Are nail clippers allowed on airplanes?

Nail scissors, clippers and tweezers in hand luggage: What can I bring with me?

Nail scissors and the like in hand luggage? No problem. If you make sure that these are not classified as dangerous weapons. There are a few things to consider, which I will explain to you in the following.

Objects with blades (e.g. nail scissors) are only allowed in hand luggage if the blades are shorter than 6 cm. Nail clippers and blunt tweezers, on the other hand, are permitted without restriction. When in doubt, the security staff always decides what is too dangerous and what is not.

All the rules at a glance

Nail scissors in hand luggage

If you are with a Nail scissors in hand luggage travels, you will have no problems 9 out of 10 cases.

At least if the scissors don't have exceptionally large blades over 6 cm.

But even if you adhere to this rule, it can occasionally happen that unsettled security officers do not allow you to be taken along.

Therefore, you should transport objects with blades in checked baggage, if possible.

tip: You don't have a ruler to measure the length of the blade? No problem. Use the short side of your credit, debit card, driver's license or ID as a reference. If your blade is shorter than the width of the card, it can be used with. The width of such cards is standardized and is approx. 5.4 cm.

Why that doesn't always work with the 6 cm rule

Even with blades under 6 cm, it can sometimes happen that scissors, for example, are not allowed in hand luggage. But why?

The reason for this is that this rule is often only viewed by security personnel as a recommendation for action. Because the staff has to fish out everything that could be used as a weapon.

Even if the blade is shorter than 6 cm, the staff can still classify it as a stabbing weapon.

Sometimes you are just unlucky and you end up with an inexperienced officer who simply sees everything as "too sharp and dangerous".

In general, you have better chances with nail scissors that have rounded tips.

Nail clippers, tweezers and the like in hand luggage

As an alternative to nail scissors, they are especially suitableNail clippers for hand luggage. These have neither dangerous blades nor tips. Nail clippers are generally always allowed in hand luggage.

Even with objects likeTweezers, nail files and eyelash curlers in hand luggage there is usually nothing to worry about. As with the nail clippers, there are no tips or blades that the staff could consider questionable.

Some splinter tweezers are exceptions because they can have very pointed ends.

Some nail files can also be viewed by staff as too sharp and dangerous. The following applies here: As long as you cannot prick yourself with tweezers and the like, they are allowed.

If you want to be on the safe side: There are also alternatives to the typical nail file. Nail files made of sandpaper are cheap and 100% "harmless".

Other rules for the US?

No. It often appears that the hand baggage rules for the USA are stricter. But this is not the case.

I even got the above tip from a trip to the USA. There, the security staff had used a credit card to check the length of the blade of a pocket knife.


Unfortunately, airport staff often make gut decisions about what is too pointed or too dangerous. However, there should be no problems when observing the above rules.

So I have never had to give up nail scissors or tweezers myself (Europe, Asia and America). By necessity, I often have both in my hand luggage, as I often only travel with hand luggage.

What are your experiences? Have you ever had to hand in something that makes absolutely no sense to you?

Categories luggage

John Hoffmann


Aviation Student. Data collector. Travel optimizer.