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knife blades in multi-tools and international travel

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knife blades in multi-tools and international travel

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Old 03-24-08, 05:44 PM
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treebound 
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knife blades in multi-tools and international travel

I have a bicycle multi-tool, and one of the parts of it is a knife blade.

What do you folks who live in more restrictive places and folks who tour in more restrictive countries do about multi-tools with integrated knife blades? I know Australia has really cracked down on sharp edges weapons, and I believe the U.K. has as well, along with a few/several other countries/states/regions.

Just curious if you just don't buy a bicycle tool with a blade, or if you have to bust the blade off, or something else????? Thanks for any comments. I don't have plans to travel to restrictive regions this year, but that possibility is in the visible future.

Edit to add:
I just ran out and checked, the multi-tool I mainly carry is a Topeak Alien II, but I also have a Buck multi-tool (non-bicycle specific) that I carry along at times. The Buck tool has two knife blades in it, the Alien II has one smallerblade. I like the Buck tool for the screwdriver bits it has, plus for the needlenose pliers.

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Old 03-24-08, 06:38 PM
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Read the Australian Law. Knives used as tools, including pocket knives are not prohibited. I can't imagine a law that would prohibit the carrying of a tool.


I would imagine other countries have such language in their laws. But it is smart to know the law of the country you are visiting
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Old 03-24-08, 06:43 PM
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if it's in your checked luggage and not in your carry on .. I see no issue.
A knife in a tool has no nefarious purpose to someone touring around. What a terrible weapon... "wait a min.. damn my thumb nail... hold on.. I'll cut you....ah hell forget it."
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Old 03-24-08, 06:51 PM
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Hi Treebound

Knife laws were introduced in the state of New South Wales in Australia a couple of years ago. The law prohibits people from carrying a knife in public but really the intention was to give police the power to arrest people using a knife in a threatening manner.

I live in a rural area where people often carry a knife on their belt and nothing has changed much. I spoke to the local police (one of the products my business sells is knives) and their comment was that as long as you have a good reason for carrying a knife (eg. you're a farmer and use it as part of operating the farm) they're not going to too excited if you happen to have it on your belt when you go to the shops or whatever. Knife ownership is not outlawed, just having one in public.

So if I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about the knife issue in Australia. If you had it in your pocket in public and were detained by police you can say you use the tool for bike maintenance. If you'd like to play it safe, just leave the knife/tool in your pannier or tent. But you definitely don't want to wave the blade at somebody -- that would see you in a lockup real fast.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:13 PM
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Re the post from Spinnaker, I have no idea who aussiecon3.worldcon.org is but the advice that carrying a pocket knife in public is legal in NSW is just not correct. If you wave a pocket knife at someone and the police catch you, you're gone. Just carrying one on your person in public is theoretically illegal but, per my earlier post, is ignored, especially if you have a valid reason for having it.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:53 PM
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OK how about the New South Wales laws?

Only a fool would wave a knife at someone. The OP was asking about a tool and not a weapon.


(2) Without limitation, it is a reasonable excuse for the purposes of this section for a person to have custody of a knife , if:

(a) the custody is reasonably necessary in all the circumstances for any of the following:

(i) the lawful pursuit of the person’s occupation, education or training,

(ii) the preparation or consumption of food or drink,

(iii) participation in a lawful entertainment, recreation or sport,

(iv) the exhibition of knives for retail or other trade purposes,

(v) an organised exhibition by knife collectors,

(vi) the wearing of an official uniform,

(vii) genuine religious purposes, or

(b) the custody is reasonably necessary in all the circumstances during travel to or from or incidental to an activity referred to in paragraph (a), or

(c) the custody is of a kind prescribed by the regulations.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:30 PM
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In the UK the prohibition is on knives that have blades that lock in place when they are open - like the Alien II. It would be OK if you disassembled the knife and ground off the back side of the locking slot.
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Old 03-24-08, 09:47 PM
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Rowan, who is Australian, carries a Swiss Army knife (or something like it ... I don't know my pocketknives) which he uses when preparing meals, and sometimes as a tool as well. To my knowledge he has never been given any trouble about having it ... but then he doesn't go around threatening people with it either. After all, people in Australia have knives in their kitchens to cut up the potatoes, I'm sure it's not a problem to use a pocketknife on a tour to do the same thing.

And I've carried my multitool, which has a knife blade I believe, with me to the US, UK, Belgium, France, and Australia. I pull that multitool out to put my bicycle together when I land, to take it apart when I am about to depart, and maybe once or twice during the tour to tighten something. So it's not really obvious that I carry it, and when it comes out, I use it for its intended purposes.

Just do not try to put your multitool in your carry-on when you fly.
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Old 03-24-08, 10:33 PM
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Spinnaker, I don't know what the issue is here -- we're both saying that Treebound does NOT need to worry about bringing his multi-tool to NSW. I mentioned waving the blade at someone because that's how far he would have to go to get himself into strife. (By the way, thanks for quoting the legislation, it reinforces what I said in my post -- it is technically illegal to carry a "knife, razor blade, or any other blade" (eg. penknife) in public unless you fall within one of the specific exemptions mentioned, such as using it as part of a sport.)
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Old 03-25-08, 12:11 AM
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Yeah - just use it. But try not to fly with it (although I could tell you the story of when I carried a box cutter through FOUR airport security stations just a few months after 9/11)
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Old 03-25-08, 09:11 AM
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I heard someone describe on the radio today airport security as a form of theatre. It's mostly for show. Nevertheless, to reiterate... do not carry your multitool with your carry-on luggage. Don't even bother trying. I did, and it was found and removed. A couple of hex keys might pass muster, but why tempt fate?

