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Can You Bring Nail Clippers on a Plane? (2023 TSA Rules)

By Oscar Brumelis


Updated on

TSA allows bringing nail clippers on planes. You’re allowed to pack them in hand and checked baggage without any packing restrictions. They’re considered harmless because the blade on them is too short to successfully be used as a weapon. 

Nail scissors are also allowed because their blade length is shorter than 4 inches (10 cm). But because nail scissors have a sharp and pointy end, additional restrictions apply for checked baggage.

When packed in checked bags, you should protect the sharp edge/blade with a sheath to avoid accidental injuries to luggage inspectors. Nail scissors usually come in their own protective packaging, so you can pack them there. But you can also pack them inside a separate toiletry bag together will all your other solid, non-liquid toiletry items.

The only type of nail scissors that are banned are ones that are built-in into a Swiss Army Knife. That’s because all knives, even pocket knives, are banned from hand baggage. You can only pack a pocket knife with built-in nail scissors in checked baggage.

Traveling With Nail Clippers Internationally

The rules for packing nail clippers in luggage are more or less the same all across the world. They’re considered safe because their sharp blade is too small to be used as a weapon.

When traveling internationally, bringing nail clippers is preferred to nail scissors. That’s because, in some countries, nail scissors are banned.

Only nail scissors with a blade length of 2.34 inches (6 cm) or smaller are allowed in hand baggage on flights in Canada, United Kindom, and New Zealand. And in Australia and Europe, nail scissors with pointy ends are completely banned from hand baggage, regardless of the blade length.

Packing Nail Clippers in Your Luggage

When packed in hand baggage, you don’t need to put nail clippers in your toiletry bag of liquids. You also don’t need to take them out when going through security.

But if you’re carrying a checked bag, it’s a better idea to pack nail clippers there. That’s because some security agents might classify them as dangerous, even though the rules say that they’re allowed. In checked baggage, you’re free to pack most sharp items.

Rules for Other Relevant Toiletry Items

  • Nail files, tweezers, cuticle pushers, and disposable razors are considered safe, so they’re allowed in hand and checked baggage
  • Hair scissors with blades above 4 inches (10 cm), safety razors, straight razors, and rat tail combs are considered sharp and dangerous. You can only pack them in checked bags
  • Nail polish, nail polish remover, and all other liquids, pastes, gels, and aerosols should be in 3.4 oz (100 ml) bottles or smaller and packed in a 1-quart bag of toiletries

Summing Up – Traveling With Nail Clippers

Even though airport security is very unlikely to confiscate nail scissors, a smarter choice would be to travel with nail clippers instead. Especially when traveling internationally. They also take up less space in your bag, leaving more room for other items.

About Oscar Brumelis

Oscar is a freelance writer who loves traveling and hiking. He's been to over 30 different countries and hiked over 2000+ miles throughout his life.

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