|Publication number||US3850056 A|
|Publication date||Nov 26, 1974|
|Filing date||Jan 18, 1974|
|Priority date||Aug 19, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3850056 A, US 3850056A, US-A-3850056, US3850056 A, US3850056A|
|Original Assignee||Allen G|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (24), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Allen [111 3,850,056 1451 Nov. 26, 1974 DRIVER TOOL Inventor: Gerald F.- Allen, 532 Bucknell Ave., Claremont, Calif. 91711 Filed: Jan. 18, 1974 Appl. No.: 434,596
Related US. Application Data Continuation of Ser. No. 173,032, Aug. 19, 1971, abandoned 11.s. c1. 81/71, 81/177 A 161. c1 B25b 13/54 Field of Search 81/71, 58, 177 R, 177 A, 81/125, 177 E, 177 o; 145/50 DA; 279/9, 93,96, 102
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1945 81/71 x 9/1955 Espy 81/71 x 11/1961 Clark 81/125 x 10/1967 Clark 81/177 0 x Beverly Primary ExaminerAl Lawrence Smith Assistant Examiner-James G. Smith Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Albert L. Gabriel [5 7] ABSTRACT A driver tool for selectively supporting and manipulating a series of L-shaped tool keys or bits of different sizes and types. The tool comprises an elongated body having a forwardly opening axial bore and longitudinal slot, and a series of bushings of common O.D. slidably engageable in the bore, the bushings having different I.D.s to accommodate the various sizes of keys. The shank of an L-shaped key is inserted through a respective bushing from the rear and the bushing is pushed rearwardly into the bore of the body with the working I end of the key shank exposed forwardly of the bushing and body and the lateral key arm engaged in the slot for direct torquing connection between body and key. A resilient ring supported in an axial groove on each bushing frictionallyengages the wall of the bore for releasable, biased retention of the bushing and tool bit in their operative positions in the front end portion of the body.
6 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Pmmmvz 3.850.056 SHEET 10F 2 wxx IJ FIG.5
INVENTOR. Q'A'RALD I? A4 LEN FIG.6 WW
flrrae/vey DRIVER TOOL This is a continuation, of application Ser. No. 173,032, filed Aug. 19, 1971; now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION L-shaped, key-type tool bits have been known and widely used for many years. The most common example of such tool bits is the Allen wrench, which consists of a simple one-piece bar of hexagonal cross section that is bent into an L-shape so as to have a rela' tively long shank or driving portion and a relatively short lateral arm or transverse torquing portion.
Such L-shaped tool bits are designed primarily for direct manual manipulation, with the forward working end of the shank being engaged in a complementary recess in a screw head or the like, and the lateral arm being engaged between thumb and forefinger and twisted so as to turn the screw or the like. Manipulation of such L-shaped tool bits in this intended, conventional manner is often difficult and time-consuming. One problem is that such L-shaped tool bits are generally small, making them awkward to use, both in gaining access and in applying torque. Turning of the L- shaped tool bit between thumb and forefinger can only be accomplished in increments of approximately 180, the tool bit having to be successively engaged and released twice for each full turn. The more rapid conventional spin-in" and spin-out screwdriver modes cannot be used in such direct manipulation of L-shaped tool bits. Additionally, the torque arm of such an L- shaped tool bit, being short, generally limits the amount of torque which can be applied for torquing up or breaking loose a screw or the like. While the tool can sometimes be reversed so that the primary shank is used as the torque arm, such mode of operation is limited because the longer torque arm requires substantial clearance that is frequently unavailable, and the shorter working arm is limited as to access depth.
There have been someprior art attempts to provide enlarged handle means for supporting such L-shaped tool bits so as to provide more convenient manipulation thereof. However, a serious problem in connection with such prior art handle devices is that L-shaped tool bits generally come in sets that are stepped in size. For example, a typical Allen wrench set has nine separate keys or bits ranging from 0.050 to threesixteenths inch. Economics require that a single handle be utilized for an entire set of such tool bits, which means that the handle must have some adjustment means associated therewith for selectively accommodating each of the different size keys or bits in the set. Prior art attempts to thus accommodate a plurality of different sizes of L-shaped keys or bits have generally either involved the use of a series of threaded plugs of various sizes that must be threaded into and out of a threaded socket in the handle, or else complex, generally spring-actuated retention structures involving a multiplicity of parts.
