Handcuffs are one of the irreplaceable items for law enforcement pros, guards, military and correctional facility officers.

Best Handcuffs - Editor's Choice

All day-round wearing on the belt not only cuffs but other security gear makes their weight crucial, as well as features of sturdiness.

Why do we need handcuffs?

Handcuffs are developed as a restraint unit to fix a person’s wrists close to each other. They consist of two parts (with rotating arms that are locked due to the engagement with a ratchet), joined together by a chain, a rigid bar, or a hinge. Despite there being some ways to pick some handcuffs without keys, they are still commonly used by police, security forces, or staff on-duty. Among usual citizens, cuffs have become popular not for security reasons, but in more peaceful aims, which are not at all about “detention”.

TOP-17 Handcuffs

ImageProductBrand
Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Melonite HandcuffSmith & WessonBUY
ASP Hinge Aluminum Bow Ultra CuffsASPBUY
Smith & Wesson M&P 100 Lever Lock MeloniteSmith & WessonBUY
Peerless Handcuff 730c Superlite Chain Link HandcuffsPeerlessBUY
Smith & Wesson S&W 300 STD HandcuffsSmith & WessonBUY
ASP Tactical Handcuff, Restraint Open Top Cases for HingedASPBUY
Monadnock Cuff Oversized Steloy Hinge HandcuffMonadnockBUY
Smith & Wesson S&W Model 1 Hinged Nickel HandcuffSmith & WessonBUY
UZI Professional HandcuffsUZIBUY
ASP Ultra Handcuffs - Chain CuffsASPBUY
Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Nickel HandcuffSmith & WessonBUY
Mtech MT-S4508 HandcuffsMtechBUY
Mace Mts Nickel Plated Chain Link HandcuffMtsBUY
Hiatt-Thompson Hiatt - Oversized Hinged HandcuffHiattBUY
Peerless Handcuff Model 702b-6x 6 Inch ChainPeerlessBUY
Monadnock Model 8220 Double CuffMonadnock BUY
Fobus USA CU9G Single Magazine and Handcuff Pouch With PaddleFobus USABUY

#1 Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Melonite Handcuff

Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Melonite Handcuff

Smith & Wesson handcuff (model 100 Slot lock Melonite) meets NIJ (National Institute of Justice) standard 0307.01. Their weight is10 oz, its wrist opening is 2.04 inches, and the distance between the cuffs is 2.00 inches. S&W handcuffs come with two keys.

What I liked:
  • Military Discount for anyone US Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, or an Emergency First Responder;
  • Trouble-free customers service;
  • Well-built, quality construction;
  • Effective pair of cuffs;
  • The slide double-lock.
What I didn’t like:
  • Simple design;
  • Can take some effort to get used to the slide double-lock.

#2 ASP Hinge Aluminum Bow Ultra Cuffs

ASP Hinge Aluminum Bow Ultra Cuffs

These ASP restraints blades and handles are made of 7075 T6 ordnance-grade aluminum. ASP offers 3 black finish models of Hinge Bow Ultra cuffs, according to the colored light indicators (Green, Blue, or Yellow), which show instant lock status recognition, on the double lock slots. Locks (primary and double) are opened by a single-direction key turning. The unitized locks can be field-serviced when needed, or be replaced with a high-security set.

What I liked:
  • Dependable pair of handcuffs with high-visuality indicators;
  • Forged aluminum frames make Ultra Cuff rigid, yet lightweight;
  • Highly-resistant to shimming;
  • Rounded and very comfortable frame edges;
  • Flawless details;
  • The bow bend is designed for different sizes of wrists, due to the flat contact area, the cuffs operate faster and more accurately.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#3 Smith & Wesson M&P 100 Lever Lock Melonite

Smith & Wesson M&P 100 Lever Lock Melonite

Smith & Wesson M&P 100 Lever Lock cuffs have typical S&W construction with an excellent durable black stylish finish. There is no need for a breaking-in period, as these cuffs work smooth, just keep them clean and oiled.

What I liked:
  • A professional look handcuffs, easy to use;
  • Resistant to corrosion;
  • Pleasant color and Melonite finish;
  • Capability of double lock them effortlessly and easily with one hand: especially useful at night, no need to have a flashlight to put the key to a hole, just pull a lever;
  • Durable materials.
What I didn’t like:
  • The lever of the lock can be difficult to grasp and pull, especially wearing gloves;
  • Ratchet tension, even after enough break-in period, rough and stiff on one of the cuffs.

