Patent application title: ICE CHOPPER
Sam Beda (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Leon Beda (Brooklyn, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AF25C516FI
Class name: Cutlery ice pick or chipper type plural points or edges
Publication date: 2011-11-24
Patent application number: 20110283544
An ice chopper has an elongated handle terminating in a non-linear
chopping element with a lower edge. The chopping element could be two
L-shaped wings forming an angle of 45-150 degrees or could be arcuate.
1. An ice chopper comprising; a straight, elongated handle configured to
be held by a user and having a lower end; and a chopping element attached
to said lower end and being formed of a non-planar plate terminating at
the bottom with a cutting edge.
2. The ice chopper of claim 1 wherein said chopping element includes a first and a second wing, each wing being planar and oriented generally vertically in parallel with said handle.
3. The ice chopper of claim 2 wherein said first and second wings are disposed are joined near said handle at an angle in the range of 45 to 150 degrees.
4. The ice chopper of claim 3 wherein said wings have a rectangular shape.
5. The ice chopper of claim 4 wherein said two wings have substantially equal dimensions.
6. The ice chopper of claim 4 wherein said first wing is wider than said second wing.
7. The ice chopper of claim 3 wherein said wings are disposed at an angle of 120 degrees.
8. The ice chopper of claim 3 wherein said wings are disposed at a right angle.
9. An ice chopper comprising: a straight handle having a handle end; and a chopping element attached to said handle end and including a first and a second wing dispose at a predetermined angle with each other that is less then 180 degrees, said wings having respective lower edges directed downwards so that when the chopping element is used to hit a sheet of ice, the lower edges cause the ice to shatter.
10. The ice chopper of claim 9 wherein said wings are disposed at an angle of 120 degrees.
11. The ice chopper of claim 9 wherein said wings are disposed at a right angle.
12. The ice chopper of claim 9 wherein said wings have the same size.
13. The ice chopper of claim 9 wherein one of said wings is wider than the other.
14. The ice chopper of claim 9 wherein said wings are rectangular.
 This application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 61/345,660 filed on May 18, 2010 and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of Invention
 This application pertains to an ice chopper used manually on a sidewalk or other flat surfaces to break the ice formed thereon during or after inclement weather.
 2. Background of the Invention
 During the winter when the weather gets cold, ice alone or in combination with frozen snow frequently forms on sidewalks, driveways and other flat surfaces on which people walk or drive. This ice or ice/snow mixture forms a flat covering sheet that can become extremely slippery. This ice sheet is dangerous to use, and frequently leads to injuries to people slipping and falling down, or motor vehicles slipping and sliding across it. (Hereinafter it should be understood that the term `ice` refers to an ice and snow mixture and frozen snow as well). Frequently, to avoid this problem, salt, sand, ash, other material is spread on the surface of the ice to cause it to melt and/or to make it less slippery.
 However, in many instances, these solutions are ineffective and the only way to solve this problem is to break up the ice using ice choppers. A typical ice chopper consists of an elongated handle made of wood, metal, plastic, or other material, and terminating in a flat plate having a somewhat sharp edge on the bottom. The chopper is held upright with the flat plate being oriented substantially vertically and the chopper is then brought up and down to pound the top surface of the ice with the edge of the plate thereby causing the ice to break.