The threaded plug type adapters used in the prior art to connect a series of L-shaped tool bits of different sizes to a single handle involve difficulty and expense in the manufacture thereof because of the requirement that external threads be cut on each of the plugs and internal threads be cut in the handle, such threads having to be cut to relatively close tolerances to assure proper functioning. Threaded parts are generally considered objectionable in hand tools, and this is true in the case of the mounting of L-Shaped tool bits by means of threaded plug adapters, for several reasons. One reason is that the threads are easily damaged, particularly in the working environment of such tools, and with the relatively close tolerances that must be provided between threaded parts, such damage can make the tool difficult or even impossible to operate. The likelihood of such thread damage is greatly increased in tools of the type under consideration because of the multiplicity of externally threaded plugs that are used; damage to the threads of any one of the plugs will limit the operation of the entire tool set.
Another problem with such threaded plug mounting of L-shaped tool bits is that there is a likelihood that metal filings will get into the threads and make the engagement of the threaded plugs into the handle structure, or disengagement of the plugs from the handle structure, much more difficult. In general, threading of the plugs into and out of the handle structure makes this type of tool objectionably awkward and slow to operate.
Other types of retention schemes utilized in the prior art for the selective connection'of a series of L-shaped tool bits in a single handle structure are generally expensive to make, involving considerable machining and relatively complex structure. In some of these devices, the structure requires that the key shank be offset from the central axis of the handle, thereby precluding the conventional screwdriver mode of operation. Some of these devices embody a sliding collet that requires close machining tolerances. Such collect arrangements are generally easily damaged or jammed by dirt and metal filings, and are often of insufficient strength to accommodate the maximum torque'capabilities of the larger size L-shaped bits. Generally there is some mechanical locking arrangement in such sliding collet type devices, such as a ball detent that cooperates with the collet, or spring loading of the collet. Some of these devices require specially ground down keys, so that they are not adaptable for use with conventional off-theshelf keys.
A still further problem in connection with prior art tools for supporting a series of L-shaped tool bits in a single handle structure is that such devices have heretofore generally required a special enlarged manipulating head at the upper end of the handle for applying the desired amount of torque, with a relatively narrow body portion of the handle'intermediate thisenlarged manipulating head and the key attachment structure at the other end of the handle. This may be a relatively complex and expensive structure to build, in addition to the expense and complexityof the attachment structure per se.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of these and other problems in the art, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved driver tool of the type adapted to selectively support and manipulate a series of L-shaped tool bits of differentsizes, which is simple and more economical to manufacture than prior devices of this type, is more durable and reliable in operation, has a new and simplified loading and unloading mode of operation utilizing simple lineal sliding engaging and disengaging movements, andpermits both conventional spin-in"and spin-out screwdriver type operation or high-torque T-handle type of operation.
Another, more specific object of the present invention is to provide a driver tool of the character described which is particularly economical to manufacture because of the minimum number of parts in the tool; the requirement of a minimum amount of very simple machining; the lack of need for any close tolerances; provision of the body or handle in the form of a simple one-piece structure that can be made'of ordinary bar stock; the use of key-support bushings all of the same O.D. that can also be made of bar stock and differ from each other only in having different size holes therethrough; and the lack of need for any threads either in the handle or on the bushings.
