Best Handcuffs on the market right now: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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As a police officer, you know that the best handcuffs are essential for protecting yourself and your subjects.

You will have a far more efficient time making arrests, all while ensuring your suspects can’t tamper with their restraints.

Fortunately, there are several different cuffs to consider coming from top-tier worldwide brands.

I have personally tried and tested these handcuffs, and I vouch for the reliability of each pair.

Comparison Chart

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Smith & Wesson Model 100 Handcuffs
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Uzi CampCo HC-C High Tensile Steel Handcuffs
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ASP Ultra Cuffs
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ASP 56001-BRK Identifier Ultra Handcuffs
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VIPERTEK Double Lock Steel Police Edition Handcuffs

Best Handcuffs Reviews

1. Smith & Wesson Model 100 Chain Handcuffs

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Smith & Wesson makes some of the best handcuffs for police with their spectacular quality and workmanship.

The Model 100 Standard Chain Handcuffs are a phenomenal option for LEOs searching for easy-to-use cuffs.

There are also a couple of extra features that make them one of the best choices.

Product Highlights

With chain-style handcuffs, you can ensure your subjects have limited mobility without harm.

They have slightly more give than hinged handcuffs but still ensure arrestees are safe and secure.

These cuffs come with two separate keys, which allows you to lock and unlock the cuffs easily.

One of the more unique aspects of these cuffs is that they have a key-actuated lock and a double locking system.

This ensures the cuffs won’t ratchet independently, causing significant pain to your suspect.

Those arrested won’t be able to ratchet the cuffs, forcing you to spend more time taking them off and reapplying them.

Even though the Smith & Wesson Model 100 Chain Handcuffs give a little more mobility, it is not enough to be concerning.

Subjects will only have two inches worth of chain, which is enough to prevent strain but not enough to encourage tampering.

You can also adjust the cuffs’ width easily to accommodate small and large wrist sizes.

What to Like About It

The Smith & Wesson Model 100 Chain Handcuffs have a classic style with reliable longevity.

As long as you take the time to clean and oil them, they should last over several years of use.

Their professional-level design is ideal for law enforcement officers and security officers alike.

What Not to Like About It

Unfortunately, the metal used to construct these cuffs will scratch easily after a couple of uses.

You will also find that without regular maintenance, they will look used faster than anticipated.

Pros:

  • Have a classic style
  • Long-lasting with maintenance
  • Professional-level cuffs
  • Useful for law enforcement and security

Cons:

  • Scratch easily
  • May look worn without maintenance

2. Uzi CampCo HC-C High Tensile Handcuffs

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Sleek black handcuffs always look fantastic on an officer’s belt, which is why I love the Uzi CampCo HC-C High Tensile Handcuffs.

When I wanted to steer away from traditional shiny nickel cuffs, these were one of my top options.

They provide an impressive balance of uniquely engineered design for security and the perfect fit.

Product Highlights

After your first use, you will realize how well these handcuffs are made compared to others.

They have professional-level engineering with essential features, such as a double locking mechanism.

There are over 20 different locking positions to choose from to help you get the perfect fit for every suspect.

When I was shopping for cuffs, I wanted a durable pair upon arrival and for the years to come.

These are made from tensile stainless steel, which is one of my most preferred materials for handcuffs.

The steel is perfectly weighted for durability, and they also have a stunning black coating for a stealthier appeal.

You can guarantee these cuffs aren’t only the best for police and the military but also security services and more.

Like some of the higher-end cuffs on the market, these come with two keys for you to use.

This feature was ideal, as I never had to worry about losing one key and being unable to unlock the cuffs.

What to Like About It

These cuffs are an excellent option as the best handcuffs for law enforcement officers searching for a standard duty pair of cuffs.

They have a convenient double lock and smooth action upon arrival.

You will also find that they have a relatively solid construction that allows for quick cuffing in an instant.

What Not to Like About It

My most considerable concern with these cuffs is that they aren’t as heavyweight as some of the larger name brands.

They might not be the best option for serious situations but can be useful as a backup pair.

Also, the key locks are positioned awkwardly on opposite sides of each cuff.

Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • Smooth action
  • Convenient double lock
  • Allows for quick cuffing

Cons:

  • Opposite facing key locks
  • Not recommended for heavy-duty use

3. ASP Ultra Cuffs

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ASP is one of my favorite brands when it comes to quality for any situation.

Law enforcement officers are sure to love the heavy-duty features built into these cuffs.

In fact, these are some of the most popular standard-issue cuffs in departments around the world.

Product Highlights

Compared to some of the novelty handcuffs on the market, the ASP Ultra Cuffs are a far better option.

They are specifically engineered to help take some burden off law enforcement officers when dealing with non-compliant suspects.

Even if you are not a fan of chained cuffs, these are some of the best pairs to take into consideration.

The ASP Ultra Cuffs are very lightweight, and the interior of each cuff is designed to have smooth round edges.

I also love the interchangeable locksets, which allow me to maximize the efficiency of the cuffs.

I have rarely tried any other pair of cuffs with as much versatility as these, especially with the double-sided keyways.

When dealing with non-compliant subjects, I prefer to have as much control as possible, both for their safety and mine.

Although the cuffs feel more lightweight than others, you can apply the appropriate amount of pressure with ease.

Even when securing the cuffs, you will feel like you are in more control than with other pairs.

The smooth action is quite impressive, too, as you won’t have to back-load your cuffs.

The deep-set teeth slide easily, allowing for perfect cuff sizing without having to struggle with your subject.

In terms of quality, the materials used are also very impressive.

The majority of the cuffs is made from 7075 T6 ordnance-grade aluminum.

For durability, the spiral locking pins are heat-treated 4140 metal, reducing the likelihood of tampering and damage.

I have found that these cuffs have some of the most impressive manufacturing advancements.

What to Like About It

These cuffs are some of the simplest I have used when dealing with non-compliant subjects.

You can easily adjust the cuffs without unlocking them, and you can reengage the double-lock when worn.

The dual-sided keyholes are also a fantastic addition, making it easier to uncuff subjects when necessary.

What Not to Like About It

My most important tip with these cuffs is to make sure you inspect your equipment before putting them to fair use.

They might arrive used, which means you’ll want to return them for a new pair to ensure their integrity.

Also, you will likely have to oil them right out of the box to experience their proper smooth action.

Pros:

  • Dual-sided keyholes
  • Single-turn unlocking
  • Allows for easy adjustments
  • Comfortable for large and small wrists

Cons:

  • Needs immediate maintenance
  • Might arrive damaged

4. ASP 56001-BRK Identifier Ultra Handcuffs

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The 56001-BRK Identifier Ultra Handcuffs are another impressive pair from ASP for you to consider.

They are built in the United States, which already puts them well ahead of some of the competition.

I have found these are another remarkable pair of cuffs for police searching for high-quality restraints.

Product Highlights

One of the things I love the most about these cuffs is you can tell that they have been tested rigorously.

They have unique colored identifier bands, which are permanent components of the overall structure.

I prefer these, as they provide instant visual recognition to allow you to differentiate your cuffs from others.

The cuffs are also built with close attention to detail, thanks to the forged aluminum frame.

Each cuff is made from 7075 T6 ordnance-grade aluminum, offering lightweight carrying with the rigidity you need.

As they are forged compared to stamped, you will find there aren’t any rough or sharp edges to keep suspects safe.

Also, the frame is more ergonomic, which makes them safer for you and your subject.

The addition of the conical flat-contact bow is ideal for a broad set of wrist sizes.

Application speed will be significantly better, as will accuracy, because of the large radius of the bows.

One of the most significant advantages I appreciate is the dual-sided, single-turn keyways.

There are locks on either side of the frame, and both the primary and double locks can be disengaged with one turn.

For added convenience, the locks have color indicators to let you see the lock status immediately.

Overall, these are some of the best cuffs for use in any situation.

What to Like About It

There is plenty to appreciate with these cuffs, especially as they allow for simple adjustments.

The smooth action is ideal for making efficient arrests, and the color identifier is exceptional for making reports.

I also love the dual-sided keyways that make working with the cuffs much more straightforward.

What Not to Like About It

My significant issue with these cuffs is that they could jam over time, especially without maintenance.

Like your other police gear, you will need to ensure these are sufficiently maintained by cleaning and oiling them regularly.

