Can You Bring A Screwdriver On A Plane

Airport security is extra careful regarding sharp and dangerous objects passengers carry on a plane. While they may be strict in some items they prohibit, there are certain exemptions to such rules depending on the thing you’ll bring.

One of the most common tools people confuse whether it’s allowed on a plane is screwdrivers. This power tool is handy during travels, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, so some people always bring one. But are screwdrivers allowed on planes?

Can You Bring a Screwdriver on a Plane

Yes, screwdrivers are allowed on a plane!

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), screwdrivers are allowed on carry-on bags and checked baggage. However, TSA only allows it on carry-on luggage if the screwdriver is 7 inches or shorter once measured from end to end when assembled. So, if you want to bring one in your carry-on bag, measure your screwdriver first and ensure it’s 7 inches or less, and you won’t have any problem carrying it. (Learn How Long Does Cologne Last)

Bringing Screwdriver On A Plane

Different Types of Screwdrivers and Their Uses

There are many types of screwdrivers people use depending on the purpose. You must know which one to use to ensure you won’t strip or damage the screw. We also listed down below which of the screwdriver types are allowed on your carry-on baggage or not:

Power Screwdriver

Are they allowed on carry-on? No.

Power screwdrivers have interchangeable heads for every device. Before using, check the length, point size, and diameter for compatibility.
Since most power screwdrivers are bulky and longer than 7 inches, you must place them in your checked luggage.


Are they allowed on carry-on? Yes.

Multi-Bits have interchangeable heads like power screwdrivers. But unlike the former, multi-bits are manually operated, providing flexibility. It also offers less clutter in your toolbox since you can detach its head and organize them by length.

You must separate the driver from the head when you bring them in your carry-on. Ensure the driver and head are shorter than 7 inches of carrying them safely.


Are they allowed on carry-on? Yes.

One of the most common hand tools, flat-head screwdrivers have a wedge-shaped flat tip that tightens or loosens crews with a straight, linear notch. Several variations and sizes are now available for this kind, and some are already travel-friendly, so you can bring them in your carry-on bag.

Frearson Bit

Are they allowed on carry-on? No.

Frearson Bit, also known as the Reed and Prince, is a screwdriver with a cross shape that can accommodate all Frearson screws. These screwdrivers are bulky and typically longer than 7 inches, so you must place them in your checked bag if you need to carry them with you on board.

Rules in Bringing a Screwdriver on a Plane


Are they allowed on carry-on? No.
A Phillips screwdriver’s distinct feature is its pointed edges in the shape of a cross that fits into the slots of a Phillips screw. It usually comes in five sizes, all of which are 7 inches longer. Place it in your checked bag rather than your hand luggage, and you can safely pass them through the checkpoint. (Read Do Vapes Set Off Metal Detectors)


Are they allowed on carry-on? No.

Some screwdrivers have a square-tipped head, also called a Robertson tip. This particular screwdriver is designed to prevent damaging the screw. Like the Phillips screwdriver, it also comes in five sizes, all over 7 inches.

Hex Key

Are they allowed on carry-on? Yes.

Also called a hex wrench, a hex key is an L-shaped hand tool with a hexagonal cross-section. Hex Keys are usually included when you buy furniture since you can use them when tightening small screws. Some hex wrenches are longer than 7 inches, but there are mini ones that you can safely pack in your hand luggage.

Torx Key

Are they allowed on carry-on? Yes.
You may confuse the torx key for the hex key because they have the same L shape. Their difference is that the torx key has a distinctive 6-point star-shaped head that perfectly mates with the appropriate screw heads. It also provides a secure grip on the fastener head and is several times more durable than other screwdrivers. Make sure you only bring the mini or smallest-sized ones on board.

Things to Remember When Bringing a Screwdriver on a Plane

Whether it’s a flat-head screwdriver or Frearson Bit you’re bringing, it’s important to remember these rules so you won’t encounter any problems at the security checkpoint:

You can bring screwdrivers that are 7 inches or shorter in your carry-on

Small tools, such as a 7 inches or shorter screwdriver, are allowed in carry-on luggage. This is why you must measure the screwdriver you’ll be bringing so you won’t get questioned during the checkpoint. Airport security is strict with such tools since they are sharp and can be used as weapons against other passengers.

Screwdrivers longer than 7 inches must be checked in

If you have checked baggage, you should put the tools in it instead of bringing them in your carry-on. TSA recommends placing any sharp object in checked bags rather than carry-on so the security won’t question you any more.

Prohibited items and tools on a plane

Keep all your tools in one place

If you bring other power tools such as wrenches, pliers, and more, we recommend you put them in one place, such as a toolbox. If you find the toolbox too bulky, you can also use a plastic ziplock bag instead, so all your tools are organized in one place, and you can easily find them once you need them.

Note of the other prohibited items and tools on a plane

Most sharp objects are not permitted on hand luggage but are usually allowed in checked bags. This includes a pocket knife, can opener, ice pick, box cutter, and more. Best to check the TSA website if you plan to bring sharp items in your luggage, so you’re sure they won’t get confiscated once your bags are checked. (Read Can You Take Chewing Tobacco On A Plane)

TSA officer has the power to tell whether a specific item is allowed

While TSA may let some things in hand carry, the final decision still rests on the TSA officer who will check your baggage on the day of your flight. Even if the screwdriver is shorter than 7 inches but finds it a hazardous item, they still have the right to confiscate it, so bring one at your own risk.

Consider buying a screwdriver at your destination

Unfortunately, if a TSA officer has confiscated your screwdriver, you can buy a screwdriver at your destination instead. Alternatively, you cannot bring a screwdriver in your bags if you’re unsure whether it’s allowed on board and consider buying at your destination. This way, you won’t have to worry whether you’ll be able to bring a screwdriver on a plane. (Read Can You Take A Metal Water Bottle On A Plane)


Most hand tools are allowed on a plane but usually with restrictions. These restrictions typically apply when bringing them in your carry-on luggage. So if you need clarification on whether an item is allowed on hand luggage, always keep them in your checked baggage for peace of mind.

You can always contact TSA on Twitter or through phone or email. This way, you’re sure that what you’ll be carrying is safe and won’t cause any trouble at the checkpoint and during on board.

Can You Bring A Screwdriver On A Plane

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