Can You Bring Scissors On A Plane?

Traveling can often mean bringing along items that make us feel at home or assist us in our journey, such as a pair of scissors. Scissors are a common tool, used for everything from personal grooming to crafts and office work. However, when it comes to air travel, the allowance of such items aboard an aircraft is subject to strict regulations, primarily due to security concerns.

The rules regarding the transportation of scissors on planes have evolved significantly over the years, especially following the events of September 11, 2001, which prompted a worldwide overhaul of airport security measures. Initially, many sharp objects were completely banned from carry-on luggage, but as security protocols advanced, authorities were able to adjust the restrictions. Currently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and various international regulatory bodies have specific guidelines that determine whether a pair of scissors is permitted on a plane and how it should be packed. Understanding these regulations is essential for passengers who wish to travel with such items without facing any inconvenience at the airport security checks. It’s an aspect of travel that blends the need for personal convenience with the imperatives of ensuring safety in the skies.

can you bring scissors on a plane

Can You Take Scissors On A Plane?

When it comes to air travel, passengers often wonder about the items they can take on board. Scissors are a common tool that travelers might need for various reasons, such as crafting or business. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows scissors on a plane, but with specific restrictions. Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches are typically permitted in carry-on luggage, while longer blades must be packed in checked baggage. It’s important to ensure that the scissors comply with the airline’s regulations to avoid any inconvenience during security checks. For a more detailed explanation of the rules and tips for traveling with scissors, continue to the next section where we delve into the intricacies of flying with these tools.

Carrying Scissors on USA Domestic Flights: TSA Guidelines

Transporting scissors on commercial airlines within the United States is subject to specific regulations set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers planning to carry scissors in their luggage should be familiar with these rules to ensure a smooth security checkpoint experience.

Scissors in Carry-on Luggage

  • Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches (measured from the pivot point) are generally allowed in carry-on bags.
  • If the blades are longer than 4 inches, these scissors must be packed in checked baggage.
  • The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

For more information on carrying scissors in carry-on luggage, consult the TSA’s official guidelines.

Scissors in Checked Luggage

  • Scissors of all sizes and lengths are typically permitted in checked luggage.
  • Packing them securely and safely to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors is advised.

Refer to the TSA’s official advice on packing scissors in checked luggage.

TSA PreCheck and Scissors

TSA PreCheck members follow the same guidelines for scissors in carry-on and checked luggage as non-members. It is important to be aware that the expedited screening process does not exempt passengers from these regulations.

TSA Search Authority

The TSA has the authority to search all luggage, both carry-on and checked. Passengers should pack items in a manner that allows for a swift and clear inspection. Scissors that raise concerns during X-ray scanning may warrant a manual bag check.

Safety Tips for Packing Scissors

  • Use a protective sheath or case for the blades.
  • Wrap the scissors securely within clothing or other soft items if a sheath is not available.
  • Consider the use of bandage scissors with rounded tips as a safer alternative.

International Flights and Scissors

Passengers traveling on international flights from the USA should be aware that other countries may have different regulations regarding scissors. It is essential to check the laws of the destination country prior to departure.

Alternative Cutting Tools

If there is uncertainty about bringing scissors on a domestic flight, consider alternative cutting tools that are usually TSA-approved, like nail clippers or safety razors.

Additional Resources and Assistance

Travelers seeking more information or clarification about traveling with scissors and other tools can contact the TSA directly through their contact center or social media platforms. The TSA’s “AskTSA” service on Twitter and Facebook Messenger can provide quick and personal responses to specific questions.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides general guidelines for passengers traveling with potentially dangerous items, including scissors. According to IATA regulations, scissors with blades shorter than 6 cm (2.4 inches) are typically allowed in carry-on luggage, while longer blades must be packed in checked baggage. However, these guidelines are subject to the interpretation of individual airlines and the security agencies of the countries from which they operate.

  • Scissors with blades shorter than 6 cm may be allowed in carry-on bags.
  • Scissors with blades longer than 6 cm should be placed in checked luggage.
  • Passengers should always check with their airline for specific rules before flying.

For more detailed information, please refer to the IATA’s passenger safety guidelines.

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with scissors, it’s crucial to be aware that regulations can vary significantly from one country to another. Each country has its own set of rules regarding what is permissible on board an aircraft, and these rules are enforced by local security agencies. Passengers must comply with the regulations of both the departure and arrival countries.

United Kingdom

  • Scissors with blades less than 6 cm are generally permitted in carry-on luggage.
  • For more details, visit the UK government guidelines.


  • The European Union has similar restrictions, allowing scissors with short blades in carry-on bags.
  • Check the EU aviation security policy page for more information.



New Zealand


  • Asian countries may have varying regulations; it’s essential to check with local authorities.
  • For example, Japan allows scissors with blades up to 6 cm in carry-on bags.


10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Scissors

Airlines may have their own set of rules that could be stricter than the general guidelines provided by IATA or individual countries. It is important for passengers to review the regulations of the airline they are flying with to avoid any inconvenience at the airport. Below are examples of airline-specific regulations regarding flying with scissors.

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

British Airways


Air Canada



  • Emirates permits scissors with blades up to 6 cm in hand luggage.
  • For more information, refer to the Emirates prohibited items.

