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1. (WO2010074988) ERGONOMIC SHEARS
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Erqonomic Shears

Field of the Inventions

[0001] The inventions described below relate the field of cutting shears, and more specifically to the field of ergonomic shears for one-handed use.

Background of the Inventions

[0002] Conventional cutting shears for one-handed use are generally one size fits all. This approach may be sufficient for most people who use shears or scissors occasionally. The inexact fit of the shears or scissors with the shape and flexibility of the human hand causes limited problems.

[0003] Some portion of the population use shears or scissors in their chosen line of work, and for these people, the lack of exact fit of shears to the human hand is causing serious physical injury.

Summary

[0004] A pair of ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure includes an aligning finger handle that aligns the users fingers into a minimum stress position relative to each other and to the thumb.

[0005] In another aspect, ergonomic shears include a thumb apparatus movably engaging the thumb handle and providing adjustability along three axes to accommodate variations in human physiology. The adjustability of the thumb apparatus permits the ergonomic shears to be used for cutting toward a user in addition to conventionally cutting away from a user.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0006] Figure 1 is a side view of conventional shears.

[0007] Figure 2 is a side view of closed ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure.

[0008] Figure 3 is a side view of open ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure.

[0009] Figure 4 is a side view of closed ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure overlaid on the conventional shears of Figure 1.

[0010] Figure 5 is a side view illustration of the geometry of the closed ergonomic shears of Figure 2.

[0011] Figure 6 is a side view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 2 engaged by a user's hand.

[0012] Figure 7 is a side view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 2 in a standby position in a user's hand.

[0013] Figure 8 is an alternate configuration of an ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure.

[0014] Figure 9A is a pair of ergonomic shears with a three-axis thumb ring.

[0015] Figure 9B is a cross-section view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 9A taken along B-B.

[0016] Figure 10 is a side view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 9A engaged by a user's hand.

[0017] Figure 11 is an alternate side view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 9A engaged by a user's hand.

[0018] Figure 12 is side view of the ergonomic shears of Figure 9A engaged by a user's hand for cutting toward the user.

Detailed Description of the Inventions

[0019] Figure 1 illustrates conventional shears 1 with finger handle 2 and thumb handle 3 pivoting on pivot 4. The distances from finger hole 2H to pivot 4 is similar to the distance from thumb hole 3H to pivot 4. These distances provide mechanical advantage for cutting thick or heavy material .

[0020] Figure 2 illustrates ergonomic scissors or shears 10 in primary or closed position 11, and Figure 3 illustrates ergonomic shears 10 in secondary or open position 13. Shears 10 includes handles 12 and 14 connected to blades 16 and 18 respectively which pivot about pivot 20. Finger handle 12 includes finger positions 22, 24, 26 and 28. Third finger position 26 is enclosed by retainer 26R. Thumb handle 14 includes thumb hole 30. Shears 10 surrenders some mechanical advantage by shortening the distance from thumb hole 30 to pivot 20 compared to conventional devices. The benefits are improved ergonomic fit with human hands and minimized thumb movement by shortening the lever arm between the thumb hole and the pivot. Minimal thumb movement results in proportionally large movement of the tip of thumb blade 18.

[0021] Finger assembly 17 is formed by the combination of finger handle 12 with finger blade 16. Thumb assembly 19 is formed by the combination of thumb handle 14 with thumb blade 18.

[0022] Figure 4 illustrates a comparison between conventional shears 1 and ergonomic shears 10 with pivot 4 and pivot 20 aligned. Thumb hole 30 of shears 10 is closer to pivot 20 than thumb hole 3H is to pivot 4. Third finger position 26 is slightly farther from pivot 20 than finger hole 2H is from pivot 4. The alignment of third finger position 26 that enables finger positions 22, 24, 26 and 28 to be in a straight line is also illustrated.

[0023] Referring now to Figure 5, the pair of ergonomic shears 10 may be produced in varying sizes and dimensions to minimize stress on a users hand. Finger relief distance 32 is determined in closed position 11 and may be from 1" to 2V to accommodate variations in human hand dimensions. Handle angle 34 is derived from a straight line from pivot center 2OC through thumb hole center 3OC and a straight line from pivot center 2OC through third finger position center 26C with the shears in closed position 11. Any suitable handle angle 34 may be used with preferred handle angles between 12° and 48°.

