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Taking Portable Silverware/Chopsticks through TSA Security

Taking Portable Silverware/Chopsticks through TSA Security

Old Jul 28, 2023, 6:00 am
  #16  
 
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I had two light my fire titanium fork confiscated and two miniature swiss army knifes confiscated. I don't bring anymore on a trip unless it's in checked baggage. So far I've gotten away with a "Gerber Shard" on all my trips since years before.

Gerber Shard
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Old Jul 28, 2023, 11:33 am
  #17  
 
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I bought a tool similar to the Gerber shard for hubs a few years ago and he never really used it. Now we both have snowflake multi-tools in our bags - FA used hers to try to help me fix my tray table and we loved it (tray table unfixable but we loved the multi-tool) Not for dining, but handy to have.
Amazon Amazon

@cdtraveler - that's why we travel with utensils as well - I love to eat from markets when we travel. It started when we were young & poor & traveling where we could on a budget, now I just love to do it to get a better sense of where we are!
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Old Jul 28, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
I bought a tool similar to the Gerber shard for hubs a few years ago and he never really used it. Now we both have snowflake multi-tools in our bags - FA used hers to try to help me fix my tray table and we loved it (tray table unfixable but we loved the multi-tool) Not for dining, but handy to have. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

@cdtraveler - that's why we travel with utensils as well - I love to eat from markets when we travel. It started when we were young & poor & traveling where we could on a budget, now I just love to do it to get a better sense of where we are!
The gerber chard is the only tool I use now since I can't bring a multi-tool along. It's easier to grab onto, especially when opening beer bottles.

Last edited by Global Adventurer; Jul 28, 2023 at 12:33 pm Reason: spelling mistakes
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Old Jul 31, 2023, 2:31 pm
  #19  
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I'd be plenty interested in non-TSA-compliant stuff as well. We stopped flying the airlines in May 2020 (mask mandates) and haven't been back since.
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Old Jul 31, 2023, 3:24 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by KRSW
I'd be plenty interested in non-TSA-compliant stuff as well. We stopped flying the airlines in May 2020 (mask mandates) and haven't been back since.
Is it really worth buying silverware just for travel? As I said, I take along a few random pieces that don't match my good flatware, usually some USN WWII surplus spoons and forks that I bought when I was in college, and an IKEA knife that came with a blade cover. If I lose it, or it gets confiscated somewhere, no big deal.

For road trips, we add in 2 Corningware cereal bowls, 2 lunch sized plates and 2 mugs - easy to wash, hard to break.
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Old Jul 31, 2023, 8:08 pm
  #21  
 
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I carry a small set that includes butter knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks and a straw that I picked up at an Eddie Bauer store for like $6. Too many times of picking up take out on the way to the hotel and not having the utensils to need it. It's all nylon and has held up pretty well for the year I've had it in my bag. Whole thing is size of a small eyeglass case.
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Old Jul 31, 2023, 8:12 pm
  #22  
 
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I used to carry a camping style fork/spoon (fork on one side spoon on the other). Light weight but kind of bulky. In 10+ years of professional weekly travel, I used it, maybe once. The last time I went through my bag to lighten the load, it didnt make the cut. I do keep it handy and will occasionally add it back in for international or longer trips (where I might eat in the room), but for the most part, its really overkill.
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Old Aug 1, 2023, 5:32 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler
TSA keeps changing the rules, but at one time there was a "knives with a blade under a certain size are allowed" rule. The main blade on mine is under 2 inches, and it's been in my carry-on bag going through security at least 3 trips. Maybe they just missed it?
They definitely missed it. Even the audio messages in the airports have for years said, "No knives of any kind or size..."

Originally Posted by Hoyaheel
I have a set of Light My Fire sporks I usually throw in my bag, and I keep some metal chopsticks in my carry-on bags. I can't remember if I've had the sporks carry-on or not - they don't have a knife, but the fork edge is serrated for an inch or so - guess that's not a problem. I tend to gather other plastic utensils & napkins for eating otuside of a restaurant/store when I travel, but try to clean them out once I get home.

