Can You Bring a Stapler On a Plane?

Invented in the 18th century, the stapler has become an indispensable tool in the modern office, binding documents together with a simple metallic click. Surprisingly, questions like “Can You Bring a Stapler On a Plane?” reveal the complexities of modern air travel and the considerations passengers must take when packing. The history of air travel regulations is dotted with adjustments and changes, often influenced by safety concerns and security incidents. As a result, the items permitted in both checked and carry-on baggage are subject to stringent rules that can seem puzzling to travelers.

In the context of air travel, the humble stapler’s significance is not due to its daily use but rather to the security implications it carries. Since the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States following the events of September 11, 2001, regulations on what can and cannot be brought aboard an aircraft have become a common concern. Specifying items like staplers, which could conceivably be used as a weapon or for destructive purposes, is part of a broader conversation about the balance between convenience and safety. International air security agencies have similarly compiled lists of prohibited and permitted items, mirroring the TSA’s approach to regulating passengers’ belongings. The discussion around such seemingly trivial objects like staplers on planes continues to evolve in response to the ever-changing landscape of global security and travel protocols.

can you bring a stapler on a plane

Can You Take a Stapler On a Plane?

When it comes to taking a stapler on a plane, the rules can vary depending on the airline and the country’s aviation authority. Generally, a small personal stapler can be included in your carry-on or checked luggage without issue. However, larger or industrial staplers may be subject to restrictions due to their size and potential use as a tool or weapon. It’s always best to check with the specific airline’s regulations before traveling to ensure that your items comply with their guidelines. In the following section, we will delve deeper into the regulations surrounding traveling with a stapler, including tips for packing and what to expect during the security screening process.

Staplers on USA Domestic Flights: TSA Regulations

Travelers often have questions about what they can bring on board an aircraft, especially when it comes to office supplies like staplers. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), staplers are generally permitted in both checked baggage and carry-on luggage for domestic flights within the United States.

Carry-On Luggage Guidelines for Staplers

  • Staplers are allowed in carry-on bags without restrictions.
  • No special declaration or separation of the item is necessary during the security screening.
  • Passengers are advised to pack staplers in a manner that facilitates easy screening.
  • If a stapler triggers an alarm during screening, TSA officers may require further inspection.

Checked Baggage Guidelines for Staplers

  • Staplers can also be packed in checked luggage with no TSA restrictions.
  • There is no limit to the number of staplers that can be packed in checked baggage.
  • To prevent damage to baggage or other items, it’s recommended to securely pack any staplers.

Considerations for Carrying Staplers on Flights

  • TSA officers have the final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.
  • Staples within staplers are also generally permissible, both in carry-on and checked bags.
  • Travelers should be aware that individual airlines might have their own policies regarding office supplies.
  • To speed up the security process, travelers should familiarize themselves with TSA’s “3-1-1” liquids rule and other regulations.

Additional Resources

For the most up-to-date information and clarification on carrying staplers or other specific items on flights, passengers are encouraged to refer to the TSA’s official page regarding staplers. It’s also advisable to contact the airline directly with any specific questions related to carry-on or checked baggage policies.

Pros Cons
Useful for organizing travel documents Potential security concern due to its sharp components
Convenient for business travelers Could be considered a weapon and confiscated
Small and easy to pack May trigger additional screening
Usually allowed in checked luggage Limits on size/length of metal it contains

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides comprehensive guidelines for passengers traveling with various items, ensuring safety and compliance with international standards. When it comes to flying with a stapler, the IATA does not specifically list staplers as prohibited items. However, it is crucial to consider the general guidelines for sharp objects and potential weapons when packing a stapler in your luggage.

  • Staplers should generally be placed in checked baggage to avoid issues during security screening.
  • If carrying a stapler in hand luggage, it should not be accessible during the flight and may need to be screened separately.
  • Passengers are advised to check with their specific airline for any additional restrictions.

For more detailed information, passengers should refer to the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations and the Traveler’s Guide to the IATA’s website. Unfortunately, as of my knowledge cutoff date, the IATA website does not have a specific page dedicated to traveling with staplers.

Country Specific Regulations

When traveling internationally with a stapler, it’s essential to be aware of the country-specific regulations that may apply. Each country has its own set of rules regarding what items are permitted in carry-on and checked luggage, and these rules can vary significantly from one destination to another.

United Kingdom

  • The UK government provides guidance on what can be carried in hand and checked luggage, but does not specifically mention staplers.
  • For the most accurate information, travelers should consult the UK’s official government website or contact their airline.


  • European Union regulations also do not specifically address staplers, but they do have rules for sharp objects in carry-on luggage.
  • Travelers should visit the official EU aviation security regulations page or contact their airline for guidance.


  • Transport Canada outlines restrictions for carry-on items but does not explicitly list staplers.
  • For clarification, passengers should refer to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website or their airline’s policies.


  • The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs provides information on prohibited in-flight items but does not single out staplers.
  • Travelers should check the official website or reach out to their airline for specific advice.

New Zealand

  • Aviation Security Service of New Zealand lists banned and restricted items, with no specific mention of staplers.
  • Passengers are encouraged to visit the official website or consult with their airline for more details.


  • Asian countries may have varying regulations regarding items like staplers on flights.
  • It is advisable for travelers to check with the local airport authorities or their airline for country-specific information.


  • The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) provides guidelines for prohibited items in luggage.
  • For guidance on traveling with a stapler, passengers should refer to the CAAS website or contact their airline directly.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with a Stapler

Each airline may have its own set of regulations regarding items that passengers can bring on board. It is always best to check with the airline before flying to ensure compliance with their specific policies concerning staplers.

American Airlines

  • American Airlines’ policy on sharp objects in carry-on and checked luggage would apply to staplers.
  • For the most current information, passengers should consult the American Airlines website or contact customer service.

Delta Air Lines

  • Delta provides guidelines for prohibited and restricted items but does not mention staplers specifically.
  • Travelers should review Delta’s baggage policies on their official website or reach out to the airline for clarification.

United Airlines

  • United Airlines lists items that could be considered potential weapons, which may include staplers.
  • For detailed information, passengers should refer to United’s baggage policies on their website or contact the airline.

Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest Airlines has a detailed list of items allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, with specific rules for sharp objects.
  • Passengers should check the Southwest Airlines website or get in touch with customer service for guidance on traveling with a stapler.

British Airways

  • British Airways provides information on what can be taken on board, but staplers are not explicitly mentioned.
  • Travelers should visit the British Airways website or contact the airline for the latest baggage policy information.


  • Lufthansa’s baggage regulations include restrictions on sharp objects, which could pertain to staplers.
  • For specific advice, passengers should refer to the Lufthansa website or reach out to the airline directly.

Air Canada

  • Air Canada’s list of prohibited items for carry-on and checked luggage may apply to staplers.
  • Passengers are advised to consult the Air Canada website or contact the airline for more information.


  • Qantas outlines its security measures for various items, but does not specifically address staplers.
  • Travelers should look at the Qantas website or get in touch with the airline for detailed baggage policies.

Air France

  • Air France has specific rules for sharp objects in luggage, which may include guidelines for staplers.
  • For the most accurate information, passengers should visit the Air France website or contact the airline.


  • Emirates provides a comprehensive list of prohibited items, but staplers are not specifically mentioned.
  • Travelers should check the Emirates website or speak with customer service to understand their policy on flying with a stapler.

Please note that the information provided here is based on the general policies and guidelines available as of the knowledge cutoff date. Airlines and governments may update their regulations, so it is essential to consult the official sources or contact the relevant authorities for the most current information before traveling.

Packing a Stapler in Carry-On Luggage

When packing a stapler in your carry-on luggage, it’s essential to consider the security guidelines set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or equivalent authority in your country. Staplers are generally allowed in carry-on bags, but there are some tips to ensure a hassle-free screening process:

  • Check Size and Type: Ensure your stapler is a standard office size. Overly large or industrial staplers may raise questions during security screenings.
  • Remove Staples: It’s a good idea to remove any staples from the stapler to eliminate any potential safety concerns for security agents or during the flight.
  • Securely Pack: Place your stapler inside a clear plastic bag or case, then put it in an easily accessible spot in your carry-on. This way, you can quickly show it to security personnel if asked.
  • Inform the Agent: If you are carrying a stapler that looks unusual or bulky, inform the security agent as you approach the checkpoint to prevent any confusion.

