Though it is safer and faster than taking your car, flying can be stressful. For years now, the security checkpoints have gotten more and more complicated. What’s an honest guy to do when he needs to bring his trimmer on a trip? The list of things you can’t take seems to change weekly. I looked into all the latest regulations, and this is everything you need to know about bringing an electric shaver on a plane right now.
Can you have a beard trimmer in hand luggage while traveling by plane? You can bring your trimmer. In fact, you can carry most electric razors. However, security agents at US airports have permission to use their discretion, so if it looks wrong to anyone, it may still be confiscated.
What Does TSA Say
The rules for things you cannot bring on planes are intended to keep passengers from carrying on anything you can use to cut or stab with. Beard trimmers are great for cutting hair. Fortunately, that’s about all they’ll cut.
A cheap trimmer might scratch you up a bit, but it’s not enough for TSA to worry about someone hijacking a plane with. Avoid the hassle of using cheap beard trimmers. Instead, Click Here to pick up a high-quality beard trimmer like the Philips Norelco Multi Groomer MG5750/49 from Amazon, and you won’t need to worry about mystery brands or questionable quality ruining your look.
When it comes to the many items you can put in your carry-on luggage, and there are some odd ones, TSA has a considerable list. Nearly everything someone has asked bout is on their list. If you have questions about any item, you can use their simple search feature to find it.
Both hair clippers and electric razors are on the list. That includes beard trimmers. The simple answer they give is yes. You can bring both if you like. Be aware that trimmer lubrication fluid and shaving creme are both liquids. The requirements for liquids are different. We’ll get to that in a moment.
If you have questions about other items that are not on the list, don’t stress. Take a picture of the item and ask. You can contact the TSA for an answer at AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter.com/AskTSA. They’re open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and holidays. Make sure you ask several days before you plan to fly instead of waiting until the last minute in case they’re too busy to get back to you right away, but typically Ask TSA is reasonably prompt.
Where liquids are concerned, there are some definite rules. You can bring one quart-sized bag in your carry-on luggage. Everything must be contained in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. Liquids include the following:
Pressurized fluids or other substances, typically in a can with a spray nozzle. Pressing on a trigger mechanism disburses the contents. Examples include hairspray, shaving creme, and easy-cheese.
Gels are semi-liquids. Typically they’re clear and slightly sticky. “Gel,” the hair product is an excellent example of this, but so is Jello.
This family includes things like lotion and similar products. It’s a thick liquid or semi-liquid with a creamy texture or appearance.
Pastes are moist mixtures of a liquid and a solid. Finishing paste, beard balm, and wasabi are all examples of paste. Glue, which is sometimes called ‘paste,’ is not.
You can bring more, but it must be in checked luggage. It doesn’t matter how much is actually in the container. When it’s over the size limit, put it in checked baggage regardless.
Anything that causes the alarms to go off will need additional screening, but don’t worry too much. Many liquids cause the alarm to go off like some hand creams. TSA officers are used to this and deal with it daily, so it shouldn’t stop you from getting to your flight on time.
Other Shaving and Grooming Carry-Ons
An old fashioned straight razor is different. They resemble knives and can be used similarly. Hence, you can’t carry them on a plane. However, there are lots of grooming items that are just fine. You may be surprised to learn that you can bring a razor on the flight in your carry-on luggage.
If you bring a standard razor, it’s a good idea to keep a cover on it or put it inside a case. Items like hairbrushes, combs, and bar soaps are no issue. If you want to be sure your carry on grooming kit is TSA approved, Click Here for a Convenience Kits Men’s Premium 20 Count Necessities Travel Kit from Amazon. It’s full of high-quality Dove products in TSA approved sizes. Pre-made kits like this take all the guesswork and messy product squeezing out of the equation.
Penalties for prohibited or wrongly packed items (same thing in this case) are variable. For example, a too-large container of lotion in your carry-on may simply be confiscated and a smaller fine issued with a warning. Keep in mind that you will not be able to retrieve seized items.
