Patent application title: BELT MOUNTABLE HOLSTER FOR HOLDING A POWER TOOL
John Albert (Red Deer, CA)
IPC8 Class: AA45F502FI
Class name: Receiver separate from attaching means removable connection clip or hook attaching receiver to support means on bearer
Publication date: 2010-02-25
Patent application number: 20100044405
The application relates to a belt-mountable holster for holding a power
tool, such as a screw gun or drill. The holster comprises a belt mount
and a tool clip which may be releasably and securely coupled together.
The belt mount is securely mountable on the user's belt. The tool clip is
configured to securely engage an outer portion of the body of the power
tool. In one embodiment, the tool clip includes a tongue which is
releasably insertable within a slot formed in the belt mount to securely
couple the first and second frame elements together. The holster may be
used for conveniently stowing a power tool on the waist of a user when
the tool is not in use. When the power tool is withdrawn from the holster
for use, the tool clip remains coupled to the tool and does not obstruct
or impede its normal operation.
1. A holster for holding a power tool, said holster comprising:(a) a mount
securable to a support surface; and(b) a tool clip shaped to securely
engage said tool,wherein said tool clip is releasably and securely
connectable to said mount.
2. The holster as defined in claim 1, wherein said tool is operable when said tool clip is engaged to said tool.
3. The holster as defined in claim 1, wherein said mount defines a slot and said tool clip comprises a tongue which is releasably insertable into said slot.
4. The holster as defined in claim 3, wherein said mount is belt-mountable.
5. The holster as defined in claim 1, wherein said tool comprises a tool body and a handle extending from said tool body, wherein said tool clip engages an outer portion of said tool body without impeding operation of said tool.
6. The holster as defined in claim 5, wherein said tool is a screw gun, said gun having a barrel extending at one end of said tool body in a direction generally perpendicular to said handle, wherein said tool clip is shaped to engage said tool body at a location between said handle and said barrel.
7. The holster as defined in claim 1, wherein said mount comprises at least one tab for fastening said mount to the belt of a user.
8. The holster as defined in claim 4, wherein said slot is defined between a frame member mountable proximate said belt and a shoulder spaced-apart from said frame member.
9. The holster as defined in claim 8, wherein said slot is further defined by an elongated tab extending from said frame member and a cage coupled to said tab, wherein an end portion of said tongue is captured in said cage when said tongue is fully inserted into said slot.
10. The holster as defined in claim 9, wherein said cage is defined by frame members coupled to said tab, wherein said frame members restrain non-vertical movement of said clip relative to said mount when said clip and mount are coupled together.
11. The holster as defined in claim 10, wherein said shoulder comprises a tapered notch for receiving a portion of said clip when said clip and mount are coupled together.
12. The holster as defined in claim 11, wherein said portion of said clip is a bar coupling said tongue to the remainder of said clip.
13. The holster as defined in claim 1, wherein said clip comprises:(a) a first generally U-shaped element comprising first and second spaced-apart longitudinal members connected together at one end thereof by a curved member; and(b) a second generally U-shaped element extending from said longitudinal members at another end thereof remote from said curved member.
14. The holster as defined in claim 13, wherein said second generally U-shaped element extends laterally from said first generally U-shaped element in a plane generally perpendicular to the plane of said first generally U-shaped element.
15. The holster as defined in claim 14, wherein said first and second generally U-shaped members are configured to securely engage a body portion of said tool having a first end and a second end, wherein, when said clip is coupled to said tool, said longitudinal members extend on respective sides of said tool body, said curved members extends at said first end of said tool body, and said second generally U-shaped member extends around a portion of said tool body proximate said second end of said tool body.
16. The holster as defined in claim 15, wherein said mount defines a slot and said clip comprises a tongue which is releasably insertable into said slot, wherein said tongue is coupled to one of said longitudinal members and extends in a longitudinal plane generally parallel thereto.
17. The holster as defined in claim 16, wherein said second frame element comprises a third generally U-shaped element extending laterally from said longitudinal members in a direction generally opposite to said second generally U-shaped element, wherein said tongue is mounted on said third generally U-shaped element.
