Legal blade length limit?

Dec 25, 1999
Does anyone know what the legal blade length limit is for a commercial airline? It would be interesting to know because I just can't live without a knife at my side. I think it's the sense of security.
I went all out and bought a large Sebenza today. Thanks for all your info. in the forum. It helped a lot.
Hello Prow,

Each airline has it's own regulations, and each airline or security co. worker has their own way of interpeting those regulations. IOW, nothing is guaranteed. I've traveled by air quite a lot, and I've not had any problems with a mini Bucktool or small SAK. It seems to be quite common that small nonthreatening knives will most likely be allowed to be carried on board.
I can guarantee you that no one will allow you on board with a large Sebenza. You can have it in your checked baggage, but then again you run the risk of loosing the bag, or having an airline employee steal it. Personally, I would rather have a nice, but not quite so expensive large folder in my bags, and not risk the nice stuff.

have fun,
Phil Reedy

This topic has been extensively discussed here last year. To find the threads, go to the Blade Discussiion Forum - Year 1 and search under 'airline'. More discussion than you probably expect. In short, don't risk a blade you're unwilling to lose and always have a stamped, self-addressed padded envelope with you tou mail it back to yourself if they'll let you. Good Luck!
(If I were you I wouldn't risk a Sebenza, more likely a Delica or Calypso Lightweight.)

I'm beginning to believe that blade length,{as long as it's under 4"} is not as crucial a factor as the knifes appearance. For example, I recently passed through security at DFW airport, here in Texas, carrying a Benchmade Ascent 830 BT folder. This knife as a 3.5" black teflon coated blade, but NO serrations on the blade. I think that the knives that most airport security personel are having a problem with appear to be menacing to them. I would not try to pass through with a serrated blade, no matter the length. I know it's weird, but if you want to fly by commercial aircraft, you have to play by their rules.

FWIW - I also like a blade on board, I can conceal a small swissarmy with a coins in a change purse. It should work for any small folder.
If you put something into a checked bag it helps to have innocent and recognizable metallic objects with it - a flashlight for instance - that will both break up the outline of the knife and give the security personnel a good reason to keep things moving along.

Legality is less of an issue than which person is working at the time. In January of 1999, I was told to put my Victorinox Spartan SAK in checked luggage. In June, I took the same airline to the same place. I went by ok with a BM Mel Pardue.
I think your point about length is a good one seems that my L.S.T. never gets questioned nor does my classic sak... but I did get turned back one time with an old Gerber FSII on my belt that I forgot about!
Looking threatening is also a factor - the non-serriated blades look more benign and are more easily accepted virtually anywhere.. I opened my delica to pick out a splinter once in the presence of a friend who happens to be a police chief - His comment was -"that thing would eat up a balistic vest" - "legal" seems often to be in the eye of the beholder