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Publication numberUS3254406 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 7, 1966
Filing dateAug 9, 1963
Priority dateAug 9, 1963
Publication numberUS 3254406 A, US 3254406A, US-A-3254406, US3254406 A, US3254406A
InventorsHubrich Frederick M
Original AssigneeOster Mfg Co John
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Can opener
US 3254406 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. HUBRICH June 7, 1966 CAN OPENER INVENTOR. WM 2W JWZM R ANNRNN \\\\\k Filed A s- 1963 z w z F. M. HUBRICH June 7, 1966 CAN OPENER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 9, 1963 June 7, 1966 HUBRlCH 3,254,406

CAN OPENER Filed Aug. 9, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet :5

IN VENTOR.

MM 277. Mat/z June 7, 1966 HUBRICH 3,254,406

CAN OPENER Filed Aug. 9, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 i INVENTOR:

BY Z M I United States Patent 3.254.406 CAN OPENER,

Frederick M. Hubrich, Farmington, Conn, assignor to John Oster Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Aug. 9, 1963, Ser. No. 301,087 8 Claims. (Cl. 30-4) The present invention relates to an improved electric can opener, and, more particularly, to a can opener of the type having a knife sharpener associated therewith.

In recent years there has been an ever increasing market for electrically operated can -openers. As this market has continued to develop, there has been increasing competition between manufacturers to develop small, efficient,

electrically operated can openers which may be sold at a low price to the consumer. The least expensive of these can openers characteristically include a shaded pole motor drivingly connected through reduction gearing to a serrated feed wheel. A movable cutter serves to clamp the end seam of a can against the feed wheel whereby the can may be rotated into engagement with the cutter until the can lid is severed. The cutter often takes the form of a wheel having a sharpened peripheral edge which pierces and cuts the can lid. Most of the power can openers sold today utilize this power driven feed wheel which cooperates with the movably mounted cutter wheel.

While the cutting and feed wheels described above serve to grip the end seam of a can during the cutting operation, it has been found that additional support or guide means are necessary to assure proper and continuous engagement between the end seam and these cooperating wheels. Since the present today can opener must be extremely versatile in accepting cans of different size and shape, these additional guide or support means for the can must be positioned so that they do not interfere with the larger size cans, while at the same time, providing the necessary support for small cans. If the cutting means are to function properly, it is also necessary for the cans to be handled somewhat differently depending on the curvature of the side walls of the can.

It, is essential that the movable cutter pierce the can lid adjacent the wall of the can and, at the same time, out the cover adjacent the wall so that no sharp flange is left extending inwardly from the cylindrical side wall. The geometry involved in the severing of the can lid adjacent the cylindrical side wall with a movable cutter member cooperating with a serrated feed wheel is more fully and completely discussed in Ulke Patent No. 2,879,5 89 which is assigned to the same assignee as the instant application. While the cutter wheel disclosed and claimed in the Ulke patent is very eflicient in eliminating the inwardly extending flange and cutting the lid adjacent the side wall, it has been found that in opening can-s of large diameter or cans having straight or flat side wall sections,

there is a tendency for the cutter to cut inwardly from the side wall of the can leaving an undesired flange. It would be desirable, therefore, to provide guide means for the larger diameter cans which would reduce the tendency for the cutter wheel to cut the can lid inwardly from the side wall of the can.

It is regarded as a necessity that all can openers have some means for facilitating removal of the can lid after it has been severed from the can body. These lid removing means conventionally take the form of an arm projecting from the front of the can opener housing and having a magnet on the outer end which engages the can lid and retains it after the can body has been removed from the opener. In some instance, the supporting arm for the magnet is rigidly secured to the can opener housing and the magnet is loosely carried by the end of the arm.

