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Transportation Security Administration

Safety Razors and Disposable Razors

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Shaving razor, brush, and mug.

I've seen a lot of confusion out there on what types of razors are OK to take with you in your carry-on baggage. This post is just a quick and basic attempt to clear up any confusion. Let me just start by saying that electric razors are OK, but straight razors are a no-go.

Razor Blade
Disposable Shaving Razor

These two photos show a safety razor and the removable blade that they use. They're making a come back thanks to the close shave they provide and the extremely affordable price of the replacement blades. It basically unscrews and you can insert a razor blade. Because these razor blades are so easy to take out, safety razors are not permitted in your carry-on luggage with the blade. The blades must be stored in your checked luggage.

This is a disposable razor. They come in two types. The kind that is completely disposable (handle and all), or the kind where you replace them with cartridges. These are permissible in carry-on luggage with the blade and replacement cartridges.

This gentleman is shaving with a disposable razor. Good to go!

This gentleman is shaving with a disposable razor. Good to go!

This gentleman is shaving with a safety razor. No-go! (OK without blade)

This gentleman is shaving with a safety razor. No-go! (OK without blade)

This gentleman is shaving with a Samurai sword. No-go! (Swords must be checked with luggage)

This gentleman is shaving with a Samurai sword. No-go! (Swords must be checked with luggage)

Thanks!

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Please , please continue to work with the castrati in congress to allow us to carry our pocket knives. I know I can always put it in a checked bag, and that was fine until the carriers started charging for each pice checked....

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ok, so I can't bring a safety razor blade, but then why is the airline able to give me a large glass beverage? Oh, and a metal knife with my meal? I think what drives passengers nuts is the lack of intellectual consistency with TSA policies. If I can't bring safety razor blades, then airlines should be able to have glass orboard.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It was said earlier,that you can kill someone with a DE razor....you go ahead and grab one with your bare hands and let me know how that goes for you versus stabbing them to death with scissors or a METAL SPIKE. The policy is ridiculous. The TS has been proven to be ineffective a NUMBER of times...get rid of this ridiculous policy that forces me to ship all my proper shaving equipment ahead of time if I'm not checking a bag.

Submitted by Anonymous on

what about electronice hair clippers? Can i carry those on the plane?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wow. The issue is the TSA's ridiculous banned item list. Not trying to educate the people. Educating them on what?
Should they ban fist next?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's 2014 and it's still the same lol

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can you tell me if it is allowed to bring an epilator in my carry-on luggage?

Submitted by Anonymous on

This article educated me about razors in my carry-on. That's why I read it.

Submitted by Bjorn on

I was a bit puzzled why safety razors would not be allowed. It is not easy to find blades once at the destination. When I travel now without checked luggage I just bring the shaving soap, brush and a BIC disposable. 70% of the luxury feel of wet shaving is using hot lather from soap rather than the aerosol can garbage.

Here's some musings: I suspect most of the TSA rules are to deter wannabe terrorists from trying anything. Especially, the dimwitted ones. Against a genius terrorist there really is no defense. A genius can wreak havoc with a penny, a hairball and a bit of wax. Allowing DE razor blades will give the dumb terrorist ideas, because they're so sharp. Allowing knitting needles or ballpoint pens or even #2 lead pencils is OK because that won't give the dimwitted terrorist any ideas....

Regarding belt on or off, I always take it off well in advance. No need to wait for barkers to tell you what to do. A lot of these rules are to make the checkpoint go faster. If a belt makes the metal detector go off, that means another person needing to be scanned holding up the line. So to the lady who bitch and moaned about the belt rules, would she prefer to get to the gate in time and not miss her flight, or is it more important or that all checkpoints have the same rules? Different airports have different equipment, and also different countries have different rules.

Submitted by Mayra Palacios on

I was confused about whether I could take a disposable razor or not on my carry on. Thanks for clearing that up! :)

Submitted by Anonymous on

This really boggles my mind, since I have personally witnessed a passenger clear airport security having had a metal butter knife (blade length 4.5") in their carry-on. TSA merely confirmed that it was a butter knife an d not an edged knife and let the passenger keep it in their carry-on. Pretty sure that a butter knife, even without an edge, can do a lot more damage than a razor blade. Doesn't make sense, unless the fact that it was a TSA-Pre passenger?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I for one am thankful for the TSA security and hope that it continues to be more (not less) stringent. I'd rather fly knowing that nobody brought a weapon aboard than fly with terrorists that were not screened because someone complained about the inconvenience. Although I'm not a constitutional scholar, I never feel as though my constitutional rights are compromised by airport security.

