I'm curious as to why micro multitools such as this not allowed on carryon? Surely scissors can do more damage?


Edit: There is no knife in it but a nail file.

  • 5
    Because it has a knife.
    – user13044
    Feb 14 '15 at 9:33
  • @Tom Taking out the knife? So, are nail files allowed?
    – verve
    Feb 15 '15 at 3:28
  • It's a nail file not a knife I meant.
    – verve
    Feb 15 '15 at 3:36
  • 1
    Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona, carrying a mace and two garrotes, or if you prefer, a highly-collapsible camera tripod and two tiedown cables for the tripod.
    – Mark
    Feb 15 '15 at 8:02
  • 1
    Most security rules are broad enough to cover a large percentage of potential weapons while also allowing screening personal some discretion. There are so many variations on things like multi-tools, scissors, etc that if they started specifying which models can and can't, then the screening process would grind to a halt as staff looked up each and every item in the database.
    – user13044
    Feb 15 '15 at 11:00

Some countries will vary, but the US and Australia are pretty similar (like many countries, they follow the US in many rules), and since I know where the Aussie rules are, I'll cite those:

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 4)

Also I realise there's a new version, feel free to update, I can't figure out the blasted site.

Anyway, section 16:

The scope of the definition remains unchanged, but clarifies the intention of terms utilised to describe the opening methods of the various knives with deployable blades, including:

(a) a knife that opens through the use of inertia and or centrifugal force. This is intended to cover knives where the blade of the folding knife may be fully opened with the flick or double-action of the wrist. The requirement for some skill to release the blade into a fully opened position utilising centrifugal or inertial force is not intended to preclude a knife from being a classified as a single handed opening knife.

(b) a knife that opens through the use of gravity. This is intended to cover knives which may be opened by force of gravity. The knife may be additionally controlled by a lever or button, but typically, applying pressure to such a device and pointing the knife downward will result in the knife’s blade releasing and locking into place.

So a knife that can be opened with one hand may well include multi-tools, since you can slide a blade out with a single hand, with a bit of effort, making it a 'hidden knife', even if it is a broad definition.

Note however, that in the US (and presumably other countries follow suit in the majority, but check your local laws), some knives are now allowed, that is, IF:

  • the blade is no longer than 2.36 inches or 6cm in length
  • the blade width is no more than 1/2 inch at its widest point
  • the knife does not have a locking or fixed blade (multi-tool?)
  • the knife does not have a moulded group.

So it kinda sounds like they made the laws to cover switchblades and the like, and as an unfortunate by-product, these useful little knives and multitools get written out as a result :(

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.