Compact driver

Illumination – With implement or hand held holder therefor – Hand tool

Reexamination Certificate

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C362S120000, C081S177200

Reexamination Certificate




1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a compact tool for manually applying torque to a fastener, and more particularly to such a tool with a ratcheting driver and which may include a fixed driver.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Compact tools for manually applying torque to a fastener by means of a ratcheting drive and driven element, which may be a socket or a screwdriver tip, for example, are known in the art. Typically, such tools are designed to be hand-held and sufficiently small such that the user may carry the tool in a pants or shirt pocket. In some such devices, the tool handle, if any, is too short to provide sufficient mechanical advantage to permit the user to apply sufficient torque to the fastener to accomplish the required task. U.S. Pat. No. 5,542,322, issued Aug. 6, 1996 to R. L. Knox et al., attempted to solve this problem by providing a ratcheting head which is pivotally attached to a handle, so as to be pivotal between a folded position, in which the ratcheting head is substantially surrounded by the handle, and an operating position, in which the ratcheting head extends outwardly from the handle in longitudinal alignment therewith. However, because of the use of a pivotal attachment between the ratcheting head and the handle, such devices are still limited in the amount of torque which may be applied to the fastener without breaking the pivotal connection. Also described, but not shown, is an “alternative embodiment” utilizing tongues projecting from the ratcheting head which are received in grooves formed in the handle.
According to the present invention, a compact driver has a handle connected at a first end to a ratcheting head portion by a pair of coplanar guide rails extend into the handle to engage a pair of complementary guide shoulders formed in the interior of the handle and the head portion having ratcheting means connected to a depending driver element for engaging and driving an element to be driven. In one embodiment, the handle includes a selectively manually actuated lighting means which is operable, when actuated, to illuminate a work area in which the driver element is to engage the driven element. In a second, presently preferred, embodiment, the handle includes a drive socket at a second end, opposite the first end, for use with removable tools, such as screwdriver bits.

patent: 4581958 (1986-04-01), Shull
patent: 5899554 (1999-05-01), Hsu
patent: 5911798 (1999-06-01), Arnold
patent: 6089729 (2000-07-01), Chang
patent: 6106133 (2000-08-01), Lee
patent: 6116746 (2000-09-01), Hsu
patent: 6126295 (2000-10-01), Hillinger


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