"ice

Other arrangements include a magnet supporting arm secured to the operating lever which moves the can cutter so that the magnet is withdrawn when the can cutter is raised. In other prior art can openers, the magnet supporting arm is pivotally mounted and is spring biased upwardly so that the arm raises the can lid after it has been severed. This spring biased arrangement has the disadvantage of requiring that the arm be moved downwardly into engagement with the can lid as the opening procedure commences. An example of the spring biased magnet support arrangement is disclosed and claimed in Jepson et al. Patent No. 3,002,274. It would be desirable to provide a lid gripping and removal means which would be automatically moved into engagement with the can lid as the cutting operation is begun and, at the end of the cutting operation, would lift the. can lid out of engagement with the can body prior to the release of the can by the cutting mechanism.

It is common practice to provide electrically operated can openers with knife grinding or sharpening wheels which are driven by the same motor as the can opening mechanism. Conventionally the abrasive wheels are simply mounted-on an extension of the motor armature shaft. Slots are then provided in the housing to permit access to the abrasive wheel and to guide the knife blade into engagement with the opposite faces of the wheel.

For the best sharpening results, it is necessary that these access and guide slots be precisely located with respect to the faces of the grinding wheel. When the grinding wheel is mounted on an extension of the motor shaft and when the motor is mounted on a portion of the housing remote from the slots, there is a serious tolerance problem involved in positioning the grinding wheel accurately with respect to these slots. It would be desirable, therefore, to provide a simple and inexpensive means for adjustably mounting the grinding wheel on the motor shaft so that it may be readily positioned with respect to the knife receiving slots. 7

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved can opener having the desirable features outlined above.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved can opener having resilient can guiding means which are adapted to engage large diameter cans and guide them into good cutting engagement with the cutting and feed wheels of the can opener.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved can opener having a resiliently biased guide means which engages the side wall of a can to turn large diameter cans about a vertical axis to improve the cutting engagement between thecutting wheel and the lid of the can.

It is an additional olbject of the present invention to provide-a can opener having an improved lid retaining and lid removal mechanism.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a can opener having an improved magnetic lid holding mechanism which is interconnected to the cutter operating lever so that it is rotated downwardly into engagement with the can cover at the commencement of the can opening operation and rotated upwardly away from the can body at the end of the can opening operation.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved combination can opener and knife sharpener having the knife sharpening wheel adjustably mounted so that it maybe precisely aligned with the guide slots ceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the.

invention can be pointedout with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

For a better understanding of the present invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combination can opening and knife sharpening appliance apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the appliance of FIG. 1 taken on line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the appliance taken substantially on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view taken partially in section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the appliance showing the can opening mechanism in the cutting position;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary front elevational view similar to FIG. 5 but with the parts shown in the position for loading a can into the appliance;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of the abrasive wheel taken on line 88 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view of the mounting boss for the operating lever taken along line 99 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 1010 of FIG. 4.

The invention relates to an improved can opener having resilient guide means provided to engage large diameter cans so that they may be rotated into engagement with the cutting mechanism in such a manner as to eliminate any ragged edges on the can wall as the can cover is severed therefrom. An improved lid holding and removing means is provided which is connected to the operating lever for the cutting wheel so that the magnetic lid holder moves downwardly into engagement with the can lid after the cutting wheel has been moved downwardly to puncture the lid of the can but before the drive means for the can opener has been energized. At the end of the cutting operation, the magnetic lid holder is lifted as soon as the operating lever is retracted slightly de-energizing the drive means but while the end seam of the can is still firmly gripped by the cutting mechanism. Thus, the can lid is lifted free of the can body prior to the can body being released by the cutting mechanism. There is also provided a knife sharpening abrasive wheel mounted directly on one end of the can opener motor armature shaft. Threaded adjustment means are provided to move the grinding wheel axially against the force of a helical spring. This arrangement provides a mounting which may be adjusted after the device is assembled to position the abrasive wheel accu rately with respect to the slots provided in the housing to guide the knife blade into engagement with the faces of the abrasive wheel.

Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated a combination can opening and knife sharpening appliance or device designated generally by reference numeral 12. The device includes a vertically extending can opener portion 13 and a laterally extending knife sharpening portion 14. As may best be seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the device is made up of a front frame member 15 and a cover member 16 which cooperate to form a housing 17 within which there is enclosed an electric motor 18 which may be a shaded pole induction motor.

The frame or frame member 15 consists of a die casting having integrally formed bosses 15a for supporting the motor 18. Additional bosses 15b are provided to carry the stub shafts on which the spur gears making up a reduction gear train 20 are mounted. The gear train 20 is driven by a motor output gear 21 formed integrally on the end of motor armature shaft 22.

The output gear of the gear train 20 is staked or otherwise secured to the inner end of a shaft 23 which carries on its outer end a serrated can feed wheel 24. The feed wheel shaft 23 is journaled in the frame 15 so that energization of the motor 18 drives the feed wheel 24 at a low speed by virtue of the reduction gear train 29 which interconnects the output of the motor 18 and the feed wheel shaft 23.

The mechanism for rotating and cutting the lid of the can includes the feed wheel 24 and a rotatably mounted cutter or cutting wheel 26. The cutting wheel 26 is supported by an operating lever 27 which is mounted for rotation about an axis 28 which is located eccentrically with respect to the cutting wheel 26. The operating lever 27 is also provided with a handle portion 29 which is grasped by the operator to rotate the lever 27. The operating lever 27 is shown-in FIGS. 3 and 5 in the can cutting position in which the cutting wheel 26 overlaps the serrated feed wheel 24 so that the cutting wheel 26 will puncture the lid and the feed wheel 24 will engage the lower edge of the end seam of the can. In FIG. 6, the operating lever 27 is shown in the can loading position wherein the cutting wheel 26 is spaced from the feed Wheel 24 to permit insertion of the end seam of the can between the two wheels. The geometry of the operating lever and the manner in which the wheels 24 and 26 cooperate in severing the lid of a can is disclosed in detail in the above-cited Jepson et al. patent and forms no part of the present invention.

The operating lever 27 is supported in the frame 15 for rotation about axis 28 by means of a boss 30 which extends rearwardly as is best shown in FIG. 3. To limit rotation of the operating lever between the positions shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, there is provided a stop 31 extending radially from the portion of the operating lever immediately forward of the boss 30 as is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 9. A clearance slot 32 in the frame 15 permits the operating lever to rotate approximately 90 degrees before the stop 31 engages the ends of the clearance slot 32.

To permit enetgization of the motor 18, there is provided a two-conductor power cord 34 which is connected to the motor 18 with a switch 35 in series with one of the two conductors. The switch 35 comprises a supporting plate 36 of insulating material which is received in slots 15c integrally formed with frame 15 with the portions defining the slots being deformed to retain the plate 36 assembled thereto as is best shown in FIG. 2. A fixed contact 37 and a movable contact 38 form a normally open switch which, when closed, completes the circuit to the motor 18. The movable contact 38 is an integral portion of a resilient member or arm 3? which is secured to the lower end of the plate 36. The upper end of the arm 39 is formed with a cam follower portion 40.

For energizing the motor 18 as the operating lever 27 is moved to the can cutting position, a cam 42 of electrical insulating material is secured to the inner end of the operating lever supporting boss 30. As is best shown in FIG. 2, the cam 42'has a vertically extending portion 42a which engages the cam follower portion 40 of the switch 35 to close the contacts 37, 38 as the handle 29 of the operating lever is moved downwardly. To bias the cam 42 and the operating lever 27 to a position in which the contacts 37, 38 are open, a cantilever spring 43 is secured to the frame 15 with a rearwardly extending portion engaging a notch 42b on the cam 42. Thus, when the operating lever is released after having closed the switch 35, the return spring 43 will rotate the operating lever upwardly through its engagement with the cam 42 thereby opening the motor circult.