I also have a waiter's corkscrew I travel with - the "knife" portion has been removed. Still gets pulled aside by most TSA, but once they see there's no "blade", just the screw, they let me go. (unlike Costa Rica in ....2009? who confiscated my corkscrew :-( I also had my dad's really really old pipe tool in my bag (it had been there since high school, probably, and was lost in the bottom of a bag I don't use often...Until I tried to fly out of DCA and they took it. Even smaller "blade" than a corkscrew, not at all sharp. Oh well. That loss was hard - sentimental.
I have a plastic LMF spork that I modified by filing off the serrations. I've only flown with it once (two segments BWI-MCO r/t), so that's not really enough data to go on, but at least if TSA pulls it out and complains I can say truthfully it has no cutting edge on it whatsoever. And the LMF sporks are not terribly expensive, so if I lose it, I can get replacements from Amazon for a few bucks.

Originally Posted by Global Adventurer
I had two light my fire titanium fork confiscated and two miniature swiss army knifes confiscated. I don't bring anymore on a trip unless it's in checked baggage. So far I've gotten away with a "Gerber Shard" on all my trips since years before.

Gerber Shard
I genuinely clicked this post just to ask if anyone's had experience with the titanium LMF sporks. I have one in my EDC bag that I use a lot, but they cost over twenty bucks, so I don't want to risk losing my best spork when I fly.

I also have a pair of Outxe titanium sporks that I keep in my vehicle. They don't have cutting edges, and they're way cheaper than the LMFs - $12.99 for a pair - so I may try one of them next time I fly. They're not quite as nice as the LMF but they're quite good utensils. Their blurbs on Amazon say "TSA approved" but you never know with TSA 'til you try. Also, they're perfectly symmetrical, which doesn't tweak my OCD like LMF sporks do.
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Old Aug 1, 2023, 3:18 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD
They definitely missed it. Even the audio messages in the airports have for years said, "No knives of any kind or size..."
I've been through probably different 15 airports w/ TSA checks in in the past 6 years, and I've never heard that version of the audio message. It's shoes off, no liquids, take out your electronics, but never heard any mention of knives.


Originally Posted by WillCAD
I genuinely clicked this post just to ask if anyone's had experience with the titanium LMF sporks. I have one in my EDC bag that I use a lot, but they cost over twenty bucks, so I don't want to risk losing my best spork when I fly.

I also have a pair of Outxe titanium sporks that I keep in my vehicle. They don't have cutting edges, and they're way cheaper than the LMFs - $12.99 for a pair - so I may try one of them next time I fly. They're not quite as nice as the LMF but they're quite good utensils. Their blurbs on Amazon say "TSA approved" but you never know with TSA 'til you try. Also, they're perfectly symmetrical, which doesn't tweak my OCD like LMF sporks do.
I don't understand how adults who are not in the middle of the wilderness can tolerate eating off of a spork. It does 2 jobs, both poorly.
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Old Aug 1, 2023, 4:01 pm
  #25  
 
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I was caught by the title of the thread, Portable silverware/chopsticks. I guess I thought all chopsticks were portable and I began to wonder what non-portable chopsticks might be and where they might be permanently installed?
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Old Aug 1, 2023, 8:03 pm
  #26  
 
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EDITED TO REMOVE THE GIANT DISTRACTING EMBEDDED IMAGES

Originally Posted by CDTraveler
I've been through probably different 15 airports w/ TSA checks in in the past 6 years, and I've never heard that version of the audio message. It's shoes off, no liquids, take out your electronics, but never heard any mention of knives.
Maybe it's just BWI, but I hear it every time I enter the terminal. It plays pre-security periodically.

Originally Posted by CDTraveler
I don't understand how adults who are not in the middle of the wilderness can tolerate eating off of a spork. It does 2 jobs, both poorly.
Depends on the specific spork. I have never liked sporks that are spoons with fork tines, especially the disposable type like you get at Taco Bell. They break easily and can't do either job well. Plus, they're disposable plastic, so they're just more nondegradable trash to add to landfills.


I carry a Light My Fire titanium spork in my EDC bag, which I use pretty often, almost always the spoon side. It does both jobs perfectly, because it's a spoon on one end, and a fork on the other. The fork end is a little odd, because it's got a serrated cutting edge on one side to allow for cutting food, but I've never used that even once. I find it comfortably sized to use for things like Chipotle bowls or Quickway Hibachi food. It's also lightweight, cleans easily, and strong enough that it won't snap in half in a bag or pocket.

