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Black Diamond HotWire Review

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
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Price:  $8 List | $7.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, easy to hold
Cons:  Heavier than most other biners
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Dec 5, 2016
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  • Ease of unclipping - 15% 3
  • Ease of clipping - 20% 8
  • Ease of handling - 15% 7
  • How many ropes fit - 15% 10
  • Rope pull smoothness - 15% 8
  • Portability - 20% 6

Our Verdict

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.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Hands-On Review


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.

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner


The notch easily catches the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes or racking nuts. This is a common issue with unprotected wiregate carabiners. If you want a wiregate that snags less frequently 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.

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner


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.

Chris McNamara