Title:
Holding device for knives
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a holding device for knives comprising at least one housing for a knife. The aim of the invention is to avoid as much as possible that the holding device gets dirty. Therefore, the holding device (1, 50, 80) comprises base elements (2, 51, 81)which can be assembled and which define at least one housing (9, 65, 85).



Inventors:
Schultz, Horst (Hochheim, DE)
Application Number:
10/276448
Publication Date:
02/19/2004
Filing Date:
05/16/2003
Assignee:
SCHULTZ HORST
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G21/14; (IPC1-7): A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CROCKETT & CROCKETT, PC (Aliso Viejo, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A holding device for knives with at least one receptacle for knives, characterized in that said holding device (1, 50, 80) comprises basic elements (2, 51, 81) which are joinable together in line and define at least one receptacle (9, 65, 85).

2. The holding device according to claim 1, characterized in that between said adjacent basic elements (2, 51, 81) respectively one receptacle (9, 65, 85) is formed.

3. The holding device according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that certain basic elements comprise respectively a further receptacle.

4. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said at least one receptacle (9, 65, 85) and/or said further receptacle is formed as a receiving slot for a knife blade, whereby said receiving slot completely penetrates said holding device into one direction.

5. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in said basic elements (2, 51, 81) are detachably connected to one another.

6. The holding device according to claims 1 to 5, characterized in that said basic elements (2, 51, 81) are connectable to one another and/or pluggable and/or screwable together (8) via guide elements.

7. The holding device according to claim 6, characterized in that said guide elements are formed as dovetail guides.

8. The holding device according to claims 1 to 7, characterized in that said holding device (1, 50, 80) comprises at least one knife sharpener.

9. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that said holding device (1, 50, 80) comprises a blocking element (17, 22, 87) which in a first position (19, 24) safeguards said knives against removal and in a second position (18, 23) allows the removal of said knives.

10. The holding device according to claim 9, characterized in that said blocking element (17, 22, 87) forms a stopper in said first position (19, 24).

11. The holding device according to claim 9 or 10, characterized in that said blocking element (17, 22, 87) comprises a knife sharpener.

12. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 11, characterized in that said basic elements (2, 51) are lined up in circles.

13. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 12, characterized in that said basic elements (2, 51) define a hollow space (7, 66).

14. The holding device according to claim 13, characterized in that said hollow space (7) comprises a polyhedron cross section.

15. The holding device according to claim 13, characterized in that said hollow space (66) comprises a circular cross section.

16. The holding device according to one of claims 13 to 15, characterized in that said blocking element is formed as a closing cap (22) for said hollow space (7).

17. The holding device according to one of claims 9 to 16, characterized in that said blocking element (17, 22) forms a rotary member.

18. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 12, characterized in that said basic elements (81) are lined up in a straight line.

19. The holding device according to claim 18, characterized in that said basic elements (81) form a plain face.

20. The holding device according to claims 18 or 19, characterized in that said blocking element (87) is longitudinally movable inside said basic elements (81).

21. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 20, characterized in that said basic elements constitute a bent metal member (2, 81) and/or a moulded plastic member (51).

22. The holding device according to one of claims 1 to 21, characterized in that said holding device (50) comprises additional elements (52) which are formed for receiving (58) cutlery and/or kitchen tools, particularly paring knives or openers.

Description:
[0001] The invention concerns a holding device for knives according to the preamble of claim 1.

[0002] Holding devices for knives are known in various designs and types. Depending on their design, such holding devices may be made from various materials such as wood, plastic, ceramic, or metal. Among these, a fundamental distinction must be made between movable holding devices or receptacles and fixedly installed holding devices for knives. The latter holding devices are attached, in particular, to walls or cabinets and are frequently designed as simple strips on which the knives are held by their blades, for instance, by magnetic attraction. Often the holding force is inadequate. Another disadvantage is usually unlimited access for children and the resulting risk of injury. In addition, there is a further risk potential in that even slight contact may result in release of the knives from the holders. Moreover, the installation of the knife holders is often possible only in inadequately accessible locations. Thus, access to the knives may be inconvenient.

[0003] Movable holding devices or receptacles in the form of knife blocks that accommodate the sharp knife blades by surrounding them avoid some of the disadvantages of the aforementioned stationery holding devices. Such knife blocks are made, for instance, of wood and have slots that are adapted to the blade geometry.

[0004] The knife blades are inserted into the knife blocks far enough that the knife handles rest with one end on the knife block. Frequently, these knife blocks are designed such that the slots to accommodate the knives form an angle of approximately 45° with the bottom surface of the knife block. The advantage here is improved handling of the knives. Also, the knife blocks may be readily moved to the respective location where they are to be used. Thus, the knife blocks may be used on a kitchen table, for instance, during food preparation or may also be placed near a sink in order to clean the knives before use.

