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Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Rocklock Review


Locking Carabiner

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Best Buy Award
  • Currently 3.9/5
Overall avg rating 3.9 of 5 based on 9 reviews. Most recent review: July 15, 2016
Price:   $11 List | $11 online  —  Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Holds lots of knots, good gate clearance, great value, large
Cons:  A little heavy and big
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Overview

The Black Diamond Rocklock is Black Diamond's largest belay and rappel locking carabiner and it's an overall great deal. It was the highest rated carabiner in the $10 range and scored only behind the Petzl Attache 3D, which was double the price. This is a good belay carabiner for sport climbing, top roping or gym climbing because it is easy to handle and a great value at $11 for such a large carabiner. It is not ideal for multi-pitch or mountaineering because it is on the heavy and bulky side. If you are looking for a locking carabiner to load up on, we would go with a smaller and less expensive locking carabiner like the Black Diamond Quicksilver Screwgate. The screw-gate gate model is good for top roping or as an all-around anchor or backup carabiner in winter or any season. If you want the ultimate big biner, it's a close call between this and the Dmm Boa but the Boa is double the price. If you want a belay carabiner that would also work great on multi-pitch climbs in the same price range, check out the Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS and the Wild Country Synergy.

View our complete Locking Carabiner Review to see how this product compared to others.

Available in Three Versions - September 2015
The Rocklock is available in three locking styles: screw gate (as reviewed here), twist lock, and magnetron. Keep reading to find out more!

Product Recall: February 2016
In February of 2016, Black Diamond released a recall of Rocklock screwgates - 210275. If you think you might own any recalled carabiners, read through this safety recall notice to know what your next move should be.

RELATED: Our complete review of locking carabiner

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

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

Last Updated:
Tuesday

The Black Diamond Rocklock Styles


The Rocklock is available in three styles: screw gate, twist lock, and magnetron. Check out the side-by-side comparisons below, with the screw gate shown on the left ($11), the twist lock in the middle ($19), and the magnetron ($25) on the right.
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge 

Hands-On Review


Likes


It works great as a belay or rappel carabiner, especially as a first carabiner for new climbers because it is easy to handle and inexpensive. It also works well for anchors as its big size allows it to handle many knots and slings. It tied for top billing with the DMM Boa in our test of how many figure eights on a bite we could clip to it. The key-lock gate minimizes snagging on belay loops and slings. The slightly curved spine maximizes the gate opening and makes it easy to clip to just about anything at the anchor. This is one of the largest pear-shaped carabiners on the market, making it easier to handle with gloves.

Dislikes


This carabiner is on the heavy and bulky side. You don't want to carry a bunch of these around on your harness. It is not ideal as a multi-pitch climbing carabiner because its big size means it swings around a bit on the side of your harness. Also, it has an asymmetrical pear shape so it doesn't keep the rope in the middle of the biner when belaying in auto-block mode off the anchor. This is not a big deal, but biners like the Petzl Attache or Metolius Element are definitely better for multi-pitch climbing.

Best Application


This is a great belay and rappel biner or all-around locker. It comes with two gate designs: screw-lock and twist-lock. The screw-lock gate works well for an anchor or backup carabiner while the twist-lock gate is faster for belay and rappel use.

Value


The screw-lock version was the best deal in carabiners for $11 from Black Diamond. The twist-lock version is almost double the price at $19 and not the best deal unless you really love having the quick action of a twist-lock biner.

Other Versions


Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Vaporlock
  • Cost - $15
  • Lightweight twist lock biner

Click to enlarge
Black Diamond Positron Screwgate
  • Cost - $10
  • Smaller size twist lock biner
  • Heavier than the Vaporlock lighter than the Rocklock
Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 15, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.9)

86% of 7 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
8 Total Ratings
5 star: 38%  (3)
4 star: 25%  (2)
3 star: 25%  (2)
2 star: 13%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 8 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jul 15, 2016 - 06:02pm
bcperry15 · Backpacker · St. Louis
It's a $11 full sized locking caribiner, no bells or whistles, just pure function. Not the lightest or the fanciest out there, but it's cheep and it works.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 3, 2014 - 03:00am
Sean Maguire · Climber · Manassas
Can't beat these for anchor building is your gonna go top roping. That's about all I use them for cause the are pretty heavy.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 24, 2012 - 06:52pm
johngenx · Climber
I have a few of these for taking the kids top roping, and they're great. Low price, super strong, and allow the rope to see-saw super smoothly on those top rope anchors. Two of the small BD Quicksilver lockers on the bolts and two Rocklocks opposite and opposed for the rope, and you've got a bomb-proof rig. As noted, they're heavy and not really suited to alpine or multi-pitch climbing, but so what, there's lot of good gear for that.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 9, 2011 - 02:12am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Outstanding belay biner, pretty durable considering what I have put it through. Easy locking on the screw-gate, buy it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 8, 2010 - 09:17pm
bearbreeder · Climber
basic and cheap … probably most newbs first gear if they buy the BD starter package

big enough for a focal point … for the weight though the DMM BOA is a better choice if you have the cash for a large biner

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 20, 2010 - 12:17pm
jeepnphreak · Climber · Bzn, mt
I like the manual locking(screw gate) version of this biner, the auto lock gunks up easy to where the mechanism needs to be manually turned to lock the biner; even after cleaning and lube. For a belay biner I really like the size and shape; not my favorite but still pretty good overall.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 15, 2010 - 11:59am
 
weschrist · Climber · left sac
garreat!
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   Jul 21, 2010 - 01:51am
Hummerchine · Climber · East Wenatchee, WA
I like the auto-lock version, and the shape is nice…

But heavy and wear out surprisingly fast.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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