How To Make Rope Handcuffs

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Handcuff knots can be tied with rope or paracord.
Handcuff knots can be tied with rope or paracord. (Image: belchonock/iStock/Getty Images)

Traditional handcuffs are made from steel, but alternative materials, such as rope, are used for specific situations. Rope handcuffs are often utilized in rescue missions when a victim is stuck in a small area and needs to be drug out by his hands or feet. These handcuffs can be quickly tied once you get the hang of the knot.

Fold the rope in half to find the center. Place the center flat on your work surface or the ground.

Create a loop. Put the rope right under left on the right side of the center. Curve the rope away from you to create the loop (right under left). The loop should be approximately 8 inches in diameter. You will need to make it larger if you are going to put this around a person’s ankles. It will need to be large enough to slip over his feet and shoes. Lay flat on the surface.

Create an identical loop to the left of the center of the rope. Lay flat.

Put the right loop on top of the left loop to overlap the two loops. It will resemble a pretzel. Grasp the loops in the middle where they overlap and pull them in opposite directions to tighten it. It should now look similar to a butterfly.

Place the person’s hands or ankles in the two loops. Pull the two ends of the rope down to create traction to tighten around his hands or ankles. Pull him out of the trapped area.

Tie the ends in a knot as you do your shoe to use as a restraint. Cross the ends of the rope, loop one end below the cross and pull tight. Repeat two times.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use caution when tying someone up, as rope can rub the skin and cause abrasions and burns.

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