A Complete Guide to Handcuffs: Everything You Need to Know

Handcuffs are restraining devices used by military and law enforcement professionals to control and restrict a captive’s arms and hands. These cuffs can vary depending on their material, design, and lock type. 

Usually, handcuffs are used for security and safety. They ensure that detainees do not escape. When used correctly, they help officials safely transport criminals from one place to another. 

When buying a pair of cuffs for police, you should consider various factors, including lock type and material. Read this guide to buy the best handcuffs for your tactical gear

Types of Different Cuffs for Police

There are a few different types of police handcuffs you can buy. These cuffs are made with different materials. Additionally, they offer varying functionality. 

The following are a few common types of police cuffs:

Chain Handcuffs

As the name depicts, chain handcuffs feature chainlinks that connect one handcuff to the other. You can learn about their multiple components to better understand how these devices function. These handcuffs are mostly useful for arresting criminal suspects. 

Hinged Handcuffs

Hinged handcuffs feature a hinge for attaching the two distinct cuffs. These handcuffs are great at reducing the captive’s chance of escaping. They have similar components and functionalities as chain cuffs. The only thing that differentiates the two types is the hinge attachment. 

Disposable Flex Handcuffs

When arresting multiple suspects, officers can run out of available handcuff pairs. In such situations, single-use disposable handcuffs can be super useful. That’s because you do not have to recover the restraining devices. 

These cuffs for police are easy to carry and lightweight. However, they are super strong and quite difficult to escape. 

Usually, you can simply remove the cuffs by cutting them off. In contrast, some models can also be unlocked with a dedicated key. 

Different Locking Mechanisms for Police Handcuffs

Handcuffs can usually use two distinct locking mechanisms. These locks affect the handcuff position. Additionally, they may also alter the way a cuff works. 

Here’s how:

Single-Lock Handcuffs

Single-lock handcuffs usually use a spring-loaded bar. Once the adjustable ratchet arm is tightened, the bar prevents it from releasing. However, there are two major flaws in this design. 

Firstly, this handcuff lock offered no way to prevent the cuffs from overtightening. This way, the captives can suffer from blood circulation loss. Additionally, you must disengage the cuffs to reuse them correctly. But, this step can be too risky as it allows the criminals or suspects to escape. 

Secondly, these handcuff locks offer less reliable security. They can easily tamper with, and anyone with basic lock-picking skills can unlock them, leading to dangerous situations. 

To address these issues, dual-lock handcuffs were invented. 

Double-Lock Handcuffs

You can tell by the name “double-lock” that these handcuffs include two locks in each cuff. This locking mechanism uses two different security levels.

The first security level works pretty much like a single-lock handcuff. Here, the spring-loaded bar is used to prevent the release of the ratchet arm. 

Then, a secondary lock bar is used to act as a barrier. This barricade keeps the primary lock bar from moving. As a result, the ratchet handcuffs do not tighten further unless needed. 

How to Properly Fit a Handcuff?

There is always a right and a wrong way to use the equipment. Similarly, you need to follow the correct method for using a handcuff. 

Ideally, you should leave a fingertip space between the cuff and the wrist. However, if they feel tighter, you should loosen the grip before activating the secondary lock.

This will allow you to fit the restraining device and ensure maximum security properly. Additionally, it can reduce the escape chances for your captive. That’s because your suspect can easily free themselves if the handcuffs are loosely placed. 

Your handcuffs should be tightly secured enough to restrain the subject. But make sure that they aren’t too tight as it can cause injuries or block blood circulation.

Different Types of Handcuff Material

Handcuffs are made from different materials. Their compositions determine their purpose of use. 

Here are the two common types of handcuff material:

Plastic Handcuffs

The nonmetallic cuffs police use are made by processing polymers in industrial molds with nylon injection molding.

The manufacturing process for these handcuffs is similar to methods used for producing zip or cable ties. 

These cuffs are made in different molds, which cause the restraints to have varying thicknesses, degrees of toughness, and locking mechanisms. 

Metal Handcuffs

Metal handcuffs are usually made from molten chrome steel. These cuffs include cheek plates, the pawl, and the ratchet formed in molds. 

Other metals used for these cuffs include stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Handcuffs

The cuffs police use can accumulate dust, grime, and rust over time. To use your restraining devices for a long, you should follow these tips to maintain them:

Choose the Best Pair

To use your handcuffs for a long time, you must buy the best cuffs for the police. This way, they’ll require minimal maintenance. 

Instead of choosing cheap plastic cuffs, you should opt for heavy-duty stainless steel handcuffs. That’s because they are more secure and less likely to break apart. Additionally, you can get cuffs that are easy to carry in your tactical pants or shirt. 

Break-in the Cuffs

Before you treat your metallic handcuffs with oils and cleaners, you must break in the restrainers. This ensures that your cuff’s inner workings are functioning properly. 

Oil Your Cuffs

Oiling the police handcuffs allows easier breaking in. Additionally, it allows your cuffs to last longer. The process is also essential for preventing corrosion and grime or dust buildup. 

Clean Your Handcuffs

To avoid rusty cuffs, ensure that you clean your pair regularly. For this purpose, you can use rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth to remove germs and dust effectively. 

Remove Excess Oil

Once you have oiled your handcuffs, you must remove the excess oil. Otherwise, the inners of your cuff can get gummed, leading to ineffective functionality. Additionally, it can increase the risk of your captive slipping through the cuffs’ grip.

Final Thoughts

Handcuffs for police are handy equipment for restraining criminals and suspects. These devices come in different types, including hinged, chain, or disposable cuffs. They also vary in material and lock types.

These factors significantly affect the functionality of your handcuffs. Therefore, remember these factors for the best purchase when choosing your pair.  

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