On the flight home from a big tour, I forgot that my Swiss Army knife was in my backpack (which I used as my carry-on), and it was confiscated. I had owned it for over 20 years prior to that moment!
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Old 03-25-08, 12:18 PM
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Whenever I travel in Europe with carry-on only I buy a cheap Swiss-army or Opinel look-a-like at my destination and ditch it before returning.
For bike travel, all metalwork goes in the hold and even then I expect it to raise some queries.
Blade law in the UK is quite strict. You are allowed to carry a folding blade under 3" but dont get involved in any altercation with one in your pocket or try to enter certain venues.
Locknives are prohibited. The locking element of a leatherman is legally a grey area because there is no switch or trigger, just folding bits.
Keep the tool inside a toolbag inside your bike bag.
The police interpretation of this law can be very strict. People (ie respectable buisiness men) have been cautioned for carrying those credit-card mulri-tools with a sharp edge in their briefcase inside the boot of their car.
A caution is not a conviction but does resolve the incident and count towards police targets. They like to strongly suggest you accept a caution (rather than risk the consequences of a charge and possible court appearance) even when no crime has been comitted. Criminals understand this game but "civillians" are soft targets and can be pressured. If you are arrested for carring a folding blade on a bike tool in the UK, sit tight and dont accept a caution. Ask for a lawyer and take his advice.
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Old 03-25-08, 02:57 PM
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Appreciate the comments. This was just something I was thinking of lately as I look at future plans. Thank you.
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Old 03-25-08, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Clarenza View Post
Spinnaker, I don't know what the issue is here -- we're both saying that Treebound does NOT need to worry about bringing his multi-tool to NSW. I mentioned waving the blade at someone because that's how far he would have to go to get himself into strife. (By the way, thanks for quoting the legislation, it reinforces what I said in my post -- it is technically illegal to carry a "knife, razor blade, or any other blade" (eg. penknife) in public unless you fall within one of the specific exemptions mentioned, such as using it as part of a sport.)
Sorry sounded to me like you were contradicting yourself by doubting my source. The legislation actually goes a bit further to reinforce what you stated, that all those people you see carrying are allowed to do so and just not being overlooked by the law. But of course I am sure if the police wanted to create a problem, they could still make the case that you were carrying illegally. I guess the point is, act responsibly and don't give them a reason.
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Old 03-25-08, 04:22 PM
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I once was traveling to Mexico on a diving trip. I had my mask, regulator and BC vest in my carry on. I had a habit of attaching my knife to the BC, I had just been on a local dive a week before and forgot all about the knife. I got stopped at security. They informed me that I would have to check the knife. I told them that I had already checked my bag. They said, "no problem we'll put it in this" and showed me a little box. I thought great, that's the last time I'll see that knife. I got to Mexico, here comes the bag and darned if the box was not too far behind.
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Old 03-25-08, 04:25 PM
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Reminds me of something I saw on one of the legs of my journey to and from Australia in February.

I was on the one side of the security conveyor belt, putting my stuff into the bins etc., and a clean-shaven, business-man type was on the other side doing the same thing. He then pulled out a pocketknife and said to the security lady, "I just wanted to let you know I have this."

The security lady took it from him and told him he could not take it on the plane.

This seemed to bother him a bit, and he said, "But I thought that if I showed it to you, that would be OK, and I could take it on the plane with me."

She told him this was not the case, and that now he had two options. She could dispose of it, or they could arrange to mail it home to him.

He was now visibly disgusted and told her in an annoyed tone (and with annoyed-looking body language) to just throw it away, but also repeated that he was sure the rule was that if he showed it to her, he could take it on board.

She confiscated it, and he stomped off.

Meanwhile, I'm standing there thinking ... what rock did you just crawl out from under???? It's all over the websites of the airlines, it's in the news ... it's on the posters all over the airport! How could he not know?
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Old 03-25-08, 04:30 PM
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Should have mentioned that my case was pre 9/11.

Yeah that is that last thing you want to do at an airport is to make the security people angry. Just about everyone at the airport, skycap. ticket agent and security can make your life a living hell. No matter how bad things get be civil!
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Old 03-26-08, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
In the UK the prohibition is on knives that have blades that lock in place when they are open - like the Alien II. It would be OK if you disassembled the knife and ground off the back side of the locking slot.
Check out the Spyderco UK Penknife if you want a nice folding knife that meets all UK laws. Under 3" (bearly) and does not lock open (uses a slipjoint). Also has a low profile pocket clip which looks like a penclip (hence the name Penknife).

Black:
http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=44809

Orange:
http://www.newgraham.com/detail.aspx?ID=44866
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