The TSA (we’re talking about the Transportation Security Administration) is an awful, soul-sucking government agency that seems designed for nothing more than to make air travel a living hell. The one thing they’re good at is making sure passengers are defenseless aboard their flights — mostly.
But, if you’re smart about what weapons and tools you pack, you can make it through security with gear that could save your life. Here are 7 self-defense tools — or, in the right hands, weapons — that you can still take on a plane.
Self-defense Tools and Weapons Allowed on Airplanes
#1: TREAD Wearable Tool by Leatherman
We’ve been telling you about Leatherman’s TREAD Wearable Tool for years now. We love it so much that we offer an ongoing giveaway designed to put one on your wrist.
It’s the most stealth (sneaky) tool on this list because it doesn’t look like a tool. Until you look closer. It features box wrenches, screwdrivers (flat and Phillips), hex drives, an oxygen tank wrench, sim card pick, carbide glass breaker, a socket drive adapter, and, of course, a bottle opener. Plus, it just looks great.
Click here to win one for yourself or shop on Amazon for the best price on the TREAD.
#2: Gerber Shard Keychain Tool
Another stealth option, this time from Gerber. The Shard Keychain Tool attaches to (surprise!) your keychain and looks almost like any other basic keychain tool. It features a wire stripper, a bottle opener, and more, plus a lanyard hole to secure it to whatever you want.
The best part? You can usually score one for less than $10.
#3: Gerber Dime Travel Bladeless Multi-tool “Knife”
Another solid option from Gerber is their Dime Travel Bladeless “Knife.” Like most any other multi-tool, this one offers everything you need and nothing you don’t. Count on spring-loaded needle nose pliers, wire cutters, spring-loaded scissors, zipper hook, and small/medium flat drivers. And, yes, a bottle opener too. It’s all wrapped in a solid, stainless steel construction.
Sure, there’s technically no blade. But, if you’re smart about how you wield the Dime, it’ll suffice in a self-defense situation.
#4: Leatherman Piranha 2, TSA-compliant Pocket Tool
Leatherman’s answer to the Gerber Shard, this TSA-compliant pocket tool packs plenty of usefulness into a compact form factor. Tools include a box opener, box wrench, medium screwdriver, open wrench, 1/4″ hex driver, a scraper, and a bottle opener. It’s packaged in a slim, stainless steel construction.
It’s not as stylish as the TREAD, but you can’t beat the straight-up utility of the Leatherman Piranha 2, especially since you can carry this on a plane.
#5: Nite Ize DoohicKey Keychain Multi-tool
What makes the Nite Ize DoohicKey one of our favorites is the price. At less than $5, it’s the cheapest TSA-approved self-defense tool on this list. Like the Shard, it boasts a bottle opener, box cutter, three wrench sizes, standard and metric rulers, and a flathead screwdriver. Again: everything you need, nothing you don’t.
It’s thin, ultra-compact, and the integrated carbiner makes it easy to clip to your carry-on or belt loop. You’ll probably forget you even have it — until the moment you absolutely need it. It’s a stealth tool with self-defense possibilities that could save your life.
#6: Leatherman Style PS Multitool
The Style PS is one of Leatherman’s most streamlined, lightweight offerings. This multi-tool features spring-action pliers, scissors, tweezers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, tweezers, and a bottle opener. The combination carabiner makes it easy to clip it and forget it.
The compact scissors (less than four inches) and knifeless design make this one TSA-compliant and travel-friendly. It might not qualify as a legit self-defense weapon, but it’ll work in a pinch.
#7: Zootility Tools WildCard Folding Credit Card Knife
The origami design of the Zootility Tools WildCard Folding Credit Card Knife is one of the more interesting on the market. This one features built-in screwdrivers, a bottle opener, and a pry-bar.
The company promises that, even with the knife, it’s TSA-compliant. So this is a literal self-defense weapon you can take on a plane. But, if things go sideways at the airport checkpoint, you can also detach and surrender the blade. This’ll allow you to keep the base and simply replace the blade when you return home. Plus, it slides easily into your wallet so it’s completely stealth.
What are your favorite self-defense weapons allowed on planes?