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Publication numberUS3438413 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 15, 1969
Filing dateAug 18, 1966
Priority dateAug 18, 1966
Publication numberUS 3438413 A, US 3438413A, US-A-3438413, US3438413 A, US3438413A
InventorsBorah John E
Original AssigneeBorah John E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Axially rotatable tool and handle therefor
US 3438413 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 15, 1969 J. E. BORAH 3,438,413


JOHN E. BORAH BY ATTORNEY V April 15, 1969 J, E, BQRAH 3,438,413


JOHN E. BORAH ATTORNEY April 15, 1969 J. E. BORAH AXIALLY ROTATABLE TOOL AND HANDLE THEREFOR Sheet 3 of 3 Filed Aug. 18, 1966 INVENTOR JOHN E. BORAH BY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,438,413 AXIALLY ROTATABLE TOOL AND HANDLE THEREFOR John E. Borah, 815 Mishawaka Ave., Mishawaka, Ind. 46544 Filed Aug. 18, 1966, Ser. No. 573,275 Int. Cl. B2511 15/02; B25g 3/12 US. Cl. 14550 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The conventional screwdriver, for example, consists of the driver shank and a handle of hard, rigid material often provided with longitudinal grooves or ridges for increasing the gripping force applied by the users hand when turning the screwdriver. Most screwdrivers and some wrenches require both axial rotation and longitudinal pressure for effective use of the tool. Formerly the handles were almost universally made of wood, which had a number of serious disadvantages, including difiiculty in providing an effective grip, being easily broken, only limited insulating capacity, and wearing through use which resulted in a smooth or slick surface, seriously decreasing the eifectiveness of the hand grip. In some recent years, plastic has been used extensively for the handles, and while these plastic handles have been more rugged and less easily broken than the conventional wooden handles, they have provided an ineffective hand grip, primarily because of the smooth character of the plastic surface as molded or as developed from use. Further, in an effort to improve the grip, the handles have been provided with ribs and grooves, but because of the hard character of the plastic, these ribs and grooves only resulted in discomfort or injury to the users hand particularly to the palm which engaged the handle near the ends of the ribs and grooves and was subject to a turning action over the roughened nature of the ends. Attempts to overcome the foregoing disadvantages of the plastic handle have included covering a portion of the handle with a rubber sleeve, but in addition to the fact that these handles are relatively expensive, they have been unsatisfactory in that the hard core of the handle still hurts the hand and only partially solves the slippage or poor grip diificulty.

Another significant defect present in the conventional screwdriver is the fact that the handle generally tapers inwardly toward the shaft in the very direction where the principal force is applied by the hand when the screwdriver is being used. As the user increases the pressure against the screw, the hand inherently tends to slip longitudinally toward the screw, from the large diameter end toward the small diameter end of the handle, thus weakening the grip at the moment when increased force and pressure are required. Further, when the hand is placed naturally on the handle, the place where the greatest gripping pressure can be most effectively applied is on the lower portion of the handle. The reduced size of the handle interferes with and diminishes the effective use of the hand as the pressure and torque requirements increase. It is therefore one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide a screwdriver having a design and construction such that an effective grip at ice the shank end of the screwdriver handle is provided for applying force in both the rotational and axial directions and in which is provided a series of recesses 01' thumb pockets which facilitate applying lengthwise pressure onto the screw and greatly increase the torque which can be applied by the screwdriver.

Another object of the invention is to provide a handle for a screwdriver or other tool, constructed of an elastomeric material having an enlarged end portion adjacent the shaft with a special grip configuration which permits a substantial increase in the pressure and force to be applied to the tool with a minimum likelihood of slippage, and which is tapered throughout away from the enlarged end portion to give an effective grip to the entire hand.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a handle for a screwdriver or the like having a special hand grip design which permits the application of maximum force without hurting or injuring the users hand and which so positions the tool When it is not in use that it can be easily grasped and picked up without fumbling, slipping or dropping.

A further object of the invention is to provide a screwdriver of the aforesaid type which when it is laid down will not roll away and will remain where it is placed, and which can be effectively used for prying, and as a punch with a hammer, without shock or injury to the users hand or damage to the handle of the screwdriver.

