Thumbcuffs Review: A Unique Restraining Option

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Any thumbcuffs review will tell you that they aren’t safe or humane options for detaining an active subject.

To that point, I would have to agree; I would never use them while detaining a suspect that could pose any threat.

However, they are a unique restraining device that could prove useful in certain situations.

    What Are Thumbcuffs?

    What makes thumbcuffs fascinating is how they’re designed in comparison to traditional handcuffs.

    Instead of focusing on restraining the subject’s wrists, you’ll be hindering their thumbs.

    This point is the primary reason as to why I’d never use them in an active life-threatening situation.

    Although they can be useful as a temporary restraint to reduce non-compliance, they’re not designed for most professional purposes.

    Locked thumbcuffs on thumbs

    You’ll find two adjustable cuffs on either side of the small four- to five-inch device.

    They also feature an internal locking mechanism, which you would think would be tamper-resistant, but it’s a common misconception.

    Typically, thumbcuffs come with a set of keys that you can use for locking and unlocking the device.

    They also have double-locking mechanisms to prevent the cuffs from inadvertently tightening.

    Who Uses Thumbcuffs?

    The vast majority of law enforcement officers would never rely on these devices to keep them safe.

    Their primary flaw is that they allow for far too much mobility for any suspect, whether combative or compliant.

    Also, since the rest of the subject’s fingers are free, it’s not a tamper-resistant type of restraint.

    However, they can be used in certain circumstances and by some professionals.

    If you want a pair of cuffs that are easy to store and stealthy, they can be useful.

    Security guards and private investigators are two professions where thumbcuffs could be likely.

    They are mostly seen as a novelty item or have been banned depending on your local government’s laws.

    They are widely popular in Asia because they can be painful enough to deter suspects from attempting an escape.

    Some of the lesser quality thumbcuffs can tighten on their own, which can significantly reduce struggling.

    It’s important to note that inadvertent tightening also puts detainees at risk for cutting off their circulation.

    Comparison Chart

    SZCO Supplies 220043 Thumbcuffs
    Fury Thumbcuffs Toecuffs
    Takedown Gear Double Lock Thumbcuffs
    HWC Police Quality NICKEL Plated Steel Thumb Cuffs
    Ace Martial Arts Professional Steel Police Thumbcuffs

    The Best Thumbcuffs Review

    1. SZCO Supplies 220043 Thumbcuffs

    These silver thumbcuffs are a low-profile backup option for different types of professionals.

    If you want a sleek and stylish restraint, these are a good pair to have available.

    Product Highlights

    The SZCO Supplies 220043 Thumbcuffs are ideal for a temporary restraint.

    It is four inches in overall length and features durable steel with silver plating.

    I like the bright and shiny exterior that it has, which makes it look more high-quality.

    There’s a vinyl carrying case included for added convenience that helps me keep the cuff in pristine condition.

    Also, there’s a belt loop on the case to store it safely on my belt.

    What To Like About It 

    These cuffs’ professional style is quite impressive, especially since they’re still comfortable for beginners to use.

    The informative instructions are ideal for learning how to get the most out of your new restraints.

    I find these could prove useful for correctional officers.

    What Not To Like About It

    Unlike other thumbcuffs, this pair isn’t as useful for toecuffs, which is a convenient way to detain suspects.

    It’s also challenging to adjust, especially since the pawls’ teeth are spaced too far apart.


    • Professional style
    • Informative instructions
    • Easy for beginners
    • Useful for correctional officers


    • Challenging to adjust
    • Cannot be used as toe cuffs

    2. Fury Thumbcuffs


    The Fury Thumbcuffs is a fantastic option for LEOs looking for dual-purpose restraints.

    Its high-quality design also makes it a practical choice.

    Product Highlights

    With the Fury Thumbcuffs, you’ll also have toecuffs at your disposal for emergent restraints.

    The polished chrome finish looks professional and is relatively durable over time.

    The serial numbering on the cuffs is convenient, allowing me to distinguish my pair from others.

    What To Like About It 

    The polished finish of the cuffs makes them look more professional while being perfectly restrictive.

    They’re also lightweight and adequately sized to fit on your belt.

    What Not To Like About It

    Adjusting the cuffs is more challenging than I’d like, and they’re far more challenging to use with small thumbs.

