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Title:
MULTI-IMPLEMENT TOOL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/059519
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A multi-implement tool comprises chuck having an implement receiving opening is rotatably mounted on a housing with a rotation-locking mechanism interposed therebetween. Implements are retained within the housing each for pivotal movement between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of the implement is pivotally unaligned with an implement-receiving opening and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of the implement is pivotally aligned with the implement-receiving opening, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position and an in-use position. A pivot -inducing deflector is disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement. As the implement is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement to pivot from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit the chuck to engage the implement in torque transmitting relation.

Inventors:
GRAND, Gerard (299 Riverview Blvd, St. Catharines, Ontario L2T 3N3, CA)
Application Number:
CA2016/000244
Publication Date:
April 13, 2017
Filing Date:
October 04, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GRAND, Gerard (299 Riverview Blvd, St. Catharines, Ontario L2T 3N3, CA)
International Classes:
B25F1/04; B25B15/04; B25G1/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015164946A12015-11-05
WO2005051607A12005-06-09
Foreign References:
CA2929015A12015-05-07
US6332384B12001-12-25
Download PDF:
Claims:
I CLAIM:

1. A multi-implement tool comprising: a housing; a plurality of implements operatively retained within said housing and each defining a pivot axis and having a shank and a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis; a chuck having an implement-receiving opening for receiving the shank of each implement singularly in torque transmitting relation and mounted on said housing for rotation of said chuck and said housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation; wherein each implement is retained within said housing for pivotal movement about said pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of said implement is pivotally unaligned about said pivot axis with respect to said implement-receiving opening of said chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of said implement is pivotally aligned about said pivot axis with said implement -receiving opening of said chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat said implement is generally retained within said housing and an in-use position whereat the shank of said implement is received in torque transmitting relation by said chuck and said implement extends through said implement-receiving opening; means for moving said implements, as selected, singularly between said retracted position and said in-use position; means for selectively retaining an implement in said in-use position; a rotation-locking mechanism operatively interposed between said housing and said chuck; and, a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in said laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis of said implement; wherein, as said implement is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement by said pivot-inducing deflector causes said implement to pivot about said pivot axis from said unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit said chuck to engage said implement in torque transmitting relation.

2. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector is disposed on said chuck.

3. The multi-implement tool of claim 2, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector is integrally formed on said chuck.

4. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector comprises an obliquely angled guide surface.

5. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said rotation-locking mechanism comprises a bidirectional rotation-locking mechanism.

6. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said housing defines a longitudinal axis and wherein pivot-inducing deflector is sloped along a portion of said longitudinal axis from a first end wherein pivot- inducing deflector at a first radial angular position to a second end wherein pivot-inducing deflector at a second radial angular position, wherein said second end wherein pivot-inducing deflector is closer to said chuck than is said first end wherein pivot-inducing deflector.

7. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said first end comprises a rear apex.

8. The multi-implement tool of claim 7, wherein said vertex is unrounded.

9. The multi-implement tool of claim 6, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector is substantially flat.

10. The multi-implement tool of claim 9, wherein said pivot -inducing deflector slopes in one direction only.

11. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector is disposed adjacent said implement receiving opening of said chuck.

12. The multi-implement tool of claim 11, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector is disposed immediately rearwardly of said implement receiving opening of said chuck.

13. The multi-implement tool of claim 1, wherein said pivot-inducing deflector comprises a plurality of obliquely angled guide surfaces, (to provide balance)

14. The multi-implement tool of claim 13, wherein each of said plurality of obliquely angled guide surfaces is similar one to the others.

15. A multi-implement tool comprising: a housing; a plurality of implement assemblies each including an implement retained by an implement holder and operatively retained within said housing and each defining a pivot axis and having a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis; a chuck having an implement-receiving opening for receiving the shank of each implement singularly in torque transmitting relation and mounted on said housing for rotation of said chuck and said housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation; wherein each implement assembly is retained within said housing for pivotal movement about said pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat said implement holder is pivotally unaligned about said pivot axis with respect to said implement-receiving opening of said chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat said implement holder is pivotally aligned about said pivot axis with said implement-receiving opening of said chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat said implement is generally retained within said housing and an in-use position whereat said implement holder is received in torque transmitting relation by said chuck and said implement extends through said implement-receiving opening; means for moving said implement assemblies, as selected, singularly between said retracted position and said in-use position; means for selectively retaining an implement assembly in said in-use position; a rotation-locking mechanism operatively interposed between said housing and said chuck; and, a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in said laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis of said implement holder; wherein, as said implement assembly is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement holder by said pivot-inducing deflector causes said implement holder to pivot about said pivot axis from said unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit said chuck to engage said implement holder in torque transmitting relation.

16. A multi-implement tool comprising: a housing; a plurality of implement holders operatively retained within said housing and each defining a pivot axis and having a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis; a chuck having an implement-receiving opening for receiving each implement holder singularly in torque transmitting relation and mounted on said housing for rotation of said chuck and said housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation; wherein each implement holder is retained within said housing for pivotal movement about said pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat said implement holder is pivotally unaligned about said pivot axis with respect to said implement-receiving opening of said chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat said implement holder is pivotally aligned about said pivot axis with said implement-receiving opening of said chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat said implement holder is generally retained within said housing and an in-use position whereat said implement holder is received in torque transmitting relation by said chuck; means for moving said implement holders, as selected, singularly between said retracted position and said in-use position; means for selectively retaining an implement holder in said in-use position; a rotation-locking mechanism operatively interposed between said housing and said chuck; and, a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in said laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis of said implement holder; wherein, as said implement holder is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement holder by said pivot-inducing deflector causes said implement holder to pivot about said pivot axis from said unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit said chuck to engage said implement holder in torque transmitting relation.

17. A chuck for use in a multi-implement tool, for receiving at least one of an implement and an implement holder singularly in torque transmitting relation therein, said chuck comprising: a main body having a free end and a connection end; an implement-receiving opening in said main body at said free end thereof for receiving at least one of the shank of an implement and the implement holder of an implement assembly singularly in torque transmitting relation; an implement passageway in said main body from said implement-receiving opening to said connection end; a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in said laterally spaced relation from said implement passageway; wherein, as one of an implement and implement holder is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement by said pivot -inducing deflector causes said implement to pivot about its pivot axis from an unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation with respect to said implement-receiving opening, to thereby permit said chuck to engage said implement in torque transmitting relation.

18. In a multi-implement tool: a plurality of implements operatively retained within a housing and each implement defining a pivot axis and having a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis; and, a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis of said implement; wherein, as said implement is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement by said pivot-inducing deflector causes said implement to pivot about said pivot axis from said unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit a chuck of said tool to engage said implement in torque transmitting relation.