[0005] A disadvantage with such knife blocks is the insertion of the blades into the narrow slots. In addition, the slots are frequently open on only one end, such that moisture or food residues remaining on the blades before the insertion of the knife may collect in the slots for the blades. Even if the slots are open at both ends, the problem of inadequate cleaning of the slots exists. Over a relatively long period of time this results in unacceptable soiling and ultimately leads to possible bacterial contamination. Moreover, there is the disadvantage that knives inserted in knife blocks may be too easily removed by children.

[0006] Consequently, the object of the invention is to design a holding device for knives such that soiling is avoided as much as possible. Besides that, the holding device should be modular in construction and thus disassemblable.

[0007] The characterizing features of claim 1 accomplish the object.

[0008] The invention brings the advantage that the modular holding device for knives has no areas inaccessible for cleaning and, consequently, growth of pathogens can be prevented. Additionally, the holding device according to the invention can be readily cleaned manually or in an automatic washing device.

[0009] Further advantages are presented in the dependent claims.

[0010] The inventive holding device for knives includes basic elements arrangeable relative to each other that define at least one receptacle for knives. According to the invention, one receptacle can be formed in each case by two adjacent basic elements. The knives may thus be simply inserted into the holding device and are, nevertheless, held thereby in a mechanically stable manner. Provision is made in the invention to arrange at least two basic elements next to each other. It is, however, also preferably possible to link a plurality such as three, four, or five basic elements to each other such that, accordingly, three, four, or five receptacles are defined, preferably surrounded, respectively, by two adjacent basic elements.

[0011] The basic elements may also have an additional receptacle for knives. The receptacle and/or the additional receptacle is designed according to the invention as a slot for a knife blade, whereby the slot runs all the way through the holding device in one direction, preferably along its longitudinal axis. This yields the advantage that moisture can drain from the slots.

[0012] According to the invention, at least two basic elements are releasably linked to each other. The basic elements may be linked by guide elements that are designed preferably as dovetail guides. Basic elements that can be snapped to each other and/or screwed to each other are also conceivable. Here, it is advantageous that basic elements showing signs of wear may be replaced without the use of an expensive tool.

[0013] The holding device includes at least one sharpening steel. One embodiment of the present invention also has a locking element that secures the knives against removal in a first position and permits removal of the knives in a second position. The locking element forms, according to the invention, a stop for the knife handles. The locking element may generally in the first position be frictionally and/or form-fittingly linked with the knife handles. This yields the advantage that the holding device according to the invention can be used even in readily accessible locations without risk for unauthorized individuals, in particular, children.

[0014] Provision is advantageously made by the invention to arrange the basic elements in a ring shape such that they delimit a hollow space with a circular cross-section. However, an arrangement that surrounds a hollow space with a square cross-section or with any polyhedral cross-section is also conceivable. The locking element may be designed as a locking cap for the hollow space. The locking element may also be designed as a rod-shaped pivoting part that preferably includes a column designed as a sharpening steel. The column penetrates into the hollow space. Advantageously, the knives can be sharpened in a simple manner upon removal from the holding device.

[0015] Another embodiment provides for arranging the basic elements in a straight line and thus designing the holding device advantageously as a wall holder for knives. Here, the basic elements can form a flat surface with reduced risk of soiling on the side facing away from the wall. With the straight-line arrangement of the basic elements, the locking element can preferably be pushed longitudinally through the basic elements between a securing position and a releasing position. The locking element may also include a sharpening steel.

[0016] According to the invention, the basic elements may be designed as bent sheet-metal parts and/or as molded plastic parts. The advantage here lies in the simple manufacture of the holding device, which enables production of large quantities. The inventive holding device may be designed either from one type of basic element or from a combination of the two types. Moreover, provision is made to integrate supplemental elements into the holding device in addition to the basic elements or to modify the basic elements. Such supplemental elements, preferably designed as injection molded plastic parts, may be used to accommodate additional tableware, such as teaspoons, spoons, or forks. The supplemental elements may also accommodate kitchen utensils, in particular, peelers, for instance, for peeling potatoes or asparagus. It is, however, also conceivable to accommodate openers, preferably bottle openers. Furthermore, the invention includes accommodation of condiment containers. This yields the special advantage of individualized modular construction of a holding device depending on need and purpose or place of use.

[0017] The invention is explained in detail in the following with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0018] They depict:

[0019] FIG. 1 a perspective view of a first embodiment of the inventive holding device,

[0020] FIG. 2 a side view of a holding device corresponding to the embodiment of FIG. 1, in a different scale,

[0021] FIG. 3 a top view of the inventive holding device of FIG. 2, not to scale,

[0022] FIG. 4 a top view of a locking element of the inventive holding device of FIG. 3,

[0023] FIG. 5 a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention,

[0024] FIG. 6 a perspective view of a basic element of the holding device of FIG. 5,

[0025] FIG. 7 a view of a basic element of FIG. 6,

[0026] FIG. 8 a perspective view of another locking element, in a different scale, and

[0027] FIG. 9 a perspective view of a third embodiment of the invention.