Security should not be consistent at every checkpoint, since consistency will help the bad guys figure out how to get around the inspection.

Let's not drop our guard just because people complain about security. Who knows, the complainers could be terrorists that are hoping that we'll drop our guard even lower. And, as any boxer knows, when you drop your guard, you'll be knocked out.

Submitted by Nicole Marsh on

I was baffled a few years ago, to make it through security in DCA! I had full length scissors in my carry on bag, and no one caught them. It wasn't intentional, I was up all night packing after moving out of my college dorm room, and thought I put them in my checked bag instead. I guess not!

By the time I arrived to Toronto and had to go through security again, the security people there caught them. Of course, I told them they can take the scissors.... genuine mistake.

I looked no the TSA website today, to see if I was allowed to bring my razors... like some others have said, the answer was a bit confusing. This blog cleared it up, thank you so much! =) It's also nice to see so much humor coming from the TSA. You deal with a lot of serious issues on a daily basis. But some of these blog posts.... hilarious!

This makes finding the answers we need much easier, and fun! Thank you from a former international student that had to take more international flights than she can count!

Submitted by Gary S on

It purely amazes me how many people not only miss the point - but scream to the rooftops their beliefs that miss the point.

It is not about something is "harmless" if used properly. It is about things that are NOT harmless. I know simple things like baking soda and vinegar are consumable, but mix them? Will they explode? Yep.

Can you harm someone with your fist? Sure. Cut someone's throat or stab them with scissors? Yes. I can strangle someone with a belt, or the shoulder strap of my bag. Toss boiling hot coffee in someone's eyes. Folks, WE ARE NOT SAFE. Nutballs who want to hurt you, WILL. All TSA is trying to do is manange and minimize things that are potentially dangerous.

People inconsistantly apply the rules? It's always going to happen... as long as you have PEOPLE doing it. They forget, they get irritated or upset, they have a "method". If you think the TSA is inspector is out of line, don't tell him/her - tell their BOSS, and help EVERYONE.

We also have - daily - boneheads who have loaded guns and ammunition in their carry-on bags. Standing in line for 30 minutes, they couldn't run a last-minute check? Baloney. And the excuse for 99.99% of them? "Oh, I didn't realize I left it in there." Double baloney. I am of the firm belief that such a situation should not be a discussion, an explanation, et al; it should be (1) confiscate the weapon, real or percieved, and (2) throw the idiot in jail overnight. Once the word is out, I bet a few more people will double-check their bags...

The TSA inspectors are people, plain and simple. They are people doing a demanding and thankless job. We as travelers can make it all easier, smoother and faster by just paying a little attention. Keep a ziplok in your travel bag, throw the fluids in there when you're packing; big deal. Buy a dispoable razor, or a new pack of razor blades when you get where you're going. Don't buy a Coke as you get into the TSA line; they sell them on the other side.

Finally, if you do not like not being able to bring your titanium pitons, or your favorite carving knife, or that souvenir WWII vintage dummy hand grenade on the flight - crabbing at the TSA folks is a complete waste of time. They didn't make the rules. Drop your Congressman a note, because they did.

I fly tomorrow. No guns, no knives, no scissors. Traveler # logged in and verified with my airline. I'll get a grossly-overpriced soda after I go thru the checkpoint; if I get thirsty on the way, there are water fountains all over. And I will arrive at the airport ahead of time, with nothing more innocuous than car keys, a book, a granola bar, and my wallet - and will, in all probability, sail thru TSA on the wings of angels.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have a box cutter with an easily removable blade. With the blade discarded, it has gone thru many checkpu, but tonight it was rejected I was told I had to check it and the bag ut was in. It wasn't until I inwuired that I was offered the option to use the " mail home " kiosk. If it has NO blade how can it be considered a knife? Pz

Submitted by Anonymous on

If you look at your OWN TSA Prohibited list, in the Section Sharp Objects, Safety Razors are specifically excluded on the list of items not allowed. So can we take them or not? I'm a crew member and had mine confiscated at Shreveport about 2 months ago. The genius took the pack of fresh blades but left the one still in the razor.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just found out about this rule when I was asked to take a blade out of my DE razor, but the genius left me a fresh pack of blades. Sigh.

The TSA has to be the most incompetent government agency I've ever seen, and I've been to 42 countries.

Submitted by Micro Touch One on

Safety razors and straight razors seem best for permanent and home use but disposable razors are ideal for travel use. Good post.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you for the post. It was clear and answered my question very well.

