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How To Escape From Handcuffs

November 21, 2021 // 12 minute read

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How To Escape From Handcuffs

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

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Overview

I bet you agree that a good day can go bad at any given time.

So, being prepared for the worst case scenario becomes important, right?

For example, you find yourself chain in a place, and you don’t have any idea how to get out.

Let’s say,

If you find yourself kidnapped…

Where handcuffs are being used to restrain you. It’s important that you know how to break out.

Most people don’t know, but one handcuff key can get you out of all handcuffs because they’re all keyed the same.

But… what if you don’t have one?

That’s where everything becomes mental – you start to think of infinite possibilities for how to escape handcuffs.

Breathe in and out because we’ve got it all covered for you!

Are you ready?

Let’s lockout…

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3 Ways To Escape From Handcuffs

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Before diving into 3 ways how to escape from handcuffs…

Here’s what you need to know about it…

There are triple-stranded ratchets that allow cuffs to close in one direction but lock up and prevent the bar from opening the other way.

When the key is inserted and turned inward, you’ll be able to see that it caught on the ratchets and pushed them down out of the way.

Thus, by disengaging the locking mechanism, nothing is holding the cuffs together. That’s when they fall right open.

As a rule of thumb…

Go in the top edge of the keyhole on the one side of the cuffs, then turn toward the wide end to open.

Now,

This method to pick a lock is a little more challenging and intimidating if you’re the one wearing them, but you’ll have your freedom within seconds with a little practice.

There’s one more thing you need to know about cuffs – double locked handcuffs.

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Here’s the thing…

The sides of most cuffs have two little pins, and when pushed all the way, they’re locked in place so they can’t be opened or closed.

Professional handcuffs are made this way to keep the ratchets from clenching up and causing nerve damage to prisoners, and making lock picking a little more difficult.

The double locking mechanism slides into place at the bottom. To disengage this, turn the key in the other direction, then double unlock the cuffs.

Then you can open it the same way as before.

That’s it.

Let’s go back to the question – what if you don’t have a handcuff key?

You need to make your own – here are three techniques to bypass cuffs other than using the key…

Escaping Handcuffs with a Makeshift Key - Bobby Pin

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Now, 

This method might be impossible, but picking is one of the main ways to unlock a cuff.

Picking is slightly difficult to explain because you need to know what you’re feeling on the inside while being restrained.

If an impossible situation comes your way – you need to be deadly good at this.

If you’re an escape artist – you’ve tried this already. 

But, if you’re a noob…

You might want to get something sturdy enough to go in between the ratchet teeth and the ratchet itself.

To start…

  • Find a bobby pin, paper clip, or piece of wire

Small but terrible, indeed!

Who would’ve thought that these little pieces of things would get our six to escape metal handcuffs?

Here we’ll focus more on bobby pins.

If you’ve watched Riverdale – the character of Betty (Lili Reinhart) taught us how to use bobby pins, and it seems like a must-have wherever you go.

Whether it’s a legal investigation or not…

A simple robbery, most importantly, an escape plan from a violent criminal or kidnapper.

These things will get the job done – here’s how.

  • Straighten out the metal
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Here’s the thing…

The sides of most cuffs have two little pins, and when pushed all the way, they’re locked in place so they can’t be opened or closed.

Professional handcuffs are made this way to keep the ratchets from clenching up and causing nerve damage to prisoners, and making lock picking a little more difficult.

The double locking mechanism slides into place at the bottom. To disengage this, turn the key in the other direction, then double unlock the cuffs.

Then you can open it the same way as before.

That’s it.

Let’s go back to the question – what if you don’t have a handcuff key?

You need to make your own – here are three techniques to bypass cuffs other than using the key…

Bobby pin: Make sure that you remove the plastic tip. Pull it apart using your thumb and forefinger to straighten the metal.

Paper clip/wire: Bite the small end of the clip to have a small dent. Unfold the side to create a little handle.

Hold the clip between your third and fourth fingers and guide the head of the paper clip into the key hole, then use your thumb to turn the makeshift handle and free your wrists.

Once you have one hand lose, it’s really easy to get the other one freed up as well. In just a few seconds, you had your daring escape.

Also, 

You can uncurl or unbend this material and pull it open using two hands to make a straight piece.

  • Bend the tip of your bobby pin, paper clip, or wire
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

After straightening out the metal,

Make a 90-degree angle by bending the top using your finger. It should fit halfway into the handcuff lock. 

  • Place the tip into the keyhole and bend the metal backward
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Hold your horses…

Once you place the tip into the keyhole, feel around the locking device inside. Direct the tip into the lock and bend your key backward to make another 90-degree angle.

You’ll notice that the end of the key is now in a “Z-shape.”

  • Insert the “key” in the hole
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

If you’re handcuffed behind – feel the hole before inserting the makeshift key. 

