If you’re a DIY enthusiast, a woodworker, or a carpenter. You might want to bring your saw with you when you travel. But are saws allowed on planes?
The simple answer is Yes, but only as checked baggage.
Keep reading for more details on traveling with all types of saws, and more tips on how to pack your saw safely and securely.
- According to the TSA, you can bring saws on a plane but only in checked luggage.
- Large saws will take up more space in checked baggage, so double check your airline luggage rules and limits.
- Saw accessories and tools with blades larger than 7 inches are also allowed only in checked baggage.
- When traveling with a saw internationally the same rules apply.
Can you bring a saw in a carry-on?
On all occasions the TSA will not let any guest board the airplane with a saw in hand.
Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.
Evidently this rule is in place because any type of saw, whether it is Electric, rip or a hand saw can be used to hurt someone.
If you are planning to take other tools along with your saw, just remember this rule:
“You can bring tools that are 7 inches (17.78 cm) (measured from the end to the end if assembled ) on board the airplane (As carry-on and checked baggage).”
This includes screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches etc… , but anything that has sharp edges like knives or saw blades are not allowed as carry-on baggage.
Have other questions? Ask the TSA on X
If you are planning to travel with different tools or saw accessories that are not mentioned in this website or in the TSA website, you can always ask the TSA on X ( formerly Twitter) or Facebook using the @AskTSA hashtag.
Snap a pic of your tool and tag the @AskTSA followed with your questions and they will answer you as soon as they can.
Make certain to hit them with your questions several hours before you start preparing your items, as they won’t probably reply instantly.
For example Zierreñoax (@misalbicho) wanted to bring a reciprocate saw.
The @AskTSA folks replied:
“Saws and saw blades must be placed in checked bags.”
Read also: Can You Take Tools In Checked Baggage?
Traveling with saws on International Flights
When flying internationally, the rules are almost the same as for domestic flights, but I could say that the rules are more stricter.
According to the EU, “tools with blades or shafts of more than 6 cm capable of use as a weapon, such as screwdrivers and chisels are not allowed in your carry-on”.
The CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) also applies the same rule.
How to pack your saw for Travel?
Packing a saw for travel can be tricky, especially if it is large and bulky. Here are some tips on how to pack your saw efficiently and safely:
Use a sturdy and durable bag or suitcase:
You can use a hard-shell suitcase, a duffel bag, a backpack, or a tool bag. Make sure the bag has a lock or a zipper, and a tag with your name and contact information.
Organize the accessories:
If you pack saw accessories, like a circular saw blade, push sticks, a digital angle gauge etc… You can use pouches, compartments, or dividers to separate the accessories and keep them in order.
Cushion the accessories with soft materials, such as clothes, towels, or bubble wrap. This will protect them from damage and prevent them from shifting or rattling during transit.
Weigh your bag before you leave for the airport:
Most airlines have a weight limit for checked bags, usually around 50 pounds. If your bag is overweight, you may have to pay extra fees or remove some items.
You can use a luggage scale, a bathroom scale, or an online calculator to estimate the weight of your bag.
Check the rules and regulations of your airline and destination:
Different airlines and countries may have different rules for traveling with tools.
For example, some airlines may charge extra fees for oversized or overweight bags, or require special handling or documentation for tools.
Consider shipping your saw:
If you have a large saw and you want to skip the hassle of the airport. Shipping your items with a reliable shipping carrier like FreightCenter will allow you to bypass airline restrictions and ensure your saw arrives safely at your destination.
Taking other tools on planes
What the TSA has to say about saws applies to almost any other similar tools.
Engine-powered equipment with residual fuel (e.g., chainsaws, generators, trimmers, etc.) is not allowed in carry-on or checked bags 🚫. No amount of fuel may remain in the engine, including residual vapors.TSA
You should also keep in mind that the final decision whether an item is allowed through airport security or not rests with the TSA officer at the security checkpoint at the time.
I witnessed several cases where the TSA folks confiscated small items because they classify them as a potential weapon, even though the @AskTSA team on X says that the item is allowed.
The TSA and most airlines will not let any saws get into the airplane cabin in both domestic and international flights, all types of saws must be sent in the airplane hold.
You might not have any issues packing a Pruning saw or a Hack saw in checked baggage, but larger saws like a Scroll saw or a track saw will need more space so it is better to confirm with your airline first to avoid any surprises at the check in counter.
You can always consider shipping your tools to your destination, it would cost a little but it would make your travel easy and save you from paying for checked luggage.
Hope this helps.