Another object is to provide a driver tool of the character described which is particularly strong, durable, and reliable in operation. The simplified structure of the present invention enables the tool to accommodate the maximum torque capacity of the largest size L- shaped keys or bits, without likelihood of distortion or breakage. The absence of any threaded connections, coupled with the loose tolerance that is'permissible between the key-supporting bushings and the receptacle in the body, make the tool generally insensitive to foreign materials such as dirt, filings and the like, and make the releasable attachment means for the various keys or bits unlikely to get jammed or damaged in operation. Similarly, the absence of any sliding collet, mechanical locks or latches, springs, and the like, avoids the vulnerability ofsuch devices to heavy loads and foreign materials.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved body or handle for a driver tool of the character described that is particularly simple, strong and compact, and that does not require a special enlarged manipulating head thereon. The body or handle of the present invention is simply a bar, which can be made of ordinary bar stock, having an axial bore and longitudinal slot in one end thereof. The bar may be of hexagonal cross section for wrenching purposes, and the bore may be extended through a substantial portion of the length of the handle for light weight and to accommodate a bar magnet, spacer bar or other structure that may be useful in connection. with the tool.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel driver tool of the character described which embodies a simple O-ring bushing retention structure and operation, wherein each of the bushings has a resilient O-ring mounted in an external groove and projecting radially outwardly from the CD. of the bushing for resilient frictional engagement of the bushing in the bore in the handle. This permits attachment ofa key to the handle by simply engaging the shank of the key through a respective bushing and pushing the bushing into the bore of the handle with the lateral arm of the key ahead of the bushing in the handle slot. Disengagement of the key from the handle is effected by simply pushing forward on the exposed lateral arm of the key, and this can be done in one hand by simply holding the handle in the hand and pushing forward on the lateral arm of the key with the thumb. This, a quick connect-disconnect attachment means is provided, yet the keys are securely held in the handle for the driving operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a driver tool of the character described wherein the novel and simplified key retention system is not limited to any particular type of driver key or to specially modified keys, but is universally adaptable to connect any L- shaped key or bit to the handle, such as the Allen type for hex sockets; the spline type (Bristol) for spline recesses; the cluth-h'ead type; the Scrulox type, which is a square drive similar to the hexagonal Allen type; conventional screwdriver-type drives like the slotted, Phillips, and Reed & Prince (Frearson) drives; or any other desired L-shaped key or bit.
A still further object of the present invention is to providea driver tool of the character described that is particularly adapted to be operated in the fast spin-in and spin-out screwdriver modes; yet which can be simply turned through without changing the operators grip thereon and utilized in a high torque T-handle mode for torquing up or breaking loose a screw or other device.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear during the course of the following part of the specification, wherein the details of construction and mode of operation ofa presently preferred embodiment are described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa driver tool according to the invention, with a large size Allen wrench operatively positioned therein.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view drawn to the same scale as FIG. 1, but illustrating a small size Allen wrench and associated bushing adapted to be mounted in the tool in place of the large size Allen wrench and its associated bushing shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view showing the assembled driver tool of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary axial section, partly in elevation, taken on the line 44 in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but illustrating the Allen wrench and bushing axially separated from the body or handle structure as they would be prior to engagement with the handle structure or after disengagement therefrom.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view, partly in elevation, taken on the line 6-6 in FIG. 4.
v FIG. 7 is an axial section, partly in elevation, illustrating theinvention with a spacer bar embodied in the handle.
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7, but illustrating the use of a key or bit as a spacer instead of the spacer bar of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIGS. 7 and 8, but illustrating the embodiment of a bar magnet in the handle structure to apply a magnetic action to the key or bit.
FIG. 10 is an elevational view illustrating operation of thepresent invention in a fast spin type screwdriver mode, with a Phillips type key or bit.
FIG. 11 is an elevational view with the driver tool turned 90 from the position of FIG. 10, illustrating the high torque T-handle mode of operation of the tool.
FIG. 12 is an elevational view generally similar to FIG. 11, but partly in axial section, illustrating a reversal of the key or bit so as to utilize the long shank part thereof in the T-handle mode of operation of the tool.
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary axial section, partly in elevation, illustrating a modified counterbored bushing adapted for use in connection with small size keys.
FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13, but illustrating another modification of the bushing wherein the bushing is slotted so as to support the key proximate its bend or elbow.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, and at first particularly to FIGS. 1 and 3 to 6 thereof, a driver tool according to the present invention is generally designated 10, and includes a tool body 12 having front and rear ends 14 and 16, respectively. The body 12 is preferably but not necessarily of uniform hexagonal external cross section, and is preferably made of bar stock. The material of which the body 12 is composed is preferably but not necessarily a high strength aluminum alloy which has been suitably anodized for corrosion resistance and appearance.
