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Publication numberUS20070278165 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/373,478
Publication dateDec 6, 2007
Filing dateMar 10, 2006
Priority dateMar 10, 2006
Publication number11373478, 373478, US 2007/0278165 A1, US 2007/278165 A1, US 20070278165 A1, US 20070278165A1, US 2007278165 A1, US 2007278165A1, US-A1-20070278165, US-A1-2007278165, US2007/0278165A1, US2007/278165A1, US20070278165 A1, US20070278165A1, US2007278165 A1, US2007278165A1
InventorsLaura Ranieri
Original AssigneeRanieri Laura A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knife block with protective knife slot inserts
US 20070278165 A1
Abstract
A knife holder comprises a frame having an aperture, wherein the aperture has a width corresponding to the width of a knife blade. A plastic insert is configured to be seated within the aperture, wherein the insert has a length corresponding to the length of the knife blade. The insert has a first closed end corresponding to the distal tip of the knife blade, and a second open end corresponding to the edge of the knife blade and the handle, such that the insert encloses the knife blade and prevents contact between the knife blade and the interior of the knife holder.
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Claims(19)
1. A knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife, wherein the at least one knife includes a blade having a predetermined length, the knife holder comprising:
a body comprising a top surface and a substantially solid interior;
a first plurality of slots extending from the top surface and extending into the interior of the body; and,
a plurality of inserts, each of which is disposed within one of the plurality of slots, each of the inserts comprising a first open end and a second end and defining a shaft configured to receive a knife blade, wherein the shaft has a length at least equal to a predetermined knife blade length.
2. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein each of the inserts has a distal lip extending radially about the open first end, wherein the distal lip is configured to rest on a portion of the top surface of the body.
3. The knife holder of claim 1, further comprising a plate attached to an exterior of the body, the plate comprising a second plurality of slots corresponding to the first plurality of slots to define an opening for receiving the at least one knife blade.
4. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the inserts are formed from a polymer.
5. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the inserts are removably disposed within the body.
6. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the inserts are coated with an antibacterial agent.
7. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the slots are arranged within the body in a plurality of tiers, at least one of the plurality of the tiers being configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK different than blade length LK received by a slot in another of the plurality of tiers.
8. The knife holder of claim 1, further comprising a securing strap mounted on an exterior of the body and positioned perpendicularly to the open second end of one of the plurality of inserts, so as to releasably secure the knife blade within the insert.
9. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the predetermined length of the insert LI=1 to 10 inches.
10. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the inserts are coated with a non-stick material.
11. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the inserts are coated with a low friction material.
12. A knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife, the knife holder comprising:
a body having a top surface;
an aperture in the top surface, the aperture being configured to receive an insert therein, insert defining a shaft and being configured to receive a knife blade having a predetermined blade length LK, the insert being disposed within the aperture and comprising a first open end and a second end, the predetermined length of the insert LI being at least equal to the blade length LK.
13. The knife holder of claim 12, wherein the insert has a distal lip extending radially about the open first end, wherein the distal lip is configured to rest on a portion of the top surface of the body.
14. The knife holder of claim 12, wherein the insert is formed from a polymer.
15. The knife holder of claim 12, wherein the insert is removably disposed within the body.
16. The knife holder of claim 12, wherein the insert is coated with an antibacterial agent.
17. The knife holder of claim 12, wherein the predetermined length of the insert LI=1 to 101 inches.
18. A knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife comprising:
a body comprising a top surface and a substantially solid interior;
a plurality of slots extending from the top surface and extending into the interior of the body; and,
a plurality of polymer inserts removably disposed within each of the plurality of slots, the polymer inserts comprising a first open end, a second end and an interior surface, the polymer inserts defining a shaft having predetermined length LI and being configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK, the interior surface of the inserts being coated with a low friction material, the predetermined length of the inserts LI being at least equal to the blade length LK.
19. The knife holder of claim 1, wherein the insert has a distal lip extending radially about the open first end, wherein the distal lip is configured to rest on a portion of the top surface of the body.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to knife holder, and more particularly, to a knife block having protective polymeric inserts of a length substantially equal to the length of a knife blade to be inserted therein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Certain types of knife holders, also known as knife blocks, are known to one of skill in the art. Generally, knife holders are a rectangular block of generally solid material, such as wood or metal. Holes are cut into the block lengthwise, and knife blades are inserted into the holes, such that the blade rests within the hole, and the knife handle rests outside of the hole. The blade is pointed downward, so that the knife is held safely in the hole by gravity.

