Petzl Am'D Spinball

Am'D Spinball

Name:Petzl Am'D
Sub Item:Spinball
Category:other locking
Locking Type:assisted
Unlock Style:press-and-twist
Sleeve Rotation:120° (unlocked) | 120° (maximum)
Shape:asymmetric D
Nose Guard:none
Gate Shield:relieved: blocked
Weight:71 g
Dimensions:Length: 111 mm
Width: 63 mm
Gate Opening: 22 mm
Strength Ratings:Major Axis: 28 kN | Minor Axis: 7 kN | Gate Open: 8 kN
Other Markings:Forged: PETZL Am'D Pat. | (ratings) CE0197
Injection Molded: (Petzl oval logo) SPINBALL PATENTED (fingerprint texture)
Stamped: 031740
Batch Marking Location:spine-exterior-left
Collection Criteria:★ Mechanically Interesting
★ Historically Interesting or Iconic
Summary:manual version of ball-lock
Description & Commentary:

The earliest version of Petzl's triple action button-locked carabiners. From the unlocked position, the yellow sleeve is manually rotated about 120 deg and engages a spring-loaded green button which protrudes through a hole in the sleeve. Depressing the button (or ball) and rotating the sleeve will unlock the carabiner. The rotation of the sleeve is entirely manual and not spring-powered, permitting the carabiner to remain in the unlocked position until it needs to be secured - much like a traditional screw lock carabiner.

Most modern triple-action carabiners use two spring-powered locks (full autolocking), whereas the Spinball uses a manual lock (the spin) in conjunction with a single autolocking mechanism (the ball).

Note that the plastic sleeve Ball Lock v1 and the metal sleeved Ball Lock v2, unlock after about a 45 deg rotation but the spin lock requires ~120 deg of rotation - which seems appropriate considering the manual aspect of this mechanism.

I appreciate manual locking carabiners, climbing almost exclusively on them for recreational tree climbing. Even so, I prefer a metal-sleeved screw lock carabiner, as I expect it would be a bit stronger at resisting force on the gate face - I would be concerned about the plastic sleeve deforming under a gate face load. That said, this is one of my favorite carabiners in the collection, and I wish we could get a re-release using a metal sleeve and a lightweight hot-forged carabiner body.

Relevant Patent:EP0826890A1