Top 9 Best Handcuff Keys in 2021 Reviews

Handcuff keys are used by law enforcement officers to unlock cuffs from restrained lawbreakers. They are usually universal and can be used to open most handcuffs. This allows easier transportation of suspects. Some come as single keys and others as a bunch. However, maximum handcuffs require special keys. It is important to note that handcuff keys do not open thumb cuffs. If you have been looking for the right key and you haven’t been successful, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. We have put together some 9 of the best handcuffs keys and factors you need to consider before purchasing one.

list of Top 9 Best Handcuff Keys in 2021 Reviews:

9. ZAK Tool ZT-11P Round Swivel Key, Handcuff Key Carbon Fiber Body

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  • By: Zak Tool Handcuff Keys

ZAK Tool ZT-11P Round Swivel Key comes in black color. It is made from heated treated stainless steel therefore it is very sturdy and durable. It is compatible with most handcuffs. I work in Correction and Law Enforcement department and I decided to buy this handcuff key after losing several. What I like about is that it comes with a key ring that allows you to attach it to a clip. Therefore, I don’t worry about losing my keys again. It makes uncuffing easier too.


  • Made from heated stainless steel
  • It is compatible with most handcuffs.

 8. Streamlight 63001 CuffMate Flashlights with Dual LED Handcuff Key Black, 3-1/4-Inch

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  • By: Streamlight Handcuff Keys

The Streamlight CuffMate key is a versatile key that also doubles up as a flashlight with bright dual LED bulbs. Each bulb offers a 100,000-hour life of high-intensity stream light. This makes it easy for unlocking handcuffs and double locking at night or in the dimly lit environment. The LED flashlight is powered by 2 long-lasting CR2016 lithium batteries that allow 7.5 hours of run time.

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The Streamlight CuffMate is made of practically durable fiberglass-reinforced polymer. It features a rotating key connector and a key ring for convenience. In addition, it is compatible with most handcuff brands. It measures 3 1/4-inches long by 1-inch wide and weighs about 4 ounces. Lastly, this handcuff key is packaged with batteries.


  • This key is made of strong alloy steel
  • Handcuff Key is lightweight and extremely durable

7. Police CARBON FIBER Pocket Universal Handcuff Key 4″ Long with Clip

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When I started patrol years back, I decided to buy this handcuff key. This handcuff is very light and fits in my pocket well. In addition, it was compatible with all handcuffs that I tried it on. Not even a single day did it ever get stuck while unlocking handcuffs. This is made of carbon fiber that makes it very durable. It measures 4 Inches long and come with an easy to use clip fastener.


  • Very lightweight and made of carbon fiber
  • Comes with simple Clip Fastener

6. ZAK Tool ZT-100 Swivel Key with USA Flag, Handcuff Keys Black

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  • By: Zak Tool Handcuff Key

ZAK Tool ZT-100 Swivel Key has a USA Flag encrypted on it. It gives you a full sense of patriotism when putting law breakers away. The flag has is brass/gold color. The standard design allows this handcuff keys to be compatible with all regular series handcuffs.  It is made of heat-treated stainless steel. I work at a correctional facility and I must admit this key is easy to use and durable.


  • Features an American flag design
  • Zak Tool Handcuff Key made of durable stainless steel

 5. Universal Pen Style Aluminum Handcuff Key 14

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  • BY: ZAK Tool Handcuff Keys

This pen handcuff key is shaped like a pen and can be kept neatly in your shirt pocket thanks to the built on pen clip. It is made of aluminum, therefore, it is rust resistant. It is also made of Heated treated stainless steel for durability.  This handcuff key is also compatible with most handcuffs. It is easy to use even when your hands are wet.


  • Compatible with all Standard Series Handcuffs
  • Shaped like a pen

4. Zak Tool ZT52 Tactical Stealth Black Police Key Ring Holder (2.25″ Max.)

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  • By: ZAK Tool Handcuff Key

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This is another awesome product by Zak Tool. It is comfortable to wear and is ideal for multiple uses. I use it when hiking, golfing and working almost all day long no matter what I am up to. With the key ring holder, you get to clip anything to it, even your car and house keys. This way you avoid losing them. Lastly, it is very sturdy and works well. It is very easy to retrieve from the belt, therefore, it offers easy access.