Alternately, trying to carry a weapon, drugs, or smuggled gold on the plane is more likely to result in massive fines, flight restrictions, or court time that may end in jail. The latter shouldn’t be much of an issue since you’re looking to pack a trimmer and some shaving gear, not a care package from a cartel.
Civil Penalties for Prohibited Items
First, be aware that other areas of the country and other nations have their own policies. While it may be legal to get on a plane with an item, you could discover that you can’t leave with it once you touch down. Always check the local laws and rules for the area you’re flying out of and the place you plan to arrive.
Everything is at the discretion of the officers who handle your baggage and case if you’re caught with prohibited items in your bag. TSA has the right to impose a fine as high as $13,669 per violation per person. More often, the fines range from $350 to $2050 per violation.
Lousy packing is no joke. You could replace every bit of shaving equipment and all the shaving creme, aftershave, and other skincare products you might pack for those amounts. More than your electric beard trimmer, you need to be extremely careful about the other shaving products you plan to pack. Don’t exceed the size limits, or you could end up paying over two thousand dollars to lose four ounces of cheap shaving gel.
Why Are Some Items Forbidden
For those incredibly honest and naive passengers, the restrictions may seem odd or even arbitrary. Why would it matter that you accidentally put your zippo fluid and lighter in your carry-on bag if you would never dream of hurting anyone or even igniting a lighter inside an airplane? The simple answer is that not everyone is as nice as you are.
Though it may seem hard to believe, especially if you’re young enough not to remember the Twin Towers Attacks, today’s eighteen-year-olds may not even have been born until after September 11th, 2001. While it can seem like ancient history to the young, the long and short of it is that people can use some small and innocuous items to hijack or damage a plane and kill a whole lot of people.
Sharps & Other Weapons
You can take a gun on a plane, so who cares about some safety razor blades in a carry-on? Well, the truth is that these are very different situations. A gun can fly only if it is unloaded and stored in checked luggage. Moreover, it has to be declared in advance and have appropriate paperwork where necessary.
A package of safety razor blades can also go in your checked luggage, and you don’t have to declare it. However, carrying something like a razor on the plane where you can reach it and potentially harm someone is a serious offense.
Always doublecheck that your shaving bag, carry-on, and suitcase are empty before packing. The TSA doesn’t have much sympathy for excuses or whoopsies, and you’ll still end up losing time, items, and probable money at the least.
Forbidden foods seem unfair, especially given the expense of airport food. Some olive oil from the middle east or a runny cheese from France are culinary delights. The reasons for restricting food items are pretty simple. For one thing, it avoids illegal imports.
More importantly, some items are a higher contamination risk than others. Parasites, pathogens, and other problems abound on many foods. Rather than risk it and waste a whole lot of time, some foods are just forbidden completely, and others must come to America through proper import channels only.
Why Isn’t my Beard Trimmer A Problem
With all those restrictions, it almost seems like a beard trimmer would be on the no-fly list. After all, beard trimmers have blades, don’t they? The answer is yes, and also sort of no. The blades on a beard or hair trimmer have teeth and are only a millimeter or two long. They don’t need to be exceptionally sharp on the tips either.
Luckily, what that means for your luggage is that no one really thinks you could do much damage with a beard trimmer. When all is said and done, you can technically poke someone’s eye out with a cotton swab, and the restrictions have to end somewhere reasonable. Your trimmer made the cut, just barely. Be grateful for it.
Picking the Best Beard Trimmer
Before you can begin to decide which trimmer is best for your needs, you need to identify what your needs are. There are many styles and options from interchangeable heads to whole kits built around a trimmer.
You can also just grab a basic, reliable beard trimmer. If you want to go with a simple but trustworthy tool, Amazon has the ConairMAN All-in-1 Beard and Mustache Trimmer. It’s battery-operated and has just three guards for you to choose from. Click Here for prices and availability.
Decide what you want your trimmer to do. If you have a simple style and need to maintain the length and shape, then a basic model will do. However, for those who manscape (and you really should) or want a trimmer with add-ons for nose and ear hair or even doing the edges of your hairstyle, then you may want the upgraded package.
What to Look For
Other than your intended use, there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right beard trimmer. Consider all the following before you run out and buy the first package that catches your eye.
