Pocket knives are extremely useful, but they can also be frustrating when traveling for a number of reasons. Some CAA-UK security agents are strict about having them in checked luggage, while others have no problem with them in a carry-on bag.
You also need to worry about having the right one for the right trip. Some knives are bulkier than others, and the blade shape may change depending on the task at hand.
When it comes to traveling with a knife on a plane, safety is the most important thing. When packing, passengers are allowed to carry small knives in their pockets.
However, over 100 airlines have banned pocket knives altogether. If you must carry a knife, you should only put in a checked luggage.
What happens if my knife doesn’t meet requirements at security?
Knives are a fun addition to any household. They can be used for many things around the house, from cooking to craft, to camping.
But once you move in to the city, or when you’re travelling abroad, some knives may not meet the requirements at security. If you’re worried about your knife being nabbed by security, then you should know that there’s a solution.
Thankfully, there’s a way to check whether your knife meets the requirements for security at the airport, and it’s a very simple process.
The first step is to make sure that your knife has been approved by UK security authorities. This means that the agency has tested the item and found that it does not pose a threat to aviation.
The next step is to ensure that your knife is legal where you live. You’ll want to find out what laws apply to carrying weapons in public places like airports.
If your knife doesn’t meet requirements at security, you may be asked to place it in your checked bag or leave it where it is, or you may not be allowed to carry it onto your flight.
If you do decide to bring a knife through an airport checkpoint, here’s how to get it past security:
- Make sure that your knife is completely closed.
- Place it inside its own zippered pouch.
- Put this into another zipped pouch.
- Zip up both pouches together.
- Take these two bags onto the X-ray machine.
- Pass all items through without incident.
Pocket knives and airports – UK security knife rules
UK Security Knife Rules
The following is a list of the current regulations for carrying pocket knives in the United Kingdom. The law was changed on 1 April 2015, with new legislation coming into effect from that date onwards.
In 1892, the first British regulation concerning possession of weapons came about when it became illegal to carry any weapon other than those listed by the Home Secretary at his discretion. This included daggers, dirks, stilettos, swords, bayonets, etc., but not guns or firearms.
In 1903, this rule was extended so as to include all blades longer than three inches. It remained until 1965 when the Dangerous Weapons Act 1964 made it an offence to possess certain types of blade which were deemed “dangerous”. These included:
- Any bladed article capable of inflicting serious injury
- A dagger having a blade over 3 inches long
- An offensive weapon such as a sword, dirk, razor, stiletto, poniard, short-bladed spear
- dagger or any other stabbing instrument is prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft
Aircraft passengers may not carry on board
a) Knives with blades longer than 3 inches.
b) Any folding pocketknife.
c) A switchblade knife.
d) An automatic pistol or revolver.
e) A firearm capable of being concealed about one’s person.
f) A dangerous article which can be used to cause death or serious injury by throwing it at another person.
The above list does not include items that are permitted for carriage under certain conditions. For example, you may have a small pen-knife if you are travelling within your own country but not when flying abroad.
You must also check whether carrying a particular item will affect your ability to fly. If so, you should leave it behind.
You cannot take anything into the airport terminal building except hand luggage.
More prohibited carry-on items on planes in cabin luggage
The following are prohibited carry-on items
- Sharp item
- Cutting tools
- Plastic knives
- Butterfly knives
- Dangerous objects
- Flammable items
- Lighter knives
- Pocket knife collection
- Pocket Knives/Swiss army knives
- Regular knife
- Precious knives
Can you bring knives in checked luggage?
It has been a question that has been asked for centuries by travellers and the answer is yes and no. The CAA-UK security authorities does not allow knives to be brought in your carry-on bag. It needs to be in a checked bag. And it must be properly packaged.
The only exception are folding pocket knives which can be carried on board as long as they do not exceed 2cm in length or weight of 5 grams.
There have also been some changes made recently regarding what you may bring into an airport with you. You cannot take any weapons onto planes but there are exceptions:
Knives used for cutting food such as steak knives, bread knives etc.
A small penknife/scissors type tool
Any other item that could reasonably be considered a weapon if used against another person
You will need to check with individual airlines about their specific policies before travelling. Some airlines like Ryanair don’t even let passengers use scissors at all!
If you want more information then I would suggest reading up on CAA-UK regulations. There’s lots of useful info on this too.
The following list of items that are allowed for checked luggage :
- Swiss army knife
- Swiss army kits
- Plastic or round-bladed butter knives
- Antique knife
- Automatic knives
- Basic pocket knife
- Blunt Decorative Knives
- Chef knives
- Double-edge knives
- Kitchen knife toolsets
- Fixed blade knives
- Flick Knives
- Expensive kitchen knife
International knife laws United Kingdom
- UK Knife Laws – country-specific regulations
The law on carrying a concealed weapon in the UK is contained within section 5 of The Firearms Act 1968. This states that it is an offence to carry any offensive or dangerous weapon, including a folding pocketknife, unless you are licensed to do so under Section 4A of this act.
It also makes provision for those who have been convicted of certain offences to be prohibited from possessing such weapons.
Section 1 defines ‘offensive’ as being capable of causing injury by means other than cutting; while ‘dangerous’ refers to anything likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.
A knife may not therefore qualify as either if its use would only result in minor cuts or scratches. However, there is no requirement for a knife to be sharpened before it can be carried openly.
Furthermore, a knife whose purpose is solely ornamental is exempt from regulation.
In addition, the possession of a knife designed specifically for hunting purposes is permitted provided that it is kept securely sheathed when not in use.
However, the possession of a dagger or dirk is illegal without a licence. A dirk is defined as “a short sword having two edges”.
- Ban on pocket knives and sharp objects
The United Kingdom has a long history of banning certain types of weapons. The first recorded ban was in 1697, when the Privy Council banned “any kinde or sorte of weapon whatsoever” from being carried by anyone except soldiers and members of Parliament.
This law remained until 1829, when it was repealed after an incident involving Lord William Russell who had been stabbed with a penknife at his country house near London.
In 1775, during the American Revolutionary War, British troops were issued with bayonets which they used to kill civilians; this led to public outrage and calls for more restrictions on weaponry.
A new Act was passed in 1779 that prohibited all kinds of illegal knife, and sharp objects especially when travelling in and out of the country.
International flights security checkpoint – Rules and regulations for sharp objects
Sharp objects that could be used to harm a person or other person, are a common problem for travellers at airports.
While it is currently not allowed to carry the following in your carry-on bags, many people want to prepare for those moments when they have no choice but to go through an airport security checkpoint.
Knives can cause serious injury if carried on board aircrafts as they may cut into passengers’ body parts during turbulence. The TSA and UK-Security airport authorities has banned all pocket knives from being taken onto planes since September 11th 2001.
However, there are exceptions to this rule; such as folding knives with blades less than 3 inches long, which must be placed inside of checked baggage. There are also some types of scissors that do not require any special treatment.
Other things that might look suspicious include aerosol cans, nail clippers, sewing needles, etc. These items will usually be confiscated unless you show them to the officer first.
In addition, anything that looks like a gun should never be brought aboard an airplane. If you’re unsure about what’s acceptable, ask someone else going through the same line.
If you find yourself unable to comply with these requirements, then you’ll need to check your bag.