Massage guns are all the rage right now. You’ve probably seen the slow-motion videos of the rippling skin as the massage gun percusses the muscles.
They’re polarizing for sure. This form of percussive therapy is no doubt a great way to expedite muscle recovery, but what makes a great massage gun? With a flooded market, it might be difficult to decide which massage gun is best.
Below are the 5 things to look for when buying a massage gun including, power, portability, design, battery life, and warranty.
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Must-have Massage Gun Features
1. Massage Gun Power
When we say massage gun power, we’re referring to two things: how fast the head oscillates and the massage gun amplitude or depth at which the head moves. These two factors matter because it will dictate the overall comfort level of the massage.
So let’s start with the speed. A massage is very personal. Some like it very soft and gentle, while others prefer a proverbial beating of the muscles. Choosing a massage gun with variable speeds allows you to select the speed that works for you. Most units on the market do have 2-5 variable speeds. The Theragun G3, for instance, has 2 while the Ekrin B37 has 5. Having more speeds simply allows you to dial in a comfort level that suits you.
As mentioned, massage gun amplitude refers to the depth at which the massage head travels. In other words, it’s the difference between a light and deep massage. The further the massage head travels (usually in millimeters), the more force it applies to the muscles. Check out the video below.
We’ll assume, for the most part, you will likely use your massage gun either at home or at the gym. However, if you plan on totting it around town or traveling with it, portability should be a consideration.
The large majority of massage guns sold come with a case. Some do not. The benefits of a case are obvious. For one, it’s easier to carry. Two, you’re less likely to lose your attachments.
We have found that many of the massage guns weigh in at about 2-2.5lbs. Any heavier and it might become a burden to not just carry, but use as well.
From our Buyer’s Guide, you’ll notice that massage guns run the gamut of different design. Some have handles, others are held by the battery. Some are modern and sleek, while others maintain a more utilitarian design.
Whatever your preference, it’s important to choose one that meets your needs. Small details like the placement of the handles and power button can suit you differently.
If you know you want to reach the middle of your own back, will that be achievable? The Purewave CM-07, for instance, has a long handle that makes it mush easier to get those hard to reach places. Or theÂ Pulse FX massager has an adjustable, 3 position rotating head for different angles.
4. Battery Life
With the few exceptions, most massage guns are cordless and come with Lithium-ion batteries. From our tests, a 2-3 hour battery life is about average when used at full-speed.
Although it’s a phenomenal massager, the Theragun G3 only offers a paltry 60 minutes of battery life. Conversely, the ReAthlete DEEP4s offers up to 4 hours on high and an astounding 8 hours if used on low!
If you’re like us, you hate battery life anxiety. We don’t want to worry about a device running dry on juice and we don’t want to be tied to a wall socket.
From our experience, the quality of massage guns can vary quite a bit. In some cases, more expensive models did not necessarily mean better quality. For that reason, before investing in a massage gun, look at the warranty.
Most companies do offer a 1 year warranty, but is it from a reputable company? What do other reviewers say? Is their customer service responsive to buyer’s complaints? Heck, check their social media feeds. Those are pretty telling of what sort of response you’ll get if your beloved massage gun ever fails. A warranty is only as good as the company that offers it.
For more helpful tips, be sure to check out our Massage Gun Buyer’s Guide.