DON'T BUY CHEAP HANDCUFFS.
Most cheap cuffs can be easily broken or forced open. A good pair of handcuffs bought
in a police-supply store or ordered from a reputable specialty supplier will cost little
mere than junk cuffs sold by porn shops. For modern-style U.S.-made cuffs, look for those
from Peerless, Smith & Wesson, Jay-Pee, or the American Handcuff Co. The best
old-style (non-swing-through) cuffs are Hiatts (made in England).
DON'T GET TAKEN BY RIP-OFF STORES.
Smith & Wesson high-security cuffs cost a bit more, as do specialty models such as
DON'T BUY CUFFS WITHOUT A DOUBLE-LOCK MECHANISM.
Usually, the set-look is closed by inserting the pointed tip of the handcuff key into a
small hole on the top of the lock ease of the cuffs; the setlock is opened by turning the
key backward in the normal keyhole. Don't buy cuffs with lever-operated set-locks, which
are typical of cheap manufacture. Lever-operated set-locks can easily open unintentionally
and become loose and unreliable after a period of use.
ALWAYS DOUBLE-LOCK CUFFS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN APPLIED.
Cuffs that have not been double-locked can tighten on the wrists if the prisoner
struggles or changes position and thereby cause damage to the nerves.
DON'T MAKE CUFFS TOO TIGHT.
The point of steel bondage is that it doesn't *have* to be tight to be secure. Don't
tighten cuffs more than necessary; as long as the cuff won't slip off, it's tight enough.
It should still be easy to move the cuff on your prisoner's wrist after it is locked and
set; assuming no tension is applied to the fastening point, the cuff bows should not press
into the skin at any point.
NEVER SUSPEND YOUR PRISONER BY STEEL RESTRAINTS OR MAKE THE PRISONER LIE ON HIS/HER
This can cause serious nerve damage. Suspending the arms above the head with steel
cuffs, even with feet or body firmly planted on the floor, can cause damage if the tension
is great or the position held for more than a few minutes.
DON'T APPLY HANDCUFFS BY SWINGING THEM TOWARD THE WRISTS FROM A DISTANCE.
You can break someone's wrist or arm that way. The outer edge of the cuff should just
touch the wrist as you apply it; a short downward snap will swing the bow up through the
locking part of the cuff and then back down and around the wrist. Practice snapping cuffs
onto yourself until you get the technique down right. If it hurts you, it's going to hurt
CUFF THE HANDS BEHIND THE BACK.
Unless secured otherwise, cuffs attached in front can be a dangerous weapon. For s/m
scenes where the highest security is less important than minimizing unnecessary danger to
the bottom, it is better to fasten handcuffs behind the back so the palms are facing each
other, making any tension on the cuffs affect only the less-vulnerable outer sides of the
wrists. Palms-out behind the back offers better security (that's why cops are trained to
do it that way) but is riskier and less comfortable.
DON'T TIGHTEN LEG IRONS.
Leg irons don't have to be tight to stay on. If they are, the bottom won't be able to
walk, and the pressure could damage the Achilles tendons or bruise the ankles. Leg irons
over boots are best if the prisoner will have to move around in them.
KEEP EXTRA KEYS HANDY
Nothing can ruin a scene quicker than trying to remove the bottom's restraints (or
those you've put on yourself) and finding that you can't locate the keys.