Can you Bring a Pencil Sharpener on a plane?

Several people contacted the TSA and asked this question; to all of them, TSA answered with the same response:

The TSA states that you can bring pencil sharpeners in your carry-on or checked bags without any restrictions. This means that you can pack as many as you want in your baggage.

The TSA forewarns people that even if a pencil sharpener is a generally allowed item, in rare instances, it can trigger an alarm, and your baggage will be opened for a manual search.

Although the TSA does not explicitly mention this, I believe that what triggers a bag search is the odd design of the pencil sharpeners that some people bring in their bags.

Related: Can You Bring a Pencil on a Plane?

There are also vintage pencil sharpeners that look like guns. They are cool-looking, but TSA agents don’t allow them inside a carry-on and require them to be placed inside checked luggage.

Even though these types of pencil sharpeners are permitted, the TSA always opens checked bags containing items resembling firearms.

If you have a pencil sharpener that looks like an explosive device, such as a hand grenade or a stick of dynamite, don’t try to bring it onto an airplane since these items are prohibited in both checked and carry-on baggage –source.

The good news is that all modern pencil sharpeners are allowed onto an airplane, even the ones that look fancy.

Related: Can you take a Swiss army knife on a plane?

If you use a small blade with a handle to sharpen your pencils, you should know that the TSA doesn’t consider this item a pencil sharpener, and you are only allowed to travel with one in your checked luggage.

Can you bring a replacement blade for your pencil sharpener onto an airplane?

Some manufacturers of pencil sharpeners offer replacement blades as a cartridge for easy replacement. Others offer them in the form of spare blades.

From the information available online, it seems that replacement cutters and tiny spare blades are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.

This is because the TSA considers that tiny blades do not pose a serious risk to flight safety.

Pencil replacement cartridges are also allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.

The TSA requests that sharp objects in checked bags be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent the injury of TSA agents.

Can the x-ray scanner pick up a pencil sharpener?

In the last couple of years, security scanners have improved and are considerably more effective than they used to be. Nowadays, even tiny pencil sharpeners will be detected by scanners.

TSA agents will easily recognize pencil sharpeners on their monitors. Metal detectors will also pick them up even if it is made of 95% plastic.

How to pack a pencil sharpener for air travel

A pencil sharpener doesn’t require special packaging; you can toss one between your belongings, and you are good to go.

However, don’t forget to remove wood shavings and the graphite residue before placing it inside your baggage.

If you own different models, you should choose one with a simple design since TSA agents will be more likely to ignore it. 

Are battery power pencils sharpeners allowed on the plane?

Battery pencil sharpeners are allowed onto an airplane in your carry-on or checked luggage.

If you plan to travel with one in your checked luggage, you might want to remove the batteries first. 

Related: Can you take a Beard Trimmer through TSA

Dry batteries are allowed in checked luggage, and if you are sure that this is the type that powers your pencil sharpener, you could leave them inside.

Most pencil sharpeners sold nowadays use two AA batteries.

However, TSA agents cannot distinguish between dry and lithium batteries when scanning your baggage so, more than likely, your baggage will be opened for a manual search.

Can you bring a carpenter pencil sharpener on a plane?

Carpenter pencil sharpeners have bigger blades than regular pencil sharpeners. Despite this, carpenter pencil sharpeners are allowed in carry-on or checked bags without restrictions.

Can you bring an eyeliner pencil sharpener on a plane?

There is basically no mechanical difference between an eyeliner pencil sharpener and a regular one.

The only difference is that a makeup sharpener can also sharpen plastic pencils.

You can bring eyeliner pencil sharpeners in both carry-on or checked luggage.

Some people consider that makeup sharpeners last longer than regular pencil sharpeners. However, makeup sharpeners are more expensive, and finding a spare blade is difficult.

Can you bring erasers on a plane?

You can bring an eraser in either your carry-on or checked luggage.

There is no restriction on the number of erasers you can bring on board, so if you want to fill your luggage with only erasers, you can do it.


Are all pencil sharpeners made in China?

Not all pencil sharpeners are made in China, but the majority are.

If quality interests you, pencil sharpeners made in Japan and Germany are the best.

Nevertheless, be careful about where you buy them since these items are easily counterfeited. 

Can you bring pencils on a plane?

This is a solid question since it would not make any sense to be allowed to travel with a pencil sharpener and not with pencils. Unfortunately, searching the TSA site for this will not return any results. 

Luckily, people asked this question on social media, and the TSA responded.

According to the TSA, pencils can be brought onto an airplane inside a carry-on or in checked luggage.

Mechanical pens, even ones made entirely of metal, are also allowed in carry-ons or checked luggage.

Can you bring a ruler on a plane?

The TSA allows rulers in both carry-on and checked luggage. Surprisingly, metal rulers are allowed inside carry-ons as well.

However, if you have a lengthy, heavy metal ruler, it would be best to place it inside your checked luggage.

This is because some TSA agents might think it can be used as a weapon and will not allow such an item inside your carry-on. 

Can you bring paper clips on a plane?

The TSA does not mention paper clips on its site. Frequent flyers report that paper clips are allowed in carry-ons or checked luggage without restrictions.

However, not all paper clips are the same. Nowadays, there are giant paper clips that are as large as four inches.

These paper clips should be placed inside checked luggage.

Metal detectors detect paper clips, but some airport metal detectors are set up to ignore small pieces of metal.

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Sorin Susanu
Sorin, the primary writer for this site, launched it in 2019 as a hobby and a means to refine his English. With a passion for travel ignited by a trip to Italy at age twelve, Sorin has been exploring the world and sharing his adventures ever since.