US Pat. No. 9,221,115

SOLDERING IRON

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A soldering iron, comprising:
a soldering tip configured to be heated by a laser beam traveling at least partially along a laser path in the soldering iron;
an energy converter configured to absorb the laser beam and coupled to the soldering tip for heating the soldering tip;
wherein the energy converter is releasably connected to the soldering tip such that the energy converter may be non-destructively
disconnected from, and reattached to, the soldering tip.

US Pat. No. 9,352,397

LOCKING CHUCK

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, the chuck comprising:
a body having a nose section, a tail section and a center axis, the tail section being configured to rotate with the drive
shaft and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein and a plurality of passageways formed therethrough and intersecting
the axial bore;

a plurality of jaws movably disposed in the passageways;
a nut rotatably mounted about the body and in operative communication with the jaws so that rotation of the nut in a closing
direction with respect to the body moves the jaws toward the center axis of the body and rotation of the nut in an opening
direction with respect to the body moves the jaws away from the center axis of the body;

a sleeve rotatably mounted about the body, the sleeve being in operative communication with the nut so that the sleeve is
rotatable with respect to the nut between a first rotational position and a second rotational position;

an annular array of locking teeth non-rotatably fixed to the body and facing toward the tail section of the body; and
a lock ring comprising an annular portion and at least one projection extending from the annular portion toward the nose section
of the body and the locking teeth, the lock ring being axially movable with respect to the body to engage the at least one
projection to the locking teeth when the sleeve is in the second rotational position, and to disengage the at least one projection
from the locking teeth when the sleeve is in the first rotational position,

wherein the sleeve includes a drive dog bounding rotational movement of the sleeve between the first rotational position and
the second rotational position.

US Pat. No. 9,079,297

FLEX-HEAD WRENCH

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A wrench, comprising:
a handle having a first yoke at a first end;
a first plurality of tool heads coupled to the first yoke at a first pivot axis, each tool head of the first plurality of
tool heads having a drive cavity and a hub defining a mounting bore;

a pivot pin passing through the mounting bores of the first plurality of tool heads and the first yoke so that the first plurality
of tool heads is coupled to the first yoke; and

a plurality of retention mechanisms, each including a semi-cylindrical recess defined by an inner wall of a respective said
mounting bore and a plate spring, the plate spring being disposed in the semi-cylindrical recess so that it contacts the pivot
pin,

wherein the plate spring exerts a biasing force on the pivot pin in a radial direction with respect to the first pivot axis,
wherein each tool head of the first plurality of tool heads is pivotable about the first pivot axis independently of each
other tool head of the first plurality of tool heads, and the hubs of the first plurality of tool heads are adjacently positioned
on the first pivot axis and each drive cavity is positionable on a longitudinal center axis of the handle passing through
a longitudinal center of the first pivot pin.

US Pat. No. 9,242,360

MULTIPLE PURPOSE HAND TOOL

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A hand tool comprising:
a body with a first end and a second end;
a hammer head disposed at the first end of the body;
a hand grip disposed about the body, the hand grip defining a first elongated recess; and
a cutting device removably received in the first elongated recess of the hand grip,
wherein the cutting device further comprises a box cutter with a housing and a blade, the blade being selectively slidable
relative to the housing.

US Pat. No. 9,403,218

SELF-TIGHTENING CHUCK WITH A RADIAL LOCK

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A drill chuck for use with a powered driver, comprising:
a spindle portion including a pusher bore on a first end, a spindle bore on a second end, and an annular array of teeth disposed
about its outer surface;

a body rotatably disposed about the spindle portion, the body including a central bore for receiving the spindle portion,
and a pawl including an engagement end, the pawl being pivotably mounted to the body, the pawl being configured to selectively
engage the annular array of teeth on the spindle portion;

a spring disposed on the body, the spring biasing the engagement end of the pawl radially inwardly and extending along substantially
an entire circumference of the body;

a jaw pusher including a threaded post and a head, the threaded post being rotatably disposed in the pusher bore of the spindle
portion; and

a plurality of jaws, each jaw being slidably received by the head of the jaw pusher.

US Pat. No. 9,132,532

RATCHET WRENCH

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A ratcheting tool, the ratcheting tool comprising:
a. a head and a handle extending radially outwardly from the head;
b. a gear rotatably disposed in the head, the gear defining a first plurality of teeth on an outer circumference thereof;
c. a pawl disposed in the head so that the pawl is slidable both parallel to and perpendicular to a longitudinal center axis
of the handle between

a first position in which the head transmits torque through the pawl in a first rotational direction, and
a second position in which the head transmits torque through the pawl in an opposite rotational direction,
the pawl defining
a second plurality of teeth on a front face of the pawl for engaging the first plurality of teeth,
a pocket defined in a rearward face of the pawl,
a shelf formed in the lower surface of the pawl; and
d. a lever defining a lip protruding therefrom, the lever being disposed in the head in driving engagement with the pawl so
that actuation of the lever drives the pawl between the first position and the second position, wherein the lip is received
by the shelf of the pawl, so that the pawl prevents upward motion of the lever relative to the head of the tool.

US Pat. No. 9,441,932

TAPE MEASURE WITH FINGER DRAG BRAKE

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A tape measure, comprising:
a housing having an exit port and a finger recess;
a tape blade having measuring indicia thereon, the tape blade moveable between a deployed configuration where the tape blade
extends forwardly outward from the housing at the exit port and a retracted configuration where the tape blade is substantially
retracted into the housing; the tape blade biased toward the retracted configuration;

wherein the tape blade exits the housing at the exit port in the deployed configuration;
wherein the finger recess is disposed rearwardly relative to the exit port;
wherein a laterally central portion of an underside surface of the tape blade is externally exposed in the finger recess;
wherein lateral edges of the tape blade, for a longitudinal portion of the tape blade spanning the finger recess, are protected
by the housing so as to be not externally exposed when viewed from directly below the tape measure.

US Pat. No. 9,114,537

TOOLING SYSTEM WITH ELECTRONIC SIGNAL MAINTENANCE

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A method providing power to one or more tools during a manufacturing process, the method comprising:
attaching a tool cluster to a robotic device and providing power through the robotic device to each of a plurality of tools
on the tool cluster;

performing operations with the tools while the tool cluster is attached to and powered through the robotic device;
performing a functional test on the tools of the tool cluster while the tool cluster is attached to the robotic device and
after performing the operations, the functional test determining whether the tool is operating according to predetermined
criteria;

detaching the tool cluster from the robotic device;
providing power to the tools through an alternate power source separate from the robotic device while the tool cluster is
detached from the robotic device, the power source providing a lesser amount of voltage to the tools than the robotic device,
the lesser amount of voltage being adequate to maintain the tools in a functional ready state;

reattaching the tool cluster to the robotic device and again providing power to the tools through the robotic device; and
performing operations with the tools without again performing the functional test on the tools.