The body 12 of the tool is provided with an axial bore 18 which opens at the front end 14. A forwardly opening, longitudinally arranged slot 20 is provided in the forward portion of the body 12. The slot 20 extends in the radial direction from bore 18 to the outside of body 12, and extends rearwardly from the front end 14 of the body for an extent that is substantially less than the length of the smallest key or bit adapted to be supported in the tool, the slot 20 terminating at a rear end 22 thereof For maximum access to restricted regions, the front end portion of the body 12 is beveled or chamfered as at 24. For comfort and convenience in the manipulation of the tool, the rear end 16 of the body 12 is rounded.
The monolithic or unitary body 12 of the tool may be considered as comprising a forward collet portion 26 wherein the keys or bits are adapted to be releasably supported; and a rearward handle portion 28 for manipulation of the tool. Although the bore 18 need only extend rearwardly to the rear end 22 of slot 20, preferably the bore 18 extends rearwardly through a major portion of the body 12 as best seen in FIGS. 7, 8, and 9. This minimizes the weight ofthe body 12 while maintaining desirable tubular strength characteristics, and provides space in the body of the tool to receive additional devices as will be described in detail in connection with FIGS. 7, 8, and 9.
L-shaped key or bit 30 shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 to 6 is an Allen wrench, and for the size body 12 would be the largest one of a set of such Allen wrenches. The L- shaped key or bit 30 includes a relatively long shank portion 32 terminating in a forward working end 34, and a relatively short lateral arm 36 which serves as a torque-applying arm. The shank 32 and lateral arm 36 are connected by a bend or elbow 38, and are angularly offset approximately 90.
Each key or bit 30 is removably mounted in the forward collet portion 26 of the body 12 by means of a bushing 40 through which the shank portion 32 of the key is slidably engaged. The bushing 40 has an external annular groove within which an elastomeric O-ring 44 is mounted. The uncompressed thickness of the O-ring 44 in the radial direction is greater than the depth of the annular groove 42 by an amount that is greater than the radial clearance between the CD. of bushing 40 and the ID. of bore 18. Stated another way, the resilient O-ring 44 in its position of repose, which is best illustrated in FIG. 5, projects radially outwardly from the annular external surface of the bushing 40 an amount greater than the annular clearance between the bushing 40 and the bore 18 of body 12 when the bushing 40 is inserted into the bore 18, such inserted position and clearance being best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6.
To mount the key or bit 30 in the tool body 12, all that is necessary is to simply drop or slidably engage the shank30 of the key through bushing 40 from the rear of the bushing to the position best illustrated in FIG. 5, wherein the lateral arm 36 of the key extends laterally to the rear of the bushing 40, and then simply push the bushing 40 rearwardly into the forward collet portion 26 of the body to the position shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 6. The elastomeric O-ring 44 will be radially c0mpressed as best illustrated in FIG. 4 to provide resilient, frictional engagement of the bushing 40, and hence also of the key 30, in the collet portion 26 of the body. Such frictional engagement need not involve any large radial forces, since the primary purpose thereof is to prevent either the bushing or the key 30, or both of them, from slipping out of their operative positions during operation of the driver tool 10. The radial compressability of the O-ring 44 will accommodate considerable tolerance variations between the CD. of the bushing 40 and the ID. of the bore 18, so that manufacturing tolerances are not critical. It is to be understood that the cross-sectional area of the annular groove 42 as best seen in FIG. 5 is at least about as great as the cross-sectional area of the O-ring 44 so that the O-ring 44 can be substantially completely compressed down into the groove 42 should the clearance between the OD. of the bushing 40 and the ID. of the bore 18 be small.
As is clear from FIGS. 1, 3, 4, and 6, when the bushing 40 with the key 30 engaged therein is pushed rearwardly into the collet portion 26 of the body, the lateral arm 36 of key 30 is engaged in the slot 20. This provides a positive torque-applying connection between the body 12 and the lateral arm 36 about the longitudinal axis of the body 12 and shank 32 of the key. The bushing 40 is held substantially coaxial with the bore 18 by means of the resilient O-ring 44, and confinement of the shank 32 within the axial passage through the bushing 40 disposes the shank 32 of the key 30 substantially in axial alignment with the body 12 of the tool. In order to hold the shank 32 of the key reasonably closely in axial alignment with the body 12 of the tool, it is preferable to provide a separate bushing'like bushing 40 for each of the different size keys like key 30 of a set of such keys, with the axial passage of the respective bushing for each key only slightly larger in diameter than the diameter of the key shank. Thus, in a typical set of Allen wrenches which includes nine such wrenches, it is preferable to provide nine separate bushings like the bushing 40 for the respective wrenches. Any play such as results from sufficient clearance between key shank and bushing to allow easy assembly thereof does not substantially adversely affect engagement of the forward working end of the key in a workpiece or spin-in and spin-out screwdriver mode of operation.
