Asp handcuffs are probably the most prevalent offering a range of chain link and semi rigid cuffs, in steel and aluminium in a variety of colours. Standard black handcuffs are normally the most popular, but brightly coloured "Identifier Cuffs" in pink or yellow are used in specialist circumstances (or for novelty purposes). Steel handcuffs are stronger than aluminum but aluminium are lighter and less prone to corrosion (even though it is stainless steel they will suffer in salt water environments over a long enough period). The choice between chain link or semi rigid normally boils down to training and qualifications. Whilst semi rigid handcuffs offer the cuffer more control over the cuffee for health and safety reasons semi rigid or rigid cuffing requires and additional level of training over chain link cuffs and if an untrained cuffer, handcuffs a detainee and injures them with rigid cuffs they leave them selves open for potential suing.
Asp also do a range of plasticuffs and training cuffs.
TCH make some of the most popular handcuffs which are the fully rigid cuffs. Unlike the chain of chain link, or the folding hinge of semi rigid cuffs rigid cuffs have a solid, ergonomically shaped plastic or polymer center bar between the two bracelets. This solid center bar can be easily and securely gripped by the cuffer with just one hand and provides maximum control over the detainee.
The original design for the rigid cuffs was developed by Hiatts who retained the intellectual property rights, even when the company ceased producing handcuffs and the IP was taken over by BAE systems who no longer produced the products.
Peerless are less popular handcuffs in the UK, however they are well established in the US where they have been manufacturing cuffs since 1914 and produce a lot of handcuffs for the American Prison system as well as leg irons, waist chains and multi-person transport chains. Like ASP peerless also do a range of brightly coloured cuffs and restraints.