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Advice on Traveling with Custom Knives

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Mint427

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Hello all: I'm planning an trip out of state and I'm concerned about checking my suitcase containing a half-dozen custom knives. Has anyone had any problems with TSA opening your locked luggage and missing items when you arrive? Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
 

Noodle Soup

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I never have and I've traveled all over the world with knives in my checked luggage. But I'm sure everyone has heard the story about Ken Onion loosing an entire case of extremely high priced custom folders on a way to a show through California. I'm not sure what the answer is other than ship the knives ahead if you are concerned.
 

lowercasebill

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check your airline baggage info .. insurance is limited to $500.. i would ship priority mail and insure for the full value .. you register on usps.com and print shipping labels at home and order free boxes as well. you can also get the boxes at the post office for free. i ship my knives and such when i go to egg fests. if you print there and back labels make sure you use the right one.. you will feel really dumb when the box is back at your front door the next day.. dont ask how i know this .
my bag gets opened every time .. between the cpap machine the knives and the 6 blocks of scrapple wrapped in my flannel shirt .. suspect the scrapple looks like some sort of explosive on the exray
 

kalaeb

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My advice would be dont . If you need to ship them use priority USPS. Never had any issues, but I don't trust the TSA at all.
 

GlassEye

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TSA once confiscated nail clippers in my checked luggage, I would not trust them at all to let me keep kitchen knives, especially my sword-like Japanese blades. It is quite an extra hassle to ship knives ahead and be without them during shipping, though. You could try leaving a large-print clearly visible note explaining that they are kitchen knives, you are a chef, etc. with them in your luggage if you do check them.
 

Mint427

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Thanks! I assume you're shipping them to your hotel?
 

Phip

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Ship, not TSA, and full insurance w/ pictures to document.
 

Adagimp

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I've traveled multiple times with 6 or 7 knives in my checked luggage in a knife roll and have not had problems yet.
 

Mint427

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Thanks to all who answered! Appreciate the advice.
 

bikehunter

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I've traveled multiple times with 6 or 7 knives in my checked luggage in a knife roll and have not had problems yet.
The key word here is...YET. ;-) I don't travel the world any more, I only go from Boise to No. Calif. to visit relatives in Napa Valley. 5 times in a row my luggage was inspected.....BOTH coming and going. Which can't be coincidence. I don't know how efficient luggage x-ray is these days, or whether they can identify knives, and admittedly, I also take a couple of waterstones, which might be viewed in x-ray as blocks of C-4 or Semtex, but the point is, sooner or later, they WILL open your luggage. I trust the TSA about the same as Iranians who say they are not enriching uranium for weapons. ;-) My knives aren't expensive, just in the 100 to 200 dollar range, but but 2 or 3 missing knives would still constitute a lot of money for me.

After the second time this happened, I took pics of my knives and stones, and now leave a note for the dumbass TSA clipper nippers, informing that I have documented the contents....since they always kindly leave me a note informing me that they have invaded my privacy.
 

wsfarrell

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Another idea is to tell the baggage clerk that there are dangerous items in your luggage. They will immediately call over a TSA agent who will inspect the items, then SEAL the luggage with a tamper-proof TSA tag. No baggage handler on the planet is going to mess with luggage that has a TSA seal on it.

This is standard procedure for people who put firearms in luggage.
 

GlassEye

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That is a great suggestion, I will try that next time I travel.
 

bikehunter

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No...that's a fantastic suggestion. ;-) I used to travel with firearms all the time, but it never occurred to me to do it with knives. DUH! ;-)
 

Noodle Soup

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TSA once confiscated nail clippers in my checked luggage, I would not trust them at all to let me keep kitchen knives, especially my sword-like Japanese blades. It is quite an extra hassle to ship knives ahead and be without them during shipping, though. You could try leaving a large-print clearly visible note explaining that they are kitchen knives, you are a chef, etc. with them in your luggage if you do check them.
I don't think confiscated is the right term for taking nail clippers out of check luggage. Try theft. The only thing I have lost out of my checked luggage was a Virginia State Police key chain. On the other hand, I've flown back from Germany, Spain, Norway, France, Thailand and China with a ton of knives in my checked luggage without loosing anything. Same goes for dozens of trips in the U.S.
 
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