Gate Strength of Snaphooks and Carabiners (2022)

August 31, 2017

Mr. Daniel K. Shipp, President
International Safety Equipment Association
1901 N. Moore St.
Arlington, VA 22209

Dear Mr. Shipp,

Thank you for your January 18, 2017, comments and questions regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule revising and updating the general industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) Standards (29 CFR part 1910, subparts D and I). As you know, OSHA published the final rule on November 18, 2016, and it became effective on January 17, 2017.

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This response constitutes OSHA’s interpretation only of the requirements and questions discussed in your letter and may not be applicable to any questions your correspondence does not address. We apologize for the delay in response.

Issue/Question 1: The final rule requires the gate strength of snaphooks and carabiners be capable of withstanding a minimum load of 3,600 lbs. in all directions (§1910.140(c)(8)). OSHA’s requirement differs from American National Standards Institute/American Society of Safety Engineering (ANSI/ASSE) Z359.12-2009, which specifies that these devices be capable of withstanding a minimum load of 3,600 pounds, but does not require testing each snaphook and carabiner. Proof testing the gate strength of each snaphook and carabiner could potentially damage the devices and make them unusable. International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) does not believe OSHA intended to require gate strength testing of each snaphook and carabiner, and requests that OSHA issue a technical correction or letter of interpretation clarifying the requirement.

Answer: You are correct that OSHA did not intend to require testing the gate strength of each snaphook and carabiner. Rather, OSHA intended to be consistent with ANSI/ASSE Z359.12. Therefore, OSHA intends to issue a technical amendment explaining that the gate strength of snaphooks and carabiners must be capable of withstanding a minimum load of 3,600 pounds without the gate separating from the nose of the snaphook or the carabiner body by more than 0.125 inches.

Issue/Question 2: The final rule requires that a “qualified” person train workers on fall hazards and fall protection equipment (§1910.30(a)(2)). The final rule differs from the OSHA Construction Fall Protection and ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program standard. The Construction Fall Protection Standard requires that a “competent person” provide fall protection training (§1926.503(a)(2)).

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The ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 standard requires that:

  • Trainers shall be familiar with the typical falling objects, regulations, standards and the equipment used in the industry they are instructing. The training provided shall be customized to the industry and/or employer according to the needs assessment; and
  • Trainers shall evaluate the fall protection knowledge and skills of trainees through written testing and performance assessments (ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 (§4.8).

ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 also establishes responsibilities for competent persons, which include:

  • Stopping work and taking corrective action to mitigate fall hazards;
  • Preparing, updating, reviewing and approving fall protection procedures;
  • Specifying the selected fall protection systems that workers must use;
  • Verifying that fall protection systems have been installed and inspected;
  • Verifying that training has been completed before allowing an employee to work on elevated walking-working surfaces (ANSI/ASSE 359.2 – 2017 (§4.4)).

Under ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017, does a fall protection trainer who also is designated as a competent person meet the final rule’s requirements of a “qualified person” who trains workers in fall hazards and fall protection equipment (§1910.30(a)(2))?

Answer: The final rule requires that employers ensure a “qualified person” trains workers about fall hazards and fall protection equipment (§1910.30(a)(2)). The final rule defines qualified person as one who “by possession of a recognized degree, certification, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work or the project” (§1910.21(b)).

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Although the final rule’s language on training requirements is not identical to the Construction Fall Protection Standard, OSHA believes the two standards are consistent. The Construction Fall Protection Standard requires that a “competent person”1 provide fall protection training (§1926.503(a)(2)), but also specifies that the competent person must be “qualified” in various aspects of the training’s subject matter (emphasis added). The construction standard’s definition of “qualified” is identical to the final rule (§1926.32(m)).

