are nail clippers allowed on planes

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Are nail clippers allowed on airplanes?

Yes, standard, everyday nail clippers are allowed to be packed in your carry-on or checked luggage for any commercial flight. Other personal care items like tweezers, cuticle pushers, and nail files are also allowed in your carry-on. 

There is an exception to the above. 

If you are carrying special nail clippers, like those a podiatrist would use, you will need to pack those in your checked luggage if they are longer than 7” or 17.8cm. Medical fingernail or toenail clippers more closely resemble a pair of diagonal pliers where there is a sharp pointed end that is meant to cut wire. 

Nail scissors or manicure scissors are also allowed in carry-on bags. Since these scissors are shorter than 4”, or 10.2cm from the pivot point. 

Tips for traveling with personal grooming tools

  • Pack these in their own separate case
  • Be prepared to step aside for TSA to search your luggage
  • If you are checking a bag, place these items in your checked luggage

Regardless of whether you pack your nail clippers or other personal grooming items in your checked luggage or carry-on, pack them in their own separate case. A small zippered or flapped travel case is ideal. 

Tweezers, files, and clippers have sharp edges and packing them in their own case will prevent you or others from accidentally cutting or poking a finger while searching through your bag. 

Despite nail clippers specifically be called-out as ‘allowed,’ you should still expect your bag to be pulled to the side for a separate inspection. Any sharp metal object is likely to draw attention in any x-ray machine, which will trigger a separate search. 

Given the two points above, if you are checking your luggage, place your nail clippers, tweezers, and any other sharp objects in your checked luggage. Make it easy on yourself to get through the security checkpoint. 


Can I bring nail clippers in my checked baggage?

Yes you can bring nail clippers in your checked luggage. Make sure these are properly stored so there are not any sharp edges exposed. 

What should I do if I accidentally packed nail clippers in my carry-on bag?

Nothing! You are allowed to bring nail clippers with you in your carry-on. 

Are there any notable instances of passengers having issues with nail clippers at airport security?

No; however, be aware that despite what the TSA rules online say, each TSA officer has the authority to not allow any item for any reason to pass through a security checkpoint. Even if your nail clippers are within the defined guidelines for being allowed, TSA may still not allow you to go through the checkpoint with them. 


Written by
Brian Fischer, Staff Writer

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