Always Have A Square to Spare

Some aspects of humanity affect all of us at some point in our lives. Whether it’s getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, getting a flat tire on the way to work, or upgrading a Linux package which somehow breaks the entire installation, some experiences are truly universal. Among these is pulling a few squares of toilet paper off the roll, only to have the entire roll unravel with an overly aggressive pull. It’s possible to employ a little technology so that none of us have to go through this hassle again, though.

[William Holden] and [Eric Strebel] have decided to tackle this problem with an innovative bearing of sorts that replaces a typical toilet paper holder. Embedded in the mechanism is a set of magnetic discs which provide a higher resistance than a normal roll holder would. Slowly pulling out squares of paper is possible, but like a non-Newtonian fluid becomes solid when a higher force is applied, the magnets will provide enough resistance when a higher speed tug is performed on the toilet paper. This causes the paper to tear rather than unspool the whole roll, and also allows the user to operate the toilet paper one-handed.

This is a great solution to a problem we’ve all faced but probably forgot about a minute after we experienced it. And, it also holds your cell phone to keep it from falling in the toilet! If you’d like to check out their Kickstarter, they are trying to raise money to bring the product to market. And, if you want to upgrade your toilet paper dispenser even further, there’s also an IoT device for it as well, of course.

24 thoughts on “Always Have A Square to Spare

    1. Phone holder?!?! Hmmm… I thought that picture was a joke. But seriously, I could have thought that that little ridge was for putting a pen/pencil. Considering the large amounts of paper close to it, so you can take a note or make a shopping list while sitting on the toilet.

      Putting your phone on that small ridge seems dangerous, considering that IF it falls of (and believe me, someday it will) it drops straight onto those bathroom tiles. Which may cause some nasty damage to its screen.

    1. Or pulling the paper twisting slightly sideways, so it tears along the line.

      There’s a technique that most people develop unconsciously to avoid pulling down the entire roll. That acts as a sort of IQ test if you ever need to screen job applicants – give them a TP roll in a holder and tell them to tear off one square with one hand. If they haven’t mastered the technique already, they lack the sort of basic inquisitive creativity that enables them to learn from mistakes and succeed in most technical professions. If they bodge the test, you hire them to be accountants.

  1. I’m not too sure, but I think I do not like the deten idea, though it has some charm.
    I might prefer a robust magnet combined with a copper disk.
    This will run smoothly at low speed, but rip the paper when pulled harder.

    In the local supermarket there are rolls of plastic bags in the grocery department.
    I always use these single handedly. (Except maybe when they are almost empty).
    By pulling gently it simply unrolls, but when yanked the inertia of the whole roll is enough to increase the tension in the plastic bags enough to rip a bag off the roll along the cut marks.

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