Can You bring Nail Clippers on a Plane?

Can you bring nail clippers on a plane 001

Yes, you can take nail clippers in your carry-on. Nail clippers, cuticle cutters, and nail trimming scissors are allowed in your carry bag if the blades are no more than 6 cm in length, but some TSA rules may apply. Read on!

Planning to do your nails while on the plane? Sitting on a flight for hours may seem very boring and the best way to spend those traveling hours is by doing something to like grooming yourself. You can bring your manicure kit to the plane, however, you need to be aware of some items that airport security may not allow to go through.

Let’s find out whether or not bringing nail clippers and other grooming tools are allowed to bring on the plane.

What are Nail Clippers?

What are Nail Clippers

Nail clippers may be made of stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic. There are two common types of nail clippers which are the compound lever type and the plier type. Some nail clippers have a small nail file attached to them for smoothing or shaping the edges of the nails.

There was no specific date as to when the first nail clipper was invented, but patents started in 1875. In the time when modern nail clippers were not invented yet, people used small knives to trim their nails.

Types of Nail Clippers

Types of Nail Clipper

Nail clippers come in different types and it is better if you go over these varieties because restrictions at the airport or the transportation security administration rules may differ for each type.

Scissor Clippers

Scissor clippers are designed to give you more precise cuts and are easier to use than lever clippers.

Nipper Clippers

 This is the strongest variant of the nail clipper. The blades of the nipper clippers are either concave or straight. This is perfect for the hard-to-cut nails on your fingers or toes.

Lever-type clippers

Lever-type clippers are the most common type of nail clippers. They are very handy and easy to use. The force applied on the handle of the nail clippers compacts the blades of the clippers, making the blades touch and cut the nail. 

Cuticle Cutters

These cutters are a handy device to trim unwanted dead skin off of your cuticle. They are the smallest type of clipper with a very sharp and thin point. 

Nail Clipper on Carry on Luggage and Checked luggage

Nail Clipper on Carry on Luggage and Checked luggage

If you are thinking of bringing your nail clippers on the plane, the short answer to this is yes. However, nail clippers fall under sharp objects by the TSA rules. Their rule for this is that you can pack them in your carry on baggage provided that the blades of your regular nail clippers are less than 6 cm long.

Nail clippers whose blades are more than 6 cm long should be properly packed inside your checked baggage to prevent injury to the screening officer and baggage handlers.

Another limitation to TSA nail clippers rules is when your nail clippers have a nail file attachment. This may raise concerns with the airport security if the file is more than 4 inches in length. Some travelers resorted to breaking the file attachment just to meet regulations.

Other Nail Care Tools and Items

Other Nail Care Tools and Items

Nail Polish

If you are planning to paint your nails while on board, then the good news is that you can bring your favorite nail polish color with you in your hand-carry bag. Nail polishes are allowed as long as the capacity of each container will not exceed 17 fluid ounces.

If you decide to put nail polish on during your flight, it is better to ask first your flight crew before you use anything that produces strong fumes like nail polish or nail polish remover. You do not want to be an inconvenience to others because some people do not like the smell of such things.

Nail File

Nail files are allowed in both carry on bag and checked bag because they are not sharp items. However, there is a length requirement for nail files that is no more than 4 inches long. Measure your nail file before going to the airport to ensure that you can bring it inside the plane.

On the other hand, metal nail files are considered a sharp object and must be wrapped or placed in a secure bag to prevent injury during TSA officer inspection.

Cuticle Nippers

They are good to go as long as they are 4 inches in length or less. Longer than that will have to be packed securely in your checked bags.

Nail Polish Removers

Nail polish removers are okay in your carry on luggage but they must comply with the liquid rule. Liquid quantities which are higher than 3.4 ounces are not allowed in your carry bag but you can put them in your checked bags. They should be properly packed and placed inside a transparent quart-sized plastic or Ziplock.

Nail Brush

Nail brushes are usually made of short bristles that can scrub away any collected specks of dirt on your nails. They are perfectly fine to bring in your carry bag since they are not considered dangerous items.

Clear Top Coat

Just like nail polish and other liquids items, you can bring your clear top coat in your carry bag. Just make sure that you follow the liquid rule or it may get confiscated by the bagagge handlers.

Cuticle Pushers

A cuticle pusher is one of the TSA-approved items that you can bring in your hand luggage. Most nail tools are TSA-approved via carry on bags as long as they follow the length, blade, and liquid rules.

Nail Scissors

Nail scissors are not allowed in your carry on bags if the blades are longer than 4 inches. So make sure that you bring a pair of small nail scissors so that you can carry them in your carry on bag. You have to put your nail scissors in your checked bag and securely wrapped them if the blade from the pivot point is more than 4 inches.

Related Questions:

Related Questions

Can you take nail clippers in your carry-on?

Yes, you can take nail clippers in your carry-on. Nail clippers, cuticle cutters, and nail trimming scissors are allowed in your carry bag if the blades are no more than 6 cm in length. However, if the length of the blade is more than that, then you will need to securely pack them inside your checked bag to avoid accidental injury during security screening.

Can I bring nail clippers and tweezers on a plane?

Nail clippers and tweezers are both allowed on a plane. Tweezers are not considered dangerous items so you can place them in either checked bags or carry on bags. Even long tweezer is totally fine to bring on board.
For nail clippers, the blades must be 6 cm and below in order for you to bring them in your carry on. However, if the blades exceed 6 cm in length, then you need to pack them securely in your checked bags.

Can you take nail clippers on a plane?

Yes, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines, nail clippers are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage. However, any sharp objects in checked bags should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.
It is recommended to place nail clippers in a secure bag or wrap them to avoid injury to inspectors or baggage handlers. Keep in mind that the final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer.



Nail grooming during your flight is a smart idea, so as not to waste your time just sitting inside the plane until you arrive at your destination. It’s a good thing you can bring your nail clippers with you and other nail grooming items so long as they are all approved by the TSA. 

Remember that all nail clippers are allowed in your carry bag. Just be sure to adhere to the 4-inch blade rule. However, if you are traveling internationally, you must also be aware of other restrictions. Not all countries are the same when it comes to airport or airline security rules. You are advised to first check the items that you want to bring to other countries because they might not be allowed there.

Countries like South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, have stricter rules regarding nail clippers. It’s recommended to check first with the airline than be sorry or just buy a new manicure kit upon arrival when traveling abroad.

Sharing is caring!

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x