US 3650165 A
A ratchet tool having a radial handle operatable in either direction and adapted to be placed in a neutral position, and an axial handle which can rotate in either direction when the radial handle is in its neutral position and in the effective direction of the radial handle when the latter handle is in operating engagement with the ratchet mechanism. The radial handle contains a longitudinal shaft and a knob at the end thereof for controlling the ratchet mechanism.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Wolfe [451 Mar. 21, 1972  RATCHET TOOL  Inventor: Paul W. Wolfe, R.R. #1, North webster,
Ind. 46555  Filed: Nov. 21, 1969  Appl.N0.: 878,661
1,373,779 Tooker ..8l/63.2 1,601,767 10/1926 Peterson.... .....8l/58.l 508,845 11/1893 Schaller ..8l/58.l 376,584 [/1888 Cone ..8l/58.l
Primary ExaminerJames L. Jones, Jr. Attorney-Hobbs & Green and Kemon, Palmer and Estabrook  ABSTRACT A ratchet tool having a radial handle operatable in either direction and adapted to be placed in a neutral position, and an axial handle which can rotate in either direction when the radial handle is in its neutral position and in the effective direction of the radial handle when the latter handle is in operating engagement with the ratchet mechanism. The radial handle contains a longitudinal shaft and a knob at the end thereof for controlling the ratchet mechanism.
4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMARZI I972 SHEET 1 BF 2 PAUL W. WOLF E BY cf ATTORNEYS PAIENTEUMAR-21 1972 SHEET 2 BF 2 INVIZN'I'OR.
PAUL W. WOLFE ATTORNEYS RATCHET TOOL Ratchet tools such as wrenches are extensively used and normally are convenient to operate in either tightening or loosening bolts, nuts and screws, and are particularly advantageous and time saving in close or confined places where only short strokes of the wrench are possible. However, in the initial part of the tightening operation, the nut or screw is often rather loose and easily turned, such that the full advantage of the wrench cannot be utilized and yet the full manipulation of the wrench is required during this initial stage with the conventional wrench, thus resulting in a time consuming step which reduces the efficiency of the overall tightening operation. Likewise, in loosening nuts and screws, only a moderate amount of force is normally required after the initial loosening step has been performed, and hence the full advantage of the wrench is not utilized, and yet since a tool is still required, the wrench is used inefficiently to complete the nut or screw removing operation. It is therefore one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide a ratchet tool having in addition to the conventional laterally extending handle or arm, an axially extending handle which can be easily rotated independently of the radial handle to tighten or loosen the nut, screw or bolt rapidly when relatively little force is required to perform the operation, and which permits the tool to be used in the normal manner when substantial force is required to perform the operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a ratchet tool, such as a wrench, having both a radial and an axial operating handle, in which the radial handle can easily be controlled to render it operative in either direction or to render it inoperative so that the tool can be fully controlled by the axial handle in either direction.
Still another object is to provide a ratchet tool of the aforesaid type having a radial handle with a ratchet control knob or part which is located at a conveniently reached position at the outer end of the handle for both reversing the operation of the ratchet and rendering the ratchet inoperable, and which can be easily operated to obtain the desired ratchet setting and does not interfere with the conventional operation of the radial handle after a setting has been made.
A further object of the invention is to provide a relatively simple, compact ratchet tool in which the operating mechanism is substantially fully enclosed and which is so constructed and designed that it can be effectively used in limited areas and confined spaces. 7
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. I is a side elevational view of the present ratchet tool;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view ofthe tool shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the present tool;
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the tool, the section being taken on line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional and top plan view of the present tool, the section being taken on line 66 of FIG. 4, showing one operating position of the tool; and
FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional and top plan view of the present tool, the section being taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 4, showing another operating position of the tool.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, numeral 10 indicates generally the present ratchet tool having a receiver 12 for a socket wrench or the like held on the rectangular receiver by a spring loaded ball detent 14. The receiver is formed integrally with a metal base 16 which extends through a collar 18 into the body generally indicated by numeral 20. The wrench is operated by a radial handle 22 and an axial handle 24 connected to base 16 and receiver 12 within the body in the manner more fully described hereinafter. While the receiver is for a socket wrench, as illustrated in the drawings, the type of tool may be one of a number of different types in addition to the socket wrench, including any one of a number of types of screw drivers and other types of wrenched. The receiver as shown is merely for the purpose of illustrating one type to which the present ratchet tool structure is particularly adapted.
Base 16 is connected to and formed integrally with a spline shaft 30 to which collar 18 is rigidly connected by a pin 32 extending through the collar into the spline shaft. Rotatably mounted on the shaft above collar 18 is a cylindrical member 4 adapted to rotate relative to both collar 18 and spline shaft 30. Handle 22 is secured to cylindrical member 40 by a threaded portion 42 on the inner end of the handle being threaded into a hole 44 in the side of member 40.
The handle is of tubular construction having a shaft 50 mounted therein, the inner end of the shaft having a beveled end 52 forming a pawl for engaging the sides of grooves 54 of spline shaft 30 and thereby forming an operative connection between handle 22 and the spline shaft. Shaft 50 has a reduced diameter portion 56 which extends through the outer end of the tubular portion of handle 22 and through a collar 58 which is threadedly received in the end of the tubular portion of the handle. A shoulder 60 is provided between the main portion of the shaft and the reduced diameter portion 56 and a spring 62 reacting between the shoulder and the inner end of collar 58 urges the beveled end 52 on the inner end of shaft 50 into engagement with the sides of the grooves of the spline shaft.
