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Can You Take A Pocket Knife On A Plane?

Last Updated: June 15th, 2022

Let’s face it. It’s a scary world out there. It’s definitely not surprising if you want to keep something on you to ensure that extra safety. But unfortunately, it works both ways. It’s even harder to grasp someone’s true intentions when it’s a matter of international security.

No matter how minimal the threat may seem, authorities need to stay on alert at all times. And that brings about loads of restrictions if you’re getting on a flight. So, what do you think? Can you take a pocket knife on a plane?

Well, let’s find out. We’ll also inform you of the casualties of bringing knives on the plane.

Can You Take A Pocket Knife On A Plane?

In short, yes. But also, no. Here’s the thing. Airlines won’t let you carry anything that may cause potential harm to any of the passengers on the flight. And surely you understand their side as well after watching all those flight hijacking movies, right?

Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating the fact a little bit. But you cannot really blame them for taking the proper precautions. After all, it’s hard to pick up someone’s intentions even after spending your whole life with them.

Thus, it’s just easier to ban the whole thing altogether. You don’t have to answer to airport security as well every step of the way. Plus, why would you even need a pocket knife when you’re practically thousands of miles up the surface? It’s just not worth the hassle.

However, as airport locations change, so do the regulations. Many underprivileged countries still lack proper security measures. So you could probably sneak in a pocket knife without raising any suspicions. But if you do get caught, things can turn real ugly real soon.

And here’s why. Once you get under the radar, all your activities will suddenly seem much more suspicious than usual, even if you’re looking at someone weird for no reason.

Airport security can revoke your flight permit as well if they decide to do so. And trust us, that’s never good news.

Anyway, enough of the horror stories. Let’s bring you up to the speed about the more elite customs and regulations. TSA rules are currently one of the prominent ones with a specific ban against knives.

Thus, if such rules fall under your destined jurisdiction, you can get into serious trouble for carrying knives. But some do say that it’s okay if it’s just plain and blunt butter knives. That way, airport security won’t see them as potentially dangerous weaponry.

Even then, you’ll possibly face a side-eye from airport security for bringing one on board. Ever since 2013, TSA has been super strict with all its regulations.

Some of the other countries, however, are a little more lenient. Such as, in Canada, you can bring knives less than 6 cm in size. But that doesn’t include sharper objects like razor blades or utility knives. Although, you can have a swiss knife on you if you want to.

Similar regulations also take effect in European and UK airports. But here’s the catch. Not all countries follow the same rulebook. So, what if you intend to land in an airport where TSA rules apply? Any knives, even small swiss knives, aren’t allowed unless it’s in the baggage.

To sum up, read about the specific regulations on both destinations before you get onboard. With or without TSA, here’s a brief overview of the knives that you cannot keep on you at all.

  • Folding Knives
  • Automated Knives
  • Chef’s Knives
  • Kitchen Knives
  • Flick Knives
  • Ballistic Knives
  • Cleaver
  • Santoku

And so many more. Basically, as long as it’s not something you can use to intentionally or unintentionally stab people. You get the idea.

As for swiss knives, we’d recommend laying off that too for the time being. As we have indicated multiple times already, it’s just not worth all the hassle.

Can You Bring A Knife On A Plane In Checked Baggage?

Yes! You can definitely bring a knife on a plane as long as you include it in the checked baggage. And it’s pretty much a universal regulation at this point that all airports follow.

Therefore, unlike the ‘can you take a pocket knife on a plane?’ debate, this one’s got no such uncertainty at all. Plus, it’s much more ergonomically sound to bring the knives via checked baggage anyway.

You’ll need to spend only about 20-30 bucks to register the checked baggage at the airport. Then you won’t have to worry about potentially losing it too. It’s much easier to ship everything via checked baggage rather than bringing carry-ons on board with you.

Not to mention, it’ll also save you some energy since you don’t have to explain your situation to the authority. Because if you have any concealed knives on you, it can lead to a rigorous questioning session. And that just drains out so much willpower while traveling.

All in all, if you need to bring knives, do it via checked baggage. Maybe you’re a world-renowned chef who just needs a particular set of knives. Or maybe it’s just a lucky charm for you. We get it.

Whatever the reason, ship them off via checked baggage instead of carrying them personally. And make sure to cover them up fully while packing. Using foam pads is highly recommended as well. You don’t want anyone to get hurt if they decide to check the baggage.

As for declaring, there are no such obligations. That only applies to obvious firearm weapons. If your knives are properly wrapped and packed, you shouldn’t have to declare them out separately. Unless some airport personnel specifically asks you to, of course.

Related: Is It Illegal To Have A Knife In Your Car?

What Could Happen If You Get Caught With A Pocket Knife?

You’ll most likely not get arrested as long as the list of offenses is limited to carrying knives only. It’s not been that long since TSA decided to ban all sorts of knives on board. So, people still sometimes end up being ignorant about this.

And most often than not, it’s nothing more than an inconvenience for the airport authority. Hence, don’t worry. It’s not something that will go up on your records.

You’ll, however, need to say goodbye to the pocket knives if you wish to go on the plane. Otherwise, you’ll never get past the security checkpoint. Here’s a list of all the things you can do to avoid that situation.

  • Simply leave it behind or let TSA confiscate it.
  • If you have some time, go back and pack the knife in with your luggage, provided they haven’t gone through yet.
  • If you have any friends or family who only came to see you off, give it to them for safekeeping.
  • Multiple airports have mailing options nowadays. You can check in with them to see if they can mail your precious knife along.


So, can you take a pocket knife on a plane or not? Well, as it turns out, you can indeed, provided the knife itself has no more stature than a simple butter knife.

The point is – you cannot bring something on the plane that can potentially injure the passengers. And that passenger list includes you as well. Hence, we’d highly recommend just avoiding the drama altogether. After all, repercussions never seem to come alone.

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Steve Thampson

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