Nevertheless, it has been found in practice that where a set of keys like key 30 involves only relatively small differences in diameter between successive keys, a plurality of successive keys may be selectively connected to the body 12 of the tool with a single bushing of aadequate ID. to receive the largest of such successive keys, while still maintaining adequate axial alignment of the shank portions of the keys for generally normal operation of the tool.
Although the drawings illustrate the groove 42 and O-ring 44 located generally adjacent to, the forward end of the bushing 40, it is to be understood that they may be located at any other desired position along the length of the bushing within the scope of the invention.
The lateral arm'36 projects laterally materially beyond the outer surface of the body 12 of the tool to provide an exposed end portion of the lateral arm which serves several purposes. This exposed portion of the lateral arm provides a convenient means for ejecting both a key and its bushing from the forward collet portion 26 of the body. Such ejection is most easily accomplished by simply grasping the handle portion 28 of the tool in the hand with the collet portion 26 proximate the thumb and index finger, and then simply pushing forwardly on the exposed part of the lateral arm with the forward end of the thumb.
FIG. 2 illustrates a key or bit 46 that is much smaller in size than the key or bit 30. The bushing 48 adapted to attach the key 46 in the forward collet portion 26 of the body 12 has substantially the same CD. as the bushing 40 for the larger key, but has a relatively small ID. that is only slightly larger than the diameter of the shank of the key 46. Engagement of the small key 46 in the forward collet portion of the body, and removal of the small key 46 therefrom, will be accomplished in the same manner as engagement and removal of the larger key 30 heretofore described. However, because the thickness of the lateral arm of the small key 46 is much less than that for the large key 30, and also the elbow of the small key 46 has much sharper bend than the elbow for the large key 30, the axial spacings will be somewhat different for the large key 30 and small key 46 in the collet portion 26 of the body if the bushings and 48 are of the same length. Preferably, the bushing 40 for the large key 30 has a length such that with its forward end generally flush with the front end 14 of the body, its rear end will engage the key at its elbow 38 so as to hold the lateral arm 36 of the key generally seated in the rear of the groove 20 proximate the rear end 22 of the groove. If the small key bushing 48 is made the same length as the large key bushing 40 as shown in H68. 2, 7, and 8 of the drawings, then when the small key bushing 48 is pushed all of the way into the forward collet portion 26 to the position wherein its front end is generally flush with front end 14 of the body, there will be substantial axial play for the lateral arm of the small key in the rear end portion of the slot 20, and hence for the entire small key 46. Such axial play can be minimized or eliminated in several ways. Preferably, the bushings for the respective keys of a set are provided in different lengths, the bushings being successively longer for successively smaller keys, so that each key will be snugly seated in the rear end portion of the slot 20.
Alternatively, ifit is desired to manufacture all of the bushings in approximately the same length, one or more dowels or spacer bars 50 may simply be dropped into the bore 18 as shown in FIG. 7 prior to engagement of a small size key 46 and its respectivebushing 48 into the forward collet portion 26 of the body. A similar alternative is illustrated in FIG. 8', but comprises the use of a second key 52 that is simply dropped backwards into the bore 18 and slot 20, the lateral arm of this second key 52 providing the desired spacing. The advantage of the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 8 is I that for each relatively small key like the key 46, there will be a generally complementary relatively large key like the key 52 that will provide the desired spacing. Additionally, the longer lateral arm on the key 52 as compared with the lateral arm on the small key 46 provides greater lateral extension of the combination for pushing it back out of the tool.
