Title:
Universal ergonomic tool holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A unique tool holder, designed to universally secure itself to various tool handles as well as to tool bodies, providing the construction industry as well as the automotive industry and the arborist industry with a universal tool holder. The holder contains a U-shaped hook that can be secured to many different tools by a strap that is comprised of hook and loop fastening means. The strap not only provides the means of securing the hook to the tool, but provides added tool using comfort when mounted to the handle of a tool. The holder is not only truly universal, it is also made out of heavy duty material so as to stand up to the demands of these industries.



Inventors:
Walsh, Sean Michael (Altamonte Springs, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/499346
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
08/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sean M. Walsh (Altamonte Springs, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A universal ergonomic tool holder for removably attaching and carrying a-tool, comprising: (a) a device of a predetermined size, and shape that is capable of supporting the weight of a plurality of tools, including, hand tools, electric powered tools, battery powered tools, air powered tools and gas powered tools, all of which substantially vary in size, use, and shape, (b) in combination, said universal ergonomic tool holder includes said device, and a means for attaching said device to a plurality of tool handles and tool bodies, (c) said device therefore attaches to a tool, wherein said tool can be secured to the tool user and any number of items by said device, whereby said universal ergonomic tool holder can be secured to said tools of all shapes and sizes, a portion of said tools being, a battery powered drill, a circular saw, a caulking gun, a air powered pneumatic tool, a chain saw, and the like, whereby said tools may be securely held by said universal ergonomic tool holder to various items common to the construction, automotive and arborist industries, including and not limited to, a rafter, a joist, a ladder top, a ladder rung, a sheet of plywood, a shingle, a pipe, a wire, a branch; as well as allowing said tools to attach to various parts of a automobile that are handy to someone in the industry, whereby said tools can also be securely attached to a tool user's tool bags, tool belt, pant's and belt loop.

2. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 1 wherein said device of a predetermined size and shape is a U-shaped ridged hook.

3. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching said device to a plurality of tool handles and tool bodies, is a flexible strap that is predetermined in size.

4. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 3 wherein said flexible strap is comprised of a hook and loop fastening means, said hook on a first half of a first planar surface, and said loop on a second half of said first planar surface of said strap.

5. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 2 wherein said ridged hook has a slot formed in a first end of said ridged hook providing a aperture to provide a means of attachment for said flexible strap.

6. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 5 wherein attaches to a tool by passing said flexible strap around said tool handle or said tool body and passing the end of said strap through said slot, doubling back said strap and engaging said hook and loop fastening means.

7. A universal ergonomic tool holder that can be securely and removably attached to a tool, providing increased comfort to tool users, comprising: (a) a ridged hook of predetermined size, shape, strength and material that is capable of supporting said tool, (b) in combination said universal ergonomic tool holder comprises said ridged hook and a flexible strap for removably securing said ridged hook to a plurality of tools that vary in size, use and weight, wherein said ridged hook can be secured to said tool by said flexible strap, said tool therefrom can be securely held to a variety of items by said ridged hook.

8. The universal tool holder of claim 7 wherein said flexible strap is comprised of a hook and loop fastening means, said hook on a first half of a first planar surface, and said loop on a second half of said first planar surface of said strap, a second planar surface of said strap is comprised of a cushioned material.

9. The universal ergonomic tool holder of claim 8 wherein attaches to a tool handle, whereby said flexible strap encompasses said tool handle providing additional comfort to the tool user. whereby said universal ergonomic tool holder provides a tool user with increased tool holding possibilities as well as added comfort while using said tool.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefits of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/817,236 filed on Jun. 28, 2006, by the present inventor, titled, “Ergonomic tool holder.”

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention pertains to a method of securing tools to promote convenient, as well as safe working conditions in various tool related industries. More precisely the present invention relates to a device that can be secured to most tools, allowing the tool to be secured to any number of articles, including the tool user.

2. Prior Art

Various tool holders and apparatus have been presented and implemented to enable the holding of, and the securing of various tools to tool belts, ladders, and materials common to the construction industry. These holders and tool securing devices are limited to a few select tools, and do not have the capability to adequately secure the wide array of tools that are commonly used in various industries. In general these tool holders are commonly constructed out of plastic, aluminum, light weight metals and elastic, and have been found to not stand up to the heavy demands of the construction industry. There still remains a need for a tool holder that will meet these demands, and is designed for heavy duty commercial applications, as well as light duty usage. Many attempts have been made to present solutions to tool holding and tool securing needs; however with the broad spectrum of tools that are used in the construction industries, there is still an unmet need for a uniquely universal tool holding solution.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,880,794 to Kahn (2005) comprises a universal tool holder for carrying a tool or other article, for example, a cordless drill, nail gun, hammer or shovel is provided comprising a stretchable cord that is formed into a looped end and adapted to be wrapped about the handle of a tool in such a manner that it tightly engages the tool, and a second end having a retainable object, such as a ball, that is configured to be safely and securely held within a retaining receiver. The retaining receiver is in the form of a socket-type receiver configured to correspond to the geometrical shape of the retainable object such it can removably secure the retainable object. The socket-shaped retaining receiver can be incorporated into a variety of articles useful in carrying and storing tools, including a belt clip, a wall mounting implement or a ladder mounting implement. By integrating the retaining receiver into such a variety of articles, any tool carried by the universal tool holder can be removably secured to the retaining receiver, thereby enabling a user to suspend the tool from a belt clip, ladder or wall.

