Sunex SX545B

Editor Rating: 4.3/5

Great Product

Sunex SX545B

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Aug 30, 2021 @ 1:22 pm

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Sunex SX545B Review

Designed for close-quarter applications such as drilling between drywall slats and in confined cabinets — the pneumatic Sunex SX545B right angle drill is a worthwhile tool for the DIYer.

With a 0.5 horsepower motor, this machine delivers 1600 rpm — suitable for most home boring and driving projects, although it may be insufficient for trade pros. That said, with its affordable price point, it could function as a secondary backup machine for contractors.

A 0.375-inch keyed chuck promises solid bit clamping, while its reversing valve ensures guarded bit withdrawal — shielding against accidental rips and tears of woods and metals.

Needing just 90 psi at 4 CFM, this pneumatic drill doesn’t require a behemoth of a compressor. And, with a rear-mounted substantial throttle lever, you can effortlessly step up and down the output speed — without suffering finger fatigue on larger projects.

Knurling on the metal casing should elevate grip — heightening accuracy and precision. Furthermore, with an output level of 94 dBA, it’s easy on the ears.

That said, overall, it’s a basic right-angle drill. The unit doesn’t include any accessories — apart from the chuck key — it’s low on torque, and will struggle with wet timber or thick metal sheeting.

This pneumatic machine arrives from the Sunex stable — a US-based company with 40 years of experience in air-powered tools. The SX 545B is the brand’s only entry into the right-angle drill category.

Pros:

N
Low price point.
N
Straightforward operation.
N
Minimal compressor requirement.
N
Standard 0.375-inch keyed chuck.
N
Reverse feature.

Cons:

N
Low on torque and speed.
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No accessories.
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Unsuitable for dense materials.

Features and Benefits of the Sunex SX545B Reversible Right Angle Air Drill


Ideal for close-quarter applications, the SX545B Sunex right angle drill is a suitable unit for DIYers and air-powered newbies — or trade pros looking for a second machine.

Here are its key features:

Keyed Chuck 0.375-Inch


Featuring a right-angle pneumatic industry-standard 0.375-inch chuck head — this unit is suitable for typical wood, plastic, and MDF applications.

Tightened via an included key — it offers greater bit stability and security than its keyless counterparts. A useful characteristic if you’re boring into dense materials where bit blockage could be an issue.

Low Air Requirement


Although air-powered — the SX 545B doesn’t require an absolute monster compressor.

With a demand of 90 psi at 4 CFM, this right-angle unit will run off most consumer-grade home compressors — making it ideal for the amateur user.

That said, if you don’t already own a pneumatic powerhouse, purchasing one specifically to use this machine can make it a pricey option. In those circumstances, I suggest checking out a corded model instead.

Variable Speed Throttle Lever


A particularly appealing feature of the Sunex SX5 45B drill is the throttle lever.

Rear-mounted on the handle, this veritable drill gas pedal fits neatly into the palm of your hand — permitting you to adjust the variable velocity output through gradual squeezing.

Large and substantial, it eliminates any chance of digit fatigue — which may be of interest if your projects include time extensive use.

Reversible Chuck


The Sunex Right Angle SX545B incorporates a quick-switch reverse valve — allowing you to run the chuck head backward. This can be especially useful for safe and careful bit removal — ensuring you don’t damage the boring end while shielding against accidental wood or plastic splitting.

1600 RPM


Knocking out 0.5 horsepower, the Sunex drill delivers 1600 rpm — at best, this can be described as, well, steady.

One of the least rapid right-angle drills on the market, this could be something of a downer for contractors — where timely completion of projects is crucial financially and to ensure customer satisfaction.

That said, for the home user, it should be perfectly adequate for DIY applications. And, featuring a ball-bearing operated head — it promises consistently smooth rotations with low jamming.

Substantial Build


If you enjoy the feeling created by sliding your fingers around a thick and mighty tool — the Sunex SX 545B may appeal.

Weighing in at nearly three pounds, this is one of the heftier machines in the right-angle pneumatic category — offering reassuring bulk that feels robust and durable.

On the other hand, for trade-pros, this could be a limitation, the high mass may become tough on the wrist and hands when utilized for extensive periods.

Textured Handle


When you’re working in close-quarter and confined spaces — you need the reassurance of a reliable grip. These locations can make precise drilling challenging — which is why I welcome the textured handle.

Molded into the metal casing, deep knurling elevates traction, allowing for more accurate control and helping to shield against slippage. However, when operated with heavily perspiring hands, I suggest that it may be somewhat insufficient — with a rubberized grip as featured on competitor models being more practical.

Noise Output


Relatively speaking, the noise output of the Sunex Pneumatic SX545B is fairly modest — at 94 dBa, the sound level is around that of a standard home lawnmower. Which, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), should allow you to operate the drill for one hour — with no risk of damaging your hearing.

That said, also remember you need to take into account the additional volume of your pneumatic compressor. And, naturally, wear ear protection at all times.

Warranty


The unit comes with a manufacturer’s one-year warranty. While welcome, it’s the minimum industry standard required under US regulations.

Accessories


The Sunex SX 545B arrives with a chuck key. That’s it.

There are no connectors, air hoses, wrenches, oil, or cleaning kits. Hence, if this machine is to be your initial entry into the pneumatic drilling market — bear in mind you will need these crucial accessories in addition to a 90 psi capable compressor.

