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How to Safely Pack Knives in Checked Baggage?

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by hayes31, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Final Option

    Final Option Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    I just returned from Blade Show in Atlanta and had to fly to Upstate New York. While there I made several knife purchases including a custom Hinderer Knife. I Shipped them from Atlanta using Fed Ex. I know some of the TSA screeners target checked luggage for high value items such as knives. They know chances of them getting caught are minimal and the complaint process is cumbersome. It is ashame that that you can not trust these Federal Employees. I know the majority are honest, but it only takes one bad experience to taint your view. Bottom line ship your items on ahead so you know they will be there.
  2. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    Where I work there are many machine assemblers who also travel and install/repair machinery.

    They carry a tool kit in their check on luggage, Many of them ask to have their baggage searched in front of them. They say otherwise it's a mess when they get it back.
  3. cosmophonic12


    Jan 2, 2009
    I've heard the same thing. I also read if you advise the outside curb airline employees that you need to declare a firearm, they have to walk you to the front of the line. :)
  4. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    1) Don't put anything valuable in your checked luggage.
    2) If your inexpensive knife is stolen/lost/vanished from your checked luggage, go to the store and buy another when you get there.
    3) Or skip the possibility of theft/loss altogether and just plan on buying a knife when you get there.
  5. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    I think "Buy a New Knife" is always a Good Idea! ;-)

    Checking firearms is just a good way to get the gun AND the knives stolen. Guns get stolen all the time too.
    Basically, point 1 in Bob W's post above pretty well sums it up.
  6. fatherhudson


    Apr 3, 2012

    I've never heard of a gun getting stolen by TSA. I think if it did happen they would actually go to the effort to track down who stole it. After all, it is a gun.
  7. Daddyo16


    Jan 12, 2012
    I just got back from Maine and New Hampshire... on the way up I had an older SAK and a really banged up Leatherman Squirt S2 in my checked bag. I chose them because if they were stolen I wouldn't lose any sleep. They were not touched. While I was there, I bought a Vic Alox Solo, a Leatherman Micra, and a CRKT Ripple 2 with IKBS and Ti-Nitride frame. Checked them back through Manchester NH airport and they arrived back in Nashville untouched. I was a little concerned about the Ripple since I spent more on it than the other two. I had all of them in a brown paper sack rolled up and stuffed in between some of my clothes.

    I think you just have to decide if it's worth the risk to take more expensive blades.
  8. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
  9. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    EVERYTHING of value gets stolen! Guns are a prime target. The TSA are not the only people stealing from airline luggage. I had a gun stolen from my luggage way back in pre-TSA days but managed to pressure the airline enough to get it back. I've told the storey before and I won't bother to repeat it now. But if you think somehow anybody stealing fom luggage is going to be scared to take your gun, you better think again. They'll be delighted to get it.
  10. orca8589


    Jan 27, 2007
    We had a major theft problem here at SFO (San Francisco Airport) with baggage theft, and the airlines and TSA pretty much ignored complaints.

    Then a retired cop's custom pistol was taken, and a sting operation was set up, and the thieves took the bait. Basically, the retired cop had some pretty strong law enforcement connections. It took years of complaints, a stolen gun, and a really pissed off cop to finally get this issue taken care of at SFO. (The article below conveniently doesn't mention the years of thievery that went on before the bust.)


  11. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    Wasn't it San Franciso airport where Ken Onion's knives were taken some years back?
  12. orca8589


    Jan 27, 2007
    I think it was.

  13. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    I recall a recent (recent in years) story in Tuscon (?) where the police investigated a man who had a perpetual garage sale at his home, lots of nice stuff. Turns out he was driving to the airport with a cargo trailer and simply loading up from the luggage carrousels.

    See if I can find a link...

    Phoenix. Same story?

    People who work at the airport may be the least of the problem.
  14. Bishop2Queen's6


    Jun 8, 2011
    You are better off shipping your knives a head of you to your buddy you're camping with. At least that way, if something were to go wrong during shipping, there is insurance and liability. I never pack anything I'm not willing to loose. ZT's and Beckers stay home, CRKT's and SAKs are packed in the bag.

    TSA has rummaged through my bag numerous times, destroyed a scale model for a presentation, and ruined several luggage.
  15. chantan


    Sep 15, 2015
    anyone here from san francisco tried bringing a knife to other country?
  16. Charles Weaver

    Charles Weaver

    Feb 21, 2014
    Don't fly through Atlanta if you can help it. Every single time I have a layover there, something gets stolen or broken. So far they are batting .1000. 4 out of 4. I hate Atlanta.

    I travel 100% for my job and I usually take 5-10 knives with me everywhere just so I can continue playing this game. If I let the worry of TSA or baggage handlers get to me, I wouldn't ever carry anything. I risk it.

    I have had great luck this far by sticking all my knives in my socks and then stuffing my socks in my work boots. Obviously they can still find them if they want too, but it doesn't appear they have cared enough to do so so far. My tool box on the other hand. For the love of God. THEY ARE TOOLS!!! What is so fascinating about them that TSA "inspects" it every single time I fly? They rip stuff out and then throw it back in with complete disregard.

    I hate flying.
  17. cigarrodog

    cigarrodog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 18, 2014
    When I travel, I go to the airline's and TSA's site to precisely know the the protocol for taking firearms or knives. I follow the instructions and declare them at the counter, which involves filling out a signed form. The counter agent calls a special TSA agent who inspects content, gives me the form, and then I board. I pick up my luggage at the destination and go on my way without hassle or incident. So far.
  18. bladegrinder


    May 4, 2013
    Firearms are the way to travel, it helps if you have a CWP and it's recognized at your destination.
    I flew Southwest a few weeks ago with a pelican case loaded with knives and other things, including a firearm.
    you simply declare it inside at the counter, fill out a form, put it in your case, answer a few questions, "is it unloaded, are you the only one that has a key?" it then goes thru an xray in front of you and off it goes...
    as for the key, that's the beauty of it, a firearm has to be in a locked bag, and TSA locks are not allowed, it HAS to be a keyed padlock,
    and only you are allowed to have a key. I was told if for some reason they needed to get in it there would be announcement thru the airport.
    everything shipped smoothly.
  19. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I only pack knives in my luggage that I wouldn't care losing, such as Mora, Opinel or SAK. I don't care to risk my good blades to sticky-fingered airport 'security.'
  20. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    A small, but, perhaps, helpful tidbit-if you can use a fixed blade where you are going, it is MUCH harder to slip in their pocket than a folder (I know, that is why you want to take a folder). Still, if a fixed will work for your purposes, I believe that's the way to go (at least that's what I do FWIW). :)

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