US 3728736 A
A thumb or finger guard formed of resilient rubber or plastic material molded in one piece and providing for dropped curved gripping surfaces on the front portion of the guard. By forming the front portion with thickened material and dropped curved surfaces sharp ridges are provided which will increase the grip upon the surface of the object, such as an apple, potato or carrot, when effecting cutting, tearing or grating of the same. The curvatures, either in single form according to one form of the invention or in multiple and parallel forms, provide for the ridges and for thickened material that will keep the knife or grater from penetrating to any great extent the material of the thumb guard. The guard is cut away at the location of the first knuckle to allow the guard to be more easily flexed and opposing clip formations have been provided for facilitating the insertion of the thumb or finger into the guard or the removal therefrom and at the same time providing for a good gripping action and allowing for further easy flexing of the knuckles of the thumb or finger. Such opposing clip portions are carried on the rear end of a flexible extension leaving the knuckle open except for the very front of the thumb or finger. The knuckle can be worked readily in and between the opposing clip portions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Pugh I54] THUMB OR FINGER GUARD Evelyn M. Pugh, 10 St. Nicholas Terrace, New York, NY. 10027 221 Filed: Apr. 5, 1971 21 Appl.No.: 130,968
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l,9l6,92l 7/l933 Dougan ..2/2l 617,929 H1899 Fowble ....294/25 X 2,070,506 2/l937 Bevill ..Z/2l
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 527,046 lO/l940 Great Britain ..2/2l
Primary ExaminerJames R. Boler Attorney-Polachek & Saulsbury [451 Apr. 24, .1973 I  ABSTRACT A thumb or finger guard formed of resilient rubber or plastic material molded in one piece and providing for dropped curved gripping surfaces on the front portion of the guard. By forming the front portion with thickened material and dropped curved surfaces sharp ridges are provided which will increase the grip upon the surface of the object, such as an apple, potato or carrot. when effecting cutting, tearing or grating of the same. The curvatures, either in single form according to one form of the invention or in multiple and parallel forms, provide for the ridges and for thickened material that will keep the knife or grater from penetrating to any great extent the material of the thumb guard. The guard is cut away at the location of the first knuckle to allow the guard to be more easily flexed and opposing clip formations have been provided for facilitating the insertion of the thumb or finger into the guard or the removal therefrom and at the same time providing for a good gripping action and allowing for further easy flexing of the knuckles of the thumb or finger. Such opposing clip portions are carried on the rear end of a flexible extension leaving the knuckle open except for the very front of the thumb or finger. The knuckle can be worked readily in and between the opposing clip portions.
3 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures Patented April 24, 1973 3,728,736
m l mvm FIG. I. 27 0 26 24. 27
EVELYN M, PUGH a-f I FIGB- Wm THUMB R FINGER GUARD This invention relates to a thumb or finger guard for use while cutting, paring or grating apples, potatoes, carrots or the like.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a thumb or finger guard which will protect thumb or finger while using a knife for cutting or paring of fruits and vegetables which will be provided for dropped curved work surface engaging areas and thickened sharp ridges running along the sides of the areas in order that the object will be tightly gripped and provide a surface area that will conform to the contour of the work object.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a thumb or finger guard which when slipped over the thumb or finger will have tight fitting resilient engagement therewith, and wherein an accommodation is provided for the rear of the knuckle so as to give adequate flexibility of the guard when being used while at the same time providing full protection of the front of the thumb or finger with adequate thickened material.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a thumb or finger guard for use in cutting, paring or grating in which the sleeve portion of the guard can be held over the end of the thumb or finger by a tight fitting opposing clip formation that grips the thumb or finger inwardly beyond the first knuckle allowing for some movement of the sleeve and front grip areas to accommodate themselves over the thumb or finger to have better and more full area engagement with the work surface and at the same time the guard or grip will be retained against longitudinal removal from the thumb or finger.
Other objects of the invention are to provide a thumb or finger guard, having the above objects in mind, which is of simple construction, inexpensive to manufacture, of pleasing appearance light in weight, efficient and effective in use. 4
For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which: 7
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a thumb or finger guard embodying the features of the present invention applied to the thumb ofa hand.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the thumb or finger guard.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 3- 3 of FIG. 2 and through the forward end of the guard and the multiple parallel curved work engaging areas.
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 2 and looking in elevation upon the separable opposing clip portions serving to hold the guard upon the thumb or finger with illustration made of the clip portions being separated when fitting the guard upon the finger.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the front face of the multiple curved work engaging areas.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary and enlarged transverse sectional view of the guard taken through the work engaging areas and as viewed generally on line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a thumb or finger guard according to a modified form of the invention in which the contact engaging area is curved to provide thickened side edges but adapted to conform to a rounded surface of an apple, potato, or similar rounded mass which is being peeled by a paring knife. 7
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the thumb or finger guard shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 9'is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken on line 99 of FIG. 8 and across the thickened and downwardly curved work engaging portion.
FIG. 10 is a longitudinal sectional view of the thumb or finger guard of FIG. 7 as viewed on line l010 of FIG. 8.
Referring hand particularly to the first form of the in vention shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, 15 represents generally the thumb or finger protector as applied to a thumb 16 or a had 17. The guardcould be also designed in shape to be applied to any one of fingers 18 of the hand. This protector is formed of resilient plastic or rubber material and of one piece. This guard 15 has a forward closed portion 18 that fits over the thumb and its nail and extends up to first knuckle 19 on the thumb. On the inside of the closed sleeve portion 18 is a narrow extension 21 that bridges a space for accommodating the knuckle 19 of the thumb and spaced from the closed end portion 18 and extending from the outer end of the extension 21 are opposing resilient clip portions 22 and 23 which are spread to facilitate the placing of the guard over the thumb and also to allow the thumb knuckle 19 to be bent while tending to maintain the guard upon the thumb. Extension 21 is bendable also so that the thumb can be readily worked without interference of material extending over the first knuckle 19 of the thumb.
