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screw gate biners not opening


Original Post
l rs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 380

So today, for the third time this season, I have experienced a screw gate caribiner that would not open even after hitting it with a rock or pouring hot water on it  Unlike the other two times, this was an Omega Pacific biner( others were Petzls)
My theory on why this happened is due to the nature of where I'm climbing ( granite crystal) and the temperature variation of the day.
My question is has your caribiner ever gotten stuck, so that you could not open it without pliers, and if so, what brand was it?( curious if certain brands are more prone to this nuisance)

Kevin Mcbride · · Canmore AB · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160
l rs wrote: So today, for the third time this season, I have experienced a screw gate caribiner that would not open even after hitting it with a rock or pouring hot water on it  Unlike the other two times, this was an Omega Pacific biner( others were Petzls)
My theory on why this happened is due to the nature of where I'm climbing ( granite crystal) and the temperature variation of the day.
My question is has your caribiner ever gotten stuck, so that you could not open it without pliers, and if so, what brand was it?( curious if certain brands are more prone to this nuisance)

Some brands put a piece of wire around the top of the threads on the gate to stop the barrel from jamming up against the top, petzl is notorious for the gates jamming shut. The key is to not jam the barrels shut, just finger tight is enough.

NateC · · Utah · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 0

Are you screwing them shut while they are loaded? Certain barrel designs on screwgates will seize up a bit when screwed shut tightly while loaded. 

Skot Richards · · Lakewood · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 100

Ditch all screw gate lockers.  They are terrible.  I refuse to carry one ever.  Tri-lock or twist lockers only.  

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
NateC wrote: Are you screwing them shut while they are loaded? 

Don't ever do that. Some folks like to give their screwlock biner a final little turn when they're on rappel, evidently thinking that adds some tiny increment of safety. Since doing so can nearly guarantee a stuck biner, with all the shenanigans that entails, it certainly is NOT adding safety; just the opposite in some cases.  My advice - screw it shut then back off 1/8 turn.

Once the darn thing gets stuck, the best approach is to load it up again (hang off the anchor) and then unscrew it.  I am not a fan at all of hitting it with a rock.
Cabot Steward · · Smog Lake City · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 7

The petzl biners will get stuck shut but you can bang them with a cam and they will open usually the key is to just keep them finger tight.

Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 285

I've found small Petzl lockers to be sensitive to overtightening. Sprained my thumb trying to loosen one last year. Banging on it didn't help. Left it behind. Lesson learned.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877

Where is Harumpydoodle?  He is always ranting about noobs and boobs using way too many lockers. This would be his dream thread. 

Zach Raney · · Leadville, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

Weight it to unstick or pliers

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 113
Greg D wrote: Where is Harumpydoodle?  He is always ranting about noobs and boobs using way too many lockers. This would be his dream thread. 

Did someone say Bewbs?


:P
Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 587

Gates can get ovaled or grit stuck in which can ruin the threads. I had one OP biner that got retired after i noticed the barrel wouldn't stay in place after appearing to be screwed into lock position. Several other OP screwgate binerd i got around the same time seemed really delicate so I ditched the lot. I think they must have used cheap or thin material for the sleeve. I replaced them with DMM screwgate biners and they are much tougher.

That said my Black Diamond twistlock gym belay biner got retired too after 5 or so years hard use once it wasn't quite closing fully via the automatic springback. It got hung up on itself about 95% closed, leaving it unsafe.

Bottom line is stuff wears out, be vigilant and replace old gear.

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

Petzl screwlock biners are terrible and petzl should feel terrible about making them.   They overengineered the tolerances and they are notorious for sticking.  Check out reviews....  I have had to cut myself out of a belaying because of them.    I intitialy thought I was overtightening them so I went lighter and found them unscrewing on me using them on an atc in guide mode.  Sell your petzls and buy bd if your price councious or dmm if ya like "purty" stuff.   

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
Nick B wrote: Petzl screwlock biners are terrible and petzl should feel terrible about making them.   They overengineered the tolerances and they are notorious for sticking.  Check out reviews....  I have had to cut myself out of a belaying because of them.    I intitialy thought I was overtightening them so I went lighter and found them unscrewing on me using them on an atc in guide mode.  Sell your petzls and buy bd if your price councious or dmm if ya like "purty" stuff.   

Haha agreed you'll notice the pattern in this thread. Petzl gets stuck a lot. Had to cut my PAS(shoulda used the rope. Beat you all.) Attache got stuck. No knife so I used a single miraculously chance rock that happened to be sitting on the small ledge haha. Shaped like a blade and all. I don't think I tried unscrewing it while loaded though. Few guys told me they are fine biners just if they get stuck when screwed loaded, unscrew them loaded. Stuck unloaded, unscrew them unloaded. Biners flex more than people think with just a little weight. Found to never get one stuck ever since

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 507

Only biners I've had trouble with sticking is the OP D shaped screwgates. On some of them, they would get stuck every other time my campers belayed and none of them were able to open them. Never required a wrench, just more finger strength than little kids have. 

Ryan Swanson · · Pepedidnothingwrong, freejg · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 50

Weird.  All of my petzl screw locks are great.  I have one BD screw lock that is a complete bitch to unscrew.  You can ship your petzls to me for inspection

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 113

Hey guys, this is how the "pros" (at the AMGA Petzl ad agency) do it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BftLmOkB8ZK/

Learn from the pros, (how to make sponsors happy showing idiotic ice anchor construction) NOOBS.

(lol :P)

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote: Hey guys, this is how the "pros" (at the AMGA Petzl ad agency) do it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BftLmOkB8ZK/

Learn from the pros, (how to make sponsors happy showing idiotic ice anchor construction) NOOBS.

(lol :P)

You have a lot of contempt for guides. Did you fail their test?

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 113
FrankPS wrote:

You have a lot of contempt for guides. Did you fail their test?

lol, no Frankie. 

What I have contempt for is people ho-ing out gear for makers rather than being honest about what is real world applicable, efficient and necessary.
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,734

Things expand with heat.  So hot water, assuming the typical loading-and-tightening of the screw lock occurred, won't help anything.  It might help if there is debris in there and that's what's locking it up, but IME that's rarely the case.  Every locker I've had that has done that was because I tightened it too much when locking it, then it got loaded and tightened some more while loaded.  Gunkiemike's advice is on point.  If it's not attached to fixed hardware and you can get it home, a small pipe wrench on the screw lock will sometimes work if you can't get it to come undone while loading it.  Loading it AND using a small pipe wrench definitely works (it can jack up the screw lock mechanism), but most of the time you can get it to come unscrewed by loading it and allowing it to expand so you can get it open.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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