If you are backing your bags for boarding onto a flight and wish to carry a pocket knife as it has multiple uses, it is essential to be familiar with the latest rules and regulations. In this matter, the airport rules are as per the commands of federal law. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Department of Homeland Security is only responsible for ensuring security at the airport’s check-in points. It offers a list of restraints (must not haves) and constraints (must haves) if you wish to carry pocket knives or blades while on plane.
After the 9/11 attacks, it was only in 2013 that TSA announced giving permission to carry certain pocket knives while traveling through flight. This is because it was deemed that the hackers had carried several types of knives and blades for the attack. Therefore, to sustain the security level and yet allow passengers to carry on with their normal tasks, TSA had proposed carrying some knives. However, today, these knives are still banned in airplane cabins although they can be kept in checked luggage.
Which Types of Pocket Knives are Allowed?
With respect to the dramatic change in airport policy throughout the world, small knives are now being allowed as a part of carry-on bag on commercial airplanes. However, this may be still prohibited on American airlines. Passengers on flight can carry pocket knives whose blades are small. Well, these are no tactical knives and that most Swiss Knives are still prohibited.
According to the new regulations, pocket knives with blades not more than 6 centimetres or 2.36 inches in length as well as not more than half inches as width at its widest point are allowed. Similarly, such pocket knives should not have a fixed or locking blade, and that there should be no molded grip or molded handle as well. You can carry such small knives into the cabin either via pocket or a hand bag.
The aforementioned criteria are highlighted in “Changes to Prohibited Items List “document that TSA had prepared. In short, small pocket knives that were previously banned in cabins of planes, in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks, are now allowed in U.S. planes. In other countries too, there is no issue in carrying these small knives. However, it is vital to go through the rules and regulations of that country from where you departing and to where you will arrive, as well.
However, it is also true that these improved restrictions are still facing many protests as well as have many scratching their heads in the Everyday Carry (EDC) community.
Which Pocket Knives You Can Take in, on Any Plane?
Regardless of the plane you will be boarding on, here is a list of some pocket knives that you can consider carrying on it without any hesitation.
- Leatherman Style
- Leatherman Squirt CS4
- Swiss Army Money Clip Knife
- Buck Chairman Series Companion
- Swisscart Lite
- Gerber Artifact
- Gerber VISE
- Wenger Esquire
- Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD and Lime Classic Edelweiss
In short, look for TSA-compliant pocket knives if you wish to carry one on a plane. Or else, you might not be allowed to carry a knife at all.
Based on the fundamentals of federalism, the United States only has one federal law for knives, which is the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 amended in 2008. This law is applicable to those traveling between states as well as internationally. It applies if you are traveling to another state, living in a federal district, or are stepping into a federal area such as military camp.
Each U.S state has knife laws but a few of them have more advanced laws than others. Moreover, the local municipals keep enforcing their own laws for knife. For instance, if you live in Montgomery, Alabama, you need to adhere to the knife laws of both Alabama and Montgomery. In case you travel to Birmingham, Alabama (1 hour 20 minutes away), you also need to abide by the knife laws of Birmingham. While traveling, you need to adhere to the knife laws of all the municipals falling in between the two cities.
A Brief Overview of Knife Laws
In the U.S.A, the knife laws are usually split into two categories: Carry and Ownership laws. Carry laws prohibit a person from carrying a few open or concealed knives. For instance, a few states prohibit covering up a knife of more than a certain length, while its open carry is considered legal. These banned knifes are those that are banned from carrying are usually those that have no utility purposes but are only used as weapons.
On the other hand, ownership laws prohibit owning a few types of knives that are believed to be dangerous. These knives are what unlawful individuals carry. In some states, the law even prohibits the use of a knife for a crime or even its aggravated show off. For instance, robbery with knife is worse than only robbery without it and is liable for double punishment.
Knives That You Can Take
If you really do not want to come in a federal trap, consider carrying a knife that is legal, usually everywhere. Therefore, consider investing in a knife that is only for utility use, not for any dangerous use such as Bowie knife. Keeping this in mind, a majority of leatherman’s, multi-tool, and pocketknives should be your target for purchase. Moreover, ensure that the length of blade is at most up to 3 inches or below it.