ISEA also asks whether fall protection trainers in ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 who also are a designated competent person at the work site, meet the final rule’s definition of a qualified person who trains workers on fall hazards and fall protection equipment. As ISEA mentioned, §4.8 of ANSI/ASSE Z395.2 – 2017 specifies that trainers must be familiar with typical fall hazards and fall protection equipment. In addition, §5.1.4 of that ANSI/ASSE standard requires that trainers conducting fall protection and rescue training meet the requirements in ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training. ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 establishes qualifications for safety and health trainers, including subject matter expertise, training experience and delivery skills (§5.1). Specifically, the ANSI/ASSE standard requires that safety and health trainers have “an appropriate level of technical knowledge, skills or abilities in the subjects they teach” (ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016, §5.1.1). Explanatory information states that trainers can develop their knowledge, skills, abilities and competence “through training, education and/or experience” (ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016, E5.1.1 and E5.1.2), which generally is consistent with the language in the final rule’s definition of qualified person. In addition, ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 includes training qualifications that the final rule does not specifically mention. For example, §5.1.3 of the ANSI/ASSE standard requires that trainers maintain their training skills by participating in continuing education, development programs or experience related to their subject matter expertise and delivery skills. Also, the ANSI/ASSE standard requires that trainers must be competent in training delivery techniques and methods appropriate to adult learning (ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016, 5.1.2).

The ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 standard also establishes requirements for competent persons, which every employer must have (§4.4). According to §4.4.1 of the ANSI/ASSE standard, a competent person is responsible for the immediate supervision, implementation and monitoring the fall protection program. Those responsibilities include:

  • Conducting a fall hazard survey to identify all potential fall hazards before workers are exposed to them;
  • Identifying, evaluating and imposing limits on workplace activities to control exposure to fall hazards;
  • Preparing, updating, reviewing and approving fall protection procedures, including reviewing and updating procedures when workplace activities change;
  • Specifying the selected fall protection systems in written fall protection procedures;
  • Verifying that fall protection systems have been installed and inspected;
  • Implementing and monitoring rescue procedures;
  • Participating in investigation of all falls off elevated surfaces;
  • Verifying that fall protection training of each worker has been completed;
  • Inspecting fall protection equipment;
  • Inspecting damaged equipment; and
  • Stopping work immediately and taking prompt corrective measures to mitigate fall hazards if it is unsafe to proceed with the workplace activities (§§4.4.2 – 4.4.15).

To carry out those responsibilities, ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 requires that competent persons have training that includes:

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  • Applicable fall protection standards and regulations;
  • Surveying fall hazards;
  • All equipment and practices applicable to the scope of work;
  • Inspecting fall protection equipment components and systems;
  • Assessing fall protection systems and components to determine whether they are safe for use;
  • Implementing fall protection and rescue procedures (§5.3).

Looking at the entirety of the trainer and competent person requirements in ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2016 and ANSI/ASSE Z395.2 – 2017, OSHA will consider that a trainer who is a designated competent person and meets all of the qualifications for trainers and competent persons in ANSI/ASSE standards is a “qualified person” for purposes of the final rule (§§1910.21(b) and 1910.30(a)(2)). The expertise and knowledge that ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 – 2016 (§5) requires fall protection trainers to possess (i.e., subject matter expertise, training experience, and technical knowledge in the subjects they teach acquired through training, education, and/or experience; and participation in continuing education) satisfies the requirement in the final rule that trainers at least have “extensive knowledge, training and experience” in fall protection (§1910.21(b)). In addition, the responsibilities that ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 (§4.4) requires competent persons to perform and the extensive training they must have (§5.3), clearly indicates that a competent person has “ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project” that the final rule requires (§1910.21(b)).

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. I hope this letter has been helpful in understanding OSHA’s position on the final rule and these subjects. Additional information about the final rule is available on OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces/index.html. OSHA’s requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. OSHA’s letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements; rather they explain the requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation only of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when a legal decision impacts a standard or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2100.

Sincerely,

Loren Sweatt
Deputy Assistant Secretary

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[1] The construction standard defines a competent person as a person who is “capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them” (§1926.32(f)).

So you've heard of a carabiner breaking in-use and want to know how to prevent it. Read on to find out if your carabiners are strong enough to climb on. We'll also give you tips and tricks to help ensure a safe climbing experience.

