FIELD OF INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
This invention relates generally to utility handles, and in particular handles that can be used for various purposes, such as cleaning and other forms of manual labor.
Various types of handles have been used in the past for performing manual labor, such as the cleaning chores of mopping and dusting. While these former handles may have incorporated features such as angled handle portions and cushioned grips, these handles lacked proper ergonomic features that would allow a user of such a handle to comfortably grip the handle, while applying significant force on the implement attached to the handle with minimal gripping force. This latter feature is particularly important for weak or elderly users.
Further, most utility handles require a user to screw the handle into an implement, which is an awkward and time consuming process. Accordingly, such a connecting mechanism is not conducive to having, for example, a cleaning system wherein a user could easily switch back and forth between a mopping implement and a dusting implement. Additionally, most utility handles are not adjustable in length and therefore can lead to improper posture and back problems for users.
Accordingly, there is a need for an ergonomic handle that will allow a user to apply significant force on the implement attached to the handle with minimal gripping force.
Additionally, there is a need for an ergonomic handle that allows an implement attached to the handle to be easily changed with another implement.
There is also a need for an ergonomic handle that can telescope to accommodate the different heights of users and to allow a user to reach distant areas.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Other needs will become apparent upon a further reading of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In one form of the invention, the aforementioned needs are addressed by an ergonomic handle having a first handle section, a second handle section and a third handle section, wherein the first handle section and the second handle section are connected at a first obtuse angle, and wherein the second handle section and the third handle section are connected at a second obtuse angle. The ergonomic handle of the present invention also preferably includes an implement removably attached to said first handle section, wherein the implement is removably attached with a quick connect-disconnect mechanism.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a right side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 10 is a right side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 11 is a rear elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a user holding a n ergonomic handle of the present invention in a first position.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a user holding an ergonomic handle of the present invention in a second position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a user holding an ergonomic handle of the present invention in a third position.
While the present invention is capable of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will be hereinafter described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.
Referring to FIGS. 1-6, there is shown a multipurpose ergonomic handle, generally designated by reference numeral 10. The handle 10 is preferably generally tubular in cross section and contains a first portion 12, a second portion 14 and a third portion 16. Between first portion 12 and second portion 14 is a first angled section 18, and between the second portion 14 and third portion 16 is a second angled section 20. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the handle 10 can be constructed of other cross sectional shapes, such as a rectangular, triangular or oval cross sectional shapes. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that angled sections 18 and 20 could be formed by bending the handle 10, by welding or glueing sections of the handle together or by molding the handle in one piece.
With reference to FIG. 4, first portion 12 and second portion 14 are preferably at an obtuse angle α to each other, which in the particular embodiment shown in the figures is approximately a 130 degree angle. It is also preferred that second portion 14 and third portion 16 are at an obtuse angle β to each other, which in the particular embodiment shown in the figures is approximately a 135 degree angle. Further, it is preferred that the third portion 16 be of such an orientation that it is substantially perpendicular to a surface that a user 2 would be standing on when using the handle 19, as shown in FIG. 13. This orientation allows a user 2 to exert considerable force on the handle 10 and implement 4, with minimal gripping pressure, which, as stated earlier, is an important consideration when considering weak or elderly users of the handle 10. Other holding positions are also advantageous with the present invention. FIG. 14 shows a user 2 holding the handle 10 while cleaning a wall surface. FIG. 15 further shows a user 2 holding the handle 10 inverted for purposes of cleaning under a table without the user 2 having to lean over. Those skilled in the art will recognize that angles α and β can be equal, or could be any other combination of angles that provide for an ergonomic effect.
To further facilitate the gripping of the handle 10 by a user, FIGS. 1-12 show cushioned grips 15 and 17, which are on handle portions 14 and 16, respectively. These cushioned grips are preferably constructed of a thick, closed cell foam, but could also be constructed of any other material that would assist a user in gripping the handle 10. Further, as those skilled in the art will recognize, the grips 15 and 17 could be molded so as to conform to the fingers of a user of the handle 10 when the user's fingers are wrapped around the handle portions.
Because the handle 10 may be used with a myriad of different implements, such as, for example, mops, brooms, dusters, scrapers, paint rollers, paint brushes or shovels, the handle 10 preferably includes a quick connect-disconnect mechanism, generally designated as reference numeral 22. This mechanism 22 allows a handle implement having a specially designed attachment tip to be quickly changed, without the hassle of having to unscrew the handle, as is typical with most handle attachments. Preferably, the quick connect-disconnect mechanism 22 is of the type commonly found on pneumatic tools. such that movement of a collar 24 in an upwards direction will release the implement and will allow a new implement to be inserted into aperture 26, upon which the collar 24 may be returned to its original position. The collar 24 is biased by a spring in a downwards direction to prevent the implement from being unintentionally released.
In the preferred embodiment shown, the quick connect-disconnect mechanism secures an implement by having a set of equidistantly-spaced ball bearings retained circumferentially in the inner diameter of aperture 26 that can be moved radially in or out of recesses through movement of the collar 24. The implement also has a circumferential groove that the ball bearings can enter to lock the implement in place. Further, it is preferred that the implement is able to pivot on two axes through pivot points located on the implement.
It should be noted that the collar 24 can take various forms, but preferably contains a supple foam cushioned grip that has a larger upper 30 diameter than its lower diameter, which facilitates a user's upward movement of the collar 24, again with minimal gripping force by the user. The collar 24 can also take the form as shown in FIGS. 7-12, in which the upper diameter 30 of the collar is angled downward to more ergonomically conform to a user's hand. However, as those skilled in the art will recognize, the collar can comprise any shape, and the quick connect-disconnect mechanism 22 can comprise any connection mechanism that allows for the a quick connection or disconnection of an implement, such as, for example, a retractable button and hole type of release mechanism. Further, those skilled in the art will recognize that, similar to collar 22, cushioned grips 15 and 17 can also include a large diameter portion at ends thereof to inhibit a user's hand from sliding off of the grips during use of the handle 10.
As shown in FIGS. 1-6, the handle 10 may also include the ability to telescope along the length of the handle 10. This feature can be used to accommodate varying heights of users, as well as to provide an extension to reach higher or more distant surfaces. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the handle 10 telescopes by twisting collar 32 in a counter-clockwise direction, which allows the portion 34 of the handle below the collar to move in or out of the collar 32 and remainder of the handle 10. This is accomplished because the portion of the handle 34 below the collar 32 has a smaller outside diameter than the inside diameter of rest of the handle 10, which allows the handle portion 34 to slide within the remainder of the handle 10. Once the desired length is achieved by a user, the collar 32 is then turned in a clockwise direction so as to clamp down on the portion 34, keeping it fixed at a desired length. It should be appreciated that any portion of the handle 10 could similarly be equipped to allow an extension thereof. It should further be appreciated that any other structure that allows for telescoping can be used, such as a retractable button and hole type of telescoping mechanism.
The foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. The description was selected to best explain the principles of the invention and their practical application to enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention not be limited by the specification, but be defined by the claims set forth below.