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Opinions on ASP cuffs

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Glocker1984, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Glocker1984


    Jan 13, 2007
    Hey all-

    So I wanted everyones opinion on the ASP cuffs. They've been out awhile. Almost everyone in my dept has switched to them, and one of my Sgt's swears by 'em. So what does everyone think?

    I'm currently running with my old trusty S&W Model 100's, but always looking for the better gear.

    If this is a repost, my deepest apologizes. :wavey:
  2. Kuroineko


    Oct 23, 2001
    I have a set that I just started using. Now let me preface anything I say with this....
    My current duties make it less likely that I will use them frequently.

    I was using S&W cuffs, and they served well for many years, nothing wrong with them. I changed over to the ASP cuffs when my Sgt. and a friend went to the ASP course and came back with many positive things to say.

    What I like about them is:

    Light weight.
    Not prone to rust.
    Key hole on both sides of the body.
    Color coded double lock makes it easy to see if they are locked.


    Not as smooth as steel when opening/closing. Loading the cuffs as you would with steel ones doesn't work as well with the ASP's.
    Size of the ASP cuffs will require one to buy new pouches, made by ASP. Not the best looking gear IMO.
    Might be easier to miss feeding the locking arm into the cuff body in a struggle. It can happen with steel cuffs too, but seems more likely to happen with the ASP's. I haven't had it happen, just my impression that it could.

  3. cwr


    Feb 25, 2008
    I switched over to the ASP cuffs and really like them. Mine are very smooth and really like the easy of double locking and release. As stated you will probably need new cuff case(s) for the ASP cuffs and options there are somewhat limited. I'm very happy with them as are my prisoner transport guys when I hand one off to them. It makes it very easy to swap cuffs out and such.
  4. I have been using ASP cuffs exclusively for the last 3 years. I haven't had the locking arm miss the cuff body yet. They are also very smooth, but I did have the break them in. They work for me, but they might not work for everybody.

    Trying to find an asp specific case is a pain because the cases made by ASP suck.
  5. S.O.Interceptor

    S.O.Interceptor Khem-Adam

    Dec 13, 2004
    The Rock of Eternity
    They're light weight, easy to use, and smooth.

    I used to use them and loved them........... right up until they completely jumped the track and missed the lock while wrestling a violent suspect into cuffs. As soon as he was cuffed he quit fighting immediately. Then I looked down and realized he wasn't secure at all. I threw on another set while he was being still. I was lucky. If he had realized he wasn't secure, he could've caused some damage with a swinging pair of open cuffs on him.

    It should be noted that this was 4-5 years ago, so they may have improved the rigidity, I don't know.

    If they could make them strong enough that the lock can't jump the track, I'd use them exclusively.
  6. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I really need to save my write up on why I think they're not worth the time. A lot of guys really like them, and if they work for you, great. Here goes:

    1) The things are tremendously large compared to a standard pair of cuffs, which means that they won't fit in to most regular handcuff cases. The duty gear manufacturers have done a good job of getting cases out there by this point, and that's good, because some of the ASP brand ones look like cheap junk. If you want to wear a double case, you should be aware that it will stick out even farther than a reguar double.

    2) It is far too easy to flex the single strand outside of the double strand, which not only prevents cuffing, but the binding effect can get the assembly pretty well stuck. This is not impossible to do with good 'ol steel, but it's much easier with the ASP cuffs.

    3) The double keyways and single turn unlocking make the cuffs easier to unlock for you, and easier to pick for them. I was always taught to cuff with the keyways up (and double locking pins out) because it: a) made it easier to remove the cuffs and b) made it harder for the cuffed person to stick things in the lock holes. This is obviously not possible with the ASP cuffs. Further, the "double lock" feature on handcuffs is supposed to serve two purposes: a) prevent the cuffs from tightening by locking the single strand in place and b) make the cuffs harder to pick by requiring the key to be turned both ways. The second part (the actual security feature) is not present on ASP cuffs.

    4) Sliding double locking bars suck. They've always sucked, and they still suck. The only thing that the ASP double lock slider has going for it is that it's bright colored, so you can at least see that you're ****ing it up.

    5) The polymer edges on the inside of the double strand can, and will cause cuts if the cuffs are appplied too tightly or the person is overly "active" in them. I've seen it with my own eyes. This may be something that has been fixed in later models, but all of the ones that I handled had a pretty good edge on them on the inside. That's troublesome.

