I've been shopping for a tri-state self-locking carabiner for clipping into personal anchors but made a mistake and ordered a twist-lock 'biner instead :) Since product return is a hassle during those zombie outbreak times, I decided to keep it. It's a lighthweight offset-D UIAA certified 23kN load-bearing carabiner.

Now, what would be the best use for it? :) I won't be clipping into anchors with it, I prefer a proper tri-state carabiner. Using this twist-locking for auxiliary work such as haul bags or tools seems to be a waste, on the other hand!

  • The only use I find for twist-locks is really the one you don't like: in your personal anchor system. I find them useless for everything else. In the personal anchor system you can just clip into stuff and hear the noise of the biner locking without losing time to lock or unlock it.. Commented May 22, 2020 at 13:11
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    Sort-of related question: does any manufacturer still make the old-style non-automatic tri-state carabiners? Unlock was up, twist, down but the carabiner would then stay unlocked until you locked it again with the opposite movement - kind of halfway between a screw gate and an automatic tri-state.
    – user3245
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 11:50
  • For others who may, like me, have misunderstood the terminology:-- There are different types of locking carabiners. A screw-gate carabiner requires multiple rotations of the screw in order to lock it. A twist-lock carabiner locks automatically whenever you close it.
    – user2169
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


Nobody ever complained of having too many carabiners; you did not waste your money no matter what you do with it right now. Clip it to a stopper knot on the end of your reserve/back-up rope, or use it to keep a rope bag closed, or clip it to a tie-down or tow rope in the back of your truck. One day it will be exactly the piece you need at exactly the right time.

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    "One day it will be exactly the piece you need at exactly the right time." - yeah, I guess, makes sense :)
    – Alexander
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 10:43

I've used a twist lock carabiner to secure a water bottle holder or glasses case to a bag. When travelling in a city, this prevents opportunist thieves from easily unhooking the item from my bag.

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    Great idea about deterring thieves Matthew! On the other hand, like I mentioned in the question, hanging a bottle on a brand-new UIAA load-bearing 23kN biner sounds like a waste :)
    – Alexander
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 11:43
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    I have actually used a 23kN carabiner for that. Overkill perhaps.:) Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 12:14

You could consider using a twist lock where you would normally use a non-locking snap-gate or wire-gate karabiner but want just a little more security. An example could be on a quickdraw to use on a key runner where you would have used a normal quickdraw in the past.

I would consider this an advanced technique; the downside of this suggestion is that your climbing partner might not understand the role of the twist lock and use it in a crucial situation without realising. With an experienced partner that you trust this might not be a problem but would it come off your rack when you met a new partner?

Related: Why are twist-lock karabiners considered dangerous?

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