Don’t panic. 

Move the bent part into the hole so that it’ll point toward the locking arm. It should be at a 90-degree angle to the keyhole.

Like in movies – you should be patient…

Move the key in different directions to lift the locking mechanism until it clicks open. This should work if the cuffs are not in a double lock. 

What if it’s double locked?

Here’s what you need to do…

  • Unlock an extra lock for double-lock handcuffs
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

The use of double lock cuffs means extra security, which is good for criminals but scary if you’re kidnapped.

The good news is…you can still escape from these types of handcuffs.

To do this,

Insert your makeshift key into the other side of the keyhole, pointing away from the center of the handcuffs. Keep moving the key until you feel or hear a slight click.

Remove and reinsert it in the opposite direction to unlock the basic locking mechanism.

Find a great place to hide these tools… 

Slip it in your pair of shoes, between your fingers, a silicone scar in your body, a watch, back or front pocket, or anywhere near the reach of your hands.

You’ll be able to break free…

Escaping Standard Handcuffs with a Shim

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

The first thing you need to know is that a shim only worked when cuffs were single-locked.

Suppose you’re familiar with the rogue’s ring – a titanium ring that has a built-in shim. Perfectly works but is quite an expensive item for some.

The good thing is…

There are cheaper ways to have a shim. Like, discreetly attached a hidden handcuff key of a shim at the end of your shoelaces.

A trick you might want to do, right?

But, here is another method to escape using a shim…

  • Find a flat piece of metal

You can create a shim using hair barrettes that are roughly the same size and shape on two sides.

Just remove the middle portion and break the edges of the clip using your thumb and forefinger by going back and forth.

Then,

You’ll notice that the bands broke differently. Don’t use the one with a slight curve because you won’t be able to unlock cuffs in that case.

You want to have a smooth and thin end – the thinnest, the better and more effective escape.

  • Insert the shim between the locking mechanism and the teeth
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

The idea is to slide the shim into the ratchet teeth to stick into the cuff along the rim.

If you’re handcuffed behind, feel to locate this area to insert the shim properly.

  • Tighten the cuff and push the shim
How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

When you securely put the shim in place, tighten the cuff and push the shim forward.

Here’s the thing,

The danger is if you fail to unlock the cuffs using this method and go in too many clicks, you’ll end up restrained more tightly than before.

But, if you’re successful, the cuffs would click to open within seconds.

Escaping Zip Ties

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

Alright, let’s move on to zip ties…

Let’s say somebody tied you using zip ties. Now, this process can be slightly more difficult than the other two methods – and a bit painful.

You could also use a shim to get between the ridges to slide it right off the bat like the handcuffs.

However, you need to use more force to release yourself or the other person from cuffs.

  • Use your teeth to tighten the zip ties, then break it

Here we should learn that the more it tightens, the easier it’s to release.

First,

Position the joints of the zip tie in the middle of your wrists and pull it really tight using your teeth. Make sure that there’s equal tension and force between your wrists.

Then, 

Stand up. Raise your arms above your head and chest out.

Come down and strike it against your chest as hard as you can.

Just imagine Hulk when he’s fuming mad – you need to be like that.

You could picture yourself like a crazy person, but it doesn’t matter as long as you survived.

  • Use a shim to override the locking mechanism

If you don’t have that much force…

You can insert a shim into the locking bar to unlock the zip tie. Try to use a bobby pin, a small pin, a credit card, or anything else you can find.

  • Use your shoelaces to “saw” through the zip ties.

If your wrist is tied in front of you, then your abductor leaves the room… And you’re wearing shoes with laces, reach down and untie them. Use your fingers and teeth to thread one shoelace through the zip tie. 

Then make a knot to a shoelace from your other foot to connect between your wrist. Lift your feet and kick with all your might until the lace “saws” through the zip tie.

But…

For example, your abductor uses duct tape or a rope to restrain you…

You can also carry a hidden razor blade in your body by wrapping it up using duct tape. This way, you can easily get the blade and prevent yourself from cutting.

Razor blades will help you get out of duct tape, rope, twine, etc.

If your hands are bound together…

Whether it’s in front or behind – you can always slide down to your shoes to get some survival things.

Related: Survival Gear

Conclusion - How To Escape From Handcuffs

How To Escape From Handcuffs - Bugoutbill.com

You either pick it, shim it, or pry it apart.

Well, now you know how to escape from heavy-duty professional-grade cuffs. Just make sure you use your head and only use this method for entertainment or bust loose from the bad guys.

Most handcuffs have complicated locks or a double lock, but that doesn’t mean you should ever try escaping from the police.

If you do, 

It’ll make your life a lot more difficult, so it’s just better to respect law enforcement and stay out of trouble.

But on the other hand, if you ever get kidnapped, held hostage, or abused, it’s important to have these methods with you.

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