A razor is a useful item that many of us use on a daily basis. If you are packing to go on a trip, you will want to take a razor with you. However, you might not be sure if you can bring a razor on a plane or which bag you should pack it in. Most countries have laws that do not allow you to have anything with a sharp edge in your hand luggage. Some countries will allow disposable razors and electric shavers, but all other types of razors usually have to go in your checked bags.
Why Wouldn’t You Be Allowed to Take Your Razor in Carry-On Luggage?
The problem with razors is that, by design, they must have a sharp edge. Authorities worry about sharp objects being carried in hand luggage for a number of reasons.
- They can be used as a weapon. Any object with a sharp blade, such as a razor, could be used to hurt or threaten someone.
- They could cause an injury. A sharp item, like a razor, could unintentionally injure someone checking through your bags. This is much the same as the way scissors are treated.
- They could damage equipment. If a razor fell out of your bag while going through the screening checkpoint, it could cut and damage the equipment.
So, Can I Bring My Razor on a Plane as Carry-On Luggage?
The rules regarding where to pack your razor depends on which type it is. Some countries are stricter than others, so it is best to check before you pack.
America – What Does the TSA Say About Razors?
In America, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided that you are allowed to pack electric razors in both your carry-on bags and your checked bags. They are also happy for you to have disposable razors in any of your bags. Safety razors are a little more complicated. If you remove the blade from a safety razor, it will be allowed in your carry-on luggage. The blade has to go in your checked baggage, and it has to be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage. If you have a blade in your safety razor at the screening checkpoint, you will probably lose the razor, as TSA officers are not authorized to remove the blades from the holder. Straight razors, box cutters, and razor blades have to go in your suitcase, not your carry-on bag, and they must be safely packed. The replacement cartridges for disposable razors are the only kind of razor blade you can have in your carry-on.
The UK – What Are the UK Government’s Regulations Concerning Razors?
The UK will allow the fixed-cartridge razor blades that are used in disposable razors to be carried in your cabin baggage. Any other kind of razor blade has to go in your suitcase in the hold. They must be packed securely so there is no danger of them cutting anyone who might inspect your bags. Electric razors are fine to go in both your hand luggage and your checked bags. However, if your razor is battery-powered, you will need to check the rules about batteries.
Europe – What Are the EU’s Guidelines Regarding Razors?
The EU does not allow objects with a sharp point or sharp edge, including razor blades, in hand luggage as they can be used to cause serious injury. Disposable razors with the blade set into a plastic molding are permitted in carry-on baggage. Razor blades and razors that can be opened and the razor blade removed have to go in your checked bags. Electric razors can go in your cabin bag if the battery meets travel guidelines.
Australia – Does the ABF Have Laws About Razors?
The Australian Border Force (ABF) does not permit ‘sporting goods, kitchen utensils, tools, and other items with sharp edges or points capable of injuring a person’ in carry-on bags. This means that open and straight razors have to go in your suitcase.
They also do not let you have ‘sharp items that are not weapons but are capable (with or without modification) of causing harm by penetration’. This category includes razor blades, open, and straight razors; these must also go in your checked bag. You can bring safety razors and disposable razors in your carry-on bag.
Electric razors that plug into the mains can go in whichever bags you choose. However, if they have lithium batteries, they must not exceed 2 g for lithium metal or 100 Wh for lithium ion, and they have to be in your hand luggage. If you pack an electric razor in your checked baggage, you must make sure there is no chance of unintentional activation and that it is well protected from damage. Your electric razor cannot be in sleep or hibernation mode but must be completely switched off.
New Zealand – What Are the CAA of New Zealand’s Rules About Razors?
The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) asks you to check you do not have anything in your carry-on bag that could be used to stab, slice, or hit someone.
These items are forbidden to be taken into the cabin of an aircraft. This would apply to all razor blades, including straight-cut razors, regardless of size. They cannot go in your hand luggage, but they can go in your suitcase. However, shavers with shaving cartridges are permitted in both carry-on and check-in bags.