US Pat. No. 9,808,896

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH A MODULAR ARCHITECTURE

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A pneumatic tool that is powered by an air supply, the pneumatic tool comprising:
a main air inlet that receives air from the air supply;
a pneumatic circuit that extends from the main air inlet;
a pneumatic motor operatively connected to the pneumatic circuit;
a spindle configured to move along a feed path in advance and retract directions;
a plurality of gears that connect the pneumatic motor to the spindle and are configured to rotate the spindle and to move
the spindle in the advance and retract directions;

a start switch operatively connected to the pneumatic circuit to send a signal to activate the pneumatic motor;
a counter operatively connected to the pneumatic circuit downstream from the start switch with air from the start switch passing
along the pneumatic circuit to the counter, the counter comprising an inlet and an outlet for air to pass through the counter,
the counter configured to count a number of times the spindle moves through a cycle;

wherein the counter interrupts the signal from the start switch and controls the flow of air that passes through the counter
and that thereby affects the air that reaches the pneumatic motor to prevent activation of the pneumatic motor when the count
reaches a predetermined number, the counter configured to interrupt the signal without interrupting the flow of air into the
pneumatic circuit through the main air inlet.

US Pat. No. 9,409,287

HEX WRENCH TOOL HANDLE

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A tool handle for releasably receiving a plurality of tools, comprising:
a core portion having a base portion and a cylindrical shaft portion extending outwardly therefrom, the base portion including
a first surface, a second surface, and an outer wall extending therebetween, the outer wall defining a first aperture and
a second aperture therein, the first aperture and the second aperture being configured to releasably receive a first portion
of a corresponding tool of the plurality of tools, the cylindrical shaft including a proximal end integrally formed with the
first surface of the base portion, a distal end, and an outer surface extending therebetween; and

a grip portion rotatably disposed about the shaft portion of the core, the grip portion including a proximal end, a distal
end, and a cylindrical bore extending therebetween, the entirety of the cylindrical bore rotatably receiving the cylindrical
shaft,

wherein the second aperture has a maximum dimension that is perpendicular to its longitudinal center axis and is greater than
a maximum dimension of the first aperture that is perpendicular to its longitudinal center axis.

US Pat. No. 9,364,901

SELF TIGHTENING CHUCK WITH AN AXIAL LOCK

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, the chuck comprising:
a generally cylindrical body having a tail section and a center axis, the tail section being configured to rotate with the
drive shaft and the body defining an axial bore;

a plurality of jaws movably disposed with respect to the body;
a first annular array of locking teeth non-rotatably and axially fixed to the body;
a lock ring including a second annular array of locking teeth, the lock ring being axially movable with respect to the body,
the first locking teeth and the second locking teeth being configured so that when the second locking teeth engage the first
locking teeth, the first locking teeth and the second locking teeth prevent the lock ring from rotating in an opening direction
with respect to the body;

a generally cylindrical sleeve rotatably mounted about the body, the sleeve being in operative communication with the jaws
so that rotation of the sleeve in a closing direction moves the jaws toward the center axis of the body and rotation of the
sleeve in the opening direction moves the jaws away from the center axis of the body, the lock ring being non-rotatably fixed
with respect to the sleeve; and

a camming surface being in operative communication with the lock ring, the camming surface being rotatable with respect to
the lock ring between a first rotational position and a second rotational position,

wherein the second locking teeth are disengaged from the first locking teeth when the camming surface is in the first rotational
position and the second locking teeth engage the first locking teeth when the camming surface is in the second rotational
position.

US Pat. No. 9,358,617

CHUCK

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, said chuck comprising:
a generally cylindrical body having a nose section and a tail section, the tail section being configured to rotate with the
drive shaft, and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein;

a plurality of first teeth rotationally fixed to the body;
a plurality of jaws movably disposed in respective jaw passageways formed in the body and in communication with the axial
bore;

a nut rotatably mounted about the body and having threads that engage threads on the jaws so that rotation of the nut in a
closing direction with respect to the body moves the jaws toward a longitudinal center axis of the axial bore and rotation
of the nut in an opening direction with respect to the body moves the jaws away from the longitudinal center axis;

a first sleeve rotatably mounted to the body and defining a camming surface, wherein an engagement between the first sleeve
and the nut transfers torque from the first sleeve to the nut so that rotation of the first sleeve in the closing direction
moves the nut in the closing direction and rotation of the first sleeve in the opening direction moves the nut in the opening
direction; and

a second sleeve rotatably mounted to the body and rotationally fixed to the nut, the second sleeve including a first portion,
a second portion, and at least one second tooth, wherein the first portion is movable with respect to the body in a direction
transverse to the longitudinal center axis along a first axis extending radially from the longitudinal center axis, and the
second portion is movable with respect to the body in a direction transverse to the longitudinal center axis along a second
axis extending radially from the longitudinal center axis,

wherein, upon application of an amount of torque between the first sleeve and the nut sufficient to overcome the engagement,
the first sleeve is rotatable with respect to the nut and the second sleeve over a limited arc between a first rotational
position and a second rotational position,

wherein the second sleeve is configured so that, upon rotation of the first sleeve from the first rotational position to the
second rotational position, the camming surface engages the second sleeve to thereby move the first portion of the second
sleeve radially outward along the first axis from a first position with respect to the body to a second position with respect
to the body, the second portion of the second sleeve radially inward along the second axis from a first position with respect
to the body to a second position with respect to the body, and the at least one second tooth from a first position disengaged
from the first teeth to a second position engaged with the first teeth, and

wherein the first sleeve, the second sleeve, and the first teeth are configured so that
when the first sleeve is in the first rotational position, the first portion of the second sleeve is in its first position
with respect to the body, the second portion of the second sleeve is in its first position with respect to the body, and the
at least one second tooth is disengaged from the first teeth, the nut is rotatable with respect to the body in the opening
direction, and

when the first sleeve is in the second rotational position, the first portion of the second sleeve is in its second position
with respect to the body, the second portion of the second sleeve is in its second position with respect to the body, and
the at least one second tooth is engaged with the first teeth, the nut is rotationally fixed to the body in the opening direction.

US Pat. No. 9,272,820

CONTAINER WITH DETENT MECHANISM

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A container comprising:
a housing comprising a closed end, an open end opposite the closed end, and first and second side walls defining a portion
of a perimeter of the open end;

a lid comprising a top surface and a lip depending downwardly from the top surface, the lid being pivotably coupled with the
housing and configured to rotate about an axis of rotation between a first position covering the open end, a second position
substantially exposing the open end, and an intermediate position between the first and second positions, the lip being disposed
outwardly of one of the first side wall and the second side wall along the axis of rotation; and

at least one detent disposed in a space that is defined between the lip and the one of the side walls pivotably about the
axis of rotation, wherein the at least one detent is configured to arrest the rotation of the lid at each of the positions,

wherein the axis of rotation of the lid passes through the lip, the at least one detent and the one of the side walls, and
the lid is pivotably coupled with the housing with a first bolt connecting the lip and the first side wall and with a second
bolt connecting the lip and the second side wall, and the axis of rotation passes through the first and second bolts.

US Pat. No. 9,364,900

LOCKING CHUCK

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, the chuck comprising:
a generally cylindrical body having a nose section and a tail section, the tail section being configured to rotate with the
drive shaft and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein;

a plurality of jaws movably disposed with respect to the body in communication with the axial bore;
an annular nut having threads formed thereon in engagement with threads on the jaws so that rotation of the nut about the
body moves the jaws toward or away from an axis of the axial bore;

a sleeve having a first portion comprised of a polymer, the sleeve being rotatably mounted about the body in operative communication
with the jaws so that rotation of the sleeve in a closing direction moves the jaws toward the axis and rotation of the sleeve
in an opening direction moves the jaws away from the axis;

a bearing having a first race adjacent the body, a second race adjacent the sleeve and at least one bearing element disposed
between the first race and the second race, one of the first race and the second race defining a ratchet and the other of
the first race and the second race defining a pawl biased toward the ratchet; and

a metal cam portion defining a cam surface that is configured to selectively engage the pawl, the cam portion being non-rotatably
fixed to an inner surface of the first portion of the sleeve and disposed radially outward of the nut such that the pawl is
disposed radially inward of the cam portion,

wherein the ratchet and the pawl are configured so that when the pawl engages the ratchet, the ratchet and pawl prevent the
second race from rotating in the opening direction with respect to the first race, and

wherein the first portion of the sleeve is disposed radially outward of the cam portion and entirely encloses the cam portion
radially outward of the cam portion.

