Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Multi Tool Patents 7224

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Multi Tool Patents
« on: October 21, 2006, 08:37:49 PM »
Are you interested in the design details of multi tools? I certainly am! It’s always a delight to see the various clever ways multi tool engineers are able overcome adversity. Perhaps they are constrained by a competitor’s patent. Or perhaps they are trying to do something in a unique way, so that customers will recognize their brand and buy their products. Or perhaps they simply have a better idea. Think about it: how many different ways can you fold up a pair of needlenose pliers?

In the mid-1990’s, when the multi tool game was still relatively wide open, a gaggle of established knife companies were scrambling to bring products to market. All were based upon a similar concept of folding pliers with folding blades, and all were competing against Tim Leatherman’s creation of a decade earlier. It was the golden age of multi tool design.

Below is Leatherman’s original 1980 patent. Notice how much more complex it is than the PST we all know. Tim was unable to obtain a single order for his new invention until it was simplified and became less expensive.



Here’s another one you should all recognize. It’s the Gerber multi plier design patent, issued in 1992. I realize we don’t have a lot of Gerber fans on this forum, but ya’ gotta’ admit, those sliding jaws were a clever idea.



A year later, the engineers at SOG were issued the patent shown below for a folding plier tool they later named the ParaTool. I cannot believe that even at this time they thought it was truly a great concept. Instead, I assume that it was simply an attempt to have a mechanism that was “different” than the more established Leatherman method.



And who can forget the famous design from Schrade, shown below. Schrade of course opted to fold their plier head in-line with the handles, but access to the blades was from the side. Note that on this early drawing, they had not yet incorporated their notorious blade lock mechanism.



Any fan of SOG will recognize the patent shown below. It is for the SwitchPlier, a clever contraption that came along late in the decade. Clever it was, but the plier portion was never strong enough for my liking. More of a gee-whiz tool than a real user.



However, this next one has always been one of my favorites. Shown below is page #2 of the Kershaw patent, which shows a nice x-ray view of the insides. Unlike the Leatherman Crunch, Kershaw was able to offer a locking plier with full-length blades. The downside, of course, was that the plier head didn’t fold up, making the tool bigger and clumsier to carry.



And finally, here is engineer Ben Rivera’s masterpiece design for the Leatherman Wave. We take it for granted now, but I believe the Wave really buried some of Leatherman’s competition in the early years of this century. The complexity and utility reestablished Leatherman at the top of the multi tool maker’s heap, and went beyond the manufacturing capability of many Leatherman rivals.



Figure 11 shown below is the real key to the Wave’s success. The double-folded metal of the handle appears to be a simple thing, but it is not simple to make. The double folds allow for the one-handed, outside-opening blades, yet also provides an inner channel for shorter blades and the plier heads themselves. How clever.



The above sketches are simply single pages from the actual patents. Each patent itself contains many more detailed drawings and explanations. You can check them out yourself:

1)   Go to http://www.freepatentsonline.com/index.html
2)   Look on the side of your multi tool for the U.S. patent number.
3)   Enter that number in the SEARCH box at the top of the page. (For example, the patent number of the Leatherman Micra design is 5745997)
4)   At the patent page itself, now click on the VIEW PDF IMAGES link.

Cool, eh?   8)

~Bob



In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2006, 10:22:05 PM »
Very cool... extremely cool....  O0 AFRO COOL!

Once again Bob, simply amazing!  I love checking these things out!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Full Member Posts: 148
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2006, 05:40:45 AM »
Neat thread.

I prefer http://www.pat2pdf.org/ for fetching patents. Just seems to work better on my computer.

http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html, the US patent office, offers fantastic search capabilities, but the crappiest patent viewing capability, for some reason. I generally have to copy the patent number from the searches into the pat2pdf.org site to get better viewing consistency.
No Life Club Posts: 2,887
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2006, 09:07:21 AM »
This is Awsome.. :o MultiTool.org is the greatest

"
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2006, 02:01:18 PM »
Well we are certainly trying... dunno where we'd be without really great members though!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2006, 06:31:06 PM »
One of the funnest things about checking out these patents is to see "what might have been."  For instance, most of us recognize the Victorinox SwissTool patent shown below.............




.....but check this out. As originally designed, there was going to be a ratcheting hex-driver built into the handle!






Damn, where can i get one of THOSE prototypes?!   ::)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2006, 07:16:35 PM »
My guess would be Ibach, Switzerland...

I'd love to get a look inside the Elsener's house, and Tim leatherman's study and see all the cool tools that never got produced.  I guarantee you, if I ran a company like those, there would be all kinds of awesome prototypes on display at my place!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Jr. Member Posts: 52 I'm the one they call Dr FeelGood
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 02:47:28 AM »
I wonder if victrinox is saving that design for another model?

Yabba dabba doo!
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2006, 03:22:30 AM »
The hex driver in the side of the tool reminds me of the big Wenger SwissGrip. (but of course, the Wenger doesn't ratchet)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2006, 03:25:41 AM »
Yeah but I've yet to meet the screw that the SwissGrip can't overpower!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 04:08:57 AM »
Given the right socket, I think I could loosen the lug nuts on my pick-up truck tires with that SwissGrip hex driver!!

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 03:37:16 AM »
Hey, I just noticed the little reversing lever on the SwissTool ratchet! Cool!