 A problem with the existing ice choppers is that they are very inefficient, especially when the ice sheet is fairly thick, and it could take several hits to cause the ice sheet to break at any given location. A further problem is that the ice chopper plate is generally symmetrical and therefore when it does break the ice sheet, it causes the resultant ice chips to fly in different arbitrary directions. There is therefore a need for an improved ice chopper that operates more effectively, and that causes ice chips to flow in a known direction so that their spread can be controlled and they can easily collected or swept away.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 An ice chopper constructed in accordance with this invention includes an elongated handle terminating at its lower end with a non-planar chopping element. The chopping element could be an arcuate plate, or it could be formed of two wings disposed at an angle of 45-150 degrees. The two wings could be rectangular and they could have the same dimensions, or one wing could be wider than the other.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of an ice chopper constructed in accordance with this invention;
 FIG. 1A a shows a bottom view of the ice chopper;
 FIG. 1B shows a cross-sectional view of one of the wings of the chopper of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 1C shows an embodiment of the wing with a serrated lower edge;
 FIG. 1D shows a different embodiment with the bottom edge being formed with different shaped cutous;
 FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of the chopper with uneven wings;
 FIG. 3 shows a chopper with two wings connected at 120 degrees;
 FIG. 4 shows a bottom view of a chopper having a handle with each wing being connected or mounted on the handle, rather then to each other; and
 FIG. 5 shows a chopper with a curved blade; and
 FIG. 6 shows another chopper with a curved blade.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 1A an ice chopper 10 includes a straight handle 12 made of wood, plastic, metal, etc., and preferably having a circular cross section of about 3/4-11/2'' in diameter so that it is comfortable by a person while it is moved or reciprocated up and down. The handle terminates at the top with a grip 12A made rubber, plastic or other material that makes it easier to hold the chopper 10 and hit an ice sheet.
 A chopper element 14 is attached to the bottom of the handle 12 in any conventional manner. For example, the chopper element 14 could be nailed and/or glued to the handle. Alternatively, the chopper element 14 can be formed with a sleeve (not shown) sized and shaped to accept the end of the handle 12 and form an interference fit therewith.
 The chopper element 14 is preferably made of a metal such as steel so that it is strong, relatively heavy so that it will last long. Of course, the chopper element could also be made of a high impact plastic material as well and if the handle is made of plastic, the chopper could be made as a single unitary device. However, for the sake of clarity, in the present application, the chopper is illustrated as having separate elements for the sake of clarity.
 The chopper element 14 may be painted or coated with some other weather resistant material to protect it from the ice, water, salt, etc.
 In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the chopper element 14 consists of two wings 14A 14B of equal size. For example, in one embodiment, each wing may be about 100-200 mm wide, 100-200 mm high and 1-4 mm thick. Of course chopper elements having different dimensions may work as well. Moreover, while in the figures the wings have a generally rectangular shapes, it should be understood that they could have other shapes as well as long as they have a straight cutting edge 16A, 16B. To make these edges more effective they may be wedged shape to make them sharper, as shown in FIG. 1B. In an alternate embodiment, the bottom edge of the wings could be serrated as shown in FIG. 1C or formed with a plurality of cutouts 1D having different geometric shapes. More specifically, in FIG. 1D, the bottom of each wing has triangular cutouts, but other shaped cut-outs may be provided as well.
 In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-1D the two wings 14A, 14B have the same size. In an alternate embodiment, shown in FIG. 2 one of the wings, e.g., wing 114A is wider than the second wing 114B.
 In the embodiments of FIGS. 1, 1A-1D, 2, the two wings are connected and disposed at right angle with respect to each other to form an L-shape. In another embodiment, the two wings are still disposed at an angle with other but are not connected, but instead they are separated by a narrow gap indicated in FIG. 1 by dotted lines 40.
 In another embodiment, the two wings form an angle that is either less or more than 90 degrees. For example, the angle may range from 45 degrees to 150 degrees. As an example, in FIG. 3 the wings 214A, 214B are disposed at 120 degrees with respect to each other.
 In yet other embodiments, the two wings are not directly attached to each other directly, but instead, each wing 414A, 414B is attached separately to the handle 412, as shown in FIG. 4.
 In another embodiment, the chopping element is formed of an arcuate plate 500 when viewed in a horizontal plane as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. For example, plate may have the cross-sectional shape of an arc of circle with the radius ranging from 8'' to 36'' or more.
 All these embodiments have several advantages over conventional ice choppers. First, as the chopping element hits the ice sheet, the ice sheet is broken up match faster and easier and requires less force. Second, the ice chips formed when the sheet is broken up tends to fly in a direction between the two wings and not behind the chopping element. Accordingly, it is much easier to control their direction of flight. Third, the resulting ice chopper can stand upright resting only on the chopping element. Prior art choppers cannot stand on their own and must be laid down to the ground or must be propped against a wall while not in use.
 Obviously numerous modifications may be made to the invention without departing from its scope as defined in the appended claims.