To ensure your new carabiner is strong enough to use rock climbing, make sure it is CE and/or UIAA certified from a known climbing manufacturer.. Carabiners rated for climbing have minimum strength requirements to ensure the gear will not break when used properly.. Climbing carabiners are rated in 3 orientations.. Note: Generally wire gates are stronger than solid gates in this orientation.. Carabiners certified for climbing by CE and/or the UIAA are exceedingly strong and will not break when used as intended.. In their optimal direction of use (loaded along the major axis) most carabiners are certified for a minimum of 20 kN.. UIAA carabiner tests are done with static drops that far exceed the force capable in an over-exaggerated climbing fall.. The nose is the weakest point of the carabiner and since carabiners are not designed or intended to hold falls on the nose (and it is rare that this happens), there is no certified rating.. its nose gets caught on a bolt hanger or piece of gear and then loaded (see photo above).. That said, it’s worth noting that a carabiner should never be loaded in this orientation during proper use and it rarely happens (much less than cross-loading and gate flutter).. Yes, carabiners with higher strength ratings will be stronger, but in normal use even the weakest rated carabiner will perform admirably.. Neither of these cases can be trusted to be officially CE / UIAA certified.. Look the nose of each carabiner: clean nose angles, keylock carabiners, and shrouded noses will all reduce the ability for the carabiner to snag and become loaded in an unintended orientation.

The carabiner and snap hook are both hooks with a safety mechanism to stop them from opening. The carabiner comes from the German Karibinerhaken, relating

The carabiner and snap hook are both hooks with a safety mechanism to stop them from opening.. carabiner on the left, snap hook on the rightThese days the carabiner is being used in climbing, rescue, and other activities that require a dependable and safe quick-release system.. Carabiners release with pressure inwards, while snap hooks release with downwards pressure, even though they both have spring-loaded gates.. Carabiners are used for professional climbing equipment, while snap hooks have a variety of household and boating uses.. To release a carabiner one pushes the gate inwards towards the spine of the carabiner.. Some snap hooks have a swivel, and some carabiners have a threaded locking sleeve that will prevent them being accidentally released.. Both snap hooks and carabiners have the ability to bear weight , and for professional use need to be tested and rated with a kN (kilo Newton) rating etched onto the spine of the hook, to ensure they can support the load.. Unfortunately there are many advertisers for non-professional use carabiners who do not seem to distinguish between a snap hook and a carabiner or else tout their products as a snap-hook carabiner.. Carabiners and snap hooks meant for heavy duty use have the kN rating etched into the spine of the hook.. ❌ Attach a snap hook to a carabiner ❌ Attach one carabiner to another ❌ Attach a carabiner directly to webbing ❌ Use a snap hook for climbing ❌ Buy a carabiner or heavy duty snap hook without a kN rating on it. The different types will be dependent on the carabiner’s shape, gate type and the size and strength of the carabiner.. oval carabiner When carabiners were invented the oval was apparently the original shape, however they are typically not as strong as the D shape, and the gate opening is the smallest of the shapes.

A helpful tutorial on carabiner strength ratings and why they are important. This article also describes some basic differences between belay carabiners, locking carabiners, and non-locking carabiners

Strength rating on the minor axis, when the carabiner is "cross-loaded" and force is applied to the gate and spine.. If the marking reads 7 kN, this means that if loaded in a horizontal position (cross-loaded) the carabiner’s strength would drop to withstand only 1,575 pounds of force.The last set of numbers should be closer to the second set, maybe off by one or two digits.. This is why carabiners rated for climbing should only be used in climbing and not in other applications such as wenching or industrial settings.. Finally, most carabiners will also have the CE certification and/or UIAA certification stamped near the strength ratings.. There are different styles of locks on locking carabiners.

Carabiners are both the staple of any rack and the icon by which non-climbers identify our sport.