19. In a multi-implement tool: a plurality of implement assemblies operatively retained within a housing and each implement assembly defining a pivot axis and having a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis; and, a pivot-inducing deflector disposed in laterally spaced relation from said pivot axis of said implement assembly; wherein, as said implement said is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of said deflector receiving portion of said implement assembly by said pivot-inducing deflector causes said implement assembly to pivot about said pivot axis from said unaligned pivotal orientation to said aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit a chuck of said tool to engage said implement assembly in torque transmitting relation.

Description:
MULTI-IMPLEMENT TOOL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to multi-implement tools, and more particularly to ratcheting multi-implement tools.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Various types of multi-implement tools, such as screwdrivers, have been widely available to the public for many years. Multi-implement tools provide a convenient means for having various types of implements readily available for use.

[0003] It is recently known to incorporate a ratchet mechanism in a multi-implement tool. It has been found that one challenge in developing multi-implement tools where the implements or implement assemblies are movable between a retracted position and an in-use position whereat the implements are received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck, is to rotationally align the implements or implement holders with the chuck.

[0004] United States Patent No. 6,148,696 issued November 21, 2000, discloses a Ratchet Screw Driver that has multiple bits and includes a barrel having a stud engaged into a handle and having a pair of opposite passages for slidably receiving a pair of pawls. A gear is rotatably received in the barrel and has an aperture for receiving various kinds of driving stems. A spring is engaged on the barrel and has two end beads engaged with the pawls for biasing the pawls to engage with the gear. The barrel includes a curved slot for receiving an actuator which is engaged into the curved slot of the barrel and located between the pawls for moving the pawls against the spring.

[0005] United States Patent No. 6,260,445 issued July 17, 2001, discloses a Ratcheting Composite

Screwdriver that includes an elongated composite shank formed of electrically insulating material and provided with a bit holder at a working end thereof. The other end of the shank has an axial recess in which is disposed one end of a hexagonal connecting pin, the other end of which is press-fitted in an axial bore in one end of a metal coupler for joining the coupler to the shank. The metal coupler is removably received in a receptacle formed in a ratchet mechanism disposed in one end of an elongated, electrically insulating handle.

[0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multi-implement tool having a plurality of bit assemblies that also has a ratcheting function, where the implements or implement assemblies are movable between a retracted position and an in-use position whereat the implements are received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck, wherein the implements or implement holders are automatically rotationally aligned with the chuck.

[0007] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multi-implement tool having a plurality of reconfigurable bit assemblies that move from a retracted position generally within the main body of the driver and an extended position whereat a selected one of the moving bits of one of the reconfigurable bit assemblies is in a forwardly extended in-use position with the implement extending forwardly from the chuck, and having a bidirectional rotation-locking mechanism that permits selection of rotation in a first rotational direction and locking of rotation to preclude rotation in a second rotational direction, and that permits selection of rotation in a second rotational direction and locking of rotation to preclude rotation in a first rotational direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel multi- implement tool comprising a housing with a plurality of implements operatively retained within the housing. Each implement defines a pivot axis and has a shank and a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis. A chuck has an implement-receiving opening for receiving the shank of each implement singularly in torque transmitting relation. The chuck is mounted on the housing for rotation of the chuck and the housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation. Each implement is retained within the housing for pivotal movement about the pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of the implement is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis with respect to the implement-receiving opening of the chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat the shank of the implement is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis with the implement-receiving opening of the chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat the implement is generally retained within the housing and an in-use position whereat the shank of the implement is received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck and the implement extends through the implement-receiving opening. There is also means for moving the implements, as selected, singularly between the retracted position and the in-use position, and means for selectively retaining an implement in the in-use position. A rotation-locking mechanism is operatively interposed between the housing and the chuck. A pivot -inducing deflector is disposed in the laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement. As the implement is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement to pivot about the pivot axis from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit the chuck to engage the implement in torque transmitting relation.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel multi- implement tool comprising a housing and a plurality of implement assemblies each including an implement retained by an implement holder and operatively retained within the housing. Each implement assembly defines a pivot axis and has a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis. A chuck has an implement-receiving opening for receiving the shank of each implement singularly in torque transmitting relation and is mounted on the housing for rotation of the chuck and the housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation. Each implement assembly is retained within the housing for pivotal movement about the pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat the implement holder is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis with respect to the implement-receiving opening of the chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat the implement holder is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis with the implement-receiving opening of the chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat the implement is generally retained within the housing and an in-use position whereat the implement holder is received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck and the implement extends through the implement-receiving opening. There is also means for moving the implement assemblies, as selected, singularly between the retracted position and the in-use position and means for selectively retaining an implement assembly in the in-use position. A rotation-locking mechanism is operatively interposed between the housing and the chuck. A pivot-inducing deflector is disposed in the laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement holder. As the implement assembly is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement holder by the pivot- inducing deflector causes the implement holder to pivot about the pivot axis from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit the chuck to engage the implement in torque transmitting relation.

[00010] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel multi- implement tool comprising a housing and a plurality of implement holders operatively retained within the housing. Each implement holder defines a pivot axis and has a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis. A chuck has an implement-receiving opening for receiving each implement holder singularly in torque transmitting relation and is mounted on the housing for rotation of the chuck and the housing with respect to each other about an axis of rotation. Each implement holder is retained within the housing for pivotal movement about the pivot axis between an unaligned pivotal orientation whereat the implement holder is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis with respect to the implement-receiving opening of the chuck and an aligned pivotal orientation whereat the implement holder is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis with the implement-receiving opening of the chuck, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position whereat the implement holder is generally retained within the housing and an in-use position whereat the implement holder is received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck. There is also means for moving the implement holders, as selected, singularly between the retracted position and the in-use position and means for selectively retaining an implement holder in the in-use position. A rotation-locking mechanism is operatively interposed between the housing and the chuck. A pivot-inducing deflector is disposed in the laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement holder. As the implement holder is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement holder by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement holder to pivot about the pivot axis from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit the chuck to engage the implement holder in torque transmitting relation.

[00011] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel chuck for use in a multi-implement tool, for receiving at least one of an implement and an implement holder singularly in torque transmitting relation therein. The chuck comprises a main body having a free end and a connection end. There is an implement-receiving opening in the main body at the free end thereof for receiving at least one of the shank of an implement and the implement holder of an implement assembly singularly in torque transmitting relation. There is also an implement passageway in the main body extending from the implement-receiving opening to the connection end. A pivot-inducing deflector is disposed in the laterally spaced relation from the implement passageway. As one of an implement and implement holder is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement to pivot about its pivot axis from an unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation with respect to the implement-receiving opening, to thereby permit the chuck to engage the implement in torque transmitting relation.

[00012] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed that in a novel a multi-implement tool, a plurality of implements are operatively retained within a housing. Each implement defines a pivot axis and has a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis. A pivot- inducing deflector is disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement, As the implement is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement to pivot about the pivot axis from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit a chuck of the tool to engage the implement in torque transmitting relation.

