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Topic: Ian McColl's ADA Handcuffs
Message: Posted by: James Peters (Jun 8, 2003 01:52PM)
I just wanted to say, I used a set of these handcuffs for the first time yesterday, as part of a new routine, and they are superb!

Easy to use, and you can lock them on anyone else without worrying about it or even having to misdirect them!

They are quite expensive, but in comparison to the other stuff out there, they are far superior!

Thanks to Ian! A brilliant piece of workmanship!!! :)

Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 8, 2003 06:27PM)
Yes James, Ian does nice work and also has great ideas. Don, :applause:
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Jun 8, 2003 07:23PM)
The ADA-100's are like an American Express card for me....I don't leave home without them! I hated losing them in my luggage! But, I do have another pair now!

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 10, 2003 08:22AM)
Dear James, Margarette and Don, thanks for your thoughts and comments on the S&W ADA.

It is great to hear that my work is being put to practical use.
Best wishes to all

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 13, 2004 04:44PM)
These are the ones sold by Cannon Escapes?
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (May 13, 2004 05:14PM)
Ian is the manufacturer and they are only sold at Cannons. He actualy makes them for each person based on their wrist size, hence the higher cost. Lots of folks like them real well.

I only use real cuffs and irons, so I don't have any myself. My wife might feel better if I had gimmicked stuff. I like the thought and ingenuity that goes into gimmicks, I just don't find any personal satisfaction when using them.
Message: Posted by: man.ray (May 13, 2004 08:49PM)
I love them so much I got three. I usually tighten them on myself when performing so that the clicking sound (one way) is minimized during escape.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 14, 2004 03:26PM)
Thanks all....I didn't think about the noise they make while escaping.....havent not seen a demo, does the noise detract from the performance at all or is it just personal preference?

Can these be escaped from in full view or does one have to be under cover?


Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 14, 2004 04:14PM)
This entire thing about noise or no noise really does not matter although there are certainly those who would like to believe or claim that it does.

Nor does the fact of wether or not the cuffs can be pulled on or not after they are locked on your wrists. A good performer can properly present a handcuff escape where the cuffs are visibly locked into each other and then passed for inspection with no one finding anything. The cuffs can then be locked onto the performer and escape can be done in a matter of seconds and the audience feels all is fair because the cuffs have indeed been "inspected" before hand.

The need to have handcuffs inspected first, then locked onto someone else, then locked onto yourself and then pulled on by someone is a pile of ridiculous overkill that is simply not needed.

I think what a lot of people here forget is that we, as escapologists, are not performing for other escapists. Rather, we are performing for audiences of LAY PEOPLE.

Too many in escapes seem overly concerned with the technical side of stuff or which gimmicked prop is "superior" that they miss what is far more important. Namely... ENTERTAINING.

PM me and I will share a very effective cuff escape which does not require a super expensive handcuff.

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 14, 2004 06:07PM)
Thanks Steve....
Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (May 14, 2004 10:10PM)
Hello All

Weather or not you you decide to go w/ a gaffed cuff of not, again is really up to the individuales taste.
Remember your soul purpose of being on the stage is ... to "Entertaine em"

The surest way to create suspection is to...over prove, Just get on with it.

It is certinaly Great to know though that we have the 'Jimmy Collins of our time" available, namely Mr. Ian McColl.

Michael Lee
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 14, 2004 11:38PM)
Dear Michael, thank you for your kind words. I hope that my work assists in creating some mystifying escapes which enable those who perform to in fact entertain.

Entertainment is the name of the game, however if everyone entertained with only the same equipment year after year it would get very boring and familiar with the audiences.
The in/out oval loop is an example but recently a variation of this was made which begs the question, why? If only entertainment was the goal.

Variation is the spice of life and some escape artists like to both baffle the audience and any escape artist who gets to see them perform. The more technical the equipment, the more it can open up the performance. If not the actual act but before and after. Even if this before and after doesn’t reach the whole audience, those who it does effect will go on to tell others.

A great example of this was at the Indy EAC 2004 where a police officer was asked to assist with the feature act. The officer was freely given a pair of gimmicked cuffs and told at what point in the show they would be required. In the 45 minutes that passed, this officer played and pulled at the handcuff while sitting and watching the show.

The officer pushed the bow in a few notches, pulled back on the cuff, clicked a few more notches and pulled back. When the bow was almost all the way through, the officer swung the bow right around and started the whole procedure again. When ask to come up on stage, the officer swore that the handcuffs were legitimate.

