A pair of swing cuffs can easily be placed with one hand with a little practice, but handcuffs still need to be placed properly to avoid tampering or escape. Handcuffs placed in front make it much easier to attempt to pick the lock or open them with a universal handcuff key. If you are handcuffed unlawfully, you need to be aware of the following methods of escape.
Escaping from handcuffs is very difficult if your hands are behind your back whether you’re using a handcuff key or another means of escape, so do everything possible to ensure that your hands are in front of you. If your captor insists that your hands be behind you, try the following maneuver:
Sit or lie down and fold your legs and feet as close to your body as possible.
Pull your hands down, under your feet, and up to the front of your body. You’ll be in a better position to perform this maneuver if you keep your body flexible and in good shape.
Practice this regularly if you are in a line of work or often find yourself in situations where being unlawfully detained is a threat.
Once your hands are in the front, produce your handcuff key (if you keep it on your back belt loop, you’ll want to grab it while your hands are still behind your back). Insert the key as far as you can into the keyhole. With a firm grip turn the key clockwise, just far enough to disengage the locking mechanism.
Because the ratchet & pawl mechanism of most modern handcuffs is simple by necessity, picking a handcuff lock is a pretty simple maneuver. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice, a lot. In a tense situation you’ll largely be relying on muscle memory.
Most handcuffs can be unlocked with a single universal handcuff key. Because most types of cuffs can be unlocked with the same key, they can also be picked in much the same way. All you need is a very thin length of wire, and patience.
Keep in mind that this will be much easier if your hands are in front of you. If you are using a bobby pin, straighten it and remove the rubber cap on the end. If using a paperclip, straighten it. It’s wise to keep a prepared bobby pin or other length of wire on your person so you’re not fumbling with getting it ready in the moment.
Bend the end into roughly a 90 degree angle- the easiest way to do this is by inserting the pin or clip halfway into the upper portion of the lock and bending it. This will allow you to wiggle the wire into the lock and apply tension in the appropriate place.
Insert the newly-bent pick into the upper portion of the lock, the curved portion of the pick heading toward the center of the cuffs. Apply enough tension to release the lock. The wire is mimicking a handcuff key pressing against the locking mechanism.
A shim is any small, flat piece of metal about the width of a credit card and narrow enough to fit into the locking mechanism. You can purchase pre-made shims that look very similar to a handcuff key, or even create one from a length of cut soda can. Insert the shim in between the locking mechanism and the teeth. Push on the shim and tighten the cuff a single notch. The cuff should unclick. (This method will not work if the cuffs are double locked.)
The surest method of escaping handcuffs is with a universal handcuff key. Using a handcuff key removes the stress and guesswork of trying to use a shim or pick the lock with wire. You’ll want a handcuff key with an easily-concealable design- a key you can clip onto your clothing or gear is ideal. A tiny inconspicuous handcuff key is a valuable addition to any survival toolkit.
Most models of today’s standard-issue handcuffs can be opened with a universal handcuff key, even across different brands. A universal handcuff key, while a little counter-intuitive at first thought, is intended to create a smoother process for both officer and suspect, and that means a tactical advantage for the average citizen as well.
Universal handcuff keys all have the same simple design: a hollow barrel with a small tooth on the end. When the key is turned, the tooth wedges between the ratchet and the pawl, disengaging the lock mechanism.
The simplicity of the handcuff key design is surprising when you compare it to a house key or a car key, but it’s for a very good purpose. Imagine the hassle of requiring a different unique key for every single pair of handcuffs: it would unnecessarily slow down what can be a very tense and dangerous process for law enforcement officers.
A suspect may be passed between several different officers from initial detainment to prisoner transport to the moment when the cuffs are removed. A universal handcuff key allows for this transition to occur smoothly, and as safely as possible for everyone involved.
Some handcuff keys include a pin on the back end; this is used to engage the double lock on some handcuffs. However, the pin is not necessary to unlock cuffs that have been double locked.
Handcuff keys can be made from metal or certain types of strong plastic (like reinforced nylon). Metal handcuff keys may last longer, but may be easier to see on your person and cannot pass through a metal detector without setting it off. A handcuff key made from a material other than metal can be useful for those who travel frequently to volatile areas and prefer to be prepared for anything.
