Can you bring a razor on a plane?

August 18, 2016

Can you bring a razor on a plane?

You've just booked your flight and thinking about packing your suitcase and dopp kit with all of the things you will need for your trip.

Toothbrush, Check
Toothpaste, Check
Deodorant, Check
Razor, Ummmm

Can you bring a razor on a plane? 

What about packing your double edge razor and razor blades?  Does shaving soap need to be put in checked luggage?

I have spent plenty of time in airports flying domestically and internationally. I recently took a few trips and can report back about my experiences with TSA and going through security with my shaving soap, brush, Safety razor, and DE razor blades.

Here is my experience with four different flights both domestic and international from very small to very large airports.  

Flight number One
     Trip details:  Departed from a  very small airport and flying to a large city within the U.S.  
     Luggage details:  It was a short trip, so I squeezed everything in my carry on luggage including my dopp kit with all my toiletries and shaving gear.  It contained a double edge safety razor, 1 DE razor blade, cartridge razor just in case my safety razor was confiscated, 4oz container of shaving soap, a shaving brush, and a small bottle of aftershave ~1 ounce.
     Results:  I went through security without any problems.  The entire kit remained in my luggage as it went through the scanner and nobody mentioned anything, so I picked it up on the other side and caught my flight.  It was surprising to me because I thought for sure someone would at least notice the razor and blades and as a question, but that didn’t happen.

Flight number Two
     Trip details:  was time to head back home from flight number One and was departing a large airport flying back to the small one that I had originated the trip on. 
     Luggage details:  Same as above, with one exception.  I decided to take my used razor blade and dispose of it at the hotel.  Don’t worry, I had a cheap plastic blade bank with me so nobody would get cut on my discarded blade.
     Results:  This time the TSA agent noticed something and asked me to take a look inside my bag.  He opened up the dopp kit and glanced at the shaving soap and aftershave, and then picked up the razor.  He was inspecting the head looking for the blade.  I explained that I had removed the blade and he said cool and then packed it up.

Flight number Three
     Trip details:  Departed from a large airport and flew internationally. 
     Luggage details:  I decided to check my bags this time and due to trip #2 I thought it was probably best to place the razor blades in my checked luggage, but I kept the other items in my carry on just to confirm there was no issues traveling with shaving soap, aftershave, safety razor, or cartridge razor.  
     ResultsOnce again the agent saw the safety razor, removed it, inspected, and then placed it back in the dopp.  No mention of the shaving soap or aftershave this time either.

Flight number Four
     Trip details: Same as number Three
     Luggage details: Same as number Three
     Results: Same as number three where the razor was inspected, no concerns about shaving soap or aftershave, or cartridge razor in the carry on luggage.

My flights and experiences with TSA while travelling were at multiple airports and different combinations of stuff in my carry on and checked bags.  Many agents are nice and polite while others are rude and have a superiority complex. 

I'm sure someone has examples where their shaving soap or razor has been taken, but I really think the biggest concerns are the blades and liquid (aftershave, and shaving oils) greater than 3.4 ounces.  Here are the official guidelines from TSA for liquids, gels, and creams 

If you are traveling soon I’m sure you will be fine with your cartridge or double edge razor, shaving soap, small bottle of aftershave, but I would either check your double edge blades or find a place to buy them when you arrive at your destination.  You might not find your favorite blades, but target, cvs, and walgreens usually have a small pack that will get you by for a short time.

The best option is to obviously place all of your shaving gear in your checked luggage so you don't need to worry about it at all, however this is not always an option for short trips.

Carry On allowed - safety razor, shaving soap, aftershave <= 3.4oz, shaving oil <= 3.4oz
Checked luggage allowed - safety razor, safety razor blades, straight razor, shaving soap, aftershave > 3.4oz, shaving oil > 3.4 oz
Not allowed on carry on - shaving oil > 3.4oz, aftershave > 3.4oz, razor blades

Here are the official TSA razor guidelines that I found out about after my above trips.  Make sure you follow them so you get where your a going safely and you aren’t forced to hand over any of your gear.

Safe Travels and let me know if you have a different experience or feedback that you would like to share.

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