If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’ve heard of massage guns, but are not sure which one will be most suitable for your needs.
You’re not alone.
Every month, new brands rise and fall in the massage gun space, each promising to one-up the others in strength, speed or price.
This can be highly overwhelming for the average consumer.
In this article, we’ll try to distill what truly matters in a massage gun, and hopefully provide you with the necessary knowledge and tools needed to make an informed purchase decision.
While massage guns are often jam-packed with features, add-ons and attachments, the things that truly matter are price, strength of massage, quietness and durability.
Let’s dive deeper into each of these.
Price is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider in any purchase decision.
But one of the most common mistakes that people tend to make is assuming that all massage guns are about the same.
After all, most of them have the same basic features and utilize the same percussive motion to give their users a percussion massage. Right?
Wrong. This could not be further from the truth.
Let’s consider other 3 important factors, and do a proper comparison between the Hydragun and cheap knockoff guns, before you jump the gun.
This way, whether you buy from us or not, you’ll still be still equipped with the right knowledge to make a good purchase decision — one that will not fill you up with buyer’s remorse.
This factor should be quite obvious to many, but is often overlooked.
The entire point of buying a massage gun is that it should be able to provide pain relief and relief from muscle soreness.
In order to do so, it needs to be able to provide a sufficiently deep and strong massage. In contrast, using a poorly built massage gun would be akin to using a vibrator that merely vibrates on the surface of your skin and tickles you — the equivalent of a massage therapist caressing your skin and not pressing deep enough into your body to relieve pain.
We’re talking deep-tissue massages here, not ticklish ones
There are 3 metrics to keep an eye on, when trying to decipher the true strength of a massage gun. They are amplitude, stall force, and speed.
The higher the amplitude, the deeper the massage gun pushes into the muscle tissue. And the reality is that most cheap knockoff guns have very shallow amplitudes, and they lack the oomph that many of us are looking for when trying to get pain and soreness relief.
Higher amplitudes are essential for massage guns to dig deep into muscle tissue, releasing knots and tension, stimulating muscle recovery and promoting blood circulation.
The Hydragun has an amplitude of 12mm, whereas many cheap massage guns tend to have amplitudes ranging between 8-10 mm.
Stall force refers to the amount of pressure that a massage gun can withstand, before the motor loses power or stalls completely. It is another key factor in determining how deep of a massage one can get from a massage gun.
With many of the cheap knockoff guns, they tend to stall whenever one presses deeply into the muscles, especially the larger ones such as the thighs or back.
The Hydragun has a stall force of around 18 kg (40 lb), while many of these other guns have stall forces ranging between 7-13 kg (15-30 lb).
The frequency or speed of a massage gun is typically measured in percussions-per-minute (PPM). A massage gun with a higher speed will tend to provide a more intense massage.
The Hydragun has a maximum speed of 3200 PPM, while many cheap massage guns have maximum speeds ranging from 1500-3000 PPM.
Unfortunately, many cheap massage gun manufacturers make false claims about the specifications of their product in their listings.
When HYDRAGUN was first founded, our product team tested dozens of massage guns in the market before developing the Hydragun.
We found that the majority of the cheaper knockoffs were nowhere near as strong as they claimed to be. So be cautious while selecting the perfect massage gun for your needs. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If a massage gun has a speed of 3200 PPM, a stall force of 20 kg, an amplitude of 15 mm and a battery life of 10 hours, all while costing just A$99, it is probably not true to specs.
The amount of noise that a massage gun produces when it is being used, is probably the most overlooked factor that one should actually consider.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing a massage at a spa with overly chatty massage therapists, or with nearby renovation and construction works, it’s very unlikely that you were able to fully relax and enjoy yourself.
The same logic absolutely applies while selecting a massage gun.
In fact, many massage guns can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner (around 70dB) — not a very pleasant noise to have next to your head while you’re working on the knots in your shoulders and neck.
Also, customer surveys tell us that most people use their massage guns while performing secondary tasks such as watching television, having a conversation with a family member or friend, or during those boring Zoom conference calls with 20+ people
I have actually used my Hydragun during Zoom conference calls!
And having a massage gun that is quiet allows you to focus on the other task at hand without being a complete distraction.
That’s why we built the Hydragun with a quiet, high-efficiency SmoothDrive™ digital motor, ultra-low-friction components like a Niflon-coated seamless steel barrel, and a noise- and vibration-dampening aluminium exterior.
The Hydragun operates at a soft, low hum ranging between 30-50 dB, while most other massage gun brands have noise levels ranging between 60-80 dB.
What good is a product that is cheaply priced, but breaks down within a short period of time?
Back in the 1990s and 2000s, a huge portion of school kids from Singapore bought their school shoes from BATA, a Czech multinational footwear brand.
For readers who are outside Europe and Asia, BATA is actually the world’s largest shoemaker by volume, with a presence in 70 countries, 5000 stores, and over 100 years of history in shoemaking.
The brand was extremely popular as they sold very affordably priced shoes and were typically the first choice of parents who preferred to save money.
However, this low sticker price came at a cost — poor quality. The soles of BATA shoes would often split apart, or the velcro straps would come off after only a year of use.
Eventually, people started associating the highly negative backronym “Buy And Throw Away” with BATA. So much so that the brand had to undergo a huge rebranding campaign and work towards increasing product quality to try and rid itself of this negative public perception.
Cheap knockoff massage guns are usually built with low quality plastic casings, weak motors and batteries and shoddy circuitry, resulting in a product that will often not last past the second month.
