Many movies and series show people wearing handcuffs picking them using a small hidden piece of metal, like a bobby pin, paperclip, broken glasses, tweezers and more.

Can this be done in real life, with handcuffs that are used by police and other law enforcement agencies?

  • 9
    Going solely by the profusion of instructional videos on YouTube, I'd say yes.
    – user7920
    Sep 22, 2012 at 17:52
  • 1
    I've seen it demonstrated in person by a police officer in "slow motion" (ie, no mirrors, "real" cuffs, etc) - yep. But I have no documented sources
    – warren
    Sep 26, 2012 at 16:28
  • Should this specify what type of handcuff? How about the rigid in the middle type? or the plastic type? Jan 5, 2017 at 14:20
  • @superphonic - I'm having a bit of trouble finding an instructional video showing how to pick military handcuffs. But the OP did say, "used by police and other law enforcement agencies."
    – Mazura
    Jan 5, 2017 at 21:43
  • @Mazura Rigid handcuffs are used by the police here in the UK Jan 6, 2017 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Yes they can. This will show you how. http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-Handcuffs

Also, fun fact for you. Most handcuffs use a generic key that you could buy so you would not need to pick them, just unlock them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcuffs#Keys


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