The fact that anyone at all can purchase handcuffs, and the knowledge that they can be easily overcome with a tiny key of simple design should be reason enough to keep one on your person at all times.
A handcuff key seems like an unconventional thing to carry with you every day unless you are paranoid, or maybe a criminal. Some may even argue that the only people who carry handcuff keys are up to no good. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are 7 reasons why you should be carrying a handcuff key every day:
A set of two TIHK handcuff keys is just $12. Pitted against the cost of everything of value in your home that thieves could make away with- or worse yet, your life- it’s a no brainer.
This Father’s Day, give dad the gift of preparedness with one (or all!) of these slick survival tools.
Whether he’s in law enforcement, the military, or he just likes to be prepared for anything, this tiny tool should be a part of dad’s everyday carry. A 5-pack of these little guys is the perfect quantity for stashing in a few strategic places as well as carrying on his person every day. At less than an inch long it won’t take up any extra space, but the strong clip and gripping teeth ensure it’ll be there if dad ever needs it. Get it here.
Considering a set of handcuff keys for dad? Take your gift to the next level with a Handcuff Trainer Kit. The kit comes with a 10-pack of universal HK2 handcuff keys and a clear working handcuff. The cutaway side allows dad to see the locking mechanism in action and get a clear visual of what’s going on inside most standard handcuffs when the key is inserted. Get it here.
Another tiny tool that packs a big punch! The EvadeClip is a super lightweight and versatile Escape & Evasion tool that features a carbide glassbreaker, a stainless steel rod saw and three-piece lock pick set, and a carbide grit cord saw. The strong clip allows dad to hook it to just about any place on his clothes or gear. Get it here.
This one is perfect for the minimalist. It’s the same size as a credit card, and thus can be easily slipped into dad’s wallet. The UST features several useful tools including a bottle opener, nut wrenches, Philips and flat head screw drivers, and a doorjamb shim. In addition to all of these, the body of the UST contains a multi-use shim and a tensioner, w-rake and triangle pick, optimized to fit just about any lock type. If he needs the lock pick tools, dad can just snap them out of the card. When he’s done they’ll slip easily into a pocket in his wallet for future use. Get it here.
With the thin rubber case in place this one doesn’t look much different from a ballpoint pen, but it’s got some pretty useful secrets. The Escape Stick is like a slimmed-down cousin of the Evadeclip (above), with an added feature: an integrated metal handcuff key at the end of the carbide grit rod saw. It also includes a thin metal saw perfect for cutting through rope or duct tape. Dad can slip it right into his shirt pocket next to a real pen and no one will bat an eyelash. Get it here.
Dear EvadeClip Customers:
A quick note about pre-orders -- our first portion of production is being packed and shipping out via air TODAY. This means that we will be able to start fulfilling early next week. The rest of the inventory will be coming in the following week or so -- we will be able to ship out all pre-orders by the end of this month.
Thanks so much for your continued patience and support. You will receive an emailed shipment confirmation once we have packed your order. If you need to update an address, let us know ASAP, as it will be too late to modify after you've received your shipment confirmation.
The TIHK Team
Dear EvadeClip Customers:
This has been an extremely difficult update to write. We have been anticipating the receipt of EvadeClip production units the last two weeks. While we hadn’t received confirmation of shipment yet we still held out hope that they were going to pull through with what was promised. Today would have been the last day to ship via USPS with delivery by the Christmas on the 25th. We were wrong and this hurts — everyone on the team is bummed that we haven’t been able to keep any promises we’ve made.
While we expect many of you to be extremely unhappy with us (we would be upset too) we please ask that you hold out just a few more weeks to get your product. As you can expect, we are reluctant to provide a shipping estimate, but we are hopeful that they will ship the first week of 2017 based on recent communication.
What we do know for certain is that we will never let this happen again. All the cool products that are in the pipeline for 2017 will have ZERO chance of this occurring again.
Just in case you were planning on giving the EvadeClip for the holidays and obviously can’t now, we’ve created a simple printable PDF that you can provide or show to friends and family. You can download it here: link
We do have some goods news to report, however. The 2nd version of the Handcuff Key (HK2) is finalized and is working fantastically. It works well in all of the handcuffs we tested (much smoother than the HK1) and includes some additional “teeth” on the interior of the clip to keep the product on your person. Everyone who pre-ordered the EvadeClip will be getting at least one of these in your order for free.