For those who witnessed this 45 minute examination either those in the know or laypersons, the story they tell will be one of an honest examination and that there was no influence or “controlling” by the performer. As I know this story, it is proof that a good word gets around.


Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 14, 2004 11:56PM)
To all,
Like I said before, and it always holds true, is that if one presents ANY escape with skillfull showmanship, that escape will stand a far better chance of going over REGARDLESS of what sort of gaffed equipment is used in it's execution.

It is of course up to all concerned, but I have always found it usefull to rely first on one self and then on gaffed gear. As this is the Magic Café, anyone in other forms of magic will readilly tell you that you can have the neatest gaffed whatever in your hands but that does not mean you are even skilled enough to begin to work with it.

It is a fact that escapists, or any other form of magicians WITHOUT gaffed props or with limited gaffed props naturally become better show people because they have to learn the much more important aspects of performing; namely, pure skill, misdirection of a high order, and showmanship.

The above are ALL qualities that NO gaffed cuff or lock can teach you, no matter how expensive it is, or however claimed, "superior" it is.

Perhaps many in escapes have never heard the name of one Mr. Tony Slydini. This late, great magical entertainer grew up in rural Italy and had no idea at all about the existance of gimmicked or gaffed props. This lack of knowledge and resources translated into a truly unique performer who was versatile and who could work with practically anything under any situation.

Perhaps the same should apply to escapes. With the "look Ma, I bought it off the shelf so I'm an escape artist" approach the world will be full of nothing but mere clone acts each doing EXACTLY what the others before and after do. If this is to be the future of escapes, then it is a dismal future to say the least.

Now I am sure that anyone even remotely skilled in any branch of the magical arts will tell you that it is not the prop itself but instead the limitations or skill of the performer using it that determine if the presentation of it before an audience will be a dismal failure or something to write home about. Anyone thinking otherwise is simply fooling themselves.

In case any out there want to save a PILE of money and wish to perform a handcuff escape with no picks and keys which IS examinable please get in touch with me and I will share a method I have used with constant success for many years.

I will share this for FREE in the hopes it will teach escapists out there to rely more on audience psychology and presentation as opposed to fancy "over the moon" tricked props.

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 15, 2004 08:08AM)
I guess it just proves the old saying 'It's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it'.

Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 15, 2004 08:42AM)

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (May 15, 2004 09:23AM)
The secret to any escape or magic in general is believability of what you are doing. The ability to hand out and have shackles/manicles examined is very much a necessity.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (May 15, 2004 02:06PM)
Hi Steve,

Its good to see you posting here again, and I want to wish you well with the new Escaporium. I realy appreciate your advice on entertaining. Over the last two years I have learned much on all of the technical aspects, but what I have lacked from the beggining is solid knowledge on entertaining and I truely appreciate the help you are so generous with when it comes to folks like me that are just getting going.

Its Very nice to hear this info from someone with solid , escape focused, time in the trenches doing escapes.

PS. I'm in on the method so PM me too.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 15, 2004 02:56PM)
Hi and thanks for the kind words,

These postings by me are going to rare events as I am too busy doing shows and running The Escaporium to take the time to keep on nor does it often behoove me to do so.

The only reason I even posted on this topic and have PM'd a number of people, yourself included, is I wanted to try and present an alternative.

I was talking to a very well know illusionist yesterday and he said (and I quote), "I have never seen a branch of magic so willing to ignore resources and those that provide them as much as escapists do".

What he meant was it seems that many in escapes stay with one source for info, one euipment supplier, one guru who teaches or advises them, etc.

The illusionist I was speaking to was of the opinion that doing this sort of thing was stupid because it distanced one from the opinions and ideas of others. He went on to reason that in such a limited field one should take advantage of every scrap of knowledge and experience that is out there and not dismiss any one person's ideas or methodology just because "so and so" said this about them or "so and so" sells the "superior" stuff.

I wonder when many people in escapes may start to wise up and change the way they think? Knowledge is power and there is no single "one right way" of doing things. Sure, there are many who claim to be, to make, to offer to sell, or to otherwise present "the superior" but why stick with only these people and limit your own knowledge and growth. To hold or continue maintain such a position is not logical and only limits one's journey as a performer.

Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (May 16, 2004 12:57AM)
Maby other folks may be too lame or ch%$!&^~$%# to say it. But I'm not, you have been missed here very much.

Thats the kind of thinking and input a new guy like me
can put to use.