The uses of the above invention are limited to specific tools that do not exceed certain weights and shapes, and the design does not allow the tool to attach to anything besides it's socket-shaped receiver. There are a variety of tools that this invention can not safely secure itself to, such as electric drills with a lower flanged end, air ratchets, air impact wrenches and air powered chisels. This invention can not support tools of substantial weight such as chain saws that can weigh up to 35 pounds, as well as circular saws that can weigh 22 pounds, and large nail guns that weigh up to 14 pounds (depending upon the manufacturers and models).

U.S. Pat. No. 6,062,449 also to Kahn (2000) contains a tool-toting device for carrying and retaining a hand tool comprising a clip, a swivel element and a U-shaped hook, the clip being capable of attachment to a belt, such as a tool belt. The swivel element is swivelably connected to the clip by conventional means, such as a semi-tubular rivet such that it freely swivels about a 360° axis, while the U-shaped hook is rotatably connected to the swivel element by means of a jam nut-acorn nut arrangement such that it is capable of rotating about a 360° axis. In this manner, a tool hanging from the U-shaped hook will swivel about the 360° axis, thereby maintaining its center of gravity as the user moves about a construction area. The user can re-position the hook for comfort and accessibility simply by rotating the hook about its axis.

Due to the design of this invention, there are a limited number of tools that can be securely and safely retained by this tool tote. U.S. Pat. No. 6,454,147 to Marks, as well as this patent, both contain a riveted connection ('449 FIG. 12) and ('147 FIG. 58) that weakens the integrity of these inventions, as well as light weight materials that can fail under heavy usage.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,201,445 to Axelman (1993) shows a tool holder with a self-stabilizing swivel mount for selectively accommodating an air driven hand-held power tool. An article receptacle is rotatably displaceable upon weight transference from the tool and is adapted to assume an equilibrium rest position. A gravity actuated locking lug coacts with the receptacle for securing the tool within the receptacle. The locking lug is self releasing when the receptacle is re-oriented to a substantially vertical position for removal of the power tool.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,279,741 to Arvin (2001) is a holder for a cordless power tool having a battery pack, the holder arranged and constructed to receive and retain the cordless power tool in an upright orientation, the holder comprising a plate member having a periphery, a top side, and a bottom side, means for attaching the plate member to a supporting surface, and at least one side wall joined to the periphery of the plate member, the at least one side wall extending upwardly from the periphery and having a top edge, the top edge having at least one notch, such that when the cordless power tool is placed battery pack first into the cordless power tool holder, the at least one notch aligns with the cordless power tool's battery pack release and the cordless power tool is positioned an upright orientation with the cordless power tool battery pack resting on the plate member's top side and being surrounded and gripped by the at least one side wall.

Despite the teachings of the prior art there still remains a need for a tool holder that can bridge the need of securing a wide array of common tools in the construction industry, as well as withstand rigorous daily usage without breaking, while still being manufactured using high speed, low cost manufacturing. Also the prior art does not meet the need for a tool holder that would allow various tools to be secured to common items in the construction industry, such as, rafters, joists, plywood, shingles, electrical wires, water pipes; as well as allowing the tool to be secured to the tool user, ladder rungs, and ladder tops. The prior art also does not fulfill the need for a tool holder that can be attached to virtually any tool, no matter the weight, shape, or size, and therefore allow the tool to be secured to whatever is handy.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the invention are to provide the construction, automotive, and like industries with a uniquely designed universal tool holder, that will meet and exceed their tool securing needs. Several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

(a) to provide tool users with the first ever all purpose tool holding solution, that will allow for convenient adaptation to a wide array of tools in many industries;

(b) to provide tool users with a tool securing device that will not fail under the heavy loads of tools that previously could not be secured to the user, much less the materials common to their surroundings;

(c) to provide a tool holder that is constructed out of materials that will stand up to the rigorous demands of tool users;

(d) to provide tool users with a tool holder that is capable to securing the tool itself to a wide array of articles, without being limited to only to a tool belt receiving clip, a ladder or a wall hanger;

(e) to provide the automotive and arborist industries with a tool holding solution that is capable of securing itself to large chain saws, as well as small air tools;

(f) to provide a tool holder that can safely secure tools, without the danger of failing to perform, when needed most;

(g) to provide a tool holder that is superior in design, as well as affordably manufactured, and will overcome a lifetime of abuse;

(h) to provide additional comfort to tool users and decrease hand fatigue from long periods of tool usage, as well as to prevent tool handles from overheating while in the sun.