Because a lock knife is dissimilar to a folding pocket knife, it is prohibited to carry it around regardless of the blade length, until there is no critical reason. A lock knife has a spring that holds the closed blade as well as a locking mechanism to lock the blade once extended. While such a knife is not offensive, having it in a public place without a genuine purpose is an offence.
Similarly, having a multi-tool with a banned blade or pointed stuff in a public place is also an offence, even if there are other parts of the tool, which are truly useful. Similarly, you are disallowed to carry any sharp object including knives in planes, courts, schools, and any edifice where blades are forbidden. There are some exceptions of course, some pocket knives are allowed on planes.
Technically and professionally, it is recommended to sharpen a pocket knife with a sharpener. However, you may not prefer carrying a sharpening device with you, while going for an excursion such as hiking. In that case, you would like to employ an alternative way of sharpening that small but highly useful and versatile knife. Well, there are a few other ways to do so, without using a sharpener. Let us explore the easiest and affordable ones here.
2 Methods How To Sharpen A Pocket Knife Without A Sharpener
Using a Ceramic Coffee Mug
While going out, you might be carrying your own ordinary coffee mug. If not, do consider carrying it this time and, that too, of ceramic. Why so? This is because this mug can act as a natural sharpener of your pocket knife, perhaps because of the ceramic content in it.
For sharpening, just hold the mug upturned in one hand and your knife in another. Once upside-down, check out the mug’s bottom surface for spotting a slim circle of ceramic. This is because that is the sharpening area. Once found, positioned the blade’s base on that ceramic area at an angle of 20-30 degrees and securely pull it towards you by going against the grain. Repeat this action for four times by applying the same amount of pressure. Well, you are done with one side and it is now time to do the same with another side. When you are gliding, the carbon atoms are pushed into coalition due to which sharpness is gained. Now, come back to the first side and perform three passes on both sides followed by two and one. At the end, you get a fresh, sharpened blade. Just ensure that the blade of your knife is of metal only, as you can glide ceramic against ceramic for sharpness.
Using a Honing Rod
A honing rod also helps you to sharpen the blade without using a knife sharpener. It also helps in flattening surfaces, fixing small indentations or nicks, and realigning the knife’s metal. The rod also lessens the frequency at which you use a diamond stone or whetstone for sharpening, which tends to rip off the metal from the blade’s edge. This means it is ideal to use such a stone less for increasing the lifespan of your pocket knife and this is exactly what a honing rod ensures by not removing much metal from blade and yet honing it.
However, it is vital to comprehend that such a rod is not meant for sharpening a dull blade again. Rather, it is preferred for keeping the blade sharp until you use a knife sharpener for sharpening. It is quite simple to use the rod. All you have to do is hold it away at a relaxed angle and slide the blade across the rod’s top. Suggestively, you should slide from heel to tip.
However, just bear in mind that these alternatives are not for sharpening on a regular basis. You should consider them only while excursions and, that too, intermittently.
“I have a food can while resting on a camping site and need something to open it. I just got wounded while ascending and need to bandage. I have a big bushy exit in front of me in a forest and need to rip it off.” Well, these are all the situations in which you need a carry pocket knife. Those who already carry a knife are already aware of how often they are being interrogated for carrying such a tool. Many of them shall answer “for protecting” but that is not the only purpose of a pocket knife. Make sure don’t carry a pocket knife at places where it’s forbidden.
This is because such knives are made for daily use, as they are capable of helping you deal with several tasks. Although made simple, pocketknives are not only robust but also versatile enough to be your best friend at any point of time, right from during normal situations to emergencies.
After all, a knife is regarded as the oldest pal of humankind. This is also applicable to a pocket knife that many people have started utilizing for their daily tasks, especially while in outdoors. A pocket knife is actually an iconic tool that artisans, hikers, campers, and even common people carry. Why so? Well, this is because it is one of the highly functional tools having some great uses as described below.