Certain types of knife holders are disadvantageous in that repeated insertion and withdrawal of a knife into and from the holder can result dulling the knife blade over time. Further, knife holders made of wood can, over time, become warped by the elements. A wood knife holder, when warped, can further hasten the process of rendering the knife blade dull, and can also have the disadvantageous result of bending the blade. Even metal knife holders can, over time, because rusted around the edges of the hole into which the knife blade is inserted. Over time, that rust can be transferred to the knife blade. If the blade is then used in food preparation, the rust can then be dangerously transferred into human consumption.

To solve those problems, some knife holders known in the art use inserts, which are seated into the knife blade holes in the knife holder. The inserts serve to guide the knife blade into the knife holder. However, such inserts do not fully protect the knife blade, because such inserts only seek to guide the blade into the hole, but do not extend to protect the majority of the knife blade.

The present invention is provided to solve the problems discussed above and other problems, and to provide advantages and aspects not provided by prior knife holders of this type. A full discussion of the features and advantages of the present invention is deferred to the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, a knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife is provided. The knife holder is comprised of a body, a first plurality of slots and a plurality of inserts. The body has a top surface and a substantially solid interior. The slots extend from the top surface and into the interior of the body. The inserts are disposed within each of the slots. Each of the inserts has a first open end and a second end and defines a shaft having a predetermined length LI. The shaft is configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK. The predetermined length of the insert LI is at least equal to the blade length LK. According to one embodiment of the invention, the predetermined length of the insert LI is greater than the blade length LK.

According to one aspect of the invention, each of the plurality of inserts has a distal lip, which extends radially outward from the open end of the insert. The distal lip has a width that is greater than the width of the slot, and thereby serves to prevent the insert from becoming lodged within the slot.

According to another aspect of the invention, the knife holder further comprises a plate attached to an exterior of the body. The plate has a second plurality of slots corresponding to the first plurality of slots to define an opening for receiving a knife blade. The plate serves to retain the structure of the slots and also to reduce the likelihood of bacterial buildup on the exterior of the body of the holder.

According to another aspect of the invention, the inserts are removably disposed within the knife block. The interior of the inserts are coated with one or more of an antibacterial agent, a non-stick coating or a low-friction coating.

According to still another aspect of the invention, the slots are arranged on the body in a plurality of tiers. At least one of the plurality of the tiers is configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK that is different from the blade length LK received by another of the plurality of tiers.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, a securing strap is mounted to the exterior of the body of the knife holder. The securing strap is positioned so as to be perpendicular to the second open end of at least one of the inserts, so as to releasably secure the knife blade within the insert. Securing the knife blade in the inserted position has the advantage of providing a child-proof knife holder, such that the knife blades will not slide out of the inserts if the knife holder is knocked or jostled.

According to the present invention, a knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife is provided. The knife holder is comprised of a body having a top surface, an aperture and an insert. The aperture is disposed in the top surface and is configured to receive an insert therein. The insert defines a shaft and being configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK. The insert is disposed within the aperture and has a first open end and a second end. The insert defines a shaft having predetermined length LI that is at least equal to the blade length LK.

According to the present invention, a knife holder suitable for receiving at least one knife is provided. The knife holder is comprised of a body, a plurality of slots and a plurality of polymer inserts. The body is comprised of a top surface and a substantially solid interior. The slots extend from the top surface and into the interior of the body. The polymer inserts are removably disposed within each of the slots. The polymer inserts have a first open end, a second end and an interior surface and define a shaft having predetermined length LI configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK. The interior surface of the inserts are coated with a low friction material. The predetermined length of the inserts LI are at least equal to the blade length LK.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a knife holder according to the present invention, illustrating knives inserted therein;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an insert for a knife holder according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the knife holder shown in FIG. 1 taken along the line 3-3;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a knife holder according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the knife holder shown in FIG. 4 taken along the line 5-5;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the knife holder shown in FIG. 4 taken along the line 6-6;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the knife holder shown in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a knife holder according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a knife holder 1 having a body 11 with an interior and an exterior. The body 11 has a generally solid interior, and may be comprised of wood, steel, plastic or any other generally solid material. In another embodiment of the present invention, the knife holder 1 can be comprised of a generally hollow body 11 so as to reduce the cost of manufacture. In that embodiment, the knife holder 1 is weighted at a distal end opposite the end in which knife blades 14 are inserted, to ensure that the hollow body 11 knife holder 1 does not tip over. The knife holder 1 preferably has a generally rectangular body and has distal ends that are slanted at a roughly 45 degree angle so as to provide for convenient access to the knife blades 14 stored therein. However, it is contemplated by the present invention that the body 11 of the knife holder be any configuration suitable for storing knives.

