Groomsmen's Blog

Travel Issues When Giving Pocket Knife as Groomsman Gifts

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What guy wouldn’t want to receive a pocket knife as a thank you for being your groomsman? As far as men go, I don’t think there is a single one of them who wouldn’t get excited about unwrapping a box, lifting the lid and finding a sleek, streamlined pocket knife or fully-loaded multi-function tool waiting within. Even if he already has a pocket knife or two, another is always welcome. It’s like women and shoes; you can never have enough!

So, if you are planning on giving your best man, groomsmen, ushers or other important members of your wedding party a pocket knife or multi-function tool as an thank-you present, there are some considerations you should make beforehand, especially the recipient is an out-of-town guest and you want to make sure he travels back home with this new groomsmen gift intact.

If your buddy is traveling by car, there are no worries. He can just toss his new pocket knife anywhere he pleases -- in a weekend bag, in the glove compartment or even out on display on the passenger seat. There are no restrictions in a private vehicle. In fact, having a pocket knife or multi-tool on hand during a road trip is a prudent idea for safety. There are many perils on the road, from flat tires to snack time, that may require the use of such an implement.

If your friend is travelling home on a public land vehicle such as a bus or train, make sure that he is aware of the prohibited items. For example, on Greyhound coaches, any knife (except round-bladed plastic cutlery) may be brought into the passenger area or stored in carry-on bags. Additionally, any type of knife or bladed object --- including pocket knives – may even be packed in your checked luggage that is transported in the outside compartment of the vehicle. However, upon check-in at the bus station, a traveler may ship his prohibited item home (for an additional expense) via the Greyhound PackageXpress service. Check out this full list of items prohibited on Greyhound.

For return travel via a train, there are also restrictions on carrying a folding blade, pocket knife or multi-function tool. Amtrak also enforces a list of prohibited items on trains in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their passengers during transit. Amtrak, the nation's largest provider of interstate train travel as well as contract-commuter service for state and regional authorities, reports that sharp objects are not allowed on-board or in checked luggage. This includes, but is not limited to “axes, ice picks, knives, spears and swords.” However, it does say that “sheathed equipment” is allowed in checked baggage. So, presumably a pocket knife that is folded down into the case is allowed into checked baggage.

When travelling on an airline, it is unwise to bring along a pocket knife. Although it is legal to “bear arms,” you may not pass the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security check-in with a pocket knife on your person or in carry-on bags. Until just recently, per TSA regulations, the only type of knife that can be placed into carry-on luggage was “plastic or round-bladed butter knives.” However this is changing, effective April 25, 2013. As the TSA “continues to evolve and strengthens its multi-layered approach to aviation security,” it will begin allowing small knives in carry-on luggage to “help passengers prepare for airport security procedures prior to the checkpoint arrival.”

However, small knives permitted in carry-on luggage must have a blade no more that 2.36 inches length (from tip to where blade it meets the handle or hilt) and be no more than ½ inch thick. Knives with locking or fixed blades, molded grips and razors and box cutters are still not allowed through security.

The majority of pocket knives at Groomstand.com will pass the test on blades allowable by the TSA (but remember, this new rule goes into effect April 25, 2013). Also, remember on all of these carriers, multi-function tools are also considered sharp objects – even more so with numerous implements such as blades, corkscrews and scissors. Just to be safe, it is probably a good idea to mail home pocket knives that are given as groomsmen gifts. Just imagine how embarrassing it would be for a buddy’s new groomsman gift to be confiscated at security check-in, or worse yet, have to go bail them out of jail!

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