Message: Posted by: Riley (May 16, 2004 08:47AM)
On 2004-05-15 15:56, SANTINI wrote:

I was talking to a very well know illusionist yesterday and he said (and I quote), "I have never seen a branch of magic so willing to ignore resources and those that provide them as much as escapists do".

What he meant was it seems that many in escapes stay with one source for info, one euipment supplier, one guru who teaches or advises them, etc.


This is a common malady with magicians in general and escapists in particular.
Our better appreciation of EVERYONE involved in our art (in whatever capacity)
tends to increase as we become more experienced. Or, to put it another way, why put all your eggs in one basket?
There is some great information and advice in this thread, and on this forum, but not everyone will make full use of it.
Some enthusiasts enjoy the art as a hobby (maybe one of several hobbies). If and when this turns into a serious pursuit (ie., money earning!) the EA should start to take a wider interest in all that is available, and that must include good equipment and good advice. Both are available from the right people. :)


Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 17, 2004 09:14AM)
I too would like to thank you for your help and kindness in sharing this info with us all. It is very much appreciated.

I know you're a busy guy but it would be fantastic if you would pop in more.

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 17, 2004 10:36AM)
Hi all, The discussion on the subject of gimmicked handcuffs has gone a little off track of the original topic but the discussion is good. It cannot be denied that both the equipment and showmanship go hand in hand and discussion here is good. Thanks to those who have the professional attitude to entertain well and to want to use the ADA to enhance their act. Thanks for all the orders and help keep this thread at the top a little longer.

Message: Posted by: Riley (May 17, 2004 01:13PM)
Well, to go back on track. . . James showed me these ADA handcuffs at his home recently at the second UKEA meeting. I was impressed with the workmanship. :)

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 17, 2004 05:14PM)
Dear Riley, I am glad you have got to see a pair and thank you for the compilment.

Message: Posted by: man.ray (May 17, 2004 09:40PM)
I think entertaining is one goal in performing. I like it when a performance also makes the audience really think hard and even try to theorize how something was done. A performer who can entertain, affect, move and inspire their audience makes for an act that is remembered.
With TV, movies, magazines, the internet etc, saturating all of us with entertainment just another entertaining act just doesn't seem to cut it these days.
Ian continues to think outside of the box and pushes the envelope with new items for the escape artist that we all can use to enhance our performances to entertain and inspire.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 17, 2004 10:15PM)
So do many others.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 17, 2004 10:44PM)
Dear Man.ray, thank you your appreciation and kind words. Just as I thought this thread would die, you came on to revive it again. Oh! and then another post.
Thank you all.

Message: Posted by: x-treem (May 18, 2004 06:56PM)
I pulled 90% of my products from the store.

Though the store will always be there, people now a days need talent as the world does not need ready made "worlds greatest escape artist."

I'm not anti-gimmick. IF someone can use a gimmick to enhance their already established talent, bravo and props to you.
Message: Posted by: man.ray (May 19, 2004 04:00PM)
The bottom line is to go with whatever works for you. Gimmick or not. I never go with anyone else's opinions whatever their claims are (or their website says). I always form my own. There are a lot of opinions here that I agree to disagree with.
Message: Posted by: dylan1961 (May 20, 2004 10:28PM)
Hello all,
Very interesting. Might as well say my piece! Performers, escape artists included, are simply playing a role, and their goal should be to entertain, first and foremost. A charasmatic experienced performer with little talent may sometimes appear better than an expert with little personality. As for all the talk about gimmicked handcuffs---whether you use them or not is OK either way. It's the safest and most sure-fire way to go under some circumstances. And IF you're going to use gimmick handcuffs the performer should control the situation to suit the conditions, regardless of what kind of cuffs he/she is using. But after saying that, if you decide to use "escape" handcuffs, why not go with the best. I'd want to use handcuffs which can be used under the largest variety of circumstances! The highest quality of manufacture. I agree with don't "overprove" but sometimes a little examination is a helpful and even necessary thing. But I sure wouldn't risk handing out most gaffed handcuffs to a 20 year veteran law enforcement officer for almost 1/2 hour! This is what Ian spoke of at Indy. I watched her play with them, examine them, and convince herself they were absolutely regular handcuffs. I own ADA handcuffs. I wouldn't use anything else under most circumstances!
They are, without question, the most ingenious and best on the market today (in my opinion). Congratulations Ian, not only on the ADA's, but on your many excellent tools, handcuffs, and other contributions to the world of escapes. And thanks to all those who contribute useful tips, comments, and help to all who come here to read and communicate with each other.
John bushey
Message: Posted by: James Peters (May 22, 2004 05:54AM)
I had the experience of a recently retired police officer and his wife come over for dinner. We were chatting about handcuffs, and he went on to say that I'd never get out of the real thing.

