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What blades for foriegn travel?

May 4, 2000
I'll be travelling eastern europe with two beautiful young women in September. As a knife guy I'm all over carrying knives just in case. Any advice on the legaliy in most of Europe. Any suggestions on a good knife to take. I'm considering taking a pair of the short spydercos or going covert and taking a Boker Ceramic, a titanium or a cold steel CAT.
You want to keep the blade under 3" but 2" would be a better bet. Stick to straight edges. I would probably go with the Spyderco Delica for this task. (In fact I have done so on many occasions)
Hello Trent,

Andre provides good advice. Most of Europe is ok with "average sized" knives, but there are some countries that don't tolerate blades of any length whatsoever. As for eastern Europe, the countries that I've been to don't seem to mind pocket knives, but I would never take a large tactical-type folder. Better to take a small thumbstud folder, and a Swiss Army type knife, the latter of which are seen everywhere in Europe, and are generally accepted quite well.
Also, be aware that petty theft is quite rampant in eastern Europe, so don't take anything expensive.

Phil Reedy

Having just returned from a trip myself, I think I can give some good advice. The Swiss Army Knife is the most non-threatening blade there is. A moderate sized SAK will not scare anyone who is not totally knife phobic. You also might want a Spyderco Ladybug or similar keychain knife. A Leatherman Micra is another good travel item. If you take a one hander, keep it under 3" like a Benchmade 705 or Spyderco Calypso Jr., or small Sebenza.
I'd rather stay away from covert - one less potential problem. I like the little Spydies too. They're good knives and if you do have to give it up you're not out a lot of cash.
Take a SAK and buy a big kitchen knife and keep it in a bag with a loaf of(unsliced) bread and some cheese. Anybody says anything,plead ignorant. at the end of each day eat the bread and relpace it.

The thorn stands to defend the Rose, yet it is peaceful and does not seek conflict
Be very careful. I was detained in the airport in Switzerland [ Zurich ] last year on my way to Poland, with an under three inch Dozier folder which I presented at airport security. The knife was given to the flight crew and retuned to me in Poland. It's not fun being taken to a back room and told " this is not allowed. " Don't assume any knife is o.k.
Don't take the CAT, you can get in big trouble. Stick with SAK and multitools, I've had no problem with them but usually check the multitool with my luggage when I fly. I have carried a Frosts sheath knife for food preparation in my luggage, but not generally on my person.
I would not recommend taking a Cold Steel CAT knife, at least not in carry-on luggage. I've not been to Europe, but have traveled/lived in a few Asian countries, and my Swiss Army knife never raised any eyebrows, which surprised me.

In some countries, I have heard you cannot carry a folder of any kind or size if it has a lock mechanism. So IMO, although not a weapon, an SAK is probably the best bet, but something like a Spyderco Cricket may also be okay. Both types are high quality, yet easy to replace.
Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I wouldn't be so sketched out but it would kill me if anything happened to either of the girls I'm travelling with. I had one attempted mugging and saw a guy being chased with a knife in Amsterdam a few years ago when I was travelling alone, so I want to have the option of quickly ending a confrontation on my terms if there's no other way out. The kitchen knife in the bread bag is one idea, but I would think accessibility would be an issue. Point blank, I would feel safer if I had a small 2-3 inch plain blade one hander that I could whip out and get aggressive if God forbid I should have to. Spyderco Delica seems to be the best suggestion so far. Any others?
I´d second the SAK plus additional knife idea. But beware: In Great Britain it´s non-locking folder under 3 inch, everything else is illegal. Any tool that you carry without legitimate reason can be seen as an offensive weapon. Very ***** law there. In Holland and Belgium, any knife publicly carried is illegal, as far as I know.
In Austria, you can carry whatever you want, as long as it doesn´t look like a harmless object (sword canes, belt buckle knives etc. are illegal). In Germany, automatics are a no-no, no other restrictions as far as I know. In Switzerland, serrations and one-handed opening folders are illegal.
Try posting at the European Forum (in Community) here at bladeforums or at the European Forum of www.messerforum.net (German/Austrian forum).
All info is as far as I know, you might want to check additional sources.

"Peace is not without conflict; it is the ability to cope with conflict" - Leo Giron
Whatever these people sugguested is good but don't leave home without a SpiderCard as a backup, nicely tuck inside the wallet
Ahoj, David1967. Just wanted to let you know that I visited your great country again recently - to get married! I married my lovely Prague bride down in South Bohemia at Hluboka zamek. Awesome.
For the record, I carried a Spartan SAK down the aisle ... no problems with the law, just like you said! ;-)
As for the original post, I'd suggest carrying some SAK or multi-tool across the ocean, then buying a cheap one-handed opener or auto once you touchdown. Toss it in the garbage when you fly home. Believe, just using your brains and being aware at ALL times is your best defense. I lived in the Czech Republic for 5 years and never had any trouble.
You are checked at the airports. I would not even imagine to fly with a CAT or anything similar - just imagine what the security would think if they found that! I've always had my SwissChamp in carry on luggage, and I've never had any problems. I've never tried any locking knives - they are usually prohibited, for instance I've heard that original Leatherman was ok, but SuperTool not. (There are some lockin SAKs that might slip through as "SAKs.") Same goes with serrations, not ok on plains.
But that's of course about the carry on luggage - you can probably but almost anything in your other luggage. Chances are that you are not going to be stopped and checked on the street, but of course you might be if police sees you cutting your bread with a Sifu or something.
I think the idea of buying a cheap knife after you lended is too much. Just buy some inexpensive knife like Calypso Jr. or Delica and take that with you. And no, don't toss it away when you leave either
(Buying a knife there is ok, but finding the store might be hard if you don't know any - and might just take too much of the travel time...) Inexpensive so that if it gets lost (for any reason) it's not a big deal.