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The Best TSA-Approved Pocket Knives & EDC

The most useful tool for travel is the one that doesn't get confiscated at security.

collage of three edcs
511 Tactical, Amazon, Victorinox

We've all had it happen: you're shuffling along in the airport security line, bereft of your shoes and your dignity, when panic washes over you: Shit, I left my multi-tool in my bag!

You know you're going to get pulled aside by TSA, and you'll try to defend the two-inch blade on your Leatherman or Gerber that isn't really that big of a deal, but you'll still be faced with a choice (if you're lucky): go back, check your bag and tool and re-do the whole security shuffle, or say goodbye to your multi-tool, pocket knife or other EDC implement with a blade.

It doesn't have to be this way. You can fly with a useful, badass multitool that won't get you put on a watch list or require you to check a bag. Don't believe us? Here are six great options for the next time you book a flight.

To learn more about our testing methodology and how we evaluate products, head here.

Best Overall: 5.11 Tactical EDT Multitool

5.11 Tactical EDT Multitool


  • Fits lots of tools into a small package
  • Price will work for almost any budget

  • Check measurements before purchasing — this is small
  • Tools: 10
  • Weight: <1 ounce

    10 tools in one is a bargain; 10 tools in one for $15 bucks is a steal. The EDT Multitool isn't just cheap; it's also tiny, at just over two inches long. 5.11 Tactical makes the most of a small package though, and managed to fit in a standard 6mm hex wrench & flat head screw driver, metric and imperial ruler, bottle opener, pry tool and wire stripper and more into its little tool.

    Best Upgrade: Gerber Multi-Plier 600 — Bladeless

    Gerber Multi-Plier 600 - Bladeless


    • One handed opening is seamless

    • Carbide cutters can be fragile
    • Tools: 14
    • Weight: 9 ounces

      TSA-friendly multitools tend to follow the design of 511's EDT Multi Tool or the Gerber Shard, but sometimes you can get away with something more akin to a fully built-out multi tool — like the Multi-Plier 600 Bladeless.

      This multitool favored by the U.S. military features 14 tools, including tungsten carbide wire cutters, a ruler, scissors, a flathead and Phillips screwdriver, bottle and can opener and more. The body is built with black oxide coated stainless steel; it looks rugged, but may be prone to scratching with heavy use. Gerber says the bladeless version of their multi tool is TSA-friendly, but if you have any doubts or catch a grumpy vibe from the TSA agents at the airport, you may want to put this in your checked bag — just in case.

      Best Budget Pick: Gerber Gear Shard Keychain Multi Tool

      Gerber Shard

      $7.03 (22% off)

      • Shape is ergonomic and easy to grip

      • Screwdriver can be a little limited in its use cases
      • Tools: 7
      • Weight: < 1 ounce

        The Shard is one of the most popular and classic bladeless multi tools out there, and for less than 10 bucks, it's well within any budget. The Shard is made from stainless steel with a titanium nitride coating for corrosion resistance, and includes seven tools in its 2.75-inch frame.

        At less than an ounce, it's an easy add to your keychain or unobtrusive if you slip it in your pocket — just don't forget to check for it if you don't have it secured on a key ring. The shard is sturdy, simple and a great gift for the handy folks in your life.

        Most Classic Design: Victorinox Jetsetter

        Victorinox Jetsetter


        • Tons of functionality

        • Not as sleek as other multi tools
        • Tools: 7
        • Weight: 0.8 ounces

          Victorinox's classic red multi tools and pocket knives have been in EDC kits for generations — before every day carry was even a thing. They've stood the test of time thanks to quality construction and usefulness in a small package, and the Jetsetter is no exception.

          This flight-friendly multi tool eschews a blade, but it does pack in seven useful tools into its 0.8-ounce frame, including scissors, a magnetic Phillips screwdriver and bottle opener. At less than $30, this helpful little tool is an easy "Add to Cart".

          Best for Simple Jobs: The James Brand Halifax

          The James Brand The Halifax


          • Elegant and simple design works well on simple jobs

          • More for everyday convenience than work sites or tough jobs
          • Tools: 3
          • Weight: < 1 ounce

            Many of today's multi tools boast 10+ functions packed into a tiny design, which is fine — but if you're a fan of elegant design, simplicity and don't need a whole tool belt's worth of tools in your pocket, the Halifax is right up your alley.

            Its functionality is simple: it can tighten loose screws, pry things apart or open a cold beer at the end of a long day. CNC machined from a single block of 6AL4V Titanium, the Halifax is small, strong, lightweight and multi-purpose. It has the least of amount of included tools on this list, but for some of us, that's more than enough.

            Best Blade-Compatible Design: Big I Design TPT Slide

            Big I Design TPT Slide : Titanium Pocket Tool


            • Razor blade compatibility provides more functionality

            • Pricey for such a small tool
            • Tools: 12
            • Weight: 1 ounce

              Unless you're the most frequent of flyers, chances are you'll be using your multitool of choice pretty frequently without having to pass through TSA. If you want a tool that can be as versatile as you, Big I Design has you covered. Its TPT Slide multi tool is razor blade compatible — when you're not flying, insert a blade and amp up the utility of your TPT, and when you are flying, slip that razor blade out and keep things simple.

              Along with its blade-compatible design, the TPT also features a removable pocket clip, bottle opener, multiple flat head screwdrivers, a mini pry bar, measurement cues and more. It's sleek, sophisticated and strong — everything you could ask for in a multi tool. At $80, it's on the pricier end of the bladeless multi tool spectrum, but if you're willing to invest in this unique design, we think it'll prove its worth in short order.

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