[00013] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed that in a novel a multi-implement tool, a plurality of implement assemblies are operatively retained within a housing. Each implement assembly defines a pivot axis and has a deflector receiving portion disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis. A pivot-inducing deflector is disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis of the implement assembly. As the implement assembly is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion of the implement assembly by the pivot-inducing deflector causes the implement assembly to pivot about the pivot axis from the unaligned pivotal orientation to the aligned pivotal orientation, to thereby permit a chuck of the tool to engage the implement assembly in torque transmitting relation.

[00014] Other advantages, features and characteristics of the present invention, as well as methods of operation and functions of the related elements of the structure, and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, the latter of which is briefly described herein below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00015] The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the multi-implement tool according to the present invention, as to its structure, organization, use and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example. It is expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. In the accompanying drawings:

[00016] Figure 1 is a perspective view from the front of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi- implement tool according to the present invention, with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions;

[00017] Figure 1A is an exploded perspective view similar to Figure 1;

[00018] Figure 2 is a perspective view similar to Figure 1, but with a selected implement in its extended in-use position;

[00019] Figure 3 is a side elevational view of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 1, with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions; [00020] Figure 4 is a side elevational view similar to Figure 3, but with a selected implement in its extended in-use position;

[00021] Figure 5 is a cross-sectional side elevational view of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi- implement tool of Figure 1, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, and with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions;

[00022] Figure 6 is an enlarged sectional perspective view from beside and behind of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 1, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, and with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions;

[00023] Figure 7A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 1, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, and with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions;

[00024] Figure 7B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 7 A, taken along section line B-B of Figure 7A, with all of the implements in their respective retracted positions, and showing the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening with no implements in it;

[00025] Figure 8A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 7A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, but with a selected implement having been moved forwardly towards its extended in- use position and with the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement in operative engagement with the pivot-inducing deflector;

[00026] Figure 8B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 8A, taken along section line B-B of Figure 8A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening;

[00027] Figure 9A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 8A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, but with a selected implement having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement having moved further along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise slightly about its pivot axis;

[00028] Figure 9B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 9A, taken along section line B-B of Figure 9A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement in the hexagonally shaped implement -receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise slightly about its pivot axis;

[00029] Figure 10A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 9A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, but with a selected implement having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement having moved even further along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise even more about its pivot axis;

[00030] Figure 10B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 10A, taken along section line B-B of Figure 10A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement in the hexagonally shaped implement- receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise even more about its pivot axis;

[00031] Figure 11A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 10A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, but with a selected implement having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement having moved all of the way along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise fully about its pivot axis to its aligned pivotal orientation;

[00032] Figure 11B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 11A, taken along section line B-B of Figure 11A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise fully about its pivot axis to its aligned pivotal orientation;

[00033] Figure 12 is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 11A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 1, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved even more forwardly all of the way to its extended in-use position;

[00034] Figure 13 is a perspective view from the front of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi- implement tool according to the present invention, with a selected implement in its extended in-use position;

[00035] Figure 13A is an exploded perspective view similar to Figure 13;

[00036] Figure 14 is an enlarged sectional perspective view from beside and behind of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 13, taken along section line C-C of Figure 13, and with all of the implement assemblies in their respective retracted positions;

[00037] Figure 15A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 13, taken along section line C-C of Figure 13, and with all of the implement assemblies in their respective retracted positions;

[00038] Figure 15B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 15A, taken along section line D-D of Figure 15A, with all of the implement assemblies in their respective retracted positions, and showing the hexagonally shaped implement- receiving opening with no implements in it;

[00039] Figure 16A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 15A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 13, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved somewhat forwardly towards its extended in-use position and with the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement assembly in operative engagement with the pivot-inducing deflector;

[00040] Figure 16B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 16A, taken along section line D-D of Figure 16A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement assembly in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening;

[00041] Figure 17A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 16A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 13, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement assembly having moved further along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counterclockwise slightly about its pivot axis;

[00042] Figure 17B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 17A, taken along section line D-D of Figure 17A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement assembly in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise slightly about its pivot axis;

[00043] Figure 18A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 17A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 13, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement assembly having moved even further along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counterclockwise even more about its pivot axis;

[00044] Figure 18B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 18A, taken along section line D-D of Figure 18A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement assembly in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise even more about its pivot axis;

[00045] Figure 19A is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 18A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 13, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved even more forwardly towards its extended in-use position and the deflector receiving portion of the selected implement assembly having moved all of the way along the pivot-inducing deflector, and with the implement having rotated counterclockwise fully about its pivot axis to its aligned pivotal orientation;

[00046] Figure 19B is a cross-sectional rear elevational view of the front portion of the second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool of Figure 19A, taken along section line D-D of Figure 19A, and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement of the selected implement assembly in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening, and with the implement having rotated counter-clockwise fully about its pivot axis to its aligned pivotal orientation; and, [00047] Figure 20 is an enlarged cross-sectional side elevational view similar to Figure 19A, taken along section line A-A of Figure 13, but with a selected implement assembly having been moved even more forwardly all of the way to its extended in-use position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

[00048] Referring to Figures 1 through 20 of the drawings, it will be noted that Figures 1 through 12 show a first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool according to the present invention, and Figures 13 through 20 illustrate a second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool according to the present invention.

[00049] Reference will now be made to Figures 1 through 12, which show a first illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool according to the present invention, as indicated by the general reference numeral 100. The first illustrated embodiment multi-implement tool 100 according to the present invention comprises a housing 110 that, in the first illustrated embodiment, is the handle of the multi-implement tool 100. As illustrated, the multi-implement tool 100, is a screwdriver; however, the multi-implement tool 100 could be any type of tool or the like having a plurality of implements 131 that are engaged by a chuck 120 such that the selected implement is received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 120, as will be discussed in greater detail subsequently.

[00050] In brief, the first illustrated embodiment multi-implement tool 100 comprises the housing 110, the chuck 120, the plurality of implements 131, means 140 for moving the implements 131, means 150 for selectively retaining an implement 131 in its forwardly extended in-use position, a rotation-locking mechanism 160, and a pivot-inducing deflector 170.

[00051] More specifically, the multi-implement tool 100 comprises the housing 110 that acts as the handle of the multi-implement tool 100, and is made from a suitable plastic material or other synthetic material, or from a suitable metal material, or from any other suitable materials or a combination or combinations thereof. The housing 110, as illustrated, extends between a front end 112 and a back end 114, and defines a longitudinal axis "L" that is generally centrally disposed with respect to the housing 110 and extends along the length of the housing 110. The housing 110 is preferably elongate in order to accommodate implements such as tool up to about six inches (fifteen centimeters) in length, or possibly more, and is of a suitable diameter to be comfortably held by a user's hand. Other suitable sizes and shapes for the housing could alternatively be used.

