US 3885478 A
A tool for manually removing caps from containers is disclosed comprising a rigid bar having an elongated handle portion by which the tool may be held and a flat head portion. The flat head portion of the rigid bar comprises a spike and a fulcrum in spaced coplanar juxtaposition with the spike by which the bar head portion may be made to grip and exert leverage on a cap to effect removal from a container.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Evans [451 May 27, 1975 TOOL FOR REMOVING CAPS FROM CONTAINERS  Inventor: William Richard Evans, 2090 Zelda Dr., NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30345  Filed: Sept. 7, 1973  Appl. No.: 395,188
 US. Cl 81/346 R  Int. Cl B67b 7/14  Field of Search ..81/3.46 R; 7/11 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,170,160 2/1916 Ingram 81/346 R I 1,204,676 11/1916 Mchuga 7/11 R 2,089,536 8/1937 Champlin 7/11 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1905 United Kingdom 81/346 Primary ExaminerAl Lawrence Smith Assistant Examiner-Roscoe V. Parker Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Newton, Hopkins & Ormsby [5 7 ABSTRACT A tool for manually removing caps from containers is disclosed comprising a rigid bar having an elongated handle portion by which the tool may be held and a flat head portion. The flat head portion of the rigid bar comprises a spike and a fulcrum in spaced coplanar juxtaposition with the spike by which the bar head portion may be made to grip and exert leverage on a cap to effect removal from a container.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures TOOL FOR REMOVING CAPS FROM CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to tools for removing caps from containers.
Today, caps used in covering many types of containers, such as those in which potentially dangerous substances like poisons, medications and the like are confined, are purposely designed to be somewhat difficult to remove in order to prevent children from obtaining access to their contents. Though such caps, which are often termed safety caps, do serve a beneficial role in restricting access by children, they inherently also severely inhibit access by certain groups of adults such as the aged and infirm.
In addition to medication vials and the like, many other types of caps are completely sealed to containers in order to prohibit pilfering prior to purchase or to prevent fluids confined therein from outflowing should the container be overturned. In other cases caps today are provided with small tabs by which the cap must be gripped and pried loose from the container. In still other cases caps rotatably secured as by the use of screw threads to containers are often overtightened, misthreaded or skewed which further renders manual removal quite difficult.
Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved tool for manually removing caps from containers.
Another object of the invention is to provide a versatile tool for manually removing various types of caps from containers through either rotary or prying action.
Another object of the invention is to provide a tool for manually removing caps which are sealed to containers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one form of the invention a tool is provided for manually removing caps from containers. The tool comprises a rigid bar having an elongated handle portion by which the tool may be held. The tool also includes a flat head portion comprising a spike and a fulcrum disposed in spaced coplanar juxtaposition with the spike by which the head portion may be made to grip and exert leverage on the cap to effect removal from the container.
In another form of the invention a tool is also provided for manually removing caps from containers. The tool comprises a substantially flat elongated bar having an end adapted to be manually held and another end adapted to grip and apply leverage on the cap. This other end has a recess formed in an edge thereof with a spike tip forming one lip of the recess and with a convex shoulder portion of the edge providing another lip of the recess. A portion of the cap to be removed may thus be placed within the recess between the spike tip and the convex shoulder and leverage asserted thereupon to effect removal from the container.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGS. 1-3 are each prospective views of tools embodying principles of the present invention in one form shown in operative association with three different types of capped container to effect cap removal.
FIG. 4 is a sideview in elevation of the tools shown in FIGS. 1-3 in operative association with another type of cap to effect cap removal.
FIG. 5 is a sideview in elevation of the tool shown in FIGS. 1-4 with a tool sheath shown pivoted to an open position thereby unsheathing the head portion of the tool.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Referring now in more detail to the drawing, there is shown a tool embodying principles of the present invention in one form which may be used in manually removing various types of caps from containers. Referring specifically to FIG. 5, the tool may be seen to comprise an elongated flat bar having a handle portion and a head portion 11. The end of the handle portion distal the head portion defines an aperture 12 in which a holding chain 14 may be entrapped as shown in the other figures. An operative edge of the head portion forms a convex shoulder 15 and a spike 16 disposed in spaced juxtaposition with the shoulder. The taper of the spike itself is preferably within the range of some 10 to which has been found to provide sufficiently small taper to effect puncture of most cap seals and yet provide sufficiently large taper to avoid breakage of the spike tip during operation. The spike tip 17 itself and shoulder 15 define lips of a recess 19 formed along an edge of the head portion. In this particular embodiment the recess bottom edge 20 forms an angle of some 1 10 with the recess defining edge 22 of spike l7. Recess bottom edge 20 also forms an angle of some 95 with recess defining wall 24 extending from shoulder 15.