taking stapler through airport security

Packing a Stapler in Hold Luggage

If you’re checking your luggage, packing a stapler involves fewer restrictions than with carry-on. However, it’s still important to pack it properly to prevent it from damaging other items or becoming damaged itself:

  • Pack in Original Box: If possible, pack the stapler in its original box or a sturdy case to keep it secure.
  • Surround with Soft Items: Surround the stapler with soft items such as clothing to add an extra layer of protection and prevent it from moving around during transit.
  • Centre in Luggage: Try to pack the stapler in the centre of your suitcase, cushioned by other items, rather than at the edges where it could be more susceptible to impact.
  • Check Weight Limits: Be mindful of weight limits for checked luggage, as staplers can be surprisingly heavy and might contribute to overweight baggage fees.

Regardless of whether you’re packing a stapler in carry-on or hold luggage, always review the latest travel regulations related to your airline and departure/arrival airports to ensure compliance with their specific rules.

Essential Office Supplies for Air Travel

When preparing for a flight, alongside a stapler, there are several other office supplies that can be useful to have on hand. A compact pair of scissors with blades less than 4 inches is allowed by TSA and can be handy for cutting out articles or trimming documents. A small roll of tape can be useful for quick fixes or sealing envelopes. Paper clips and rubber bands are also convenient for organizing papers and documents without taking up much space. Additionally, a portable hole puncher can be useful if you need to add papers to a binder during your trip. Remember to pack these items in your carry-on in a way that they are easily accessible during security checks.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring a Stapler On a Plane?

When preparing for air travel, passengers often question what items are permitted in their carry-on and checked luggage. Stationery items, such as staplers, may not be as straightforward as one might think. These FAQs aim to shed light on the regulations regarding bringing staplers on a plane and ensure a hassle-free experience at airport security.

Can I bring a stapler in my carry-on bag?

Yes, generally you can bring a standard-sized stapler in your carry-on bag without any issues.

Are there any size restrictions for staplers in carry-on luggage?

There are no specific size restrictions, but it’s best to avoid overly large or industrial-sized staplers.

Can a stapler be considered a security threat?

While not commonly viewed as a threat, security personnel may screen staplers more thoroughly or even disallow them if they’re deemed potentially dangerous.

Is it necessary to declare a stapler when going through airport security?

No, you do not need to declare a stapler when passing through security as it’s not typically classified as a hazardous item.

Can I bring staple pins in my carry-on luggage?

Yes, you can bring staple pins in your carry-on luggage; they are generally allowed.

Are there any specific packing guidelines for carrying a stapler in my luggage?

It is advised to pack your stapler in such a way that it is easily accessible for security checks and doesn’t accidentally activate. Storing it in a secure compartment is also wise.

Could a stapler set off the metal detector at airport security?

Although made of metal, a stapler is unlikely to set off the metal detector. However, your bag may still be subject to a manual security check.

What happens if my stapler is confiscated at the security checkpoint?

If your stapler is confiscated, you may be asked to check it with your baggage or leave it behind. Confiscated items are rarely returned.

Would a decorative or novelty stapler be allowed on a plane?

Decorative or novelty staplers are typically allowed, but the final decision rests with the security officer.

Are there any airline-specific rules regarding carrying staplers on a plane?

Rules may vary slightly between airlines, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline before you travel. However, most follow TSA’s guidelines.

Packing It All Up

In conclusion, travelers can indeed bring a stapler on a plane, provided it meets the airline’s and TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) regulations. Standard staplers are generally permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage without significant restrictions. However, it’s important to note that any stapler with sharp edges or resembling a weapon could potentially raise concerns during the security screening process. Ensure that the staple remover is packed separately, especially if it has a blade, as this could otherwise be classified as a sharp object and may not be allowed in your carry-on.

For those traveling with more specialized staplers, like electric or industrial models, it is best to consult directly with the airline or check TSA guidelines to confirm whether specific rules apply. Remember to always consider the necessity of carrying a stapler onboard, as workspace amenities often include such tools, minimizing the need for one in your personal belongings. By being mindful of these considerations and packing accordingly, passengers can avoid any unwanted surprises at the airport, ensuring a smoother travel experience. With thorough preparation, your stapler can safely accompany you to your destination, ready to assist in any document organizing needs that may arise during your journey.