[00052] A front fitting 116 has a main body 117 with a rearwardly facing implement guide surface 118 and a forwardly extending cylindrical wall 119 and is secured to the housing 110 by use of suitable threaded fasteners (not specifically shown) or any other suitable means. The front fitting 116 barricades the front end of the housing 110 except for an implement receiving opening 125 through which the implements 131 can extend, as will be discussed in greater detail subsequently. A rear cap 111 is secured to the back end 114 of the housing 110 by suitable threaded fasteners (not specifically shown) or any other suitable means, to close off the back end 114 of the housing 110.

[00053] The plurality of implements 131 are operatively retained within the housing 110 generally in longitudinal alignment with the elongate housing 110. Each of the plurality of implements 131 is securely mounted within an implement holder 135 that has a circular disk 136 at the back end thereof that is pivotally mounted within a base 137. The base 137 has a rear extension 138 and a transverse pivot pin 139 that is used for pivotal attachment to the means 140 for moving the implements 131 as discussed in greater detail subsequently. Each implement 131 defines a pivot axis "P" about which the respective implement 131 can pivot. More specifically, the implement 131 is securely connected to the implement holder 135 for rotation therewith. The implement holder 135 and the circular disk 136 may be integrally formed with each other. The implement 131, the implement holder 135, and the circular disk 136, which make up the implement assembly 130, all rotate concurrently one with the others.

[00054] The plurality of implements 131 are retained within the housing 110 such that the pivot axes "P" are generally parallel to the longitudinal axis "L"; however, this particular alignment is generally a function of the shape of the housing 110. In the illustrated embodiment, the housing 110 has been made to have a small diameter so that the hand of most users can grasp the housing 110 comfortably.

[00055] As can readily be seen in Figures 2, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A and 12, each implement 131 has a shank 132 that is generally straight and is integrally formed with the blade 133. As illustrated, the shank 132 is hexagonally shaped in cross section, as are most screwdriver bits. A deflector receiving portion 134 is disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis "P", or in other words at a lateral distance from the pivot axis "P", which is located at the centre of the of the implement 131. Accordingly, a force acting on the deflector receiving portion 134 that has a component directed transversely and skew to the pivot axis "P" and not through the pivot axis "P", will cause the implement 131 that is being acted on to pivot about its pivot axis "P".

[00056] As can be readily seen in Figures 2, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A and 12, the chuck 120 is for receiving the implements 131 one at a time, or in other words singularly, in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 120. The chuck 120 has a forward cone portion 121, a rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 122 and a rearwardly extending cylindrical wall portion 123. The rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 122 and the rearwardly extending cylindrical wall portion 123 together define an annular channel 124 that receives the forwardly extending cylindrical wall 119 of the front fitting 116. A clip 129 retains the chuck 120 securely in rotatable relation on the front fitting 116 in order to accommodate the ratchet function of the multi-implement tool 100. A ratchet selector collar 109 is mounted in trapped yet rotatable relation via a flange 109a between the rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 122 of the chuck 120 and the front edge llOf of the housing 110.

[00057] The chuck 120 defines an implement-receiving opening 125 for receiving the shank 132 of each implement 131 singularly in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 120. More specifically, the front end portion of the implement-receiving opening 125 is defined partially by a torque transmitting section 126 that in the first illustrated embodiment comprises six triangularly shaped surfaces 126 that together define a regular hexagonal shape just slightly greater in size than the regular hexagonal shape of shank 132 of the implement 131. The six triangularly shaped surfaces 126 on the chuck 120 transmits torque to the hexagonally shaped shank 132 of the forwardly extended implement 131. When the selected implement 131 extends through the implement-receiving opening 125, the selected implement 131 is in its extended in-use position. As illustrated, the six triangularly shaped surfaces 126 adjacent the front end of the implement-receiving opening 125 form a hexagonal shape in order to receive the shank 132 of the extended implement 131 in torque transmitting relation. Other suitable cross-sectional shapes could also be used for the implement-receiving opening 125 and the shank 132 of the implements 131.

[00058] As can be best seen in Figures 1 through 6, and as indicated by double arrow "A" in Figure 1, the chuck 120 is mounted on the housing 110 for rotation of the chuck 120 and the housing 110 with respect to each other, about an axis of rotation " ". This rotation is used in order to accommodate the ratchet function of the multi-implement tool 100. The ratchet function is achieved by the rotation-locking mechanism 160 that is operatively interposed between the housing 110 and the chuck 120. In the first illustrated embodiment, the rotation-locking mechanism 160 comprises a bi-directional rotation-locking mechanism 160, and even more specifically comprises a bi-directional ratchet mechanism 160 for in a first configuration, selectively permitting axial rotation of the chuck 120 with respect to the housing 110 about the axis of rotation "R" in a first rotational direction and precluding axial rotation of the chuck 120 with respect to the housing 110 in a second rotational direction, and in a second configuration, selectively permitting axial rotation of the chuck 120 with respect to the housing 110 in a second rotational direction and precluding axial rotation of the chuck 120 with respect to the housing 110 in a first rotational direction. Any suitable rotation locking mechanism can be used.

[00059] In their respective retracted positions, the implements 131 are generally retained within the housing 110 so as to be in non-interfering relation with one another, or in other words to leave sufficient space at the front area of the housing 110 immediately rearwardly of the chuck 120. As discussed above, the plurality of implements 131 are operatively retained within the housing 110 generally in longitudinal alignment with the elongate housing 110, so as to be readily movable to their respective in-use positions.

[00060] In their respective in-use positions, the shank 132 of the one selected implement 131 is received in torque transmitting relation by the torque transmitting section 126, specifically the six triangularly shaped surfaces 126, on the chuck 120 and extends through the implement-receiving opening 125 so as to be able to engage a fastener or the like. In use, when a user manually turns the housing about the longitudinal axis "L", the torque generated by such turning about the longitudinal axis "L" is transmitted through the housing 110, through the chuck 120, and to the shank 132 of the extended implement 131. The rotational direction of force transmission can be either clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on the selected direction of the bidirectional rotation locking mechanism 160.

[00061] The means 140 for moving the implements 131, as selected, singularly between the retracted position and the in-use position comprises an actuator mechanism 140 for each implement 131, and specifically six actuator mechanisms 140 in the first illustrated embodiment. Each actuator mechanism 140 comprises a main body 141, a thumb engageable portion 142 disposed exteriorly to the main body 110, a stem portion 143, a forwardly extending hook portion 144 having a rearwardly-facing surface 144a, a rearwardly extending hook portion 146 having a forward ly-facing surface 146a, and a pivot pin 147. The actuator mechanism 140 is operatively connected to its respective implement 131 at the implement holder 135 via an inter-connecting member 149 that pivotally connects to the base 137 at the pivot pin 139 and also pivotally connects to the actuator mecha nism 140 at the pivot pin 147.

[00062] The stem portion 143 of the actuator mechanism 140 extends through a slot 113 in the main body 110 and interconnects the main body 141 and the thumb engageable portion 142. The forwardly-facing surface 146a of the rearwardly extending hook portion 146 engages a co-operating surface at or adjacent the back positions.

