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What Handcuffs Are For and How They’re Used

What Handcuffs Are For and How They're Used

Watch any crime or law enforcement television show or movie, and you’re bound to see one object in particular: handcuffs. These security devices are crucial to restrain criminals and suspects before taking them in for questioning. Still, few people know how they work. Read on to learn what handcuffs are for and how they’re used today, especially in law enforcement or entertainment.

What Handcuffs Are

Handcuffs are devices used to restrain criminals or those suspected of malicious intent. They secure the wrists in proximity, which prohibits the person from successfully using their hands. These cuffs link together through a chain or hinge. While the most obvious use for handcuffs is security, they are popular novelties in magic acts too. Magicians try to break out of high-quality handcuffs with only a small pointy object, like a paper clip or toothpick. This trick implies the magician uses only minimal tools to escape a suspected inescapable trap.

How They Work

Conventional handcuffs work using a single strand loop, rivet, double-strand loop, double-lock, and ratchet teeth on the single-strand loop. Once placed around the wrists, the ratchet teeth segment passes through the double lock to secure it in place. A swivel ensures the wrists aren’t secure but don’t injure the person. Additionally, the keyhole allows the owner to unlock the cuffs if necessary. It’s important for anyone who uses handcuffs to know how they function; these practice handcuffs that allow you to see their locking mechanisms.

Types of Handcuffs

There are also several types of handcuffs to know. The most common is metal, as these are the most secure and durable. Metal cuffs come in three varieties: chain, hinged, and rigid. With chain cuffs, a short chain bonds them together. Hinged cuffs are more secure but allow less wrist mobility, and rigid cuffs are bulky but popular with law enforcement because of their durability. There are also plastic handcuffs. Also known as zip-ties or riot cuffs, these are lightweight, cost-efficient, and disposable options during large-scale situations like protests, riots, concerts, or transportation.

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