US Pat. No. 9,308,633

ELECTRONIC TORQUE WRENCH WITH DUAL TENSION BEAM

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A torque wrench for engaging a workpiece, comprising:
a. a body having a first end and an opposite second end;
b. a wrench head having
i. a first end defining a workpiece engaging portion, and
ii. a second end,
b. an elongated tensor beam having
i. a first end,
ii. a second end,
iii. an axis extending between the first and the second ends,
iv. a first strain gauge assembly operatively coupled to a first side of the elongated tensor beam, and
v. a second strain gauge assembly operatively coupled to a second side of the elongated tensor beam,
wherein the tensor beam first end is rotatably coupled to the wrench head second end so that the wrench head is rotatable
with respect to the tensor beam, and wherein the tensor beam second end is axially and rotatably secured to one end of the
wrench body,

c. a processor operatively coupled to the first and the second strain gauge assemblies for converting an output signal from
one of the first and the second strain gauge assemblies into an equivalent torque value,

wherein
when the tensor beam is in a first position relative to the wrench head, the processor receives and processes an output signal
from the first strain gauge assembly corresponding to a torque applied to the tensor beam, and

when the tensor beam is in a second position relative to the wrench head, the processor receives and processes an output signal
from the second strain gauge assembly corresponding to a torque applied to the tensor beam.

US Pat. No. 9,085,072

RATCHETING DEVICE FOR AN ELECTRONIC TORQUE WRENCH

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. An electronic torque wrench for engaging a workpiece, comprising;
a wrench body;
a ratchet assembly being configured to engage the workpiece, the ratchet assembly being disposed on a first end of the wrench
body so that torque can be applied to the workpiece using multiple rotational cycles of the electronic torque wrench without
having to disengage the workpiece;

a first sensor operatively coupled to the wrench body and producing a first output signal, the first output signal being proportional
to an amount of torque being applied to the workpiece by the torque wrench;

a second sensor operatively coupled to the wrench body and producing a second output signal, the second output signal being
proportional to an amount of rotation being applied to the workpiece by the torque wrench;

a user interface carried by the wrench body, the user interface including an input device for inputting a preset torque value;
and

a processor that receives the first output signal and the second output signal and is programmed to convert the first output
signal into a value of a current torque being applied to the workpiece, compare the value of the current torque to both the
preset torque value and a value of a peak applied torque to which the workpiece has been subjected, and convert the second
output signal into a first angle value through which the workpiece has been rotated after the value of the current torque
exceeds both the preset torque value and the value of the previous peak applied torque.

US Pat. No. 9,221,105

DRILL CHUCK

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A chuck for securing a tool with a shank to a manual or powered driver having a drive shaft, the chuck comprising:
a. a body having a nose section and a tail section;
b. a plurality of jaws movably disposed with respect to the body;
c. a nut rotatably disposed about the body, the nut engaging the jaws so that rotation of the nut causes the jaws to move
with respect to the body;

d. a sleeve rotatably mounted about the body and in driving engagement with the nut;
e. a first ring defining a plurality of teeth disposed about a periphery thereof; and
f. a second ring that is rotatable relative to the sleeve over a limited arc between a first position and a second position,
the second ring continuously engaging the plurality of teeth of the first ring so that,

when the sleeve is in the first position with respect to the second ring, the first ring and the second ring are rotationally
coupled to each other so that the first ring and the second ring are rotatable about the body, and

when the sleeve is in the second position with respect to the second ring, in which the jaws clamp onto the shank of the tool,
the second ring is rotatable relative to the first ring in a closing direction so that the second ring rotates in the closing
direction relative to the first ring and the body.

US Pat. No. 9,539,683

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH INTERCHANGEABLE GEARS TO ADJUST A FEED RATE

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool comprising:
a housing that extends around an interior space;
a spindle connected to the housing and movable relative to the housing along a feed path that extends through the housing;
a spindle rotation mechanism positioned in the interior space of the housing and connected to the spindle to rotate the spindle;
a differential feed gear positioned in the interior space of the housing and driven by the spindle rotation mechanism, the
differential feed gear including gear teeth along an outer periphery;

a mount position located in the interior space at the differential feed gear and the spindle;
an opening in the housing that extends into the interior space;
first and second spindle feed gears each configured to connect to the spindle and each including gear teeth positioned along
an outer periphery to engage with the gear teeth of the differential feed gear, each of the spindle feed gears including a
connector to connect to the spindle, each of the spindle feed gears being sized to fit through the opening in the housing;

the mount position sized to receive just one of the first and second spindle feed gears at a time;
with the first spindle feed gear mounted at the mount position and connected to the spindle and the differential feed gear,
the first spindle feed gear including a first gear profile with a first number of teeth to move the spindle along the feed
path at a first rate when the first spindle gear is rotated by the differential feed gear at a first speed;

with the second spindle feed gear mounted at the mount position and connected to the spindle differential feed gear, the second
spindle feed gear including a different second gear profile with a different second number of teeth to move the spindle along
the feed path at a different second feed rate when the second spindle gear is mounted in the mount position and rotated by
the differential feed gear at the first speed.

US Pat. No. 9,126,753

BOLSTER FOR CONSTRUCTION CONTAINER

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A container adapted to be lifted by a forklift having a pair of prongs, comprising:
a receptacle having a floor, a front wall extending upwardly from a front edge of the floor, a rear wall extending upwardly
from a rear edge of the floor, and a pair of opposed sidewalls extending upwardly from a pair of side edges of the floor,
wherein the front edge, rear edge and side edges of the floor define a perimeter of the floor, wherein the front edge and
the rear edge are parallel to each other, wherein the side edges are parallel to each other, and wherein each of the front
edge and the rear edge is longer than each of the side edges; and

a plurality of bolsters attached to an underside surface of the floor at respective corners defined by the front edge, side
edges, and rear edge, each bolster comprising

an upper panel attached to the underside surface of the floor,
a lower panel spaced apart from the underside surface of the floor, and
first and second rigid sidewalls, each extending from the lower panel to the floor and in a direction parallel to the front
edge and the rear edge so that a first entry window is formed between the first and second sidewalls that is accessible from
one of the side edges of the floor and is configured to slidably receive one of the prongs of the forklift under the floor
within an area bounded by the perimeter of the floor, the first sidewall extending from the lower panel to the upper panel
and curving to form the upper panel so that the lower panel, the first sidewall, and the upper panel are formed from a single
sheet-like member and so that an acute angle is defined between the first sidewall and the upper panel;

an upper center panel attached to the underside surface of the floor and connecting respective second sidewalls of a first
pair of the bolsters that are attached to the underside surface at corners defined by one side edge of the pair of side edges;
and

