Opening a standard binder clip is easy--if you're young and arthritis-free. In Japan, a country with an aging population, office supply manufacturer Plus Corporation redesigned the century-old binder clip to make it easier for all to use.
Look at their Air Karu clip and see if you notice what's different:
They've embossed in a new fulcrum at a lower point in the body of the spring, whereas the standard design simply uses the corner of the spring itself as the fulcrum. This new fulcrum location, along with the slightly increased handle length, provides better leverage.
Additionally, they've changed the shape of the wire handles to provide greater contact area for the fingers.
Plus Corporation reckons they've cut the effort required to open the clip by 50%.
They manufacture the Air Karu clips in seven sizes, from a 200-page-capacity Jumbo down to a 30-page-capacity Micro.
You'll notice the two smallest, the Mini (40-page capacity) and the Micro do not have the additional fulcrums, as they're already easy to open. But they do have the improved handle shape.
The Air Karu is a great reminder that even the tiniest, most mundane thing can be redesigned and improved.
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