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Carrying small pliers and screwdrivers at all times is helpful and comforting. So, when I travel without checked baggage, I feel strange leaving small multitools behind. Being without tools is weird. So, I decided to buy a used Leatherman Squirt on eBay (possibly a TSA auction of a previously confiscated tool), and modify it to meet/exceed the government restrictions on carry-on tools.

Step 1: Acquire a High Quality, Low Cost Multitool to Modify

Since there's every likelihood that at some point your multitool will be confiscated, regardless of it's compliance with regulations, don't spend a lot of money on your tool. I like the Leatherman Squirt series. Brand new, they're around $30. Used ones go for around $10-$15 on eBay. I've bought three used ones over the years and they've all performed admirably.

Step 2: Remove Rivits and Disassemble (optional, Mostly Unnecessary, Yet Fun Step)

Mill or grind off the rivets with a Dremel or angle grinder to remove or swap out the offending parts. Originally, I'd planned to exchange other compliant parts from a second donor tool, but none were unique enough to warrant it. It was fun to open, and does make grinding the file, awl, and blade easier, but you really can skip this step if you like.

Step 3: Dull, Round, and Shorten Blades

You can use pliers to snap the file down to size, or simply grind it down to size and then round it. The same goes for the main knife blade. The awl is a bit pointy and threatening on this one, so you may want to defang it as well.

Step 4: Laser Etch "TSA Compliant" Into the Scale

Since you've gone to all this trouble to make your multitool compliant with the TSA rules, why not advertise that a bit? If you have access to a laser cutter/engraver, you can etch it yourself, or bring it to an engraving shop and have it done for you. Use the attached file for a Leatherman Squirt, or scale accordingly for your tool.

I managed to travel through about six airports before this one was confiscated. Not too bad for a ~$12 investment and two hours of my time. It was really helpful to have the tool with me when traveling light. I plan to make a replacement before my next trip. If you make one for yourself, I'd love to hear of your adventures with it!

