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Cutting toe nails?

My 5-week trip is to 3 countries in Europe and all my connections are by air, which will involve many hand luggage screenings, starting with Melbourne airport. I've just checked the Australian carry-on regulations and see that there is a blanket prohibition of nail clippers, scissors, pocket knives and metal nail files. I can probably manage with emery boards for my fingernails but what about toe nails? Is buying scissors for this purpose x 3 in each new country only to discard them the only option? What do others do?

Posted by
6509 posts

I've never had an airlines confiscate a nail clipper. I'd just take one in your carryon and if it gets taken, just buy a new one. Chances are good you'll still have your original one when you return home.

Posted by
396 posts

Lufthansa prohibit: pointed, sharp or blunt items (e.g. scissors, pocket knives, baseball bats); I would have thought nail clippers would count as sharp. [I've never used them so I don't really know.]
BA are more specific: they allow "Small round ended/blunt scissors/knives (blades measuring up to 6cm (2.4in))"; no mention of nail clippers.
In my experience, most round ended scissors are intended for children cutting paper: I doubt it they would be sufficiently strong or correctly angled for cutting toe nails.

Posted by
8860 posts

I've carried on nail clippers many times and not had them confiscated, or even questioned. Live dangerously. The worse that can happen is they take them away and you need to buy another pair.

Posted by
396 posts

Yes, I had assumed they would be OK, until I read the Australian carry-on regulations. And - to Kent - yes, I am hoping to go HLO.

Posted by
10344 posts

cgichard:
"I had assumed they would be OK, until I read the Australian carry-on regulations."
You may be onto something here.

I am happy to report here the results of extensive research conducted on the subject of toenail clippers as carry-ons in the EU. While definitive conclusions were not achieved, I feel the information below makes an important contribution to the literature on this subject.

When I first saw your post, I simply assumed that the EU rules would be the same as the US TSA rules, which now allow nail clippers (although at one time they were prohibited). But it turns out not to be that simple.

And so, now intrigued by this subject, I googled around for specifically European rules and, to my surprise, found conflicting information:

The following Rules for Hand Baggage from Schiphol airport suggest that, apparently, nail clippers are a prohibited carry-on item in the EU (read the next to last paragraph):
http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/AtSchiphol/Luggage/RulesForHandBaggage.htm

But I also found a site that suggests that nail clippers are allowed as carry-ons in the UK:
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/dangerous-and-restricted-items-what-you-cannot-take-on-board-a-flight

So we have conflicting information.
I haven't checked the price of nail clippers lately: Toenail clippers being larger than finger nail clippers, it they may be they are 5 euros instead of 3 euros. I guess the worst case scenario is that you would have to spend a relatively small amount on nail clippers while in Europe. Maybe you could clip the aforesaid portion of your anatomy before departing Australia, then buy one nail clippers half way through your trip, or as often as personal hygiene standards require.
Or, as some people above suggest, you could just buy them in Australia and take them with you and see what happens.
Or you could check a bag.

Posted by
396 posts

Uh oh! That Schipol site actually uses nail clippers as an example of what your shouldn't have in your hand baggage. The cheapest nail clippers I've found locally actually have an integral fold-out metal nail-file so that's a double no. Just buy locally once needed seems the answer, and be prepared to ditch. Thanks to everyone, esp. Kent, for the research assistance!

Posted by
6509 posts

There are actually several different types of toenail clippers. The ones I carry are just like a fold-up fingernail clipper only bigger and they have a plastic covering, there is no point on them and they couldn't do anything to anybody. They've never been taken from out of my carryon bag. If you're talking about clippers that are somewhat like a cross between a needle-nose pliers and a scissors, they may not let those go by, those could be lethal if poked in someone's eye.

Posted by
1277 posts

no, the best solution would be to spring for a pedicure as needed whilst sipping a cup of tea......

Posted by
715 posts

or better yet take you shoes and socks off on the flight, prop your feet up on the seat in front of you and proceed to pick or bite you nails off and spit them randomly around the cabin.

Posted by
1068 posts

I've flown in and out of Schipol many times with the toe nail clippers which look like large finger nail clippers. No one has ever commented or checked on them.

Posted by
1834 posts

We also have been through Schipol as well as a more than a dozen countries and have never had nail clippers taken away. I also have carried two pairs of Slip-N-Snip scissors and they have never been questioned.

I have a quart plastic bag with keys, coins, pins, etc with a pair of the scissors. My toilet kit has another pair of scissors and the nail clipper.

Posted by
855 posts

Roberto, you gave me the best laugh of the day!