Projecting outwardly from the front wall of the housing 17, there is provided a lid holder 45 which includes a pivotally mounted magnet support arm 46 which carries at its outer end a suitable permanent magnet 47. The

r is moved to the position shown in FIG. 5.

magnet support arm 46 is a simple stamped member havhorizontally against the inside wall of the frame 15. The frame is slotted at 15d to provide clearance for the magnet support arm-46 and is further provided with integral projections 15e which are deformed around the pivot pin 43 to mount it rigidly with respect to the frame 15.

Within the housing 17, the magnet support arm 46 has an angled projecting portion 49 which is engaged by the radially extending edge 420 of the cam 42 as is best shown in FIG. 2. As the operating lever 27 is rotated to the can loading positionshown in FIG. 6, the cam 42 passes over the projection 49 causing the magnet support arm 46 to be rotated upwardly. In theposition shown in FIG. 6, the end of projection 49 is in engagement with the vertical forward face of the cam 42. As the operating lever 27 is rotated to the position shown in positions of the cutting wheel 26 and the can lid are illustrated, the horizontal plane representing the can lid. The opening in the lid formed by the cutting wheel 26 is curved inwardly from the point Where the leading cutting edge engages the lid. If a straight sided canis severed, it should be obvious that the leading cutting edge will be positioned well inwardly of the can end seam which must ride against the inner curvature of the conical surface 260. Thus, to cause the cutting edge 26a to cut the lid adjacent the end seam, it is necessary to twist the can about a vertical axis to move the cutting edge closer to the seam. While it is impossible to accomplish this objective perfectly with the straight sided cans, any twisting action improves the cutting action on cans of large radius of FIG. 5 for can cutting, the projection 49 slides against Y the vertical face of cam 42 until just prior to the lever 27 reaching the can cutting position at which time the projection 49 slides off the edge of the vertical face of cam 42 into engagement with the radially extending edge 420. The weight of the magnet and the forwardly extending portion of the arm 46 provide an arrangementwhereby gravity rotates the magnet and its support arm 46 into engagement with the lid of a can as the operating lever 27 It should be understood, however, that the support arm 46 moves almost immediately to the position shown in FIG. 6 as the operating lever 27 is rotated only a few degrees from the can cutting position of FIG. 5. Thus, while the edge 42c operates on projection 49 to move arm 46 to the raised position, during most of the movement of operating arm 27 the arm 46 is retained in the raised position by engagement of the projection 49 against the forward vertical face of cam 42. As a consequence, the lid holder will lift-the severed can lid out of engagement with the can body well before the end seam of the can is released by the wheels 24 and 26. This arrangement provides the advantage that the lid is not only out of the way to facilitate removal of the can body or the lid, but it also removes the lid from the liquid contents of the can and permits any food or liquid adhering to the can lid to drip back into the can during the moments prior to theremoval of the can body from the opener.

When the can is gripped between the feed wheel 24 and the cutter wheel 26, there is a tendency for it to twist or move out of its properly aligned position as the cutting of the lid takes place. To maintain the can in a properly aligned position, there is provided a horizontally extending bumper or guide 52 positioned immediately below the feed wheel 24. The bum-per 52 may be made of a suitable molded plastic material which has integrally formed projections extending through openings in the frame 15 with assembly means secured to the inner ends of such projections. In addition, a top guide pin 53 is provided on the frame 15 at a point spaced laterally from the cutterwheel 26. The guide pin 53 is intended to extend above the end seam of the can and prevent the can from twisting upwardly in this direction.

It has been noted that with the feed and cutting wheels of thetype disclosed herein, there is a problem presented in cutting cans of larger diameter or cans having straight or flat wall sections. For the purposes of the specification and claims, cans having the fiat wall sections are considered as having a large radius of curvature inasmuch as the flat section is essentially of infinite radius. The cutter 26 consists of a wheel having a sharp peripheral edge 26a which is defined by the intersection of a front conical surface 26b and a rear conical surface 260. It should be understood that the conical surfaces 26b and 260 may be slightly spherical or stepped. If a horizontal plane is passed through the cutting wheel at approximately the level of the top edge of the feed wheel 24, the relative curvature.