an upper center panel attached to the underside surface of the floor and connecting respective second sidewalls of a second
pair of the bolsters that are attached to the underside surface at corners defined by the other side edge of the pair of side
edges,

wherein for a third pair of the bolsters that are attached to the underside surface at corners defined by the front edge,
the bolsters of the third pair are not directly connected and are spaced from each other so that a continuous space is defined
below the underside surface and adjacent each bolster of the third pair, wherein each respective space

is between the bolsters of the third pair,
extends to the front edge,
extends, with respect to the bolster adjacent the space, to the said sidewall that is further from the front edge and to the
lower panel, and

is open in opposing directions parallel to the floor and perpendicular to the front edge and in a direction perpendicular
to and away from the floor, and

wherein, for a fourth pair of the bolsters that are attached to the underside surface at corners defined by the rear edge,
the bolsters of the fourth pair are not directly connected and are spaced from each other so that a continuous space is defined
below the underside surface and adjacent each bolster of the fourth pair, wherein each respective space

is between the bolsters of the fourth pair,
extends to the rear edge,
extends, with respect to the bolster adjacent the space, to the said sidewall that is further from the rear edge and to the
lower panel, and

is open in opposing directions parallel to the floor and perpendicular to the rear edge and in a direction perpendicular to
and away from the floor.

US Pat. No. 9,815,179

REVERSIBLE RATCHETING TOOL WITH DUAL PAWLS

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A ratcheting tool, the ratcheting tool comprising: a head and a handle attached to the head;
a gear ring disposed in the head rotatably about a vertical axis and defining a first plurality of teeth about an outer circumference
of the gear ring so that the first plurality of teeth define a first arc having a first radius;

a first pawl disposed in the head so that the first pawl is slidable laterally with respect to a longitudinal center axis
of the handle between

a first position in which the first pawl is disposed between the head and the gear ring so that the head transmits torque
through the first pawl in a first rotational direction, and

a second position in which the first pawl is disposed between the head and the gear ring so that the head transmits torque
through the first pawl in an opposite second rotational direction,

the first pawl defining a front face and a rearward face extending between an upper surface and a lower surface of the first
pawl, and a second plurality of teeth on the front face of the first pawl for engaging the first plurality of teeth, the front
face being concave so that the second plurality of teeth defines at least one second arc having a second radius; and

a second pawl disposed in the head above the first pawl in a direction parallel to the axis of the gear ring and so that the
second pawl is slidable laterally with respect to the longitudinal center axis of the handle between

a first position in which the second pawl is disposed between the head and the gear ring so that the head transmits torque
through the second pawl in the first rotational direction, and

a second position in which the second pawl is disposed between the head and the gear ring so that the head transmits torque
through the second pawl in the opposite second rotational direction,

the second pawl defining a front face and a rearward face extending between an upper surface and a lower surface of the second
pawl, and a third plurality of teeth on the front face of the second pawl for engaging the first plurality of teeth, the front
face of the second pawl being concave so that the third plurality of teeth defines at least one third arc having a third radius,

wherein the first pawl and the second pawl are configured so that if the first pawl and the second pawl are disposed with
the rearward faces of the first pawl and the second pawl in vertical alignment and so that a common vertical plane bisects
each of the first pawl and the second pawl, the at least one second arc of the first pawl and the at least one third arc of
the second pawl are offset from each other in a direction in the common vertical plane and perpendicular to the vertical axis
of the gear ring, and wherein

a first length extends linearly between respective outermost teeth on opposing ends of the second plurality of teeth,
a second length extends linearly between respective outermost teeth on opposing ends of the third plurality of teeth, and,
one of the first length and the second length is greater than the other of the first length and the second length.

US Pat. No. 9,707,654

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH A MODULAR ARCHITECTURE

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A gear head for a positive feed tool that is configured for engagement with a motor and an add-on component, the gear head
including:
a spindle having an elongated shape and configured to move in advance and retract directions along a feed path;
a plurality of gears configured to be driven to rotate the spindle and move the spindle along the feed path;
an air manifold;
first and second fluid manifold interfaces each in communication with the air manifold and including a common number and arrangement
of fluid ports to receive either the motor or the add-on component.

US Pat. No. 9,604,334

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH A SLIP CLUTCH AND A METHOD, TO PREVENT JAMMING

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool configured to operate in a forward direction and a reverse direction, the feed tool comprising:
an elongated spindle aligned with and configured to axially move along a feed path, the spindle including a retract stop to
control an extent of axial movement of the spindle in the reverse direction;

a spindle rotation mechanism coupled to the spindle to rotate the spindle;
a spindle feed gear and a differential feed gear configured to drive the spindle axially along the feed path, the spindle
feed gear and the differential feed gear each including gear teeth that are engaged together;

a clutch mechanism positioned at the differential feed gear to selectively control rotation of the differential feed gear,
the clutch mechanism including a contact member and a biasing member;

wherein the clutch mechanism being configured to engage with the differential feed gear to:
prevent rotation of the differential feed gear and the spindle feed gear causing the spindle to move in the reverse direction
when the torque that is applied to the differential feed gear through the spindle feed gear is less than a holding force applied
to the contact member;

allow rotation of the differential feed gear and the spindle feed gear to prevent the spindle from moving further in the reverse
direction when the torque that is applied to the differential feed gear through the spindle feed gear is greater than the
force applied to the contact member.

US Pat. No. 10,140,480

ELECTRONIC COUNTER FOR FLUID FLOW TOOLS

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A counter for a fluid-powered tool that includes fluid that moves along a fluid line when the tool is in operation, the counter comprising:a body with a fluid passage comprising an inlet and an outlet that is configured for the fluid to move through the passage from the inlet to the outlet when the tool is in operation;
a piston with a first end and a second end, the piston positioned within the passage between the inlet and the outlet, the piston comprising a smaller cross-sectional size than the passage to be movable along the passage;
a sensor target attached to the piston and positioned within the passage, the sensor target sized to be movable along the passage with the piston;
a non-contact proximity sensor configured to detect when the sensor target is in a predetermined range of the sensor along the passage;
a processing circuit configured to monitor when the sensor detects the sensor target within the predetermined range of the sensor; the processing circuit configured to at least one of:
determine an amount of usage of the fluid-powered tool based on a count of a number of times that the sensor detects that the sensor target is with the predetermined range of the sensor, wherein the count is greater than one; and
determine the amount of usage of the fluid-powered tool based on an amount of time that the sensor detects the sensor target is with the predetermined range of the sensor, wherein the amount of time is from each of at least two distinct time intervals that are non-contiguous in time; and
a biasing member that applies a first force to the piston to bias the sensor target away from the predetermined range,
the first force of the biasing member positioning the sensor target away from the predetermined range when the tool is not in operation;
the first force being less than a force applied by the fluid moving, along the fluid line when the fluid-powered tool is in operation with the sensor target being positioned in the predetermined range.