The present tool normally consists of an axially rotatable shank with a screw slot edge or a wrench on one end, and a handle on the other, the handle increasing in diameter toward the shank and having an enlarged end near the shank, forming in effect an abutment against which substantial pressure can be applied by the users hand. Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of a screwdriver embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an end view, viewing the screwdriver from the shaft end thereof;

FIGURE 3 is a horizontal cross sectional view taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical cross sectional view, the section being taken on line 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is an elevational view of a modified form of the present invention;

FIGURE 6 is atop plan view of the screwdriver shown in FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged vertical cross sectional view of the modified form shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, the section being taken on line 7-7 of the latter figure;

FIGURE 8 is a horizontal cross sectional view taken on line 88 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 9 is a vertical cross sectional view of a further modified form of the present screwdriver, the section being similar to that shown in FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the screwdriver structure shown in FIGURE 9;

FIGURE 11 is a horizontal cross sectional view taken on line 1111 of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a horizontal cross sectional view taken on line 12-12 of FIGURE 10; and

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a further modified form of the present screwdriver.

Referring more specifically to the drawings and to the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG- URES 1 through 4, numeral 10 designates the shank of the screwdriver and 12 the handle secured to the upper end of the shank. The present invention is directed primarily to the construction and design of the handle, and

various types of shanks may be used, including the straight-edge type shown in the drawings, a Phillips head tip, and a socket wrench type head or tip. Throughout the specification and claims, unless otherwise indicated, the term screwdriver as used herein includes other types of tools embodying the present handle construction, such tools including socket wrenches, pry bars and the like. Further, the shankmaybe round, hexagonal or square as shown in the drawings, the latter being preferable in this instance because of less likelihood of the shank turning in the handle.

The handle consists of a body 20, constructed of rubber or elastomeric material such as rubber, either natural, synthetic or a mixture of these materials, and having an internal hole 22 of square cross section extending substantially the full length of the handle for receiving the upper end of shank 10. The shank fits snugly in hole 22 and seats firmly on upper end 24 at the top of hole 22. Suflicient thickness of material 26 is provided so that there is adequate strength at the upper end of the handle to prevent any likelihood of the shank splitting, breaking or otherwise damaging the upper end of the handle. In the embodiment shown in FIGURES 1 through 4, the handle is provided with an extension 28 of reduced diameter and with a hole 30 which is over a hole 32 in the shank for receiving a rivet 34. The rivet is placed into the two holes, and preferably is expanded 'by pressure to wedge it firmly in place in hole 32 to retain the handle on the shank. The rivet prevents the handle from slipping end-wise and increases the resistance of the handle to rotation relative to the shank. The shank and handle are thus held against relative rotation by both the rivet and the square configuration of the square hole 22.

The external surface configuratin of the present handle is important in that it is designed particularly to give an effective grip on the screwdriver by the users hand. In order to prevent end-wise slippage when pressure is being applied, the external surface increases substantially in diameter generally from the upper end as viewed in the drawings toward the shank end of the handle, and a series of relatively deep, spaced grooves 38 preferably cover a substantial portion of the external surface of the handle. An enlarged end or flange 40 is provided at the lower end of the handle which forms an effective abutment for the thumb and finger when end-wise pressure is being applied by the hand. The handle is also provided with four pockets 42 equally spaced around the handle and placed in a longitudinal position for receiving the users thumb, and these pockets extend into the inner surface of flange 40 for holding the thumb firmly in place when both rotational and axial forces are applied to the handle. The thumb not only seats one of the pockets 42, but presses against flange 40 at the lower end of the handle, thus greatly increasing the force which can be effectively applied to the screwdriver. The pockets extend along the cylindrical portion 46 of the handle, and into the surface of flange 40 and radially outwardly to the margin of the flange. The thumb, when placed in one of the pockets, can effectively apply longitudinal pressure onto the handle and shank and can simultaneously apply pressure without slippage to rotate the handle.

The enlarged flange 40 is provided with four equally spaced lands 50 along its surface, so that when the screwdriver is placed on a bench or other flat surface, it will not roll about but will remain where placed and in a position where it can readily be grasped for further use. Further, when the screwdriver is used as a punch, it can be struck on the upper end 26 without damaging the handle, yet eifectively transmitting impact pressure to the shank. When the screwdriver is held for performing the foreging operation, the hand is placed around thte handle with one side against flange 40 and the screwdriver can be firmly held without the likelihood of its being accidentally knocked from the users hand while he is pounding upper end 26 with a hammer. Since the present handle is constructed of relatively firm rubber or other elastomeric material, the shock of the hammer is deadened, and hence is not transmited in any magnitude to the users hand. Likewise, the composition gives the user a better grip on the handle without causing any discomfort or unpleasantuess in the grip.

It is seen from the foregoing construction that the present screwdriver, as shown in FIGURES 1 through 4, can readily be grasped in various positions to apply both longitudinal pressure and a rotating force in either direction, utilizing the relatively great strength of the thumb as well as the fingers to apply pressure and force in both directions. Further, when the screwdriver is resting on a bench, the handle is partially elevated by flange 40, thus permitting the handle to be readily and effectively grasped by the user.

