Bringing Needlepoint On an Airplane

Will security allow you to bring your needlepoint project on to an airplane? The TSA states the following rule for Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint on their website:

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage.

Items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage.

From the wording “circular thread cutters” it appears that the TSA is zeroing in on those cute pendant things. I don’t see how they could be used as a weapon, except maybe against inchworms.

Still not clear though, is whether I can bring along a regular pair of scissors, or at least a little child-safe one. Is that a “cutter with a blade contained inside”? What sort of cutter doesn’t have a blade inside? A pair of pliers?

I found this document (pdf file), listing changes to the rules made in 2005, one of which is allowing small scissors on to aircraft. Here is the relevant paragraph:

TSA now is modifying the interpretive rule to allow passengers to carry metal scissors with pointed tips and a cutting edge four inches or less, as measured from the fulcrum, through a passenger screening checkpoint and into the cabin of an aircraft. Metal scissors with pointed tips and a blade length greater than four inches will continue to be prohibited.

TSA now is modifying the
interpretive rule to allow passengers to
carry metal scissors with pointed tips
and a cutting edge four inches or less,
as measured from the fulcrum, through
a passenger screening checkpoint and
into the cabin of an aircraft. Metal
scissors with pointed tips and a blade
length greater than four inches will
continue to be prohibited

From various discussions around the ‘net I gathered that pendants and nail clippers might be confiscated anyway. Apparently, TSA agents get twitchy when they see anything with a sharp tip. But safety scissors would probably pass.

Another idea many people suggested was bringing along dental floss dispensers, and using that little blade in there to do your snipping. (Interestingly, I find that DMC floss is actually a pretty good substitute for dental floss, when you’re in a pinch.)

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2 Comments

  1. I have never had a pair of scissors even looked at by Security. I carry a small pair of embroidery scissors with sharp points, and nobody’s ever said a thing on at least a dozen flights. A good alternative is to carry a small package of dental floss – that cutter will work for all but the heaviest thread.

  2. I have had not problems with taking small embroidery scissors onto a plane except at Hong Kong Airport where I was in transit on 31 12.14. Aviation Security confiscated my very tiny scissors ( less than 4cm long 0which previously were my mothers. Hong Kong apparently have their own set of rules.

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