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Black Diamond Screwgate Gridlock
  • Black Diamond Screwgate Gridlock
  • Black Diamond Screwgate Gridlock

Gridlock Screwgate


My vote: None ( 4.3 avg )


With its revolutionary, patent-pending design made possible by our in-house hot forge, the Black Diamond GridLock Screwgate eliminates the dangers of cross loading. Designed specifically for belaying, the intuitive, easy-to-use GridLock isolates the belay loop behind its uniquely shaped gate, thereby keeping the carabiner in its proper orientation. The GridLock's I-beam spine transitions into a large, rounded rope-bearing surface for maximum strength and smooth rope feeding. Simply put, you'll never have to deal with a shifting, cross-loaded belay carabiner again.

Hot-forged construction.
I -beam spine transitions into a rounded, large ropebearing.
Intuitive and easy-to-use design.
Screwgate sleeve.
Patented, innovative design isolates belay loop to.
eliminate cross-loading.
Isolates belay loop.

Retail price

US$ 22.95

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Weight (g)

Weight (g)

In grams, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.

76 g


Rule of thumb

Almost every carabiner you use will be non-locking offset D’s, with the exception of a Pear/HMS locker as your belay ‘biner.

Offset D (aka Modified D)

60% of the market

A modification of the standard D shape, the top of an offset D is much wider, allowing for a larger (and superior) gate opening. When loaded, most of the weight is transferred to the spine of the carabiner making them stronger than most other shapes. Used for top and bottom quickdraws, as racking carabiners, and lightweight lockers.

Pear / HMS

22% of the market

The Pear/HMS carabiner is used primarily for belaying and/or setting a powerpoint in an anchor. The wide top means they can hold a lot of gear. They are almost always locking and are generally heavier (than D/offset D's) because they need more material to gain back strength lost due to their shape.


8% of the market

The first carabiner shape to be mass produced. When loaded, the pressure is shared equally on both sides of the ‘biner. Since the weaker gate shares the load with the spine, oval biners aren’t as strong as shapes that direct the load to the spine. The bonus is, your gear rests squarely in the middle, so it's great for holding nuts, pulleys, and prusiks.

D (aka symmetric D)

7% of the market

D’s have a symmetrical shape that sets the rope closer to the spine, putting the load on the spine (versus sharing the load with the weaker gate side, like the oval). Since the strongest part of the carabiner carries the weight, D’s are the strongest shape. Downside: Smaller gate openings than the offset D.

Quick Link (aka Oval link, Maillon Raptide)

1% of the market

Although most climbers wouldn’t refer to this shape as a “carabiner” they are certified by the same EN standard as all the other carabiners. These semi-permanent links ensure the gate will not accidentally open. They're used when setting up a semi-permanent rappel station (not used while climbing up).

Semi-Circle / 3D

less than 1% of the market

Semi-circle: Mostly used by Search and Rescue as this is a great way to secure a chest harness.
3-D: Designed to increase the gate opening and to reduce the chance that the rock will rub your rope and/or the locking gate open. Buy if you’re the curious type; they’re not cheap, and there’s not many in the US.

Learn More

Pros and cons of each shape, graphs and more examples
Pear / HMS


main non-locking carabiners uses:

  • quickdraws
  • to rack (hold) your gear on your harness
  • part of an anchor setup

main locking carabiners uses:

  • belay carabiner
  • main anchor powerpoint
  • when you need the gate to stay shut

screw gate vs auto-locking gate

Screw gates are generally lighter and cheaper.

Auto-locking gates are usually considered safer as they automatically snap shut, not counting on one's memory to close and are harder to accidentally unlock. The debate comes on opening speed as some are much faster while others can be a struggle.

Learn More

See the newest auto-locking gate technologies
Straight or Bent

Straight or Bent

It's easier to see the difference between straight and bent gates on solid gate carabiners:

Straight Gate

The standard. Always used as the bolt-end of the quickdraw, and still sometimes used on the rope-side too. Also used for racking gear such as cam and nuts.

Bent Gate

Created to make it easier to put the rope into a quickdraw with their larger gate opening. Primarily used on the rope-end (bottom) of quickdraws.

Extra Notes

  • Choosing a bent or straight gate does not significantly change the weight, strength, or price of the carabiner.
  • All locking carabiners have straight gates.
  • Today, many wiregates have a hybrid almost-straight-but-kinda-bent gate and are offered in this version only (not as a classic a bent or straight option). We have classified these as bent gates since they're not totally straight.

