Can You Bring Nail Clippers On a Plane In Your Carry On Luggage? (TSA Rules)

Last Updated on December 13, 2020

There was once a time when packing your luggage was simple. We could just bring everything we needed for our trips without any worries.

However, times have changed and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) now has strict rules and regulations about what you can and can’t carry on into an airplane cabin.

Today we’re looking whether you can take nail clippers or other nail care tools and products on an airplane.

Let’s get to the crunch…

TSA Nail Clippers Rules

The answer is clear and conclusive. Check this screengrab from the TSA website:

You can bring nail clippers on a plane in your carry on bag or in your checked bag.

Keep in mind if you are putting any sharp items in your checked baggage make sure they are securely wrapped so baggage handlers don’t cut themselves.

And just to be clear they are referring to nail clippers that look like these ones:

Can You Take Nail Scissors On A Plane?

Nail scissors would fall under different rules. Here is the TSA scissors rules:

You can’t bring scissors that have blades longer than 4 inches in your carry on luggage. This means that nail scissors like these ones would be permitted in hand luggage too.

What About Other Nail Care Tools?

As a general rule, most nail care tools are permitted in your carry on. So nail files, tweezers, cuticle pushers should be okay.

Here are the good folks at the TSA on Twitter answering a question about flying with a nail clipper kit:

That’s the official TSA account on Twitter saying that that particular toenail clipper set would be permitted. But it’s not always clear. Take for example this cuticle pusher and nail cleaner:

These start to look sharp and potentially dangerous. I would not be surprised if a TSA officer would confiscate manicure tools like they did in this instance.

This issue is about safety and whether or not the item can potentially be used as a weapon.

As always the TSA security officer has the final say on what is permitted on the plane. You can’t bring a deadly weapon on to a plane just because you have called it a nail tool.

What About Other Nail Care Products?

Nail care products like nail polish or nail polish remover fall under the liquids rule. You can’t bring liquids in sizes greater than 3.4 oz or 100 ml. And you need to pack all your liquid bottles in a single quart-sized bag.

Unless your nail care product is a solid or a power it will be limited. So creams, pastes or gels are all controlled and need to be packed alongside your shampoo and shower gel.

The Verdict

Take a moment to reflect that some of the terrorist attacks of 911 were carried out using simple box cutter knives. That’s why we have these security rules. It may be annoying to need to check if fingernail clippers are allowed but there is a good reason for the TSA to sometimes control what can seem like harmless items.

Hand luggage rules are there to protect travelers. That’s why we have rules about other potentially dangerous items.

If you are still unsure whether or not you are permitted to bring a specific item onto a flight in your carry-on luggage there are steps you may take to find out.

First, take a picture of the object in question, and then send it to AskTSA on Facebook or @AskTSA on Twitter from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern on weekdays or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

They look forward to answering any of your questions.

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