  • Measures 2.25 inches.
  • Compatible with most handcuffs.

3. Pack of 5 American Universal Handcuff Keys

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  • By: Chicago Handcuff Company 

These handcuff keys come in a bunch of 5. Their size and weight make them easier to carry around for back up. They just fit perfectly anywhere, be it the wallet, key ring, pocket watch band or belt. It is always advisable to have extra keys just in case you lose yours, keep them separately so that when one gets lost you can always replace it. This set of keys also works with different handcuffs.


  • Come in a set of 5 keys
  • Each weighs 0.8 ounces

2. ZAK Tool ZT-9P Flat Knurled Swivel Key, Handcuff Key Black

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  • By: Zak Tool Handcuff Keys

Flat Knurl Swivel black Key is designed to be Compatible with all standard series handcuffs. It is made of strong polymer hence durable. I love this key for its ergonomics and simplicity.  You can always walk with confidence and don’t worry about dropping it because the flat and rough surface will never slip through your fingers.


  • It is made from strong polymer
  • Measures 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches and weighs 1.6 ounces

1. Zak Tools Stainless Steel Pocket Key, Black, Handcuff Key with Pen Clip

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Our top pick is this Stainless Steel Pocket key by Zak Tools.  It is made of Solid heated stainless steel.  Shaped like a pen and has a clip that can be used to safely carry it in a shirt pocket. This key is lightweight and at the same time strong. It has a good grip on unlocking those hard handcuffs. It weighs 0.8 ounces and measures 4.5 inches. Just like the handcuff keys I have reviewed, it is also compatible with other handcuffs. Last but not least, it comes backed by manufacturers lifetime guarantee.

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  • Made of stainless steel
  • Lifetime guarantee

Factors to consider when buying handcuff keys:

Before buying a handcuff key, there are certain factors that you should consider, they include;


It is important to consider the material a handcuff key is made from as this affects its reliability. Most keys are made of a metal such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum. These types are normally strong and rust resistant. Others are made of strong synthetic polymer. They also offer great functionality and can go undetected by metal detectors.  Choose ones that are made of strong stainless steel because they don’t break or rust easily.


Luckily, you don’t have to invest heavily for you to buy quality handcuff key. If you buy the key separately from the handcuff expect to pay around $10 or below for a single handcuff key. Some keys come in a pack of two or more. These can be worth as little as $12.


Generally, handcuff keys are small in size. They are also lightweight. Choosing the perfect size is important to avoid fumbling when unlocking those handcuffs. Make sure the size fits perfectly in your pockets, wallet or whatever place you wish to place it.

Special Features:

Some handcuff keys come with extra features that you might use or totally of no use. For instance, some have flashlights and this can be important especially when you are on patrol at night. Some are shaped like pens and can be easily hooked on to your shirt pocket. While others come with a key ring that you can use to attach other items and keys. Choose these features according to how you would want your key to function.

Customer Reviews:

When shopping for a handcuff key especially online, it is wise to do a little research. Go through customer reviews and see what they are saying about particular handcuff key. The ratings can help you know the best key and also which ones are a knockoff.


The most used handcuffs are Smith & Wesson, Hiatt Thompson, Peerless, and ASP. Just like I mentioned earlier, these keys are highly compatible with these types’ handcuffs. However is you have maximum handcuff, you will be required to use special keys.


Last but not least, look out for ones that come with manufacturer warranty. This is important in determining its quality. You don’t want to end up with a key you will only use few times and then breaks or bends.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a handcuff key when shopping, let’s focus on the top brands we have selected.

Wrapping it up!

Whether you are in Law Enforcement department or not having the best handcuff key is important. We understand how finding the perfect one can be difficult given the numerous brands that are on the market. It is for this reason that we have done an extensive research and listed Top rated handcuff keys that you will absolutely like. They offer excellent performance and are budget friendly too. However, we would highly recommend the number one Zak Tools Stainless Steel Pocket Key, Black, Handcuff Key with Pen Clip because it is sturdy, durable, easy to access, stylish and compatible with most handcuffs.

James/ author of the article
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