Printing police handcuff keys …

German SSDeV member Ray is known all around the world for his impressive collection of handcuffs and his fun ways of opening most of them. On top of that he gives great presentations and always manages to add a lot of humor into them!

a plastic 3D printed key that will open the handcuffs of the Dutch police

At HAR he pulled another stunt: He used a 3D printer to print handcuff keys. And not just any ordinary handcuff key … no, it’s the official handcuff key from the Dutch police! At first the police officers at HAR were a little reluctant to event try out the plastic key he printed. But he found another way to verify the key he printed was the correct one. I guess these officers never thought about wearing keys concealed, especially when talking with Mr. Handcuff himself. Given the megapixel camera’s on the market today it was not so difficult to verify the key he printed was the correct one.

Someone is looking at your butt ...

At the end of the day he talked the officers into trying the key on their handcuffs and … it did work! At least the Dutch Police now knows there is a plastic key on the market that will open their handcuffs. A plastic key undetectable by metal detectors….

And Ray made it easy for you. For those of you wanting to print your own Dutch police handcuff key … the STL file is available online at

The New York Times just came out with an article on European lockpickers, quoting a Dutch Police officer who was not too negative about the lockpick scene. Lets hope they still feel this way after this post …

*Warning* Before you print out your keys please check your local law! Reading the article below (pdf mirror) should be a fair warning! In some places it is not quite healthy to run around wearing police handcuffs ….

Homeless man could get 5 years for wearing handcuff keys

Wed, Sep. 09, 2009

For wearing handcuff keys on a necklace draped around his neck, a homeless Miami Beach man could face years in prison.

Prosecutors on Tuesday formally charged Michael Gonzalez, 22, with disorderly intoxication, marijuana possession and two counts of possession of a concealed handcuff key — a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

“It’s an actual felony,” prosecutor Barbara Teresa Govea explained to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Thornton, who questioned the charge.

“There’s got to be some kind of constitutional violation in there somewhere,” Assistant Public Defender Michelle Prescott grumbled to the court.

Actually, the Florida Legislature passed the law after the 1998 murders of two Tampa deputies and a state trooper. Hank Earl Carr shot and killed them after he escaped his cuffs using a universal handcuff key hidden on a necklace.

Gonzalez was arrested Aug. 16 after Miami Beach police said he was harassing women on the South Beach sand. In a report, Officer Errol Vidal wrote that he found a small amount of marijuana in the man’s pocket and “two handcuff keys concealed under his shirt on a necklace.”

Also under Gonzalez’s shirt: a tattoo on his right shoulder, with the word “anarchy” and shooting flames.

26 Responses to “Printing police handcuff keys …”

  1. Tully says:

    “two counts of possession of a concealed handcuff key” – “It’s an actual felony” – wow. ok, yeah, you expect it in the US, but what about other countries? Kinda curious to know if it’s a felony here?…
    Hand cuff keys? Seriously?! o.O

  2. Now I would like to build a RepRap for myself 😛

  3. I carry a handcuff key on my keyring, along with my house key and such. I don’t think it’s illegal unless you try to conceal it in some way. It also probably depends on the state your in.

  4. tOM Trottier says:

    The problem was it was concealed. He should have a shorter necklace with a gold-plated key.


  5. bart says:

    Hey, we have Ray\’s fingerprints now, too! *runs to 3d printer*

  6. BrSSnKl says:

    can you send me a sketch up version of this so i can know sizes of it and build a wooden one.

  7. CabFabLab says:

    We printed 2 versions when we got back from HAR2009, check out our Flickr photoset (near the end) for some pictures of the 3D printed keys. Our Dimension FDM machine has a better layer resolution in the Z direction, so the key that was built vertically has more detail and it seems to be a bit stronger.

    With metal 3D printing techniques becoming more accessible and affordable it would be possible to copy almost any key.. all you need is a good high resolution picture and a scale reference to build a virtual model which can be printed on demand.

  8. anon says:

    BrSSnKl, posting your email address in a public place is very dangerous. I just came here from reddit but who knows this could be posted on digg…

  9. Big kate says:


    this article is going viral and making some serious traction.

    I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t go to the session.

    AFAIK this was happening in the LOCKCON 2 space being run by TOOOL ?

    BTW big shout out to all the core team who ran HAR2009, thanks for 2 fantastic weeks!!!!

  10. edwin says:

    Dat heb je heel goed gedaan
    Een gat in de markt ,zijn ze al te koop.