Referring to the embodiment of FIGURES 5 through 8 the construction of the screwdriver is similar in that the external surface contains the annular grooves 38, thumb pockets 42 and enlarged flange 40. In this embodiment, the handle is placed on a shank having an annular flange 60 formed integrally therewith and providing a flat upper surface 62 on which the lower portion of the handle seats. The handle is slipped over the upper square end 64 of the shank and is secured thereon by a screw 66 threaded into a hole 68 in the upper end of the shank. The screw may be of metal or plastic, such as nylon, and preferably contains a socket 70 for receiving a wrench. One of the advantages of this type of construction over the previous construction is the direct solid connection between the screw and the shank to give a firmer blow when the screwdriver is being driven as a punch.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG- URES 9 and 10, flange 60 of the previous embodiment is eliminated, and a metal insert is molded in the upper end of the handle. The insert is embedded in a substantial thickness in the upper end of the handle, and is provided with a' hole 82 for receiving the threaded portion of screw 84 for holding the handle in place on the upper end of the screwdriver shank, the screw being threaded into a hole 86 in the upper end of the shank. Screw 84 is similar to screw 66, and a hexagonal wrench 88 is used for tightening and untightening the screw as illustrated in FIGURE 10. To retain the screw in its tightened position, a pin 90 extending through the screw and through a hole 92 in the sidewall may be provided to prevent unintentional loosening of the screw. The external surface of the screwdriver shown in FIGURES 9 and 10 is substantially the same as that shown in the preceding figures, having the annular grooves 38, thumb pockets 42 and flange 40.

A further modification is illustrated in FIGURE 13 which can be used with any one of the preceding embodiments in place of a rivet such as is shown in the first embodiment described herein. A set screw for seating in a threaded hole 102 in shank 10 extends through a hole 104- in extension 106 on the lower end of the handle, and in conjunction with the square configuration of the shank and the square hole in the handle, prevents relative rotation and axial movement of the handle and shank.

In all of the embodiments disclosed herein, the shank is constructed of metal and is preferably square throughout its length except at the tip. The handle in all of the embodiments is preferably constructed of rubber or any other suitable elastomeric material which, in addition to providing an effective grip for the application of both rotational and axial forces, gives the user substantial protection from electrical shock and the impact of hammer blows. While only one embodiment and several modifications thereof have been described in detail herein, various other modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, comprising a metal shank having a tip on one end, a handle disposed on the other end of said shank and having a body portion of general cylindrical shape, an annular radial flange joined integrally to said body portion near the end thereof facing said tip and being of substantially larger diameter than any part of said body portion, means in said body portion defining longitudinal thumb pockets extending therealong to and terminating at said flange, said flange and said pocket defining means forming abutments for applying both axial and torque forces to said shank, and means for securing said handle to said shank.

2. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 1, in which said handle increases in diameter throughout substantially its full length toward said radial flange.

3. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 1, in which said handle is composed of an elastomeric material.

4. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 2, in Which said handle is composed of an elastomeric material.

5. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 4, in which an extension is provided on the end of the handle facing the tip and a hole is provided in said extension and in said shank, and a pin-like element is disposed in said holes.

6. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 1, in which said handle is provided with a plurality of annular grooves spaced from one another between said pockets and the end thereof opposite said flange.

7. A screwdriver, wrench orsimilar tool, as defined in claim 5, in which a screw extends inwardly from the end of the handle opposite said flange and is threade'dly received in a hole in the end of the shank.

8. A screwdriver, wrench or similar tool, as defined in claim 7, in which a metal insert with a center hole is disposed between the inner end of the shank and said screw.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 154,326 6/1949 Roysher 14561 X 1,979,460 11/1934 Forsberg 145-61.8 1,852,296 4/1932 Gelpcke 145--61 2,213,973 9/1940 Woodring 145-50 2,487,155 11/1949 Loewy 145--50X 2,840,382 6/1958 Velepec 145-61X FOREIGN PATENTS I 455,288 2/1950 Italy.

ROBERT C. RIORDON, Primary Examiner.

R. V. PARKER, JR., Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 145--61

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Referenced by
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US4212336 *Jul 24, 1978Jul 15, 1980Smith William CScrewdriver
US4283808 *Sep 17, 1979Aug 18, 1981Beebe Lee MGripping device for tooth brushes
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U.S. Classification81/177.1, D08/83, 74/551.9
International ClassificationB25G1/10, B25G1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB25G1/105
European ClassificationB25G1/10S