A hand-held pill crusher (20) with an arm (11) and base(10) made
of a hard and impervious material connected at one end so as to
allow a vertical open and close movement to fragment and then crush
pill into powdered form. The arm contains a plurality of stainless
steel blades (18) for fragmenting pill and a crushing member (15)
made of similar hard and impervious material for reducing fragments
to powder. The base contains a pill rack (13), threaded recess (14)
for crushing member and a track (17) on underside for holding spoon-like
receiving member (16).
1. A hand-held pill crusher, comprising: a. an arm, b. a base,
and c. means for adjoining said arm and base at one end whereby
said arm and base opens and closes adjacently; d. said arm includes
both a pill fragmenting means located near adjoined end of said
arm and a crushing member located near open end; e. said pill fragmenting
means is a plurality of blades; f. said base includes two recesses;
a first recess located near adjoined end of said base; and a second
recess located near open end whereby said crushing member protrudes
when engaged with said base; g. said first recess is a rack whereby
a pill can be placed thereupon; h. said second recess is threaded
whereby receiving said crushing member; i. said base includes a
track located on underside whereby a receiving member moves back
and forth from said first and second recesses; j. said track is
closed on one end whereby creating a stop for the receiving member;
k. said receiving member is a spoon-like receptacle.
1. Field of Invention
This invention relates to a hand-held pill crushing apparatus.
It is intended to aid persons who are unable to swallow medicines
in pill form and healthcare providers who have the task of crushing
pills. This apparatus would eliminate the tedious process of crushing
pills and tablets into a powdered form. This device can also be
used in the field of veterinary medicine.
2. Description of Prior Art
There are manual ways to crush pills into a powdered form, however,
elderly persons or persons who have undergone recent surgery may
not have the strength necessary to crush pills using the traditional
For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5924636 to Calderon (1999) shows a
hand-held pill crusher that requires the user to apply force in
excess of that which an elderly person or someone who has undergone
recent surgery may not have. As shown in FIG. 4 of Calderon's patent,
apertures 18A within the receiving member 18 would become clogged
during the crushing process so that the powdered pill would not
be able to fall through the apertures. Arthritic and post-surgery
patients would have similar difficulty in applying the squeezing
action necessary to operate the devices described in U.S. Pat. Nos.
4003523 to Doolittle (1977) and 5178337 to Lupoli (1993). The
pressure necessary to operate the devices disclosed by U.S. Pat.
Nos. 5915637 and D405889 to Parsons (1999) requires that user
be able to apply his or her body weight to the device. Also, it
appears that the use of the pouch (FIG. 6) required thereby would
cause a loss of the prescribed dosage by (1) fragments of pills
lodged within the indentations in the pouch due to the pressing
action of the device and (2) powder adhering to the pouch as it
is poured. Operationally, the device shown by U.S. Pat. No. 6059209
to Barson (2000) also requires the use of one's body weight. This
may prove difficult for persons who have recently undergone surgery.
It is also noted that the preferred embodiment of the Barson patent
uses paper cups. The residue of pills may remain in the paper cups
leading to a loss of the prescribed dosage. Paper cups are also
likely to become punctured during the pressing process. Although
Barson states that the apparatus can be operated without paper cups,
use of the crushing bowl that is taught alone would likely cause
cross contamination if used for multiple medications.
U.S. Pat Nos. D337828 to Gordon (1993) and D433148 to Dennis
(2000) show ornamental designs of a pill crusher that use a screwing
technique to crush pills. These designs also would require excessive
strength to crush solid tablets into a powdered form. A review of
U.S. Pat. No. 4765549 to Sherman (1988) reveals a device similar
to the patents of Gordon and Dennis, but containing protrusions
either on the mortar or on the pestle for crushing tablets. The
interior design of the mortar in Sherman's patent, which is threaded
internally, is such that the prescribed dosage once in powdered
form would be lessened when it was transferred to another receptacle
because it would tend to adhere to the internal threads.
U.S. Pat. No. 5067666 to Sussman (1991) teaches a battery-operated
portable pill crushing device. Although this device is portable,
its size appears to be somewhat bulky and awkward for individual
U.S. Pat. No. D310731 to Lieptz (1990) shows an ornamental design
for a pill splitter which is used to divide a single pill in half.
However, depending on the size of the pill, it may need to be split
more than once, requiring repeated uses of the device.
The combination of the simultaneous downward thrust and turning
of the crushing member of the device shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4366930
to Trombetti, Jr. (1983) is similar to the process that is used
for child safety caps for medication. Elderly and arthritic persons
find this process difficult to manage.
Other pill crushing or pulverizing references that applicant is
aware of are as follows: U.S. Pat. No. 5531386 to Jensen (1996);
U.S. Pat. No. 5123601 to Lavin, et al. (1992); U.S. Pat. No. 4967971
to Smith (1990); U.S. Pat. No. D310564 to Besaw (1990); U.S. Pat.
No. D285966 to Porter (1986); U.S. Pat. No. 4209136 to Linden,
et al. (1980); and U.S. Pat. No. 4121775 to Roseberg, et al. (1978).