US Pat. No. 9,770,811

RATCHET AND SOCKET ASSEMBLY

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A ratcheting tool for driving a socket, the ratcheting tool comprising:
a body having a head that defines a cavity and having an elongated handle extending away from the head;
a ratchet member comprising an annular ratchet portion disposed in the cavity so that the ratchet portion is rotatable about
an axis and a drive tang extending from the ratchet portion externally of the body and so that the drive tang rotates with
the ratchet portion about the axis;

a pawl disposed in the body in communication with the ratchet portion selectively between
a first position in which the pawl transmits torque from the body to the ratchet portion in a first rotational direction with
respect to the axis and ratchets with respect to the ratchet portion in response to torque from the body in a second rotational
direction with respect to the axis opposite the first direction, and

a second position in which the pawl transmits torque from the body to the ratchet portion in the second rotational direction
and ratchets with respect to the ratchet portion in response to torque from the body in the first rotational direction;

a detent disposed in the drive tang so that the detent is reciprocally movable in a direction transverse to the axis between
a first position and a second position, wherein the first position of the detent extends further from the axis than does the
second position of the detent;

a linkage extending through the drive tang to engagement with the detent, wherein the linkage is accessible at a surface of
the ratcheting tool, wherein the linkage engages the detent so that when the linkage is in a first position, the detent is
in its first position and so that actuation of the linkage to a second position causes the linkage to move the detent to its
second position; and

a locking element that defines a flange and that is attached to the ratchet member pivotally about an axis that is offset
from the ratchet portion axis and that passes through the ratchet portion, the locking element being pivotal between a first
position wherein the flange engages a groove defined by the linkage when the linkage is in its first position so that the
locking element blocks the actuation of the linkage and a second position in which the flange disengages from the linkage
with respect to the locking element's first position.

US Pat. No. 9,724,795

TOOLING SYSTEM WITH VISUAL IDENTIFICATION OF ATTACHED COMPONENT

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A tooling system for performing an operation on a work piece, the tooling system comprising:
a drive unit comprising a mount and a motor that rotates the mount, the drive unit including different settings to adjust
drive parameters of the motor;

a tool member attached to the mount of the drive unit and configured to engage with a work piece;
a target that is visible on the tool member;
a camera incorporated with the drive unit and configured to capture an image of the target when the tool member is attached
to the mount; and

a controller that identifies the target based on the image of the target captured by the camera and adjusts one or more of
the settings on the drive unit based on the image of the target captured by the camera.

US Pat. No. 9,662,713

LOCKING CHUCK JAWS

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A drill chuck having a rotatable drive shaft, comprising:
a generally cylindrical body having a nose section, a tail section, and a longitudinal axis, the tail section being configured
to rotate with the drive shaft and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein and a plurality of passageways formed
therethrough and intersecting the axial bore;

a plurality of jaws disposed in respective said passageways movably with respect to the body and in communication with the
axial bore for securing a shank of a tool in the drill chuck, each jaw comprising

a body including a jaw face formed on a first surface of the body and a plurality of teeth formed on a second surface of the
body that is on a side of the body opposite the first surface, wherein a first plane includes the longitudinal axis and a
center axis of the passageway in which the jaw is received; and

a ridge depending from the jaw face toward the longitudinal center axis, the ridge including a substantially planar tool engaging
surface that is disposed in a second plane that is parallel to the longitudinal center axis and perpendicular to the first
plane,

wherein the tool engaging surface is disposed closer to the longitudinal center axis than the jaw face and the tool engaging
surface, but not the jaw face, engages the shank of the tool when the tool is secured in the chuck;

a nut rotatably mounted about the body such that rotation of the nut in a closing direction moves the jaws toward the longitudinal
center axis of the drill chuck and rotation of the nut in an opening direction moves the jaws away from the longitudinal center
axis of the drill chuck; and

a sleeve rotatably mounted about the body such that rotation of the sleeve in the closing direction moves the jaws toward
the longitudinal center axis of the drill chuck and rotation of the sleeve in the opening direction moves the jaws away from
the longitudinal center axis.

US Pat. No. 9,914,192

TOOLING SYSTEM WITH VISUAL IDENTIFICATION OF ATTACHED COMPONENT

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A tooling system for performing an operation on a work piece, the tooling system comprising:
a drive unit;
a tool member removably attached to the drive unit and configured to engage with the work piece;
first and second targets that are visibly positioned on the tool member, the first and second targets being visibly distinct;
a vision system associated with the drive unit and configured to capture an image of each of the first and second targets
when the tool member is attached to the drive unit; and

a controller configured to control a first aspect of the drive unit based on the image of the first target captured by the
vision system and to control a second aspect of the drive unit based on the image of the second target captured by the vision
system;

the drive unit configured to rotate the tool member such that each of the first and second targets are visible to the vision
system.

US Pat. No. 9,827,641

LOW PRESSURE SHUT OFF FOR A PNEUMATIC TOOL

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A low pressure shut off for a pneumatic tool comprising:
an air path comprising a main inlet, an outlet, and a secondary inlet;
a shaft positioned along the air path between the main inlet and the outlet, the shaft being movable relative to the air path
between a first position and a second position;

first and second pistons spaced axially apart along the shaft and each extending radially outward beyond the shaft; and
a biasing member acting on the shaft to bias the shaft towards the first position;
a first bore positioned away from the air path and including a sectional shape and size that matches the first piston;
a seal on the first piston that contacts and seals against walls of the first bore when the first piston is in the second
position;

in the first position, the first piston extends across the air path between the main inlet and the outlet to block the air
path;

in the first position, the second piston is positioned to be acted on by air from the secondary inlet to apply a force to
the second piston that overcomes the force of the biasing member and position the shaft at the second position with the first
piston away from the air path to allow air to flow along the air path between the main inlet and the outlet;

the first piston being positioned in the first bore in the second position such that a force acting on the first piston that
is supplied through the air flowing along the air path maintains the first piston in the second position in the first bore
after the force acting on the second piston that is supplied from the air from the secondary inlet is removed from the second
piston.

US Pat. No. 9,662,756

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH IMPROVED SHIFT FROM FORWARD TO RETRACT

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool configured to operate in a first mode and a second mode, the feed tool comprising:
an elongated spindle adapted to carry a tool bit and to rotate and to move axially along a feed path, the spindle configured
to operate in a first mode to move axially along the feed path in a first direction and a second mode to move axially along
the feed path in an opposing second direction, the spindle further configured to prevent movement in the first direction beyond
a stop position;

a spindle drive mechanism connected to the spindle to rotate the spindle;
a differential feed gear that engages with and is rotated by the spindle drive mechanism, the differential feed gear spaced
away from the spindle;

a spindle feed gear connected to the spindle to axially move the spindle along the feed path, the spindle feed gear engaged
with and rotated by the differential feed gear;

the first mode including the spindle drive mechanism engaged with the spindle to rotate the spindle and engaged with the differential
feed gear to rotate the spindle feed gear, the spindle feed gear being located at a first axial position along the feed path,
the spindle drive mechanism and the differential feed gear being a first axial distance apart;

the second mode including the spindle feed gear moves to a different second axial position along the feed path and the differential
feed gear a greater second distance axially apart from and disengaged from the spindle drive mechanism;

the spindle configured to transition from the first mode to the second mode in response to the spindle feed gear axially being
moved along the feed path from the first position to the second position.

