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Black Diamond HotWire Review


Carabiner

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  • Currently 3.8/5
Overall avg rating 3.8 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: October 12, 2015
Price:   $8 List | Varies from $6 - $8 online  —  Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Durable, easy to hold
Cons:  Heavier than most other biners
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Overview

The Black Diamond Hotwire was the first carabiners we know of made with the revolutionary "wiregate" design. At first, they scared people. Today wiregate biners are among the most popular because they are light, strong, and reduce gate shutter (the effect of the gate partially opening during a fall). While this carabiner once was the only one, there are now many to choose from. Still this remains a solid product at a good price, and Black Diamond only made it better when the company shaved of 20 percent of its weight with hot-forging technology. The Wild Country Astro earned similar scores to this product across the board.

Product Recall: February 2016
In February of 2016, Black Diamond released a recall of specific Hotwire carabiners; the recall concerns products with manufacturing codes between 4350 and 6018. To read more about what you can do if you own a carabiner that has been recalled, read this safety recall notice.


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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday

Likes


The Black Diamond Hotwire scored well in most categories. It scores above average for ease of clipping. It held three figure eight knots very well (it's roomy). As with all biners with the wire-gate design the gate is less likely to get frozen shut on alpine routes and the slightly hooded nose helps protect gate from getting inadvertently rubbed/pushed opened.

Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner

Dislikes


As with most carabiners with the unprotected wiregate design, the notch gets caught up on the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes. The notch also gets caught up when racking nuts. If you want a wiregate, but you're concerned about snagging, consider the Wild Country Helium Carabiner or Black Diamond Oz Carabiner.

Best Application


This is an all-around carabiner light enough for trad or even big wall climbing but just the right medium size to be easily to clipped on a sport route or with a gloved hand on an alpine route.

Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner

Value


The Black Diamond Hotwire is toward the good end of value. Not one of the cheapest biners but not the most expensive either. Because it is so popular, you might find it on sale in our Price Finder.

Other Versions


Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Oz
  • Cost - $9
  • Lightweight (28g - 1oz)
  • Hood covers nose of biner and eliminates a notch

Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Positron
  • Cost - $7.50
  • Solid gate
  • Extremely durable
  • Great for quick draws that take abuse
Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 12, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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  • 5
   Oct 12, 2015 - 03:46am
KGB · Climber · Washington State
This is a great carabiner!

The size is perfect, and fits the hand well, eliminating any issue of fumbling with the rope and carabiner when you're trying to clip in at a desperate moment.

If you're on a big wall and will be spending the next few days hauling your gear, you might want to save a few ounces and get something lighter… That said, lighter carabiners are not going to increase your skill level much, if at all. You won't suddenly jump from a 5.10 climber to a 5.12 climber because you lost a few ounces of weight with lighter carabiners.

Simple, and shaped to fit your hand.
Gold star and easy to use in my opinion.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 2, 2010 - 03:02pm
ps · Climber
I love this biner!

First off: BD actually makes these in the US still, and this is a plus in my book. Not all BD biners are made in the US (ie, livewire is made in tiawan, couple others are made in china), but the new, forged Hotwire is! Yay for american manufacturing!

Second: I've never been a fan of the size of the neutrino or other micro biners, but I have been a fan of how light they are. The new hotwire is great though; it's the weight of the neutrino (37g) but still maintains the full size of a standard biner. Super easy to clip and not get your finger stuck in the gate, unlike the Neutrino or the Oz. This is probably one of the best weight-to-size biners on the market for ice/alpine use with gloves on.

If you want a biner that is super easy to clip and is light weight yet full sized, this is your biner!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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