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#149393 - 09/17/08 07:59 PM Knife laws in London and Paris?
ZenEngineer Offline

Registered: 09/15/06
Posts: 86
Loc: Northern California
I'm traveling to London and Paris next month. I have heard that UK is strict on knives but haven't seen anything official. Anybody know if my Leatherman Wave is Ok for those cities if not carried openly?

#149396 - 09/17/08 08:06 PM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: ZenEngineer]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Do not carry a Leatherman Wave in UK where anyone is going to see it. In fact, don't carry any knife in the UK where anyone can see it.

If they don't know it's there, then it doesn't exist.

If you have to get searched or go through a detector, you will lose your knife if they find it. You may also be incarcerated, or otherwise hassled.

That is a gen purp rule of thumb. There will be exceptions. I wouldn't want to bet my Wave on knowing when and where.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#149402 - 09/17/08 08:21 PM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: ZenEngineer]
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
I wouldn't even bother carrying any knife traveling. You can pick up one locally once there and throw it away or mail it back when leaving. It's not worth loosing a knife to any of these countries. You can get knives in 99.99% of the world in my opinion and there so readily available, just don't get caught with them on you. Keep a low profile and play the dumb innocent tourist and you'll be fine.
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

#149405 - 09/17/08 08:36 PM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: falcon5000]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Or, depending on the length of travel you could look at it like a travel expense. Sure, it sucks to lose a nice tool but it also helps to have a knife/tool you're familiar with to help avoid injury which is more likely if using some non-locking, cheapo replacement (if you can find one). I think SAK's are a good choice as they're generally less tacticool looking and are pretty much everywhere.

#149408 - 09/17/08 08:56 PM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: LED]
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Good point, I just wouldn't recommend carrying anything you don't mind losing.
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

#149447 - 09/18/08 02:39 AM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: falcon5000]
tomfaranda Offline

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
Well I was just in the UK in july, and they were selling leatherman fuses and leatherman folders in all the sporting and camping goods stores I went into.

Presumably they wouldn't be selling illegal tools.

#149448 - 09/18/08 03:13 AM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: tomfaranda]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
My understanding, based on what people who have been there say, is that the prohibitions on knives in the UK and France are being wildly exaggerated. A lot of the legal issues are a matter of context.

Any adult can buy a large kitchen/chef's knife or utility knives at any number of stores. These can amount to virtual short swords in size. You can buy it and carry it home and use it in and around your home for the usual, perfectly legitimate, purposes. Tradesmen are not prohibited in keeping suitable knives for work. Gardeners and groundskeepers can buy, keep and use large knives, machetes and other large edged tools.

On the other hand if your observed carrying it openly on the streets or a subway your going to have some explaining to do. then again if the knife is part of a roll of chef's knives, was kept in their roll and your employed as a chef your not likely to have any problem explaining and being allowed to go on your way. Similarly if the knife is part of a tool kit you use in you trade and you haven't been showing it around your also unlikely to have any problems beyond just answering a few easy questions.

As I understand it even if you have no particular use a pen knife of small SAK generally gets a pass as long as the blades don't lock. And even then your not likely to be questioned by police if you keep it in your pocket.

I was told that an original Leatherman with a non-locking blade is likely to get a pass even though the blade length is a bit long. A judgment call by the police who are likely to give a pass to a working stiff with no record if he works with his hands. But if you fit the description of a thug, drunk or suspicious person they are more likely to confiscate the knife.

#149450 - 09/18/08 03:32 AM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: ZenEngineer]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Anybody know if my Leatherman Wave is Ok for those cities if not carried openly?

The Leatherman Wave wouldn't be legal in London as it has a locking blade. The general rules are 1) no locking folding blades, 2) no folding blades over 3 inches in length and 3) no fixed blades of any length.

Leatherman Waves are expensive and I wouldn't want to risk it being confiscated at the airport or possibly at a railway or tube station. I believe there are also some metal scanners now being introduced on main line railway stations and London underground tube stations.

If you do need a knife in London then a basic non locking SAK will be fine as long as the main blade is less than 3 inches in length. It would be prudent not to display any knife in public (even a legal SAK) unless absolutely necessary.

#149456 - 09/18/08 06:21 AM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Stokie Offline

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
Hi Guys,

Being a Brit and living in Paris I can tell you that you'd have a harder time in France than you will in the UK.

The coppers in the UK, and when I say UK I mean anywhere outside London, which is a universe unto itself (the same can be said for Paris). The coppers will usually give you the benefit of doubt. Further if you can give them a good enough reason, ie your a computer technician, repairman, mechanic etc and need this tool, everyone knows Leathermans are ideal for such jobs. Then more often than not they will let it pass. Inside London, well simply put I avoid the place like a plague infested open sewer.

In Paris just don't let the Gendarmes see you with one, not even carrying one on a belt, you'll just be giving them the excuse to cart you off somewhere. This is doubly so on the metro system where there are regular patrols of transport Police.

Prudent thing to do is leave the leatherman at home, take a SAK that wouldn't hurt if it is confiscated.

#149485 - 09/18/08 02:58 PM Re: Knife laws in London and Paris? [Re: Stokie]
Erik_B Offline

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 315
Loc: Somewhere in my own little wor...
if you want to carry a multitool you could get the Knifeless Fuse. it's got all the usual tools, just no knife blade, and carry and carry a simple SAK in addition. that way even if your knife gets confiscated, you're not left completely unprepared. and a basic SAK like the Spartan is inexpensive enough(usually less than $20) that it wouldn't be a huge loss.
Originally Posted By: scafool
Camping teaches us what things we can live without.

Originally Posted By: ironraven
...Shopping appeals to the soul of the hunter-gatherer.

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