18. The holster as defined in claim 17, wherein said third generally U-shaped element extends laterally from a location proximate said one end of said longitudinal members.
19. The holster as defined in claim 13, wherein said longitudinal members extend in a longitudinal plane and said curved member extends in a said plane.
20. The holster as defined in claim 13, wherein said longitudinal members extend in a longitudinal plane and said curved member extends in a different plane intersecting said longitudinal plane.
21. A holster kit for holding power tools comprising:(a) a mount securable to a support surface; and(b) a plurality of tool clips each shaped to securely engage a respective tool,wherein each of said tool clips is releasably and securely connectable to said mount.
22. The kit as defined in claim 21, wherein said mount is belt-mountable.
23. The kit as defined in claim 21, wherein each of said tools is operable when a respective one of said tool clips is engaged thereto.
24. The kit as defined in claim 21, wherein said mount defines a slot and each of said tool clips comprises a tongue which is releasably insertable into said slot.
This application relates to a holster for holding a power tool, such as corded or cord-less screw gun or drill.
Screw guns and drills are commonly used in the construction trade for driving screw fasteners and the like. Such guns are typically L-shaped and comprise a tool body having a barrel at one end for mounting removable metal screw driving or drill bits and a handle at the other end for holding the tool and actuating a trigger. In the case of some tools, the metal bits are maintained in the barrel by magnetic forces to enable quick bit loading and replacement. When a power tool is not in use, for example when a construction worker requires the use of both hands to align a construction panel or the like, it is commonplace for workers to temporarily hold the tool between their legs or set the tool down at the construction site. This increases the risk that the tool will be damaged or misplaced. Moreover, the need to frequently set down and retrieve a tool is an inefficient use of worker time.
In order to avoid the need to repetitively set down and retrieve a screw gun or other power tool, some construction workers will stow the tool in a pouch slung on the worker's tool belt. However, such pouches do not stow tools securely, particularly heavier power tools such as screw guns and drills. Accordingly, the pouch and tool may swing from a worker's waist which impedes free movement of the worker. This may be uncomfortable, unwieldy and potentially dangerous.
Another common problem is that the metal bits become detached from the magnetic screw gun barrel when the worker grabs hold of and attempts to withdraw the tool from the pouch. Further, since the tool is not secured within the pouch, it may inadvertently fall out of the pouch when the worker is climbing a ladder, scaffold or the like, resulting in damage to the tool. As a consequence of all of these disadvantages, power tool pouches are not in common use.
Some belt-mountable aids are known in the prior art for securely holding construction tools. The applicant has previously obtained U.S. Pat. No. 5,261,584 for a Collapsible Mud Pan Bracket. This bracket is designed for supporting a mud pan used during drywall installation to enhance worker efficiency and safety. While this bracket is effective in supporting mud pans and the like, it is not specifically adapted for holding power tools.
The need has therefore arisen for a holster particularly adapted for securely stowing a power tool at a handy position on the belt of a user.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
In accordance with the invention, a holster for holding a power tool is disclosed, the holster comprising a mount securable to a support surface, such as a belt, and a tool clip shaped to securely engage the tool. The tool clip is releasably and securely connectable to the mount. The tool remains operable when coupled to the tool clip. For example, the clip may surround a portion of the tool body without obstructing the tool handle and barrel. In one embodiment the tool clip may comprise a plurality of U-shaped members configured to match the size and shape of the power tool body.
In one particular embodiment, the mount defines a slot and the tool clip comprises a tongue which is releasably insertable into the slot. Many other means for securely and releasably coupling the mount and tool clip together are possible without departing from the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
In drawings which describe embodiments of the invention but which should not be construed as restricting the spirit or scope thereof,
FIG. 1 is an exploded, isometric view of the applicant's holster for mounting a power tool on a user's belt.
FIG. 2 is a front view of the power tool of FIG. 1 in the stowed position showing the tool clip and belt mount of the holster coupled together.