US Pat. No. 9,796,075

FIXTURING DEVICE AND METHOD OF USE

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A fixturing device to position a tool relative to a work piece, the fixturing device comprising:
a motor;
a gear set with at least first and second gears that are driven by the motor, the first gear being positioned in closer proximity
to the motor than the second gear;

a screw that is connected to second gear to move in a first axial direction away from the work piece when the gear set is
driven in a first rotational direction by the motor and to move in an opposing second axial direction towards the work piece
when the gear set is driven in a second rotational direction by the motor;

a protrusion positioned within a slot in the screw to prevent the screw from rotating when moving in the first and second
axial directions;

a mandrel attached to the screw to move in the first and second axial directions with the screw, the mandrel including an
enlarged head;

an expandable collet with a hollow interior that receives the mandrel and an enlarged flange, the mandrel being axially movable
within the hollow interior and including a first width at the enlarged flange when the enlarged head is positioned outward
beyond a distal end of the collet and a larger second width at the enlarged flange when the enlarged head is position within
the hollow interior;

at least one position sensor to determine an axial position of the screw; and
an enlarged base with a contact surface that is spaced away from the enlarged flange of the collet to contact against the
work piece when the collet is in the larger second width.

US Pat. No. 10,124,454

OSCILLATING THRUST BEARING

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool comprising:a motor;
a power supply operably coupled to the motor to power the motor;
a gear head operably coupled to the motor to be operated responsive to powering of the motor, the gear head comprising a drive assembly and a feed assembly; and
a spindle operably coupled to the gear head to enable the spindle to be selectively driven rotationally and fed axially based on operation of the drive assembly and the feed assembly, respectively,
wherein the feed assembly comprises a feed rate oscillator comprising a fixed cam and a movable cam operably coupled to each other via a plurality of rolling elements to oscillate between a maximum width and a minimum width of the feed rate oscillator based on a position of the movable cam, the rolling elements alternating between a first state in which at least some of the rolling elements are unloaded and a second state in which all of the rolling elements are loaded.

US Pat. No. 9,975,225

TOOL LOCKING MECHANISM

Apex Brands, Inc., Spark...

1. A tool assembly, comprising:a. a tool having,
a first working end,
an opposite second end,
a central axis therebetween,
at least one axial recess formed on an outer surface of the tool, and a bore formed in the opposite second end transverse to the central axis;
b. a cap rotatably received on the opposite second end, the cap comprising at least
one recess formed on an outer surface thereon, a cap bottom surface recess formed in a bottom surface of the cap facing the tool, a first detent recess formed in an inner wall of the cap, and a second detent recess formed in the inner wall of the cap; and
c. a detent partially disposed within the bore with a first end of the detent extending into the cap bottom surface recess;
wherein the cap is rotatable between
a first position in which the at least one outer space cap recess aligns with the at least one tool axial recess and a second end of the detent extends into the first detent recess and is biased outwardly into the first detent recess, and
a second position in which the at least one outer surface cap recess is out of alignment with the at least one tool axial recess and the second end of the detent extends into the second detent recess and is biased outwardly into the second detent recess.

US Pat. No. 10,005,147

SOLDERING TIP FASTENING SYSTEM

APEX BRANDS, INC., Wilmi...

18. A soldering device, comprising at least one of:a soldering tip fastening sleeve;
a soldering tip;
a soldering tip fastening system;
wherein the soldering tip fastening sleeve comprises:
a soldering device fastening portion having an internal measurement and an external measurement;
a soldering tip fastening portion having an internal measurement, an external measurement, and a collar holder,
wherein the soldering tip fastening portion and the soldering device fastening portion are associated with different ends of the soldering tip fastening sleeve;
wherein the soldering tip fastening portion comprises:
a first subsector of a circumference of the soldering tip fastening sleeve; and
a second subsector of the circumference of the soldering tip fastening sleeve different from said first subsector, each of said first and second subsectors forming a circumferential arc about a center axis of the soldering tip fastening sleeve;
wherein the collar holder spans an arc of the first subsector;
wherein said first subsector and said second subsector each span less than the entire circumference of the soldering tip fastening sleeve and the second subsector does not include any portion of the collar holder; and
wherein the soldering tip fastening sleeve is provided with a recess at a transition between the first and second subsectors;
wherein the soldering tip comprises:
a soldering portion;
a fastening portion, the fastening portion adapted to fix the soldering tip to the soldering tip fastening sleeve;
wherein a maximum external measurement of the fastening portion is smaller than a maximum external measurement of the soldering portion;
wherein the fastening portion comprises a collar;
wherein the soldering tip fastening system comprises the soldering tip fastening sleeve and the soldering tip.

US Pat. No. 10,046,400

SYSTEM AND METHOD OF ROBOTIC POSITIONING OF MULTIPLE TOOLS

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A method of processing holes in a work piece, the method comprising:engaging a first drill with a robotic device with the first drill being positioned at an engagement position of the robotic device;
moving the first drill with the robotic device to a first position on the work piece;
disengaging the first drill from the robotic device at the first position;
while the first drill is disengaged from the robotic device, drilling the work piece at the first position with the first drill; and
while the first drill is disengaged from the robotic device and drilling the work piece at the first position:
moving the robotic device away from the first position while the engagement position is unoccupied;
engaging a second drill with the robotic device with the second drill being positioned at the engagement position;
moving the second drill with the robotic device to a second position on the work piece;
disengaging the second drill from the robotic device at, the second position; and
while the second drill is disengaged from the robotic device, drilling the work piece with the second drill at the second position.

US Pat. No. 10,196,175

TOOL CHEST LIFTING SOLUTION

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A tool chest comprising:a base portion; and
two opposing sidewalls extending substantially perpendicularly upward from the base portion to define a tool repository between the sidewalls,
wherein each of the sidewalls comprises a lift-handle assembly, each lift-handle assembly comprising a first handle and a second handle,
wherein each of the sidewalls includes at least one recessed portion configured to receive at least one of the first handle or the second handle,
wherein the first and second handles are rotatable between a rest position and a transport position such that the at least one of the first handle or the second handle extends through a plane defined by one of the sidewalls when in the transport position and does not extend through the plane when in the rest position,
wherein the first and second handles each comprise:
an engagement portion;
pivot plates disposed on opposite ends of the engagement portion, the engagement portion being provided at a distal end of the pivot plates, each of the pivot plates including a stopping member disposed at a proximal end of the pivot plates, the stopping member protruding away from a back wall of the at least one recessed portion when the first and second handles are in the rest position and engaging the back wall when the first and second handles are in the transport position; and
an axis about which the pivot plates rotate, the pivot plates being pivotally coupled to the axis at the proximal end of the pivot plates.

US Pat. No. 10,344,488

DEMOLITION TOOL

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

13. A demolition tool, comprising:a handle having a proximal portion and a distal portion;
a head mounted to the distal portion of the handle, the head comprising:
first and second distally extending arms that are laterally spaced from each other;
a central boss disposed between the first and second arms, and disposed in lateral alignment with the handle; the central boss having a convexly curved underside surface that extends below the first and second arms, the curved underside providing a prying surface;
a first forward fastener puller disposed at the central boss; the first forward fastener puller having an entry slot that opens distally and is closed proximally;
wherein the first and second arms include laterally extending sections that extend toward the central boss;
wherein the central boss is configured to extend distally such that an uppermost surface of the central boss proximate the entry slot does not extend above the first and second arms such that the uppermost surface of the central boss proximate the entry slot is not visible in side view;
wherein the first forward fastener puller is laterally aligned with the handle; and
wherein the head is movably mounted to the distal portion of the handle by a pivot connection that is operative to lockably position the head at a desired angular position relative to a longitudinal axis of the handle.

US Pat. No. 10,464,191

REVERSIBLE RATCHETING TOOL WITH DUAL PAWLS

APEX BRANDS INC., Apex, ...

