New TSA Carry-On Rules More Multi-Tool Friendly

Finally, some knives under 6 cm long, half-inch wide will be okay

Dear, TSA: I want my knife back.

Unless Congressional spoilsports get their way, beginning April 25 you’ll be in the clear if you forget about the Leatherman Micra in your pocket.

It’s no secret that a good multi-tool can be an active person’s best friend (Okay, Rover, second best), helping you adjust bike cables in a pinch, cut rope, pop open a beer, etc. So it’s always more than a bit aggravating when you’re emptying your pockets into an airport security bin, only to realize, crap!, your sidekick is about to end up in some TSA surplus store upstate.

The new rules (knock on wood) would allow a limited range of utility knives that meet the following criteria, listed in this brochure:

• The blade is no longer than 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters in length

• The blade width is no more than ½ inch at its widest point

• The knife does not have a locking or fixed blade

• The knife does not have a molded grip

Examples of allowed knives:

Gear Junkie did a useful roundup of newly-compliant knives here.

In addition to their picks, one of our own tiny favorites, the Gerber Dime, makes the cut (yuck yuck!), although too late for our Peter Koch, whose baby was taken away by Airplane Protective Services. Don’t worry, folks, he got a new one.

Multi-tool champs Leatherman also lists 12 models that are compliant.


(Images credit: TSA)