  11. steve says:

    it was not the key that was the trouble…

    it was the anarchy and shooting flames, that was the real clincher.

  12. anon said: “BrSSnKl, posting your email address in a public place is very dangerous. ”

    Give me one reason why it is so dangerous? Here is mine: and all you can do with it is to A) send me mail and B) get some spammer interested. There is this thing called spam filter, which already trashes 90% of all incoming messages on the spot, so that ain’t a problem 🙂

  13. Tripp says:

    @Jaakko Fagerlund:
    Well if someone was inclined to… they could start a profile on that address manually or just run it through a program like Maltego and do some further manual scraping to further build a profile on you. Follow that up with some social engineering on a forum or contact you on similar interests…. say or for example….
    That is why you should protect your email adress.

  14. Jean-Claude says:

    I find it ironic that the EU, which has managed to ban Danish cartoons, German video games, and all sorts of things that may offend others, would have such a following protecting those who use handcuff keys for ill will.

    Here in the States, unless you’re in the military or law enforcement, leave your fuzzy handcuff keys at home.
    Or in your LockCon case.

    I’m actually doing some commercial work on handcuffs right now, if anybody’s interested.
    There’s no reason to go after the Medeco if you can exploit the cuffs.

    Sink + Offender == FAIL

  15. Ray says:

    @Jean-Claude: we go after the medeco for fun, not because we have to.

    The attack on the handcuff you’re talking about is well known, especially after I presented it at the HOPE conference last year:
    I’ve already discussed ways to prevent that with people commercially involved (Peerless also tried that on their own and failed with the XJ model…), if you’re interested just contact me, email is written on my site linked above…

    Oh, and to all the people who took so much interest in this: thanks! It was fun at HAR and also quite some afterwards…

    And to the critics: this never was inteded to be evil, and it isn’t. The key itself never was a secret, even though they won’t sell it there are good pictures of it on the internet, even on police-equipment shops.So the dutch police always had to know there’s a chance of someone having that key. I just reminded them of that… My intention mainly was to show a reprap can print actual keys – that to my knowledge never has been done before and I was surprised myself how good it finally worked. Choosing a handcuff key just seemed logical after all the talks I held about opening those…


    P.S: Regarding the video linked above: that’s actually part 3/3 of the first version of my talk, held in New York mid 2008. For people who understand german I’d recomnend the longer version I held at the 25C3 in Berlin, “Handschellen Hacken” which can be found at

  16. Jean-Claude says:

    @Ray: Granted, a hinged Medeco behind my back is something I’ve yet to accomplish, but we all can dream. ASP has some prototypes floating around, with almost no metal and everything ultrasonically welded, then polished obliterating the seam. Shrug. These are ideas, mind you, but y’alls input are always welcome.

    On another note, anyone seen these new 13 pin tubulars? Or am I just old?

  17. […] Big thanks to Erik’s Blog and Blackbag […]

  18. =ml= says:

    Here’s my successful UP! printed version:



  19. […] know manufacturing processes have come a long way when you can print a working copy of the official Dutch handcuff key from nothing more than a convenient, digital photo.  And that’s just what  German named Ray […]

  20. konstantin says:

    P.S: Regarding the video linked above: that’s actually part 3/3 of the first version of my talk, held in New York mid 2008. For people who understand german I’d recomnend the longer version I held at the 25C3 in Berlin, “Handschellen Hacken” which can be found at

  21. […] Dit is niet de eerste keer dat Ray dit trukje heeft blootgelegd. In 2009 is heeft hij ook in Nederland de Politie op de hoogte gebracht van deze fout. […]

  22. […] HOPE demonstration wasn’t the first time he’s posed the problem for handcuff makers. In 2009, he reproduced simpler, more easily obtained keys used by Dutch police at another hacker conference in Vierhouten in the […]

  23. […] nieuws overigens: ook het ontwerp van de sleutel die past op de handboeien van de Nederlandse politie circuleert op het internet. En wat voor fysieke sleutels geldt, geldt ook voor de sleutels in onze […]

  24. raphidae says:

    Is this key for sale somewhere nowadays? I got my hands on a pair of used handcuffs but no keys. Not Dutch handcuffs, but 99% chance they work with the same key since the previous owner still had a low-res photo of the key laying on a desk, and it looks to be the same key.

    Of course I could make one from the photo, but if I can purchase one that’d be great! Alternatively, if I have to make one myself I could just as well make a bunch and sell them. Mail me at if interested in such a key so I can gauge interest.