When it comes to self-care, there is nothing more relaxing than a good massage. Massage guns are one of the best ways to get a Massage at home or where ever you are, whenever you want, all by yourself.
Although Massage Guns come at many different prices, not all massage guns are created equal in quality.
So, what makes one massage gun better than another?
With so many out there, it can be difficult to decide which one is best.
If you buy the wrong massage gun, you might as well throw it away because chances are you won’t get much use out of it.
I have used over 20 different types of massage guns in my career and here’s what I’ve found:
In this article, we will go over what you should look for when evaluating a massage gun (the top 5 things!), as well as some considerations about the price that may help you decide which brand is right for you.
What Exactly are Massage Guns and How DO They Work?
A massage gun is a small, hand-held deep tissue manipulation device that uses a combination of percussion and vibration therapy to help relieve pain, stiffness, and soreness in muscles.
A massage gun works by swinging the nylon (or foam) head over the skin at varying speeds punching your muscles in order to create penetration which in turn results in increased blood flow and relaxation for muscles.
Some Benefits For Using a Massage Gun.
- Massage guns are portable and convenient.
- They can be used to massage almost any parts of the body.
- They can help users avoid injuring themselves by not having to apply too much pressure or use their hands at all(edit required).
5 Things to Look Before Buying A Massage Gun
Now, there are a ton of massage guns in the market with different sets of features, and It can be a bit intimidating especially for someone deciding to buy a massage gun for the first time.
But realistically speaking there are only 5 important things that you need to know before you purchase any Massage Gun.
1. Massage Gun Power:
The most important thing in a massage gun is Power. What does this power mean?
When we talk about massage gun power, we’re referring to three things – how fast the head oscillates, how far the head attachment travels with each revolution of the gun and how much pressure can be applied to the body.
To keep things simple, a massage gun’s percussion is composed of three main components:
- Speed (measured in revolutions per minute, or RPM)
- Stroke Length or Amplitude (how far does the head attachment travel with each revolution)
- Stall Force (the amount of pressure that can be applied to the body)
Still not clear? Let’s go through them one by one –
Let’s talk about speed first.
Massage gun speed is determined by how many times the massager’s head strikes the body per minute. In most cases, this is expressed as RPM or revolutions per minute.
Thus, 2400rpm means your body is struck 39 times every second by the device.
A massage is a very personal experience. Not everyone enjoys getting a massage in the same way. Some prefer a soft, gentle, and relaxing massage but others aren’t satisfied unless they get a vigorous, muscular massage.
The versatility of a variable-speed massage gun gives you the option to choose the speed that suits you best.
The majority of devices in the market have 2-5 variable speeds. HYDRAGUN has 6 although the Theragun G3 has 2 and the Ekrin B37 has 5. This allows you to customize the massage experience every time.
As we discussed earlier, the amplitude or stroke length is the depth at which the massage heads go. With higher amplitudes, the gun will “punch” harder, causing a deeper massage. A lower amplitude indicates a lighter, gentler and shallower massage.
Stroke length or Amplitude is usually measured in millimeters and typically ranges from 6mm to 16mm.
If someone has a low tolerance for pain and they need to use the massage gun on their back or neck area then it should have less amplitude.
Generally, 10-12mm is a good choice for most people because it provides a balance between ease of relaxation and relief of tight knots.
The stroke length of 16mm may be the most effective for athletes or those with extremely muscular bodies; however, it is too intense for the average user.
Finally, we have the stall force.
Stall Force is the amount of pressure needed to stop a motor. In terms of massage guns, this is probably the biggest deciding factor.
Professional athletes or those with very muscular bodies will find it useful to press deeper into their bodies with the massage gun to target deep knots.
An excessive stall force may be uncomfortable for older or less built users or for people with sore or tender muscles. Consider a device with a stall force that is appropriate for your specific use case. The power and general usability of the 40-45lbs stall force is a good compromise.
If you are extremely built, moving up to 60lbs of stall force might be beneficial, but it may also be too intense for others.
The majority of knockoff or off-brand products cut costs in the motor, resulting in a 25-35lb stall force. It is primarily suitable for older or less built individuals.
It is also challenging to gather actual data. While some companies report higher numbers, but don’t match in using it. Do not worry we Massage Gear Advisor write everything after testing
|25-35 lbs||35-50 lbs||55+ lbs|
|For Soft Massage||Moderately intense massage||Highly intense massage|
|Best for older or less built individuals||Most Recommended for Regular Users||Best for Athletes or those with very muscular bodies|
2. Massage Gun Design
Massage guns are available in a variety of designs, so you’ll see they come in a range of styles. The appearance varies from power tool-like to sleek and modern. Some have handles, while others are held by batteries.
While aesthetics are an important part of making a massage gun attractive, other factors also play an important role in massage satisfaction.
Do you think reaching your own middle back would be possible if you wanted to? Many massage guns have long handles that make it much easier to get those hard-to-reach places.
Some brands are made from composite plastic, which makes them stronger, but they are also heavier. When you’ve worked out for an hour and lifted weights, using a bulky, vibrating massage gun can be uncomfortable.