(the more I think about it, the more I'd like to see this ratchet driver on a multi tool)

lever.jpg
* lever.jpg (Filesize: 31.76 KB)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 04:02:03 AM »
Kinda makes you wonder why thats not out there yet.  I mean, they must have done extensive testing on that and came to the conclusion that any medium to heavy use would wreck it.  It's a great idea and I'd love to see it in the future though.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 04:20:30 AM »
........I mean, they must have done extensive testing on that and came to the conclusion that any medium to heavy use would wreck it..............

Y'know, I'll bet you are absolutely right about that. Bummer.  :(

Like you say though, hopefully somebody at Vic will figure out how to make it work.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 12:14:08 PM »
Victorinox did produce a small ratchet that goes along with the Spirit Plus.  It's not built in, but it does work well.  Knowing Victorinox, it was probably more a matter of cost than reliability or functionality.  The SwissTool wasn't exactly inexpensive when it came out, and hasn't really gotten much cheaper since then.  Adding a complex little machine like that to a tool would have been expensive in the first place, then the cost of replacing the whole tool when someone broke it would have put it way over the top.
That's why the ratchet on the Spirit is a seperate device.  If you break it, they can just send you a new ratchet.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2006, 03:33:54 AM »
Here are three pages from what I consider to be the most innovative multi tool patent of all time:
crunch1.jpg
* crunch1.jpg (Filesize: 123 KB)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2006, 03:35:00 AM »
two more pages
crunch2.jpg
* crunch2.jpg (Filesize: 67.55 KB)
crunch3.jpg
* crunch3.jpg (Filesize: 73.3 KB)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2006, 11:38:48 AM »
Well I find it hard to argue with you on that one.  The Crunch does seem to be a little more involved than other tools.

What really amazed me about it is that despite the complexity, it can actually be opened one handed!  Of course it takes a little more effort than the typical flick, but it can be done, and without a huge amount of practice.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2006, 03:10:40 AM »
This doesn't help me...I am battling between the Swisstool and the crunch...when a tool is described as the most innovative tool of all time, it kind of makes my mind up for me :)
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2006, 03:24:20 AM »
I think in the SwissTool versus Crunch issue I'd have to say take the SwissTool.  The number of tools available is significantly greater and the pliers are more versatile.  While I am quite fond of the Crunch I also think that it is more of a specialized type tool- great if you need vise grips often, but not for everyone.  Apparantly the industry agrees and that's why it's the only one of it's kind left now that Schrade and Kershaw no longer make theirs.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2006, 03:51:42 AM »
I think in the SwissTool versus Crunch issue I'd have to say take the SwissTool.  The number of tools available is significantly greater and the pliers are more versatile.  While I am quite fond of the Crunch I also think that it is more of a specialized type tool- great if you need vise grips often, but not for everyone.  Apparantly the industry agrees and that's why it's the only one of it's kind left now that Schrade and Kershaw no longer make theirs.

Def

Could you or anyone else direct me to the right forum for this next question.....Which swisstool should a "swisstool" virgin buy first?
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2006, 04:11:23 AM »
Could you or anyone else direct me to the right forum for this next question.....Which swisstool should a "swisstool" virgin buy first?

Great question CacherX4, I think you should start a new thread in the Swiss Forum with that. I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice. (I know I certainly have a recommendation for you!)

~Bob

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2006, 04:21:00 AM »
This doesn't help me...I am battling between the Swisstool and the crunch...when a tool is described as the most innovative tool of all time, it kind of makes my mind up for me :)

I chose the word "innovative" on purpose.
I certainly don't think the Leatherman Crunch is the best all-around multi tool. Like Def says, it is too specialized and has definite limitations. I don't think it would be a good choice as an EDC for most people.

However, it has a very unique and ingenious mechanism. Every single other multi tool made is simply an evolutionary improvement over a previous tool. But not the Crunch. Leatherman sailed into uncharted waters with this design, and it works.

That's what I meant by "innovative."

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2006, 04:37:06 AM »
I understood what you meant, my questions for which one to buy between the swisstool and crunch now would not be for an EDC, I like my LM Charge for that, it simply would be for another toy to have :)  The charge is close in design features to the swisstool, but I have nothing like the Crunch :)

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2006, 04:40:14 AM »
Ahh, I see now. My friend, there can be only one answer to your dilemma:

Buy both.  :)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2006, 04:59:28 AM »
someday......someday.......... :)
No Life Club Posts: 2,887
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2006, 05:04:21 AM »
I'd get both if I were you also :) ........But I have found that even though the Crunch is an amazing tool you'll only use it for special jobs that require vicegrips. If you want something that can tackle many different jobs, something that you can use as an EDC get the SwissTool first. Know for the really hard question...Which SwissTool to get ;)

"
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2006, 05:19:25 AM »
I'd get both if I were you also :) ........But I have found that even though the Crunch is an amazing tool you'll only use it for special jobs that require vicegrips. If you want something that can tackle many different jobs, something that you can use as an EDC get the SwissTool first. Know for the really hard question...Which SwissTool to get ;)

Well, I just happen to have someplace you could help me with that little nagging question:
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,304.0.html
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,502 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2006, 12:45:14 PM »
Glad to see the forum is helping someone else misplace their money!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Multi Tool Patents
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2006, 01:48:32 PM »
Scroll back up and check out the issue date of that Crunch patent: February 17, 2004, even though Leatherman introduced the Crunch at the 1999 SHOT Show.

At least five years from when they applied, to when the patent was finally issued!! (another example of the well-oiled wheels of a government agency in action)  ::)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
January Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Jan 31
Total Receipts: $62.47
PayPal Fees: $4.40
Net Balance: $58.07
Below Goal: $241.93
Site Currency: USD
19% 
January Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.071 seconds with 91 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool