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Traveling with Your Leatherman: How to Not Ditch Your Multi-tool at the Airport

No one wants to get to the front of airport security and realize you made a huge mistake—you forgot your Leatherman is in your pocket.

Disclaimer: Leatherman does not guarantee against confiscation of tools by TSA. These tools were manufactured without blades, which is in accordance with TSA policies, but it is ultimately the sole discretion of the TSA agent at the time of confiscation.

It happens to the best of us. While you’re bound to have some travel mishaps (hey—no one is perfect!), keep these tips in mind as you make your way around the world so that you don’t have to part ways with your favorite multi-tool, especially when you’re about to head out on an adventure where you’re going to need it more than ever.

Travel Friendly Leatherman Tools

And this list of “approved" multi-tools doesn’t just go for traveling; these little guys should be able to go with you to sporting events, concerts, theme parks, and schools just about anywhere around the world. So, go ahead, leave your Style PS or other approved multi-tool attached to your keys or backpack.

Keep in mind that airport and other security checkpoints can be more (or less) strict depending on where in the world you are, and also on the political climate in that region, but in general, this list gives you a good idea as to which Leatherman multi-tools won’t cause you any trouble as you travel your way around the world. So you should be safe to leave your Style PS on your keychain.

You’re Not Home Free Just Yet—Airlines Have Their Own Set of Rules Regarding Sharp Objects

It’s important to mention that airlines have their own separate set of rules when it comes to sharp objects, and what you can and cannot bring onboard flights. So, if you get to your gate and your airline happens to do another baggage security check, you’re not home free just yet.

And because a lot of gate agents and airport employees aren’t familiar with what Leatherman multi-tools are, they could take the highest level of precaution and still question whether they’ll let you board with your multi-tool on you. In that instance, you may be asked to gate-check your bag. It’s never ideal, but the airline is trying to keep you, and all their other passengers safe, so there’s no use arguing with them. And look at the bright side—at least you didn’t have to get rid of your multi-tool altogether.

How to Pack Your Multi-Tool

Your Leatherman is durable. That is the point of it after all—to be a tool that can handle just about anything. So, how should you pack your Leatherman multi-tools just to be on the safe side?

Well, always put your multi-tool in its sheath before packing it in your bag. When you don’t have a sheath, wrap your multi-tool in a handkerchief or other soft cloth (t-shirts also work great), or place it in a small pouch. Now that your multi-tool is protected, be sure to pack it in a secure place in your luggage or backpack—in a shoe or side zipper pocket—where you can easily access it when you arrive.

And, after traveling with your Leatherman on you for an extended period of time—like on a long hiking trip, for example, when having your Leatherman on you at all times has become so second nature—don’t forget to remove your Leatherman from your belt, or to take it out of your pocket, before you head to the airport.

What to Do if You Accidentally Bring Your Leatherman?

So, you forgot your Skeletool CX or your Collector’s Edition PST multi-tool is in your carry-on bag and you’re at the front of the line at airport security. What do you do? Well, the first rule in any situation like this is: do not panic.

Panicking doesn’t help and can just make things worse. While that’s always easier said than done, take a deep breath and try your best to keep calm.

At this point you have three options:

  1. Take your multi-tool back to your car if you’re parked at the airport, or call the person who just dropped you off to come pick it up.
  2. Go back to the check-in desk and check your carry-on bag with your multi-tool packed inside.
  3. Part ways with your beloved multi-tool and leave it behind.

Now that you’re ready for travel, the next step is to enjoy your trip and know you’ll be prepared for anything with your Leatherman at your side.