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Stay Sharp, My Friends

Little knives get TSA approval to carry on flights

Here Here's images of the types of knives the TSA will allow.

By: Mike Suchan,

Ok, great, I won’t have to ever surrender my penknife again, not after TSA administrator John Pistole said the ban on small knives in passenger cabins of airplanes will be lifted come April 25.

I’ve lost a little utility knife to a screening. No, I wasn’t so forgetful to bring it to the airport security check line, but I did forget all about my tiny Swiss Army knife attached to my keys when trying to enter an airshow. If I wanted to enter, I was required to place it in a box with about 30 others knives, with no chance of getting it back. Dang.

I did travel with someone who forget he had one of those expensive multitools in his computer backpack, and fortunately we were early enough that he was able to run back and put it in the car. I’ve been questioned at the bag check X-ray for a piece of metal that framed my shave kit!

Now, after 9/11 forced most any chunk of metal from getting on planes, the Transportation Safety Administration will allow retractable blades shorter than 2.4 inches and no wider than ½ inch. Box cutters and razor blades are still a no-go.

This move will put U.S. flights in alignment with international rules and will allow screeners to focus on the highest priority threat, non-metallic explosive devices, the TSA said.

So take that Leatherman “Squirt” or your Victorinox Classic Swiss Army Knife -- yeah, that’s the one they got from me. It was such a useful tool, what with scissors, a file, tweezers and even a toothpick.

The small sharp blade was handy. How many times it answered “Anybody got a knife?”

It’s no wonder that in a Forbes poll of the 20 most important tools, the knife ranked No. 1. They’ve been around for 2 million years, first in rock form, and continue to be a necessity on board fishing boats, in hunting camps and at most every outdoor excursion.

And yes, they're handy for travelers, what with the vacuum-sealed products at hotels nowadays along with the myriad other potential uses that arise each day.

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