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Auto-Locking Vs. Screw gate gate carabiners
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dark_jester


Jul 14, 2006, 8:53 PM
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Auto-Locking Vs. Screw gate gate carabiners
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okay which one you prefer and why, I really like the auto locking but the screw gate i have is lighter so i was wondering what are the significant differences and stuff


wings


Jul 14, 2006, 9:09 PM
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I've had screwgates slowly unscrew on me over time, but being vigilant about checking them every once in a while will cover that.

I don't use any non-screwgate locking carabiners, but I believe the "advantage" is that they are less likely to unlock by accident.

I generally tend to put more value in the weight / notch of the carabiner than whether it's a screwgate or autolock.

- Seyil


dark_jester


Jul 14, 2006, 9:11 PM
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Thanks i currently have both kinds of carabiners i like them almost equally


boulder_junky


Jul 14, 2006, 10:30 PM
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Personally I have tried them both and I prefer the screw-gate. This is most likely because it's the one that I'm more used to but I find that the auto-locking are more of a hassle than it's worth. Also, although probably also because I'm not used to it, I find that I pinch myself a lot with the auto-locking. Not a big deal but annoying.


sirus2400


Jul 14, 2006, 10:55 PM
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I have both. I definately like my auto-lockers better. Once I got used to them, I think they are just more convienent... my 2 cents...


superbum


Jul 14, 2006, 11:22 PM
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I almost universally use screwgate lockers because, well, I just like being in control of my carabiner's mechanisms. If i want them locked, I can lock them.. If i don't I can leave them unlocked. It is up to ME, not the manufacturer. I do own one autolocker (spring-loaded sleave lock) and use it as my cordalette 'biner. Mostly because of the huge gate opening and the beefy construction and ratings though.


dank


Jul 14, 2006, 11:54 PM
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For me, they both have a place.

I am a Forest Service certified tree climber in addition to rock climber. The FS has us using double-action autolockers for any life supporting use.

I do not trust the single-action (twist only) types over a screwlock. I feel the force necessary to twist the barrel is less than a screwlock, and has to happen for less time as well to open the gate. I will use them as backups.

I like the double action (pull, then twist) Omegas. The force required to work the barrel is still less than that for a screwlock, but the odds that it will happen in the right seqence to open the gate are long, IMO.

Even so, I use only the one Omega for the belay device, where I can constantly watch it. Why? Autolockers are heavier, more expensive, and probably less safe than screwlocks. Less safe because the mechanisms can stick--especially in tree climbing, because your gear is constantly exposed to pitch. The gate must be visually checked, or it could be unlocked.

To use a screwgate, you have to physically tighten it down...I feel this is safer.

So for me, the only place where an autolocker makes sense is for the BRD. 8^)

I don't like the Petzl ball locks. Not a fluid motion, and stick open often.

I don't like the Kong autolocks. They require a PUSH, then twist. This is an awkward motion with one hand.

The Omega PULL, then twist is very fluid.


tb69hikeclimb


Jul 15, 2006, 5:05 AM
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I do an awful lot of ice climbing evey year. auto lockers suck for ice! they freeze up and can be a real bitch to unlock. screw/twist lock is all I use . I have a few auto locks they make good paper weights.


zeke_sf


Jul 15, 2006, 9:02 AM
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I use an autolocker on the belay, but I use twist locks for anchor duties, etc. This may be stupid because I got to the top of a climb I was TRing, and when I did the obligatory anchor check I discovered I'd either forgot to screw it shut, or the gate had somehow unscrewed in anchor movement, etc. Fortunately, the unlocked biner was on the bad anchor bolt anyway. Sheww....load off my mind. Autolocker's cost WAY too much for a paperweight though :D


Partner robdotcalm


Jul 15, 2006, 9:13 AM
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Some yearsago, I started up a multi-pitch route in Lump Ridge (Rocky Mt. NP) on a beautiful, warm, sunny October day. About 3 pitches up we got hit with an intense hail and snow storm and had to rappel. I had auto-lock carabiners, and it was difficult getting the ropes through the belay device with my now cold, numb fingers and trying to hold the auto-locks open at the same time. Since that day, I have used screw locks exclusively.

Gratias et valete bene!
RobertusPunctumPacificus


dutyje


Jul 15, 2006, 10:00 AM
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The advantage of the auto-locker isn't necessarily that it's less likely to come unlocked, but rather it's far less likely to never have been locked in the first place. Anyway, I find them annoying simply because they aren't as fast and easy to work with because I've never grown comfortable with them.

They're great when you're dealing with inexperienced climbers that haven't established reflex-like habits of always ensuring their carabiners are locked. They tend to be used quite a bit by gyms or group outings. If you are comfortable with the mechanism, it's not a bad idea to employ one on your key systems which typically use only a single locker (like your belay/rappel device or your attachment point to the anchor).

