Course Content
H-CUFF® (Hands-On Control Using Functional Force)
About Lesson

Handcuffing Tips

b) Gripping the Cuffs

Handcuffs are all the same size, but human wrists are not.

Cuffs were designed so that the shoulders of the cuff base could rest against the limiting finger and the web/base of the applying hand when it the chain is gripped.

Gripping the base of the handcuff adds some additional control over the cuffs, but the proximal finger should not extend into the path of the single strand as it can be cut when the handcuff is closed, especially if the cuffs are brand new (i.e., the teeth are sharp).

Given that only one cuff can be used at a time, bigger hands that are obligated to extend beyond the expanse of the chain, can grip the unused cuff with impunity (gripping the active cuff comes at the officer’s own peril).

The advantage of being able to grip with the chain only, is that the second cuff can be applied without adjusting your grip.

Officers with big meat hooks cannot avoid this required grip re-adjustment.

When the limiting fingers are butted up against the handcuff shoulders and the chain is squeezed, the tension in the fist formed by doing so causes the fingers to flare out and thereby snug the cuffs to your hand.

The H-CUFF® method uses the standard single strands forward method to complete the handcuffing process, so it is easy to set up and apply.

Use whatever method you want, but remain heads-up when acquiring, gripping, and applying your handcuffs.

Staring downward at your cuffs when putting them on a grounded arrestee makes you look weak and open to cowardly assault.

A big hand can accomplish the same effect in the active cuff by initially gripping the chain abutting this active cuff closely and tightly, so that the resultant tension keeps the cuff in place.

When taking hold of the handcuffs, one should not have to look at where they are held on the belt, and if confirmation of the grip is needed to align the single strands forward or backwards to facilitate the application of the cuffs in whatever method of cuffing you are using, do so with the cuffs up in front of your face so that at least it appears that you are heads up to deter cheap shots (like a thrown bottle) directed at you.

PRO TIP: Your ability to disengage quickly can help resist these types of assaults, so stay off the ground (or get up as soon as possible).

Keep your hands off the handcuff chain when transporting prisoners on foot, as a struggle can lead to finger injuries.

The chain feels no pain, so use a rear, double-twistlock escort-grip instead (do your fingers a favour and learn this escort lock!).