A machine bends the stock into a rough oval shape that will concentrate the force onto the straight spine, then a forging machine presses this shape between two dies (similar to a mold) which apply great pressure to form the final template of the carabiner.. climber, while simultaneously opening and closing the gate to ensure the biner does not fail.. The quality control lab is basically a carabiner torture chamber, full of devices and machines designed to test biners in many load and stress scenarios.. While those base-level strength ratings are more than enough for standard climbing uses, companies use benchmark manufacturing statistics to ensure that more than 99% of the carabiners produced are actually stronger than those numbers in real-world scenarios.. The most common is the D-shape with a completely straight spine and a sharp bend at both ends, which cuts down on weight but increases strength.. Nose (5): At the top of the opening for the gate, this is where the gate is latched while closed.. Locking: A mechanism on the gate prevents the biner from accidentally opening; it’s required in certain situations, such as belaying and clipping in direct to the anchor.. When determining how strong a biner needed to be, engineers took into account the force from the rope on the biner and found that the belay side had to hold 8kN.. He created one of the first aluminum carabiners, which wasn’t produced until much later.. This new shape could be opened even while under weight.

Your complete guide to Snaps, Snap Hooks, Trigger Snaps, Bolt Snaps, Heavy-Duty Snaps..., know the different snap types, common applications and materials.

Snaps—also known as snap hooks or spring hooks—are hooks with a spring snap in their ends to prevent the accidental unhooking of a rope, cord, or other target line.. The traditional snap hook is perhaps the most common type.. Snap hooks are equipped with a durable spring that allows for strong, quick attachment to a rope, cable, chain, or other line.. Snap hooks can come from a wide variety of source materials, such as brass, stainless steel, and die-cast zinc.. Some panic snaps are specifically designed for horses and come with a ring that instantly releases anything attached to the snap.. This is one key difference between a carabiner and a more traditional snap hook—the snap hook can only release the cord or rope it holds if the spring gate is pushed towards the loop, instead of away from it.. In other words, the snap’s spring gate should be able to withstand kN forces of 3,600 pounds, and the snap itself must handle forces of 5,000 pounds.. Trigger snaps are considered a specialized type of snap hook.. Bolt snaps are like trigger snaps in the sense that they can be easily operated with one hand.. Whereas a trigger snap utilizes a lever; a bolt snap employs a button that causes the spring gate to release when pressed.. Bolt snaps tend to be less secure than trigger snaps since accidental pressure on the release button could cause an unintended detachment from the line or strap.. The sports applications for snap hooks are almost limitless.. Factors to consider in choosing a snap hook type for dog leashes include: snap material, swivel-eye vs. fixed, eye shape, and eye diameter.. Whether an awning is retractable or stationary, stainless steel snap hooks and other snap types typically provide stable and adjustable support.

If you engage in climbing as a pastime, professional pursuit or in any other capacity you likely have cause to use carabiners day in and day out. But even if...

All carabiners are snap hooks, but not all snap hooks are carabiners.. Both feature a one-way, spring loaded gate that opens inward to allow quick one-handed attachment.. Carabiners are rated to support higher loads, but snap hooks can be made of plastic.. The biggest difference between a proper carabiner and a snap hook is it a carabiner is intended to bear a load, typically quite a large one, and is purpose designed for use in climbing, rappelling and other pursuits that require ropes, webbing and harnesses to conduct safely.. How can you tell the difference, if all carabiners are indeed snap hooks of a sort and much of the time the two could look more or less identical?. Snap hooks and carabiners are different, even though certain models may appear identical for all intents and purposes.. All carabiners are a type of snap hook, but a legitimate carabiner is intended to support a substantial load during a climbing operation whereas a snap hook is not.. Both operate via way of a spring loaded, one-way gate designed to allow easy attachment to a rope or other firm point but there their performance similarities end.

The Complete Guide to Carabiners - learn about carabiner uses, sizes, functions, history and more.

What Is A Carabiner?. What Are The Gate Mechanics Of A Carabiner?. What Are The Different Uses Of Carabiners?. You’ll see carabiner spelled in two ways: Carabiner or Karabiner.. What Are The Gate Mechanics Of A Carabiner?. These types of carabiners have gates that open when you push them.. Gate Opening For Carabiners. Full-size is used to differentiate normal sizes carabiners versus the newer, small-sized carabiners currently in the market.. What Are The Different Uses Of Carabiners?. Different Carabiner Shapes. Offset D carabiners are sometimes referred to as asymmetrical or Modified-D carabiners.. They were used back in the 1800s where soldiers carried carabine rifles with straps connected by a hook with a gate aka carabiners.. Technical use rescue carabiners have a minimum breaking strength of 27kN-gate closed, 7kN gate open, 7kN minor axis.. General use rescue carabiners requirements are to have a minimum breaking strength of 40kN gate closed, 11kN gate open, 11kN minor axis.