FIG. 3 is an exploded, side view showing the tool clip decoupled from the belt mount of the holster.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the tool clip locked in the stowed position with the belt omitted for clarity.
FIG. 5 is an isometric view of an alterative configuration of the tool clip.
FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a further alternative configuration of the tool clip.
FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a further alternative configuration of the tool clip.
FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a further alternative configuration of the tool clip.
Throughout the following description, specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding of the invention. However, the invention may be practiced without these particulars. In other instances, well known elements have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the invention. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than a restrictive, sense.
This application relates to a belt-mountable holster 10 for holding a tool 12, such as a corded or cord-less screw gun or drill gun. Holster 10 includes a first frame element or belt mount 14, which is mountable on a user's belt 16 or other support surface, and a second frame element or tool clip 18 which is configured to securely engage tool 12. As described in detail below, tool clip 18 is releasably and securely connectable to belt mount 14.
In the illustrated embodiment tool 12 includes a body portion 20 having a first end 22 and a second end 24 (FIG. 3). A handle 26 extends laterally from first end 22. At second end 24 a barrel 26 extends longitudinally from body portion 20. Barrel 26 may be configured for holding screw driving bits, drill bits or the like (not shown). Many tools 12 have magnetic barrels 26 for holding metal bits by magnetic forces.
As shown in FIGS. 1-4, belt mount 14 includes an elongated support member 30 which is releasably secured to belt 16 by a pair of spaced-apart fastening tabs 32. Each tab 32 includes an elongated portion 33 which engages an inner surface of belt 16. In the illustrated embodiment one of the tabs 32 includes a hook 34 at an end remote from support member 30 for engaging a lower surface of belt 16. As will be apparent to a person skilled in the art, many other means for releasably securing belt mount 14 to a user's belt 16 or other support surface may be envisioned.
Belt mount 14 further includes a shoulder 36 extending laterally from support member 30 and defining a slot 38 therebetween. In the illustrated embodiment shoulder 36 has an angled notch 40 formed in an upper edge thereof. A lower portion of slot 38 is defined between an elongated central tab 42, which extends downwardly from support member 30 outwardly of belt 16, and a cage 44 disposed beneath shoulder 36. Cage 44 is comprised of a plurality of frame members 46 which extend from shoulder 36 and/or tab 42.
Tool clip 18 is configured to securely engage body portion 20 of tool 12, or any other portion of tool 12, in a manner that does not impede the operation of tool 12. That is, tool clip 18 does not need to be disengaged from tool 12 in order to operate tool 12. In the illustrated embodiment, tool clip 18 includes a first generally U-shaped element 47 consisting of a pair of spaced-apart longitudinally extending members 48 which are connected at one end thereof by a curved portion 50. Members 48 are connected at the other end thereof by a second U-shaped element 52 which extends laterally in a plane generally perpendicular to first element 47. The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 also includes a third U-shaped element 54 extending laterally from members 48 in a direction opposite second element 52 at a location proximate curved portion 50 (FIG. 1). As shown best in FIG. 3, third U-shaped element 54 extends laterally from members 48 at an oblique angle which matches the angle of notch 40 formed in shoulder 36 (FIG. 1), as described further below. A tongue 56 extends downwardly from element 54 in a longitudinal plane generally parallel to members 48.
As discussed above, tool clip 18 is configured to securely engage tool 12. As shown best in FIG. 3, in the illustrated embodiment the curved portion 50 of first U-shaped element 47 is configured to engage end 22 of tool body portion 20 while second U-shaped element 52 engages a surface of tool body portion 20 proximate end 24 and third U-shaped element 54 engages an opposite surface of tool body portion 20 proximate end 22. Members 48 extend longitudinally on opposite sides of body portion 20 (i.e. members 48 are spaced-apart a distance slightly wider than body portion 20). As shown best in FIG. 3, when tool 12 is coupled to tool clip 18, the user's access to handle 26 and barrel 28 is not obstructed or impeded. Accordingly, tool 12 may be used in the usual manner with tool clip 18 engaged thereto. Since the engagement is secure, tool clip 18 will not loosen or vibrate during normal operation of tool 12. While clip 18 is configured to securely engage tool 12, it may be readily disengaged from tool 12 when desired.