I then produced a set of Cyclones that Ian kindly ADA'd for me, and after he satisfied himself they were genuine, he put them on me, and I put my arms under the table and hey presto!!

He then spent another 10 mins looking at them, and found .... nothing! :)

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 22, 2004 02:05PM)
Dear James, I am very happy to see that the Cyclones have passed the test. Very kind of you to add to this thread by talking about the customized cuff I made.

The many customized I items I have made remain unknown until someone is willing to share their secrets.

Thanks for letting people know a little more about what I do and that you are happy with your cuffs.


Message: Posted by: thorndyke (May 24, 2004 06:28PM)
When I first started learning magic I used stripper decks and gaffed material. As I became more comfortable with what I saw as the 'dynamic flow' of presentation, I started doing actual sleight of hand and relied less and less on gimmicks. Still have a stripper deck anyway. Still have a canister of gimmicked items sitting on the shelf. If I can work back to the point were I can perform magic without dropping things, then I'll return to performing for the public again. And it wouldn't bother me to be sneered at because in the middle of the act I pull out the stripper deck. I blew all my money at INDY on books, otherwise a pair of ADA cuffs would have come home with me.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 25, 2004 05:19AM)
I received my ADAs only today and have been fooling police officers all night.....I think the only question that was asked by one officer was caused by my own performance blunder.

Can one just get the ADAs and be an instant success at EA? I think we all know the answer to that. But I can tell you, I have asked all night "Do you have Smith and Wessons" to officers and handled them side by side with the ADAs and the only difference is minor (to a trained eye IMO). Actually no one has even bothered to examine them.

I won't ask this to a police officer but Ive seriously thought of using these on a prisoner. Before anyone thinks Im crazy, I wouldnt use them on a violent offender but one that has been searched extensively and is under arrest for a minor offense....
Does that mean Im confident about these? Yes, they are standard handcuffs used by public servants all over the US.

Disclaimer: I said seriously thought of using::::)))

My nickel......:)
Message: Posted by: James Peters (May 25, 2004 01:21PM)
That "minor difference" you talked about ....

I have just ordered a set of S&W 100 ADA Zeroes ... these are ones where the has been no adjustment on size, and hence the bow is identical to the standard cuff.

Of course, being able to use a set depends on your bone structure ... I borrowed a set from Kristen in Indy to try them! They are very tight, but doable for me (just).

I suppose if your wrists are too big, you could get the S&W Model 1 variation, which is a bit bigger!

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 25, 2004 06:01PM)
Being tight is understatement:) I just awoke and my wrists are back to a normal shade. I initially had the measurements wrong and would have had them made much too big. I can now see why they should fit tight and doable as you say. No nerve damage that I can see.:)

I was using some I made earlier from Santini's method (thanks), to a woman the other day. These I messed up one of the Bows, Ill blame it on the "soft" metal, but I probably went overboard (filing mishap). Anyways, I can see most people are reluctant to try on cuffs. I was one of those at the Police Academy during our "restraint" sessions. Sooooooo many times Ive had prisoners complain about the cuffs being too tight, or locking up on them cause I didn't double lock them. Our usual cliche is "they aren't built for comfort."

Well anyways, I doubt I will have any volunteers actually try any of the cuffs on for any effect. Plus also, they may trust Cop syndrome even though I seldom wear a uniform....

If the cuffs look like standard cuffs while you are holding them (or showing them they don't pull apart etc), I would hope that is sufficient.

Rambling here but my days and nights are mixed up.....
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 25, 2004 06:30PM)
How do the ADA zeroes Operate I'm not sure if I'm reading correctly or rushing on reading it. I think I understand it now but I won't post here. Don,
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 25, 2004 07:40PM)
Dear Don, the Indy EA convention was the launch of my new book on Gimmicked handcuffs. There is an explanation of the ADA workings and many other handcuff ideas I have designed and some old historical designs as well shown for the first time with the help from Fred Pittella and Chris Gower who sent photos of there rare pieces. (the book is available at CGE)

Message: Posted by: AJP807 (May 25, 2004 08:23PM)
Let me chime in here to say that I love this book. I picked it up at Indy and highly recommend it to all EA. A MUST have! You will not be disappointed.
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 30, 2004 11:31AM)
Has there been any Concerns that sometimes the ADAs might be on to tight. I'm not trying to cut these cuffs down but my main concern is with cutting off the Circulation or possibly someone who might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Don,
Message: Posted by: AJP807 (May 30, 2004 12:30PM)
Hi Don, I don't think that this would be any major concern as they are only extremely tight for a split second. I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome but I've been working with mine for years without any trouble.
Best regards, Tony Parisi
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 30, 2004 12:34PM)
Tony I know its for a split second but I'm mainly asking for people who have troubles with their wrists. even with Arthitis. I'll like to know how one over comes this if the have arthitis CTS etc. and how do they deal with it. Don,
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 30, 2004 05:48PM)
Off of Web MD:

"Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common work-related injury. Work that requires forceful or repetitive hand movements or hand-arm vibration is most likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common work-related injury. Work that requires forceful or repetitive hand movements or hand-arm vibration is most likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome."

I think AJP has a good point....I know Ive had lots and lots of complaints on the job from persons arrested that the handcuffs were on too tight. Hands even turning purple when it was time to enter the jail. But not one has ever complained formally. I take it the problem was temporary. Im no doctor but I wouldnt want to jack hammer for a living.

Sitting behind a computer desk all day and using the mouse has been a problem for me. That and home usage.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 30, 2004 06:57PM)
Web MD is he any relation to Marcus Welby MD. Don,
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (May 30, 2004 08:58PM)
Negative....you got him mixed up with Dr Phil.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 3, 2004 12:02AM)
Dear Don, the ADA can be modified so there is no need to have the extremely tight or tight at all. I do recommend that you have them as tight before release as you can but it is not required for the cuff to function.


Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Jun 6, 2004 06:49AM)
I've been using my ADA's now for quite some time. My ownly problem was at first I used them constantly during practice sessions to get the feel of them and I found that my wrists tended to swell up a little, which meant that I couldn't use them for a few days.
Nothing to worry about really. I could have got the dremel out, but now I'm happy with the method and I don't have to practice with them as much, therefore no wrist swelling :o)
I would recommend them to anyone who needs a decent cuff that uses no tools, but are completely examinable. Although, I did use the cuffs Santini was talking about at the beginning of this thread in some of the routines I'd originally used my ADA's and found they produce exactly the same results for the audience, just needed a little change in the way I let the audience handle the cuffs.

Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jun 6, 2004 08:49AM)
Dear Roslyn,
Like you said in your post, both cuffs, (Ian's and mine), produce the same results exactly. The only slight difference is handling and the only large difference is price!
Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 6, 2004 09:35AM)
I find it quite strange that the price seems to be a very big concern from an author who has a book that costs a pile compared to books of simliar information.

It would be argued back to me the costs involved in all the years of knowledge that is supposed to have gone into the experience required to write a book just as I could state the costs involved in machining, customs importation and return postage etc etc but that would be futile. For those starting out in the business who want a gimmicked cuff, there are many to choose from and from several sources. If price is the only critisism, then I take it as a compliment. Many professionals wouldn't use any other cuff.

The ADA is one the top of the line products, but not the only product, I make. I would suggest getting a copy of "Gimmicked handcuffs and restraints" which feature many of my designs. The book covers most of the items that I have made and with the addition of what is not covered in the book, my designs and creations number in the 30's.

PM me for a list if you interested.

Message: Posted by: fantom (Jun 6, 2004 01:35PM)
I have used Mr. Santini's cuff method. And I have used Mr. McColl's cuffs. Both work well. And I will continue to use both.
Message: Posted by: Larry Macs (Jun 6, 2004 04:02PM)
I agree with fathom. I haven't changed my opinions on the handcuffs.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jun 6, 2004 04:46PM)

In my initial post you will see that I readily admit and agree that both types of cuffs achieve the same results.

It is a fact that the only difference is in handling and cost.

This is a reality.

I was only replying in agreement to an original post made by Roslyn.

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 7, 2004 12:23AM)
Yes both cuffs are specially made so the only difference I see is someone might like Brand A compared to Brand B and that is alright. Everyone has a prefrence. Don,
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Jun 7, 2004 06:32AM)
To say that both cuffs are the same as each other is wrong. To an audience they are capable of producing the same results. But, you have to chose which cuff is suitable for which type of performance.
For example, I don't think I would be brave enough to hand out the 'Santini' cuff for examination like was done with the ADA. But then the 'Santini' cuff isn't designed for this to happen. Likewise I wouldn't use the ADA in situations when you need to be able to open the cuff with one hand. I haven't been able to get the ADA to do this, if anyone knows how please let me know.
It really depends on the situation you're in that dictates what cuff (or indeed any type of prop) you use. I try to have as many different methods of producing the same thing so that my shows appear to be the same for every audience I come up against.

Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 7, 2004 06:36AM)
I meant the same by both being gimmicked, and with the Santini, why not hand it out to a spectator then when they go to grab it say that's good enough. As for the cuffs opening with one Hand ask Ian. Don,
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jun 7, 2004 09:49AM)

Bottom line: If a prop gets the job done it is fine regardless of who made it, how technically amazing it is, etc.

End of story

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: EscapeMaster (Jun 7, 2004 10:22AM)
>In my initial post you will see that I readily admit and agree that both types of cuffs achieve the same results.

Any ungaffed cuff will also achieve the same results albeit, in turn, with a different handling so this is a silly thing to say.

The more complicated mechanism of the ADA is not superfluous for although it allows you to do all that can be done with the Santini cuff (and I question whether this should be eponymous as I believe the method predates this person), it also enables you to effect certain further details, not least show that the cuff is locked on you before you escape.

Of course, you can harp back that performance is the key and careful audience control precludes this necessity. But then, why not simply use a cuff without a locking mechanism at all with a carefully placed piece of steel to provide the sound of the ratchet?

If it is all performance, the Santini version is no superior to a standard bridgejumper (see: http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.com).

Now you will say that Santini's is better than this for it enables a cursory examination. Then I say that McColl's is better than those because it permits a full examination by a Police Officer and even once you are in the cuffs!

>If a prop gets the job done it is fine

This is simply a sophism. To further the art we need to aim higher than simply getting the job done. I can get the job done in a pair of oval-loop-naff-cuffs but this I would never dream of doing.

Would you?
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jun 7, 2004 10:50AM)

It is obvious that over all else that has been stated perviously, allegance and loyalty to one particular maker over another is what has been driving this thread. The above post only proves that.

I would be very curious to know how many people who have commented here actually have made the cuffs using the gimmicking method I once wrote on and have tried to use and/or perform with same.

It would seem by the tone of many of the posts that these numbers would be very few indeed.


It is always good to try a variety of things and expand one's knowledge.

When one, or more, decide to patronize only one way of looking at things or singular offerings thier range of vision is naturally restricted and limited.

This too is a pity.

Steve Santini

P.S. The version I once wrote a manuscript about IS different to a Cannon bridge jumper and does have some advantages over a standard jump cuff. If you had ever made one or owned the manuscript explaining how to make one you would immdeiately know why there are differences. Obviously you do not.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 7, 2004 06:11PM)
Steve, does it pay? Let them buy cannon if they want. Individuals who claim to be artists should have enough knowledge to try everything and in the end buy the best. Namely The Santini brand of escapes. I do.
Message: Posted by: Cindi (Jun 7, 2004 06:56PM)
Why do I have to do everything the hard way! :)

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 8, 2004 02:13AM)
Hi Dr Zodiac, I am glad you brought up the subject of a escape artist with knowledge. Just so you to can have this knowledge also, the brand your mention is not a brand and the idea is old.

The quote
"When one, or more, decide to patronize only one way of looking at things or singular offerings thier range of vision is naturally restricted and limited."

Is oh! so absolultely correct, that is why the same writer has to tell you and redirect your thoughts. Far be it for me to need to tell you want or should need to purchase. I have a greater degree of respect for the individuals common sense and escape requirements.

Both cuffs will get you to the same outcome. Just like cars, both will get you there but some prefer a Rolls to a Dodge. Personally, I would prefer to be seen in a Rolls.

Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Jun 8, 2004 07:55AM)

It probably would be a good idea for people to know that the "brand" of gimmicked cuff you are calling "old" and claiming I am not the originator of, you yourself praised when we first spoke by telephone.

You said you owned the manuscript in which I had written the method and thought it to be very good. You said NOTHING about it not being original, etc.

I wonder: in your new book on gimmicked handcuffs, how many ideas that others came up with first did you go and publish like you thought of them originally?

I do not own this book so I cannot be certain but I know I personally have thought up and used gimmicking ideas for the following cuffs (among many others):

- Chubb
- Clejuso 11 and 13
- Cummings
- Marlin
- Palmer
- FN magnetic

etc, etc, etc...

As a matter of fact, I seem to recall even telling you some of these very methods the last time we spoke by phone.

Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 8, 2004 09:14AM)
Dear Mr Santini, sorry to hear you don't own a copy of my book, you could get one at the website below.

Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jun 21, 2004 08:41PM)
The ADA cuff is one of the finest escape props you can have in your trunk.

I even use the ADA in my Harry Potter style children's 'wizard' show to illustrate how a 'wizard' does an escape.
The cuffs are examined with a fun 'tug-of-war' and locked into place.
A wave of the wand (swish and flick) with a loud "Alohamora!!!" and the cuffs fly open.
The kids love it and so do the parents.

Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Jun 26, 2004 07:37AM)
All of this is very interesting. I will share with you something that the late Karrell Fox told me. Believe me when I say he made as much money as most anyone in magic, and was well known as a great performer and entertainer of any audience.

When I was heavy into the hard core slight of hand card stuff, he took my hand and said "Tripper, here is a lesson for you"

He put my hand on the table and began to rub it and said:

"With my magic power I give you the skill of Vernon, of Slidini, none will ever match your slight of hand skill with the cards. Tonight you will perform for the President, the UN, and the Pope, on live television..."

Then he smashed the living crap out of my hand!!!!! He then said:

"Watta you going to do now Vernon? You just smashed your hand in a car door!"

I have never forgotten what he said next:

"Tripper, if you are going to do this for money, for a living, you better be able to do it sick or well, drunk or sober, broken or whole, because you are going to have to do it every way there is, and you are going to have to be great every time you do... or you aren't going to do it very long."

I share that lesson with you all to do with as you will.....

PS: I use Ian's stuff and as an old pud led me say there was NEVER anything that good in the old days and you all are blessed to be able to get it now.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 26, 2004 10:49PM)
Dear Mark Tripp and Dr Stephen Midnight, thank you for your compliments of my handcuff.

Dr Midnight, I am very happy to see in my record book (of all the items I make) that the cuff you mention is , this year, 20 years old, unless you have bought another ADA, in the mean time, it would mean it is still working fine after 20 years. The serial number I have for your cuff is 745948.

Thank you

Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (Jun 26, 2004 11:03PM)
Hello All

WOW!!! What a review... Ian that about say's it all.

If there was a Gold Medal Given for Craftmanship & Igenuity,

Ian McColl, Would be wearing it.


Michael Lee
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Jun 27, 2004 07:33AM)
Not just your handcuff, but ALL your materials.

You may include my lock routine with your lock if you wish...
Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (Jun 27, 2004 02:38PM)
Yes!, a True work of ART!!

Michael Lee
Message: Posted by: Riley (Oct 9, 2004 07:17AM)
As some of you will know, my interest is mostly with the older cuffs, but I recently purchased a set of Ian's ADA Speedcuffs.

During a recent show/lecture, a police officer from the small audience (forty people)commented on the similarity between my Bean Giants and the latest (current) police cuffs (I guess he meant similar shape). I had the ADA cuffs in my case, and he checked them out ("Would you check they're in working order? They should be, I've only just got them! " I said). He checked them and announced they "worked fine". As I "didn't want to show the method" I performed the escape hands in front, inside a bag (which he also checked out!) The result was a great reaction and another booking after the show by the police officer. And yes, I'm expecting THAT occasion to turn into a challenge, (a police dinner)so I'm practising with ungaffed Speedcuffs and extention keys etc (just in case).

Thanks, Ian, for a GREAT PRODUCT!! :)


Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 9, 2004 08:14AM)

Did you get the cuffs direct from Ian? Or from somewhere else?

I seem to remember seeing a site that had them, but they said they were limited stock and I can't remember what the site was.

Oh, and do they work the same as the standard ADA or the same as the ADA zeros that James talked about ealier?


Still using both my ADA cuffs and the one that Steve Santini was talking about. Audiences still enjoy both. Although I have turned a set of speedcuffs into the type of cuff that Steve was talking about and I've found they're not as effective as the chain version.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (Oct 9, 2004 08:54AM)
At the upcoming UKEA gathering this month, Weazel Dandaw will be dubuting a set of my new S&W cuffs fitted with the Cuff Maxx Medeco lock high security cylinder.

Unlike the ADA, this new cuff of mine can be double locked. As well the clyinder has all of it's pins and it is a completely hands on and inspecable cuff.

It opens with no tools or picks in mere seconds.