Pros:

  • Comfortable, smooth action
  • Convenient color identifier
  • Remarkable dual-sided keyways
  • Allows for easy adjustments

Cons:

  • Locks could jam over time
  • Will require oiling

5. VIPERTEK Double Lock Steel Handcuffs

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VIPERTEK is one of the newer brands emerging on the market for law enforcement officers.

If you want the best handcuffs for law enforcement, these double-lock steel handcuffs are a reliable pair to consider.

They might not be as heavy-duty as others, but they are an excellent option for a backup pair.

Product Highlights

The VIPERTEK Double Lock Steel Handcuffs are designed with professional use in mind.

They have many of the same features I have noticed in top-tier brands, such as Smith & Wesson.

Most notably, their solid steel construction gives them an adequate weight with comfort and resilience.

The double-lock mechanism is ideal for any situation where you want to prevent tampering.

Once a suspect has been secured, there is little chance of them messing with the cuffs.

For added security, the steel chain links have been adequately welded.

If you are a fan of black handcuffs, like I am, then you will love the matte black finish on this pair.

They look stylish on your belt and ensure you have a stealthier approach to detaining subjects.

I also appreciate how there are two keys included, allowing you to easily keep a working key on you at all times.

Interestingly, these cuffs have a relatively universal locking mechanism that works with an assortment of keys.

This is why I prefer to use these as a backup, as they can also be unlocked with Smith & Wesson and Peerless keys.

All I have to do is carry one set with me, and I have universal access to all of my cuffs.

What to Like About It

I have found these are one of the better double-locking cuffs to prevent accidental tightening.

They are relatively useful for most wrist sizes and offer a moderate weight for sturdiness.

When subjects are secured, they have a significantly reduced likelihood of tampering with the cuffs.

What Not to Like About It

Overall, the VIPERTEK Double Lock Steel Handcuffs lack the rigidity and quality I was looking for.

The chain links are flimsier than I had hoped, and I also found it challenging to fit them to large wrists.

Pros:

  • Prevents accidental tightening
  • Useful for most wrist sizes
  • Sturdy and secure
  • Moderately weighted

Cons:

  • Not recommended for big wrists
  • Links lack quality
best handcuffs

Buyer’s Guide

When you step into the waters of searching for the best handcuffs for police, there is a lot to consider.

Each pair of cuffs has its own set of features designed for ease of use, some being better than others.

When it comes to high-quality cuffs for standard and heavy-duty tasks, you’ll want to consider these features:

1. Materials

The first thing to consider is the material used to make the cuffs you are interested in.

Depending on the type of cuffs you choose, the materials could vary.

For example, disposable handcuffs are typically made of polymer, while reusable ones are made from metal.

It can be far better for frequent use to opt for metal cuffs, especially if you are not detaining multiple subjects at once.

My preferred material is stainless steel, as I find it the easiest to disinfect and oil.

However, plenty of other options, such as carbon steel, are becoming more popular.

Aluminum and steel are the two most used materials for handcuffs, each with its own benefits.

Aluminum is fantastic for officers on the hunt for lightweight yet reliable cuffs to wear on their belts.

On the other hand, steel is heavier, more rigid, and ideal for long-term use. They will require a little more maintenance, too.

Some officers prefer the feel of carbon steel because it is moderately weighted and offers optimal security.

2. Type

Did you know there are different styles of handcuffs?

Chain and hinged handcuffs are two of the most popular styles, while plastic and rigid are best suited for special applications.

Chain Handcuffs

Chained cuffs have two halves with a short chain in between, ranging between one and two inches in length.

They are also one of the most identifiable, as they are typically used in television shows and movies.

With that said, they can be a fantastic option for many law enforcement officers.

Chain cuffs give suspects a little more mobility than hinged, which helps to reduce on-the-job accidents.

Also, you will find that applying them is straightforward, especially when dealing with a compliant subject.

Hinged Handcuffs

As the opposite of chained pairs, hinged handcuffs are the perfect option for detaining non-compliant subjects.

You’ll find you have a little more control in situations where you need rigidity and stability.

Once secured, wrist movement is significantly reduced, especially when compared to chained pairs.