Massagers come in a variety of weights, with some being heavier and others being lighter. They vary between two to fourteen pounds. The weight will affect how much force the massager delivers during each swing to your skin.
From my experience, I recommend you to buy a massage gun less than 1.5kg or 3.5lbs. It is easy to use and you can easily travel with it.
Though you might overlook them, they can fundamentally change your massage experience. In other words, the more attachments you get, the better the therapy will be. Most massage guns come with at least four attachments.
Massage guns should have an ergonomically designed handle so it feels natural when being held with both hands. This will help avoid any pain or tension headaches after prolonged usage.
Massage guns are typically made of plastic, so the handles don’t offer much protection against vibrations caused by the gun. Massage guns are a one size fits all type of approach so it is important to make sure that the gun you purchase can fit your needs.
A long-handled massage gun may not work as well for someone with a short height or vice versa. For me (I’m about six feet tall), I prefer the more ergonomic style because they have shorter handles and require less movement on my end while providing maximum mobility.
Some of our team members prefer a longer handle. The combination of the longer handle and swivel head enables you to reach your entire body.
Moreover, it allows you to treat different muscle groups in different ways.
With the easy-grip design, you can massage hard-to-reach areas easily, which saves your hand and wrist from strain.
In the end, it depends on what you prefer.
In the past, massage guns have been infamous for their loudness and obnoxiousness. In addition, many people found them inconvenient when traveling frequently and were hesitant to use them at home.
Modern massage guns are designed to be quiet enough to be used not only in private spaces but also in public places like spas or hotels.
Nevertheless, you need to check just how much noise a massage gun makes before you buy one because you wouldn’t want something that makes such a racket.
Due to the crucial role of noise, we recommend try to buy massage gun below 70 dB.
Most of the massage guns came with a case while some do not. Carrying cases are great for traveling and storing.
I love to travel a lot so maximum the time I just throw my massage in my bag. However, it is convenient to have a specific place to store all the attachments.
You don’t need a lot of attachments. Even if you only had one, you’d get the job done, but the more the merrier.
Power Cord Length:
This determines how far away from an outlet you can use it without having to unplug or relocate it every time you want to switch spots on yourself.
Long cords are preferable because they give more flexibility when using a massage gun while sitting up or lying down on the ground/mattress – but be aware that longer cords also mean increased cord drag when moving around (especially if someone is assisting).
If this is not something you anticipate needing then consider purchasing a device without a cord.
3. Battery Life
Nowadays most massage guns are cordless and run on rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. When used at full speeds, their battery life is typically around 2 hours.
Some of the most expensive massage guns have a battery life of only 60 minutes.
It is usually sufficient for a single user to have a battery life of 45 minutes to an hour. This is the ideal length of time to complete a full body treatment in one continuous session.
In certain situations, however, longer battery life will be handy, such as when you need three or four hours of battery life.
You don’t have to keep charging your massage gun all the time. If you are traveling and do not have access to an immediate power outlet, it is easier to use this option. Who would want to worry that their massage gun runs out of battery all the time?
From my experience, I recommended a massage gun with 3-hour battery life. If you use it 20-30 minutes per day the device would last more than a week between charges.
The most important thing about this feature is that it assures you don’t have to constantly check to see if your device is fully charged before taking it somewhere.
Even though you’re most likely to use your deep tissue massage gun at home, there are times when you might want to take it with you while traveling or even at workouts. Here, portability becomes an important factor. So you should look out for casing, weights, noise, and battery life.
According to our research, most massage guns weigh in at about 2.5-3lbs. A heavier gun may become difficult to carry and harder to operate.
All Massage guns aren’t of the same quality. You may not even be getting the best quality product if you are purchasing the most expensive item. Check out the warranty before buying a massage gun.
Yes; in terms of reliability, a warranty is a good sign. However, many people don’t realize that the warranty is only as good as the company that honors it.
After checking more than 50 massage guns I found that the typical warranty period is 1 – 2 years.
Companies offering enticing warranties for 5 years, or even lifetimes are likely to disappear after getting your business. It is also common for them to hide expensive fees in their warranty policy, making claims more trouble than it is worth. As a result, the warranty is essentially worthless.
Remember, a warranty is only as good as the company that provides it.
A good-quality massage gun will have features like an ergonomic grip, variable speed control, and a safety switch. It should also be lightweight and easy to use. If the device is too heavy or bulky it can cause pain in your hands after prolonged use.
When choosing your device, make sure that it comes from a reputable brand that offers a strong warranty. If you plan to use the device for a long time, make sure it is quiet and has a long-lasting battery.
It is impossible to overemphasize ergonomics – the ability to treat your entire body with ease and a swivel head will deliver an unparalleled experience. Make sure the product you’re buying will actually work!
Your stroke length and stall force should be determined based on your needs. We hope this simple guide helped you make a good decision.
Ayaz is the co-founder of Massage Gear Advisor and manages SEO and web publishing. Traveling is one of his favorite things to do and he always keeps a massage gun around. Over the years Ayaz has tried over 20 different types of massage guns and is in love with them.