To accomplish this objective, there is provided a resilient guide pin 54 which engages the wall of the can immediately to the side of the feed wheel 24 as is best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. To support the guide pin 54 for lengthwise sliding movement, the frame 15 is formed with an opening 15 The inner end of the guide pin 54 is formed with a portion 54a of enlarged diameter which acts as a stop limiting the forward movement of the pin 54 within the hole or opening 15 as is best shown in FIG. 7. To bias the pin 54 to its forwardmost position in which the enlarged portion 541: is resting against the frame 15, there is provided a cantilever spring 55, one end of which is secured to a boss 15g on the frame and the other end of which engages the guide pin 54 and urges it forwardly. Suitable assembly means retain the spring 55 on the mounting boss 15g. It should be obvoius that as the guide pin 54 is pressed rearwardly, the spring 55 exerts an opposing biasing force. Thus, when a large diameter can or one with a straight wall portion is operated upon by the wheels 24 and 26, the pin 54 is forced inwardly while, at the same time, the spring 55 exerts a twisting force on the can which tends to improve the manner in which the cutting wheel 26 severs the lid from the can.

As is best shown in FIG. 3, the cover member 16 of the combination can opening and knife sharpening device 12 is provided with several integrally formed walls which serve various purposes. At the upper end of the can opener portion 13 of the device, there is provided a molded pocket or recess 58 which is. of suitable size to receive the ends of the fingers of one hand so that the device 12 may be readily transported from one place to another utilizing only one hand. The finger receiving recess 58 is positioned substantially above the center of gravity so that the unit is transported in its upright position even though supported only by one hand.

Immediately below the recess 58 the vertical wall of the cover member 16 is provided with a plurality of ventilation slots 59 and an air bafiie 60 which extends horizontally inwardly from a point below the ventilation slots 59. The motor 18 includes a fan 61 mounted on the armature shaft 22. The fan 61 draws air inwardly through the ventilation slots 59, around the bat-lie 60 and axially through the motor 18 for cooling purposes. The baffle 60 merely insures that the cooling air passes through the motor 18 rather than flowing directly to the fan 61.

It is well known in the art to provide a can opener with a knife sharpening portion which consists of nothing more than an extension on the armature shaft for supporting a suitable abrasive wheel. The considerations involved in driving such an abrasive wheel with a shaded pole motor are discussed in Bednarski Patent No. 2,898,709 assigned to the same assignee as the instant invention. In the Bednarski patent, there is disclosed and claimed a mounting arrangement for the abrasive. wheel which providesan overload or slip clutch between the abrasive wheel and the armature shaft upon which it is mounted. The instant invention involves a similar type of slip clutch which includes the additional feature of permitting the abrasive positioned.

wheel to be adjustably mounted lengthwise of the armature shaft for the purpose to be discussed below.

In the combination can opener knife sharpening device of the instant invention, the armature shaft 22 extends rearwardly past the portion on which the motor fan 61 is mounted. As is best shown in FIG. 8, the shaft 22 includes an end portion 22a of reduced diameter. A fiat annular shoulder 22b is provided at the inner end of this reduced diameter portion 22a. Supported on the shaft portion 22a is a grinding or abrasive wheel 62 which is of the same general size and shape as the grinding wheel disclosed and claimed in the above-cited Bednarski patent. The opposite faces of the grinding wheel 62 are both provided with recesses 62a within which the overload friction clutching washers disclosed in the Bednarski patent are In each recess a bowed spring Washer 63 is clamped between a pair of flat washers 64. Positioned inwardly of the grinding wheel 62 on the shaft portion 220 is a helical spring 65, the inner end of which abuts a washer 66 against the shoulder 22b. Outwardly of the grinding wheel 62 on the shaft portion 220, there is provided a spacer 67 and a nut 68 which is threadedly received on the end of the shaft 22. As the nut 68 is tightened, the spring 65 and the overload clutches comprising the washers 63 and 64 are clamped axially along with the grinding wheel 62 against the shoulder 22b. The spring 65 is designed to maintain a relatively constant pressure over the range of axial compression permitted by the threaded portion on the end of shaft 22. As a consequence, the nut 68 may be advanced or retracted to vary the axial location of the grinding wheel 62 with respect to the shaft portion 22a. The operation of the spring clutches will be substantially unaffected by the addition of the spring 65 and will provide the driving connection between the armature shaft 22 and the grinding wheel 62 as is more completely explained in the above-mentioned Bednarski patent.