EDITED TO ADD: Given GlobalAdventurer's experience above, I won't be flying with my titanium spork, I'll stick with the plastic one that I modified to remove the serrations. It's essentially a plastic spoon/fork combo, so it should pass TSA muster pretty much anywhere, and if it doesn't, it'll only cost a few bucks to replace (they're available on Amazon in multipacks as cheap as $12 for four).
LMF Titanium Spork at Amazon LMF Titanium Spork at Amazon

LMF Plastic Sporks - 4-pack on Amazon LMF Plastic Sporks - 4-pack on Amazon

Originally Posted by mglvrug
I was caught by the title of the thread, Portable silverware/chopsticks. I guess I thought all chopsticks were portable and I began to wonder what non-portable chopsticks might be and where they might be permanently installed?
I think OP was referring to travel chopsticks, which break down to a small size when not in use. Like these from Amazon:
Rosewood Foldable Wood Chopsticks with Carrying Pouch Rosewood Foldable Wood Chopsticks with Carrying Pouch

I've had travel chopsticks in the past, both stainless and plastic, and have yet to find a pair I like. The ends all tend to be too blunt, and I can't get a good grip on food with them. If I could find a set with pointier ends, I'd probably buy a dozen sets.

EDITED TO ADD: I would imagine that wooden or bamboo chopsticks, especially those that break down for storage, wouldn't be prohibited items, since they're basically the same as pencils or pens with no lead or ink. But I searched the TSA What Can I Bring? page for 'chopsticks', 'chop sticks', and 'chopstix' and got no returns on any of them, so it's not an explicitly allowed or prohibited item. What that means, alas, is that screeners have probably never been trained whether chopsticks are allowed or not, so it will be up to the infamous "individual discretion" whether your travel set is allowed. I'd recommend sticking with an inexpensive set that won't set you back much if it's compulsorily voluntarily surrendered. Which, unfortunately, is good advice for just about anything you carry with you when traveling by air, since both confiscation and theft are real possibilities.
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Last edited by WillCAD; Aug 2, 2023 at 5:10 am
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Old Aug 1, 2023, 8:58 pm
  #27  
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Exclamation Moderator's Note - Topic Drift

Member and guests come to this forum for information that will help them travel safely and with minimal hassle.

Please try to focus your contributions in this thread to TSA security issues when traveling with flatware and/or chopsticks. Discussion of experiences when going through TSA security checkpoints with eating utensils and recommendations are welcome.

Arguments about the advantages and disadvantages of using sporks are off-topic for the Travel Safety/Security forum and belong in DiningBuzz or OMNI.

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Old Aug 2, 2023, 1:19 pm
  #28  
 
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I carry one of these in my backpack. The fork and spoon slide together, so it doesn't take much space.
humangear GoBites Duo
(also available at
Amazon Amazon
and REI)

They also make a set that includes chopsticks:
humangear GoBites Quattro
Amazon Amazon
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Old Aug 2, 2023, 3:52 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD
I think OP was referring to travel chopsticks, which break down to a small size when not in use. Like these from Amazon:
Rosewood Foldable Wood Chopsticks with Carrying Pouch

I've had travel chopsticks in the past, both stainless and plastic, and have yet to find a pair I like. The ends all tend to be too blunt, and I can't get a good grip on food with them. If I could find a set with pointier ends, I'd probably buy a dozen sets.

EDITED TO ADD: I would imagine that wooden or bamboo chopsticks, especially those that break down for storage, wouldn't be prohibited items, since they're basically the same as pencils or pens with no lead or ink. But I searched the TSA What Can I Bring? page for 'chopsticks', 'chop sticks', and 'chopstix' and got no returns on any of them, so it's not an explicitly allowed or prohibited item. What that means, alas, is that screeners have probably never been trained whether chopsticks are allowed or not, so it will be up to the infamous "individual discretion" whether your travel set is allowed. I'd recommend sticking with an inexpensive set that won't set you back much if it's compulsorily voluntarily surrendered. Which, unfortunately, is good advice for just about anything you carry with you when traveling by air, since both confiscation and theft are real possibilities.
Precisely because of the risk of a TSA staffer deciding on this day, in this airport, a fork/spoon/whatever is not allowed is why I don't invest in special utensils for travel. Having any of the items I take along confiscated (let's call it what it really is) would be nothing more than minor nuisance.

As for special chopsticks which break down into 2 pieces with their own carry case, well, when I occasionally put chopsticks in my bag, they are of the disposable wooden or bamboo type, 40 pairs for $5.00, on Amazon. They work just as well as the custom type.
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