Starting April 25, passengers going through U.S. airports can bring on board Swiss Army-type knives — specifically, ones with blades no longer than 2.36 inches.
This marks the first time such knives have been allowed on board since security was heavily increased in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
2.36″? Who the hell came up with that number?
Also it needs to be “Swiss Army-type” what does that mean? Your knife is perfectly safe if there’s a bottle opener, a nail file, and an imitation ivory toothpick? But if you have a small liner lock that’s no better than a Ka-Bar trench knife????
Speaking of Ka-Bar, does my trusty TDI Ka-Bar not make the cut?
Good job Losers! Disband the TSA yesterday!
**UPDATE** harp1034 pointed me to this site which gives a lot more details about where this all came from.
Pistole said that the allowable knives will be limited to “retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch at the widest point.” From the slide show it is clear that by “retractable” he meant “folding.” Still prohibited would be “knives with locking blades or molded handles,” Pistole said. Fixed blade knives are also prohibited.
Keychain sized knives like the Victorinox “Classic” Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman “Squirt” or “Style” multi-tools are allowed. Also allowed would be the 84mm SAKs, such as the Victorinox Tinker that is illustrated in the slide show or the Cadet. Those SAKs have a 2.3-inch blade, just under the limit. There is bound to be some confusion and some very disappointed and perhaps upset travelers at the airports due to the fact that except for the blade being 5-7mm too long (Wenger or Victorinox, respectively), the most common 91 mm SAKs look virtually identical to the smaller frame SAK that is allowed. Whatever knife you are carrying through the airport, be sure to measure the blade length from the handle to the tip (not just the sharp edge).
Victorinox and Leatherman have lobbied the TSA for many years for this exemption and it appears they final succeeded. Congratulations!
The term “molded grip” is not an industry standard descriptive term and has apparently been invented by the TSA. It would appear to include any handle that is at all ergonomic and exclude anything but a slab-sided SAK or multi-tool. One wonders if the Wenger Evo or Evo-Grip Swiss Army Knife handles would be allowed or prohibited? (As an aside, Victorinox, who bought Wenger after the 9/11 knife prohibitions decimated sales, announced recently that they were merging the Wenger lines into Victorinox and Wenger would no longer exist as a separate company) Beyond that, at least one of the knives illustrated as having a “molded grip” clearly has an ergonomic metal handle, which is not molded plastic. We’re guessing that there will be further clarifications as travelers lose knives to the TSA.
IIn the end, the final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any item through security checkpoints. As many travelers have found out to their chagrin and disappointment, TSA can be less than consistent at times. Your safest bet is going to be to stick to the basics.
Razor blades and box cutters are still banned. Citing the 9/11 terrorists that used box cutters to kill flight attendants on the aircraft they hijacked, “there is just too much emotion involved with those,” Pistole said.
Pistole said allowing these knives onboard would align the U.S. with ICAO and European standards and allow screeners to focus on the highest priority threat, non-metallic explosive devices. Since we have reports of passengers being allowed onboard in Europe with locking blade folders, we’re still not clear how “aligned” this ends up being.
While hardly entirely rational in nature, it is a step in the right direction and one virtually all knife carriers will celebrate.
TSA PDF on allowed blades can be found here.
Overall I agree its a step in the right direction. Still, let’s face it, the Terrorists got control of the airplane from ambushing somebody and taking advantage of the shock this caused. Meanwhile the law essentially bans any knives that would hold any advantage as a defensive weapon against an attacker.
2.36″ = 6 cm.
Why the TSA is defining limits in centimeters and backing out the standard units is an entirely different question. I blame unions.
The metric system thing is tied to the UN standards.
The TSA is saying this meets international standards. I don’t like it but it is a start.
Knife Rights has the scoop on it.
Weer’d, you Ka-Bar may be short enough but it has two “assault features.” The blade is more than half an inch wide at it’s widest point and it has a molded grip. So even if it wasn’t a fixed blade knife (my mistake. Three features…) it would still be considered an assault knife. And my Mora is right out!