Title:
Nail clipper retainer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of compressible, high-friction bodies in fingernail, toenail or other clippers near the sharp edges thereof, to grip and retain the nail being cut during and after cutting. By compressing the bodies, the nail is not projected from the blades during or after cutting, but is instead retained until the clippers are released.



Inventors:
Verona, Steven N. (Margate City, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/446889
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DEFRANK, JOSEPH S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KREMBLAS & FOSTER (REYNOLDSBURG, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A retainer for nail clippers having first and second facing blades that are configured to move toward and away from one another for cutting nails, the retainer comprising: (a) a first body mounted adjacent the first blade; and (b) a second body mounted adjacent the second blade.

2. The retainer in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least one of said bodies is compressible, and wherein at least one of said bodies has a high friction surface that can seat against the nail.

3. The retainer in accordance with claim 2, wherein the first and second bodies have facing surfaces that are substantially flush with the first and second blades, respectively.

4. The retainer in accordance with claim 3, wherein the bodies are mounted to jaws upon which the blades are formed.

5. The retainer in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least the first body is a first sidewall defining a chamber into which nail clippings can be projected.

6. The retainer in accordance with claim 5, wherein the second body is a second sidewall defining the chamber.

7. The retainer in accordance with claim 6, further comprising a surface formed on the first sidewall and a surface formed on the second sidewall facing the first surface for seating against the first surface upon closing of the blades, each surface being substantially flush with the first and second blades.

8. A method of retaining nails in nail clippers having first and second facing blades that are configured to move toward and away from one another for cutting nails, the method comprising: (a) mounting a first body adjacent the first blade; (b) mounting a second body adjacent the second blade; (c) driving said blades toward one another when a nail is positioned between the blades, thereby seating said bodies against a nail and compressing at least one of said bodies; and (d) cutting through the nail with the blades while holding the nail between the bodies.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/687,522 filed Jun. 3, 2005.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

(Not Applicable)

REFERENCE TO AN APPENDIX

(Not Applicable)

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to nail cutting implements, and more particularly to a device for retaining a clipped fingernail or toenail in the clipping implement after the nail has been cut from a person's body.

2. Description of the Related Art

It is common to use fingernail cutting implements to sever the excess portion of a human fingernail extending substantially beyond the skin. Some conventional implements us a scissoring mechanism to sever the nail gradually as the scissors are closed. Others, commonly referred to as “clippers”, use a pair of facing blades to sever the nail abruptly all at once.

Such conventional clippers are convenient to carry safely, but they tend to scatter clipped nails around due to the force applied by the blades to the clipped nail. It is desirable to retain the nail clipped by such implements to avoid the nails littering otherwise clean space. Small chambers are formed between the members on which the sharp blades are formed in order to catch the clipped nail. However, these chambers do not prevent nails from being projected laterally from the clippers. Therefore, the need exists for an improved nail clipper retainer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a nail retainer for nail clippers. The clippers have first and second facing blades configured to move toward and away from one another for cutting nails. The retainer comprises a first body mounted adjacent the first blade and a second body mounted adjacent the second blade. At least one, and preferably both, of said bodies is compressible, and at least one, and preferably both, of said bodies has a high friction surface that can seat against a nail. In a preferred embodiment, the first and second bodies have facing surfaces that are substantially flush with the first and second blades, respectively. Most preferably, the bodies are mounted to jaws upon which the blades are formed.

Because the retainer clamps compress to hold the nail during cutting, the nail cannot escape the clipper until the cutting is complete and the jaws are released. This prevents the nail from being projected from the clippers until after the force that could cause the nail to be projected is released.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention on fingernail clippers, and an enlarged region of the clippers.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view illustrating the clippers in relation to a human finger and fingernail.

FIG. 3 is a schematic side view illustrating the clippers seated against the fingernail.

FIG. 4 is a schematic side view illustrating the clippers clamping the cut fingernail.

FIG. 5 is a is a schematic side view illustrating the clippers releasing the fingernail.

FIG. 6 is a schematic side view in section illustrating an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, it is not intended that the invention be limited to the specific term so selected and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose. For example, the word connected or term similar thereto are often used. They are not limited to direct connection, but include connection through other elements where such connection is recognized as being equivalent by those skilled in the art.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIG. 1, a set of fingernail clippers 10 is shown. The clippers have opposing jaws 20 and 30, each of which has a blade in the form of a sharpened edge 22 and 32, respectively. The jaws 20 and 30 are at the ends of a pair of flat, spring steel cantilevers 24 and 34, respectively. The cantilevers 24 and 34 are fastened together at the end opposite the jaws 20 and 30 by a rivet 14. A shaft 16 extends through aligned apertures in the ends of the cantilevers near the jaws, and a lever 18 is pivotably mounted in a hook on the top of the shaft 16. Thus, as will become apparent to the person having ordinary skill, by depressing the lever 18, the shaft 16 is pulled upwardly relative to the cantilever 24, which brings the sharp edges 22 and 32 toward one another, thereby cutting fingernails placed therebetween. It will become apparent that the invention will work with toenail clippers and other clippers having a similar configuration to those shown.