Submitted by Tommy on

what about electronice hair clippers? Can i carry those on the plane?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel with a safety razor and always remove the blade before I travel. My problem concerns the TSA staff. When I have Pre-check I remove the bag containing the razor for an easy inspection by the TSA personnel. Unfortunately I am constantly told not to remove anything from my bags. I still do and tell them I can as it makes the line move faster. Could someone at the TSA please tell all the staff that it is OK to remove an item that is inspected 95% of the time? Luckily one TSA member at PHX thanked me for removing it for easy inspection.
One additional point a straight razor is not a safety razor. Please make the distinction at the top of the article.
Thanks

Submitted by Iconic Shavre on

Men may use shaving with a safety razor for comfortable shave.After shaving we need use an antiseptic agent for own safety.we an use isopropyl alcohol, both to prevent infection from cuts and to act as an astringent to reduce skin irritation, a perfume, and a moisturizer to soften the facial skin.

Submitted by Rjbs on

The "Prohibited Items" entry for razors is still really unclear. It reads: razor blades not in a cartridge (excluding safety razors) are prohibited

Why the double negative? What that says is that razor blades that are not in a cartridge are prohibited, but that this excludes safety razors. That means that they are not prohibited. I can accept that they are prohibited, but then the page should be fixed to say so clearly. For example: Razor blades are not allowed in carry-on baggage, except for cartridge razors. Safety razors may be carried on, but not their blades.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm 60 years old and I was really pissed when they didnt let my cartridge razors pass through the plane. It had a sentimental value (one I used in Iraq). I double checked the check in desk and they didn't have any problems with me bringing my razor. So I had to throw it away and what a day. Also you can see here that it is okay.

Please do something about it. I'm a proud veteran.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am still confused since the TSA banned item list says the following: "Razor-Type Blades
Box cutters, razor blades not in a cartridge (excluding safety razors) are prohibited in carry-on.
Item is not allowed. Item is allowed."

The way this sentence is written means that safety razors see excluded from this prohibition. This blog post says the opposite, but it was written in 2010 so it could have been written before this exclusion was added, but the comments seem to suggest that the TSA banned item list is just poorly written and misleading. The optimist in me wants to believe that a major government agency must have people writing their public-facing rules and regulations who can put a sentence together that means what it says.

I don't care that much whether or not I can bring my razor blades, but I find it infuriating that the TSA has such sub-par writing skills. You want an example of how America lags behind in education... this is it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

For you safety razor users, you can mail your blades ahead to your destination if you are only carrying on. Just mark them "hold for guest..." if they will arrive before you do.

Submitted by Dave Vaccaro on

This is why I prefer to use an electric shaver when I travel anywhere. Razors will always be looked at negatively as a potential weapon.

Submitted by Mbattery on

Big blades,small blades, samurai swords...How about just leaving everything at home and buying them when you get where you're going. Complaining about TSA does nothing. It can't be easy trying to please the millions of passengers who travel every year. Big deal about nothing. Chill everyone.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you so much for this very specific information! I appreciate the pictures and detailed descriptions so that I can be sure that my trip will be safe and easy. This blog is a gem.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I thought my recent travel through the busiest airport in the country, and the dealings with the TSA there was wonderful.. professional, polite. And tried to make a long wait as short as possible. This post solved my misunderstanding.. thank you all and keep up the great work.

Submitted by Saw on

One TIME?>>>Great
The point you are missing is TSA is trying to educate travelers to help them avoid problems at the airport,stadium,...
Thank you so sharing!!!
Very convenient.

Submitted by Aaron Majorana on

What about shaving soap such as the hard soap typically found in a mug or cup used with safety razors? Is there a limit on the amount? Must it be packaged in a specific way? Is it sufficient to bring the mug with the soap already in the mug?

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Aaron sez - "What about shaving soap such as the hard soap typically found in a mug or cup used with safety razors?"

Solid soaps (including the shaving type), are allowed in carry-on and checked bags. You may also leave it inside the cup/mug, however, that may generate a bag check to ascertain what the item is (because there are tons of folks that have no clue what a soap mug and walrus brush are!).

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by BDH70 on

I wish the TSA at the Lansing, Mich., airport had gotten the memo about shaving soap. I had to "voluntarily relinquish" that yesterday, because they said it was a liquid, despite opening it and seeing that it wasn't. I'm not sure if they are more in need of training on consistent policies or a refresher course on the states of matter.

Submitted by Richard on

Just checking about safety razors for an upcoming trip without checked luggage...thanks for the info. Last trip went through 3 US airports....have to say the TSA agents were good humoured and helpful. Security is what it is there's no point getting frustrated. Do I care if I have to take my belt of in one place and not another...no, what difference does it make.