<p>why not have a self addressed envolop ready for any thing they deem flight risk </p>
<p>Forget knives. </p><p>I'm tired of the TSA cutting off my TSA compliant locks every time. I always arrive at my destination and the locks are gone. </p><p>Once they called me at the gate to tell them my combination because they didn't have a #4 key. </p><p>If *I* were President TSA is the first agency *I* would get rid of. </p>
<p>I carried a bottle of Compressed o2 on to an aircraft ( I've went thru three checkpoints and I don't have a lung issue) to see if any of the TSA dingbats would take it nope sailed thru with an easily improvised explosive no one batted an eye.</p>
<p>A friend of mine was once, legitimately, hired by an airport security agency to &quot;test&quot; their machines and agents. The job was roughly &quot;here's a bunch of suitcases, let's see the worst things you can get away with hiding in them&quot;. He is now on most no-fly lists because he successfully demonstrated how to hide a dozen pretty serious explosive devices that were NOT picked up by their various x-ray / sniffer / scanner machines. :-(</p>
<p>And this proves conclusively that &quot;authority&quot; speaks with a forked tongue.<br>Do not allow yourself to be &quot;hired&quot; to test security unless you already work for the government in that capacity. Even then, watch your six.</p>
<p>When flying in Japan I once forgot and had my full size Swiss army knife on me. So I put it in the basket figuring they would confiscate it. Instead they put it in a manilla envelope and gave it to the flight crew. At the end of the flight the crew gave it back to me.</p>
<p>I saw that happen to someone at the naval base in Virginia (although it was peppers spray not a knife).</p>
<p>That's good customer service. And someone using a little common sense.</p>
<p>That's excellent! The most sane, thoughtful solution yet..</p>
The UK security doesn't allow any tools in hand luggage anymore, this includes spanners, screwdrivers or pliers. Lost a lovely small Bahco adjustable spanner at London City Airport last month. Loved that thing. <br><br>They do offer envelopes for sending items home at a cost of around &pound;7 which is a nice alternative to having it confiscated.
<p>I've had Allen keys confiscated. Yeah, you know, hex keys, had to imagine a more blunt and less threattening tool. I was incredulous. What's the risk? I might start slowly and meticulously taking the plane apart from the inside or something?<br>Worst of all, when I got on the plane, my set-back table was loose and flapping around, and the guy in front of me had a broken reclining mechanism. If I had my Allen keys on me I just might have been able to tighten it up for them! AAAARGH!</p>
<p>if they want to make some money why dont they make an official tsa compliant tool for people </p>
<p>One time before all this security, I took a dive knife with a 15cm blade on a plane and hand luggage and it did not raise an issue. However since then I have had my bags searched because of a whole bunch of keys and also another time I had a large sandwich bag of coins that attracted attention</p>
<p>back in the 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>back in the 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>back in the 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>back in the 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>back in the 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>back in yhe 70,s my grand mother took her 22 semi auto clear to Israel and back never a comment o'h how times have changed</p>
<p>I got turned away on an army/airforce base at an air show - I had a knife with a 1&quot; blade on my keychain. Took it back to my car. When I got in, there were guys with M-16's all over the place. I guess I might have held them at bay with my keychain knife.<br><br>Common sense was the first casualty after 9-11</p>
<p>This is a clever idea!</p><p>My little hot pink Swiss Army knife got confiscated at the Frankfurt airport, and I was so sad. Where did yours finally get confiscated?</p>
<p>Laura, so sad! Mine was nabbed at my beloved Burbank airport. I feel so betrayed.</p>
<p>It it meets their requirements, why was it confiscated? Did they tell you what rule it broke?</p>
<p>No, they didn't. It is always at the discretion of the agents, regardless of the written rules. Tricky, no?</p>
<p>I wonder if anyone has tried to find out what happens to all these confiscated items. May be raid these agents' homes and find a huge collection. In your case maybe the agent liked it for himself.</p>
<p>I believe they sell them off in lots. I've purchased before from an eBay seller I thought got his items that way, and seen another that lists his used Victorinox knives as TSA confiscated items.</p>
<p>Here is a link to TSA confiscated knives</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=TSA%20confiscated%20items&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=3&_trksid=p2045573.m1684" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_sacat=0&amp;...</a></p>
<p>I guess you are right. Only the items that are not pocketed in the first place!</p>
<p>They stole my shurikin stars that were in my checked baggage.</p>
not being TSA was the broken rule right?
<p>That happens a lot, Even with tools that ARE allowed. Some of the agents that confisticate your tools take them not because they aren't allowed, But because they want to sell them and earn money!</p><p>Grrrrrrrr</p>
I have a knife/ scissor sharpener. It is 1 &quot; W X 3&quot; L X 1/8th&quot; Thick. It is flat rounded corners and two knotches for the knife or scissor blade to fit in. It was almost taken. The young female TSA agent asked what it was I told her, at which point she said I had to take it off my key ring and give it to her. I asked for a supervisor and as soon as he look at it he just shook his head and waved us on.
<p>Sad thing is most of these Cheney era restrictions are just PR to calm the traveling (and heavily inconvenienced) public. Many studies have shown most of the measures make no appreciable diff in safety and, in USA especially, aren't carried out too effectively.</p><p>But that said: If you enjoyed the time you spent: That's at least something positive out of living under such restrictions.</p>
I'm doin' this! Thanks!
<p>Do it! Please share your results.</p>
<p>TSA confiscated a 1/2&quot; open end box wrench I'd purchased in a pawn shop. Guess they were afraid I'd dismantle the plane.</p>
<p>Why can't they have like small bags where in you put your stuff and you get a token for it, just like checked baggage. Then they an just hand it over to you at the destination. With the current practice one is forced to compulsorily check in baggage that is even smaller than carry-ons. </p>
<p>The main place I travel is to visit my far-away sister for a month or so each summer. She kindly allows me an area of the guest room dresser for keeping such things as a good solid pocket knife, some toiletries, etc. I hope I get to make a hundred more of these trips!</p>
<p>The last step is putting it back together with... rivets, or nuts and bolts?</p>
<p>I shave a <em>Swiss+Tech</em> folding tool which I thought would be TSA compliant as it is one of the few that DOES NOT have a knife blade. Now you've made me rethink it re: the tiny eyeglass screwdriver, and the tiny screw hole starter (screw looking tool). The whole thing is about 2&quot; square and includes a wire cutter in the base of the pliers. They make a rounder version without as many tools. I think if they tried to take it from me, I would just delay my flight out of principle, or go ditch it in the Men's Room toilet tank til I returned. It was only $16.00, but..... Your idea is more fun.</p>
<p>my husband had the smallest size nail clippers confiscated somewhere in Europe a few years ago - you know the small cheap Chinese ones? What the hell can one do with this as a weapon? It's even difficult to cut toe nails with this minor implement. Had quite a discussion about the use of nail clippers as a weapon. lol a lot.</p><p>threatening</p>
<p>The TSA's worry is how sharp the knife part is. A utility blade is only sharpened on one edge, and less than 2 inches in length, and has a tip that is not designed for stabbing, is a legitimate tool for opening boxes, as everything comes in cardboard boxes. A Blade like a Bowie knife, with a tip meant for stabbing is not the best tool to use for opening boxes, and more likely used as a weapon. People who work at an airport have to be mindful of what tools they take when going through security at work also, as the wrong tool can get confiscated also.</p>
<p>While I generally carry a couple of Gerber multi-tools, that are not expected to be TSA compliant, I have not had a problem with traveling with them in my checked bag. If my baggage goes wandering, I can usually get a replacement at a local Target or WalMart if push comes to shove. I'm likely to have to get several other things anyway, Toiletries, more clothing, etc. Part of why I set up a travel budget after all.</p>
<p>While I generally carry a couple of Gerber multi-tools, that are not expected to be TSA compliant, I have not had a problem with traveling with them in my checked bag. If my baggage goes wandering, I can usually get a replacement at a local Target or WalMart if push comes to shove. I'm likely to have to get several other things anyway, Toiletries, more clothing, etc. Part of why I set up a travel budget after all.</p>
<p>we were finally told at Little Rock airport, that instead of confiscating, you are allowed to mail it home. They are supposed to tell you this, also. Agent showed us to the service counter. Only cost us a couple of bucks to mail the little swiss army knife. The one that had just been allowed in 3 other airports that month. Still, you might as well dump a decent one in checked baggage for after you land. Hardest part obviously is remembering to put it in there before you get to the airport.</p>
<p>Hardest part is remembering to put it in there before you check your bags.</p><p>I habitually carry no less than 6 types of Non-TSA compliant tools on my person, and every time I go to the airport, I always do a quick pocket-check before I check my bags. Just in case I missed one (again).</p><p>The pocket-check was originally developed when I was in Scouting, and we would routinely fly home from far-away camps. At least Airport Security was nice about seeing the flock of tan shirts, and reminding us helpfully to check ALL our tools just in case.</p>
Never expected airports to allow a multitool, so surprised you managed to take it so many times. Nice idea of etching TSA compliant. That alone might have helped get it through in half the cases. I think leatherman also has a TSA safe bracelet multitool but will be hard to find cheap.
<p>You could probably smuggle an actual bomb into the plane by etching &quot;TSA Compliant&quot; on it. </p>
<p>Sadly probably true.</p>
<p>lol</p>

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