[00063] The means 150 for selectively retaining an implement 131, specifically the selected implement

131, in the forwardly extended in-use position comprises a forwardly facing abutment surface 115 disposed on the inner wall surface 116 of the housing 110. The co-operating rearwardly-facing surface 144a on the forwardly extending hook portion 144 of the actuator mechanism 140 securely engages the forwardly facing abutment surface 115 to thereby retain the selected implement 131 in its forwardly extended in-use position.

[00064] Further, the plurality of implements 131 are operatively retained by the housing 110 each for free rotation about its respective pivot axis "P", as discussed above, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position, as is best seen in Figures 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7A, and a forwardly extended in-use position, as is best seen in Figures 2, 4 and 12. As is best seen in Figures 8B, 9B and 10B, in the unaligned pivotal orientation of each implement 131, the shank 132 of the implement 131 is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. In contrast, as is best seen in Figure 11B, in the aligned pivotal orientation, the shank 132 of the implement 131 is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. The pivoting of the selected implement 131 is described in greater detail subsequently.

[00065] As is best seen in Figures 8B, 9B and 10B, in the unaligned pivotal orientation of each implement

131, the shank 132 of the implement 131 is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. In contrast, as is best seen in Figure 11B, in the aligned pivotal orientation, the shank 132 of the implement 131 is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the implement -receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. The pivoting of the selected implement 131 is described in greater detail subsequently.

[00066] As can be readily seen in Figures 5 through 11, the pivot-inducing deflector 170 is operatively mounted on the chuck 120 so as to be disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis "P", as discussed above. More specifically, the pivot-inducing deflector 170 is disposed on the chuck 120, and even more specifically, the pivot-inducing deflector 170 is integrally formed on the chuck 120. As can be readily seen, the pivot-inducing deflector 170 comprises an obliquely angled guide surface 174, and more specifically comprises a plurality of angled guide surfaces 170, and as seen in the illustrated embodiment, six obliquely angled guide surfaces 170. The number of guide surfaces 170, namely six, corresponds to the number of deflector receiving portions 134, namely six, on the implements 131. The lateral distance between the pivot-inducing deflector 170 and the longitudinal axis "L" acts as a moment arm for causing rotation of the implement about the longitudinal axis "L".

[00067] Further, each pivot-inducing deflector 170 is sloped along a portion of the longitudinal axis "L" from a first end 171 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170 at a first radial angular position to a second end 172 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170 at a second radial angular position. As can be readily seen, the second end 172 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170 is closer to the chuck 120 than is the first end 171 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170. Preferably, the first end 171 comprises a rear apex 171a that is substantially unrounded, or in other words is angled and not rounded. Further, the pivot -inducing deflector 170 is substantially flat and slopes in one direction only. Accordingly, with the first end of the pivot-inducing deflector 170 shaped as described, the chance of the selected implement 131 abutting against the first end 171 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170 and not readily moving further forwardly, or even not moving further forwardly, is substantially precluded.

[00068] Also, the pivot -inducing deflector 170 is disposed adjacent the implement receiving opening 125 of the chuck so as to be in an advantageous position to pivotally deflect the selected implement 131 just before it enters the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the front of the implement receiving opening 125.

[00069] The pivot-inducing deflector 170 is for engaging the selected implement 131 that is being moved to its forwardly extended in-use position, to thereby pivot the selected implement 131 about its pivot axis "P", to thereby pivotally align the implement 131 about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120 as the selected implement 131 is being moved to its extended in-use position, to thereby permit the chuck 120 to engage the selected implement 131 in torque transmitting relation. As can be clearly seen in the Figures, as the selected implement 131 is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion 134 of the selected implement 131 by the pivot-inducing deflector 170 causes the selected implement 131 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" from its unaligned pivotal orientation, as is best seen in Figures 8B, 9B and 10B, to its aligned pivotal orientation, as is best seen in Figure 11B, to thereby permit the chuck 120 to engage the selected implement 131 in torque transmitting relation.

[00070] Reference will now be made to Figures 6 through 12, which show the pivotal alignment of the selected 131 as it is moved forwardly from its retracted position to its forwardly extended in-use position. In Figures 6, 7A and 7B, it can be seen that the pivot-inducing deflector 170 is in position to receive the deflector receiving portion 134 of the selected implement 131, as the selected implement 131 is moved forwardly from it retracted position to its forwardly extended in-use position. More specifically stated, the six obliquely angled guide surfaces 174 are in position to receive the six deflector receiving portions 134 of the selected implement 131. The six deflector receiving portions 134 of the shank 132 of the selected implement 131 are adjacent the apexes of the hexagonally shaped shank 132. One deflector receiving portion 134 is to be received by each of the obliquely angled guide surfaces 174. No portion of the selected implement 131 is yet in the implement-receiving opening 125, which is therefore unoccupied. Figure 7A shows the unoccupied implement-receiving opening 125 and the pivot-inducing deflector 170, or more specifically stated, the six obliquely angled guide surfaces 174, from behind, basically from the point of view of the selected implement as it is moved forwardly from its retracted position.

[00071] It should also be noted that it is also possible to have only one of the pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 174, which would cover one-sixth (sixty degrees) of the circumference of the implement-receiving opening 125, since there are six deflector receiving portions 134 spaced equally radially apart around the perimeter of the hexagonal shank 132 of each implement 131. Alternatively, it is also possible to have only one deflector receiving portion 134 on the shank 132 of each implement 131, while having six pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 174. [00072] Further, it is contemplated that the six deflector receiving portions 134 spaced equally radially apart around the perimeter of the hexagonal shank 132 of each implement 131 could each cover one-sixth (sixty degrees) of the circumference of the implement 131, and one single pivot-inducing deflector surface 174 could cover a very small radial area if desired.

[00073] Reference will now be made to Figures 8A and 8B, which show a selected implement 131 having been moved forwardly from its retracted position towards its extended in-use position, and directed inwardly towards the longitudinal axis "L" by the rearwardly facing implement guide surface 118. The deflector receiving portions 134 of the selected implement 131 are each in operative engagement with the pivot-inducing deflector surface 174 (although only two are viewable) and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement 131 in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 125. The implement 131 has not pivoted about its pivot axis "P" and accordingly, the shank 132 of the selected bit 131 remains angularly misaligned with respect to torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120.

[00074] Reference will now be made to Figures 9A and 9B, which show a selected implement 131 having been moved slightly more forwardly towards its extended in-use position. As the selected implement 131 is moved forwardly towards its fully extended in use position, the six deflector receiving portions 134 each contact a corresponding one of the pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 174 of the pivot-inducing deflector 170. The deflector receiving portions 134 of the selected implement 131 each remain in operative engagement with the pivot- inducing deflector surface 174 (although only two are viewable) each by sliding along the respective pivot -inducing deflector surface 174. The hexagonally shaped shank 132 of the selected implement 131 is about to enter the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 125. The pivot-inducing deflector 170 causes the selected implement 131 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "PI". Accordingly, the shank 132 of the selected implement 131 remains angularly misaligned with respect to the torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. As shown, the deflector receiving portions 134 are nearly at the half-way point along each corresponding pivot-inducing deflector surface 174.

