Lockout mechanism for power tool

  • US 6,538,218 B2
  • Filed: 01/18/2002
  • Issued: 03/25/2003
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/14/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A power tool comprising:

  • a housing having first and second apertures therein and a handle portion for gripping by a user of the power tool during its operation, the handle portion having an internal cavity;

    a motor at least partially contained in the housing for powering the tool;

    a switch mounted in the handle cavity for actuating the motor;

    an ambidextrous safety latch mounted in the cavity of the handle adjacent the switch for controlling actuation of the switch, wherein the latch is movable between an engaged position and a disengaged position, wherein the latch prevents the switch from activating the motor when it is in the engaged position, wherein the latch does not prevent the switch from activating the motor when it is in the disengaged position, wherein the latch is biased to the engaged position, wherein a first portion of the latch extends outwardly through the first aperture, wherein a second portion of the latch extends outwardly through the second aperture, wherein the first portion of the latch is engagable by a right thumb of a user when the handle is gripped with a user'"'"'s right hand, wherein the second portion of the latch is engagable by a left thumb of a user when the handle is gripped with a user'"'"'s left hand, and wherein the latch is movable from the engaged position to the disengaged position by pressing on either of the first and second portions of the latch, whereby a user can move the latch to the disengaged position with a right thumb when the power tool is operated with a user'"'"'s right hand gripping the handle portion and whereby a user can move the latch to the disengaged position with a left thumb when the power tool is operated with auser'"'"'s left hand gripping the handle portion.

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