So, you want to buy your first pair of leather cuffs, and there’s all these options. Fleece lined, suspension, D rings, O rings, buckles, locking buckles…wait. Locking buckles? What on earth is that?
Well, I’m so very glad you asked.
Locking buckles on a pair of cuffs differ from normal buckles in that the ‘post’ of the buckle is flat and has a hole for a padlock to slide through. Also, the holes in the ‘tongue’ of the buckle that the post is fed through are flat slots, rather than round holes. Once the buckle is, well, buckled, you slide the lock through the hole and lock it, turning your pair of cuffs into more permanent and far less easily escape-able bondage.
The Spartacus locking wrist restraints are make of a single layer of leather, rather than the two layers that seems to be the norm with most of the more ‘upscale’ bondage cuffs I have handled. Both sides of the cuffs are smooth to the touch, and feel soft against the skin. When I got the cuffs out of the box (well, the clear plastic bag they were shipped in), the leather was a touch stiff, but manipulating the leather while I was watching The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions seems to have made it much more supple and I haven’t had any issues with it since. The sewing on the seams are clean lines, however, I did have a few stray threads that needed to be singed off when they arrived. For the first few usages, the unfinished edges of the cuffs shed horrendously. Now, several months later, it’s not an issue anymore. Another thing that might be worth mentioning is that the leather didn’t have that lovely new leather smell when they arrived. Instead, there was an odd and faintly chemical smell coming from them. I left them to air out by an open window and it went away within 24 hours, but even now, the cuffs barely have any leather scent to them. *pouts* They are quite comfortable for long term wear, and I have kept my pair on for several hours at a time without them irritating me.
The hardware is shiny silver metal, possibly nickle? I have sent an email to Spartacus asking what metal is it, as they don’t have the information posted on their website, and will update my post with that information once they respond. There are several studs, partially decorative, partly to hold down the ‘tongue’ part of the cuff, however, the metal doesn’t go all the way through the leather, so if you have metal sensitivities, these cuffs could be a possible option for you! The D ring seems very firmly attached, as does the O ring hanging off it, and despite my best efforts to wrench my wrists free during a particularly intense scene, there has been no noticeable weakening of the leather around the anchoring D ring. Both rings are rather thick, which is something I adore, but others may not like the look of. Also, it could limit the type of hardware you use to attach to your cuffs or attach your cuffs to. The buckle is, as promised in the title, locking, and the hole should accommodate a small to medium lock without difficulty. I picked my pair of locks up in the hardware section of Walmart for a few dollars, so you don’t have to look very far or spend too much on them. Another thing I like about these cuffs is that if you don’t feel like locking the cuffs on, they function perfectly well without them, and the shape of the buckle doesn’t detract from the look of the cuff at all. Also, these are *not* meant for suspending someone! The leather will not hold up to that type of abuse, and you can damage your partner by using incorrect equipment.
Size wise, the cuffs fit my medium sized wrists very well. There are five slots for the buckle to go through, and the third fits me perfectly. The site says they should fit up to a 7 1/2 inch wrist, and I think that would be accurate. There may also bit of extra wiggle room, given that leather does stretch a bit after repeated use and breaking in. I tried to multi-task and use these as ankle cuffs, but they just aren’t large enough for the job. Either that, or I have abnormally thick ankles! The leather does overlap in a slightly odd looking way when the cuffs are on if you manage to wiggle against them the wrong way. It does spoil the lines of the restraints a little, but that is inevitable with this style of cuff. Even if this happens, your partner will still be restrained. Besides, if you put a blindfold on them, they won’t be able to tell that the cuffs they’re wearing aren’t perfectly lined up.
If you absolutely need a perfect pair of cuffs, these aren’t it. But for a first pair of leather restraints, these are a great investment if you are willing to overlook a few minor details. I give them 4 paws up out of five!