[00075] As the selected implement 131 continues to be moved even more forwardly towards its fully extended in use position, as shown in Figures 10A and 10B, the deflector receiving portions 134 of the selected implement 131 still each remain in operative engagement with the pivot-inducing deflector surface 174 (although only two are viewable) each by sliding along the respective pivot-inducing deflector surface 174. The selected hexagonally shaped implement 131 is still about to enter the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 125. The pivot-inducing deflector 170 continues to cause the selected implement 131 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "P2". Accordingly, the shank 132 of the selected implement 131 still remains angularly misaligned with respect to torque transmitting section 126 of the chuck 120 adjacent the front of the implement -receiving opening 125 of the chuck 120. As shown, the deflector receiving portions 134 are past the half-way point along each corresponding pivot -inducing deflector surface 174.

[00076] Finally, as the selected implement 131 continues to be moved forwardly towards its fully extended in use position, as shown in Figures 11A and 11B, the pivot-inducing deflector 170 continues to cause the selected implement 131 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" a final amount in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "P3". As shown, the deflector receiving portions 134 have reached the ends of the respective pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 174, and are aligned with the correspondingly shaped apexes of the implement-receiving opening 125. Accordingly, the hexagonally shaped shank 132 of the selected implement 131 is now pivotally aligned with the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 125, and the selected implement 131 can now be moved forwardly all of the way to its fully extended in-use position, as shown in Figure 12.

[00077] Reference will now be made to Figures 12 through 20, which show a second illustrated embodiment of the multi-implement tool according to the present invention, as indicated by the general reference numeral 200. The second illustrated embodiment multi-implement tool 200 according to the present invention comprises a housing 210 that, in the second illustrated embodiment, is the handle of the multi-implement tool 200. As illustrated, the multi-implement tool 200, is a screwdriver; however, the multi-implement tool 200 could be any type of tool or the like having a plurality of implement assemblies 230 that are engaged by a chuck 220 such that the selected implement is received in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 220.

[00078] In brief, the second illustrated embodiment multi-implement tool 200 comprises the housing

210, the chuck 220, the plurality of implement assemblies 230, means 240 for moving the implement assemblies 230, means 250 for selectively retaining an implement assembly 230 in its forwardly extended in-use position, a rotation-locking mechanism 260, and a pivot-inducing deflector 270.

[00079] More specifically, the multi-implement tool 200 comprises the housing 210 that acts as the handle of the multi-implement tool 200, and is made from a suitable plastic material or other synthetic material, or from a suitable metal material, or from any other suitable materials or a combination or combinations thereof. The housing 210, as illustrated, extends between a first end 212 and a second end 214, and defines a longitudinal axis "L" that is generally centrally disposed with respect to the housing 210 and extends along the length of the housing 210. The housing 210 is preferably elongate in order to accommodate implements such as tool up to about six inches (fifteen centimeters) in length, or possibly more, and is of a suitable diameter to be comfortably held by a user's hand. Other suitable sizes and shapes for the housing could alternatively be used.

[00080] A front fitting 216 has a main body 217 with a rearwardly facing implement guide surface 218 and a forwardly extending cylindrical wall 219 and is secured to the housing 210 by use of suitable threaded fasteners (not specifically shown) or any other suitable means. The front fitting 216 barricades the front end of the housing 210 except for an implement receiving opening 225 through which the implements assemblies 230 can extend, as will be discussed in greater detail subsequently. A rear cap 211 is secured to the back end 214 of the housing 210 by suitable threaded fasteners (not specifically shown) or any other suitable means, to close off the back end 214 of the housing 210.

[00081] The plurality of implement assemblies 230 are operatively retained within the housing 210 generally in longitudinal alignment with the elongate housing 210. Each of the plurality of implement assemblies 230 comprises an implement 231 securely mounted within an implement holder 235 that has a circular disk 236 at the back end thereof. The circular disk 236 is pivotally mounted within a base 237. The base 237 has a rear extension 238 and a transverse pivot pin 239 that is used for pivotal attachment to the means 240 for moving the implement assemblies 230 as discussed in greater detail subsequently. Each implement assembly 230 defines a pivot axis "P" about which the respective implement assembly 230 can pivot. More specifically, in each implement assembly 230, the implement 231 is securely connected to the implement holder 235 for rotation therewith. The implement holder 235 and the circular disk 236 may be integrally formed with each other. The implement 231, the implement holder 235, and the circular disk 236, which make up the implement assembly 230, all rotate concurrently one with the others.

[00082] The plurality of implement assemblies 230 are retained within the housing 210 such that the pivot axes "P" are generally parallel to the longitudinal axis "L"; however, this particular alignment is generally a function of the shape of the housing 210. In the illustrated embodiment, the housing 210 has been made to have a small diameter so that the hand of most users can grasp the housing 210 comfortably.

[00083] As can readily be seen in Figures 13, 14, 15A, 16A, 17A, 18A, 19A and 20, for each implement assembly 230, the implement 231 has a shank 232 that is generally straight and is integrally formed with the blade 233. As illustrated, the shank 232 is hexagonally shaped in cross section, as are most screwdriver bits. A deflector receiving portion 234 is disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis "P", or in other words at a lateral distance from the pivot axis "P", which is located at the centre of the of the implement assembly 230. Accordingly, a force acting on the deflector receiving portion 234 that has a component directed transversely and skew to the pivot axis "P" and not through the pivot axis "P", will cause the implement assembly 230 that is being acted on to pivot about its pivot axis "P".

[00084] As can be readily seen in Figures 13, 14, 15A, 16A, 17A, 18A, 19A and 20, the chuck 220 is for receiving the implements 231 of the implement assemblies 230 one at a time, or in other words singularly, in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 220. The chuck 220 has a forward cone portion 221, a rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 222 and a rearwardly extending cylindrical wall portion 223. The rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 222 and the rearwardly extending cylindrical wall portion 223 together define an annular channel 224 that receives the forwardly extending cylindrical wall 219 of the front fitting 216. A clip 229 retains the chuck 220 securely in rotatable relation on the front fitting 216 in order to accommodate the ratchet function of the multi-implement tool 200. A ratchet selector collar 209 is mounted in trapped yet rotatable relation via a flange 209a between the rearwardly extending handle engagement portion 222 of the chuck 220 and the front edge 210f of the housing 210.