The beveled end 52 of the shaft may be positioned in either direction relative to the grooves of the spline shaft by rotating the shaft using knob 64 which is secured to the outer end of the shaft by a pin 66 extending through the knob and shaft. The shaft is held in its adjusted position, i.e., with the beveled end 52 facing in one or the other direction, by the opposed slots 68 in collar 58 on opposite sides of shaft 50. The knob is beveled to form an inner point 70 for seating in these slots 68, thus retaining the shaft in its adjusted ratchet operating position. The point 70 seats in the slots 68 in either position of the beveled edge when the knob and shaft are turned 180 degrees. When the knob is turned degrees, points 70 on opposite sides of the knob seat in slots 72 on opposite sides of the opening through collar 58. Slots 72 do not extend into the collar to the extent that slots 68 do, and hence when the point 70 is seated in slots 72 the shaft 50 is held in a retracted position. In this position the beveled edge 52 extends tangentially to the periphery of the spline shaft, and hence the beveled edge cannot seat in the grooves 54 of the spline shaft; thus the spline shaft can rotate in either direction without interference from the ratchet formed by beveled edge 52 and grooves 54. It is thus seen that by merely rotating the knob 90 degrees, the ratchet can be rendered fully inoperative, and by rotating the knob degrees in either direction, the operation of the ratchet is reversed when the points of the knob are seated in slots 68. When the beveled end 52 is seated in one of the grooves 54 of the spline shaft, the handle, cylindrical member 40, and the spline shaft rotate together when the handle is moved angularly in the direction in the point of the beveled edge. When the handle is moved in the opposite direction, the beveled edge moves out of the groove in opposition to spring 62, permitting the handle and member 40 to move independently of the spline shaft.
Axial handle 24 shown in the drawings consists of cylindrical side walls 80 rigidly connected to the upper end of the spline shaft by a collar 82 and set screw 84 extending through side walls 80 and engaging the spline shaft at the bottom of one of the grooves 54, thus firmly holding the axial handle on the spline shaft and preventing relative rotation between the shaft and the handle.
Handles 22 and 24 and knob 64 are knurled, at least in part, for the purpose of forming an effective hand grip for the user of the tool. All of the parts of the tool are preferably constructed of steel and either of the handles may be varied in size and length to adapt the concept to tools used to perform various operations.
In the use of the present tool, as illustrated in the drawings, a socket is attached to receiver 12 and is held thereon by detent 14. The socket is then placed over a nut, for example, to be tightened. At this stage of the tightening operation the nut normally can be threaded on the bolt or stud with little force. Consequently, the ratchet, i.e., beveled edge 52, is withdrawn from grooves 54 by pulling knob 64 radially outwardly and turning it to the position at which point 70 seats in small slots 72. With the knob in this position, the beveled edge is held tangentially with respect to the periphery of the spline shaft which can then be freely rotated by the use of axial handle 24. As the axial handle is rotated, the spline shaft 30, base 16, receiver 12, and the socket on the receiver all rotate in unison, and since the handle 24 can be rotated rapidly, the nut is quickly threaded onto a bolt or stud. When the nut is lightly seated or when it encounters resistance, knob 64 is rotated in the direction to place the point of beveled edge 52 in one of the slots facing in the direction in which the spline shaft is being turned. The operator now operates the ratchet wrench in the conventional manner by oscillating the handle to and fro, causing the spline shaft to move in the tightening direction. When a nut, for example, is to be removed from a bolt or stud, the knob is turned to place the beveled edge 52 in the position to rotate the spline shaft in the loosening direction and force is then applied to the radial handle. After the nut has been loosened, it can be easily and quickly removed by the use of rotating handle 24.
Handle 24 can be rotated freely in either direction when point 70 is seated in slots 68 and can be easily rotated in the same direction as shaft 50 moves the spline shaft. Thus the knob can be set for any tightening or loosening operation and the axial handle 24 can be rotated in the direction to accomplish quick operation involving relatively light force, and handle 22 to apply the required force for either the final tightening or the initial loosening operation, and neither handle will interfere with the operation of the other.
While only one embodiment of the present invention has been described in detail herein, various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
1. A ratchet tool comprising a body having a bore therein, a shaft in said bore having grooves in the periphery thereof, a means for connecting one end of said shaft to a work performing means, a member disposed around said shaft intermediate said body for rotary movement relative thereto, a handle extending radially from said member, a means having a part cooperating with said grooves to form a ratchet action therebetween, a shaft extending longitudinally through said handle and being connected at one end to said part, a spring urging said part into engagement with said first-mentioned shaft, a knob disposed at the outer end of said second-mentioned shaft for rotating the latter shaft and said part to reversed operating positions and to an inoperative position, spaced slots disposed at the end of said radial handle at degrees to one another for receiving a portion of said knob, one of said slots being of less depth than the other of said slots for retaining said part in its inoperative position, and an axial handle connected to said first mentioned shaft and rotatable therewith for turning said work performing means.
2. A ratchet tool as defined in claim 1 in which said radial handle consists of a tubular shaped member.
3. A ratchet tool as defined in claim 1 in which said grooves are longitudinally arranged around the periphery of said first mentioned shaft.
4. A ratchet tool as defined in claim 1 in which said part has a beveled edge for seating in said grooves.