Taking a multi-tool on a plane is a great way to stay prepared for any situation on the road, but it’s important to know the rules before packing it in your carry-on or checked luggage. While multi-tools are usually small enough to carry on, there are certain restrictions that must be followed in order to be allowed on board. It’s also important to understand the different types of multi-tools and what they are used for. Knowing what to expect and what to bring can make flying with a multi-tool a stress-free experience. By researching and preparing ahead of time, you can ensure that your multi-tool is allowed on the plane and that you’ll have it when you need it.
What is a Multi-Tool?
A multi-tool is a compact, portable tool that combines several different tools into one unit. Most commonly, multi-tools include a knife, pliers, a screwdriver, and sometimes a few other tools like a saw, scissors, and/or a bottle opener. These tools are typically stored in a folding body that makes them easy to carry and use in just about any situation. Multi-tools are great for both general and emergency use, making them a must-have item for many people. While multi-tools come in many different shapes, sizes, and functions, they can be broken down into two categories: non-folding and folding. Non-folding multi-tools are typically larger and more robust, while folding multi-tools are smaller and can typically fit in a pocket.
Types of Multi-Tools
- Fixed-blade – Fixed-blade multi-tools typically include a knife blade and a few other tools. These multi-tools are typically larger and more robust than other types, making them great for survival and emergency situations. The larger size makes them more convenient for tasks such as cutting branches, ropes, and more.
- Folding – Folding multi-tools are smaller and typically include a set of pliers, a knife, and a few other tools. These multi-tools are great for general everyday use, such as fixing a bicycle tire, tightening a loose screw, or cutting an item. Folding multi-tools are also often TSA compliant, making them a great choice for flying.
- Specialty – There are also a few specialty multi-tools available, including fishing, hunting, and medical multi-tools. These multi-tools are designed with specific tools that are better suited for fishing, hunting, or medical use.
Rules for Carrying a Multi-Tool on a Plane
Many people wonder if they can take a multi-tool on a plane, but it all depends on the specific type of multi-tool. Most multi-tools are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, making them easy to bring on a plane. However, you must make sure that the multi-tool is TSA compliant in order to bring it on the plane. There are two ways to tell if a multi-tool is TSA compliant:
- Fixed-blade – If a multi-tool includes a fixed blade, it must be less than 2 inches long when the tool is closed. When the tool is open, the blade must be less than 1 inch long.
- Folding – If a multi-tool is folding, it must be less than 3 inches long when the tools are closed. Folding multi-tools are the most common type of multi-tool, so they are often TSA compliant. Specialty – If a multi-tool is a specialty tool, it must be less than 7 inches long.
How to Pack a Multi-Tool for a Plane
First and foremost, always make sure that the multi-tool is TSA compliant. Folding multi-tools are the most common type of multi-tool, so they are often TSA compliant. Fixed-blade multi-tools that are less than 2 inches long are also TSA compliant. However, specialty multi-tools, especially larger medical multi-tools, may not be TSA compliant. Be sure to read the description of the multi-tool to understand what makes it TSA compliant. Next, make sure the multi-tool is clean and free of dirt and debris. The last thing you want is for it to cause a mess in your bag, so clean it thoroughly before packing it away. You can place the multi-tool in a bag or wrap it in a cloth, but make sure the tool is secure.
Benefits of Taking a Multi-Tool on a Plane
If you’re flying and you see the wing of the airplane catch fire and start to melt in the middle of the sky, you may think, “Of all times for this to happen, why now?” But when that happens, you’ll be glad you took a multi-tool on board with you. While you may not encounter emergencies every day, they can happen at any time, and they’re a great reason to take a multi-tool with you on a plane. Additionally, a multi-tool can be a helpful tool for everyday tasks, including tightening loose screws, breaking down boxes, and more.
Tips for Flying with a Multi-Tool
Always follow the rules for carrying a multi-tool. If the multi-tool is TSA compliant, it should be easy to bring on the plane. However, if the multi-tool is not TSA compliant, it is important to check with the airline to see if it is allowed on the plane. Always check the airline website before you travel to make sure you have all the information you need. Place the multi-tool in a bag or wrap it in cloth so it is not loose in your carry-on or checked luggage. If a TSA agent sees the multi-tool and it is not in a bag or wrapped in cloth, they may confiscate it. Make sure the tools are clean and free of dirt and debris before packing them away.
Alternatives to Taking a Multi-Tool on a Plane
If you don’t want to bring a multi-tool on a plane, there are a few alternatives that are great for flying. If you prefer not to bring a multi-tool on a plane, you can pack screwdrivers, pliers, a knife, or scissors in your carry-on or checked luggage. Another great alternative to a multi-tool is a portable tool kit. You can also use apps such as Wunderlist, Evernote, or Remember the Milk to help you stay on top of your to-do list. If you want to bring a multi-tool on a plane but are worried about it being confiscated, check the airline website before you fly to see if it’s prohibited on the plane. If a multi-tool is prohibited on the plane, you may want to consider bringing different tools in your carry-on or checked luggage.
A multi-tool can be an essential travel essential, but only if you’re allowed to bring one on the plane. First, you must make sure the multi-tool is TSA compliant, and then you can pack it in your carry-on or checked luggage. When you’re at the airport, make sure that you follow all the rules for bringing a multi-tool on a plane. It’s also important to tell your travel companions that you’re bringing a multi-tool, just in case they see it and think you’re trying to bring a knife on the plane. If you don’t want to bring a multi-tool on a plane, there are a few alternatives that are great for flying.