If I am required to transport my diving equipment (in the UK and Abroad) what are the best practices of transporting my diving knife / shears?

If on a plane this can just go in the hold luggage same as transporting any knife, but the UK seems to allow knives and other weapons which are part of sport equipment to be transported so long as it is with the equipment however, it can still be taken off you if you're under the influence, acting aggressively etc. I'd assume this is not the same everywhere and I'd have to take some precautions / research other countries. So some idea of how other people transport their knives would be good to know, or even if they don't and hire them instead as part of equipment hire?

  • 2
    I'd imagine that the laws around this can vary quite drastically between countries. I'm some countries carrying a knife is legal in others having it anywhere on your person could be considered carrying a concealed weapon. As I understand it the UK has some of the most strict knife laws in the world so most places will be less strict but this will be highly variable
    – user2766
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 10:55
  • @Liam I get that, but in the same way guns and ammo can be transported so long as in a container, locked, etc I want to know if there are similar rules for dive knives
    – Aravona
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 11:29
  • 4
    As a kayaker I carry a small dive-type knife in my bouyancy aid on a lanyard. This is accepted practice (I also have a multitool knife in a dry bag with emergency kit). How do you carry it when diving (i.e. would it stay attached to your dry suit when you packed your kit away)? If your kit is in a bag, your knife should be too, and not on top. There are lots of vague weasel words in the regs, like "reasonable".
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 11:30
  • There's no strict "it has to be with your gear" rule, it's more that you have to have a good reason for carrying a long/fixed knife. E.g. just bought it, on your way to a relevant sport or you're a chef on the way to work. But obviously the sports reason won't be plausible if you've forgotten the rest of your gear.
    – Niall
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 20:48

3 Answers 3


It really depends on locations so if you are traveling make a point to check. Your local club should be able to give you all the info for your area and abroad if they organize group dives in other countries, otherwise just contact the destination dive club (and keep in mind that in some places the situation might change from one year to the other).

As a general rule most countries tend to have a maximum length for a blade above which you could face charges if carrying it on the person in any circumstance, or in the car. If your gear is packed up in your car and the knife is in there with the kit generally it is not a problem since very often, carrying a blade longer than what is allowed can pass if there is a valid (and legal) reason for it. For example in Canada or parts of Europe a cop stopping me won't give much trouble if he sees the axe, camp knife etc all packed up with camping gear and a canoe/kayak on the roof of the car, or if the dive knife is in the trunk with all my diving equipment. I can see somebody having a problem if it's just a pool session, debatable if you are up to it.

It always helps, if stopped, to tell right away things like "I'm a diver, all my diving gear is in the trunk". It goes a long way in reducing the chances of the person stopping you, or if you are passing a border with the car, becoming picky and giving trouble (this goes even if you are on foot and the knife is in the bag with all the gear). The fact that the knife is in a bag way out of your reach helps too; don't keep it in your glovebox or under the seat. It also helps if the knife is one of those with the blunted tip and not the ones looking like they just came off a gladiator of ancient Rome. A line cutter/emergency tool is even more discreet as it's so different looking and less menacing than a knife that it is often not even given a second look.

Cruises or airplanes can make the situation a PITA; personally I find that in that case getting one at the destination is easier.


very simple answer:

  • On a plane, always check them into the hold;
  • Everywhere else, keep them in your dive bag until you need to strap it on before diving, after the dive take it off and place back in your dive bag.
  • 1
    This is exactly what we did when diving in the north sea - and it stayed in a gulper on the boat locked away for 3 days as well when not diving.
    – Aravona
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 9:58

Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Knives are also not optimal for cutting your way out of a net or fishing line: use a line cutter such as the Trilobite Line Cutter (others are available). These contain blades which are shielded and won't be considered a "weapon" except for hand luggage.

If you need a knife to cut a rope, a shorter and stout blade is best without a pointed tip. It's difficult the point of a giant 'sword' strapped to one's calf that represents a snag risk -- unless you're after stabbing something underwater! Short, stout blades such as the Underwater Kinetics Remora are easy to keep on one's person and will easily cut through 20mm rope.

Using these smaller cutters means that you don't have issues with officialdom nervous of people carrying large 'weapon' like blades. As usual, when flying all 'sharps' have to go in the hold.

I carry three at all times: two Trilobites, one on my wrist-mounted compass bungee, one on my waist belt, and a Remora in my pocket. I use the Trilobite quite frequently to cut away netting and fishing line. The Remora's been used to prove that I can cut thick rope underwater, such as freeing a shot line, etc.

  • Sorry this doesnt answer the question which is not how to carry a knife whilst diving, but how to carry it when travelling from one country / location to another - this would make a good self answer QA though.
    – Aravona
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 9:56
  • The third paragraph is the answer; the first two give the benefits.
    – GlennG
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 10:08
  • It doesn't add much more to the other answers though - which have already stated that. It's not about benefits of diving knifes, that's just the scenario. Lot of unrelated fluff which would be better off in it's own QA that's more related.
    – Aravona
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 10:12
  • Use a small knife, not a large one. Don't get stopped in customs.
    – GlennG
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:40
  • 3
    that's all well and good but it doesn't add anything to the other answers :)
    – Aravona
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:55

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