Mimi

Posted by
396 posts

I hadn't heard of those Slip-N-Snip Scissors before, Monte. And I find they are available in Australia. The pink ones when folded look like some obscure female cosmetic item, for protecting the eyes when using a mud mask perhaps.

Posted by
127 posts

Your post reminded me of the new regulations in the wake of the 9/11/01 atrocities.

LAX screeners were diligently confiscating nail clippers. But you could buy a new clipper in the convenience stores once you got past security!

Seriously, there needs to be a realistic appraisal of what rules make sense and what rules should go away.

Posted by
13211 posts

I had a pair of those Slip -n - Snip folding scissors that I took to Europe four times, flying into and out if Heathrow, Berlin, Venice, Zurich, Barcelona, and Madrid. On Dec. 30 we flew from LAX to Sydney with the folding scissors in my carry-on luggage, no problem. They were taken from me a week ago when we went through security for our flight from Sydney to New Zealand. So I wouldn't recommend buying them until you get to Eorope.

My husband carries a different type of folding scissor and they made it through Australian security, but it may just have been an oversight.

I carry a couple of large emery boards for my nails---toenails too.

Posted by
396 posts

That's very helpful, Lola. Those scissors would show up on the metal detector. I'll stick to emery boards and see how I go. If too awkward, I'll just buy cheap ones when I get to the stage of needing them. My last port-of-call is visiting my sister in the UK and I'll be able to borrow hers then.

Posted by
13211 posts

The ones that made it through at SYD were this type:

http://i1061.photobucket.com/albums/t471/sbrady1/ScissorsBCBCM2092_zpsba8d761d.png?t=1359891278

They are very small when folded and look like an "0" shape, about 1" in diameter. So maybe they are not recognized by the screener. However, they are just as pointy and sharp, so should be just as objectionable as the Slip n Snip style.

We fly to Melbourne from NZ next week, and back to the US from there. I'll let you know if my husband's scissors get confiscated this time.

On a different topic, will I have any trouble bringing in a package of made in NZ gluten-free crackers? They will be in an unopened package. I want to take them back to the US to show them to my niece who does recipe development. They are really good with cheese and I am hoping she can duplicate them. I will declare them on the form of course, but will be disappointed if I have to lose them.

Posted by
396 posts

Lola - I just don't know about the GF crackers. Should be OK if declared and unopened, but you can never be sure.

Posted by
70 posts

I once had the TSA equivalent in Costa Rica break off the pointed file in the middle of my large clippers, but let the clippers thru.

Never had anyone else even look at the large clippers.

Perhaps this is one of the things that depend entirely on the person doing the looking.

Posted by
529 posts

Mine are in my toiletry kit. The kit is packed inside a ziplock bag. This is at bottom of my carry-on suitcase normally next to my shoes.
On top are clothes and/or other misc items. I have gone from UK to Europe without a problem. Perhaps as they are packed deep into my luggage in a proper place, they don't bother to have me dig them out. The websites are mixed signals to me.

My tips: Mani-pedi before travel, buy there what's needed or taken away at TSA/Security. At 5 weeks time halfaway treat yourself to a pedicure, your feet will love you! Good luck.

Posted by
141 posts

I remember boarding a flight in the US not long after 9-11 where an entire family was kicked off because the teenage daughter had pulled out some standard fingernail clippers to work on her manicured nails. Other than the faux paus of clipping her nails in public, it was entirely appalling to see the entire family so quickly ejected for something as inane as fingernail clippers (there wasnt even a metal file, as i remember the family calmly pointing this out before being summarily ejected). It is good to know that idiotic rule was reversed.

Since fingernail clippers aren't generally deemed dangerous weapons and are pretty cheap in the U.S., I'd pack one and try my luck in Europe. You can always ask at the screening point, and toss them if needed.

Posted by
2349 posts

If a passenger has forgotten about a bottle of water, often a screener will let them take a drink before the bottle is pitched. Will they let someone do a last trim with the toenail clippers?

Posted by
1834 posts

I have carried a Wenger Clipper AT 16918 through airport security for about five years. It, of course, looks like a Swiss Army Knife. The implements are a folding fingernail clipper, a scissors, a nail cleaner/file, and an eyeglass screwdriver. The latter replaces the knife blade making it legal. It rides in a quart plastic bag of coins, keys, medals, and my Slip-N-Whip scissors. Not one person has asked to see it. Smokey Mountain Knife Works carried them when I bought mine, actually three, but not anymore. If you are interested you can Google it, or let me know and I'll look around.

Posted by
10344 posts

Oh no, the toe nails have come back to life and are coming to get us.

Can we just let this thread die?