One reason for not extending the lengths of the bushings for the small keys to the full extent required to seat the lateral arm at the rear end of the slot 20 is the limitation on drill bit lengths for small diameter drill bits employed for boring out the bushing stock. One means for overcoming this problem is illustrated in FIG, 13 of the drawings, which illustrates a modified bushing adapted for use in connection with a small size key, as for example the small key 46. The bushing 70 has a forward small diameter bore 72 adapted for close-fitting slidable engagement of the shank of key 46 therein, and has a larger rearwardly opening counterbore 74. This combination of forward bore 72 and rearward counterbore 74 permits the modified bushing 70 to be sufficiently long to seat the lateral arm of key 46 against the rear end 22 of slot 20, without requiring that the small drill bit used to make bore 72 extend the entire axial length of bushing 70.
FIG. 14 illustrates a further modified bushing 76 shown in connection with an intermediate size key 52. The modified bushing 76 has a rearwardly opening slot 78 therein of sufficient width to accommodate the thickness of the key 52, which enables the rear end 80 of the bushing to extend rearwardly in the collet portion 26.of the body to a position proximate the rear end 22 of the slot 20. The rearward end portion of the modified bushing 76 proximate the bend or elbow in the key 52 provides additional support for the key proximate its bend or elbow during high torque operations. The forward end 82 of the bushing slot 78 is sufficiently far forward to substantially clear the bend or elbow in the key with the bushing 70 pushed all of the way into the forward collet portion 26 of the body.
Referring now to FIG. 9 of the drawings, this figure illustrates utilization of the extension of bore 18 rearwardly of the rear end 22 of slot 20 to accommodate a bar magnet 54 which is simply inserted into the bore before a bushing 48 and its respective key or bit 52 are pushed into the collet portion 26 of the body. The bar magnet 54 will magnetically adhere to the key 52 proximate its bend or elbow, the key 52 being presumed to be made of a magnetically conducting tool material. Magnetism from the bar magnet 54 will be transmitted through the shank of the key 52 to the forward working end thereof, so that a screw or the like may be magnetically held in operative position on the working end of the key 52 for insertion and engagement into confined regions.
FIGS. 10, 11, and 12 illustrate the tool of the present invention in connection with a key 56 with a first working end 58 at the end of the relatively long shank 60 in the form of a Phillips driver; and a second working end 62 at the end of the relatively short lateral arm 64 also in the form of a Phillips driver. In FIGS. 10 and 11, the key 56 is mounted in the normal manner in the forward collet portion 26 of the body 12, so that the shank 60 extends longitudinally forwardly from the body of the tool, and the lateral arm 64 projects laterally from the body of the tool. In FIG. 12 the key 56 has been reversed so that the relatively long shank 60 projects laterally from the body 12 of the tool.
FIG. 10 illustrates the screwdriver mode of operation of the present invention for rapid spin-in and spinout driving of a screw 66. In this mode of operation the rearward handle portion 28 of the body 12 of the tool is simply grasped generally axially between the thumb and several opposed fingers and rotated. In this mode of operation of the tool the axis of the body 12 of the tool is generally aligned with the axis of the screw 66.
FIG. 11 illustrates a T-handle mode of operation of the driver tool 10, wherein the working end 62 of the lateral arm 64 is engaged with the screw 66, and wherein the body 12 of the tool is generally normal to the axis of the screw 66. In this mode of operation the body 12 of the tool serves as a long torque arm so as to apply a relatively large amount of torque for either tightening up the screw 66 or breaking the screw 66 loose from a tightened condition.
It will be noted that for both the mode of operation of FIG. 10 and the mode of operation of FIG. 11 the rearward handle portion 28 of the tool body 12 is normally grasped between the thumb on one side of the handle and several fingers on the other side of the handle. The only difference in these two grips of the tool handle is that the thumb and opposed fingers are generally axially aligned with the handle in the operation of FIG. 10, and are generally normal to the axis of the handle in the operation of FIG. 11. The tool is quickly and easily pivoted in this grip between the positions of FIGS. 10 and 11 without disengaging the handle from between the fingers, for rapid and positive continuation of screw run-in from the spin-in" mode of FIG. 10 to the torque-up mode of FIG. 11; or of a screw run-out from a breaking loose mode of FIG. 11 to a spin-out mode of FIG. 10.