Singapore Airlines

Cathay Pacific

Packing Scissors in Carry-On Luggage

When it comes to packing scissors in your carry-on luggage, the rules are quite strict due to the safety concerns aboard aircraft. Here’s how you can pack your scissors to comply with most airlines’ regulations:

  • Check Size Restrictions: Typically, scissors with blades less than 4 inches (from the pivot point) are allowed in carry-on luggage. It’s always best to check with the airline for their specific requirements before traveling.
  • Protect the Blades: Safeguard your scissors by wrapping the blades with a thick cloth or placing them in a sheath. Secure the wrap with a rubber band or tape so that the sharp edges do not become exposed.
  • Choose the Right Case: Consider using a hard case specifically designed for scissors or sharp tools to provide extra protection and prevent the scissors from accidentally opening.
  • Place Them Strategically: Position the wrapped scissors in an easily accessible part of your carry-on so you can show them to security officers if requested. This can help avoid delays during the security check.

taking scissors through airport security

Packing Scissors in Hold Luggage

When flying with scissors in your checked baggage, you have more leniency in terms of size and protection. However, it’s still important to pack them responsibly:

  • No Size Restriction: Larger scissors that do not meet carry-on requirements can generally be packed in hold luggage. Check the airline’s policy or with the TSA for any additional restrictions.
  • Secure Packing: Just like in your carry-on, ensure the scissors are well wrapped or placed in a protective case to avoid any injuries when luggage is being handled.
  • Keep It Organized: Consider packing scissors along with other tools or sewing materials if you’re carrying them for a specific purpose. Use organizers or pouches to keep everything tidy.
  • Consider the Purpose: If your scissors are for professional use (e.g., hairdressing), ensure they are clearly professional tools to avoid confusion or suspicion at security checks.
  • Check Your Destination’s Rules: Some destinations may have specific regulations about importing sharp objects; always verify these rules to avoid issues upon arrival.

Remember that security staff always have the final say on whether an item can be brought on board an aircraft, so packing scissors with care and due consideration for regulations will help ensure they travel with you safely.

Travel Essentials Similar to Scissors for Your Flight

When packing for a flight, along with scissors with blades less than 4 inches, consider including items like nail clippers and tweezers for personal grooming. A small sewing kit with needles, thread, and a tiny pair of scissors can be handy for emergency repairs. Pack a pair of safety pins for quick fixes or as a makeshift zipper pull. If you enjoy crafting, a blunt-tipped crochet hook or a short knitting needle set might be suitable for in-flight entertainment. For tech-related needs, a small screwdriver for eyeglasses or electronics is useful, but ensure it meets airline regulations. Always check the latest Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines to ensure your items are permitted in carry-on luggage.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Scissors On A Plane?

Many travelers have questions about what items they can and cannot bring on airplanes, with scissors being a common source of confusion. Safety regulations concerning sharp objects on planes are very specific, and they are designed to ensure the security and safety of all passengers. This FAQ section aims to address common inquiries regarding traveling with scissors on an airplane, helping you to understand the rules and prepare for your flight without any unwelcome surprises at the security checkpoint.

Are scissors allowed in carry-on baggage?

Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches (approximately 10 cm) are typically allowed in carry-on baggage. It’s always best to check with the specific airline for their rules as these may vary.

Can I bring large scissors in checked luggage?

You generally can bring larger scissors in your checked luggage. However, it is advised to pack them securely to avoid injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Why are there restrictions on scissors in carry-on bags?

Restrictions are in place to ensure the safety and security of passengers by reducing the risk of sharp objects that could potentially be used as weapons.

Do children’s safety scissors follow the same rules?

Children’s safety scissors often have blunt tips and shorter blades, making them usually acceptable in carry-on luggage. Again, checking with the airline is advisable.

Are scissors allowed on international flights?

Yes, but the regulations may differ from country to country. It’s essential to verify the restrictions with the airlines and the countries you’ll be traveling to and from.

What types of scissors are usually permitted on a plane?

Scissors with small blades less than 4 inches from the pivot point are typically allowed. This can include nail scissors and small embroidery scissors.

Can I bring scissors designed for medical purposes?

Medically necessary scissors might be allowed regardless of size, but you should declare them at the security checkpoint and may need to provide proof of medical necessity.

What should I do if I accidentally pack large scissors in my carry-on?

If you accidentally pack large scissors in your carry-on, you may need to surrender them at the security checkpoint, transfer them to checked baggage, or mail them to yourself if facilities are available at the airport.

If scissors are permitted in carry-on, do they need to be packed in a specific way?

While there isn’t a specific requirement, it’s sensible to protect the blades by securing them in a sheath or wrapping them to prevent injury and to expedite the security screening process.

What happens if my scissors are confiscated at the airport security checkpoint?

If your scissors are confiscated, they will not be returned to you. You may have the option to post them to an address, transfer them to your checked luggage, or you will have to leave them behind.

Packing It All Up

In summary, passengers are generally permitted to bring scissors on a plane, but there are specific stipulations that must be adhered to. Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches from the pivot point are allowed in carry-on luggage, while those with longer blades must be packed in checked baggage. This TSA guideline aims to maintain safety aboard aircraft, minimizing the potential for these tools to be used inappropriately during flight. Travelers must ensure that the scissors comply with the airline’s regulations before packing, to avoid any inconveniences at the security checkpoint.

When packing scissors, it is also wise to consider the destination’s regulations, as international rules may vary. In some cases, even scissors with small blades might be subject to additional scrutiny or different regulations based on the destination country’s laws. Furthermore, it’s essential to pack scissors securely to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security personnel. By following these guidelines, travelers can ensure that they have access to their scissors upon arrival while also contributing to the overarching goal of maintaining safety and security for all passengers and crew throughout their journey.