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Carawhat? Carabeiner, karabeiner, beiner. These all refer to the same thing, which we will call a beiner. There are many kinds of beiners:
|The D shaped beiner. A very common beiner.||The modified D. The gate opens at the larger end.||The locking D beiner.||A modified D shaped, with a bent gate for easy opening of the gate with one hand.||The original non-locking oval beiner.|
Carabeiners are used for just about everything while climbing. Carabeiners are used to set up anchors, and for the belay to hook in to the anchor. The belayer then has a carabiner attached to their belay device and harness. The climber uses quickdraws, if on lead. The climber attaches himself to the anchor at the top of the climb using carabeiners and webbing. You get the idea... beiners are used to link any system to another system.
This diagram shows two things. First is the normal force that the carabeiner is rated to withstand, which is on it's vertical axis. This value is 19 kilo-newtons. If a force was applied on the horizontal axis, it would withstand around 9 kilo-newtons. As you can see, carabeiners are designed to weighted in certain ways. That is why placing them correctly is important. Always place them so they are weighted properly on their vertical axis, and make sure that the rope is not tracking against the gate. If the rope falls against the gate, it could cause it to open.
Locking carabeiners have some mechanical system on the gate that allows them to lock in place, so that the gate can not open. This is an important factor for anchors where you have the time and hands to set it up, and it is an important part of the belay system.
Most carabeiners have a pin-lock gate. This means that the gate has a notch in it that fits into a slot on the carabeiner. A few types have a key-lock gate. Key locks don't get stuck as frequently, and the slot is not present for webbing or gear to get stuck on. This can be a problem, believe it or not. Climbers have spent minutes fiddling with pin lock beiners that get stuck in their harness or webbing.
If you are using regular non-locking beiners in the place of locking beiners, double them up, and reverse the gates. To reverse the gates, simply attach one beiner with the gate facing left, and the other with the gate face right. Or north, south, up or down, whatever the case may be.
Be careful about dropping beiners, or having them knocked against hard surfaces. If you throw a beiner down three pitches, it can get so many knocks and dings that it may be damaged and unsafe for use. Also be careful about using beiners that have scratches that are sharp - these can damages rope or webbing clipped into it.[an error occurred while processing this directive]