Different uses of handcuffs
The word "hand cuff" conjures up an image of a wrongdoer being hand cuffed by the police, and thereafter the police reading him his rights. But those are not the only handcuffs that are around. They also have many other uses. Have a look at some of those, and see if you noticed them, or not.
1. Handcuffs as jewelry
Ladies would know them well. They do not qualify as bangles because they are not worn up the fingers and palm like traditional bangles. Nor are these bracelets, hanging loosely around the wrist. Instead there is a small opening on one side of these handcuffs, and this, when stretched a little bit allows the lady to insert her hand in the cuff. The design closes back leaving just that much gap once more or even overlapping, for removing the handcuffs when needed. It is amazing how accurate calculation of tension in the metallic design can create such fascinating pieces of jewelry such as this. Some of such hand cuffs may have clasps or chains for fastening, but usually, these jewelry pieces just need to be pressed slightly on sides, if at all, for being held at the wrist. Jewelry designers embellish these handcuffs with stones and other carvings. Some of these handcuffs are longer covering a few inches upwards towards elbow from the wrist. Usually, these handcuffs are made from metals and silver colored alloys.
2. Handcuffs made for security purposes
Conventional handcuffs are made from metals such as steel and iron, though carbon steel, and aluminum are also used for handcuffing the criminals. The purpose of metallic handcuffs is to restrict the movements of the person handcuffed. But similar handcuffs also form part of the costumes, especially during Halloween season. Latest materials used to make such handcuffs are synthetic polymers. Such plastic handcuffs are used by security personnel at airports.
About closing mechanisms
A rachet usually forms the closing mechanism in these cuffs. Once locked with the rachet, the only way to open it is with the key. Such handcuffs may also have other locking forms such as
i. Push pin in which a peg is inserted to secure the ends of the cuff;
ii. Lever system, which just snaps and locks; and
iii. Slot lock system which is similar to push pin system. The difference is that that the slot is moved to a side, and this prevents the cuff being opened.
Some of the handcuffs may have double locking systems as well. In addition, these locking systems are nowadays bullet proof as well.
There are three distinct varieties of these handcuffs. These handcuffs differ based on how the two cuffs are linked.
a. Linked with a chain
This type of handcuffs is seen quite often on television programs. Usually, these handcuffs are made from thick gauge stainless steel or aluminum. As the name suggest the two cuffs for the different wrists are linked with a small metal chain.
b. Linked with hinges
These handcuffs are more painful than those with chains, because they are linked with hinges, and do not offer any flexibility.
The materials used to make these handcuffs, and their locking systems are similar to those in handcuffs linked with a small chain.
c. Bar handcuffs
These handcuffs are made from iron or alloy bars. These are not linked at all but can be linked using chains.
Desirable features in handcuffs
Handcuffs used to cuff the wrongdoer needs to be rugged and lock precisely because the person cuffed would try to wriggle out and break free. If he or she does succeed, then the lives of officers on beat would be at risk. Any such handcuff should also fit perfectly on wrists of different sizes. Some people are blessed with smaller wrists, so they can wriggle out. The weight of handcuffs should not be too much as the officers would have to carry them around for long hours, each day. In general, 18 oz., is considered reasonable weight for a pair but slightly lighter ones would be easier to use. Handcuffs are also used at sea, and saltwater in the atmosphere can damage the cuffs' metal, especially iron, aluminum, or steel. To prevent such things from happening manufacturers have started anodizing the metals.
Who uses such cuffs:
Usually the cops use such metallic handcuffs to restrain any person, but these cuffs are also used by personnel of armed forces and forest officers. Similarly, security personnel may also carry such cuffs or keep them in dashboards.
Where to buy such cuffs:
Because such handcuffs are not used regularly by commoners, it is difficult to buy them from shops. However, Internet has now made it possible for people to order handcuffs. The choice has also become wider because now more entrepreneurs are manufacturing products such as this. Quality of metal or alloy and locking arrangements are important in these handcuffs. Stringent quality standards need to be maintained considering the risks involved.
3. Handcuffs used by adults as sex toys
Some adults prefer to use restraining methods such as tying the person down while having sex. Obviously, such handcuffs are different from the handcuffs that police officers use. Police officers use cuffs to ensure bruising of hands if the criminal is trying to escape, whereas the objective in handcuffs used during sex is not so cruel. These differ in material and clasps. Leather, plastics, elastics, and such materials are used for making such "bondage cuffs" as they are commonly known.