[00085] The chuck 220 defines an implement-receiving opening 225 for receiving the shank 232 of each implement assembly 230 singularly in torque transmitting relation by the chuck 220. More specifically, the front end portion of the implement-receiving opening 225 is defined partially by a torque transmitting section 226 that comprises six generally triangularly shaped surfaces 226 that together define a regular hexagonal shape just slightly greater in size than the hexagonally shaped shank 232 of the implement 231. The six triangularly shaped surfaces 126 on the chuck 220 transmit torque to the hexagonally shaped shank 232 of the implement 231 of the forwardly extended implement assembly 230. When the selected implement assembly 230 extends through the implement-receiving opening 225, the selected implement assembly 230 is in its extended in-use position. As illustrated, the six generally triangularly shaped surfaces 226, which form the torque transmitting section 226, adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 form a hexagonal shape in order to receive the shank 232 of the extended implement assembly 230 in torque transmitting relation. Other suitable cross-sectional shapes could also be used for the implement-receiving opening 225 and the shank 232 of the implements 231.

[00086] As can be best seen in Figures 13 and 14, and as indicated by double arrow "B" in Figure 13, the chuck 220 is mounted on the housing 210 for rotation of the chuck 220 and the housing 210 with respect to each other, about an axis of rotation "R". This rotation is used in order to accommodate the ratchet function of the multi-implement tool 200. The ratchet function is achieved by the rotation-locking mechanism 260 that is operatively interposed between the housing 210 and the chuck 220. In the second illustrated embodiment, the rotation-locking mechanism 260 comprises a bi-directional rotation-locking mechanism 260, and even more specifically comprises a bi-directional ratchet mechanism 260 for in a first configuration, selectively permitting axial rotation of the chuck 220 with respect to the housing 210 about the axis of rotation "R" in a first rotational direction and precluding axial rotation of the chuck 220 with respect to the housing 210 in a second rotational direction, and in a second configuration, selectively permitting axial rotation of the chuck 220 with respect to the housing 210 in a second rotational direction and precluding axial rotation of the chuck 220 with respect to the housing 210 in a first rotational direction. Any suitable rotation locking mechanism can be used.

[00087] In their respective retracted positions, the implement assemblies 230 are generally retained within the housing 210 so as to be in non-interfering relation with one another, or in other words to leave sufficient space at the front area of the housing 210 immediately rearwardly of the chuck 220. As discussed above, the plurality of implement assemblies 230 are operatively retained within the housing 210 generally in longitudinal alignment with the elongate housing 210, so as to be readily movable to their respective in-use positions.

[00088] In their respective in-use positions, the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the one selected implement assembly 230 is received in torque transmitting relation by the torque transmitting section 226, specifically the six triangularly shaped surfaces 226, on the chuck 220 and extends through the implement- receiving opening 225 so as to be able to engage a fastener or the like. In use, when a user manually turns the housing about the longitudinal axis "L", the torque generated by such turning about the longitudinal axis "L" is transmitted through the housing 210, through the chuck 220, and to the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the extended implement assembly 230. The rotational direction of force transmission can be either clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on the selected direction of the bi-directional rotation locking mechanism 260.

[00089] The means 240 for moving the implement assemblies 230, as selected, singularly between the retracted position and the in-use position comprises an actuator mechanism 240 for each implement assembly 230, and specifically six actuator mechanisms 240 in the second illustrated embodiment. The actuator mechanism 240 comprises a main body 241, a thumb engageable portion 242 disposed exteriorly to the main body 210, a stem portion 243, a forwardly extending hook portion 244 having a rearwardly-facing surface 244a, a rearwardly extending hook portion 246 having a forward ly-facing surface 246a, and a pivot pin 247. The actuator mechanism 240 is operatively connected to its respective implement assembly 230 at the implement holder 235 via an interconnecting member 249 that pivotally connects to the base 237 at the pivot pin 239 and also pivotally connects to the actuator mechanism 240 at the pivot pin 247.

[00090] The stem portion 243 of the actuator mechanism 240 extends through a slot 213 in the main body 210 and interconnects the main body 241 and the thumb engageable portion 242. The forwardly-facing surface 246a of the rearwardly extending hook portion 246 engages a co-operating surface at or adjacent the back end 212 of the housing 210 in removable relation to retain the respective implement assemblies 230 in their retracted positions.

[00091] The means 250 for selectively retaining an implement assembly 230, specifically the selected implement assembly 230, in the forwardly extended in-use position comprises a forwardly facing abutment surface 215 disposed on the inner wall surface 216 of the housing 210. The co-operating rearwardly-facing surface 244a on the forwardly extending hook portion 244 of the actuator mechanism 240 securely engages the forwardly facing abutment surface 215 to thereby retain the selected implement assembly 230 in its forwardly extended in- use position.

[00092] Further, the plurality of implement assemblies 230 are operatively retained by the housing 210 each for free rotation about its respective pivot axis "P", as discussed above, and for longitudinal movement between a retracted position, as is best seen in Figures 14 and 15A, and a forwardly extended in-use position, as is best seen in Figures 13 and 20. As is best seen in Figures 16B, 17B and 18B, in the unaligned pivotal orientation of each implement assembly 230, the shank 232 of the implement 231 is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. In contrast, as is best seen in Figure 19B, in the aligned pivotal orientation, the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the implement assembly 230 is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. The pivoting of the selected implement assembly 230 is described in greater detail subsequently.

[00093] As is best seen in Figures 16B, 17B and 18B, in the unaligned pivotal orientation of each implement assembly 230, the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the implement assembly 230 is pivotally unaligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. In contrast, as is best seen in Figure 19B, in the aligned pivotal orientation, the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the implement assembly 230 is pivotally aligned about the pivot axis "P" with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. The pivoting of the selected implement assembly 230 is described in greater detail subsequently.

[00094] As can be readily seen in Figures 13 through 20, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is operatively mounted on the chuck 220 so as to be disposed in laterally spaced relation from the pivot axis "P", as discussed above. More specifically, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is disposed on the chuck 220, and even more specifically, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is integrally formed on the chuck 220. As can be readily seen, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 comprises an obliquely angled guide surface 274, and more specifically comprises a plurality of angled guide surfaces 270, and as seen in the illustrated embodiment, six obliquely angled guide surfaces 270. The number of guide surfaces 270, namely six, corresponds to the number of deflector receiving portions 234, namely six, on the implement assemblies 230. The lateral distance between the pivot-inducing deflector 270 and the longitudinal axis "L" acts as a moment arm for causing rotation of the implement about the longitudinal axis "L".

[00095] Further, each pivot-inducing deflector 270 is sloped along a portion of the longitudinal axis "L" from a first end 271 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270 at a first radial angular position to a second end 272 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270 at a second radial angular position. As can be readily seen, the second end 272 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is closer to the chuck 220 than is the first end 271 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270. Preferably, the first end 271 comprises a rear apex 271a that is substantially unrounded, or in other words is angled and not rounded. Further, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is substantially flat and slopes in one direction only. Accordingly, with the first end of the pivot-inducing deflector 270 shaped as described, the chance of the selected implement assembly 230 abutting against the first end 271 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270 and not readily moving further forwardly, or even not moving further forwardly, is substantially precluded.

[00096] Also, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is disposed adjacent the implement receiving opening 225 of the chuck so as to be in an advantageous position to pivotally deflect the selected implement assembly 230 just before it enters the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement receiving opening 225.