Canada – What Does the CBSA Say About Razor?
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says that razor blades encased in a holder, made of either plastic or metal, are permitted in cabin luggage. Safety razors can go in carry-on bags if the blade is removed. Electric shavers are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, ‘razors, safety razors and any blades that are not encased in a safety cartridge or can come out of a razor’ are banned from carry-on bags and have to go in your suitcase.
The Rest of the World
The regulations in places like Africa, Asia, and South America can vary from country to country. The best thing to do is to check with the airline you are traveling with. Generally speaking, the rules are similar to other places. Electric razors and disposable razors are usually allowed in your hand luggage, but any other type of razor will probably have to go in your checked bags.
What’s the Best Advice for Travelling on a Plane with Razors?
If you are traveling with an electric battery-powered razor, then it would probably be best to put it in your hand luggage to avoid any issues with batteries. Any other type of razor is best packed in your suitcase. It would be preferable to put your razor in a washbag so it isn’t loose in your case. It would be helpful if the razor had some kind of guard or sheath that goes over the sharp blade to ensure it couldn’t cut anyone.
If you need to have a razor in your hand luggage, then a disposable razor with the blades in a cartridge is the kind that is most likely to be acceptable to the security officers checking your bags. Make sure the sharp edges of your razor have some sort of protection so they can’t cut anyone.
What Happens If Your Razor Is Flagged by Airport Security?
If you have packed your razor in the wrong bag, it will be flagged by security. If you have a razor in your hand luggage that shouldn’t be there, it will be taken off the conveyor belt and taken to a holding area. You will have to go to the holding area, and the security officer will explain why there is a problem. If you have a razor in your carry-on bag that is not allowed to be there, the security officer will confiscate it. The decision of the security officer is final, and you will achieve nothing by arguing.
If you have incorrectly put a razor in your checked bag, you will be paged over the PA system and given directions to where your suitcase is being held. A security officer will go through your case and discuss with you any problematic items. If you have a razor in your suitcase that shouldn’t be there, you will probably be given the option to put it in your carry-on bag instead.
What Are the Different Types of Razors?
As we have seen, there tends to be different rules for different types of razors. There are four main categories of razors.
The first disposable razors were introduced in 1974. They usually have two blades with a guard built into a head attached to a plastic handle. Because the blades are fixed and protected by a guard, there is little chance of them accidentally cutting anyone. For this reason, they are generally allowed in hand luggage.
These are also known as SE razors, open razors, and cut-throat razors. It is the oldest design of razor. As the name suggests, these razors have a straight blade that is sharp along one side. The blade typically folds into the handle. These razors can be designed to have replaceable blades, but traditionally, they are sharpened on a strop. This kind of razor is rarely permitted in hand luggage due to its long, sharp cutting edge.
Also called a DE razor, or double edge razor, this kind of razor has a protective strip between the blade and your skin. This reduces the chances of the razor blade cutting you. The blades on these razors are usually replaceable, and they tend to be on a cartridge that slots in. Some countries allow this type of razor in hand luggage, but others restrict them to checked baggage.
Electric razors can be powered by batteries or by being plugged into the mains. There are two methods that electric razors use to cut hair. Rotary razors have blades on rotating heads that move independently. A foil razor has a blade that swings from side to side under a thin, perforated metal screen. A mains-powered electric razor can be packed in both your hand luggage and your suitcase. If your razor has batteries, it would be best to carry it in your cabin bag.
Disposable razors and mains-powered electric razors are usually allowed in your carry-on bag. Most other types of razors are often restricted to your checked suitcase as their sharp edges could cause an injury. It is best to make sure that any sharp edges have some kind of sheath or wrapping around them to reduce the risk of injury.
See other articles in this series:
- Can You Bring Nail Clippers on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Tweezers on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Hiking Sticks on a Plane?
- Can Your Bring Shampoo on a Plane?
- Can You Bring a Lighter on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Curling Irons on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Deodorants on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Candles on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Scissors on a Plane?