Carrying a rack full of auto-locking carabiners, however, is like wearing a Badge of N00bidity ;)


jacobg


Jul 15, 2006, 10:28 AM
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nothing but screwlocks are on my rack


zeke_sf


Jul 17, 2006, 4:27 PM
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just to confuse matters, petzl make the semi-auto locker. you can keep it open until you turn the the locking mechanism, and then it opens like a regular auto-locker. advantage: you can keep the gate open until you decide to lock it, disadvantage: now you've got to remember to lock it, just like a regular screwgate. I have and use one occasionally for belaying.


caughtinside


Jul 17, 2006, 4:52 PM
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Both work. I've been using petzl ball lock autolockers for anchor power points lately, and I really like them for that.

With regards to jamming/sticking, I've had this issue with both screw locks and autolocks. If dirt and sand get in either mechanism, it's going to be annoying until you get it out.

But I could see not wanting to have an autolocker for cold weather climbing.


coolklimber


Jul 17, 2006, 5:08 PM
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The auto locking biners after they are used for a while, will start to not close all the way when you let go so they snap shut. Manuel locking biners are my favorite.


the_pirate


Jul 17, 2006, 7:55 PM
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I tend to drop autolocks at a rate of almost 3 to one vs. screwlocks. I have no idea why that is. OTOH there have been several instances, on the last pitch of the day, when I couldn't manage to figure out which direction to twist to unscrew the screwlock. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey seems perfectly obvious on flat groung. :oops:


gymslackerclimber


Jul 17, 2006, 8:09 PM
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boo to autolockers,,

those damn little release buttons--


vegastradguy


Jul 17, 2006, 8:30 PM
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bah, autolockers are frigging expensive- thats reason enough not to use 'em for the most part.

so far, the only legitimate reason i've seen for using one is when hauling- the vibration during the haul can easily unscrew a screwgate. this is the reason i own any autolockers at all....

other than that, screwgates only for me.


sick_climba


Jul 17, 2006, 8:48 PM
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In reply to:
okay which one you prefer and why, I really like the auto locking but the screw gate i have is lighter so i was wondering what are the significant differences and stuff
OK I have had only 2 auto locks. Both petzel and after about 3 months, in both, the spring to activate the auto lock broke. And I have about 10 screw gates and I have had those for over a year and they all work like new. My two cents screw gates are the way to go. Its like passive and active gear ( screw gates being passive). Passive, placed right is way more bomber than active.


Partner blazesod


Jul 17, 2006, 9:40 PM
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I have 1 auto-lock (omega with the off set gate) to use for a master biner at an anchor because it has a huge gate opening. The rest are screw gates. I would not use an auto lock for most things.

Short story about lockers with the little push button safety:
A partner of mine named Blake and I were climbing in Yosemite about 2 years back. He used one of those auto-locks where you have to push a little tiny plastic button, then twist, then pull it open. It seemed like a great idea because it would be more safe, right? Well, after the first pitch he couldn't get his fingers to open it with one hand. So safe it became virtually useless, $16 well spent. :cry:


extremrocker12


Jul 17, 2006, 9:48 PM
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I too have both and I can say that I trust screw gates more. I think its because there is less that can go wrong with it. If you get to much dirt in a auto locker it will stop working.
-Extremrocker12


jumpingrock


Jul 17, 2006, 9:54 PM
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They both have their place. Top rope anchors are always autolock, because I know that they will never open no matter what the rope does. Utility beaners for trad/sport (anchors mostly) are usually screw gates as they are under near constant observation. My belay beaner is a large Oval autolocker. I like the security of the autolock. I've been using it for 5 years and never had somebody unlocked while on belay.


climberterp


Jul 18, 2006, 9:33 AM
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I used an autolocker for belaying for a while, til I noticed that the sharp points at the top of the u-shaped opening of the locking sheath were fraying the hell out of my rope :shock: ( it was an Omega)

No more autolockers for me.


scrapedape


Jul 18, 2006, 9:56 AM
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I sometimes forget to lock my screwgates. Therefore autolockers might seem like a good idea for me. However, I think relying on them could simply breed more complacency and make me even more likely to forget to lock a screwgate on those inevitable occassions that I'm using them (like when my gear's gotten mixed up with my partner's). So I stick mainly with screwgates.

Ok... maybe I like screwgates because they're cheaper. And lower maintenance.

I have one of those Petzl ball lock biners and the action on it got sticky after a while. Wouldn't lock itself. However a little White Lightning cleared it right up, good as new. Maybe better.

My no. 1 gripe with the ball lock is that it's a pain in the ass for me to open it with my left hand. Maybe I'll retire it to my fiancee's rack. She'll like the pretty green button, and it'll match her ball lock belay biner - very important.


geezergecko


Jul 18, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Over the years, there have been a number of instances where I have forgotten to lock a screw gate and it is unnerving to one's confidence "How the hell did I forget to do that!". I have since replaced all my screw gates with Petzl Tri-Act auto-lockers and I feel more confident with them but they do piss off other climbers not familiar with them.

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