As will be apparent to a person skilled in the art, the specific configuration and size of tool clip 18 may vary to suit the shape and dimensions of different power tools manufactured by different tool companies (such as DeWalt, Black & Decker, Skil, Ryobi etc.). FIGS. 5-8 illustrate several possible alternative configurations of tool clip 18 adapted to engage tools 12 having varying sizes and shapes. For example, tool clip 18 may include spaced, multiple curved portions 50 for securely engaging end 22 of tool body 20 as shown in FIG. 5. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, portions 50 are joined together by frame members 58. In other alternative embodiments, curved portion(s) 50 may extend in a plane intersecting rather than parallel to longitudinal members 48, as shown in FIG. 8. In the embodiments of FIGS. 5-8, third U-shaped element 54 is omitted and tongue 56 is mounted directly on a longitudinal member 48 or a frame member 60 or other flange extending therefrom. In yet another embodiment, tongue 56 may be disposed at different longitudinal locations on longitudinal members 48. Many other variations are also possible without departing from the invention.
As shown in FIGS. 1-4, belt mount 14 and tool clip 18 may be releasably coupled together to conveniently stow tool 12 in holster 10 when it is not in use. This is achieved by inserting tongue 56 of tool clip 18 into the slot 38 defined by belt mount 14. Once tongue 56 is fully inserted, the lower portion thereof is captured within cage 44 and the upper portion thereof is captured within notch 40. As indicated above, the angle of third U-shaped member 54 adjacent the upper portion of tongue 56 (FIG. 3) may be configured to match the angle of notch 40 (FIG. 1). This helps to restrain movement of tool clip 18 relative to belt mount 14 when tool 12 is in the stowed position, with tool barrel 28 pointing downwardly and tool handle 26 extending rearwardly (FIG. 2). Tool 12 may be quickly and easily withdrawn from holster 10 by lifting tool handle 26 upwardly, thus withdrawing tongue 56 from slot 38.
Holster 10 may be conveniently worn by construction workers or others requiring quick and frequent use of a power tool 12. In use, first belt mount 14 is securely mounted on the user's belt 16 and tool clip 18 is securely coupled to body 20 of tool 12 as described above. When the user wishes to securely stow tool 12 in holster 10 when tool 12 is not in use, tool clip 18 is releasably coupled to belt mount 14 as described above. This permits the user to use both of his or her hands to perform other tasks while keeping tool 12 close at hand. Tool 12 may be quickly and easily withdrawn from holster 10 by gripping tool handle 26 and lifting it upwardly. This disengages tool clip 18 from belt mount 14 as tongue 56 is withdrawn from slot 38. As discussed above, tool 12 may be used in the normal fashion with tool clip 18 attached (i.e. clip 18 does not impede normal operation of tool 12 or substantially vibrate relative to tool 12). After use, tool 12 may be quickly re-stowed in belt-mountable holster 10. Since tool 12 may be easily stowed and withdrawn from holster 10, the risk of dropping tool 12 or disengaging magnetic bits mounted on tool barrel 28 is lessened.
As described above, tool clips 18 having different shapes and configurations can be employed for engaging tools 12 having different shapes and sizes. FIGS. 5-8 show several different possible configurations of clip 18 by way of illustration. All of the different configurations are designed to releasably and securely engage belt mount 14. That is, in one embodiment of the invention, the user may purchase a single belt mount 14 and a series of different clips 18 for engaging different power tools 12. In this embodiment, the different clips 18 (and corresponding power tools 12) may be coupled interchangeably to belt mount 14 depending upon the construction tasks undertaken by the user.
Although belt mount 14 as described above is designed for engaging a tool belt or the like slung around a user's waist, it will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that mount 14 could be secured to an article of clothing worn by a user or some other support surface.
As will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.
Patent applications in class Clip or hook attaching receiver to support means on bearer
Patent applications in all subclasses Clip or hook attaching receiver to support means on bearer