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Small manicure kit in carry on?

I’m taking only carry on for the first time and am confused about whether I can carry nail clippers and a tiny scissor, metal nail file etc. in my carry on. It’s a small leather kit about 4 inches long that I’ve had for many, many years and would be pretty bummed if it were confiscated. It’s probably more sentimental as a gift than useful but I’ve grown attached to it. My reading seems to indicate it is allowable but I know these rules change at times.

Thanks for any feedback.

Posted by
130 posts

I had a metal nail file that I’d traveled with for years taken at Heathrow. As of yet I have not had any problem with clippers or small scissors.

Posted by
960 posts

If important to you, I would not risk traveling with this. Every airport and security agent is a bit different, in my experience.

I traveled across many countries and continents with a small pair of tweezers. Fine until once in Hong King it wasn’t OK, even though the tweezers had gone through in past trips. The security agent decided the ends were too pointed. I would have said that the ends were rounded and previously not flagged, but, of course, I didn’t argue.

Similar experience with a dull end pointed metal nail file. Fine until someone decided it wasn’t. I’ve replaced it with an emory board.

Posted by
2924 posts

Several years ago I travelled with a manicure set, same one for probably 15 years. TSA in Honolulu, didn’t like it and confiscated something out of it (don’t remember what). Now I take what I don’t care if I loose in a sandwich bag.

Posted by
1575 posts

Similar to ORDTraveler, you will get different interpretations at different checkpoints. I have been traveling for years with a nail clipper and haven't had problems at various airports around the world. However, lost a small pair of scissors (nice, neat pair) at a security checkpoint in India. In summary, don't travel with it if you are going to be really bummed - you will likely have no issues with TSA in the US but may run afoul of rules in Europe or elsewhere.

Posted by
6379 posts

I take a small nail file, nail clippers, and tiny manicure scissors, not in a kit, but mixed in with other toiletry items in a plastic bag. I once had the scissors scrutinized in CDG, but was allowed to keep them. Another time - don't remember which airport - a nail file was confiscated.

Get some inexpensive nail tools that you won't mind losing. But in 15 or 16 flights since 9/11, I've only lost those two items.

Posted by
16133 posts

I've had an authority break the pointed file of nail clippers off at one airport (can't remember which one) and a tourist attraction in Washington DC. They wanted to confiscate my tiny (they are really tiny) scissors too but relented when I pleaded that they'd belonged to a much-loved Grandmother's sewing kit so were sort of a family heirloom. I hadn't had trouble with either up to those individual occurrences.

The scissors have gone into checked luggage from then on or stayed home. Guess it all depends on the individual at the time?

Posted by
14288 posts

I'm with my pals here....take inexpensive nail clippers and scissors in a small ziplock. I'd leave the metal file at home and replace with an emery board. I'd leave the sweet leather kit at home as well. How much does it weigh? Not much probably but a small ziplock will weigh less.

Posted by
1696 posts

I had a tiny pair of scissors in a first aid kit confiscated by US security. Think blunt-ended kindergarten scissors, but with blades maybe an inch long.

I've never had an issue with nail clippers.

But, as everyone has said, YMMV.

Posted by
442 posts

My elderly mother, about 75lbs and in a wheelchair, had a small pair of scissors taken at the Las Vegas airport (for return to Seattle after my niece's wedding, so the scissors were fine, going). I think they may have been sewing scissors or little folding scissors. It's possible they were her mother's decorative sewing scissors. They were in her tiny toiletry bag which was really scrutinized. My mom kept reaching to show what was in the case and the officers kept shouting at her, and stopping her hands. (They had rolled her chair up to a small table on which they placed the case.) She was so flustered she couldn't keep her hands to herself. Not a fun experience. I guess they were worried about the fragile little lady with the Canadian passport.

I've never had a problem with nail clippers.

Posted by
3249 posts

I carry a non metal emery board, and just buy a little pair of scissors and clippers when I get to my destination.
Easier than worrying about it.
Euro stores and pound stores have items that are good enough for a couple of weeks.

It’s amazing what you can find in those stores overseas!
I’ve bought corkscrews, dishcloths, chopping boards, dish soap , adaptor plugs, flip flops, coffee mugs and countless other things I’ve needed for a vacation rental to make it more comfortable.

Posted by
8660 posts

Two points for consideration. One is it's OK to check a bag. Two, is don't take anything carryon or checked that you don't want to lose. For a short trip I can find anything I need over there, can improvise, or live without.

Posted by
2035 posts

Thanks for all the replies! I’ve waxed increasingly sentimental as I read through the responses and will err on the side of caution. I’ll get the cheapies and keep my “treasure” at home. Safe travels to all.

Posted by
4482 posts

I had a pair of the blunt-end kindergarten scissors. They have never been questioned in US or UK, but I have Pre-check in US, so my liquids bag remains in my carry-on. Recently in New Zealand and Australia, they were measured at security.

Posted by
1450 posts

Yep, I had the tiny, blunt scissors taken from my sewing kit several years ago after they safely made it thru many flights