Picking handcuffs with laser cut keys

At this year’s HOPE conference, German competitive lockpicker and security researcher [Ray] gave a talk about escaping high security handcuffs that are probably being used by your local police and other LEOs. He’s doing this with 3D printed and laser cut keys because, you know, security through obscurity never works.

Two years ago, [Ray] gave a talk at HOPE on 3D printing Dutch handcuff keys (you can listen to his conference as an .MP3 here). This time around, [Ray] copied the keys of Bonowi and Chubb handcuffs, very popular brands for American police. After obtaining a key from each of the two brands, [Ray] broke out the calipers and micrometer and designed his own versions that can be printed on a RepRap or Makerbot, or just laser cut from a piece of plastic; the perfect material for sneaking one through a metal detector.

The .DXF and .STL files for the handcuff keys will be available on Thingiverse shortly. We’d suggest watching this Thingiverse account (nevermind), as they have the files for [Ray]‘s earlier Dutch handcuff key.


  1. ZatGuy says:

    Very intresting … i know you can buy handcuff keys at many gun shops but this is interesting!

  2. xorpunk says:

    whats funny is they claim to be savvy with locks, but are certain most nations law enforcement are still using ward locks on handcuffs..

    • simon says:

      Why would they bother with anything else – they’d still all be identically keyed and any viable alternative I can think of offhand would be bulkier and more complex.

    • ZatGuy says:

      yeah most departments use very generalized simplistic handcuffs … if you need to restrain someone who is overly dangerous you use zip-cuffs

      most sex shop handcuffs are more complicated than the ones found on police XP
      and more comfortable.

      • xorpunk says:

        FYI to these experts: Rural places in Europe, UK, Russia, and the US are using dimple cylinder and tubular pin. Even in the places they do still use ward, it’s 2-3 ward with removable cylinders like is used on glass case locks in department stores..

        These work on legacy gov. handcuffs, and kids toys

        and I don’t even lockpick..

  3. medix says:

    Zip ties: No key required.

  4. Anon says:

    >> We’d suggest watching this Thingiverse account
    Remove this, please. There’s no signs that account have any relation to [Ray] — account owner just taken files from http://ke.y.nu/ , processed and upload to thingiverse.

  5. Vonskippy says:

    How is it “picking” if you have a KEY?

  6. Alan says:

    If you are cuffed, chances are your hands are behind your back. So this key needs to be in your belt, or the back of your pants.

    To break out of panduit straps (zip locks, cable ties) it would help to be Ceramic, with a sharp edge.

    • anviroid says:

      I’ve found the ideal place to hide a standard cuff key is in a standard watch band. None of the veteran or rookie officers ever thought to search a watchband for a key. Even better some keys have a protrusion on the top that looks similar to the prong you would expect to find going through the holes in the band to fasten it.

  7. darksim905 says:

    I have a Solidworks file of TOOOL’s ultimate handcuff key. I’d be interested if someone out there could get it fabricated and let me know how well it works for them.

  8. F4R4D4Y.dc414 says:

    I’ve been lockpicking as a hobby for well over two years now (well, 30 if you count the years I didnt know anything).

    I’m all in favor of anything lock/security-related offered to the public as information, as long as it’s used for security awareness, locksport or to promote the sport…but EVERY time theres a thread like this ANYWHERE on the internet, MacGuyver, Rambo, and 007 all give their stupid “tips”.

    Tips that are USELESS when they WORK.

    If you are cuffed, chances are you’re going to be watched, or locked in a squad car or holding room.

    By this time, they probably already have your identity, unless you werent driving, not with friends, didnt answer any questions, didnt have your wallet on you, and so on…which leads me to think HOW can they arrest you? Most states if you are walking (even running) at 3AM and a burglar alarm is sounding nearby, and you refuse to identify yourself, they MUST let you go unless you match the description of a suspect.

    That said, if you are in handcuffs, they ALREADY KNOW who you are…and if you do get out, you’ll just be charged with resisting arrest, and any possession or use penalties of whatever youd used to get out of the cuffs. What will you do then? Rambo your way out of the police station and live on the run like Grizzly Adams forever?

    If I were a cop, and I had reason to arrest someone, and I’d found they were UNCUFFED when I’d cuffed them…I’d probably draw my weapon, or tase them.

    Think twice before pulling off something you’d seen on the internet. Buy a cuff set for $19.99 online (S&W Model 100) and join a local TOOOL chapter.

    Better be for more than a traffic ticket!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,353 other followers