Submitted by Michael Gibouleau on

If you're in a hurry pay the freight on the TSA Pre-Check. It's worth it. I have one carry on that is 2 inches less in width and length that fits perfectly into the overhead. Yeah, I might not get much into it but I don't have the problem of checked baggage being lost or worse yet finding out it went to Zurich Switzerland. I can pretty much put my medications my laptop, tablets into it all protected by my clothing along with the chargers. TSA Pre-Check the only way to fly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think that the "enhanced safety" provided by TSA is largely a placebo effect. Still, I don't think there's any reason to be resentful -- these TSOs are just doing their jobs. Is it nicer to encounter a TSO with a pleasant demeanor? of course. But, unless I live a very secluded life, I am going to encounter unpleasant people everywhere.

Since we all live in a post 911 world, we might as well accept it -- I can save a lot of misery for myself and those around me by striving for some serenity regarding the things I cannot change.

my 2¢

Submitted by Frank R on

When I was using safety razors I quickly learned to check it in a bag - carrying on a safety razor without a blade, even though I have Pre-Check, still meant having my bag opened and the razor inspected to verify that there is no blade in it.

Now that I've moved on to a straight razor, checking the bag is no longer optional.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If u put it in ur luggage, will they still check it?

Submitted by Sir Hare on

There are many shaving products that go along the razor, so here is the best summary I could come up with according to the guidelines.

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 is a summary of my real life experiences traveling with my shaving gear.

Can you bring a razor on a plane?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The inconsistencies at different airports or even in the same airport at different areas is not to trip up the bad guy. They are like that because not all airports have the same exact equipment and/or models. You can still kill someone with a toothbrush, floss and a razor from a DISPOSABLE razor (I have seen this done personally), it just makes ot that much harder and that's the only safety and security you can truly have.

Submitted by Mike on

Most ridiculous policy I have heard since the days of banned nail clippers. TSA is a complete joke.

Submitted by Harry Broaders on

As a European I find all these irate comments entertaining. What most people don't appear to realise is that these rules about carry-on luggage contents are the same the world over, more or less. And indeed similar inconsistencies also exist.

- razor blades are also not permitted under EU rules, e.g. https://www.dublinairport.com/docs/default-source/default-document-libra...

- in one asian country, at a local airport they were inspecting powerbanks and not allowing some in hand-luggage. I never saw this in any other country I visited.

- I carried a nail scissors from one asian country to another but it was taken away from me on the return leg

- In much of asia there is an x-ray machine at the boarding gate waiting area and you are not allowed to take liquids into the waiting area. This means unless there is a vending machine you have nothing to drink until you get on board and can buy something at the usual inflated prices. Very inconvenient with kids.

None of these are major hardships to endure for an increased level of safety. Sure, a determined terrorist can still cause a lot of damage with his fists but that's nothing compared with what can be done with a gun. But when I see the guns knives and other items that Americans still seem determined to bring on board, I am prepared to put up with the inconveniences. Even if we don't talk about terrorism, I don't want a lunatic or drunk beside me with a sharp knive.

Submitted by Bradley Saint George on

"Sir, could you please explain why you thought it was okay to attempt to bring a samurai sword onto the plane with you?" "It's just for shaving, I swear!" I loved the humor in your articles, long time reader/subscriber.

Submitted by Madison Welch on

I mean OK I see this is all required for security reasons, but please, razors?! Like they are some kind of "weapon"... There are much more serious threats to be concerned for than keeping it clean and beardless when traveling.

Submitted by Christopher Banacka on

lol this stuff is a joke right? How in the world is a razer that gets thrown away after a few uses safer than one that you can resharpen?

Submitted by Confidence Macaulay on

hahaha.. Now this is one very funny post. Interesting. that sword part made my day.

Submitted by D C on

"These two photos show a safety razor and the removable blade that they use."

Immediately above this is the photo of a safety razor blade and a disposable razor. I had to reread this a couple of times to figure out you were referring to the photo at the top of the page. Fortunately, I know what a safety razor is, but many people don't.

Maybe you can fix the formatting and the text to clarify the issue. Something like "At the beginning of the article is a photo of a safety razor; above is a photo of the blade used in one..." Also move the photo of the disposable razor to just above the text about the disposable razor.

If you're attempting to clarify an issue, it needs to actually be clear. It's possible this is only a problem on mobile devices, but think how many people use their phone, especially when traveling.

But thanks for posting the clarification; it actually answered a question we were discussing on Facebook!

Submitted by Ash on

So would the Venus Swirl shaving razor be allowed since it has replaceable cartridges? Or would that be considered a safety razor and not allowed?

Submitted by Shteeni on

Mbattery, I can't agree with you more!

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