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TSA Friendly Multi Tool

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by Benbrooks, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. vadsoom

    vadsoom Loaded Pockets

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    I lost track of mileage after I hit 4 million. In all my years of world travel, I've had 11 multi tools, 9 butane soldering irons, 1 Fluke Scopemeter with high voltage probe, a few bricks of AA batteries, clothes and cans of corned beef pilfered from my checked bags. I've learned that for certain locations, to ship my tools in advance, do without, or buy when I arrive at my location.

    I've learned to travel VERY lightly, going to multiple countries for a month with only a small, carry-on backpack. Carrying luggage stinks, especially when there are no escalators, elevators or paved roads.

    I've made it from NY to Singapore, into China and on the way returning to the US, had my tools confiscated by overzealous, unscrupulous, or greedy airline security agents. I've actually watched agents in China take an item from my bag, inspect it carefully.... and put it in their pocket.,

    Maddening, just maddening.
     
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  2. FLbeachbum

    FLbeachbum Loaded Pockets

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    I had the same problem in China. I bought a knife in Xian as a souvineer and put it in my day pack. I carried it around Xian for a couple of days with no problems then put it in my checked luggage for the flight to Chengdu. I carried it around Chengdu in my day pack because we were told not to leave anything of value in our rooms. I put it back in checked luggage for the flight from Chengdu to Lhasa where I once again stuck it in my day pack. We spent three days in Lhasa and then spent the next week driving across Tibet stopping in Shigatse, Sakya, and the Everest base camp area. There was at least three road checkpoints where we had to get out and show our travel documents and permits and I remember being searched in at least one of them. Again no problems anywhere. Not even a question. At the last customs checkpoint before you cross into Nepal you have to unload everything from your vehicle again and have it searched. BTW the knife had been wrapped, put in a box, and sealed by the sales person where I bought it and had not been opened since then. The customs guy at the last checkpoint pulled the box out of my bag and ran it through an x-ray machine. He then proceeded to open the box, look straight at me, shake his head, and stick my knife into his pocket. I started to complain but the tour guide said not to because it would only cause more trouble and there wasn't anything I could do anyway. He also said that checkpoint was notorious for helping themselves to tourist's things.
     
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  3. Dave613

    Dave613 Loaded Pockets

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    Whatever works for you but my practice is the opposite, I've found there is at least a 50% chance that they won't see/question a LM PS if it is tucked away but 100% chance they will try and confiscate it if they see it in a tray. Therefore I don't take it out. Interestingly I usually carry two of them (since the scissor springs break so often on the LM PS) and I've never had them see/question more than one at screening. Never actually had one confiscated in NA, Caribbean or Europe.
    Someone on this forum pointed out that a plus for the PS is that 4mm (not 1/4 inch) hex bits can be used with it by jamming them into the frame, I've tried that and it works very well, potentially a really useful hack for the one bag traveler.

    Dave.
     
  4. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    When it comes to the LM PS, (even though I succumbed and bought one), I really do wonder why any of us bother. It really offers very little in the way of tools. I came to a conclusion that it would be just as simple, perhaps even simpler, to buy a small pair of scissors with rounded tips (such as a grade school child would use) and an inexpensive nail clipper/manicure set. These would not add anything significant to the weight of a briefcase or any other carry on bag; would likely to spark no interest at security screening, and likely would not be subject to unscrupulous security staff taking possession.

    The only characteristic of the PS that would be somewhat hard to replicate 'might' be the plier jaws; and really, a small pair of long nose of about that size would also take little space nor weight and are easily obtained at for example Home Depot.

    Maybe I'm unusual (well heck, I Know I am eccentric!), but I think in this particular instance of the PS, obtaining perhaps better utility without significant investment of $ nor space nor weight, with the added benefit of reduced temptation for hassle or loss at security are a definite possibility for this approach. As always, just my not so very humble opinion!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  5. Dave613

    Dave613 Loaded Pockets

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    You make a very good point, the idea is to have the capability not to take any particular tool through the checkpoint.

    Dave.
     
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  6. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    I carry rounded tip scissors less than 4" in length, needle noses pliers less than 7", utility blade knife without the blade and a compact multi tip screwdriver less than 7" in length. For my needs this meets all my requirements in my airline carry on. I have had a TSA agent take out and measure the scissors before sending me on my way.
     
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  7. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    I really think I bought a LM PS for air travel in a subconscious act of defiance. "Ha ha! Looky here, I have a Leatherman!" I'm a peculiar guy - both moral and antisocial at the same time. I really wish LM would make what I think is the Cx with a pair of Juice-like scissors instead of the little knife blade specifically for travel and my EDC bag. I stopped carrying my LM Wave in my EDC bag because it's heavy, and I literally never have use for it.



    *I understand TSA and .gov have policies in place and they're doing their poorly paid jobs, but I resent the entire TSA organization and deem it near farcical.
     
  8. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I resent the organization also. For the most part I don't hold that view towards the inspectors. Just like someone on an assembly line much is out of their control unless they are clearly being just plain sloppy in their work. In which case that individual is unworthy of my respect.

    I know a fair bit about assembly line work and similar. My career has been primarily QA as well as being a consultant with focus on shop floor and warehouse floor operations. Professor Deming was right on this (and so many things) when he clearly identified more than 80% of an organization's shortcomings as due to management not the workers!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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