[0024] Length 33 of finger handle 12 is generally determined by the distance from third finger position 26 to pivot 20. The length 35 of thumb handle 14 may be selected according the material to be cut by shears 10. Heavier material will necessitate lengthening thumb handle 14. The pair of ergonomic shears 10 as illustrated may be suitable for cutting hair or other relatively soft materials. Selection of length 35 to be between 1/3 and 2/3 of length 33 will enable suitable finger relief and produce an ergonomic benefit. The relatively short length 35 enables minimum movement of thumb handle 14 to cause greater movement of thumb blade 18. This advantage will require less movement of the thumb to cut hair or other soft materials thus minimizing stress on a user's hand.

[0025] Referring now to Figure 6, selection of an appropriate finger relief distance 32 and corresponding handle angle 34 will permit a user's hand 36 to engage shears 10 with fingers 42, 44, 46 and 48 aligned along straight line 50. In primary orientation 11, the alignment of fingers 42, 44, 46 and 48 minimizes stress on a user's hand and fingers while maximizing a users control over ergonomic shears 10.

[0026] Referring now to Figure 7, in use a user may permit ergonomic shears 10 to rotate about third finger position 26 allowing the small finger, fourth finger 48, to engage thumb handle 14 as shown. Finger relief distance 32 and the resulting angular separation of third finger position 26 and thumb hole 30 permits blades 16 and 18 to rest along a users wrist 52. Standby orientation 53 frees user's fingers 42, 44 and thumb 40 to be used without the interference and danger posed by ergonomic shears 10.

[0027] Alternatively, ergonomic shears according to the present disclosure may adopt any other suitable orientations such as illustrated in Figure 8. Ergonomic shears 60 maintain a suitable finger relief distance 62 as well as a straight finger alignment 64.

[0028] Referring now to Figure 9A, ergonomic shears 70 include handles 72 and 74 connected to blades 76 and 78 respectively which pivot about pivot 80. Finger handle 72 includes finger positions 82, 84, 86 and 88. Third finger position 86 is enclosed by retainer 86R. Thumb handle 74 includes thumb rail

90 for movably engaging thumb apparatus 91. Thumb apparatus 91 includes thumb hole 92 for engaging a user's thumb. Thumb rail 90 includes slot 90S to permit thumb assembly 91 to engage thumb handle 74 along length axis 93. Thumb apparatus

91 may also be adjusted to permit rotation along path 94 and or extension along extension axis 95.

[0029] As illustrated in Figure 9B, thumb apparatus 91 includes thumb ring 91R engaging threaded shaft 96. Locking rings 96A and 96B may be used to secure thumb ring 9 IR along extension axis 95 as well as along length axis 93 and about rotation path 94.

[0030] Referring now to Figure 10, in primary orientation 97, the alignment of fingers 42, 44, 46 and 48 minimizes stress on a user's hand and fingers while maximizing a users control over ergonomic shears 10. In primary orientation 97 a user generally aligns blades 76 and 78 parallel to the users wrist/forearm for cutting away from the user's body. Selection of an appropriate point to secure thumb assembly along length axis 93 and corresponding alignment along extension axis 95 will permit a user's hand 36 to engage ergonomic shears 70 with fingers 42, 44, 46 and 48 aligned along straight line 50.

[0031] Referring now to Figure 11, ergonomic shears 70 are in primary orientation 97 and thumb apparatus 91 is free to pivot allowing thumb 40 to engage thumb ring 91R generally parallel to ergonomic shears 70.

[0032] Referring now to Figure 12, ergonomic shears 70 may be used in alternate orientation 105 and thumb apparatus 91 is free to translate along length axis 93 and pivot allowing thumb 40 to engage thumb ring 91R generally parallel to ergonomic shears 70 with cutting blades 76 and 78 generally parallel to the user's forearm 106 with the blades cutting toward the user's body. In alternate orientation 105 finger handle 72 engages fingers 42, 44, 46 and 48 with finger 42 in fourth finger position 88, finger 44 in third finger position 86 engaging ring 86R, finger 46 engaging second finger position 84, and finger 48 engaging first finger position 82.

[0033] Thus, while the preferred embodiments of the devices and methods have been described in reference to the environment in which they were developed, they are merely illustrative of the principles of the inventions. Other embodiments and configurations may be devised without departing from the spirit of the inventions and the scope of the appended claims.