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Can You Take Nail Clippers On A Plane? Travel Tips You Need To Know

  • Post category:Nails
  • Post last modified:May 20, 2024
  • Reading time:9 mins read

Traveling by air often involves navigating a maze of regulations regarding what can and cannot be brought on board. One common question among travelers is whether nail clippers are allowed in carry-on luggage. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on the rules and best practices for bringing nail clippers on a plane, based on the latest information from various sources.

TSA Regulations

The Transportation Security Administration (T TSA) in the United States has clear guidelines regarding the transportation of nail clippers. According to the TSA, standard nail clippers are generally allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Size and Attachments: Nail clippers without attached files or cutting blades longer than 4 inches are typically allowed in carry-on luggage. If the nail clippers have additional accessories such as a small blade or a metal file, they may be subject to further scrutiny.
  • Final Decision: The final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer. This means that even if your nail clippers meet the general guidelines, they could still be confiscated if deemed a security risk.

International Regulations

Regulations regarding nail clippers can vary from country to country. Here are some examples:

  • Canada: The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) allows nail clippers with a blade 6 cm or less in both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • United Kingdom: The UK government permits nail clippers in both hand and hold baggage. However, it is always advisable to check the specific airline’s policies before traveling.
  • New Zealand: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of New Zealand does not explicitly mention nail clippers, but similar to other countries, sharp objects with blades less than 6 cm are generally allowed in carry-on luggage.

Best Practices for Carrying Nail Clippers

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey, consider the following best practices when carrying nail clippers on a plane:

  • Check Airline Policies: Always check the specific policies of the airline you are flying with, as they may have additional restrictions beyond those of the TSA or other national authorities.
  • Pack Wisely: Place your nail clippers in a clear, resealable bag along with other small personal care items. This makes it easier for TSA agents to inspect them during the security check.
  • Consider Alternatives: If you are concerned about your nail clippers being confiscated, consider bringing alternative grooming tools such as a nail file or a pair of nail scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches.
  • Use Good Judgment: Avoid carrying large or industrial-sized nail clippers, as these are more likely to be flagged by security. Stick to standard, generic nail clippers to minimize the risk of confiscation.

Etiquette for Using Nail Clippers on a Plane

While it is generally allowed to bring nail clippers on a plane, using them during the flight requires some consideration and etiquette:

  • Avoid Using During Takeoff and Landing: It is advisable not to use nail clippers during takeoff or landing due to the significant changes in altitude and pressure, which can affect the overall stability and safety of the plane.
  • Be Considerate of Fellow Passengers: Using nail clippers can be noisy and potentially disruptive. It is best to wait until the plane has reached cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign is turned off before using them.
  • Avoid Using During Mealtime: Using nail clippers during mealtime can be unhygienic and unpleasant for fellow passengers. It is best to avoid grooming activities during this time.

What to Do If Your Nail Clippers Are Confiscated

If your nail clippers are confiscated by TSA or other security personnel, they will not be returned to you. Confiscated items are usually disposed of and not returned to the passenger. To prevent such a situation, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the TSA guidelines and the specific airline’s policies regarding what items are allowed in carry-on luggage.


Nail clippers are generally allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage on most airlines and in most countries, provided they meet certain size and safety criteria. However, the final decision always rests with the security officer at the checkpoint. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey with your nail clippers. Always remember to check the latest regulations from the TSA or the relevant aviation authority in your departure and destination countries, as rules and guidelines can change. Safe travels and happy grooming!


Can you bring nail clippers on a carry-on?

Yes, you can bring nail clippers on a carry-on when flying. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows nail clippers in both carry-on and checked luggage. However, it’s important to note that any sharp objects should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Why is a nail cutter not allowed in flight?

Contrary to common belief, nail cutters are generally allowed in flight. The misconception may stem from concerns over sharp objects, but nail clippers, especially those without attached files or blades longer than 4 inches, are typically permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage.

What is not allowed on a plane to carry on?

Items not allowed on a plane in carry-on luggage include weapons, full water bottles, flammable or explosive materials, large sporting goods, and certain liquids over 3.4 ounces. The TSA provides a comprehensive list of prohibited items, emphasizing the importance of checking specific regulations before packing.

Are tweezers allowed on planes?

Tweezers are allowed on planes in both carry-on and checked luggage. The TSA permits tweezers, emphasizing that while they are generally considered safe, all items are subject to the final discretion of the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.

    What are the TSA regulations for carrying nail clippers on a plane?

    The TSA regulations for carrying nail clippers on a plane are quite lenient. Nail clippers are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags. The TSA advises that any sharp objects in checked luggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury. The final decision, however, rests with the TSA officer at the checkpoint.