Sugatsune ‘s Hooks
Aaah, health and safety, we love it don’t we? There you are designing a hook where the primary function is to catch and hold things when everyone starts fussing if it fulfills its purpose unintentionally. You can hardly blame a hook for, well, hooking things..
Health and safety is something that’s taken quite seriously in Japan too where Sugatsune produces clever hooks that are designed to snag only those things intended.
A simple hook like the TF might be referred to by some as a cup hook but that would be like calling a Yanagi-ba-bōchō sashimi knife a fish knife. Made from polished 304 stainless steel the TF Hook is RoHS certified and has a safety ball on the end of the hook. It’s simple, elegant and functional and the design helps to prevent accidental snagging when used for example in retail display.
Greater steps can be taken to make hooks safer in use. For example, articulating the hook means that it will move out of the way upon accidental contact. The TK hook has friction damping and a safety ball too and is often used in schools under desks or in locker rooms where it is a definite step up from the aluminium hooks of yesteryear.
The JF-T also swings with friction damping.The damping feature prevents rattling when used in marine or transport situations where vibration occurs. Yacht manufacturers have taken to it for this reason and also because it provides a useful gleaming visual accent.
The UC Hook is often charged with similar duties. It moves back and forth on a vertical swivel and whilst it’s an industrial hook it has functional good looks. With the current trend for under counter hooks the UC has found friends in some leading multi-national coffee shops. It seems customers like to have something to hang bags or jackets from whilst they’re perched drinking their coffee. If a customer accidentally nudges the hook with their knee it just politely swings out of the way, avoiding crippling injuries and expensive law suits.
If the very hookiness of the hook is a problem Sugatsune produce the DZ-270 Butterfly Hook which has no pointy bits at all. Ideal for threading a cord through or for using with a coat hanger it has a highly flexible mounting system that allows it to be attached to inside or outside corners.
In transport use it may be unacceptable to have anything projecting at all, making the very concept of a hook problematic. Solutions like the NF-R64 used by various national railways in Europe are flush when not in use yet easily pop out to provide a suitable point for passengers to hang their jackets or bags.
It’s an attractive component – along with most Sugatsune products the style results from form following function, a very robust design principle.