In conclusion, there are many patents for pill/tablet crushing
devices; however, all exhibit various problems and defects addressed
by the present invention.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a hand-held pill
crusher is an apparatus which uses a two-step process: first dividing
the pill into smaller fragments and second, crushing the fragments
into a powdered state. More specifically, through a closing action,
blades contact a medication pill located on a pill rack to fragment
the pill, and the fragments are then passed along to a crushing
member where through a screwing technique the pill fragments are
crushed into a powdered state.
Objects and Advantages
This two-step process is easy on the user in that less pressure
is needed to crush fragments into powder than to crush a whole pill
The objects and advantages of this hand-held pill crusher are to
provide a means to crush solid pills with less force, to provide
an easy to clean instrument to prevent cross contamination of medicines,
and to minimize loss of dosage. This device is hand-held and lightweight,
easy to use, portable and economical. Further objects and advantages
will become apparent from review of the drawings, descriptions and
operation of the hand-held pill crusher of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of
the hand-held pill crusher of the invention in open condition, ready
to receive a pill to be crushed;
FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the device of FIG. 1 in open
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the hand-held pill crusher
of the invention in closed condition;
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the device, without the receiving
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the device.
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a pill crusher 20 according
to the invention, shown in the open condition ready to receive a
pill. It consists of a base 10 and an arm 11 which are connected
by a pin 12 which allows arm 11 to freely open and close vertically.
Pill crusher 20 is relatively small in dimension, of a size to be
hand-held during operation. Base 10 contains an embedded pill rack
13 shown better in FIG. 2 to hold a pill 19 and a threaded recess
14 to receive the screw of crushing member 15. Under base 10 is
a spoon-like receiving member 16 which is inserted by sliding into
a track 17 from rear of base 10. In use, receiving member 16 is
initially positioned under pill rack 13 in the position shown in
FIG. 1 to receive a fractured pill 19A; it is then moved further
along track 17 (rightwardly in FIG. 1) to a stop position to prepare
for crushing member 15. Receiving member 16 is also the receptacle
for the powdered pill. Arm 11 contains a multiple blade feature
18 which when it makes contact with pill 19 located on pill rack
13 fractures pill 19A. After pill 19 is fractured and falls into
receiving member 16 receiving member 16 is moved along track 17
to position under threaded recess 14. Crushing member 15 is then
forced toward base 10 in a screw-like manner by the continued turning
of the handle 15A, threaded into base 10. As crushing member 15
presses against fractured pill 19A within receiving member 16 the
contents are changed into a powdered form.
When the crushing process is complete, handle 15A is turned in
the reverse to release receiving member 16. Receiving member 16
is then removed from base 10 along track 17. Receiving member 16
is then used to administer the powdered pill without loss of measured
FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the device of FIG. 1 in open
condition showing base 10 and arm 11 connected by pin 12 which will
allow pill crusher 20 to open and close vertically. Arm 10 contains
multiple blades 18 and crushing member 15. Base 10 contains embedded
pill rack 13 and threaded recess 14 for engaging crushing member
15. Underneath base 10 is track 17 for which spoon-like receiving
member 16 slides. Receiving member 16 has a handle 16A for manipulation.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of hand-held pill crusher in
closed condition, the opposite side view being a mirror image of
that shown. Arm 11 is closed upon base 10. In closed condition,
crushing member 15 is shown screwed in place by handle 15A through
threaded recess 14 with crushing member 15 protruding through threaded
recess 14. Also shown is spoon-like receiving member 16 in place
under pill rack 13.
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of FIG. 3 without receiving
member 16 which shows track 17 along which spoon-like receiving
member 16 slides back and forth. Also shown is handle of crushing
member 15A used to screw crushing member 15 into spoon-like receiving
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of FIG. 3 which shows direct
view of crushing member 15 protruding through threaded recess 14
in base 10.
To operate hand-held pill crusher 20 the operator places spoon-like
receiving member 16 along track 17 through the rear of the pill
crusher so that it is positioned under pill rack 13.
The pill crusher 20 is opened and pill 19 placed on pill rack 13.
The pill crusher is then closed. When multiple blades 18 contact
pill 19 located on pill rack 13 pill fragments 19A fall into spoon-like
receiving member 16.
The operator then slides spoon-like receiving member 16 along track
17 to threaded recess 14. While pill crusher 20 is in closed position,
operator begins turning handle 15A of crushing member 15 until it
makes contact with pill fragments 19A within spoon-like receiving
member 16 and until powdered condition is formed.
Handle of crushing member 15A is screwed in reverse manner to release
contact with spoon-like receiving member 16. Operator then removes
powdered pill by sliding spoon-like receiving member 16 along track
17 toward the back of pill crusher 20.
Powdered pill can then be dispensed directly from the spoon-like
receiving member 16 into liquid or food mixture of patient, without
loss of dosage.
Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope
Based on the previous discussion set forth, the reader can see
that this invention for crushing pills and tablets into powdered
form requires minimal brut force and pressure on the part of the
user. It is also easy to use, easy to clean and economical. Its
size also makes it lightweight and portable.
There are also variations on the materials that can be used to
produce this embodiment such as stainless steel, impervious plastics,
etc. Also the multiple blade feature can consist of two or more
blades. With respect to the manner in which the arm and base are
connected in the illustrated embodiment, other connections can also
Accordingly, the scope of the invention should not be determined
by the illustrated embodiment, but by the appended claims and their