Carabiners are one of the many types of connectors used in the professional climbing industry and are one of the most popular due to their varying shapes and sizes. Once you understand and have assessed the differences between carabiners, think about your climbing needs since different applications will require different kinds of carabiners. To start, two main variations you should consider are shape and gate type. Carabiner Shape 'Biners come in a variety of shapes including  HMS, Klettersteig, captive eye and even brand specific such as Kong Italy's Ferrata and Ergo or Omega Pacific's Five-O shape. For now, let's discuss some of the more common carabiner shapes: D-Shape Carabiner Also known as equal-D, this is one of the most popular carabiner shapes for almost any type of climbing application. D-shaped carabiners are designed to reduce weight from the center gate and toward the non-gated side. A smaller, and lighter D-shape carabiner can be just as durable as an oval carabiner. Pros: Durable shape Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent) Cons: Gate opening is relatively smaller than modified D shape More expensive than oval shape Modified D-Shape Carabiner Sometimes called asymmetric D shape carabiners or offset D,  modified D carabiners are another one of the most popular designs as the majority of climbers own and use them in a variety of climbing applications. Mod D carabiners get their name because they work like regular D shape carabiners, except they are slightly smaller at one end to reduce weight. They usually have larger gate openings, which makes it easier to clip them on. The only downside is they do not have much room inside, compared to regular sized D’s or oval carabiners. Pros: Large gate opening Strong and lightweight Easy to clip on Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent) Cons: Not as strong as regular D shape Some are more expensive than others Pear Shape Carabiner Very much alike to the modified D shape,  pear-shaped carabiners have large gate openings to allow easy clipping of rope and gear. This type is usually used primarily for belaying and rappelling, but can also serve as an anchor point to top roping or multi-pitch climbing.You will sometimes see these pear-shaped carabiners marked as HMS carabiners, indicating that the carabiner is designed with a wide, more balanced top that fits well with a Munter hitch. Pros: Large gate opening Made specific for belaying and rappelling Twist, screw, double/triple action lock, straight or bent gate options available Cons: Heavier than most other carabiner shapes Not as strong as regular and modified D carabiners Oval Shape Oval shaped carabiners are the original style of carabiner and are more versatile, but not quite as strong as other shapes. The smooth, uniform top and bottom curves are designed to limit load shifting. They offer additional gear-holding capabilities than other D shape carabiners and their symmetry permits them to be used for carabiner-brake rappels. Since they center most of the weight load towards the center of the curve, this aids climbers to not shift under the load. Pros: Shape limits load shifting Hold more gear than D-shape carabiners Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent) Cons: Smaller gate opening and relatively heavier than other shapes Not as durable as other shapes Carabiner Gate Types: Locking vs. Non-Locking Locking Gate Carabiner Locking gate carabiners are designed to be locked in a closed position to provide extra protection against accidental gate openings. There are two common types of locking gates: Screw Lock Gate Screw lock gates require you to manually screw the sleeve onto the gate to lock it, and can be operated with one hand. Pros: Manual sleeve lock Can be operated with one hand Reliable in dirty/harsh settings Cons: The amount of time it takes to lock/unlock the sleeve Rubbing/vibrations can unlock the sleeve Risk forgetting to lock the sleeve Twist Lock Gate Also known as a double-action locking gate, the  twist lock gate carabiner requires two motions of opening and closing the carabiner. The two motions consist of manually twisting and pulling inward, and once released, the gate automatically locks when the gate is closed. Pros: Auto-lock gate Speed and ease of opening Rapid auto-locking Cons: Sleeve must be unlocked each time the carabiner is opened Not as secure as a triple lock. Triple Lock Gate Triple-action locking gates require three distinct motions to open the gate which will cause the carabiner to auto-lock itself when the gate is released. The three motions consist of pushing the carabiner sleeve up or down, twisting the sleeve, and finally, pulling the gate inward. Pros: Rapid auto-locking gate Three motions for more rope security Cons: Sleeve must be unlocked each time the carabiner is opened Two hands needed to insert a device into the carabiner Sensitive to mud or other foreign objects that can impede with auto-locking mechanism Non-Locking Please note that a non-locking gate should NEVER be used in climbing applications where fall protection or human support is its main function. Non-locking gate carabiners should only be used to support gear and not people. Straight Gate As the name implies,  straight gate carabiners are straight from top to bottom, and are commonly used for a variety of non-climbing applications. They are mainly found on quickdraws and are frequently used for racking gear, such as stoppers and cams. Straight gate 'biners are designed to open easily when pushed, and close automatically when released, thanks to their spring-loaded design. Some straight gates also feature a keylock nose mechanism that keep the carabiner from hooking and catching on your harness gear loop for snag-free climbing. Bent Gate Bent gate carabiners are usually reserved for the rope-end of quickdraws; this makes clipping a rope quick & easy because of their strong, durable and concave shaped gate opening. Similar to straight gate carabiners, some bent gate carabiners feature a keylock mechanism and typically have an asymmetrical shape. Wire Gate Wire gate carabiners feature a stainless steel wire loop for a gate, decreasing the overall weight and eliminating the need for excess parts found in common gate types. The wire gate design allow for a larger gate opening and is also less likely to freeze compared to other gate styles in cold temperatures. Some wire gates don’t appear to be as strong as other common styles, but indeed they are due to their lower mass in the gate itself, which are less likely to vibrate during a fall. At  U.S. Rigging Supply, we offer a complete range of professional fall protection carabiners. Certified ANSI Z359 steel carabiners, lighter aluminum ANSI carabiners and NFPA 1983-G & T rated rescue carabiners are also available. All carabiner shapes and gate styles mentioned in this post are available on our site too. Looking for something low or high-strength? We have a wide variety of carabiners ranging all the way up to 60kN (that’s over 13,000 lbs!).