We sincerely appreciate all of your support and patience. 2016 has been a growing year for our team and we look forward to the new year (and of course, shipping out all of these EvadeClips!). We hope to repair our brand’s image in your eyes by creating (and delivering) premium products that support our belief in the protection of life, liberty, and property. Our desire is to help citizens protect themselves from those who would unlawfully infringe upon all three. Happy Holidays!
Finally, if you’re tired of waiting and would like a refund please email email@example.com and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements. If you’ve moved and want to provide a new address, please email us ASAP!
Justin (product designer) and the rest of the TIHK Team
Dear EvadeClip Customers:
The last month has been another frustrating blur. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time communicating with our manufacturing partners, mostly on pushing things forward rather than fine tuning the details. So. Many. Delays. Before we go into more detail, here’s a quick video with the very latest.
There are a lot of different pieces of the product coming from various vendors. Here are some of the delays that have us pulling out our hair:
At this point, everything is pretty far along and we keep being told there is very little risk of delays going forward. We’ll keep knocking on wood. As of right now, they believe that the first batches will begin to ship around December 5th and take about a week or so. Our warehouse team is 100% ready to go and it shouldn’t take more than a day to turn around the orders as we receive final product. All orders should be shipped by 12/15.
All that being said, we are deeply concerned that this continued string of delays has significantly impacted our brand’s reputation. Unfortunately, the only thing we can do at this point is to continue to wait until production is finished. We've made several changes behind the scenes to avoid this in the future and look forward launching the many products we have in development/
Again, we sincerely appreciate your patience! If you’re tired of waiting and would like a refund please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements. If you’ve moved and want to provide a new address, please email us ASAP!
Justin (product designer), Rick and the rest of the TIHK Team
Dear EvadeClip Customers:
We will keep this one as short as possible. We’ve started to receive many of the components and everything is coming together very nicely — we are pleased with the end result. We can’t wait to ship these out to you all as soon as possible!
We ended up having to make some tool modifications on the main body piece and received those samples this week. They have been approved and are in production. There are two main items that are holding us up at this point:
Given this, we expect to start shipping the first week of November and finish by mid-month for all open orders.
Address Updates — we’re going to keep it simple. I’ve you’ve moved and want to provide a new address or want to double check the address for your order please email us (email@example.com).
Again, we sincerely appreciate your patience this has been quite a journey making something so awesome. If you’re tired of waiting and would like a refund please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements.
Justin (product designer) and the rest of the TIHK Team
Dear Evade Clip Customers:
The past month has gone by much too fast as our product team has been scrambling to move the ball forward with the EvadeClip. Obviously, we are significantly later than anyone would have hoped since we got going but all things are pointing to a fantastic end product.
I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting your pre-ordered product and we sincerely appreciate your patience thus far. You’re going to have to wait several more weeks as we button down the final details. We fully expect to begin shipping out no later than the end of October.
The main hold-up at this point is the glass break component and it's been frustrating. We anticipated in the last update of having these by the end of September but here we are still waiting for final production. The process of getting production samples on this component has been very slow especially with this item coming from China (as we mentioned before, this is our only option for this component). Throw in the “Mid-Autumn Festival” where they didn’t respond to our emails for a week and you can see why we’re frustrated.
During that period of radio silence, we engaged a firm that specializes in sourcing and procuring components like these from Asia. The work they’ve done in the last week has been amazing and they’ve found a reliable source that will have them ready to ship from Asia around the 14th of next month with arrival the following week.
As for the rest of the components (all made in the USA), those are moving along well and the injection mold tooling for the main body components is being sampled and tested right now. There is a short production timeframe after we see samples next week on Tuesday.
As of right now, given no further surprises, we expect to have all the components ready for assembly around the 15th of October with the exception of the glass break coming the following week. We anticipate starting to ship these as soon as the glass break comes in and we can start to attach them. It is highly likely that we have all of the pre-orders shipped by the end of October!
Again, we sincerely appreciate your patience and are going to be including another extra handcuff key (Version 2) with each EvadeClip pre-order! If you’re tired of waiting and would like a refund please email email@example.com and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements.
Justin (product designer) and the rest of the TIHK Team
Ps. Now that we have a fairly firm schedule, we will be asking for address confirmations in the next week or so.
Last Updated: October 10, 2017
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