Can You Bring Tools In Your Baggage?

Can You Bring Tools In Your Baggage?

Short answer - yes!

But only if you know how to pack them properly.

Learn it here!

When traveling, you want to pack light, but sometimes you need to bring along some extra equipment. For example, if you're going camping or hiking, you might need equipment. Naturally, you'll bring tools to help you assemble your equipment, including power tools.

Some airlines might allow certain types of tools on carry-on bags. Still, the TSA or Transportation Security Administration only permits them in checked bags - as most airlines.

Airport personnel and government security agencies like the TSA screen passengers' bags in the airport to ensure safety from terrorism. 

And since tools can be dangerous in the wrong hands, they only allow them on checked bags where it's hard or impossible to get while on the flight.

What Tools Can You Bring In Your Baggage?

Carry-on Baggage

Tools that are shorter than 7 inches from end to end when assembled are allowed in carry-on baggage.

That means, as long as it has a blunt end and is shorter than 4 inches, you could bring measuring tapes, short wrenches, and even small scissors.

Generally, airlines prohibit metal items. So, keep in mind that even harmless tools may still be denied at the discretion of the airline and the airport security staff. 

This rule was put into place after 9/11 when terrorists attempted to hijack planes using box cutters.

Checked-in Baggage

Tools bigger than 7 inches, when measured inches from end to end when assembled, are allowed in checked-in baggage. 

So tools like saws, hammers, and screwdrivers will only be allowed in checked-in baggage. 

Can You Bring Power Tools In Your Baggage?

Yes. You can definitely bring power tools in your baggage, but only in checked bags and with a few conditions.

Pack battery-operated power tools with irremovable lithium-ion batteries in your checked-in baggage. 

If the batteries in your power tools are removable or you have spare batteries, separate those. Put your batteries on your carry-on, and put your power tool in your checked-in.

This is because dry batteries may accidentally short circuit and cause a fire. 

Gas-powered tools could be allowed in checked baggage. Just make sure they do not contain any residue or vapors of gas/oil. They must also be completely empty. Gas and oil are flammable liquids that are considered restricted items. 

How To Pack Tools In Your Baggage

For tools that have removable pieces, pack all the pieces together. This will make for easier unpacking and ensuring you don't lose any parts. You put them in a smaller container, pouch, or even just tape or tie them together.

For sharp objects, wrap them in layers of paper or fabric. That will lessen the risk of damage on the other items in your baggage, other passenger baggage, and unexpected injury to baggage handlers.

For electric tools or power tools, make sure you pack them tightly so the wires or small pieces don't get loose in case of a shaky flight. Power tools are heavy and bulky. If you don't pack them properly, they might get damaged during travel. Don't forget to remove the power tool batteries and spare batteries. 

Can You Bring Any Tool In Your Baggage?

You can bring almost any tool in your checked-in baggage as long as they're well packed and follow your airline's conditions. 

However, most airlines prohibit any flammable items. Some power tools use lithium batteries or flammable liquids, which may be denied. It's all at the discretion of the security officers.

Also, strong magnets can interfere with the plane's electronic equipment and navigation system. So, strongly magnetic materials are prohibited on flights to prevent irreparable damage to property and people. 

The TSA has banned many things from carry-on luggage, including knives, guns, ammunition, explosives, and even some types of food.

Always check with your airline before packing anything that might not be allowed.

How Heavy Can Your Baggage Be?

Tools can be hefty. So, aside from knowing what you can bring and how - you should also be prepared for how heavy your baggage will be.

The maximum size and weight of baggage allowed by airlines vary from airline to airline. Some allow only one piece of luggage per person, while others will let you take two pieces. Check with your airline before booking your ticket to find out what they permit.

The maximum allowable weight for checked baggage is 50 kg (110 lb) for most airlines. If you want to take larger items, you will need to pay extra fees as you would be paying extra for oversized and overweight baggage. 

Quick Recap

You can pack almost any hand tools and even power tools in your baggage. 

You can put anything in your checked bag - as long as:

they follow airline conditions

do not contain flammable materials, strong magnet, or any forbidden items

and are appropriately packed.

You can bring some harmless and small tools (less than 7 inches) with you on your carry-on baggage if allowed by your airline. 

Keep in mind that carrying tools will definitely make your baggage heavier and may cause you extra baggage fees. 

Final words

Different airlines and countries can have various luggage restrictions on what they allow on baggage, so it's always a good idea to check with your destination and flight providers. 

About this Guide

Written By Sheena
Last Updated On March 19, 2022
Reading Time 
5 minutes
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