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The Most Versatile Pocket Knives and Multitools for Air Travel

Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool
Leatherman/Facebook

You probably already have a favorite everyday carry (EDC) multitool or pocket knife, but odds are it’s not TSA-approved. While everyone’s favorite government agency allows plenty of surprising things in carry-on baggage — including corkscrews, antlers, and matches — blades of any type are still a big no-no. If you can’t bear to be without your trusty multitool, these are the most versatile EDC pocket tools that pass TSA scrutiny.

Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Bladeless

Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Bladeless
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Gerber is among our favorite go-to brands for versatile, field-tested outdoor gear. Its MP600 series remains one of the company’s best lines of multitools. As the name implies, the Multi-Plier 600 Bladeless is purpose-built for air travelers who need to pack a full-featured multitool in their carry-on luggage. Among its arsenal of 14 tools are scissors, bottle and can openers, screwdrivers, pliers, a file, and even a replaceable RemGrit saw. The entire design features one-handed opening capability and a black-oxide coating to last a lifetime

Swiss+Tech Polished SS 19-in-1 Micro Pocket Multitool

Swiss+Tech Polished SS 19-in-1 Micro Pocket Multitool
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Swiss+Tech’s Polished SS 19-in-1 Micro Pocket Multitool doesn’t boast the same brand-name cache as Gerber. It does, however, offer a few more tools, including hex wrenches and a hand drill,  all of which make it a well-rounded tool for just about any job in the back- or front-country. The polished stainless steel finish is handsome and built to last. With a retail price less than $20, it’s also a steal.

Lever Gear Toolcard Pro

Lever Gear Toolcard Pro
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For the ultimate in portability, EDC tool cards offer most of the utility of traditional multitools in an ultra-compact, wallet-friendly form factor. Lever Gear’s Toolcard Pro packs 40 useful tools into a slim device that weighs just one ounce and isn’t much thicker than a credit card. All the most essential tools — bottle and can openers, several screwdrivers, rulers, and wrenches — are integrated into the design. It’s available in two finishes, both with an optional money clip for those looking to replace their wallet entirely.

SOG MACV Tool

SOG MACV Tool
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For travelers who appreciate badass aesthetics as much as utility, the SOG MacV Tool offers both. The in-your-face black skull design is a nod to the original skull used to symbolize the MACV-SOG group, after which the company is named. While not as full-featured as the other multitools on this list, the keychain-friendly tool boasts the essentials. The 12 tools include a pry bar, bottle opener, two flathead drivers, a blade sharpener, and several wrenches, all of which should be adequate for tackling most everyday jobs.

Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool

Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Like Gerber’s MP600 Bladeless, the Leatherman Style PS promises all the most useful features of a traditional pocketknife without the TSA-unfriendly blade. The full-sized tool is more ergonomic than, say, a credit card EDC tool. With dual screwdrivers, tweezers, and a bottle opener, plus spring-action pliers, wire cutters, and scissors, it offers all the essentials. The three-inch design weighs just 1.58 ounces and features a built-in carabiner, so it’s easy to clip to a backpack and forget about it until it’s needed.

If money and TSA approval are no object, check out the five best multitools for any situation.

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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