In a dramatic policy change, the Federal Aviation Administration is still planning to allow small knives on commercial airplanes. Starting in late April, airline passengers can carry pocketknives with small blades.
We’re not talking tactical knives. Even most Swiss army knives are still banned. But the new rules allow small knives with blades of 2.36 inches or shorter to come into the cabin and travel in your pocket or a carry-on bag.
Fixed or locking blades are not permitted. Neither are knives with “molded grips.” The Travel Safety Administration published a document called “Changes to Prohibited Items List” that outlines the new criteria.
I contacted several knife brands this week to find TSA-compliant models in current stock. Gerber’s VISE multitool is one example. It has a pliers, screwdriver, bottle opener, and a non-locking, 1.5-inch blade that should pass inspection in an airport security line.
Wenger’s Esquire and Evo 81 models are more fits. These tiny Swiss army knives have 1.75-inch blades, small scissors, files, and other implements. Approximately 25 knives in the Wenger line qualify, the company cites.
Columbia River Knife & Tool lists five models. Buck has a couple candidates.
Victorinox Swiss Army sent me a detailed spreadsheet. The brand lists more than 50 knife makes and models from its line that acquiesce with the TSA’s new rules. Included are knives from the Classic SD, the brand’s basic red-handled best seller, to the Lime Classic Edelweiss, a cute pocketknife adorned with the national flower of Switzerland.
The new rules take effect on April 25. Flight-attendant associations and large airlines like Delta have expressed serious concern and opposition to the policy change.
The TSA “Prohibited Items” document is highly visual with knife examples. Bullet-pointed lists reveal what is and is not allowed, including blade length, width, and knife types.
But there’s room for interpretation with some points on the document.
SOG sells a knife, the Micron, which has a 1.5-inch blade. It looks like a mini tactical knife, including saw teeth and a tanto-point tip.
Most likely TSA would allow it, but I would double-check with an agent before trying to pass through with the Micron’s aggressive look and hand-contouring grip.
Gerber goes so far as to list its above-mentioned VISE model as “TSA Compliant” on its website. Other brands I contacted have knives that work but were still parsing the situation before making claims.
“SOG advises everybody to follow the TSA rules,” said a representative for the Washington knife brand.
On the Web: gearjunkie.com.
Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.
You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.comments powered by Disqus
Most recent column
The 2000 Idaho Legislature declared huckleberries the state fruit. But like potatoes, Washington has its share of the delicious purple berries prized for pies, pancakes, muffins, ice cream, jam, wine and just about anything else that needs a touch of tart sweetness. The huckleberry season …
Recent blog posts
WINTERSPORTS -- The public comment period for the U.S. Forest Service’s draft Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV) Travel Rule ends Aug. 4. This rule will affect all national forests, including the Idaho ...
WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Here's a great glimpse into the versatility in hunting and feeding skills of a great blue heron, known to eat a lot of fish and amphibians geared ...