Important Note

Many manufacturers are now making the bolt-end carabiner come standard in silver (to match the bolt color), and are coloring the rope-end with other anodizations.

Do not mix (interchange) bolt-end carabiners and rope-end carabiners. This can be very dangerous as small abrasions made by the bolt can easily wear your rope. DMM put out a great video/write-up on this issue.

Full Size

Full Size

Full size carabiners are easier to hold but generally they're also heavier.

This is a totally debatable field as there is no official size, weight, or gate opening necessary to be full size. There are no certifications and this isn't a standard the manufacturer's normally describe specifically.

We did our best to compare (descriptions, in-person use, etc), as a way to help give more information about this carabiner. Like always, if you see something that seems totally off, send us a note.



A keylock nose means the nose is smooth. Keylock carabiners are also known as: snag-free, notch-less, and hook-less.

Keylock Benefit

The lack of a hooked nose makes for less snagging on gear and bolts – a dramatic improvement.

Keylock Drawback

Given that they’re more complicated to manufacture, keylock designs often come at a higher price, especially in wiregates.

Worth Considering

There are more design features necessary to guarantee a snag-free experience, like the curvature of the nose. Some keylock carabiners will still catch on the nose because of the lack of a smooth nose arc (smoother the arc, smoother the clip).

Learn More

Check out our blogpost that goes over carabiner nose design to get all the details
Solid or Wire

Solid or Wire

Solid Gates

Generally on beefier carabiners, so they're usually heavier and more durable. They can also feel more substantial in your hands while clipping. Often favored by sport climbers.

Wire Gates

Featured on the lightest carabiners, so they're favored by trad and alpine climbers.

Some considerations

If you want keylock nose carabiners, then solid gates will be much cheaper compared to wire gates.

When wiregates first came out they were not trusted (too new, looked too simple). Now, it's proven that wiregates have less gate flutter and gate shutter than solid gates.

Learn More

Compare gate flutter and gate shutter
Gate Opening

Gate Opening (mm)

Gate opening refers to the distance between a carabiner’s nose and the fully open gate.

General Guidelines

top of your quickdraw: 17 mm – 22 mm
bottom of your quickdraw: 23 mm – 26 mm
as an anchor holding webbing/gear: 19 mm+

Adding bias towards a larger gate opening is a great option once you’ve narrowed your choice to a few similar carabiners and need help determining which one is the best.

Learn More

Gate opening comparisons, examples, averages, shape, sizes, graphs, and explanations
21 mm
Number of Colors

Number of Colors

The number of different colors that you can find this carabiner in. This color-coding practice was started with just 2 colors, usually silver (that goes on the bolt side of a quickdraw) and another color for the rope side. Now, carabiners come in 5+ colors sets known as "rack packs" so your carabiners can match your cams.

Climbers can also match their carabiner color to their harness or other gear just for fun.

Learn More

Carabiner Rack Packs Explained
Lock Indicator

Visual Warning

A lock indicator is a visual warning only seen on locking carabiners. It adds some sort of visual to show if the carabiner is unlocked such as the color red, a danger sign, an unlocked image, etc. When the carabiner is locked the visual indicator is hidden.

Only a small list of manufacturers add this safety feature, although you can easily add one yourself with a permanent marker.

Strengths (kN)

Strengths (kN)

In kilonewtons, the strength, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.

Major Axis Closed Gate Strength

This is the strongest orientation and the way carabiners are designed to be loaded.

Major Axis Open Gate Strength

This strength is measured because while climbing, carabiners lying against the rock can be opened slightly as they move across an uneven surface. A carabiner can also open slightly during a fall as the ‘biner starts to vibrate, dispersing the energy (also called "gate flutter"). A weak gate closure (due to a poor/failing spring or an over-stressed wire) could also leave the gate ajar.

Minor Axis Gate Strength

Carabiners are not intended to be loaded along the minor axis (cross-loaded), but it is possible for a carabiner to unintentionally rotate during use, especially while belaying. Of all accidental misuses of a carabiner, cross-loading is the most frequent suspect, which is why there is a rating for it.

Generally wire gates are stronger than solid gates in the minor axis. During the test, the wire gate bends, absorbing some of the force, as compared to a less pliable solid gate.