#4 Peerless Handcuff 730c Superlite Chain Link Handcuffs

Peerless Handcuff 730c Superlite Chain Link Handcuffs

Peerless Handcuff developed a new 730c model of Superlite Chain Link handcuffs, with a weight of 5.2 oz that is almost twice lighter than competitors’ similar cuffs. The main materials of Superlite Chain Link handcuffs are Stainless and Carbon steel, aerospace-grade Aluminum. The 730c model components are steel chain links and swivels, spun rivet unit, smooth single-strand mechanism (with 21 locking positions and a push-pin double-lock) two keys included.

What I liked:
  • Great handcuffs and chain of basic design;
  • Lightweight;
  • National Institute Of Justice Standard 0307.01 Certified;
  • Reliable locking mechanism with smooth single strand action;
  • Stylish matt finishing;
  • Lifetime Warranty in case of the manufacturer defects;
  • Both models in Silver and Black ceramic finish are corrosion resistant.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#5 Smith & Wesson S&W 300 STD Handcuffs

Smith & Wesson S&W 300 STD Handcuffs

S&W STD Handcuffs are available in 3 models: two of them 300 STD are hinged one with Blued or Nickel finishing, the rest one is 100 STD Blued. The main material of S&W STD Handcuffs is Steel and Nickel, these models are adjustable. The weight of the cuffs is 10 ounces, the range between the pair is 2.00 inches. The retainers can open on the wrists at 2.04 inches. S&W handcuffs have two keys.

What I liked:
  • Resistant to rust;
  • Fit perfectly pouches;
  • Meets NIJ standard 0307.01;
  • Foldable and restrictive handcuffs cycles well;
  • Тon-reflective Blued finish is scratches resistant.
What I didn’t like:
  • After a while Blue fades to a charcoal grey;
  • Not low weight.

#6 ASP Tactical Handcuff, Restraint Open Top Cases for Hinged

ASP Tactical Handcuff, Restraint Open Top Cases for Hinged

ASP produces Handcuff Open Top Cases for Chain or Hinged Restraints in 4 color models: Black, Basketweave, Ballistic, ASPTec. ASP has taken care of easy access and comfortable and safe storage of the cuffs, manufacturing black leather handcuffs cases (with black snap closure) that allows officials, who need to restrain offenders, to react efficiently and quickly. The restraint Open Top Cases are corner-stitched, that’s why even the wear of repeated cuffs retrievals will not cause detaching of the front part from the back one. The open bottom is a necessary extra space for the handcuff hinges or chains. These cases fit on any standard duty belt (up to 2.5 inches in width) due to the pull-through retention strap on the case back-side.

What I liked:
  • Made in the USA;
  • Tested for durability;
  • Easy to clip onto the belt;
  • Possibility to take the cuffs from the case with a quick grab;
  • Secure retention emergency key system: a small pocket on the cuff case back securely keeps the pentagon-style key, included with the handcuff case, placed in such a way to be unreachable for others.
What I didn’t like:
  • Closes a little stiff at the beginning;
  • The button starts to wear and tear.

#7 Monadnock Cuff Oversized Steloy Hinge Handcuff

Monadnock Cuff Oversized Steloy Hinge Handcuff

Monadnock 3154-H is an oversized Steloy Hinged Handcuff with Nickel finishing. Hinge handcuffs give the officers more control than chain ones while using them. Monadnock produces high-end tactical equipment for a very long time to provide law enforcement officers with the finest obtainable gear. Hiatt hinged handcuffs are not only lightweight, but sturdy as well due to the material Steloy, which is a combo of aluminum and steel.

What I liked:
  • Lightweight (221g);
  • Trustworthy materials;
  • The actual wrist hole is bigger than usual, at the same time they fit on small wrists at the smallest setting;
  • Heavy-duty and rugged.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#8 Smith & Wesson S&W Model 1 Hinged Nickel Handcuff

Smith & Wesson S&W Model 1 Hinged Nickel Handcuff

Smith & Wesson designed Model 1H-1 as a universal hinge handcuff with pin-lock. S&W hinged Handcuffs are made of carbon steel, which ensures cuffs’ durability and sturdiness, with nickel color finishing. These retainers open 12% larger and close 11% smaller than standard handcuffs. The wrist opening equals 2.40 in, the length between cuffs is 2.00 in. The total handcuffs weight is 12.0 oz.

What I liked:
  • Well-made cuffs operate smoothly;
  • Strong hinged connection;
  • Adjusts from small to large wrists automatically;
  • Hinge mechanism is more secure than the chain, as no easy way to reach the keyhole once cuffed, so it is difficult to pick or wiggle hands out of them.
What I didn’t like:
  • Difficult to find a suitable cuff case for these handcuffs.