However, improper use can lead to significant injury, which is one of their most considerable disadvantages.

I find that hinged pairs are ideal for maintaining compliance, as long as they are used humanely.

Rigid Handcuffs

As the most secure cuffs, rigid handcuffs are used in particular circumstances where mobility needs to be entirely ceased.

With these, two cuffs are attached to each other with a solid bar, which prevents suspects from moving at all.

If you have a subject prone to tampering with locks, these are one of the better options.

However, they are much heavier and not recommended for mobile officers, especially as they are challenging to store.

You might find these are most often used in correctional facilities for detaining non-compliant subjects.

Disposable Handcuffs

The last type of cuffs you might encounter are disposable cuffs, which are in most patrol vehicles.

Disposable cuffs are a reliable temporary solution, especially if you can’t manage to affix traditional cuffs.

They have a functional zip tie design and are typically made from high-grade polymer.

I find disposable cuffs to be preferable when dealing with multiple subjects or if I need temporary restraints.

They are also very lightweight, easy to store, and are more cost-effective than managing several pairs of traditional cuffs.

Check my in-depth guide on what types of handcuffs that are on the market.

3. Locking Mechanism

The locking mechanism on handcuffs is one of their most essential features.

Double locks are the standard-issue, as they are the most humane and secure.

With a double lock, suspects cannot ratchet the cuffs tighter to cause significant injury when transported.

When officers secure the cuffs, they will stay at the same size, ensuring your suspect has little discomfort.

It is also an essential part of maximizing security, as you won’t have to continually readjust their restraints.

4. Identifiers

Identifiers are a feature that you won’t appreciate until you have had the opportunity to use them.

On some handcuffs, there will be a color-coded band that lets you know which cuffs are yours.

However, I have also found them useful when it comes time to type up my reports.

Another identifier to consider is a locking identifier, which is ideal for rookies.

When your cuffs have been secured, a color-coded indicator will appear to let you know of the locking status.

This feature is essential in quick situations where you need to make sure suspects are detained immediately.

To make a good police officer you need several skills. Both practical (as applying handcuffs) and more soft skills. Improve your skills. Read my guide on what skills you need as a police officer.

Handcuffs FAQs

1. Are hinged handcuffs better?

There is some debate as to whether hinged handcuffs are better than their counterparts, chained cuffs.

Both designs have an array of positive features, although some LEOs certainly prefer hinged designs.

I have found hinged cuffs allow for better stability and control over suspects, but they are also likely to cause injury.

On the other hand, chained cuffs are a little more challenging to use for adequate leverage in intense situations.

They are slightly more comfortable for subjects, which can make them more compliant when being detained.

2. Are Vipertek handcuffs good?

Vipertek is a relatively new brand on the market, and some of their cuffs have boomed in popularity.

They have modern engineering with convenient features for law enforcement, but some lack the rigidity you need.

It is always important to confirm your cuffs’ build-quality to decide if they should be your primary or secondary solution.

3. Can you use WD40 on handcuffs?

If you have begun to notice a reduction in quality in your cuffs, it could mean it is time for some maintenance.

Lubricant is a fantastic thing to use, as it ensures the actioning of your cuffs stays smooth for their lifetime.

WD40 is one of the most popular lubricants because it is affordable and is found at most hardware stores.

4. Can civilians buy handcuffs?

Civilians can certainly buy handcuffs from several reputable retailers, especially online.

With that said, it is essential to confirm with your local laws and regulations before placing your order.

Like knives and other weaponry, there can be restrictions on certain types of handcuffs for civilian use.

Also, it is important to consider how cuffs can be used by non-police officers in your area.

You could face significant problems if the cuffs are misused on other civilians.

5. Do police handcuffs have the same key?

Not all police handcuffs have the same key, which is a common misconception.

However, many brands have universal keys, such as Smith & Wesson, Peerless, and Vipertek.

You will need to confirm the key type of the cuffs you are interested in buying.

My Final Recommendation

The best handcuffs are the ASP 56001-BRK Identifier Ultra Handcuffs.

They have superior actioning, simple double-lock mechanisms, and impeccable build-quality for heavy-duty use.

Also, they have the added benefit of color identifiers, which only adds to their versatility.

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