How much can you afford to spend? A little more now can often mean a superior product that pays for itself over time. However, if you aren’t sure you can afford to replace the blades or spend the time on cleaning and maintenance, go with a simpler and less expensive model.
Also, avoid paying for things you don’t need. If your trimmer comes with a carry bag and ten attachments, but you want to be able to tidy up your one-length goatee, then you’re wasting money.
When you’re looking for a good product, one surefire way to find a high-quality item is to see what everyone is saying about it. Check reviews online. The manufacturers’ site is a start, but they’re more likely to skew the results in their favor than any retailer.
Make sure you look at the bad reviews as well as the good. Some folks drop some stars and leave, while others will describe everything they think you need to know. Get both sides of the story, and keep in mind that any seller who makes hundreds of thousands of models each year is going to have some errors.
Check For Issues
Look at their warranty info and customer service track record. You want a company that covers all the parts and doesn’t charge you for shipping where possible. If other customers who had problems got prompt, reasonable responses, then the manufacturer or seller is working toward a resolution and not leaving people stuck with an as-is issue.
Power is pretty simple. You can choose between corded or cordless. If you select a cordless, then look at the battery specs. Some use USB to recharge while others need disposable batteries. If you can’t recharge, either because you don’t have a USB compatible plug adapter, or because the batteries are disposable, then make sure to get what you need. Pick up the adapter or some rechargeable batteries and a dock so you’ll always have a trimmer that’s ready to go.
Wet & Dry
Shaving dry is alright, but you should probably only do it as a last resort. Skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and other problems are far more likely with a dry trim. While you should always wash and dry your beard before trimming, you want to avoid any potential issues.
Look for wet and dry, or waterproof trimmers and use some foam, shaving creme or gel. Stick to a water-based option, so the oils from your shaving products don’t interfere with your trimmer. Moreover, wet and dry trimmers are easier to clean correctly because you can get them wet.
Check into what comes with your trimmer. A corded trimmer without a cord is just a crummy doorstop or a weird paperweight. Make sure the guards are the lengths you want, or dialable, and for those who want a multi-functional trimmer, check to see if all the parts you need are included.
A good kit like the Wahl Groomsman I got from Amazon comes with combs, cleaners, lubrication fluid, guards, a case, and two trimmers for your beard, mustache, nose, and ears. Click Here to get yours.
Ask two questions about your blades. First, are they dual-edged? A good dual-edged blade can help you get the nice clean trim you want efficiently. Second, what are they made from? Don’t settle for mystery metals. Find a trimmer with blades that are titanium, stainless steel, or chromium. These blades last longer and tend to be more comfortable than any other options out there.
Lastly, consider the shape, weight, and usability of your top choices. If you travel by plane and pack heavy, then every ounce counts to avoid those extra fees. Likewise, make sure the trimmer will fit well in your hand.
Packing Your Beard Trimmer
Packing a beard trimmer isn’t a big deal. If you have a dedicated shaving kit or a carry case for your trimmer, then this is no problem. Use what you already have. Otherwise, a large clear freezer bag would be a great choice. Because of the electrical components and the blades are present, you need to avoid gunking up the works with lint from clothing, dust, and other debris while you travel.
To save space, you could place your beard trimmer inside a shoe. As long as it looks packed and not ‘hidden,’ then TSA is less likely to spend extra time checking it over. If they do delay you, be polite and patient. Anything else might look suspicious and will likely delay you further.
There are a whole lot of things that you can’t take on a plane these days. Lucky for you, a beard trimmer isn’t on that list. You need to worry more about keeping it clean in transit than taking it with you.
Remember that every item allowed on a plane is at the discretion of TSA officers. If they remove your shaver for any reason, just roll with it. Complaining won’t get your desired result, and it could make things a whole lot worse. Losing a trimmer is not as bad as losing it, getting kicked off your flight and paying a fine.
Feel free to take your trimmer, electric razor, or even your hair clippers in your carry-on luggage. Pack the scissors, toenail clippers, and any extra liquids in your stowed luggage instead, and you should be able to fly without concern.