A generally triangular sheath 25 is pivoted to the elongated flat bar handle portion 10 by pivot pin 26. With reference to FIG. 2 in particular, sheath 25 is seen to comprise two spaced parallel plates 28 and 29 joined together by a bridge 30 adjacent the end of the sheath distal the elongated bar. Each of these parallel plates are pivotally mounted to opposite sides bar handle portion 10. Bridge 30 is located. at a distance from pivot pin 26 so as to engage spike tip 17 when the tool is sheathed as shown by the dashed lines 31 in FIG. 5. In
this manner the sheath may be rotated to positions covering and uncovering recess 19 and spike tip 17.
In FIG. 1 the tool is shown in an operative position to effect removal of container cap 33 from a medication vial 34. To effect removal, spike tip 17 is placed beneath cylindrical cap edge 35 and shoulder 15 upon the planar top of the cap. This placement is facilitated by the presence of convex shoulder 15 which may be slid across the planar top surface of the cap and the divergence of confronting recess walls 22 and 24. By depressing bar handle portion 1.0, shoulder 15 is made to act as a fulcrum forcing spike tip 17 to rotate upwardly thereby prying the cap from the container.
In FIG. 2, the tool is shown effecting removal of a cap 40 sealed to a container 42. Here, spike tip 17 is forced through a thin seal just beneath cap 40 by sliding shoulder 15 across the top of the cap. Again, depression of handle portion 10 causes the shoulder to change functions from tool placement guide to that of a fulcrum in prying the cap upwardly and off of the container.
In FIG. 3 the versatility of the tool is illustrated. Here the tool is used as an assist in starting rotation of a cap 50 rotatably secured tightly to the top of a container 51. In this case shoulder 15 and spike tip 17 are placed against angularly displaced points on the side of cap 50 with the operators thumb in contact with the opposite smooth side of the cap to that in engagement with the tool. In this manner a firm grip is obtained upon the cap thereby greatly facilitating its removal.
In FIG. 4 versatility of the tool is again demonstrated in its use in removing a cap 55 from a vial 56 which cap contains a small tab 58 overlaying an angular flange 59 at the top of the container. Here, the tip of the spike portion of the tool head is inserted between cap 58 and flange 59 and shoulder 15 disposed on the top of the cap. Manual depression of handle portion again causes the shoulder to serve as a fulcrum about which the spike tip is pivoted in prying the cap off from the container.
When the just-described tool is in use, sheath 25 is, of course, rotated to expose the operative bar head portion 1 1. When use of the tool is temporarily terminated, the sheath may be rotated to its closed position and carried on ones person as in a pocket or purse. From FIG. 5 it will be noted that the entire periphery of the tool in this closed position is formed of smooth surfaces which prevent one from snagging and ripping the pocket or purse. It should also be noted that even in the sheath open position, the edges of bar handle portion 10 and the back edge 60 of bar head position 11 provide a smooth surface for manual gripping.
It should, of course, be understood that the justdescribed embodiment merely illustrates principles of the invention in one form. Many modifications may be made to this specific embodiment without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A tool for manually removing caps from containers comprising:
a. an elongated integral rigid bar having a handle portion and a head portion, said handle portions having approximately parallel back and bottom edges, said head portion having a recess defining wall extending toward the head end of said bar from and at an incline to said bottom edge to define at the junction of said recess defining wall and said bottom edge a fulcrum shoulder, said head portion of said bar also having a U-shaped recess defined by said recess defining wall and by a straight recess defining edge spaced from and opposite said recess defining wall and by a straight recess bottom edge joining the ends of said wall and said recess defining edge, said head portion having a tapered spike tip adjacent said recess and defined in part by said recess defining edge;
b. a transverse pivot pin in said handle portion of said bar, said pivot pin being disposed intermediate the ends of said bar; and
c. a sheath on said pivot pin, said sheath having a pair of opposed spaced parallel side plates and a bridge plate at the distal end portion of said sheath joining the adjacent edges of said side plates, said side plates at the proximal end portion of said sheath straddling said bar, said side plates and said bridge plate being sufficiently long and of such dimensions that when said sheath is pivoted toward said head portion to the extremity of its movement, said bridge plate engages said tip and said side plates cover said tip and said recess without covering entirely said head portion, said sheath being pivotal away from said head portion to expose said tip and said recess.
2. The tool defined in claim 1 wherein said head has a straight end disposed at an obtuse angle to said back edge and against which the index finger of a person may rest when the tool is held in the persons hand.
3. The tool defined in claim 2 wherein said handle portion is provided with a chain receiving hole adjacent the end of said bar and rearwardly of said pivot pin, said sheath being pivotal from its position covering said spike tip to a position in which the edges of said side plates partially cover said hole.