A smaller, and lighter D-shape carabiner can be just as durable as an oval carabiner.. Durable shape Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent). Large gate opening Strong and lightweight Easy to clip on Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent). Very much alike to the modified D shape, pear-shaped carabiners have large gate openings to allow easy clipping of rope and gear.. Oval shaped carabiners are the original style of carabiner and are more versatile, but not quite as strong as other shapes.. Shape limits load shifting Hold more gear than D-shape carabiners Available in a variety of gate options (e.g. twist lock, screw lock, double/triple action lock, straight, bent). There are two common types of locking gates:. Triple-action locking gates require three distinct motions to open the gate which will cause the carabiner to auto-lock itself when the gate is released.. Bent gate carabiners are usually reserved for the rope-end of quickdraws; this makes clipping a rope quick & easy because of their strong, durable and concave shaped gate opening.. The wire gate design allow for a larger gate opening and is also less likely to freeze compared to other gate styles in cold temperatures.

This article is all about clearing up some of the confusion surrounding carabiners and discussing what that kN rating means. Learn from our climbing authority!

Unlike the “D” or symmetrical shape carabiners, which shift the rope towards the spine and away from the gate, oval carabiners keep the rope dangerously close to the gate.. The two main categories of snap gates are solid gate and wire gate, which come in two available configurations, straight and bent.. That was the solid gate opening and closing rapidly.. Less mass in the gate and not being as prone to vibration are the factors in prevention.. Typically though, the bent gates you’ll see will be solid gates.. The two main categories of screw gates are symmetrical and asymmetrical, which come in two different configurations, manual or automatic locking gate.. The most common screw gate carabiner features a rotating sleeve that is “screwed down so you don’t screw up!” How many of you remembered that tip from the rappelling articles?. If you have carabiners without a kN rating DO NOT use them for climbing!. We mentioned previously that the greatest strength of a carabiner is in its spine, and is why kN ratings typically offer two different strength ratings.. Obviously, distributing a load on the gate of the carabiner isn’t good, and this is evident by the kN rating which will typically be 1/3 of what the spine rating is.. For example, the manually locking carabiner in our photos is rated at kN 27 along the spine, and kN 8 to 9 across the gate.

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