Do you have tools that you can’t live without wherever you go?
There are three real options for you when it comes to transporting tools.
- Take them as carry-on luggage
- Take them in checked luggage
- Ship your tools ahead before you travel
The TSA and most airport security have strict guidelines when it comes to taking some items on planes, especially if they can be used as a weapon or contain some kind of dangerous materials.
For example, you can only bring a pair of pliers, a knife, or a screwdriver in both carry-on if the blade is less than 4 inches long, they need to be in checked baggage.
The list is long, and if you’re not sure if you can bring something on, this post covers pretty much everything you need to know about traveling with tools… including, daily used tools, hand tools and power tools , and more.
Let’s dive right in.
Can I Put Tools In My Checked Luggage?
You can bring both power tools and hand tools in checked luggage on most airlines,however you need to make sure what type of tools you are taking and if they have some safety concerns.
For example if it has some sharp objects, it will be allowed in checked luggage but you will need to properly pack them so they won’t hurt or harm the luggage inspectors and handlers at the airport.
Gas operating tools are not allowed with the TSA, but if you are traveling with a brand new tool that never contains gas or fuel you still can contact your airline.
You can hit them with a direct DM or ask them on Twitter, prior to booking your flight that way you will have their permission.
If you are traveling with a tool set box, you are just fine, but you just need to make sure that it is within your airline checked luggage size and weight limits.
Concerning tools with lithium batteries.
If the battery is removable you can remove it and take it on board with you along with your charger or any other extra uninstalled batteries.
Otherwise, if the battery is not removable you can still transport it in checked luggage without any problem.
Can You Take Tools In Carry-on Baggage?
The TSA rules
The TSA and airport security have restrictions on any item that can be used as a threat or a weapon on board the airplane.
So when traveling with large hand tool tools and any type of powered tools it is better to send them in your checked bag.
If you bring these type of tools through the security checkpoint you will be required to send them as checked luggage, send them back home or leave them at the airport.
And as the TSA or any airport security claims, the final decision to allow or ban any item rests with the security officer at the security checkpoint.
What If I Want To Travel With Several Tools?
Check with your airline first.
When traveling with so many tools it is better to make sure that they are within the weight and size limits of your airline.
If you pass the luggage limits of your airline it may end paying for higher weight luggage fees.
Some Answers From The Airport Security
Keegan wanted to know if his tools are okay to bring safely in carry-on.
The AskTSA customer service replied that tools with 7 inches or less in length are allowed in carry-on bags, larger tools must be placed in checked luggage.
This passenger wanted to bring his work tools bag, and he is already aware that uninstalled lithium batteries must be removed when check in tools.
The TSA gave him the green light, so he can put the tool bag inside his checked bag without any issue.
Faviana wondered if she could bring this chainsaw in checked luggage on her international flight, the AskTSA customer service replied that chainsaws free of residue or vapors of gas/oil are allowed in checked bags.
But it is better to inspect the chainsaw & then talk to the airline representative to determine if they are okay with it.
How To Pack Tools In Checked Luggage?
When traveling with tools it is always better to keep safety in mind.
The safety of your items and also the safety of the people who are going to handle them during the journey.
- Hand tools like screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, and wrenches are best packed into a good and sturdy toolbox and sent in checked luggage (Amazon link).
- Use newspaper or any other type of paper and wrap each tool separately before placing it in the tool box, otherwise you can just fill the spare spaces inside the toolbox with bubble wrap or old pieces of cloth.
- When taking several tools without a toolbox it is better to place them in small boxes or anything that will keep them protected and wrap them with newspaper or other packing materials.
- You can also use bubble wrap for any tool with sharp points or blades and secure them with packing tape.
I don’t think it is a good idea to wrap tools in clothes, unless you want to use an old piece of cloth to protect a breakable tool, but bubble wrap is also a great solution.
The airport security most of the time inspect checked luggage manually and quickly, they may get injured which is not a good thing.
If you are not comfortable that your tools will survive during your journey or afraid that they won’t take the heats of the luggage handling you can also choose to ship your tools.
You can choose to ship your tools ahead of time before you travel, and not only will you save money, but you will also save yourself the headache of the airports and time.
There is a wide selection of shipping companies that you can rely on, the popular ones are UPS and FedEx that will ship your tools no matter the size or weight.
You can browse their website and fill a shipping form for pickup, you can also print a shipping label for your box.
Final Thoughts: Can You Take Tools In Checked Baggage?
So, there you have it.
Most of our daily and small tools are good to go in both carry-on and checked luggage without any problem.
But as a general rule, any item that you can use as a weapon will not be allowed in carry-on luggage but you can oak it in checked luggage, like a wrench, a drill or even a long screwdriver that is more than 7 inches.
Fuel operated tools are not allowed in both carry on and checked luggage because they are considered dangerous items unless you contact the airline and get their permission and they make sure the tool or the machine do not have any remaining fuel or gas.
We hope this helps.
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