Can I Take A Pencil Sharpener On A Plane

Pencil sharpeners are an essential tool for kids at school or even for adults who do sketches for a living. Along with pencils, these two go hand-in-hand, especially if there are things you need to accomplish, even when you are on local or international trips.

If you can’t leave without bringing your pencils and pencil sharpeners with you, read on to know about bringing these tools on board a flight.

Can I Bring Pencil Sharpeners on a Plane?

You have nothing to worry about bringing pencil sharpeners on board. According to Transportation Security Administration (TSA), pencil sharpeners are allowed both on carry-on and checked luggage without restrictions. Since they are small and do not pose any risk, airport security permits all kinds of pencil sharpeners on board.

However, if TSA finds anything suspicious or dangerous about your pencil sharpeners, they still have the right to confiscate them. The final decision still rests on airport security. (Read Can You Take Dip On A Plane)

pencil sharpener

How to Securely Pack a Pencil Sharpener?

There is no right or wrong way to pack a pencil sharpener; you can even toss it on your hand luggage or checked bags, and you’re good to go! The airport security isn’t stringent regarding this item, so you don’t have to worry whether they’re securely wrapped.

Things to Keep in Mind When Carrying a Pencil Sharpener

Although pencil sharpeners are generally allowed and safe to bring, there are instances that they might trigger the alarm. Here are some reminders to make sure your pencil sharpeners can pass safely:

Bring a standard pencil sharpener

Both electric and manual pencil sharpeners are allowed on plane as long as they are the ones usually used. Oddly shaped sharpeners, such as those shaped like guns or bombs, are what typically trigger the alarm. Airport security might require additional inspection if they see anything suspicious through the X-Ray scanner.

Replacement or spare blades for sharpeners are allowed

If you need to bring an extra blade for your sharpeners in case it gets broken, there is no need to worry! Replacement cutters and spare blades are allowed in your carry-on and checked luggage. TSA does not find a blade as tiny as a sharpener hazardous on a plane.

Remove the batteries of your battery-powered pencil sharpeners

Battery-powered pencil sharpeners are allowed on the plane, but make sure you remove the batteries first when you load them in your carry-on. Since dry batteries are only allowed on checked luggage, you can leave them on your sharpeners as long as it’s placed on your checked luggage.

All types of pencil sharpeners are allowed

Refrain from sweating, thinking about whether your carpenter or eyeliner pencil sharpener is allowed on the plane. You can carry any sharpeners with you! (Read Cost Of Living In Thailand)

Can I Bring Pencils on a Plane?

When people bring a pencil sharpener on the plane, they often carry a pencil with them. However, since pencils are considered sharp objects, are they safe to be held on your hand luggage or checked baggage?

The answer is YES! TSA allows pencils both in carry-on bags and checked luggage. No matter how sharp or pointed, TSA doesn’t consider pencils dangerous.

Other types of pencils also allowed on the plane are colored pencils and mechanical pencils. Colored pencils can be taken both in carry-on bags and checked baggage, no matter how plenty they are. 

According to TSA, mechanical pencils, especially those made with metal, are also safe to be brought without packing requirements or quantity limits. So, if you need to carry your Rotring mechanical pencil with you, it won’t be a problem!

Other Art Supplies Allowed on a Plane


Now that you know that pencils and pencil sharpeners are allowed on board, here are other art supplies that you can also carry:

Markers and Crayons

If you have a kid who loves to draw or color, you can bring markers and crayons in your carry-on bag. It can help distract your kid during flights to make sure they won’t get bored or cause a scene during a flight.

Chalk Markers

Chalk markers contain liquid, but they are allowed both in carry-on or checked luggage. They do not have to follow the 3-1-1 TSA rules despite it being a liquid.

Calligraphy Pen Tips

You would think calligraphy pen tips won’t be allowed since they are pointy, but TSA allows them! Whether you’re bringing them for personal use or as a gift, they are allowed both in carry-on bags or checked luggage. (Read Is Vaseline Considered A Liquid When Flying)

Fountain Pens

Custom fountain pens make great gifts, so if you’re planning to bring one to surprise a friend, you can do so. In general, fountain pens are allowed in carry-on bags and checked luggage.

Paint Brushes

Artists, cartoonists, and the like often bring paintbrushes and other art supplies. The good news is they are allowed on board! Paint brushes, water brush pens, markers, colored pens, and the like are all good to go in carry-on bags.

Art Supplies That Might Be Prohibited on a Plane

There are a whole lot of art supplies that might put you at risk when you bring them. So be wary if you plan to carry these items during your flight:

Tactical Pens

While fountain, mechanical, and other types of pens are allowed on the plane, tactical pens might raise some eyebrows. They are very sharp and sturdy enough to hurt people. That’s why TSA agents are very strict with this specific type. However, you can still keep them in your checked luggage, but note that they are not allowed in hand luggage. 


All types of paints that are non-solid such as watercolor paint tubes, acrylic paints, and the like, are considered liquid by the TSA. Hence, the 3-1-1 liquid rule applies to them. So if you plan to carry it in your hand luggage, it must be placed in a container smaller than 3.4 oz (100 ml) and fit into a one-quart-sized plastic bag.


According to TSA, scissors are allowed both in carry-on luggage and checked baggage, but there are some special instructions you need to keep in mind. If you place it in your carry-on luggage, make sure that they are less than 4 inches from the pivot point. 

As for checked bags, passengers must securely wrap all sharp objects to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Paint Thinner and Other Related Solvents

Paint thinner, turpentine, and other paint-related solvents are strictly prohibited in carry-on and checked bags. Since they are considered a banned item, you must not attempt to bring them still if you do not want to have your bags inspected further at the airport security checkpoint. (Read Can You Take Pomade On A Plane)

Final Thoughts

In summary, you can safely carry your pencil sharpeners with you. You don’t have to worry about your pencils going dull or buying a new sharpener whenever you need one during your travel. As long as they’re small, do not have batteries, and aren’t oddly shaped, you can throw them in your carry-on luggage!

If the art supplies you need to bring aren’t mentioned above, you can always check the TSA website or tag them on Twitter to ensure what you’re carrying are good to go. Have a safe travel!

Can I Take A Pencil Sharpener On A Plane

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