1. A ratcheting tool comprising:a head;
a gear ring disposed within the head, the gear ring comprising a plurality of gear ring teeth disposed about an outer circumference of the gear ring, the plurality of gear ring teeth defining a plurality of gear ring troughs with each gear ring trough being disposed adjacent to a gear ring tooth;
a first pawl disposed within the head In a pawl cavity, the first pawl comprising a plurality of first pawl teeth disposed on a first front face of the first pawl, the first pawl being biased towards the gear ring; and
a second pawl disposed within the head in the pawl cavity, the second pawl comprising a plurality of second pawl teeth disposed on a second front face of the second pawl, the second pawl being biased towards the gear ring;
wherein the first pawl and the second pawl are disposed within the head such that when at least one first pawl tooth is seated in a gear ring trough at least another first pawl tooth is not seated in a gear ring trough;
wherein a minimum distance between a tip of a leading first pawl tooth and a rearward cavity engaging surface of the first pawl is larger than a minimum distance between a tip of a leading second pawl tooth and a rearward cavity engaging surface of the second pawl;
wherein the first pawl defines a first pawl rearward face extending between a first pawl upper surface and a first pawl lower surface, the first front face being concave so that the plurality of first pawl teeth define at least one first pawl arc having a first pawl arc radius;
wherein the second pawl defines a second pawl rearward face extending between a second pawl upper surface and a second pawl lower surface, the second front face being concave so that the plurality of second pawl teeth define at least one second pawl arc having a second pawl arc radius;
wherein the first pawl and the second pawl are configured so that if the first pawl and the second pawl are disposed with the first pawl rearward face and the second pawl rearward face in vertical alignment and so that a common vertical plane bisects each of the first pawl and the second pawl, the at least one first pawl arc and the at least one second pawl arc are offset from each other in a direction in the common vertical plane and perpendicular to a vertical axis of the gear ring, with the first pawl having fewer teeth than the second pawl such that in the aligned configuration a proximal tooth and a distal tooth of the second pawl protrudes out from the respective proximal and distal teeth of the first pawl.

US Pat. No. 10,232,446

ADAPTIVE DRILLING WITH PIEZO-ELECTRIC FEED OSCILLATOR

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool comprising:a motor;
a power supply operably coupled to the motor to power the motor;
a gear head operably coupled to the motor to be operated responsive to powering of the motor, the gear head comprising a drive assembly and a feed assembly;
a spindle operably coupled to the gear head to enable the spindle to be selectively driven rotationally and fed axially based on operation of the drive assembly and the feed assembly, respectively; and
a variable feed rate oscillator configured to cause oscillation of the spindle via operable coupling with the feed assembly based on a frequency and an amplitude of a voltage applied to the variable feed rate oscillator;
wherein the variable feed rate oscillator comprises a piezo electric ring stack that is operably coupled to the feed assembly via a first thrust bearing and is disposed between the first thrust bearing and a second thrust bearing of the gear head;
wherein the piezo electric ring stack is configured to receive the voltage applied to the variable feed rate oscillator via electrical connections to the piezo electric ring stack;
wherein, altering the amplitude of the voltage changes a thickness of the piezo electric ring stack and altering a frequency of the voltage changes a rate of change of the thickness of the piezo electric stack.

US Pat. No. 10,334,226

VISION SYSTEM WITH AUTOMATIC CALIBRATION

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A vision system comprising:a first camera and a second camera mounted for stereoscopic monitoring of a work environment;
a support platform for support of a workpiece in the work environment;
a first reference plate operably coupled to the support platform to provide a first frame of reference for three dimensional location of objects in the work environment;
a power tool operable in the work environment under control of a tool controller; and
a motion monitor operably coupled to the first and second cameras to determine location of the tool in the work environment based on a comparison of a reference point on the tool to a position of reference points on the reference plate,
wherein a perspective view of the support platform by the first and second cameras is changeable, and
wherein the system further comprises a second reference plate to define a second frame of reference for three dimensional location of objects responsive to the perspective view of the support platform being changed.

US Pat. No. 10,556,276

LOCKING CHUCK

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, the chuck comprising:a generally cylindrical body having a nose section, a tail section and a center axis, the tail section being configured to rotate with the drive shaft and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein and a plurality of passageways formed therethrough and intersecting the axial bore;
a plurality of jaws movably disposed in the passageways;
a nut rotatably mounted about the body and in operative communication with the jaws so that rotation of the nut in a closing direction moves the jaws toward the center axis of the body and rotation of the nut in an opening direction moves the jaws away from the center axis;
a generally cylindrical sleeve rotatably mounted about the body, the sleeve including an inner surface defining a first recess, a second recess, and a drive slot, the sleeve being in operative communication with a drive dog that is slidably received in the drive slot and rotates with the nut so that the sleeve rotationally drives the nut via the drive dog but the sleeve is rotatable with respect to the nut between a first rotational position of the sleeve where the drive dog is adjacent a first side of the drive slot and a second rotational position of the sleeve where the drive dog is adjacent a second side of the drive slot;
an annular array of locking teeth non-rotatably fixed to the body; and
a locking pawl including a mounting portion and an engagement portion, the mounting portion being non-rotatably fixed to the nut in a fixed position by being mounted on the drive dog such that the locking pawl rotates with the nut, and the engagement portion having a biasing cam, and a first leg and a second leg extending radially inwardly therefrom so that the first leg and the second leg define an acute angle therebetween and the engagement portion defines a convex outer surface and a concave inner surface disposed in facing relationship with the locking teeth,
the engagement portion being radially movable with respect to the body, the engagement portion and the locking teeth being configured so that when the engagement portion engages the locking teeth, the engagement portion and the locking teeth prevent the nut from rotating in the opening direction with respect to the body,
wherein the biasing cam of the engagement portion is received in the first recess and is disengaged from the locking teeth so that the first leg and the second leg define a first acute angle value therebetween when the sleeve is in the first rotational position, and the biasing cam of the engagement portion is received in the second recess and engages the locking teeth so that the first leg and the second leg define a second acute angle value therebetween when the sleeve is in the second rotational position, the engagement portion being compressed between the locking teeth and the second recess in the second rotational position so that an amount of force is exerted on the nut in the closing direction by the engagement portion, and the second acute angle value is greater than the first acute angle value.

US Pat. No. 10,427,258

POSITIVE FEED TOOL WITH IMPROVED SHIFT FROM FORWARD TO RETRACT

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool configured to operate in a first mode and a second mode, the feed tool comprising:an elongated spindle adapted to carry a tool bit and to rotate and to move axially along a feed path, the spindle configured to operate in a first mode to move axially along the feed path in a first direction and a second mode to move axially along the feed path in an opposing second direction;
first and second gears each operatively connected to the spindle;
a differential drive comprising an elongated shaft spaced laterally away from the spindle, a piston positioned on the shaft, and third and fourth gears positioned on the shaft;
a drive train that is engaged with the third gear to drive the differential drive;
the third gear and the first gear being engaged to rotate the spindle, and the fourth gear and the second gear being engaged to axially move the spindle;
a chamber positioned at the differential drive and comprising sidewalls, a closed end, and an opposing open end, the chamber positioned with the shaft extending into the open end and the piston positioned within the chamber;
an inlet that extends through the closed end of the chamber;
a magnet positioned on one of the piston and the closed end and a plate is positioned on the other of the piston and the closed end, the magnet and plate being magnetically attracted together to magnetically bias the piston towards the closed end of the chamber;
a poppet valve comprising a head and a stem and being positioned at the inlet to control fluid flowing through the inlet and into the chamber;
the differential drive being movable relative to the chamber between first and second positions to selectively move the spindle between the first and second modes, the first position comprising the piston in closer proximity to the closed end with the piston in contact with the head to position the head across the inlet, and the second position comprising the piston positioned a greater distance from the closed end with the head of the poppet valve spaced away from the inlet to allow fluid into the chamber.