Further objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention a tool holder comprises a U-shaped hook having means to attach a strap that consists of hook and loop fastening means, allowing the hook to be attached to any number of tools. The tool therefore being capable of attaching to the tool user, or whatever else is handy.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the present invention attached to a battery operated drill.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the present invention securely attached to a circular saw.

FIG. 3 shows a cutaway view of the present invention secured to a handle of a tool.

A preferred embodiment of the tool holder of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 attached to a battery operated drill, and FIG. 2 attached to a circular saw. The tool holder 10, 20 is comprised of a flexible strap 11, 21 and a U-shaped rigid hook 12, 22.

In FIG. 3 a first end of the strap is folded back onto itself 34 and secured at a predetermined distance forming an aperture at the first end. The strap is comprised of a material with hook and loop fastening means on a first planar surface. On a first half 36 of the first planar surface of the strap is the hook portion of the fastening means and on a second half 35 of the first planar surface of the strap is the loop portion of the fastening means. The strap is rectangular in shape.

A slot is formed in the first end of the rigid hook 33 so that the first end of the strap forming an aperture is coupled 34 within the slot. The second end of the rigid hook is bent to a predetermined obtuse angle. Opposing first and second legs of the hook are joined together by a base interposed between them. The illustration FIG. 3 is a cutaway view of a tool handle 32 with the universal ergonomic tool holder 30 attached to the tool handle with the hook 36 and loop 35 fastening system.

The strap is secured around a power tool such as a battery operated drill FIG. 1 or a circular saw FIG. 2, so that the first half of the strap wraps around a handle of the tool and overlaps the second half of the strap engaging the hook and loop fastening means.

Operation—Preferred Embodiment—FIGS.1-3

The present invention is comprised of a unique manner of safely securing and holding tools. The hook as shown in FIG. 1 reference number 10 allows a means for optimal tool placement options. Being affixed to the tool itself the hook acts as a means for unlimited tool placement options. Such as and not being limited to, tool bags, tool belts, pant pockets, belt loops, ladder tops, ladder rungs, rafters, joists, plywood, shingles etc. The strap as shown in FIG. 3 reference number 37 is capable of securing the hook to any number of tools and various tool related articles. Including and not limited to, battery operated tools, air powered tools, power tools, hand tools, wrenches, hammers, caulking guns, airless paint guns, staplers, air hoses, and electrical cords. Inso the present invention offers tool users a universal tool holder that has not yet been available through prior art.

Operation—Alternative Embodiments—FIG.1-3

There are many uses for the universal ergonomic tool holder, all of which will increase worker productivity, safety, and it will allow a more convenient work environment. In the construction industry, tradesmen frequently use power tools in a variety of locations. Often, it is necessary to have the tool operator's hands free for another task in places where there is no convenient surface on which to place the tool. Carpenters, for example, while using a power nailer or powered fastener-driving tool to frame a building, may need to correctly position the next stud before nailing it into place. While working on roof joists, rafters or on ladders, the ability to secure the tool in a convenient location, such as a rafter or a user's belt, facilitates the performance of those tasks. Tradesmen will also save time and money by keeping their tools close by and within reach.

Workers in tool related industries are constantly using a wide array of tools, presently there is no one means for them to adequately and efficiently secure these tools, so as to allow them to work with their hands freely. It is the goal of this present invention to offer a universal tool holder, in the form of a hook. The hook being made out of heavy duty material, with a predetermined size that will allow the hook to be attach to common 1½″ lumber as well as ladder rungs, and to the user.

The present invention also offers a means for increased comfort to tool users. The strap consists of material which increases cushioning to the handle of a workers tool.

The present invention also adheres to the automotive industry, as well as the arborist industry, allowing air tool users, as well as chain saw users, the same benefits as those in the construction industry.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that the universal ergonomic tool holder of this present invention can be used throughout the construction, automotive, and arborist industries, without limitations. The tool holder is highly reliable, completely universal, designed for heavy duty uses, affordably made, and a one of a kind tool holding apparatus.

While my above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one preferred embodiment thereof. Many variations are possible. For example the invention could be used to secure a water bottle, a flashlight, a small shovel, pruning shears, a paint can and anything else the user could think up.

Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiments illustrated, but rather by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example the hook can be any variety of shapes or sizes. The hook can be detachable from the strap, it could pivot freely, lock into various positions and can be formed out of any number of materials. The hook can also have a magnet built into it, so as to allow the user to secure fasteners and other items common to the construction and automotive industries.

The strap should also not be limited by the presently preferred embodiments. The strap can be replaced with different means of securing the hook to the tool, such as, but not limited to, a elastic band, a rubber strap, a clamping method, and various other means. The strap can have a mechanical device that allows the hook to be removed, while leaving the strap attached to the tool for increased comfort.