The cover 16 at the upper surface of the knife sharpening portion 14 is provided with a recess 70 defined by a pair of downwardly extending inwardly converging walls 71. At the bottom of the recess 76, there is an opening 72 through which the grinding wheel extends. A separate guide member 73 is mounted on the cover member 16 centrally within the recess 70 to define a pair of knife receiving and grinding slots 74. The forward portion of the grinding wheel is exposed through a slot 75 as is best shown in FIGS. 1 and to permit engagement, of the outer periphery of the wheel with the blades of scissors. The design of the recess 70 and the guide member 73, which together define the knife receiving slots 74 and the scissors slot 75, form no part of the instant invention and are disclosed in the Bednarski patent. In addition, the manner in which the angled surfaces of the grinding wheel cooperate with the housing portions to permit sharpening of knives and scissors is more completely disclosed therein.

The opposite outer faces of the grinding wheel 62 are angled steeply with respect to the armature shaft 22. It is, therefore, important that the grinding wheel be positioned very precisely with respect to the knife receiving slots 74 or the cutting edge of the knife to be sharpened will either engage the outer periphery of the grinding Wheelor the armature shaft itself. Because of the manner in which the housing is formed with all of the functional parts mounted on the frame and the member 16 serving only as a cover to enclose the parts and not to support any functioning parts, there is a tolerance build-up which presents a problem in accurately locating the grinding wheel 62 with respect to the knife receiving slots 74. To overcome this problem, the grinding wheel 62 has been mounted so that its axial position on the shaft 22 may be adjusted merely by rotating the nut 68.

To close the bottom of the housing 17, there is provided a horizontally extending closure plate 73. The closure plate 78 is provided with a vertical wall or bafiie 79 which extends upwardly to divide the interior of housing 17 and separate the knife sharpening portion from the motor enclosing and can opener portion. The wall or baflle 79 is formed with a central opening 86 which is of substantially the same diameter as the fan 61 and permits the motor cooling air to be drawn axially through the motor to the fan 61. Immediately below the fan 61, there is formed in plate 78 an opening 81 through which the motor cooling air is discharged. Four rubber supporting feet 82 are attached to the bottom of the closure plate 78 to provide suitable support for the device 12 and space the housing 17 above the supporting surface so that the motor cooling air may be discharged.

The closure plate 78 is secured to the frame member 15 and also to the cover member 16 serving to retain the various portions of the housing 17 in assembled relation. Horizontally spaced elongated bosses 15h, one of which is shown in FIG. 3, extend rearwardly from the frame 15 into supporting engagement with the vertical wall 79. Suitable assembly screws 83 extend through the forward end of the closure plate 73 into threaded engagement with the frame 15. An elongated downwardly extending projection 84 is provided on the cover member I16 between the knife sharpening recess and fan 61. The projection 84 extends into engagement with the horizontal closure plate 78 and receives an assembly screw which extends upwardly through the plate into threaded engagement therewith. The upper portion of the cover 16 is formed with horizontally extending projections 85 through which a pair of assembly screws 86 extend into threaded engagement with the frame 15. Thus, the upper ends of the frame 15 and the cover 16 are assembled directly together and the lower portions of the frame 15 and cover 16 are assembled together by means of the closure plate 78. One edge of the horizontally extending closure plate 78 is bent upwardly to form a vertical wall 87 which extends perpendicular to and engages the other vertical wall 79. The vertical wall 87 cooperates with the wall 79 and the corner of the cover member 16 to form a small downwardly facing cord storage recess.

