The TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun
This is TriggerPoint’s first foray into the massage gun market. Does their freshman attempt keep up with the seniors? We went hands-on to find out.
TriggerPoint has long been the innovative lead when it comes to designing smart recovery tools to keep you moving. To solidify that lead, they released the Impact massage gun at the end of 2019.
Like its counterparts, the Impact shares many of the same meaningful features: a quiet brushless motor, great ergonomic design, and delivers an acceptable amount of percussive power.
Surprisingly, however, TriggerPoint made some potentially deal-breaking concessions too. Are they enough to have you looking elsewhere? Let’s find out.
Let’s start by considering the TriggerPoint Impact’s overall design. Unlike the many, and we mean MANY massage guns out there, the Impact is genuinely unique.
You might not see it this way, but to us its form factor is reminiscent of a Brachiosaurus’ head. Hey, wildly overactive imagination or not, it’s hard to deny once the seed is planted, right?
Moving along now.
The Impact is fairly comfortable to hold and operate. Thanks to the angled handle, your grip feels more natural while targeting different areas of the body.
For the most part we liked the design, but there are three glaring caveats you should know about:
1. Weight distribution
Although the TriggerPoint Impact massage gun weighs in at a paltry 2.4lbs, the majority of that weight is concentrated in the upper part of the body. Without an even distribution of weight, the top heaviness tends to fatigue your arms and wrist faster while using.
That said, one reviewer commented that she preferred it that way because she felt the extra weight allowed the massage head to apply added downward pressure. Your preference may vary.
For us, nothing says “cheap massage gun” like uneven, gaping seams. We understand, with a poly-carbonate plastic body, seams are inevitable. While most other manufacturers have done a respectable job minimizing their appearance, the Impact is clearly sandwiched together straight down the middle.
It’s almost a non issue if it weren’t for those seams extending down through the handle. When you hold the Impact, there’s an ever so slight, mild irritation in the palm of your hand and the tips of your fingers from the adjoining plastic edges.
It’s almost imperceptible, but since people are basing their buying decisions on reviews like this one, we feel it worth mentioning.
3. Short Massage Head
The third and final design flaw is the short massage head. That’s it, it’s just too short. Unlike other massage guns with an extension of the body, we found using the massage gun in tighter quarters to be problematic.
For instance, using the TriggerPoint Impact on our trapezius muscles requires you to awkwardly maneuver it as to not hit yourself in the head with the top part of the body casing. See what we mean below.
Again, a minor gripe.
We’re afraid at this point it has been all doom and gloom for the TriggerPoint Impact. We assure you, we’re being ultra particular and most folks won’t even notice most of what we consider “flaws”.
So let’s talk about what makes this thing tick.
Inside the Impact you’ll find a very quiet, 4-speed brushless motor that goes up to 3300RPM. And when we say quiet, we mean it. It’s perhaps the quietest full-size percussion massage gun that we’ve ever tested. The Medcursor is extremely quiet too, but technically considered a mini massage gun.
TriggerPoint does not list the stall force or amplitude of their massage head on their website, so we are unable to confirm those details. We can say that it has plenty of power in most scenarios. If you’re looking for something with a very deep massage, this one might not make the cut. You would be better served by the LifePro Pulse FX in that regard.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated at 2600mAh and promises up to 2+ hours of continuous massage. We assume that means continuous use on the highest setting. Dial it back a little and you should have plenty of power to get you through multiple massage sessions without the need to power up again.
In The Box
When you open the box for the first time, you’re not going to find a lot of extra accessories and attachments. Nope, the TriggerPoint Impulse only comes with some instructions and a charger. That’s it.
No case. No extra attachment heads. In fact, unlike most other massage guns on the market, the Impact does not have an interchangeable massage head. You’re stuck with the one already attached, but we don’t think you’ll mind too much.
The massage head is equipped with a dense rubber tip that has just enough bounce and give, that we found it comfortable to use almost anywhere. In truth, we ourselves typically stick to one massage head the majority of the time anyways.
If having multiple attachments is an important criteria, the Impact is simply not for you.
The warranty is one area where the Impact might have a leg up on the competition. Despite being made in China, TriggerPoint is a US based company. Should the Impact fail within the first year, you’re much more likely to receive warranty support.
Cheap massage guns are plentiful online, but how many companies will stand behind their product? Your attempt to save a buck could come back to bite you if something breaks.
The TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun Vs The Competition
Outright not recommending the TriggerPoint Impact hardly seems fair. On its own, it’s actually a very nice massage gun and does exactly what it’s supposed to in a very effective manner.
In fact, based on buyer reviews, the majority of buyers are extremely happy with it.
Here’s what one person had to say: “I don’t have anything to compare this to because I’ve never tried a massage gun before. With that said I decided on this one because the price point is fantastic… I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet is is! It feels great (and I am a massage therapist!). The size is perfect, easy to hold and love that I can use it with both hands. I don’t need multiple heads to change out-this one is great. Love it.”
But when comparing it to what else is available, it becomes a more complicated affair.
Let’s start with the power. Although the motor reportedly churns out percussions at 3300RPM, compared to the Ekrin B37 with a max RPM of 3200, it’s not nearly as strong.
Also, we would have appreciated the option of having more attachment heads. Every massage gun on the market has detachable heads, even the more expensive Hypervolt. Although one may suffice, the omission leaves us wanting.
And lastly, a carrying case. If you’re going to cut corners when it comes to the options, why not throw us a bone and offer a carrying case? Cutting corners and cutting costs we suppose.
The bottom line is this: At $199, the TriggerPoint Impact massage gun is perfectly acceptable. If you had nothing to compare it to, you’d have zero regrets buying it.