Sunex SX545B 3/8-Inch Reversible Right Angle Air Drill Specifications

 Sunex SX545B
Weight2.87 pounds
Chuck0.375-inch keyed
Maximum Speed1600 rpm
Sound Level94 dBa
Compressor Requirement90 psi at 4 CFM
Air Hose Inlet0.25-inch NPT
Dimensions9.5 x 5.5 x 1.88 inches
Motor0.5 horsepower
WarrantyOne year

What Do Users Say?


For me, the Sunex Pneumatic Right Angle SX545B is a suitable confined-space drill for the DIYer or as a redundancy tool for the trade contractor.

However, as I’m not using this unit on a frequent basis, I considered it valuable to explore owner opinions of the machine — to fully understand how this drill functions in real workshop situations.

Reassuringly, the judgments expressed by users of the SX 545B were generally positive — mirroring my own feelings.

Guys using this right angle drill welcomed its reversible chuck, praised its consumer-size compressor compatibility, and applauded its substantial rear-mounted throttle lever.

That said, not everyone was gushing with compliments.

A few trade-pros remarked that the machine lacked the torque and speed for hardcore contractor projects. Furthermore, a couple of owners criticized the textured handle — considering it insufficient to promote a secure grip in dirty, dusty, and wet, work-site conditions.

Overall, however, the majority of users concurred that the Sunex Right Angle Pneumatic SX545B was an affordable unit that would suit DIY or casual use.

Alternatives


If this SX545B review has left you less than impressed with the tool — stick with me.

As I understand that this unit isn’t suitable for all ardent pneumatic drill users, I’ve sourced some credible alternatives that may be more applicable to you or your project’s demands.

If you’re looking for a pneumatic right-angle drill — yet consider the Sunex lacks the hardcore contractor torque required by your work — this tool from the respected Chicago Pneumatic stable could be the answer.

Knocking out 175 pounds-per-square-inch of pure brawn, the CP879 will effortlessly drive through dense hardwoods and thick metals — materials on which the Sunex will struggle. And, providing 1800 rpm, it’s a faster unit than the SX545B.

  • Significantly harder on the bank balance than the Sunex.
  • At 2.25 pounds, it’s lighter than the 2.87-pound SX 545B.
  • One-year warranty — the same as the Sunex.
Should you be a casual right-angle drill user — you don’t want your new machine to put any stress on your wallet. This budget tool from Central Pneumatic delivers functionality but at a lower price point than the Sunex.

Like the SX545 B, the CP69495 boasts a 0.375-inch chuck, reversible drive, and a 4 CFM/90 psi compressor requirement. However, knocking out 1800 rpm, it’s a more rapid machine than the Sunex.

  • Slightly lighter than the SX545B.
  • Rear-mounted throttle — similar to the Sunex model.
  • More compact size than the Sunex Right Angle SX545B.
Chasing an affordable and newbie-friendly right angle pneumatic drill — but disappointed that the SX545B lacks any accessories for the beginner user? If so, I may have the solution.

The FAT38AD from Freeman offers comparable features to the Sunex — 0.375-inch keyed chuck, 0.25-inch NPT fittings, and a throttle lever. However, in addition to the tool, you also receive two quick-fit connectors, a wrench, and gear oil.

  • Faster than the SX545B — 15000 rpm as opposed to 1600 rpm.
  • At 1.6 pounds — it’s significantly lighter than the Sunex.
  • Seven-year warranty — in comparison to the one-year of the SX 545B drill.

Conclusion


Affordable and with a robust build — the Sunex Pneumatic Right Angle SX5 45B is a perfectly satisfactory unit for the DIYer or a trade-pro backup machine.

Its 0.375-inch keyed chuck provides reassuring bit stability, while its palm-operated throttle lever promises stamina-enhancing speed control. A low pneumatic air requirement means it will run off home-style compressors, and its textured casing should elevate handgrip.

Sure, it’s not going to set the right angle drill category alight — it lacks any novel features, arrives with no accessories, and has a low chuck velocity.

However, if you’re seeking a casual use unit for intermittent close quarter work between joists or inside cabinets — take a look at the Sunex SX545B.

Sunex Right Angle Air Powered SX545B FAQs

Q: Where Can I Buy Sunex Pneumatic Right Angle SX545B?

The SX54 5B from Sunex is a 1600 rpm pneumatic drill that features a reversible 0.375-inch chuck and variable speed throttle lever. You can get your hands on this machine here.

Q: Are Sunex Tools Made In the USA?

The official Sunex website states that many of its tools are manufactured in the USA with foreign components.

That said, the pneumatic right-angle SX545B is made in Taiwan.

Q: Where Can I Find the SX545B Pneumatic Drill Manual?

Surprisingly, the official Sunex website doesn’t offer copies of its tools instruction guides online. However, you can access the SX545B manual by clicking here.

Q: How Big Compressor for the SX545B?

The right angle pneumatic SX5 45B drill from Sunex has a relatively low-pressure requirement — just 90 psi at 4 CFM.

This means that this unit will comfortably run off small, garage-style compressors.

Q: What Air Hose for the Sunex Pneumatic SX545B?

The SX545 B from Sunex requires a 0.25-inch NPT air hose coupling — a standard size for right angle pneumatic drills.

Q: Can I Use the SX545B as a Wrench?

You could try — but you will be disappointed.

With low torque, this unit is only capable of driving screws into medium or low-density wood. It lacks the power to be operated as a wrench on bolts.

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