#9 UZI Professional Handcuffs

UZI Professional Handcuffs

UZI proposes 2 models of professional chain handcuffs, depending on the finish: Black and Stainless Steel. These models come with 2 keys. UZI Professional Handcuff is a plated double-lock with 20 locking positions retainer (0.7 lbs weight), which needs to be lubricated with light oil from time to time.

What I liked:
  • Meets NIJ specifications and standards;
  • Can be locked by a single or double lock;
  • Lightweight;
  • Operates smoothly.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

#10 ASP Ultra Handcuffs – Chain Cuffs

ASP Ultra Handcuffs - Chain Cuffs

ASP Ultra Chain Handcuffs are produced of 6 models with different pawl designs: Overmolded stainless steel, 3 Pawl, Green, European; Overmolded stainless steel, 2 Pawl, Blue, Security; Overmolded stainless steel, 1 Pawl, Yellow, Tactical; Aluminum,3 Pawl, Green, European; Aluminum,1 Pawl, Yellow, Tactical; Aluminum, 2 Pawl, Blue, Security.
ASP employed special technology to meet a new standard for police duty handcuffs to be lightweight due to the particularly designed frame from aluminum. ASP Ultra Handcuffs has a high contact bow face, each of which is cast to shape and profile trimmed with precise machining. ASP manufacturer engraved with the laser on the handcuffs a unique serial number and the manufacture date.

What I liked:
  • High flexibility of releasing due to the both-sided keyways;
  • Safe controlling;
  • The smooth-edged bow;
  • Hardcoat anodized with a matte black finish;
  • The light indicators in Green, Blue, or Yellow colors recognize the instant lock status.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

#11 Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Nickel Handcuff

Smith & Wesson S&W 100 STD Nickel Handcuff

The main material of handcuffs is nickel-plated carbon steel with a nickel finish. Smith & Wesson 100 STD Handcuff has a double locking system, operating due to a slot lock as well as a key actuated lock. The main measures are standard and the same for Smith & Wesson handcuffs: 2.00 in is the gap length between the retainers, 2.04 in is a wrist opening, and their weight is 10.0 oz.

What I liked:
  • Corresponds to NIJ Standard 0307.02;
  • Simple to use;
  • Durable and lightweight.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet.

#12 Mtech MT-S4508 Handcuffs

Mtech MT-S4508 Handcuffs

Mtech USA produces 4 models of Handcuffs with chains (3 types: silver, black, and pink/silver) and one with a rigid bar (silver), all patterns come with two keys. These cuffs work with a regular standard handcuff key as well. Mtech proposes Handcuffs series, made of durable carbon steel, with double-lock.

What I liked:
  • Made in the USA;
  • Double-lock cuffs guarantee human safety on both sides of the retainers;
  • Durable construction.
What I didn’t like:
  • Quite small, they hardly fit large wrists;
  • The cuffs do not come with the keyholes on the same sides, so they won’t be quickly applicable to the work environment;
  • The cuffs had no oil on them and they were very discolored.

#13 Mace Mts Nickel Plated Chain Link Handcuff

Mace Mts Nickel Plated Chain Link Handcuff

Mace Mts Handcuff is made of carbon steel. It is Nickel plated retainers with chain linking. These handcuffs weigh 8.8 oz. The main measures are: 2.0 in is a wrist opening, 9.0 in is a maximal overall length, 2.8 mm is a jaw thickness. The pawl comes with two standard keys.

What I liked:
  • Heat-treated makes the cuffs extra strong and durable;
  • Double-lock mechanism (with 20 locking positions) ensures speedy and exact application;
  • Quality materials with good locksets;
  • Lightweight;
  • Smooth operation.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

#14 Hiatt-Thompson Hiatt – Oversized Hinged Handcuff

Hiatt-Thompson Hiatt - Oversized Hinged Handcuff

Hiatt-Thompson oversized handcuffs link with a solid hinged connection, which is more durable than the cuffs with the roller chain. These handcuffs feel comfortable in the hands and easy to grip and carry.

What I liked:
  • Reinforced holding power due to the heavy-duty solid hinges;
  • Hinged models ensure better subject control;
  • Good security;
  • Nice looking;
  • Solid well-built construction.
What I didn’t like:
  • The finish is slightly rough, dull matte, expected smoother one;
  • Not yet rated.