I look forward to hearing what the UK Ecsape Artists have to say about this interesting design.

Well, it's off to Germany now!


One more difference between my new cuff and the ADA. The new high security cuff I have developed does not "talk" as it's bows are pulled open like a bridge jumper or the ADA does.

It is completely silent.

Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 9, 2004 09:20AM)
Now I'm really p*ssed that I can't get to the UKEA meeting.
Hey Steve, any pictures of this cuff? Maybe the guys can take some and at the meeting?

Anyway, safe trip and good luck in Deutchland.


This phrase may help: Wo kann ich einige anlegt Handschellen erhalten?
Message: Posted by: James Peters (Oct 9, 2004 12:45PM)
Hi Roslyn,

Just to clarify my earlier comment about zeroes ... this is an unsized pair or ADA's.

For those with bigger wrists, the may need to make a modification to the bow, which is noticable if (and probably only if) you put them next to an unmodified pair.

It works in the same way as a sized cuff. There is, as far as I am aware (unless Ian would like to correct me!) only one ADA mechanism / principle.


Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Oct 9, 2004 12:54PM)
Well Done!!

Finaly, a double locking instant off cuff!!!!

High Security Medeco retrofits get prime attention from spectators.

If you don't believe me, lay a pair of Peerless, a pr of S&W 100, and a pair of either with the retrofit out on a table and see which one gets all the attention.

Realy, try it yourself. Don't listen to what I say, see what your spectators do, without any promting or encouragement. The spectators will tell you what they want with their actions.

You guys at The UKEA, keep us informed on this.

Its probably going to be one of, if not, the biggest inovation in modern escape history.

PS. Have a safe trip Steve.
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Oct 9, 2004 01:12PM)
I own a LOT of Santini items (I did even BEFORE we were in business) I can honestly say that the Retrofit escape is my favorite, I've been using them for two years and two different variations.

So many people say that the audience does not care about the difference, one handcuff is the same as the other in their mind. Like KSD said, lay them out for comparison, even lay them out for a free will choice in restraints, they always seem to pick the Retro Fit.

The day I sell my collection there will be few things I keep, this will be one of them.

Speaking of Santini stuff, I have some older items for sale on my [url=http://www.ealib.org/sale.htm]cuffs sale[/url] page.

Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Oct 9, 2004 01:59PM)
I can tell you this, the Medecos draw more attention than regular old cuffs.

Don't listen to me or anyone else. Lay them out for real spectators and see which one they pick up every time.

The way they pop into peoples hands you would swear magnets were involved.
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Oct 9, 2004 02:15PM)
The ADA's are good too, outta the few gimmicked cuffs I have the Retrofit is #1 followed by the ADA :)
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Oct 10, 2004 03:44AM)
I also own the ADAs and am looking at a way to add them to my children's shows.

Anyone have any good ideas, please let me know.

Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 10, 2004 05:12AM)
It's been said before that kids like the comic book type restraints because they're big and in their mind the bigger it is the more secure it is. So I guess you could be cuffed behind your back and add a 100' of chain. Start by having the 100' chain padlocked to the chain of the cuffs, then let them wind it round you padlocking as they go.
It's simple, easy for them to understand and it's visual.
Could be some kid of mini challenge. You get cuffed and you have to escape before all the sweets, cakes or what ever get eaten.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head.

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Oct 10, 2004 05:44AM)
Thanks Roslyn:) I was doing the Siberian Escape for a few shows....just didn't have the patter. The old Miami Vice soundtrack has a great song on there about an arrest, I may revisit it to see if I can fit it in somewheres for a birthday party.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 10, 2004 05:46AM)
Candini try it and if you want. on purpose don't get out for a bit and have the parents tell the kids no cake/ice cream til the magic guy gets out.
Message: Posted by: Riley (Oct 10, 2004 07:05AM)
On 2004-10-09 09:14, Roslyn wrote:

Did you get the cuffs direct from Ian? Or from somewhere else?

I seem to remember seeing a site that had them, but they said they were limited stock and I can't remember what the site was.

Oh, and do they work the same as the standard ADA or the same as the ADA zeros that James talked about ealier?




I got them from Malcolm Norton of

I think he carries a few sets - look under "New in". Malcolm enjoys escapology, so tends to carry more stock than maybe the average dealer.

Gaffing is the method shown in Ian's book "Gimmicked Handcuffs and Restraints".
I needed to re-size the cuffs slightly - easy enough :)


Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 11, 2004 09:06AM)

Cheers buddy :o)