Main reasons for carrying a pocketknife
For Cutting Things
A pocket knife seriously has no limit in terms of things it can cut. It can easily cut packages, food cans, tags, rope, strings, fruits, letters, boxes, splinter, duct tape, cordage, and packages. These are most of the things that are used in outdoors.
Nowadays, no one can certainly say when will one come across a situation where in a sharpened knife is required, which can even do a job of pencil sharpener or a screwdriver. It simply arises when you have actually not expected it. This is exactly why a pocket knife is supposed to be carried.
When you are out, it suffices to have some string and dry wood to start a fire, provided there is good practice in doing so. However, using a pocket knife can make ignition easier, spark with just a flint, and can quickly extract dry wood from within wet wood.
For Protecting Oneself
Who can deny this function of a pocket knife? There is no accurate prediction as to when you will come across a risky or harmful situation. Protection is also required when you get stuck somewhere. Although a pocket knife is not purely designed for protection purpose, it proves to be a handy weapon in case you get stuck or trapped. This tool can help in repelling or slowing down the aggressor, at least. After all, literally any tool can become a weapon in any harmful situation.
For Quick Heal
No, Quick Heal here does not refer to antivirus software! Quick heal here refers to first aid. Right from fitting tourniquets to cutting bandages, it is truly useful to carry a pocket knife. For example, a Swiss pocketknife with sharp blades is vital for giving first aid, by utilizing it for cutting bandages, clothing into strips for creating splints, and cutting sutures post wound stitching. Moreover, it is ideal for cutting the ropes of trapped hostages, although this is something that no one should encounter, hopefully.
For Daily Chores at Home
Can you recall the chores at home in which you need cutting? Well, there are many: peeling fruits, converting an old towel into rags, ripping vines off at yard, opening food cans, and cutting various types of packages. All these tasks become a breeze with a robust pocket knife, but make sure you keep your knife sharp at all times.
For those who do not know, a pocket knife seriously has thousands of uses. It can easily substitute a pair of scissors, a tool box with several tools, and even a simply screwdriver tool. Just think of some creative or interesting use, and you will know how versatile your pocket knife can be for you, even if it has no multipurpose tools inside. This is the pretty good reason why a pocket knife is tagged as the best companion!
While scissors can cut through few stuff and saws via those pesky roots beneath the camping tent, a pocket knife can perhaps actually do anything! Therefore, it is said that always leave your home with it! For those who think that a pocket knife is only for cutting ropes and shaving off wood’s bark for kindling, here are some cool and interesting things that you can do with it!
No, you need not become a caveman for it! What you all need is just some trick and knack to make some most beautiful artworks of life. You can literally carve a flower, spoon, lid, door handles, and lamp sockets. Using some fresh wood and a saw, you can even make a whistle using your pocket knife.
Well, don’t you think that this is more creative than just sharpening other edged tools with such a small but intelligent knife of yours? And wait, you can even make arrows and a spear, or carve letters into tree as a signpost, or even carve a figurine from an apple!
Well, cleaning her refers to remove dirt from under your finger nails and sometimes, even cut them using your pocket knife. Well, the latter function depends upon the type of pocket knife you choose. Similarly, you can even use the remove those stubborn spots from packages, materials, or boxes received when you are out.
One way of signaling is already shared with you above through carving. So, what else remains now? Well, how about carving on the walking surface to form a trail to come out of a dense forest? How about using the blade for having the reflection of the sun, so as to signal others?
Your pocket knife acts an effective tool in separating two jammed or stuck stuff. For example, you can easily separate too stuck Lego blocks that even healthy nails cannot do. These Lego stacks are super glued ones, which can even crack your nails if you try to separate using nails. Similarly, it can help you extract stuck things such as name plates and stickers.
Well, if you have a high quality pocket knife, you not only can sharpen tools with blade but even a pencil. Forget your pencil sharpener now, because a pocket knife can do that quite gracefully as well as neatly! And yes, you can use that waste to create some other form of art! You can even free a broken pencil lead piece from the manual sharpener so that the pencil is pushed fully for getting sharpened properly to a point.