There may come a time when you need to travel with knives. There are lots of reasons why people may do this and if they do, it is important that they do so safely and within any travel regulations that may apply. By doing so, they will increase their safety and avoid breaking the law. Here is an overview of how to travel safely with knives, the options you have for carrying knives, and the regulations that are in place for traveling within, into, or out of the United States.
Why Would You Travel with Knives?
There are a surprisingly large number of reasons why people would want or need to travel with knives and these will differ from one person to the next. Just some of the reasons why a person may travel with knives include:
- Work– People who work in professions that use knives, such as chefs or some tradesmen, may need to travel with knives for professional purposes.
- Vacation– If you are enjoying a self-catering holiday, then you may wish to take your own set of knives with you for food preparation while you are away. Similarly, if you are going on a camping trip, you may wish to take knives for both food preparation and for other tasks around camp.
- Leisure and hobbies– You may travel with knives to enjoy leisure activities, such as cooking schools or competitions, outdoors activities, or many other hobbies and activities in your leisure time.
Options for Carrying Knives While Traveling
It is important to pack your knives correctly and safely, regardless of how you are traveling. There are many accessories that you can buy to achieve this. The following are some of the options for safely carrying your knives while traveling.
- Knife roll– Usually canvas or leather, you can lie these flat to pack your knives into the different sized pockets and then roll and secure. A knife will cover the sharp blades and keep the knives together without them touching, These are a compact option that you can put in your luggage and some have carry-handles to carry them separately.
- Knife bag-Similar to a knife roll, these generally have compartments inside the bag to accommodate knives of different sizes. They differ from knife rolls in that they are not as compact and are a separate piece of luggage rather than an item you would pack within your luggage. These are ideal for short day trips when you are traveling for an activity for which you will need knives but very little else.
- Toolbox– If you are traveling by car, then a toolbox is another solution. However, these are too heavy and bulky to take if you are traveling by air.
- Protective sheaths– The upside of these is that most knives sold individually come with protective sheaths, so you won’t have the extra expense. This is a good option if you are only carrying one or two individual knives. If you have a full knife set, a sheath will cover the blade, but they are not a good solution for keeping your knives together.
Things to Consider When Deciding How to Carry Knives While Traveling
When deciding which is your best option when carrying knives to travel, there are many factors you should consider when making your choice. Think about the following:
- Capacity– Think about how many knives you are carrying and the length of the knives.
- Design– There are many different styles and colors available. Which you choose is down to personal preference.
- Materials– Different materials are used for different styles of knife protectors and carriers. It is worth noting that the materials will impact on the price you pay. You should opt for something that is easy to clean and is sturdy enough that the blade will not pierce the material.
- Price– The price of knife carriers varies and depends on the style, the size, and the materials. You do not want to spend more on the knife carrier than you have spent on the contents.
Flight Regulations Relating to Traveling with Knives
Knives are sharp and potentially dangerous tools. Therefore, there are regulations in place regarding traveling by air with knives. These are intended to protect you, anyone else you are traveling with, other passengers, and staff working on your chosen mode of transport. These regulations vary from one country or region to the next, so it is essential that you check regulations before embarking on your journey. The following regulations apply to travel within, into, or out of the United States.
- You cannot take a knife in your hand luggage on board a plane. The exceptions to this rule are round-tipped butter knives and plastic knives.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States will allow people to carry knives in their checked bags.
- You cannot pass through a TSA checkpoint with a pocket knife on your person. You must put it in a checked bag or leave it behind.
- If you have a knife at the checkpoint, it is classed as a prohibited item and not as an unlawful item. You will not get arrested; the officials will simply ask you to leave it behind or put it in a checked bag.
- Those who are traveling out of the United States to another country should check the regulations about traveling with knives at the destination to which they are traveling. These may differ to the regulation in the United States.
There are some occasions when you may need to carry knives with you when you travel. If this is something you are planning, it is essential that you pack your knives safely and securely so that there is no risk of a blade injury to you or to others. Therefore, you should think carefully about how you pack your knives to ensure that the blades and tips are not exposed, and carriers or sheaths are two of the best options for doing this. It is also important to check the regulations about traveling with knives in both your departure and destination points.