Learn More

How carabiners are rated, recommendations and strengths.
  22 kN   8 kN    7 kN
( 3.8 avg )
( 5 avg )

A must have for certain belay devices

Easy to remove from belay loop
I’ve used it a ton

These are essentail if you own a mammut smart device. The device is built so if it switches to the small end of the biner, it no longer locks up on the rope. I feel like the people who like to trash these didn't give them the time to get used to them, as you have to with any new equipment.

These are more simple than many devices that lock into the belay loop, and I'm always going to have one with my smart device.

( 2.6 avg )

More hassle than it's worth

Prevents crossloading
requires more steps than other biners

The main in-practice difference between this and other crossload-preventing biners is that the piece preventing the biner from spinning is attached to the gate. So if you lock it but forgot to pull your belay loop through, you have to unlock it to be able to pull it through.

I could see how someone could easily get used to that, but my first course of action after clipping everything together pre-belay is to lock my biner. Meaning I usually forget to pull through before locking.

I also question the structural integrity of the piece inside the biner. If you forget to pull through and that get's shockloaded, when will it break? Will it leave a ragged metal edge inside your biner? I've never seen one break like that, just voicing a concern.

The Alpine Start Gear Review no rating given just a review

Utterly simple in its design, foolproof in operation and flawlessly effective, Black Diamond’s Gridlock belay carabiner is one of those things that makes you wonder why it had taken so long for someone to come up with it. Introduced to the market about a year ago, the Gridlock has become a staple on my harness, and the one ‘biner I use with every belay device I own.

Blister Gear Review no rating given just a review

So is the added safety worth it? Just as there’s never a good reason not to wear a helmet, there may be no good reason to avoid the GridLock. Although cross-loading is rarely a concern, the consequences of a failed carabiner are potentially catastrophic. And for climbers concerned with that possibility, the GridLock absolutely achieves what it sets out to do.

Personally, I think that other carabiners, like the Positron, are more multifunctional and therefore more practical than the GridLock, particularly for the price. But for dedicated belaying or beginners, the GridLock is worth a look.

GearFlogger Logo

The GridLock's innovation is the funky gate, which makes the biner look like a figure 8 when closed. At the halfway open point you can slide your harness belay loop all the way into the small basket, put your belay device - BD hopes you'll use their new ATC Guide - keeper cable in the large basket, and when you close the gate everything is locked into its proper place. The idea is the carabiner can't turn 90 degrees and get cross-loaded, so the load stays on the strong axis as God and Yvon Chouinard intended.

Climbing Gear Review

How many times have you looked down while belaying and noticed your locking biner has slipped sideways, so that either the belay loop or the belay device is smack up against the carabiner gate? Once a day? Every two minutes? This is cross-loading, and it’s dangerous—a locking carabiner is only about one-third as strong across its width as along its full length. Various solutions to this problem have been proposed, but most have been too heavy or futzy to catch on. Enter the Gridlock Screwgate, a cross-loading solution so simple and elegant that BD deserves to sell a million of them. The Gridlock’s gate has a short prong that extends into the narrow end of the biner. Open the gate, and the prong rotates out of the way so you can slip the biner over your belay loop; close the gate again, and the prong seals the gap, effectively locking the biner into the correct position for belaying. Once you get the feel of it, placing and removing this biner is as simple as it is with any locker. And by hot-forging these biners, Black Diamond was able to shave metal from the I-beam spine—the biner is a reasonably svelte 2.7 oz.—while leaving smooth, rounded surfaces at the rope-bearing ends. At Climbing’s office, our test sample kept mysteriously disappearing as editors insisted it needed just one more day of testing. You’ll want to label your Gridlock.

Black Diamond Carabiner Manufacturing

Video shows how the Black Diamond carabiners are made.

Manufacturing of Black Diamond Hot-Forged Carabiners

The UIAA equipment standard provides a baseline for equipment performance in a test lab under controlled conditions on new equipment. Although these test conditions are relevant to the conditions encountered climbing, conditions encountered at the crags and the condition of the equipment are equally important. This recommendation from the UIAA member federation The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) provides vital equipment information that is NOT explicitly addressed in the standard, particularly failure modes of the equipment and recommendations for the use, inspection, maintenance, and retirement of equipment.