On the inner side of the closed sleeve portion 18 and molded integrally therewith is a roughened work engaging portion indicated generally at' 24 which is elongated over the front of the thumb and widened to accommodate substantially the width of the thumb. This work engaging portion 24 has on its face while being roughened multiple inwardly curved or dipped contact engaging areas 25, 26, 27 and 28, there being four such areas in number and they inwardly join with one another at 29, 30 and 31, with raised parallel ridges that cooperate with raised side edges 32 and 33 which will dig into the work if the work surfaces are unsuited to the dipped curvatures of the areas 25, 26 and 27 and 28. The shape of the thumb or the manner in which the thumb is used on grasping and holding the thumb upon the work as upon an apple or potato will allow the guard to be accommodated to the surface of the work item. With each of the areas 25, 26, 27 and 28 formed of roughened surfaces as particularly well seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a good grip from any angle can be had upon the workpiece. With the opposite hand the paring knife can be applied to the work to start and effect the peeling of the apple, potato orthe like work piece.
As the thumb is adapted to engage proper contact surface area with the work surface, the knuckle 19 can be worked and the opposing spring clip portion 22 and 23 can spread or give to allow the thumb and the guard to be a adapted to the work surface.
Referring now particularly to the FIGS. 7 to 10, there is shown a thumb or finger guard 35 formed of plastic or rubber resilient material adapted to be accommodated by the thumb or finger upon pulling the guard thereover and having a closed end portion 36 with a rearwardly extending extension 37 that is broken away into an opening 38 into which the upper part of the knuckle of the thumb or finger can be worked.
, On the forward face of the thumb portion 36 is a thickened pad 39 formed integrally with the material and roughened on its surface. The surface is as indicated at 40 dipped so as to conform more or less with the curvature of the work. This curved surface 40 extends from a thickened or sharp corner 41 at one side of the guard to a sharp corner and thickened portion 42 of the other side of the guard. These comers are sufficiently sharp so that if the thumb guard is applied to the work surface of the apple or potato it can dig into this surface and be kept from sliding thereover while the major surface area 40 will more or less conform. It will be apparent that the thumb will be adapted to the work surface so as to have the maximum grip upon the work surface so that the object can be held firmly while work is being performed upon the same with the opposite hand. At the same time the guard will be tightly gripped upon the thumb or finger but without hindering the working of the thumb or finger over the knuckle. It will be apparent that this guard will protect the thumb or finger against cuts, nicks and bruises when cutting, paring or grating food or other substances. With the guard being made of rubber or suitable plastic material which is resilient and has some stretch to make for a good tight friction grip with the thumb surface that the guard will be held firmly upon the thumb or finger. It will be seen that the nail of the thumb or finger is fully covered and protected. The knuckle 19 is uncovered for more flexibility. By providing as in the first form of the invention separable clip portions 22 and 23 more flexibility will be given to the knuckle and at the same time the thumb guard will be adequately clamped or clipped to the thumb inwardly of the knuckle 19.
It will be apparent that this guard can be made in various sizes to be used by men, women and children. By having a raised gripping surface with curved drop bottom areas not only will the gripping be great but possibility of the knife entering the material sufficiently to cut the thumb will be overcome. If the knife is too sharp it will cut quickly through the object and into the guard, if control is not kept of the knife. When the knife is dull one has to use more pressure in order to cut or pare the object and thus more pressure is used which could, upon being freed from the object, enter a normal thumb guard if, as with the present invention, thickened thumb front portion is used and if the thumb portion were not adapted as with the present invention to provide curvatures that can from any angle of the thumb accommodate a surface of the work object.
It also should be apparent that with a thumb guard of this type that where the object is firmly held that a true and accurate cutting can be made of the object and that waste will thereby be eliminated. The embossing within the dropped bottom curved surfaces enhances the gripping of the object being grated or cut as well as lessens the danger of the knife cutting through the shield or thickened front portion of the guard. Usually when the object being grated or cut becomes a small size, one will have a tendency to throw the same away if it cannot be grated or cut comfortably further for fear of hurting the hand on the grater. With this thumb guard on the thumb and with a guard on the finger grating of the object can and will be or easily effected of the object to a smaller size.
While various changes in the construction of the thumb or finger guard can be made it shall be understood that such changes will be within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A thumb or finger guard for use in cutting or paring a rounded object formed of molded resilient material comprising a closed end sleeve portion adapted to frictionally grip the thumb or finger when extended thereover and having an integrally-formed thickened work-engaging formation on the front thereof providing fora drop bottom slightly concaved curved surface that nay generally conform to the rounded surface. of the object and thickened ridge formations laterally flowing from the concaved curved surface shape and running at their maximum thickness along the side edges thereof whereby to allow upon application of pressure of the guard upon the object surface the flush adaptation of the work engaging surface therewith by the lateral expansion thereof.
2. A thumb or finger guard as defined in claim 1, and an extension running from the front face of the guard rearwardly of the sleeve portion and allowing foropen space over the knuckle of the thumb or finger, opposing resilient clip formations carried by the extension rearwardly of the knuckle and adapted to grip the thumb or finger. v
3. A thumb or finger guard as defined in claim 1, and further dropped bottom curved surfaces arranged with the first surface in parallel runs therewith extending longitudinally of the guard over the front thereof and providing for plural dropped curved surfaces running at different radial angles from the closed end of the sleeve portion to provide for different angular engagement with the surface of the object and at the same timeto provide plural sharp edge portions to provide for better gripping of the object.