[0028] According to FIG. 1, a holding device 1 for knives according to the invention is constructed from basic elements 2 linked with each other. The basic elements 2 are substantially right-angled bent parts made from sheet metal or, preferably, stainless steel, that are bent along the longitudinal axis to delimit an angle, preferably an acute angle. The basic elements 2 have, according to FIGS. 1, 2, a preferably rounded recess 4 in one transverse edge 3 that is bounded on both sides by a foot section 5. According to the invention, the recess may, according to FIG. 2, also have a straight central section 4a.

[0029] According to FIG. 1, the basic elements 2 surround, with folds 6, a hollow space 7 with a substantially circular cross-section. The basic elements 2 are linked by their folds 6 by two connecting elements. The connecting elements are preferably provided on the end facing the feet sections and the end facing away from the feet sections. The connecting elements are preferably implemented as rings 8 (FIG. 3). The connection of the basic elements 2 with the rings is implemented as a snap or screw connection. The basic elements 2 are connected to each other such that a receptacle in the form of a slot 9 is present in each case between the outer edges 2a and 2b.

[0030] In a section 9a facing the foot sections 5, an assembly element 10 is applied in each case between two basic elements 2. The assembly element 10 is linked with the surrounding basic elements 2, preferably snapped in or screwed, as depicted in FIG. 2. The assembly element 10 is preferably made from a hard material, for instance a metal or even Plexiglas [™]. According to FIG. 3, the assembly element 10 passes through the slot 9, preferably not completely, but is only provided on the outward opening. Above the assembly element 10, the outer edges 2a, 2b of the basic element 2 are bent outward from each other expanding the opening 11 of the slot 9. Preferably, the outer edges 2a, 2b bent outward away from each other in an edge region of the basic elements 2 surround an acute angled receiving section 12. One end 2c of each basic element 2 is bounded on its outward edges by projections 13.

[0031] Provision is made according to the invention to guide the blades of knives that are to be accommodated in the holding device through the receiving section 12 into the slot 9. The knives are inserted at an angle of roughly 45° relative to the longitudinal axis of the holding device 1. Preferably, the cutting-edge of the knife blade is turned away from the user.

[0032] According to FIG. 2, a knife handle 14 rests in a stationary position with a lower edge 15 on the top edge 2c of two adjacent basic elements 2. The knife handle 14 rests against the projection 13, blocking outward radial movement. The knife handle 14 is then brought into contact with a locking element 16 in the center of the holding device 1. The locking element is, according to FIG. 2, designed as the handle 16 of a knife sharpening or grinding steel 17 depicted in FIG. 8. The handle 16 has, according to the invention, arched recesses 18. In a removal position, the arched recesses 18 are not in contact with the handles 14 of inserted knives.

[0033] According to the invention, the sharpening steel can be pivoted from a removal position into a locking position, whereby peripheral bulges 19 located between the arched recesses 18 protrude into recesses 20 on the knife handle. A bottom surface 19a of a peripheral bulge 19 rests firmly against an outside surface segment 21 in the region of the recess 20 of the knife handle. The sharpening steel depicted in FIG. 8 has a rod-shaped sharpening section 22.

[0034] According to an embodiment of the present invention depicted in FIG. 4, the locking element can be designed as a locking cap 22 to seal the hollow space 7. The locking cap 22 can preferably be connected form-fittingly, and possibly be placed therein by a permanent snap-in connection. The locking cap 22 has, around its periphery, recesses 23 with pressure edges 24 located between them. The pressure edges 24 rest against the outside surface segment 21, whereas, in contrast, when the recesses 23 are positioned opposite the knife handle 14, removal of the knife is possible.

[0035] FIG. 5 depicts a further embodiment of the inventive holding device 50 for knives and the like formed from basic elements 51 and supplemental elements 52 corresponding thereto. According to the invention, the basic elements 51 and the supplemental elements 52 are interchangeable with each other and are preferably injection molded plastic parts. The holding device 50 has, preferably, a circular cross-section. According to FIG. 7, the supplemental element 52 has a cross-section in the shape of a circular segment with two flat surfaces 53 and 54 at right angles to each other as well as a circular peripheral section 55. According to FIG. 6, a preferably rounded recess 57 transitioning into a support section 56 connects from a top edge 52a of the supplemental element 52 along the longitudinal axis. The supplemental element 52 has an inside bore 58 opening on the support section 56 running along its longitudinal axis. Handles of household utensils such as a bottle opener or an asparagus peeler and the like can be inserted into the bore 58.