While the horizontal closure plate 7 8 closes the area in which the grinding wheel 62 is mounted, there has been provided an opening 83 in the plate 78 directly below the nut 68. The opening 88 provides means for inserting a suitable wrench into the housing 17 so that the axial position of the grinding wheel may be adjusted to attain the optimum position with respect to -the knife receiving and guiding slots 74.

It should be appreciated that the above-described combination can opener and knife sharpener is extremely simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture while at the same time having superior performance characteristics normally associated only with higher priced units. The use of the frame member 15 to form part of the housing 17 and as a supporting member for the motor 18, gearing 20 and the can cutting mechanism provides a simple arrangement of parts. The plastic cover member 16 with the integrally molded baffle 60 and knife receiving recess 70 contributes to the simplicity of the appliance. The adjustable mounting of the grinding wheel 62 permits the use of this simple arrangement of parts while assuring precise alignment of the grinding wheel with respect to the knife receiving slots 74.

While there has been illustrated and described a particular embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention, and that it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In an electric can opener of the type having a motor drivingly connected to a can feed wheel by reduction gearing, a cutting wheel carried by an operating lever and movable into overlapping relation to said feed wheel for severing the lid of a can, an improved lid holder comprising a magnet support arm pivotally connected to said can opener, a magnet carried on the outer end of said arm, the weight of said arm and magnet rotating said arm about said pivot to engage said magnet with the lid of a can being opened, and restraining means on said operating lever holding said arm in an elevated position until said cutting wheel is moved to the lid severing position, said restraining means being disengaged from said support arm when the cutting wheel is in the lid severing position thereby permitting said magnet to rotate into engagement with the lid of the can being opened.

2. A can opener comprising a housing enclosing a motor, a feed wheel positioned outside of said housing on a shaft extending within said housing and driven by said motor, an operating lever pivotally mounted on said housing and supporting a cutter wheel movable into overlapping relation with said feed wheel to sever the lid of a can, cam means within said housing rotatable with said operating lever, a switch operated by said cam means to energize said motor when said cutter wheel is moved to overlap said feed wheel, a lid holder pivotally mounted on said housing, said holder'having an arm extending outside of said housing to support a lid gripping means at its outer end, and an extension on said holder within said housing positioned to engage said cam means and rotate said lid gripping means to a retracted position during the loading of a can, said cam means being disengaged from said extension when said operating lever has moved said cutter wheel into overlapping relation with said feed wheel permitting said gripping means to rotate by gravity into engagement with the lid of a can being opened.

3. A can opener comprising a housing enclosing a motor, a feed wheel positioned outside of said housing on a shaft which extends within said housing, reduction gearing drivingly connecting said motor and said shaft, an operating lever pivotally mounted on said housing and supporting a can cutter for movement between a can loading position and a can cutting position, switch means including a pair of normally open contacts connected in circuit with said motor, one of said contacts being supported by a resilient arm, a cam of insulating material positioned within said housing and rotatable with said operating lever to engage said resilient arm and close said contacts when said cutter moves to said can cutting position, a lid holder pivotally mounted on said housing with an arm extending outside of said housing and a projection extending within said housing, and lid gripping means on the outer end of said arm biased downwardly, said cam engaging said projection to rotate said arm upwardly as the cutter moves to the can loading position.

4. A can opener comprising cutting means, can rotating means cooperating with said cutting means to grip the end seam of a can and rotate the top of the can in cutting engagement with said cutting means, first support means below said cutting and can rotating means to engage the side wall of a can and maintain said engaged side wall vertically aligned with the gripped portion of the end seam, second support means engaging the top of said end seam to maintain said end seam generally horizontal, and a resiliently biased guide means spaced downwardly and laterally from said cutting means to engage the sides of large cans turning them about their axes to cause said cutting means to engage said top adjacent the end seam.

