Can I Bring Pliers On a Plane? 2024 TSA Rules

Whether you are a tradesmen, or a DIY enthusiast, figuring out if you can bring your plier on a plane can be confusing, but if you wonder whether you can pack your diagonal pliers, wire cutter, or other types of pliers in your carry-on or checked bags, you’ve come to the right place.

The quick answer is: Unfortunately not all types and sizes of pliers will be allowed on board the airplanes, this is because the TSA does not 🚫 allow tools longer than 7 inches in carry-on bags.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll give you a rundown of the TSA and airline’s rules on bringing pliers and other similar tools on flights.

Let’s dive right in.

Can You Take Pliers on a Plane? TSA Rules

According to the TSA website, pliers are good to go in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, there are some conditions and limitations that you need to keep in mind.

First of all, your plier must be less than 7 inches (17.8 cm) in length when fully extended. This is because the TSA considers any tool longer than 7 inches as a potential weapon.

If you have a plier that is longer than 7 inches, and you assume that nothing will happen at the airport it will inevitably end up confiscated.

You should pack it along with any other tools in your checked baggage, or leave it at home.

Secondly, the plier must not have any sharp edges or points that could injure others.

For example, needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, or fishing pliers may not be allowed in your carry-on baggage, depending on how sharp they are. 

Thirdly, the pliers must not be part of a multi-tool that contains other sharp or prohibited items, such as knives, scissors, or saws.

Multi-tools are generally allowed in carry-on baggage, if it doesn’t have a knife, and the other tools are less than 7 inches.

There are certain scenarios when your multi-tool meets these criteria, the TSA may still reject it if they find it suspicious. Therefore, it’s best to pack your multi-tool in your checked baggage, or opt for a plier-only tool.

If you have another type of plier ad you are not sure whether it will be accepted or not, you can always snap a photo of it and tag the @AskTSA on X (Formerly Twitter) and they will reply as soon as they can.

For example @kiwimaille wanted to bring this chainmail plier that is less than 5 inches but with a chisel nose.

The @AskTSA team replied with the usual answer “pliers that are 7 inches or less are good in carry-on baggage”

@kiwimaille follows up to have more clarification about the chisel nose.

They replied that pliers like the one in the picture are allowed through the security checkpoint and in carry-on.

Airlines Rules

If you are flying within or from the U.S., regardless of the airline you are flying with, be it United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, etc., the TSA rules always applies.

When packing heavy pliers or you are traveling with a wide array of tools, just ensure that you don’t violate your airline rules.

Review the airline checked baggage size and weight, to avoid any surprises at the airport.

The unexpected always happens.

Can You Bring Pliers on International Flights?

If you’re traveling internationally, you may wonder if you can bring pliers on a plane overseas.

The answer is yes, but with some caveats. As mentioned earlier, the TSA rules for pliers apply to flights departing from the United States. 

Some countries, especially in North America may have similar rules and regulations for pliers, and for any item that can be used to hurt someone.

While others may even have stricter rules than the TSA, and may not allow pliers less than 7 inches in your carry-on baggage at all. 

For instance, the UK bans any tools in carry-on baggage, regardless of their size or shape.

Other countries may have more lenient rules, and may allow pliers in your carry-on baggage as long as they are less than 6 inches (15.20 cm) in length. 

Like Australia that allows tools up to 6 inches in carry-on baggage, as long as they are not sharp or dangerous.

How to Pack Pliers for Travel?

Now that you know what size of pliers you can bring on a plane carry-on and checked baggage, here is how to pack your pliers properly.

  • Take small pliers: As I mentioned earlier, the pliers must be less than 7 inches in length, if you want to pack them in carry-on, otherwise you will need to transfer them into your checked bag.
  • Pack the pliers securely: Whether you’re packing the pliers in your carry-on or checked bag, you should protect them, to prevent them from moving around, opening up, or causing damage to your suitcase or other items. You can use a cloth, a plastic bag, a pouch, or a case, to wrap or store your pliers.  
  • Pack the pliers separately: If you’re packing more than one pair of pliers, consider separating them, to avoid them from scratching, or tangling with each other. You can use different cloths, bags, pouches, or cases, to pack each pair of pliers.

Can I Bring Pliers On a Plane The Final Thoughts

Pliers are super handy and useful tools that can be used for various purposes, such as cutting wires, bending metal, gripping objects, or even making jewelry. However, if you want to bring pliers on a plane, you need to follow the TSA and your airline’s rules and tips, to avoid any trouble or hassle.

Within and from the U.S you can bring any size of pliers on a plane checked baggage, but only fliers less than 7 inches in length are allowed on board and they do not have any sharp edges or points. 

I hope this helps 

Happy travels