    6) On that same note, plastic is fairly porous, which makes decontamination something more of a concern. While that just means you have to clean them more thouroughly if they have been bled on, blood tends to stain the plastic on the things, which means that the cuffs may appear to be contaminated when they are not. I had a coworker toss a pair in the trash after getting blood on them because he did not feel that he would ever be able to be sure that there was not fresh contamination on them.

    7) Older pairs could be "flexed" apart. This should be eliminated by now, but I don't get how you put a product to market that can be taken apart by somebody of moderate to above average strength with nothing but a little elbow grease and determination. Handcuffs are a temporary restraint, obviously, but this was ridiculous.

    I guess all in all, I see these things as an answer looking for a problem. Their success is a product of good marketing and lots of free pairs given away in training classes. The only thing that I can really say that I like about them is the flat portion on the single strand, but I also don't think that it provides any real benefit in 99% of situations. I do agree with those that have stated that they have a very smooth action, but I have found that most S&W and Hiatts cuffs have actions that are equally smooth or better.

    Your mileage may very, but I'm gonna stick with my "outdated" metal Peerless and S&W handcuffs.
  7. JohnnyReb

    JohnnyReb Lifetime Member

    Sep 20, 2004
    My opinion is they are garbage for the reasons above. Smith and Wessons all the way.
  8. rookie1


    Mar 3, 2009
    They are overpriced IMO. Upon appointment to my current dept. I already had a pair or peerless with my name on it and my dept. gave me another pair. I'm happy with them and see no need to spend money on these. Some people at my department have a pair of ASP hinged cuffs. They will stick one end between their inner belt and then let them fold over onto their outter belt. This appears good and bad. Yea it is easy to get them off your belt and throw on someone, but if its easy for you, it's easy for them. They could be taken off there and used as a weapon real fast. I'll stick to what I got and will buy another pair of peerless when it comes time to replace.
  9. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Lets see:

    normal pouches wont fit them, so double expensive
    and jump track with the slightest bit of resistance form the BG

    I vote no. I have had to back up a few officers in a fight using these things and the plastic frame will torque in a fight and not lock up.

    They suck. Hiatt, SW, and Peerless been working good for a long time. I prefer SW, but own 4 pairs of Peerless as back ups.
  10. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    happend to me too :( now i use peerless hinge :)
  11. JTipper.45


    Nov 14, 2004
    Yep, this should be a sticky for everytime this comes up. I know there are some die hard ASP cuff lovers out there. My opinions and others are just that...opinions. However...I have had a bad experience with a set right after they come out and wound up in a good struggle for several minutes with NO backup anywhere near. All because of the slack between the pawl and double strands. I think that they have a place, and make good back up cuffs in a pinch, but after my incident I will never use anything other than a solid set of cuffs on my belt again.
  12. SpoiledBySig

    SpoiledBySig Millennium Member

    May 6, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    I have a pair of ASP chain link cuffs (yellow). Like DaBigBR mentioned, I really don't like the sliding old style double-lock slots (I prefer to carry the Peerless punch hole double-locking style).


    Also, you'll have to buy a special sized handcuff case for them. What is great about them is the flat sides, making it easier to wrap around wrists and the different colors.

    When I used to arrest more than one person and a different officer had to transport the prisoner (with my cuffs on them), I never seemed to get my cuffs back,somehow lost or redistributed. A colored pair of handcuffs makes them remember who to return them to.
  13. ray9898


    May 29, 2001
    I love mine. I have one hinged and one chain that have been in use for about 4 years. I have not had any problem with either. I realize the arm can be moved outside lock if torqued but I have never experienced it. The cuffs are so smooth that once you apply them they just snap closed. Really no fighting to it.
  14. DaBigBR, that is a very good review. Now I'm considering getting a pair of Peerless (colored) maybe pink.
  15. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
  16. Newcop761

    Newcop761 CLM

    Jan 29, 2001
    In Existential Crisis
    I used a pair for a few years with zero problems.

    FYI: They do fit in an bianchi accumold elite single open top cuff case.

    Outdoor Hub mobile.
  17. 9x94


    Jul 24, 2011
    ASP cuffs- I'm not a fan. I prefer cuffs with a "push pin" double lock like Hiatts or Peerless.
  18. buddah


    Oct 3, 2004
    Had one pair of ASP cuffs, Got them at ASP Instructors course. Used for a month and went back to my double cuff pouch w/ pair of S&W and pair of peerless. Traded the ASP for Surefire E1L with another cop in my agency. Wish they brought back the aluminum cuffs from american handcuff company.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011