I have a keen interest in knives and own many different kinds and brands. This fall I will be flying across the USA to take a week long class on French cooking. This will be the first time I travel with my knives, steels, and sharpening block(s). At the present time, I doubt I will take my favorite (meaning most expensive) knives; however, I was hoping for some insight and advice just in case I may overlook something. What should I look for in choosing a knife roll/case? If my knives are in a roll/case, should they each have blade guards too?
Insight and advice on traveling with knives
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Pick a roll or case that you like. Beyond that flying with knives is no different than carrying them any place else as they have to go in your checked luggage. I always put a post it note on a roll (SHARP!) so I don't ruin some TSA agents day. I like to pack mine with a Chef coat as well in a post 9-11 world.
If traveling with expensive knives ask to have your bag pre-inspected so they tag it and then you can lock it. This cuts down on theft as no baggage handler will be able to get into your luggage (assuming you do not use soft side bags). This is the same process for traveling with firearms and you may have to declare weapons to get pre-inspected.
If you do take a kit that's expensive you may want to buy extra baggage insurance at the ticket counter. I always do this for my photo gear/firearms. Your bag will get tagged and be hand loaded and hand delivered.
Try to buy your ticket or pay any baggage fees with a card like AMX that will give you some luggage insurance.
There are many knife rolls out there. It really depends on what you want and how you travel. There are even backpack knife cases for people who bring every tool they own with them. If you plan on walking more than a few blocks with a knife roll, I would recommend the fixxed knife roll. It is designed like a messenger bag, so you can wear it on your back. If you are just looking for something super small and compact, then I would suggest getting an 8 or 6 pocket knife roll. Whatever you choose, definitely protect the edges of the blade with a blade guard. If you don't want to buy those, you can make them with some thin cardboard and plastic wrap (restaurant grade. The good stuff).