(Cue the Mission Impossible theme) You never know when you’ll find yourself in some third-world nation, taking the wrong turn down a dark alley only to find yourself gagged, bagged, and cuffed in an old abandoned warehouse… these things happen. Scenario aside, there are manufacturers who create hidden tools engineered to get you out of just this type of situation. The Titanium Escape Ring from Shomer-Tec is just such a gadget. Within this very nondescript piece of jewelry hides a shim/saw capable of getting you out of a tight spot.
The Escape Ring is a simple wedding band-styled ring made of titanium. It is cut from solid barstock and polished to a mirror finish. Unlike other rings, the Escape Ring contains a handcuff pick tool completely hidden from view when worn on your finger. The titanium ring has, within the center, a machined ridge on both sides creating a channel that the Micro Escape Tool sits in.
The Micro Escape Tool is made of hardened 316 stainless steel, shaped as a shim pick with built-in saw teeth. The stainless steel tool is 2″ x 1/8″ x 1/64″ and weighs a mere 0.01g. The shim is flexible enough to curve around and be seated in the ring’s interior groove. The saw blade can cut zip-ties, disposable handcuffs, duct tape, rope, and other non-metallic materials.
The Titanium Escape Ring is available in five ring sizes (9, 10, 11, 12, 13) and is made in USA. I typically wear a size 9.5 to 10 on my left ring finger. The folks at Shomer-Tec suggested one size bigger due to the Escape Tool taking up some of the interior diameter of the ring. As rings go, the Escape Ring is comfortable enough but you can feel the teeth of the Escape Tool on your finger if you spin the ring.
I did practice a bit (an hour or so) with my hands handcuffed in front of me so I could see what I was doing before trying it blind. Once you get the hang of it, escaping is relatively easy. The shim gets between the teeth of the two locking parts of the handcuffs, enabling you to slide them apart and unlock yourself.
The micro saw/shim can only unlock single-locked handcuffs. The handcuff you see here can be double locked by inserting the other end of the key into the slot on the side of the cuff. Which totally defeats the ability to shim and unlock the cuffs without the key.
After a few days of playing with it, I gave it the blind, behind-your-back try. Surprisingly, I was able to get out of the handcuffs on the second try in about 10 seconds. When it works, it works. If your restraints are racheted down as tight as they go, getting the shims to work is difficult to impossible. The part that swings around on the handcuff needs a little play in it for the shim to work.
I also tested the saw part of the tool on rip ties and was able to cut my way loose. The escape process was definitely more difficult and took longer than shimming the handcuffs. It is actually much easier and faster to unlock the cuffs than cut through things. That said, given enough time and they are not too tight, you could most likely escape from rip ties and/or duct tape.
Silly as it sounds, one of the thoughts I had while doing this review is what a great drinking game this would make. But I am sure it would lead to folks sleeping it off and waking up still handcuffed to something (or someone ). That not withstanding and with a few caveats, the Titanium Escape Ring and Micro Escape Tool work as advertised. Given the right circumstances, they can get you out of a bind and potentially enable you to escape out of harm’s way. The Titanium Escape Ring is $69 and the Micro Escape Tool is $8, both available through the Shomer-Tec website.