The relatively short length of lateral arm 64 provides only limited access of its working end 62 in restricted regions. Accordingly, if better access is required for the T-handle mode, which inherently has poorer access because of the transverse relationship of the handle relative to the working access of the tool, then a reversal ofthe key 56 as illustrated in FIG. 12 will obtain the advantage of the relatively long shank 60 for better access. If still better access to restricted regions must be obtained, and high torque is required, the tool may be employed in the normal screwdriver position of FIG. 10, and a socket, open ended or other wrench engaged over facets of the hexagonal body to apply torque thereto.
While the invention has been illustrated for convenience in connection with keys or bits of the Allen wrench and Phillips driver type, it is to be understood that keys or bits with any type of working heads may be employed within the scope of the present invention.
While the present invention has been shown and described herein in what are conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is therefore not to be limited to the details as disclosed herein.
1. A driver tool which comprises an elongated body having a forwardly opening, generally cylindrical and smooth-surfaced axial bore and having a forwardly opening longitudinal slot extending laterally between the bore and the outside of the body, an L-shaped tool key having a shank and a lateral arm joined at an elbow, a cylindrical bushing coaxially engaged over the key shank with the lateral arm of the key disposed adjacent one end thereof, said bushing being axially slidably engageable in said bore with the lateral arm of the key engaged in said slot generally rearwardly of the bushing and extending outwardly of said body and the shank of the key generally coaxial with the body and projecting forwardly therefrom and retention means of elastomeric material comprising an O-ring in a circumferential groove in the bushing and directly engaging the smooth surface of the bore throughout the circumference thereof and being radially compressed thereby and thereby frictionally retaining the bushing and key in the body whereby said bushing and key may be slidably ejected from said bore by pushing forwardly on said outwardly extending lateral arm with a finger of the users hand holding said tool.
2. A driver tool as defined in claim 1, wherein said body has external wrenching surface means thereon.
3. A driver tool as defined in claim 1, wherein said bore extends rearwardly in the body substantially beyond the rearward end of said slot.
4. A driver tool as defined in claim 3, which includes an elongated permanent magnet disposed in said rearward extension of the bore, said key being composed of magnetically conducting material.
5. A driver tool as defined in claim 3, which includes spacer means disposed in said rearward extension of the bore and engageable with said key proximate its said lateral arm.
6. A driver tool as defined in claim 1, wherein the rear end portion of said bushing has transverse slot means therein within which said elbow of the key is disposed.
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|US6922870||Jun 11, 2003||Aug 2, 2005||William L. Tontz, Sr.||Torque magnifying handle for driving tool|
|US7207247 *||Sep 6, 2006||Apr 24, 2007||Kirby Lyle L||Hammer head wrench|
|US8736586 *||May 17, 2010||May 27, 2014||Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd.||Multifunction stylus|
|US20040250378 *||Jun 11, 2003||Dec 16, 2004||Tontz William L.||Torque magnifying handle for driving tool|
|US20100050823 *||Sep 1, 2009||Mar 4, 2010||Wayne Christopher Blankenship||Tree step tool with custom magnet|
|US20110100729 *||May 17, 2010||May 5, 2011||Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd.||Multifunction stylus|
|DE3016932A1 *||May 2, 1980||Nov 5, 1981||Werner Gmbh & Co Hermann||Schraubendreher mit auswechselbarer klinge|
|DE3636025A1 *||Oct 23, 1986||Jul 2, 1987||Harry F Condon||Handwerkszeug zur uebertragung eines drehmoments|
|EP0116245A1 *||Dec 19, 1983||Aug 22, 1984||Patricia Carossino||Universal tool for use as an auxiliary for clamping and/or loosening screwable elements and screwing tools|
|EP1075357A2 *||May 4, 1999||Feb 14, 2001||Engelbert Gmeilbauer||Handle for a hand tool, especially a screwdriver grip|
|U.S. Classification||81/438, 81/439, 81/177.2|
|International Classification||B25B15/00, B25G1/06, B25G1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B25B15/008, B25G1/066|
|European Classification||B25B15/00B2D, B25G1/06S1|