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Are Scissors Allowed On Planes? What Sharps Make The Cut For TSA

Bins passing through the x-ray at an airport TSA checkpoint.

Given the sometimes wishy-washy nature of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules from airport to airport, it can be tricky to know what can or cannot be brought onto a plane. Things like weapons cannot be carried onto the airplane and must be in checked luggage (with even more rules), but what about less dangerous items?

Are scissors allowed on planes? Short answer: yes. Long answer: although scissors can be considered sharp objects, they’re frequently not considered too dangerous to bring onto a plane. That said, not all scissors are treated equally.

If you’re traveling with scissors for crafting, grooming, or any other reason, It’s vital to know what kind of whether or not they can be brought into your carry-on luggage or need to be packed in checked baggage. We’re here to help deduce the differences to avoid airport security confiscating your items.

Can You Bring Scissors Through TSA Checkpoints?

Bins passing through the x-ray at an airport TSA checkpoint.
Mihail / Adobe Stock

For TSA rules, scissors are treated like any knife or item with a blade. In that regard, TSA regulations dictate that only blades shorter than four inches can be brought onto a plane in carry-on luggage.

Regardless of the type of scissors, if the blade portion is longer than four inches, you must keep it in checked luggage or leave it at home. Grab a ruler or a measuring tape and the scissors you’d like to bring along. Then, find the pivot point.

A pivot point is where the two blades come together with the handle. Measuring from the pivot point, the blades must be less than four inches long to be brought onboard in carry-on bags. That’s actually… not all that small!

See Related: Clear vs TSA Precheck: What’s Better?

What Types of Scissors Can Be Taken Onto A Plane?

Person holding scissorsPerson holding scissors
LoloStock / Adobe Stock

Although the type of scissors is not as important as the length of their blade, there are some generally TSA-approved scissors. For example, a pair of nail scissors is not going to be over the four-inch blade regulation. Whereas if you want to bring hair-cutting scissors, you have to be more careful as they have longer blades.

A few other types of scissors likely to be fine for carry-on bags include:

  • Small medical scissors
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Folding scissors
  • Safety scissors
  • Child safety scissors
  • Manicure scissors or cuticle scissors

What Other Sharp Objects Are Allowed In A Carry-on Bag?

Woman packing clothes on a luggageWoman packing clothes on a luggage
K Abrahams/ / Adobe Stock

Having scissors on a…

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