#15 Peerless Handcuff Model 702b-6x 6 Inch Chain

Peerless Handcuff Model 702b-6x 6 Inch Chain

Peerless handcuffs (model 702b-6x) with nickel finish have a 6-Inch chain between cuffs. The chain handcuffs operate due to the double-locking and come with two keys.

What I liked:
  • Made in the USA;
  • Lifetime Warranty for Manufacture flaws;
  • The additional links reduce wrist, arm, and shoulder tension for larger people;
  • New fast double lock mechanism;
  • Smooth operation and swift cuffing;
  • Adjustable for all wrists.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

BONUS #1: Monadnock Model 8220 Double Cuff

BONUS #1: Monadnock Model 8220 Double Cuff

These restraints are designed by Monadnock as a plastic zip cuff perfect for jail use to quickly control prisoners’ wrists, forearms and ankles. The Safariland 8220 double-handcuffs in one provides enough space to write down offender information. These cuffs come with a pack of 10. The standard length of zip handcuffs is 34″.

What I liked:
  • Wide beveled edges (0.5″) diminish probability of subject injury;
  • Good for jail evacuation training;
  • Tensile strength of more than 400 pounds (240kg).
What I didn’t like:
  • Not long-lasting: after long storage without use or cycle through them, they get brittle and easier to break.

BONUS #2: Fobus USA CU9G Single Magazine and Handcuff Pouch With Paddle

BONUS #2: Fobus USA CU9G Single Magazine and Handcuff Pouch With Paddle

The Fobus USA developed CU9G two pouches in one: for one-gun magazine and handcuffs, which will come in handy for law enforcement professions. This case is produced of a durable plastic material with a smooth finish, black color, and rubberized paddle insert to ensure additional stability and convenience on the belt. The mag holster will be appropriate for a variety of semi-auto pistols. The handcuffs case will fit both chain and hinged retainers.

What I liked:
  • Adjustable tension design;
  • Extra gear always at the fingertips;
  • Lightweight and compact;
  • Easily-concealed gun magazine holder.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

FAQ

Can a human break handcuffs?
The standard cuffs with the chain are tested to approximately 1000 lbs. Only using a special technique and rough force, humans can tear the chain. It is known as the seldom cases when some people ripped an 85 lb steel chain in half on the handcuffs. So a very strong man can break manacles, but it is extremely difficult.
Are handcuffs allowed on airplanes?
Handcuffs can be taken with you to pass through airport security and put them in carry-on or checked baggage.
Can you use wd40 on handcuffs?
WD-40 Multi-Use can be an appropriate lubricant for the cuffs, as it protects metal from corrosion or rust, displacing moisture and penetrating stuck parts. It is recommended to use high-quality lightweight lubricants such as WD-40 or a Teflon-based oil for the cuffs, not greasy oils, as they can clog the lock mechanism, attracting small debris. After oiling, lock, double lock and unlock the handcuff, ratchet the single strand.
Can you pick handcuffs with a paperclip?
Handcuffs can be opened without keys by some methods, one of them is picking the lock with a paperclip, by bending it at a similar length to a standard handcuff key.
Why do police handcuff in front?
Police usually retain the criminals with the cuffs in the back, but sometimes in front. Many think that in the second case it is easier to attack the officers, but at the same time, it could be faster to notice any attempt of picking the handcuffs.
Do handcuffs rust?
To prevent the handcuffs from the rust, keep them and their case dry, check this before storage. Be aware that the Black-Oxide finish will wear over time anyway.
How do you use handcuffs?
There is instruction for single lock handcuffs: open the cuffs, place them on the restrained men wrist and lock the mechanism, by turning the movable jaw until the teeth engage the catch. Do the same for the second wrist and check the tightness of the handcuffs.
How do you put someone in handcuffs?
After the offender is stunned, it is necessary to grab his hands, click the button on the handcuffs top, put and lock them, after that he will be handcuffed.

Conclusion

The important handcuffs features are: lightweight; material: steel is stronger than aluminum; sturdy connection (hinge is more reliable than a chain because it’s more difficult to pick the handcuffs by reaching the keyhole or wiggle hands out of them), smooth edges. Black-Oxide finish is not a lasting coating, it wears over time. If you want the handcuffs to serve you long, maintain them in good operation conditions, especially keep them dry, and lubricate from time to time.

Best Pick

  • ASP Hinge Aluminum Bow Ultra Cuffs. These ASP Hinged Cuffs comprise trustworthy components: conical, flat contact bow, forged aluminum frame without sharp or rough edges, dual-sided, single-turn keyways, and replaceable locksets, adjustable for all size wrists.

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