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Shipping vs Traveling with Tools

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I'm taking a molding-plane-making class in May and I need to get a small set of tools there with me (gotta fly).  Does anyone have experience with shipping hand tools vs checking a case or bag?

I have a pelican case in mind and have most of my tools mapped out in illustrator but I'm not sure how this compares in terms of convenience and security to shipping.  The case will be under 50 lbs so I won't incur a weight fee for a checked bag on the plane but I'm worried about my tools, not sure what to do.  Any advice would be appreciated.

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I would consider shipping, just so you can lock the case up. TSA is likely to pilfer through your checked bag, since it will obviously be filled with deadly instruments of destruction if X-rayed.

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see if you can fit them into a carry-on sized bag.  Remove all the sharp parts and put them (the  blades) in a checked bag, and then carry the planes on as carry-on.  Hopefully the blades will be less interesting to anyone looking to pilfer stuff.

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I'm thinking shipping, too.

If there's a shipping store near you they can give you an estimate of the shipping cost.  Make sure to also ask about the cost to (further) package what your sending, and insurance.

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I'm not sure i can help you but I'd take some blue painters tape and wrap it over the sharp edge leaving a slight flag. It's not a lot of protection but it's better than nothing.

 

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Ship them to your hotel.  Call the hotel and alert them that the package is coming and they'll hold it for you.  I do this a lot with my work stuff and have never had an issue this way.  Be sure to insure your package.

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When I traveled a lot as a field tech it was common practice to pack your tools well and have them shipped ahead.  Just pack them as if someone is going to play basketball with the box and you'll be fine.

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Do not even consider trying to take tools as a carry on.  Guaranteed someone will think you under contract to a middle eastern nation.  if they're going to fly with you then they'll need to be checked baggage.  Be aware that TSA and baggage handling has the authority to remove or disable any lock should they deem necessary.

I'm on the same page with those recommending shipping your tools.  With next day delivery they should be there before you are.  If the conference is being done in a location where it repeats it's likely the hotels are used to dealing with this.

Also do yourself a favor and do some advance scouting for how you're going to return ship them.  Google your destination city and find out where the nearest ship location to your hotel is so you're not scrambling on your return day to try and figure out how to get your tools home.

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I travel with legit weapons. No one cares if they are locked properly in a bin. (Firearms excludes as you have to declare and verify the lockout.) You might have to explain they are woodworking tools. No more. US guys aren’t the one likely to pop that case open. They will have a dog sniff it and move on. My knives etc make it through Germany and the cases don’t get opened until Zim unless they sit too long in South Africa. The real concern is rough handling, but shipping does not guarantee better handling. 

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10 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

I would consider shipping, just so you can lock the case up. TSA is likely to pilfer through your checked bag, since it will obviously be filled with deadly instruments of destruction if X-rayed.

I agree, TSA will definitely get in there and no telling how they will repack it. I'd also get insurance on the pkg if it were me.

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It's a pelican case.. take it to the tsa check where they inspect long rifles.  Have them inspect it, then lock it. Carry the key on with you.  I would absolutely Never ship my nice tools out of my control. 

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Throw a firearm in the pelican case and check it (assuming you are traveling to a free state) and you can actually lock it. They'll work double time to find a missing gun if it doesn't get to your destination. :D

Shipping will be expensive I imagine, but either way you're packing them in a hard case the same. It's been a long while since a checked bag of mine has gone missing or delayed.

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That's a clever idea i'm gonna remember that.... I got TSA pre check because i hear they started to hassle photographers that carry on their cameras. For some reason they don't like seeing the lenses in the xray or something. The pre check helps prevent you having to unload all your camera equipment. Not something that will work for tools though.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

That's a clever idea i'm gonna remember that.... I got TSA pre check because i hear they started to hassle photographers that carry on their cameras. For some reason they don't like seeing the lenses in the xray or something. The pre check helps prevent you having to unload all your camera equipment. Not something that will work for tools though.

Germany expected me to mount every lense onto the camera and turn it on so they could look through each lens. Forgot about that. 

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4 hours ago, Chestnut said:

That's a clever idea i'm gonna remember that.... I got TSA pre check because i hear they started to hassle photographers that carry on their cameras. For some reason they don't like seeing the lenses in the xray or something. The pre check helps prevent you having to unload all your camera equipment. Not something that will work for tools though.

Probably case by case but I flew earlier this week with my DSLR and a couple lenses and it didn’t bother them. You do have to pull the camera out of your carry on bag though. The sliced apple, however, made them mad. :blink:

Years ago I was flying through Germany or Switzerland and had a fountain drink. Security made me take a sip of it before letting me through. 

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3 minutes ago, Dylder said:

I had TSA refuse to let me carry on an antique brace (drill) with no bit.  You cannot carry on any tools.

OP said Check. 

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On 1/27/2019 at 4:47 PM, Dylder said:

I had TSA refuse to let me carry on an antique brace (drill) with no bit.  You cannot carry on any tools.

Hi, Dylder - you can carry a limited number of tools in you carry-on. I routinely carry a screwdriver and other small tools. Mine beaks down because you are limited to 7" length. I suggest that anyone check with TSA before taking tools in carry-on.

Ironically, I was told you can now carry box cutters, the thing used to hijack the 9/11 flights. 

And the world just keepson spinning....:o

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Wow...thanks for all the responses everyone, lots of good suggestions.  The trip is still a way off but I'll post my solution when I finalize everything.  Because I'm staying for vacation immediately after the class I won't have any room in my carry on, plus it's a big enough set of tools that I'm definitely going to need to check or ship.  

 

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I vote for shipping. Easier to file a claim if lost or damaged. The airline has a greater chance of putting your stuff on the wrong flight and you won't have it when you need it. A lot of golfers ship their clubs now as opposed to taking them on the airplane...less chance of damage or getting lost. 

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