Lubricating karabiner locking mechanisms

Another insight from gear check at the NZ TCC yesterday – well, nothing really new – but maybe just a reminder.

Karabiner locking mechanism can get dirty and jammed up. In this case the manufacturers recommend cleaning them with water and soap, blowing them out with compressed air – often this will already be enough to unjam a mechanism – and then to lubricate them.

There are a number of options for lubrication. One such option is graphite powder.

However, because graphite powder is… a powder, if a locking mechanism of a karabiner is packed with it, this can have the contrary effect and totally jam up the rotating action of the barrel, which is obviously not the desired effect. I came across a couple such karabiners yesterday, when you turn the barrel, you can almost feel the resistance of the crusted up powder.

This is a pity, as whilst the intent is good, it does not produce the desired effect. It is therefore preferable to use a light synthetic oil to lubricate those locking mechanisms, such as Duck Oil, Ballistol or WD40.

This one always makes me smile… WD40, Duck Tape – further I would add zip ties to the list –, sometimes I feel as if that is what holds my life together!