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What Are The Different Types Of Handcuffs?

Handcuffs are an important piece of equipment for security personnel, the police and other law enforcement agencies. They are used as a method of detainment to ensure that criminals cannot harm the public when being arrested or when being transported.

There are several different handcuff types that are used by professionals working in security and law enforcement. Below are a few of the different kinds of handcuffs, how they work, and how they are used.

Hinged Handcuffs

Hinged handcuffs are commonly used with aggressive, argumentative, or intoxicated arrestees. The hinged mechanism allows for little mobility and even getting one handcuff onto the arrestee can allow you to use defensive techniques if they are needed.

Hinged handcuffs are generally considered stronger than chain handcuffs which could (in rare circumstances), be broken by arrestees with lots of strength or who are under the influence of stimulants. They’re also convenient to store and can be folded in half to sit inside a handcuff pouch.

Chain Handcuffs

Chain handcuffs are the kind of handcuffs you are most likely to see being carried and used by law enforcement. They are connected by a chain which allows the arrestee a little more mobility and can be used on people with larger wrists. Though there have been cases of arrestees breaking chained handcuffs, it is not a common occurrence.

Chain handcuffs are easy to use and can be put onto an arrestee with just one hand free. Similar to hinged handcuffs, they are easy to store as well.

Bar Handcuffs

With a bar connecting the two cuffs, bar handcuffs are strong and allow for very little mobility. They are commonly used during the transportation of detainees and are generally saved for non-compliant individuals for extra safety.

Bar handcuffs can be used for pain-compliance techniques and may offer more safety during an arrest. Like hinged handcuffs, they cannot be broken by aggressive arrestees, but they are much less convenient to carry as the bar does not fold in two.

Transport Handcuffs

Transport handcuffs are designed for safety in moving detainees. Transport handcuffs may differ between law enforcement agencies, but many utilize a waist chain and may also use leg irons to ensure that a detainee is secured during transport.

High-security detainees may also be fitted with a black box which is fitted over the handcuff to protect the keyhole and prevent any tampering.

Leg Irons

Leg irons, or leg cuffs, are placed on the ankles of detainees to severely limit their mobility, allowing them only to walk in small strides and halting their ability to run. Leg irons are considered less restrictive than handcuffs.

Disposable Restraints

Disposable restraints are used in situations when a large number of people are being arrested. They’re usually made of plastic and are easy to place on an arrestee’s wrists. They’re also very easy to cut off.

Disposable restraints should only be used when other options are not available as they are not considered as safe or as sturdy as other kinds of handcuffs.

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