Review by: hazgas, 2006-03-25
I recently got one of these and it's a pretty slick device. Looking at it, it's not incredibly obvious how it works, but after a few minutes of looking at it, you'll just "get it."
When you do understand how it works, you see what a useful device it is. It locks up with the slightest pressure on the brake side of the rope. You could literally be holding the brake hand of the belay at a bad angle with a pinky finger and catch the person with virtually no effort.
But that does NOT mean this is an autolocking device. If you have your brake hand off the rope it may not lock up. After playing around with it for quite awhile, I think I've figured out what determines whether or not it will lock when the brake hand is off the rope. It needs a sharp jerk to lock up with the brake hand off. Thus is locks up when a leader falls, but not when toproping on a high friction power point with a tight belay. If you keep a loose belay while toproping it will lock up, but not if you keep a tight belay. The harder the climber falls, the more likely it will lock up too -- if the climber just gets pumped and slowly lets go, you better have your break hand on the rope.
Overall, a very useful and great product, but you have to know it's limitations.