Flying with Cordless Tools & Batteries

As I understand it, the rules for flying with batter powered (lithium ion) tools are as follows:

  • the batteries must be installed on the tools
  • the tool triggers must be locked in the off position
  • tools secured to avoid accidental activation
  • all such tools must travel in checked luggage

However, the last time I flew with several of my Dewalt 20v tools (impact driver, drill, circular saw) my luggage had been inspected and each of the batteries had been removed from the tools and placed elsewhere in my luggage. Because I do not own any form fitting plastic totes for these tools I fashion some very tight, form fitting cardboard wraps for each tool with the express intention of avoiding accidental activation. While these tools do have some form of locking the trigger in the off position, the drill and impact driver are the weakest at this with only the middle position of the forward/reverse switch to prevent accidental activation.
How do you travel with lithium ion powered tools and have you had similar problems or worse?

It’s been my experience that checked L-Ion are sometimes forbidden in checked luggage for the most part and would have to be carried on. After reading this if installed in a device, it may be allowed to be checked in but would double check with the carrier.:

A typical verification list of items:

Hi… Batteries pose little risk when contained within the devices they power if steps are taken to prevent inadvertent activation. Spare batteries can be packed in carry-on baggage if steps are taken to protect against short circuits.
A battery’s electrical connections must be protected from contact with metal or other batteries, which may cause the battery to short circuit.You can do this several ways:Keep batteries in their original packaging. This packaging is specifically designed to protect batteries during transportation, at the store, and in your home or worksite.

assembly circuit


If I read the attachment right - there is a 160 watt-hour max for LiIon batteries
So a 9Ah-18V Milwaukee battery (18 x 9 = 162) would be over the legal limit

@fred correct. That’s why DeWalt has the red cap for their FlexVolt batteries.