5. In a can opener of the type including -a serrated feed wheel and a cutting wheel movable into closely spaced relation to grip the end seam of a can and rotate the top thereof into cutting engagement with said cutting wheel with the can positioned with its axis substantially vertical, the improvement comprising a resiliently biased guide pin positioned below and offset laterally from said cutting wheel, said pin extending into engagement with the side Walls of large circular cans and cans having straight wall sections to turn such cans about a vertical axis so that the leading edge of the cutting wheel engages the can top adjacent the end seam.

6. In a can opener of the type including a serrated feed wheel and a cutting wheel movable into closely spaced relation to grip the end seam of a can and rotate the top thereof into cutting engagement with said cutting wheel with the can positioned with its axis substantially vertical, the improvement comprising a resiliently biased guide pin positioned below and offset laterally from said cutting wheel, said pin extending into engagement with the side walls of large circular cans and cans having straight wall sections to turn such cans about a vertical axis so that the leading edge of the cutting wheel engages the can top adjacent the end seam, said pin being slid-able rearwardly against resilient biasing means until the front end thereof is coincident with a vertical plane perpendicular to the feed wheel axis and at the outer end thereof.

7. A can opener comprising a frame, a power driven can feed Wheel mounted for rotation on said frame, a cutting wheel supported on said frame for movement into a can gripping position with respect to said feed wheel whereby a can is supported for rotation in an upright position with the end seam of the can gripped between said wheels and the cutting wheel puncturing the cover of said can a bumper engaging the side of said can below said feed wheel and guide means engaging the top of said end seam laterally of said cutting wheel to maintain said can in an upright position, and a spring biased guide pin carried by said frame and spaced laterally of the axis of said feed wheel to engage the sides of any can having a large radius of curvature turning the can about its axis to cause said cutting means to engage said top adjacent the end seam.

8. The can opener of claim 7 wherein said frame is provided with a bearing hole Within which said guide pin is slidably received, and a cantilever spring carried by said frame and engaging the inner end of said pin to bias it outwardly.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,579,189 12/1951 Ienson 304 2,755,548 7/1956 Fleming 304 2,825,963 3/1958 Sykes et a1. a 304 2,879,589 3/ 1959 Ulke 304 2,893,116 7/ 1959 Aberer et al. 304 2,897,637 8/ 1959 Bodle 51-128 3,031,752 5/1962 Bowlby 304 3,060,566 10/ 1962 Herbig 304 3,075,322 1/ 1963 Uthoif 51128 3,146,555 9/1964 Posener 51-128 3,159,912 12/1964 Posener 304 WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner.

MILTON S. MEHR, Examiner. M. BALAS, M. C. KRUSE, Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3360853 *Jul 8, 1965Jan 2, 1968Sunbeam CorpCan opener
US3423825 *Jan 30, 1967Jan 28, 1969Maguire JohnCan opener
US3515357 *May 31, 1967Jun 2, 1970Marilyn J ClarkCombination can opener and ice crusher
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US5666735 *Jun 22, 1995Sep 16, 1997Black & Decker Inc.Can opener with moving lid retainer
US5992026 *Jan 9, 1998Nov 30, 1999The Rival CompanyKitchen appliance with pivotal mounting
US6189221Dec 31, 1998Feb 20, 2001The Rival CompanyCan opener appliance having a side-cutting mechanism
US6505405 *Apr 5, 2001Jan 14, 2003Main Power Electrical Factory LimitedElectric can opener
US6510613Jul 20, 2000Jan 28, 2003The Holmes Group, Inc.Ergonomic can opener
US20130133211 *Jan 23, 2013May 30, 2013No Mess LlcElectric can opener and method of opening a can
Classifications
U.S. Classification30/401, 30/424, 30/410
International ClassificationB67B7/00, B67B7/70
Cooperative ClassificationB67B7/38
European ClassificationB67B7/38