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How often do you replace your carabiner?

Every 2 years
Every 5 years
Every 10 years
never have changed it
User avatar
By paicolman
There are some safety threads circulating, the one with the rotated carbiner and the one hook knife (I did not have one up to now, since the post I have at least a swiss army knife at hand...), so I thought of anothe issue which came to my mind while reading our mostly PG-related swiss hanggliding magazine. In PG community, they change their carabiners often and I realized I have not changed mine in quite a while, so...

User avatar
By Nigel Hewitt
I haven't been hang gliding long but I have a crab' in the caving bag that I bought right back when I started and I still routinely use. It gets inspected and I've junked newer ones over the years for showing damage but that one just soldiers on. Burrs from getting bashed about, so they would abrade a rope or sling, are the usual junker faults but nobody I know thinks that age degrades them.1969 I think so it's heading towards a 50th birthday.
By garett21b
I use mine until I don't feel they are safe.
User avatar
By raquo
paicolman wrote:There are some safety threads circulating, the one with the rotated carbiner
Curious, what is this about? Carabiner rotating 90 degrees with the load being applied to the weaker sides? Can't find the thread...


Personally I just don't fly enough for my carabiner to show any damage or to be affected by metal fatigue. I got a new harness that came with a new carabiner which will last 10 years if not more. I'll most probably sell that harness by that time and end up getting a new carabiner with a new harness.


Don't know much about paraglider carabiners, but maybe they replace theirs often because they're aluminum? Or maybe they're just smaller than ours and more susceptible to damage?
User avatar
By Dave Jacob
Do you know what material the paraglider biners are made from? Most hang gliding biners are now made of steel. Since the change from aluminum, I only replaced mine to upgrade to a spring locking gate. When aluminum was used a pilot had to mindful of something called the endurance limit. Metals weaken as they are load cycled. The higher loads, the lower the cylces. The endurance limit is the amount of strength that material will level off having after a very great number of load cycles. Aluminum essentially has no endurance limit. That means, if used enough, eventually it will fail. Although that may not happen in your lifetime, there have been some cases of aluminum biners snapping with very little load. Steel has an endurance limit somewhere around 40% of it's ultimate strength. My steel biner is rated for about 9000 lbs. If it weakens to 3600 lbs, it will still have sufficient strength to never be in the failure path. Further the ultimate strength of the biner is likely a good deal higher than the rated load. Still, I will likely change it when the zinc coating is depleted and it starts to rust, or if I notice resistance or grit in any of the moving parts. If it developed a burr, I would likely just sand it out.
By thermaleo
If your carabiner should fail in flight, you will likely die. However carabiners very rarely fail. That said, it can happen. Many years ago we tested a dozen or more aluminum 'biners to fail - only one failed at less than the rated strength of c.2000lbs - but it failed at half that, which if you think about it is only around 4g for an average pilot weight..... Many pilots then started using two, but that made hooking in and unhooking a pain, and potentially hazardous in strong winds.

If you are flying on one aluminum carabiner, then don't. Spend c.$20 and get a steel one. And get a twistlock one that you can undo with one hand, not a screwgate one that may need both hands to undo in an emergency. If you land in a 30 mph wind you won't have two hands available to unhook!

Leo Jones
User avatar
By raquo
Thanks for the link, Jorge, that's what I thought.


Speaking of 'beaners, are there safety reasons to prefer the gate facing forward rather than backward?
User avatar
By NMERider
I replace any carabiner that cannot be easily locked and unlocked. I've had the quick lock type fail most frequently but have had several screw lock biners begin to bind up in the threads. Once that happens they get retired. Sand, grit and corrosion are the chief culprits.
User avatar
By miraclepieco
The only time I have changed 'biners is when purchasing a new harness and a carabiner comes with it.
User avatar
By thermalfinder
miraclepieco wrote:The only time I have changed 'biners is when purchasing a new harness and a carabiner comes with it.
Was thinking the same thing. Harnesses wear out faster than HD steel biner. Aluminum, pot-metal or non-HD biner different story I think. :thumbsup:
By carlsonmjc
A good source of Biners, are rescue supply places. I replaced a 32 kn Stubai with 72 KN , 16000lb plus, from one of these places.
User avatar
By sohrab
A question !! should i replace my carbine after 15 years?
User avatar
By Dave Jacob
I would first suggest that it needs to be steel. If not, replace it with a steel carabiner regardless of its age.
That said, I am not familiar with the accepted standards in other countries. Over here, I would tell anyone that they need to using a carabiner from a top tier manufacturer like Stubai or Petzl or similar, that it must be a locking carabiner, and that the load rating should be high enough, you never have to question it. As I mentioned, my Petzl Vulcan handles 9000 lbs and Carlsonmjc’s takes 16000 lbs. If you have a similar quality carabiner that is not corroding and shows no signs of wear in locking mechanism or gate hinge pin, you are probably fine. Else I would say that you have an excuse to buy new gear.

I would also advocate notchless gates as the notched gates tend to tare a few fibers from the hang straps each time they are removed.
User avatar
By Nicos
I replaced mine once — then I got a stainless steel self-closing gate... that's all I'm likely to need, ever.

Pretty easy to use, pretty easy to lock, tough to rust, almost impossible to hairline crack, sweeeet.

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