    Also, the keys are made from malleable metal and are likely to bend over time.


    • Useful and restrictive
    • Lightweight
    • Convenient size
    • Polished finish


    • Not recommended for small thumbs
    • Low-quality keys

    3. Takedown Gear Double Lock Thumbcuffs


    If you’re looking for black thumbcuffs, these are one pair to consider.

    With a sleek and stealthy appeal, it’s ideal for critical situations where minimal restraints are required.

    Product Highlights

    The Takedown Gear Double Lock Thumbcuffs is a useful option for storing in your mag holster.

    I love the double lock benefit that helps ensure suspects aren’t able to writhe their way out of the cuffs.

    However, the double lock’s quality is called into question, as the cuffs could ratchet independently.

    What To Like About It 

    These thumbcuffs are a good option for retired LEOs who still want to carry restraints.

    They have a relatively reliable metal build that helps to reduce struggle.

    Also, the sleek black coating on the metal makes them more discreet.

    What Not To Like About It

    The most significant concern with these cuffs is their malfunctioning double lock.

    It’s likely the device will ratchet on its own, causing significant injury.

    Also, it doesn’t arrive with a carrying case.


    • Useful for a quick restraining
    • Adequate metal construction
    • Reduces struggle
    • Sleek black coating


    • Malfunctioning double lock
    • No carrying case

    4. HWC Police Quality Nickel Plated Steel Thumbcuffs


    If simplicity is in your wheelhouse, I highly recommend the HWC Police Quality Nickel Plated Steel Thumbcuffs.

    You’ll find they have a few similarities to the hinged handcuffs you often carry with you.

    Product Highlights

    These thumbcuffs boast a useful double locking mechanism to prevent them from ratcheting.

    Out of most pairs, these are the closest police-grade gear you can find, especially with the two universal keys.

    If you don’t want to purchase a separate holster, these come with a vinyl carrying case to keep them protected.

    The build quality is average compared to other thumbcuffs since they’re made from high-grade steel.

    Also, the nickel plating adds a shiny exterior that’s resistant to rusting and corrosion.

    What To Like About It

    The most considerable benefit of these thumbcuffs is that they’re made from high-quality materials.

    I also like having two standard keys available for locking and unlocking.

    With the addition of the vinyl case, these lightweight cuffs are easier for me to carry.

    What Not To Like About It

    Unfortunately, the thumbcuffs are particularly challenging to open.

    Also, the nickel plating doesn’t withstand scratches as well as I had hoped.


    • Made from heavy gauge metal
    • Arrive with two standard keys
    • Convenient vinyl case
    • Lightweight and easy to carry


    • Challenging to open
    • Will look used quickly

    5. Ace Martial Arts Professional Steel Police Thumbcuffs


    As the last pair of thumbcuffs to explore, the Ace Martial Arts Professional Steel Police Thumbcuffs is useful.

    It’s designed with law enforcement officers in mind, which is a significant advantage over other models.

    Product Highlights

    These professional thumb cuffs have a unique polished finish using high-quality nickel.

    The foundation of the cuffs is made from heavy-duty steel, which withstands plenty of wear and tear.

    Similar to most restraints, they feature a double locking mechanism, reducing the likelihood of ratcheting.

    If you need a lightweight and compact restraint, these are easy to lock and unlock as needed.

    I appreciate the two additional keys that ensure you always have a backup available.

    What To Like About It 

    The smooth edges on the heavy-duty steel make these cuffs a little more comfortable than others.

    I also found they are easier to lock and stop from ratcheting once you get the hang of them.

    They might be a good backup option for tactical situations or if you’re in a pinch.

    What Not To Like About It

    Without experience, it’s likely these cuffs can cut off the circulation in the fingers.

    It’s essential to refer to the instructions, especially for beginners, to learn about proper restraining.


    • Smooth edges
    • Easy to lock
    • Useful for tactical situations
    • Strong and heavy-duty


    • Can cut off circulation
    • Challenging for beginners

    Thumbcuffs Review: The Conclusion

    If I had to pick, I would choose the Ace Martial Arts Professional Steel Police Thumbcuffs. It has the highest-quality build compared to most models and is sleek and stylish.

    However, opting for traditional handcuffs can be preferable in most, if not all, situations.

    Interested in learning more about handcuffs? Be sure to check out our article about the different types of handcuffs.