We see them on the news, in movies, and on our favorite television shows and don’t give them very much thought. If they do the job they’re intended to successfully, we don’t really think about them at all.
In real life applications, handcuff design requires significant consideration. No two bodies are made the same and neither are the situations in which someone requires the best police handcuffs for the job.
The type of handcuff you choose has safety implications for those on both sides of the device and warrants more than a little thought.
Chain handcuffs are the style most frequently used in corrections, military, police, and personal applications and are made up of two halves that are connected together by a roughly 2” length of chain.
This type is often considered to be the best police handcuff choice as they help to keep the detainees’ hands closer together and assists with the level of control over the restrained person.
One side of the cuff is not fixed and rotates into the side of the cuff which is stationary. Applying this cuff style is fairly simple and only requires that you place the wrist in the middle of the device and push the rotating side into the fixed side, thereby locking the cuff.
This cuff style has many advantages in that it limits the person’s movement, prevents over-tightening during transit due to double locks, is rust resistant and durable, and minimal training is required to apply them. Most handcuffs of this style use the same key type and the cuffs can be removed from the holster with the use of only one hand.
The few disadvantages of this handcuff type also play on its advantages in that failing to double lock can result in too much force being applied to the wrists and the cuffs can be successfully removed if they are not applied properly.
While corrections officers frequently use chain-style handcuffs, they have a preference for hinge handcuffs as they improve the level of control they have over their inmates.
The construction of a hinge handcuff makes them one of the best police handcuffs and is very much like that of the chain cuff with the exception that the device is connected by a sturdy hinge, giving them more rigid construction. This means hand movement is nearly impossible, the cuff can’t be manipulated in any way to twist off, and defeating the cuff when properly double locked is nearly impossible.
While this handcuff type also has the advantage of using the same key type across the style, storage and retrieval are more difficult, the cuff is harder to apply making training even more important, and the cuff can cause substantial pain to the person wearing the cuffs.
These handcuffs are somewhat similar in functionality as the hinged cuff. They hold the hands close together, eliminate mobility and attempts to defeat the cuffs, and allow the person applying them to do so and to apply pain-compliance tactics where necessary.
They are considered to be the best police handcuffs for use by those in UK and an especially good choice when it is necessary to transport a high risk, non-compliant person from place to place.
One of the downsides of rigid handcuffs is that they cannot be folded for easy storage and are often stored in a tactical vest or specially designed holster. These cuffs allow for a variety of cuff methods such and reduce the risk of injuries to the wearer.
Plastic handcuffs (Zip ties)
The above handcuff types are intended for various lengths of detainment of a single individual or a small group of individuals but are not necessarily the best police handcuffs when you have to face cuffing multiple people in a short period.
These cuffs usually come in the form of a single cable tie around both wrists or with two interlocking straps. These cuffs are ultra-cheap, light weight, great for use in riot control situations or where a large number of arrests will be made, and they are disposable. These one-time use cuffs help reduce the risk of infection through blood or body fluids as there is no worry about whether they’ve been properly cleaned from their last use.
Downfalls of this handcuff type include the ability to overtighten the cuffs and cause injury. There is also a higher chance that someone of considerable strength or ingenuity could escape from them and find freedom by brute force, melting them, or cutting them.
Best Police Handcuffs
- Smith & Wesson 100 Police Handcuffs
- Chain Handcuffs
- Double locking system
- Weight 10.0 oz
- Made in the USA
- Smith & Wesson 300 Police Handcuffs
- Hinged Handcuffs
- Double locking system
- Weight 11.0 oz
- Made in the USA
- ASP Tactical Steel Handcuffs
- Rigid Handcuffs
- Replaceable Lock Sets
- Weight 10.7 oz
- Restricts both Linear and Lateral Mobility
- Police Black Double Zip Ties Handcuffs
- Plastic handcuffs (Zip ties)
- Length: 27 1/2"
- Tensile Strength 200LBS
- Made from high strength 6/6 nylon