[0036] The basic elements 51 and supplemental elements 52 have, in a section 52a facing a base surface, projections 60, 61 protruding on the longitudinal surfaces 53, 54. Snap webs 62 running along the longitudinal axis protrude from the projections 61. According to FIG. 5, in the assembled state, the snap webs 62 are accommodated by corresponding grooves in the projections 60.

[0037] A collar segment 63 on the top 52a of the supplemental element 52 and of the basic element 51 has projections 63a, 63b protruding beyond the longitudinal surfaces 53 and 54. The projections 63a have protruding snap noses 64. The snap noses 64 are accommodated by openings (not shown) in the projection 63b of a corresponding adjacent basic element. According to FIG. 5, a slot 65 is produced by abutting or connecting the snap noses 64 and the snap webs 62 with the corresponding grooves and openings, after joining the basic elements 51 or supplemental elements 52 between two basic elements 51 in each case and/or supplemental elements 52. The slot 65 opens into an upper section 50a of the holding device with an obliquely widening opening area on the peripheral surface of the holding device. In the lower section 50b of the holding device toward the bottom surface 59, the slot continues to the bottom surface, preferably in the interior of the holding device concealed from the outside.

[0038] According to FIG. 5, the basic elements 51 and/or the supplemental elements 52 surround a hollow space 66 with a circular cross-section designed to accommodate the sharpening steel according to FIG. 8. The basic element 51 has on a top end 51a a circumferential collar 51c. According to FIG. 5, the supplemental element 52 has, on the top end 52a, on peripheral sections 55a, 55b that surround the recess 57, in each case, a projection 67. Knives introduced into the slot 65 rest according to FIG. 2 with their handles 14 against the projections 67 or the collars 51c.

[0039] Another embodiment of the inventive holding device 80 has as basic elements preferably rectangular hollow profiles 81 that are hung by openings 82 in outer surfaces 81a, 81b, in [?sic] a wall mounting rod 83. Coupling elements 84 are installed between outer surfaces 81a, 81b, preferably snapped, pressed into each other, or screwed. According to FIG. 9, a slot 85 designed to accommodate knife blades is located above the coupling element 84. Toward the top end 81c of the basic elements, the outer surfaces 81a, 81b have in each case holes 86 through which a rod-like retaining element 87 can be guided. In the inserted state, the retaining element 87 prevents the removal of knives that are located in the slot 85. The retaining element 87 may preferably be designed as a sharpening steel.

[0040] The invention is not restricted to the exemplary embodiments described, which may be modified in numerous ways. Accordingly, the inventive holding device according to FIGS. 1, 5 may also be configured with a number of basic elements 2, 51 and/or supplemental elements 52 other than that depicted. Circular joining of, for instance, six basic elements or supplemental elements that enables accommodation of six knives, is conceivable. Of course, the basic elements 2 are then implemented as bent sheet metal parts, each of which encloses an angle of 60°. The rings 8 that are installed in the hollow space of the holding device may also be attached to the basic elements in a manner other than that described. The type of connection is determined by the type of material of the basic elements 2.

[0041] The assembly element 10 that is introduced into the slot 9 may pass radially through the slot 9 until reaching the fold 6 in the basic elements 2. Also, within the framework of the invention, provision may be made to mount a sharpening steel on a top end 10a. The sharpening steel (not shown) may then be used to grind or sharpen the blades in each case at the time of insertion of the knife blade into the slot 9.

[0042] The basic elements 2 may, as depicted in FIG. 3, also include a double fold that makes contacts with the rings 8 on an intermediate straight wall section 2d and is connected thereto. According to the invention, the basic elements 2 may also be covered by a plastic coating.

[0043] Of course, within the framework of the invention the locking element that prevents unauthorized removal of the knives from the holding device is adapted to the geometry of the knife handles. If the locking element according to FIG. 4 is implemented as a locking cap 22, it is also possible to attach the locking cap 22 to the holding device 1 by screw threads or mating threads. It is also conceivable for the locking cap 22 to have a central bore to accommodate a rod-shaped sharpening steel.

[0044] In the embodiment according to FIGS. 5, 6 it is also conceivable give the recesses 57 a shape other than round. Provision is made within the framework of the invention to adapt the shape of the recess to the utensil to be inserted into the opening 58. The basic elements 51 and the supplemental elements 52 of the holding device according to FIG. 5 through 7 are preferably provided, within the framework of the invention, as injection molded parts. The selection of a different material such as wood or metal, for instance, is also possible. The linkage by means of grooves and/or snap noses may also be replaced by a correspondingly releasable connection in the area 52b.

[0045] Of course, the top end 2c of the elements 2 according to FIGS. 1, 2 may not run at a right angle relative to the longitudinal axis. It is conceivable for the top ends 2c to slope outward at a sharp angle from the hollow space 7.

[0046] And finally, of course, the individual characteristics of the invention may also be used in combinations other than those described above.