Can You Take Power Tools On a Plane?

A question that has become so common, especially for enthusiasts, is, “Can you take power tools on a plane?”

Whether you want to fly with your tools for personal or business use, you must check the airport and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines.

Save yourself from all the trouble and inconvenience while at the airport by knowing these essential travel regulations.

Knowing these regulations and other considerations to keep in mind will also prevent you from paying more for checked-in luggage by knowing which ones are acceptable for hand carry.

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    Can You Take Power Tools On a Plane?

    Flying with power tools had become more prevalent, especially in the last few months when pandemic restrictions started loosening up.

    The good news is that traveling with your tools is possible with fewer TSA restrictions to keep in mind.

    Depending on the size, kind, and other determining factors, you could even hand-carry them.

    TSA General Guidelines and Regulations

    Aside from getting airline approval if certain items are permitted inside the plane, you can also check the TSA website.

    The Transportation Security Administration is tasked to maintain and uphold aviation-related safety.

    It is the main institution that sets the rules and regulations for what items are to be accepted for check-in and hand carries and what are disallowed.

    TSA generally prohibits any item they post as a potential threat to the passengers or the plane itself.

    TSA has enumerated the things that are allowed to fly and indicated each of these items, if allowed, as hand baggage or check-in baggage.

    Security officers may also advise you to transfer a certain item from carry-on to checked baggage when it has triggered the alarm.

    Things to Consider

    It is important that all passengers are aware and must follow the airport security requirements and luggage restrictions as they are intended for the safety of everyone.

    These airport security rules are strictly implemented by airlines and monitored by the TSA.

    As established above, there are certain things that you need to consider to determine whether your power tools are allowed as check-in or hand carries or if they belong to the category of forbidden items and are not allowed to fly at all.

    They include:

    Type of Power Tools

    It’s no secret that there are several types of power tools available in the market today with different designs, capacities, and other features.

    Not every one of them can be packed and brought to the plane.

    As such, here are the general types of tools (and even accessories) and the things to keep in mind when you plan on bringing them to the plane:

    • Battery-Powered

    Battery-powered tools are permitted on the plane as checked baggage, even with their batteries attached.

    However, for safety purposes, you also have the option to remove the batteries for power tools and put these batteries in your carry-on luggage.

    For those who prefer to keep the batteries on their equipment while on check-in baggage, you must take safety precautions to prevent them from turning on or activating.

    Most passengers use trigger locks or tapes to secure the power buttons.

    • Engine-Powered

    Newly bought and never fueled engine-powered tools such as chain saws can only be allowed as check-in luggage.

    This is to ensure no fuel residue is left in them and to avoid any untoward incidents during the flight.

    If already used before, pieces of equipment such as these are flammable and dangerous to take during flights.

    To those who plan to bring their used but completely cleaned equipment, other airlines may still refuse them.

    With this, it is best that you check with your airlines beforehand to avoid the hassle.

    can you take power tools on a plane flight

    The Sharpness of the Tools

    For security purposes, any sharp power tools, such as polishers, regardless of the size and power source, are not allowed in hand-carry luggage.

    You can still bring them with you on your travel but make sure to pack them as check-in luggage to avoid delays during security checkpoints and screening.

    Airlines and the TSA prevent the possible use of these sharp objects as weapons.

    Thus, they do not allow any of these for the passengers to have in their hand-carry bags.

    The Length of the Tools

    In addition, tools longer than seven inches must be checked-in. Tools that are seven inches or longer are not allowed as part of your hand-carry items for security purposes.

    However, note that there are instances when certain items are generally permitted to be hand-carried but may not be considered in the security checkpoint if it has triggered the alarm.

    Always check the TSA’s site for allowable items or message them through their social media sites for specific item inquiries.

    Multipurpose Tools

    Multi-tool sets without blades are permitted for carry-on bags. However, if it has a knife in it, regardless of length, it should be in the checked-in baggage.

    To be considered for hand-carry bags, scissors must not be more than four inches long.

    Most manufacturers nowadays know these aviation restrictions on multi-tools, including blade knives.

    Thus, they have started producing TSA-approved multi-tools and no longer include the banned knife.

    Screws, Bolts, and Nuts

    The rule on whether hardware items must be hand-carried or checked in largely depends on their sharpness.

    Screws and nails, no matter the size are not to be included in the hand-carry luggage.

    Bolts and nuts, however, are considered okay for carry-on baggage.

    You can always check the TSA website for other items, such as metal cutter, metal brackets, metal wire, and other similar hardware.

    Spare Batteries

    Batteries are permitted for carry-on baggage. You can bring as many batteries from devices as you want.

    You just have to ensure they are within the approved luggage limits and weight and must be up to 100 Watts Hours each.

    Size and Weight of the Tools

    Heavier tools and larger tools must obviously be checked in to avoid inconvenience to other passengers and prevent the misuse of these items.

    Weight limits of items, passengers, and other supplies must be adhered to for the plane to stay up in the air and sustain the flight.

    How to Pack Tools for Checked Luggage

    Safety must always be a priority when packing tools.

    Consider the safety of the tools you are bringing and ensure that they are wrapped together and securely to avoid loss or damage.

    You can keep them in a tool box, wrap them in old newspapers, or include bubble wrap or old cloth in the box.

    Most importantly, you have to keep in mind that there will be people who will handle your baggage.

    So, think of ensuring their safety, too to prevent injury to baggage handlers and luggage inspectors, especially for items with sharp edges.

    Owners of the power tools for checked-in luggage must also take the necessary measures to prevent these tools from activating or turning on while on the flight.

    You can always secure the on and off buttons with tape or, as mentioned, use a trigger lock.

    Power Tools on Plane FAQs

    Keeping the rules and information above, you might have other specific questions about “Can you take power tools on a plane?

    Thus, we answered some of the most common questions we hear from power tool users:

    1. Can I fly with an axe in my check-in bag?

    Yes, sharp items and tools like an axe and miter saw must really be checked in when flying.

    They cannot be in hand-carry bags and must be properly wrapped for the security of the baggage handlers and inspectors.

    2. Can you bring a drill on a plane?

    Cordless drills and drill bits are not permitted for carry-on baggage as per the guidelines of the TSA.

    They can only be checked in as they are sharp and are considered restricted items.

    3. Can you take hand tools on a plane?

    Yes, as long as it meets the size requirements mentioned above, which is seven inches and below.

    Taking Power Tools on a Plane

    There is nothing wrong with bringing with you your power tools, even on international flights.

    The main problem you will encounter is determining whether these tools are for checked baggage or hand carry.

    The good news is we have carefully discussed all the essential factors to help you in this dilemma.

    All you have to ensure is to prioritize safety whether you have your tools for check-in or hand carry.

    Make sure they are securely packed and not prone to damage or loss.

    Help us out by spreading the word!!

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