TSA Approved Scissors (Sew Survivalist’s Ultimate List!)

tsa approved scissors

You never know when a pair of scissors will come in handy. You are hard pressed to get something actually considered a weapon onto a plane, so understanding the ins and outs of TSA approved scissors can be helpful. You could argue that you are a seamstress, an office assistant, or a hyper organized planner who needs all possible tools. Either way, you have one more option for survival in the event of a disaster, be it natural or manmade.

Why Scissors?

You may be thinking you already have plenty of options for self defense, so why would you possibly want a pair of scissors? Scissors are worth so much more than merely fending off an attacker.

You could use scissors to cut wire, to cut fishing line, or to cut through a seat belt. Perhaps you need scissors if you end up stranded and you have to clean fish or even a larger animal.

Ultimately, you may even need to hack into a coconut. Your tactical pen may pierce soft flesh, but it may not be able to stab a the hard exterior of tropical fruit. You can use scissors in closed position to stab into something, in open position to slice along the inside of something, or, shockingly, even to cut.

TSA Requirements

The TSA does not have a problem with scissors in carry on luggage. Apparently, the only official requirement they have is that the blades of the scissors be no longer than 4 inches. The market is flush with options to choose from for a pair of TSA scissors in carry on luggage that can fit into your survival kit.

The one caveat the TSA does have is that the final decision on an issue like this is left to the agent involved. Essentially, this refrain gives the TSA the right to refuse service to anyone. Basically, if you look like a threat, you will be treated like a threat. Our advice: pick from our list of unassuming looking scissors, and don’t look like a threat.

TSA Approved Scissors

1.Fiskars 4 Inch Forged Steel

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 Clearly, these scissors are your classic, solid steel, sharp gray scissors. You cannot go wrong with a pair of these. You won’t have to worry about plastic parts breaking off, they’re easy to grip, and they can serve multiple functions. These scissors will last forever.

You can fend off an attacker or you could be cutting fishing line if you end up in an emergency boat after a plane crash. Or, who knows, maybe both. The bottom line is, if you’re looking for classic and traditional, these are the scissors for you.

2.Wescott 4 Inch Titanium

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    The two big differences between the Wescotts and the Fiskars is that the Wescotts are made with Titanium. Titanium purportedly lasts much longer without rusting or wearing down, which means you can expect your scissors to stay sharp in your kit for longer. The downside, for those who want a solid set of scissors, is that the Wescott handle is coated in plastic. This may or may not be a big deal, depending on your preference.

3.Gingher Lightweight

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    Also coated in plastic, the selling point to the Gingher is in the name: lightweight. The blades are made with stainless steel, so you can expect them to last and maintain their sharpness well, and the upside to plastic is you may get a better grip in a wet environment. Metal can be slippery when it gets wet. The lightweight bonus is nice because, as anyone who has ever backpacked with a pack full of gear knows, every single ounce you can get off your back is worth a pound after a few hours.

4.Slip-N-Snip The Original Folding Safety Scissors (1, 13 IN)

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    These scissors are very unique, as they fold in on themselves with relative ease. As these scissors can be made to look like nothing out of the ordinary. They follow national guidelines for carrying scissors. Not to mention these scissors are incredibly useful, as they are sharp enough to cut through cloth and similar material with ease. You can not find a sturdier and reliable scissor-like this one anywhere else.

5.Convenient Travel Folding Scissors

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    Finally, the least conspicuous scissors of all: the folding scissors. Again, no reason to raise eyebrows when you go through TSA, and if you are carrying a pair of scissors that look like a troll’s eyeglasses on a X-Ray monitor, all the better. Not only do these stainless steel scissor fold up, but they also come with a little plastic carrying case. If you are aiming for discreet, these scissors are for you. Just don’t be surprised if someone actually believes that you are a seamstress.

Final Thoughts


Finally, you will have to decide if you want a solid body style, or a stronger metal. Do you want a lighter weight, or an inconspicuous carry on? And you’ll have to figure out what needs you are most concerned about.

If you’re carrying a tactical pen, then you probably don’t need scissors for defense, which means you may not care about solid steel. If you are thinking more along the lines of cutting fishing line or gutting a fish, your options will change. There is much to consider. In the end, you’ll have to choose the scissors that best fit all of your requirements. You’ve got plenty to choose from.


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