Traveling through airports never goes as smoothly as you'd hope to begin with, but getting your favorite multi-tool confiscated by security could be the unwelcome cherry on top. Still, multi-tools are some of the most versatile items you can carry, and going anywhere without one can leave you feeling woefully unequipped. Your best bet is to have a small TSA-friendly multi-tool for when you travel (even better, one you'd find useful even when you aren't). In this guide, we've rounded up 10 EDC tools designed to fly with you this travel season.
How to avoid getting your tools getting confiscated by security
One travel hack that works for some Everyday Carry members to avoid getting your multi-tool taken away is to open up all the tools and place it in the change tray.
If that doesn’t do the trick, another quick tip is to pack an envelope with pre-paid postage. That way, if you run into any problems, you can avoid confiscation by mailing it home or to a friend instead.
To avoid that situation altogether, here are some of the best TSA-friendly tools that you can take with you on your next trip.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that a TSA agent’s main priority is safety. If they feel like anything you have can be used as a weapon, it’s their job to make sure that doesn’t make it onto a plane. Keep in mind that that's ultimately up to the officer's discretion. That said, these tools are compliant with the most recent rules and regulations.
10 TSA Compliant Tools to EDC
Griffin Pocket Tool
Sometimes a simple design is the most useful. The Griffin Pocket Tool is a prime example of this with a precisely cut unibody design that gives you a few handy tools. If you really want to kill two birds with one stone, you can also use it as a suspension hook to carry your keys without the pocket bulge. You’ll have a screwdriver, wrench, bottle opener, and pry tool right in your pocket. You can choose between brass, titanium, or stainless steel depending on which fits best with your carry.
Victorinox Jetsetter 3
The iconic design of the Jetsetter makes it instantly recognizable and the name isn’t the only thing that shows it was designed for travel. You’re unlikely to come across a TSA-agent that's unfamiliar with a Swiss Army Knife. You won’t find any blades here for obvious reasons, but unless toothpicks are suddenly dangerous you shouldn’t have any problems getting this little useful tool through security. Instead, you get sturdy scissors and a screwdriver/bottle opener.
Leatherman Style PS
Leatherman has plenty of tools to choose from, but the Style PS is the way to go if you’re going through airport security. Unfold it to reveal a Phillips screwdriver, scissors, and a pair of spring-action needle nose pliers that are surprisingly useful for their size. The stainless steel build can handle being tossed around, and it has a built-in carabiner so you can attach it to your bag if your pockets are full. At 0.3 ounces, you won’t even notice it’s there.
The DooHicKey is one of those tools that might not even look like a tool to most. Look a little closer and you’ll find a discreet piece of stainless steel with seven useful tools hiding in plain sight. Whether you keep this on your belt loop or the bottom of a bag, the DooHicKey is one of those tools you don’t realize you need until you have it.
One of the most recommended and most carried pocket tools on our site is the Gerber Shard. Its small size and lack of blades makes it perfect for airline travel but gives you plenty of the functionality of a larger multi-tool. A wire stripper, flathead driver, and bottle opener are crammed into this small tool that can easily fit in your pocket. You can also wrap the handle in your favorite color paracord to add style and a little extra practicality.
Gerber Dime Travel
The Gerber Dime is an EDC classic for a reason. You have access to ten tools including scissors and the ever-useful needlenose pliers right on your keychain. The Dime can handle annoying travel inconveniences with ease and makes a great travel buddy at under 3” in length.
The Titanium Pocket Tool from BigiDesign is one of those new breed of boxcutters. But instead of a utility blade, the TPT comes equipped with a finger-safe tape opener that doubles as a camping fork if you find yourself eating on the go. Its Grade 5 Titanium build makes it strong enough for prying or twisting, but it’s small enough to fit in the coin pocket of your jeans. For a discreet way to carry a screwdriver, pry bar, bottle opener, and more, make sure to check out the TPT.
If you’re trying to minimize the amount of items in your pocket, the CRKT Viva might be the tool for you. It hooks onto your belt or bag loop and stays out of your way until you need it. It measures only 4” in length but still manages to fit screwdriver and wrench functionality in your pocket. Its stainless steel construction makes it reliable when getting from point A to point B.
SOG PowerLock Traveler
Not all travel tools need to sacrifice size. Case in point: the SOG PowerLock Traveler. This durable multi-tool was made with no compromises. You'll get high-powered Compound Leverage pliers, screw drivers, a can opener, a wire cutter, and more in a stainless steel tool that'll keep you prepared for anything.
Zootility Tools Wildcard
There’s no easier way to carry something than to put it in your wallet. The Zootility Wildcard takes advantage of this and fits a pry bar, small blade, bottle opener, and more in a form factor that you can slide into your wallet. Once you’re done traveling you can still find use for this slick tool by attaching a locking blade for more robust cutting jobs.
Do you have any travel hacks you'd recommend to anyone looking to bring a multi-tool on a trip? Make sure to share it in the comments below!