[00097] The pivot-inducing deflector 270 is for engaging the selected implement assembly 230 that is being moved to its forwardly extended in-use position, to thereby pivot the selected implement assembly 230 about its pivot axis "P", to thereby pivotally align the implement assembly 230 about the pivot axis "P" respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of with the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220 as the selected implement assembly 230 is being moved to its extended in-use position, to thereby permit the chuck 220 to engage the selected implement assembly 230 in torque transmitting relation. As can be clearly seen in the Figures, as the selected implement assembly 230 is moved from its retracted position to its in-use position, deflection of the deflector receiving portion 234 of the selected implement assembly 230 by the pivot-inducing deflector 270 causes the selected implement assembly 230 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" from its unaligned pivotal orientation, as is best seen in Figures 16B, 17B and 18B, to its aligned pivotal orientation, as is best seen in Figure 19B, to thereby permit the chuck 220 to engage the selected implement assembly 230 in torque transmitting relation.

[00098] Reference will now be made to Figures 13 through 20, which show the pivotal alignment of the selected implement assembly 230 as it is moved forwardly from its retracted position to its forwardly extended in- use position. In Figures 13, 14A and 14B, it can be seen that the pivot-inducing deflector 270 is in position to receive the deflector receiving portion 234 of the selected implement assembly 230, as the selected implement assembly 230 is moved forwardly from its retracted position to its forwardly extended in-use position. More specifically stated, the six obliquely angled guide surfaces 274 are in position to receive the six deflector receiving portions 234 of the selected implement assembly 230. The six deflector receiving portions 234 of the shank 232 of the selected implement assembly 230 are adjacent the apexes of the hexagonally shaped shank 232. One deflector receiving portion 234 is to be received by each of the obliquely angled guide surfaces 274. No portion of the selected implement assembly 230 is yet in the implement -receiving opening 225, which is therefore unoccupied. Figure 15A shows the unoccupied implement-receiving opening 225 and the pivot-inducing deflector 270, or more specifically stated, the six obliquely angled guide surfaces 274, from behind, basically from the point of view of the selected implement as it is moved forwardly from its retracted position.

[00099] It should also be noted that it is also possible to have only one of the pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 274, which would cover one-sixth (sixty degrees) of the circumference of the implement-receiving opening 225, since there are six deflector receiving portions 234 spaced equally radially apart around the perimeter of the hexagonal shank 232 of each implement assembly 230. Alternatively, it is also possible to have only one deflector receiving portion 234 on the shank 232 of each implement 231 of each implement assembly 230, while having six pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 274.

[000100] Further, it is contemplated that the six deflector receiving portions 234 spaced equally radially apart around the perimeter of the hexagonal shank 232 of each implement 231 of each implement assembly 230 could each cover one-sixth (sixty degrees) of the circumference of the implement assembly 230, and one single pivot-inducing deflector surface 274 could cover a very small radial area if desired.

[000101] Reference will now be made to Figures 16A and 16B, which show a selected implement assembly

230 having been moved forwardly from its retracted position and towards its extended in-use position, and directed inwardly towards the longitudinal axis "L" by the rearwardly facing implement guide surface 218. The deflector receiving portions 234 of the selected implement assembly 230 are each in operative engagement with the pivot -inducing deflector surface 274 (although only two are viewable) and showing the selected hexagonally shaped implement assembly 230 in the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 225. The implement assembly 230 has not pivoted about its pivot axis "P" and accordingly, the shank 232 of the implement of the selected implement assembly 230 remains angularly misaligned with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220.

[000102] Reference will now be made to Figures 17A and 17B, which show a selected implement assembly

230 having been moved slightly more forwardly towards its extended in-use position. As the selected implement assembly 230 is moved forwardly towards its fully extended in use position, the six deflector receiving portions 234 each contact a corresponding one of the pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 274 of the pivot-inducing deflector 270. The deflector receiving portions 234 of the selected implement assembly 230 each remain in operative engagement with the pivot -inducing deflector surface 274 (although only two are viewable) each by sliding along the respective pivot-inducing deflector surface 274. The hexagonally shaped shank 232 of the implement 231 of the selected implement assembly 230 is about to enter the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 225. The pivot-inducing deflector 270 causes the selected implement assembly 230 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "PI". Accordingly, the shank 232 of the implement of the selected implement assembly 230 remains angularly misaligned with respect to the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. As shown, the deflector receiving portions 234 are nearly at the half-way point along each corresponding pivot-inducing deflector surface 274.

[000103] As the selected implement assembly 230 continues to be moved even more forwardly towards its fully extended in use position, as shown in Figures 18A and 18B, the deflector receiving portions 234 of the selected implement assembly 230 still each remain in operative engagement with the pivot-inducing deflector surface 274 (although only two are viewable) each by sliding along the respective pivot -inducing deflector surface 274. The hexagonally shaped shank 232 of the implement of the selected implement assembly 230 is still about to enter the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 225. The pivot-inducing deflector 270 continues to cause the selected implement assembly 230 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "P2". Accordingly, the shank 232 of the implement 231 of the selected implement assembly 230 still remains angularly misaligned with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. As shown, the deflector receiving portions 234 are past the half-way point along each corresponding pivot -inducing deflector surface 274.

[000104] Finally, as the selected implement assembly 230 continues to be moved forwardly towards it's fully extended in use position, as shown in Figures 19A and 19B, the pivot-inducing deflector 270 continues to cause the selected implement assembly 230 to pivot about its pivot axis "P" a final amount in a counter-clockwise rotational direction, as indicated by arrow "P3". As shown, the deflector receiving portions 234 have reached the ends of the respective pivot-inducing deflector surfaces 274, and are aligned with the correspondingly shaped apexes of the implement-receiving opening 225. Accordingly, the hexagonally shaped shank 232 of the implement 231 of the selected implement assembly 230 is now pivotally aligned with respect to the torque transmitting section 226 of the chuck 220 adjacent the front of the hexagonally shaped implement-receiving opening 225 of the chuck 220. The selected implement assembly 230 can now be moved forwardly all of the way to its fully extended in-use position, as shown in Figure 20.

[000105] Other variations of the above principles will be apparent to those who are knowledgeable in the field of the invention, and such variations are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. Further, other modifications and alterations may be used in the design and manufacture of the mounting apparatus, of the present invention, without departing from the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims.

[000106] Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various* modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

[000107] The use of the terms "a" and "an" and "the" and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms "comprising", "having", "including", and "containing" are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning "including, but not limited to,") unless otherwise noted. The term "connected" is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., "such as", "for example") provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

[000108] Illustrated embodiments of this invention are described herein. Variations of those illustrated embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventor expects skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor intends for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

[000109] Other variations of the above principles will be apparent to those who are knowledgeable in the field of the invention, and such variations are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. Further, other modifications and alterations may be used in the design and manufacture of the multi-implement tool, of the present invention, without departing from the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims.