There has been some buzz (no pun intended) among US reed players about an announcement from the infamous Transportation Security Administration that some knives will be allowed in carry-on luggage starting next month. But make no mistake—your reed knife will still need to go in your checked bag or it will be confiscated at a security checkpoint.
There are a couple of catches to the some-knives-allowed rule that will eliminate virtually all common reed knives. One is that carry-on knives must be folding knives, with blades that do not lock into position. While there are some reed knives in common use that meet this qualification, the other catch is even more significant: the blade must be no longer than 2.36 inches (6 cm) and no wider than ½ inch (2.27 cm). Most reed knives fall somewhere in the 3–4 inch length range, and some push the width limit, too. (If you’re using a good-quality reed knife with a folding, non-locking blade that is small enough to qualify, I’m curious to hear about it).
The newly-permitted knives seem essentially to be limited to those small keychain-type Swiss Army knives.
Additionally, the TSA reserves the right to make judgment calls:
The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items through security checkpoints.
Check out these resources for more information:
- Small Knives Permitted in Carry-on Luggage: Changes to the Prohibited Items List
- Changes to Prohibited Items List (PIL)
Keep those valuable and razor-sharp reed knives in your checked bags.