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Snap Shackle vs. Carabiner: Which Quick Release Shackles Do I Need?

Snap shackles and carabiners (also called carbine hooks) are both popular quick release shackles for the industrial sector. They share the same basic purpose of providing a quick and reliable point of attachment. So, what’s the difference? And which is right for me? 


As stainless steel hardware, both designs are capable of being load-rated for incredible maximum loads. Both designs are far simpler to release than traditional shackles with threaded bolts but differ in their opening and connection style. Because an open carabiner is accessed through the side, it can still be difficult to release under load. Conversely, a snap shackle’s bail can swing wide open allowing easy clearance when released regardless of load.


  • Releases easily under tension
  • May include a swivel or trunnion
  • Smooth release plunger secured by a spring (unthreaded)
  • Immediate, sudden release via mechanical plunger  


  • Must overcome tension to release
  • May include a threaded “locking sleeve” to prevent accidental release
  • Simpler to operate (just push open the gate), but release requires manual removal of the line.
  • Hook opens inwards for added security 


  • Ferrule Lined Closed Eye: Maintain carabiner orientation while containing and protecting the fixed line from wear and tear.
  • Spring Closing Mechanism: Long-lasting spring firmly secures the contained rope, wire, or loop.
  • Optional Locking Sleeve: Choose from models with threaded locking sleeves (RF650) or non-locking models, depending on preference for added security or ease of use.
  • Easy Single-Handed Operation: Latch onto a rope, belt, or cable with your free hand while your other hand continues to operate.
  • All Stainless Steel Design: For extreme durability, no corrosion, and ongoing use in the harshest environments. 

stainless steel carabiner hook


  • Heavy Duty Plunger: Precise component and spring assembly will ensure dependable service. The split ring is spot welded to prevent accidental dismantling.
  • Streamlined Body: Bail (non-opening loop) and hasp (opening hook) are smoothly shaped to easily clear lines and attachment points when open.
  • High Strength to Weight Ratio: Exceptionally high working loads for their size.
  • Two Finishes: Available in a polished finish or black oxide.
  • All Stainless Steel Design: For extreme durability, no corrosion, and continued use in the harshest environments.
  • Swivel, Trunnion, or Fork Style Bails: Choose from a variety of different bails for increased versatility and mounting options. A swivel can allow an object to spin or avoid unwanted twisting, while a trunnion allows the shackle to move in two planes to maintain optimum articulation. 

Ronstan Industrial’s snap shackles and carabiners are all made with the finest materials and have been tested and approved for use in the harshest outdoor environments. Snap shackles can be more expensive, but when you need to release in an emergency or under load, they can have a huge advantage over a carabiner. This has led them to become popular with divers for securing their tether lines and communication ropes. On the other hand, carabiners are sometimes preferred when the priority is to avoid accidental release, making them a favorite among climbers.

While not intended for human suspension, Ronstan’s products are ideal for marine and outdoor applications as well as fast attachment of tools, lanyards, and equipment. They’re ergonomically designed for simple and reliable operation with the materials and craftsmanship to ensure a long and productive service life.

Need a manufacturer with quick release shackles you can count on? Get in touch today.