idea to let the security agents know that you have a sharp tool in your hand luggage before passing your bag through the x-ray machine.
But if you’re traveling with checked luggage, it’s best to pack your sharp objects there and securely wrap them in some kind of cloth, so that the security agents don’t get injured when doing manual inspections. Otherwise, you could get sued.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
We get questions about bringing stuff on planes all the time. So we’ve written a lot of other guides, where we answer the most commonly asked questions.
You can check them out over here:
- What Can You Take on a Plane in Checked Luggage?
- Can You Bring Laptops on Planes?
- Can You Bring Toothpaste on Planes?
- Can You Bring Umbrellas on Planes?
- Can You Bring Wine on Planes?
- Can You Bring Mini Liquor Bottles on Planes?
- Can You Bring Hairdryers, Curling Irons, and Hair Straighteners on Planes?
- Can You Bring Razors on Planes?
- Can You Bring Cologne on Planes?
- Can You Bring Food on Planes?
- Can You Bring Lighters on Planes?
- Can You Bring Plants on Planes?
- Can You Bring Knives on Planes?