Dictionaries define the word ‘castle’ as being strong, fortified, and safe. Those are also apt words when describing pocket cutter machines from Castle USA. Castle machines are proudly built and assembled in Petaluma, California, and are manufactured to the highest standards. As a direct result of their robust, quality builds and low-maintenance, few other products in America hold their value like a Castle does.
Beyond the sheer ruggedness and the long life-expectancy of Castle’s pocket cutters, there are also some significant differences between these industrial machines and the less formidable plastic pretenders. Let’s begin with the famous Castle Pocket, which allows a screw to enter the work at a mere 6 degrees off horizontal. Castle’s more centered approach means stronger, faster, easier, and far more elegant face frames and joinery – and no joint shift! Other manufacturers let the screw approach the work at angles up to fifteen degrees, and this can cause the second piece of wood to slide or lift as the screw is driven home. The Castle, low-angle pocket means a whole lot less reworking, fixing, sanding, squaring… and downtime. Plus, the simple, easily adjusted, industrial strength clamping delivers perfect control.
It’s no wonder that Castle knows how to cut the best pockets: it was the very first pocket cutting machine manufacturer, AND the first patent holder for cutting a pocket and drilling the pilot hole from the back. Founded in 1985, Castle is known as the market leader for good reason. It has been in business the longest of any pocket cutter manufacturer and a testament to the consistency of its quality is that one can rarely find a used Castle for sale. When one does show up on the market, it’s quickly snapped up and usually at a price quite close to the current MSRP.
Castle offers a complete line of pocket cutters to suit any shop’s needs. There are two benchtop models, the new 110 and the popular TSM-12. In the mid-range, the TSM-22 (the company’s best-selling model) and the TSM-30 are stand-alone floor model machines designed for the busy cabinet or furniture shop. Both are equipped with foot controls to free up hands and speed up production. The TSM-22 clamps the stock, routs a pocket, and drills a pilot hole with one tap of the foot pedal. Requiring minimal training, it uses standard 110V current and is ready-to-go upon delivery. The musclebound TSM-30 is available in three different voltage options: 220V single-phase, 230V three-phase, and 460V three-phase. This machine is designed for continuous production in environments such as high capacity cabinet shops, furniture plants, and mobile home factories.
Then there’s the industrial grade CSI-1.5D Pocket Cutter/Screw Inserter Machine. Using patented Screw-In-Pocket (SIP) technology, it cuts Castle’s distinctive, low-angle screw pocket, drills a low-angle pilot hole and inserts a flush screw – all in 1.5 seconds!
Speaking of screws, Castle also supplies shops with the Perfect Pocket Screw that uses a Torx drive for less cam-out. And the company’s face frame assembly tables (4x8 and 4x12 models are available) have a clamping arm that glides smoothly on an open beam. This allows face frames to extend beyond the top of the table. The quick-clamps have dual handles and centered activation, for easy clamping from either direction. The Open Back table also provides more work area and can handle oversize frames without taking up valuable shop space.
Castle also supplies router and pilot bits that are specifically designed for its machines, and there’s a guide on the website that helps a woodworker choose the right tooling for making the best cabinets and furniture.