As shown in FIGS. 1-7, the knife holder 1 has a plurality of slots 12 in which to receive the blade of a knife or other similar cutlery instruments. In one embodiment, and as illustrated, the slots 12 extend through the entirety of the knife holder 1, so as to create an aperture on both ends of the knife holder 1. That feature provides for each slot 12 of the knife holder 1 to receive an insert 16 of any length. It will be understood that knives are manufactured in a variety of dimensions, and that it is advantageous in a culinary environment to have a variety of different types of knives at one's disposal. To that end, the slots 12 of the present invention each have a width that corresponds to a width of a particularly dimensioned knife blade 14. For example, the second slot 12 of the present invention may have a width of 1 cm, to accommodate a thin knife blade 14, whereas the third slot 12 may have a width of 2.5 cm, to accommodate a thicker knife blade 14. While the slots 12 are preferably configured to have different widths, the length of the slots 12 can be uniform, or may have lengths corresponding to different knife blade 14 lengths.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of inserts 16 are provided, wherein each of the plurality of inserts 16 is configured to be received by, and disposed within, one of the plurality of slots 12. The insert 16 is configured to hold only the blade 14 of the knife, while the handle of the knife remains outside the insert 16, thereby permitting the knife to be easily retrieved by a user of the knife holder 1.

Each of the inserts 16 has a first end 18 and a second end 20. Further, each of the inserts 16 define a shaft 2 having predetermined length LI that is configured to receive a knife blade having a blade length LK. The shaft 2 of the insert 16 acts to prevent the knife blade 14 from coming in contact with either the slot 12, or the interior of the body of the knife holder 1. Preferably, the predetermined length of the insert LI=1 to 10 inches. However, the predetermined length of the insert LI should be at least equal to the blade length LK. For example, a standard butcher knife blade 14 is 8 inches long, whereas a standard paring knife blade 14 is 6 inches long. Thus, an insert 16 configured to receive a butcher knife will be roughly 8 inches long, whereas an insert 16 configured to receive a paring knife will be roughly 6 inches long. It is contemplated that the length of the insert LI be greater than the blade length LK without departing from the present invention.

The insert 16 has two ends, a first end 18 and a second end 20. The first end 18 of the insert 16 is open. The first end 18 is configured to receive the knife blade 14. It is contemplated by the present invention that the second end 20 of the insert 16 can be open or closed. It will be understood that viral and bacterial agents can live on the surface of a knife blade 14, and that such agents can transferred to other surfaces such as wood and steel. Wood in particular is, at a microscopic level, highly porous, and therefore provides a susceptible environment for storing bacteria harmful to human consumption. Accordingly, an insert configuration in which the second end 20 of the insert 16 is closed acts to prevent that outcome, by completely enclosing the knife blade 14 within the insert 16 and preventing its contact with the interior of the knife holder 1.

The inserts 16 are preferably comprised of a durable material such as a polymer or a polycarbonate material. Alternatively, the inserts 16 may be comprised of stainless steel, tempered glass or any other material suitable for receiving a knife blade while protecting the slot and top surface of the knife block. Because the inserts 16 are configured to be received within the slots 12, they have a width that corresponds substantially to the width of the slots 12. For example, if the width of the second slot 12 is 1 cm, the width of the insert 16 corresponding thereto will have a width substantially equal to 1 cm. The width of the insert 16 is very slightly less than the width of the slot 12, so as to enable the insert 16 to be seated snugly within the slot 12. If the width of the slot 12 is 1 cm, the width of the insert 16 is therefore approximately 0.9 cm.

In one embodiment, the insert 16 has a distal lip 22 extending radially about the open end 18 of the insert 16. The distal lip 22 acts as a flange, and is configured to rest on the exterior of the knife holder 1 when the insert 16 is seated within the knife holder 1. The distal lip 22 is, as illustrated, slightly wider than the insert 16 and the slot 12, and thereby prevents the insert 16 from being pressed too deeply within the slot 12. Thus, while the insert 16 is slightly narrower than the slot 12, the distal lip 22 is slightly wider than both the insert 16 and the slot 12. The insert 16 is, in one embodiment, irremovable from the slot 12, and can be secured therein using a glue, putty or cement. In another embodiment, the insert 16 is removable from the slot 12 for cleaning purposes. In that embodiment, the distal lip 22 serves as a point of leverage, so that the insert 16 can be removed from the slot 12 by applying a tool between the distal lip 22 and the knife holder 1 and then simply pulling the insert 16 from the body of the knife holder 1. In another embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-7, the inserts 16 may be removably inserted into one of a plurality of slots 12. According to this embodiment, the distal lip 22 of the insert 16 supports the insert 16 within slots 12.