Manufacturers who sell at ultra-low prices are forced to scrimp on internal components, or to cut corners during the manufacturing process, resulting in hastily and carelessly assembled devices and a high product defect rate.
And it makes complete sense — it is just not economically viable to create a quality massage gun at these low prices while still turning a profit.
Here are some of the common complaints we hear from reviewers who have used these cheaper massage guns:
attachment heads crumbling, breaking, or falling off when the gun is used at high speeds;
the battery no longer holding a charge after several uses;
the device simply breaking down and failing to turn on after a time;
rattling noises as a result of internal components shaking loose;
the battery overheating and, in some cases, even catching on fire during charging or while in use (some examples include a cheap $60 massage gun sold by American retail giant Costco, which caused several fires and prompted a product recall of over 12,000 units, and a $99 massage gun sold by major Australian retailers Kogan and Dick Smith which was also recalled due to the fire hazard);
the device producing a burnt plastic smell during use (which can be highly toxic and damaging to eye, nose, throat and lung tissue even in small amounts).
Overheating and the smell of burning plastic from poor heat
management are common problems in cheaper massage guns
If you buy a cheap knockoff massage gun which breaks down only after 2-3 months of usage, is it truly cheaper than a more well-built massage gun?
Add this to the fact that the experience of using one is significantly inferior, and that you would have to go through the trouble of constantly reordering and receiving the delivery for each gun, and the concept of “buy and throw away” does not seem to be the wisest option out there.
When thinking about which massage gun to get, know that cheaper massage guns may not only cost more in the long run if they do break down and you have to replace them, but they may also come with time, health and environmental costs as well.
Contrast this with HYDRAGUN’s offer:
A sleek, durable product that comes in an aerospace-grade aluminium casing, which provides superior heat-dissipation to protect the motor and battery
A truly risk free 30-day money-back guarantee, with no return shipping or restocking fee
A 1.5 year warranty
A strong, durable battery that can last for up to 6 hours (1-3 months of usage, assuming average usage of 2-6 times per week)
There are many other factors you can consider when selecting the right massage gun for your needs. These include the availability of different attachment heads, dimensions, speed settings, carrying case and more.
However, a good massage gun mostly boils down to the 3 things that we’ve highlighted:
Strength of massage
Durability, Warranty & Guarantee
And each of these are just not worth compromising for the sake of saving money.
Senior Content Writer
HYDRAGUN is a direct-to-consumer brand on a mission to make world-class massage guns available at a fair price. Here’s what others are saying about the Hydragun:
"With 97% five-star reviews, most HYDRAGUN users are wildly impressed with the performance and lack of noise. “Very impressed. Love using it and love how quiet it is. Great for after training soreness [and] recovery. Would (& have) recommend to anyone.”
"weighs less than 2.3 pounds and gives you superb percussive therapy and ease of use, thanks to the ergonomic 90-degree handle that helps you reach your shoulders, neck, and back sans struggle... only 30 to 60 decibels of noise while in use (that means it’s quieter than a fridge and some laptops). It also looks damn nice with an aerospace-grade aluminum chassis and a nanosilicone-wrapped handle."
"[A] versatile tool... to speed up warm ups or to provide targeted treatment to tight and sore muscles, whether for a 10-minute light recovery or more intensive post-workout relief. Thoughtfully designed, the “head” of the Hydragun is crafted from a sleek, seamless steel barrel coated in Niflon for increased stability and reduced friction for a smoother, quieter experience."
"Compared to other muscle guns it is definitely one of the best, if not the best. It will definitely cater to almost everyone."
“Best mid-range massage gun: When it comes to mid-range value, we can't go past this one. It comes with six attachments and has a huge six-hour battery life. It's made from sturdy aluminium and the aesthetically minded will also appreciate its elegant, minimal style.”
If you’re considering a Hydragun, check out what some of our highly satisfied customers and reviewers have to say.
"I have tried few cheap brands and it doesn’t give me the oomph. Tried this magical baby and wow...instant relief. Of cos i got to bribe my nephew to massage my back...money well spend. My lovely mum is so afraid to use this on me :). I have recommended a friend to use this product and he loved it. Will give another colleague this as a farewell gift."
"The Hydragun is very quiet, light weight, has excellent battery life and is a very sturdy product. It’s at a fair price point and is highly recommend! Definitely one of my favorite items in the market!"
"Hydragun is amazing. I've tried cheaper massage guns before but nothing compares to this one. It's powerful and super easy to use. Battery lasts very long. Makes huge difference when you use it after workouts to release muscle tension. Great service and fast delivery too!"
"After having used a Cheap china made massage gun, i wasn't happy with the overall result. That is when i heard about the Hydragun and my trainers at the Gym were full of praise for it. Having tested it at the gym, i was convinced this is the Gun that i needed. It's light weight, no noise, comfortable to use and my muscle recovery has seen new heights. Absolute value for money, the battery lasts longer and the speed / power mode is absolutely fantastic. Great value for money and i would recommend this to anyone who is looking to invest in a massage gun."
"Simply amazing product! My wife simply loves it, as it soothes away the aches and pains from her gym workout. This is the real deal! Don't bother with the cheap ones in the market(I have one. Hehe). The hydragun works so silently and effectively! I'm glad I took the leap."
The pressure is amazing
"People told me, massage gun that cost 50 works the same as 500. However after trying out the massage gun from my chiropractor, no they are not even close.After doing my research, hydragun is the most balance in terms of cost and functionality.The casing provided is a plus compared to other brands."
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