We have been lucky to get our hands on a new descender which has been developed by ISC for the rope access market, the D4 Descender.
The device is made from a high grade aluminium and has a stainless steel cam which should ensure a good degree of longevity. The device ‘fails to safe’ (the device locks if the handle is released) and also has a panic feature (if the handle is pulled down in panic then it locks the device – we found this panic feature is not a hyper-sensitive as some others on competitor products).
The D4’s other selling points are that it is rated to 240kg and does not require extra friction to operate at the top end of its range. Operationally the D4 has a smooth rope run through the device and when the user is not in full suspension, such as if working on an incline (like an embankment), the design allows the cam to be squeezed open using your thumb to allow rope to feed through gently (no need to operate the handle). Finally, the D4 works well in a belay mode as well as when put into a system such as a Z rig.
To order http://www.abaris.co.uk/descenders/isc-d4-descender.htm Available early December.