Two compressible bodies 26 and 36 are mounted to the jaws 20 and 30 of the fingernail clippers 10, just inside the sharp edges 22 and 32. The bodies 26 and 36 are preferably adhered in place, although it will become apparent that any means of attaching the bodies to the jaws 20 and 30, respectively, can be substituted for an adhesive. For example, it is contemplated to mould the bodies 26 and 36 to extend around the jaws 20 and 30, and it is likewise contemplated to use fasteners, such as rivets, screws or hooks and loops materials, such as that sold under the brand name VELCRO, to attach the bodies to the jaws.

The bodies are preferably both made of a high friction, compressible material, such as rubber or urethane. “High friction” is defined herein as meaning a sufficient coefficient of friction that upon the application of a pressure necessary to cut a fingernail, the material will not permit the nail to slide out during or after cutting. “Compressible” is defined herein as meaning able to compress around the contour of a fingernail upon the application of a pressure necessary to cut the fingernail. Of course, one of the bodies can be made of a compressible material, and the other of an essentially incompressible material, as will become apparent from the description herein. Likewise, one of the materials can be made of a high friction material, and the other not, as will become apparent. Still further, the material can be incompressible, but flexible and have a hollow chamber filled with air or another gas to permit compression of the air in the body, but not the material of the body. In the preferred embodiment, the bodies are solid rubber or urethane foam.

When the sharp edges 22 and 32 of the jaws are placed around and then against the opposing surfaces of a fingernail 40 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the bodies 26 and 26 compress to conform to the contour of the nail 40, thereby gripping the nail and preventing it from being displaced substantially during or after clipping. When the sharp edges 22 and 32 are driven through the nail to the position shown in FIG. 4, the nail 40 is retained between the compressed bodies 26 and 36 and the sharp edges 22 and 32 come into contact with one another. Once the nail 40 is clipped, the lever 18 is released and the jaws 20 and 30 separate under the spring force of the cantilevers 24 and 34, thereby releasing the nail 40 to fall, preferably into a trash receptacle.

The bodies 26 and 36 preferably have facing surfaces that are preferably substantially flush with the sharp edges 22 and 32 of the jaws. The bodies 26 and 36 preferably seat against one another upon closing of the jaws except where a fingernail is between the bodies. Thus, any portion of the fingernail that extends through the jaws is clamped between the blocks during closure of the jaws.

Clamping of the nail between the blocks is effected by the facing surfaces of the blocks first seating against and then compressing around the nail as the jaws are closed. Before the nail is clipped by completely closing the jaws, the nail is firmly gripped between the bodies, thereby preventing the nail from being rapidly projected from between the jaws' sharp edges. After the jaws are released to separate from one another, the bodies separate from their surrounding relationship to the clipped nail piece, which is then released.

The bodies' 26 and 36 facing surfaces can be mounted flush to the sharp jaw edges, slightly recessed or slightly closer together than the sharp jaw edges 22 and 32 in order to begin gripping the nail earlier in the jaw-closing process. By making the facing surfaces slightly closer together than the sharp edges 22 and 32, a tighter grip on the fingernail is accomplished than with the flush embodiment, which tighter grip may be necessary or desired in some circumstances.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 6 having similar jaws 120 and 130 to the preferred embodiment. However, the bodies 126 and 136 mounted behind the jaws 120 and 130, respectively, are hollow rather than solid as in the preferred embodiment. The hollow bodies have sidewalls 128 and 138 that extend around the jaw opening through which a fingernail is extended. A chamber is formed within the bodies 126 and 136 that is defined by the sidewalls 128 and 138. Upon closing of the jaws, the sidewalls farthest from the opening close and provide a stop so that if any nail clipping is projected away from the finger, the clipping will impact the sidewall and remain in the chamber thereof. Upon opening of the jaws, the clipping can fall out the sides between the bodies, or out of the jaw opening through which the fingernail was extended. This embodiment of the invention thus provides a temporary chamber that holds clippings that project into the chamber, rather than a clamp that compresses around the clipping during cutting.

The invention is described herein in association with the cutting of a fingernail. It will become apparent that the invention will work when cutting a toenail, hangnail or any other material with a tool similar in structure and function to the clippers shown herein.

While certain preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed in detail, it is to be understood that various modifications may be adopted without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the following claims.