Referring again to FIG. 1, in one embodiment of the present invention the knife holder 1 comprises a plate 24 configured to be attached to the exterior of the knife holder 1. The metal plate 24 acts to prevent scraping of the exterior of the knife holder 1 by the knife blades 14, and also acts to retain the form of the slots 12. The plate 24 may be comprised of wood or metal, such as stainless steel. In one embodiment, the plate 24 has apertures corresponding to the length and width of the slots 12 and insert 16, so as to protect the exterior of the knife holder 1 while still allowing knife blades 14 to be inserted into the inserts 16. It will be understood that wood, over time, can warp. The plate 24 therefore can be configured to have flanges that correspond to the slots 12. The flanges are formed to be partially inserted into the slots 12, to prevent the slots 12 from warping over time. In that embodiment, the inserts 16 are configured to be seated within the flanges of the plate 24 and also within the slots 12. Like the inserts 16, the plate 24 can be attached to the exterior of the knife holder 1 using an adhesive such as glue or cement, or can be removable from the exterior of the knife holder 1 for cleaning purposes. In an embodiment where the knife holder 1 is comprised of wood, the plate 24 is preferably comprised of metal such as stainless steel, to reduce the likelihood of harmful bacterial agents forming on the exterior of the knife holder 1.

In one embodiment, the interior of the insert 16 is coated with an antibacterial agent. The antibacterial agent serves to eliminate bacteria and germs resident on the surface of the knife blade 14. In one embodiment, the antibacterial agent is a long-lasting residular agent such as triclosan, triclocarban or benzalkonium chrloride. Additionally, the interior of the insert 16 can be coated with a non-stick, non-corrosive and/or low friction material. For example, the interior of the insert 16 can be coated with an appropriate material such TeflonŽ, Xylan, PTFE fiber or other materials suitable as non-stick, non-corrosive, low friction material used in connection with cookware applications.

In one embodiment and as illustrated in FIG. 1, the plurality of inserts 16 are arranged into first and second tiers 26. Inserts 16 having a length greater than a predetermined length are placed in the first tier 26, whereas inserts 16 having a length less than the predetermined length are placed in the second tier 26. In that way, knives with shorter blades 14 can be positioned in an area of the knife holder 1 with a shallower depth, so as to maximize the space available in the knife holder 1.

In one embodiment shown in FIG. 8, a securing strap 10 can be mounted on the exterior of the knife holder 1, so as to releasably secure the knife blade 14 within the insert 16. The securing strap 10 is attached to the exterior of the knife holder 1 at one end, and at the other end is releasably connected to the exterior of the knife holder 1. The releasable connection can be formed of an industry standard snap button, and can also be formed of a nylon loop that is positioned about a hook. When the strap 10 is in the open position, a knife blade 14 passes into the insert 16. When the strap 10 is in the closed position, the knife blade 14 cannot be removed from the insert 16 without first releasing the strap 10. In that manner, the strap 10 prevents the knife from falling out of the knife holder 1 if the holder 1 is accidentally tipped or jostled. The strap 10 also renders the knife very difficult to remove for small children. As illustrated, the strap 10 can be configured about only one of the inserts 16. Alternatively, though not illustrated, a single strap 10 can be positioned so as to releasably secure all of the knives within the inserts 16. In that embodiment, the strap 10 is attached to one end of the knife holder 1 and is releasably coupled to the opposite end of the knife holder 1, while passing over all of the inserts 16. In that embodiment, securing the single strap 10 renders secure all of the knife blades 14 within all of the plurality of inserts 16.

While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7631772 *Nov 8, 2005Dec 15, 2009Atlantic Promotions Inc.Childproof knife support
US8348068 *Mar 18, 2010Jan 8, 2013Mark HuentelmanCutting instrument rack
US20110226714 *Mar 18, 2010Sep 22, 2011Mark HuentelmanCutting instrument rack
US20110283547 *May 18, 2010Nov 24, 2011Chie-Chiun WangCutter holder made of cork material
DE202013005894U1Jun 26, 2013Aug 12, 2013Arman EmamiMesserblock
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/70.7
International ClassificationA47F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G21/14
European ClassificationA47G21/14
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 6, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: WKI HOLDING COMPANY, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RANIERI, LAURA A.;REEL/FRAME:017758/0263
Effective date: 20060605