US Pat. No. 10,513,014

REVERSIBLE RATCHETING TOOL WITH DUAL PAWLS

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A ratcheting tool comprising:a head;
a gear ring comprising a plurality of gear ring teeth disposed about an outer circumference of the gear ring, the plurality of gear ring teeth defining a plurality of gear ring troughs with each gear ring trough being disposed adjacent to a gear ring tooth, the gear ring being disposed within the head rotatably about a vertical axis;
a first pawl disposed within the head, the first pawl comprising a plurality of first pawl teeth disposed on a first front face of the first pawl, the first pawl being biased towards the gear ring; and
a second pawl disposed within the head, the second pawl comprising a plurality of second pawl teeth on a second front face of the second pawl, the second pawl being biased towards the gear ring;
wherein the first front face of the first pawl comprises a first portion having a first characteristic curve and a second portion having a second characteristic curve, wherein the first characteristic curve is different from the second characteristic curve;
wherein the first pawl defines a first pawl rearward face extending between a first pawl upper surface and a first pawl lower surface, the first front face being concave and comprising the first characteristic curve and the second characteristic curve so that the plurality of first pawl teeth define at least one first pawl arc having a first pawl arc radius;
wherein the second pawl defines a second pawl rearward face extending between a second pawl upper surface and a second pawl lower surface, the second front face being concave so that the plurality of second pawl teeth define at least one second pawl arc having a second pawl arc radius;
wherein the first pawl and the second pawl are configured so that if the first pawl and the second pawl are disposed with the first pawl rearward face and the second pawl rearward face in vertical alignment and so that a common vertical plane bisects each of the first pawl and the second pawl, the at least one first pawl arc and the at least one second pawl arc are offset from each other in a direction in the common vertical plane and perpendicular to a vertical axis of the gear ring, with the first pawl having fewer teeth than the second pawl such that in the aligned configuration a proximal tooth and a distal tooth of the second pawl protrudes out from the respective proximal and distal teeth of the first pawl.

US Pat. No. 10,603,722

LOCKING CHUCK

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A chuck for use with a manual or powered driver having a rotatable drive shaft, the chuck comprising:a body having a nose section, a tail section, and a center axis, the tail section being configured to rotate with the drive shaft and the nose section having an axial bore formed therein and a plurality of passageways formed therethrough and intersecting the axial bore;
a plurality of jaws movably disposed in the passageways;
a nut rotatably mounted about the body and in operative communication with the jaws so that rotation of the nut in a closing direction with respect to the body moves the jaws toward the center axis of the body and rotation of the nut in an opening direction with respect to the body moves the jaws away from the center axis of the body;
a sleeve rotatably mounted about the body, the sleeve being in operative communication with the nut so that the sleeve rotationally drives the nut but is rotatable with respect to the nut between a first rotational position and a second rotational position;
an annular array of first teeth that are non-rotatable about the center axis with respect to the body and facing toward the nose section of the body;
one or more second teeth disposed on a ring, the second teeth being non-rotatable about the center axis with respect to the nut and axially movable with respect to the body, the one or more second teeth being configured so that when the one or more second teeth engage the first teeth, the one or more second teeth and the first teeth resist rotation of the one or more second teeth, and thereby the nut, in the opening direction with respect to the body; and
an engagement between the sleeve and the ring that moves the one or more second teeth out of engagement with the first teeth when the sleeve moves from the second rotational position to the first rotational position and that moves the one or more second teeth into engagement with the first teeth when the sleeve moves from the first rotational position to the second rotational position;
wherein the engagement comprises respective opposing cam surfaces on an inner surface of the sleeve and the ring;
wherein the ring defines a first recess and a second recess on opposite sides of the cam surface defined on the ring, wherein the first recess defines a first axial distance between the one or more second teeth and a depth of the first recess, wherein the second recess defines a second axial distance between the one or more second teeth and a depth of the second recess that is greater than the first distance, and wherein the cam surface defined on the sleeve is received at the first recess in the first rotational position of the sleeve and is received at the second recess at the second rotational position of the sleeve.

US Pat. No. 10,583,538

FEED OSCILLATION VIA VARIABLE PITCH GEARS

APEX BRANDS, INC., Apex,...

1. A positive feed tool comprising:a motor;
a power supply operably coupled to the motor to power the motor;
a gear head operably coupled to the motor to be operated responsive to powering of the motor, the gear head comprising a drive assembly and a feed assembly; and
a spindle operably coupled to the gear head to enable the spindle to be selectively driven rotationally and fed axially based on operation of the drive assembly and the feed assembly, respectively;
wherein the feed assembly comprises a feed rate oscillator comprising a spindle feed gear coupled to a differential feed gear, the spindle feed gear being carried on the spindle to rotate the spindle to selectively axially feed the spindle, the differential feed gear being carried on a feed shaft and being selectively operably coupled to an input shaft turned by the motor;
wherein at least one of the spindle feed gear or the differential feed gear is a variable pitch diameter gear having a variable pitch diameter;
wherein the variable pitch diameter gear includes an oscillating gear tooth profile to provide the variable pitch diameter, the oscillating gear tooth profile comprising a plurality of regions, each region having a first tooth density, a second tooth density, or a third tooth density and the regions being disposed around a periphery of the variable pitch diameter gear in accordance with a tooth density pattern, wherein the first tooth density is greater than the second tooth density and the second tooth density is greater than the third tooth density, and
wherein the tooth density pattern defines a repeating sequence of adjacent regions having the second tooth density adjacent to the first tooth density adjacent to the second tooth density adjacent to the third tooth density.

US Pat. No. 10,583,541

TONGUE-AND-GROOVE PLIERS WITH ANTI-MARRING GRIP AREA

Apex Brands, Inc., Apex,...

1. A hand tool comprising:a head section including a top jaw and a bottom jaw defining a first grip portion;
a handle section including a top handle and a bottom handle, the top jaw and the bottom handle forming a first unitary piece, and the bottom jaw and the top handle forming a second unitary piece, the first and second unitary pieces being joined at a pivot point; and
a second grip portion including a top grip portion provided at the top handle and a bottom grip portion provided at the bottom handle, the top and bottom grip portions substantially facing each other,
wherein the first grip portion is made of a metallic material and the second grip portion is made of a non-metallic material,
wherein the hand tool further comprises a size adjustment assembly disposed between the top jaw and the bottom handle, and between the bottom jaw and the top handle, the size adjustment assembly including a tongue and a plurality of grooves to receive the tongue to define respective different grip sizes of the first grip portion,
wherein the top grip portion is formed in a top handle cover of the top handle and the bottom grip portion is formed in a bottom handle cover of the bottom handle, and
wherein the top grip portion and bottom grip portion are formed having a hardness different than a hardness of the top handle cover and the bottom handle cover.