Do You Have to Declare Knives in Checked Luggage?

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If you are planning to fly in an airplane, you need to know the knife law, or in other words, familiarize yourself with the rules and laws surrounding airplanes. The reality is that since 9/11, what you can and can’t bring on airplanes has changed drastically, and there are many restrictions in place. 

Today, we want to determine whether you have to declare knives in checked luggage, whether you can bring knives in carry-on baggage, and more. What about that plastic or round-bladed butter knife? 

We also want to determine what types of knives are legal to travel with and which are not. When it comes to sharp items, the laws are quite strict because you could potentially cause injury to baggage handlers or worse. Let’s discuss the regulations surrounding knives on both international and domestic flights. 

Can I Bring Knives in Checked Luggage? 

Whether or not you will get those knives past the security checkpoint depends on the type of knife and the country you are in. For instance, if it is in the United States, all knives are allowed to be stored in your checked luggage.

However, you do have to ensure the knife is properly sheathed and wrapped so that no injuries are caused to airport security during the security screening process.

Although knives can be considered deadly weapons, as long as they are in your checked baggage, they should not be a problem. If a bare knife is in your checked luggage, and airport staff stuff an injury from it, you could be sued.

The rules and laws surrounding knives should apply in the US and all other countries. Moreover, as knives will be in checked luggage, you won’t have access to them during the flight; therefore, they won’t be a threat to an airline employee. 

Do I Have to Declare Knives in Checked Luggage?

You would think that knives in checked luggage would have to be declared in most cases so that the authorities know that you have it on you. Knives are considered to be sharp objects and are regarded as d.angerous items.

However, knives and sharp objects are not on the list of items that must be declared in the US, unlike firearms, medications, and other such things. However, the situation may be different in other countries.

Although most countries will not require you to declare a knife if it is in your checked luggage, some countries might. In some countries, even a personal item such as a small personal knife might need a declaration. 

However, if you want to be on the safe side, It’s always a good idea to declare them, no matter the types of knives you have. Of course, when it comes to nail clippers that do not pose any threat, these should be fine to bring along, especially in your checked luggage, although this could be different as far as your cabin baggage is concerned. 

Can I Bring Knives in My Carry On Luggage? 

As far as your carry-on luggage is concerned, all knives besides plastic knives and butter knives are not allowed in carry-on bags in the US. Anyone in the US found with a knife in their carry-on luggage may be fined and prosecuted at the discretion of the airline agents. Moreover, you should know what the destination country says in its laws and rules about knives.

For instance, knives with a blade shorter than 6 cm should be allowed in both cabin baggage and checked luggage in Canada and the UK. However, anything over 6 cm in length must be put in checked luggage. This applies to a utility knife, multi-tool, and even spare cartridges for your razor.

In Europe, Asia, and most other places, the rules surrounding knives in your carry-on baggage are generally the same as in the US, which means they are not allowed. Only round-bladed butter knives are permitted in your carry-on luggage in these countries. If you break these rules, you will be subject to additional screening, fines, prosecution, and more.

Do You Have to Declare Knives in Checked Luggage

What Types of Knives Can I Bring in My Checked Luggage?

It is also essential to know that not all knives are legal. Here, we aren’t talking about whether or not bringing them on a flight is permitted, but whether or not they are legal. So, what types of knives can you legally bring in your checked luggage?

Pocket knives, including multi-tools, antique knives, Swiss army knives, and decorative knives, are all permitted. Most types of kitchen knives, such as cleavers and large sets of kitchen knives, are allowed. 

Even if decorative knives are over the legal length limit, they will usually be allowed, especially if they are blunt and meant only for decorative purposes. However, this applies to straight blades, but curved blades may be prohibited.  

If you have a fixed-blade knife with a blade below 4 inches, this should also be fine to bring in your checked luggage. However, specific knives are illegal to travel with, so let’s look. 

One type of knife that cannot be brought in checked luggage is anything that uses a mechanism to release the blade quickly or allows you to open the blade with one hand using nothing but gravity and the weight of the blade. This includes spring-loaded knives, flick knives, and switchblades. Things like push daggers and regular daggers are also prohibited. 

You may also not bring anything resembling another object, such as pen knives or combs. Spears, swords, machetes, throwing stars, death stars, or throwing knives are prohibited.

Also, fixed-blade knives with blades over 6 inches are not legal, as is the case with butterfly knives. As far as butterfly knives are concerned, only those with dull blades are permitted in checked baggage. 

Read also: Can You Pack Shaving Razors in Checked Luggage?


The bottom line is that if you have a legal knife, you want to put it in your checked luggage, although you usually won’t have to declare it. 

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