Are you ready to buy a Massage Gun now? If so, read on to find out more about what you need to take into consideration before picking the ideal Massage Gun for your own needs.
First of all, it is important to acknowledge the fact that there is no one perfect massage gun that stands far above the rest. Different Massage Guns come with different unique selling points, and there are trade-offs when it comes to the design and manufacturing of a Massage Gun. As such, it is important to first consider how and why you are using a massage gun, before deciding on the best gun to buy.
For the purposes of this article, we will only compare the flagship products from each of the two largest massage gun brands Theragun & Hypervolt, our very own HYDRAGUN, and a typical generic $50 gun that can be found on a typical e-commerce marketplace such as Amazon or Lazada.
If you’re a hardcore athlete, you might want to look for something that gives a stronger massage and has more powerful specs in terms of speed (PPM) and Amplitude. If you’re getting a massage gun for your ageing parents, something on the lighter side would probably make more sense.
The reality is that with our current technology, every decision in the product design process requires prioritization and making trade-offs - You cannot have it all. This means that each model has to choose to sacrifice one out of the 3 primary features:
Theragun has opted to sacrifice quietness for the sake of providing the most powerful massage for hardcore athletes. Generic guns are forced to limit and restrict features and quality material in order to keep the prices low.
HYDRAGUN on the other hand, opted for a more well-rounded gun which emphasizes ease of use, being priced more affordably, and having sufficient strength and speed for the majority of users.
At 50 dB, HYDRAGUN takes the lead in this category. It’s quieter than a regular conversation and is inaudible to the people around you. On the other hand, the Theragun is well-known to hit hard like a jackhammer.
Personally I tend to use the Massage Gun while working at the computer, in online meetings and video conferences, and while watching television. The Theragun is actually loud enough to be heard by others beside you in the living room, or in the same conference call as you. This makes it less suitable to be used if you’re in the office or gym, where you might end up disturbing others around you.
The generic massage guns tend to perform poorly in various categories, such as battery life, where we spotted a clear trend of the overpromise and under-delivery of specs. We’ve actually tested quite a number of these, and many of them do not last longer than 2 hours of usage.
The Theragun Pro also seemed to run out of battery pretty quickly, but on the flip side, they have a charging stand available and 2 swappable batteries which greatly increases ease of use. Just note that the charging stand will set you back an additional $79 (S$105).
HYDRAGUN has the longest battery life of the pack, ranging from anywhere between 3-6 hours. From personal experience, I found that I didn’t have to charge my HYDRAGUN as often as I did for the Theragun G4 Pro.
I found myself using the round-shaped massage gun head for my larger muscle groups such as my thighs, and the bullet-shaped head for my hands and palms.
What makes HYDRAGUN stand out from the pack is that it comes with two metallic attachment heads. None of the other popular Massage Guns have that.
The Theragun Pro is the heaviest of the lot, but its heavier weight is balanced by the fact that it has a handle that makes it easier to hold. There are certain models of generic massage guns that are lighter, but those often feel very “flimsy” and unsturdy when being used, which detracts from the experience. I would say that there are no clear winners in this category, since they are all approximately of a similar weight.
Some brands do offer a mini version of the gun, which is significantly lighter but also offers a less powerful motor and a weaker massage.
The Theragun has a unique triangular, patented design that allows its user to reach tough-to-reach muscle groups such as the back and shoulder muscles. The gun head can be rotated and the handle can be held in many different ways which makes it comfortable and intuitive to use.
HYDRAGUN comes in second-place in this category. Its handle is angled at 99° as opposed to the regular 90° angle. I found that the wider angle helps me in reaching my shoulder and back muscles while using it.
HYDRAGUN’s shell body has a very sleek, metallic feel to it. As someone who often plays racquet sports with handle wraps that flake and peel often, I really appreciate the nice nanoscale silicone wrapped handle, which feels very smooth to the touch
The Theragun also feels quite sturdy and sleek, and the ergonomic handle adds to the experience.
The Theragun shines in this category, with its deepest amplitude. It is able to give the best “deep-tissue massage” by punching deeper into the muscle. If you’re a professional athlete and are part of the 1%, competing in the highest levels of highly intensive sports such as cycling and bodybuilding, this might be what you’re looking for.
The Theragun also works as a great tool for professional massage therapists, and they do offer extensive trainings and workshops (albeit at an additional cost).
For the rest of us, the shallower amplitudes of the other guns are sufficient. As someone who works out 3 times a week at moderate intensity, I found that when my muscles are at their most sore, I would rarely press my massage gun too deep into my muscle because it would already hurt a lot.
Based on our internal data and customer satisfaction surveys, less than 1% of existing customers felt that the amplitude and strength of HYDRAGUN for their recovery needs was insufficient.
Both HYDRAGUN and Hypervolt have PPMs of up to 3200. I tend to use HYDRAGUN at Level 3 (out of 6 speed settings) when I am massaging my upper body muscle groups, and the Level 5-6 speed settings for my thighs.
Stall Force refers to the ability of the gun’s motor to withstand an opposing force. A massage gun with a lower stall force will start to slow down if pressed too hard/deeply into your body.
Theragun has the highest stall force out of all the guns, which allows you to press your massage gun really deep into your muscles to give yourself the strongest possible deep-tissue massage
Theragun and Hyperice have their own phone Apps and bluetooth synced devices that enable their users to create massage & wellness routines and programs. Personally I am not really interested in those and prefer HYDRAGUN’s simple and intuitive interface, though I could see why others might prefer Theragun and Hypervolt in this regard.
In order to get a case for the Hypervolt, you would need to purchase it separately, which adds an additional $49 to the price tag. And I feel that having a nice case to carry your gun around is quite important to me.
Both HYDRAGUN and Theragun come with a case.
At HYDRAGUN, we made the conscious decision to go above and beyond, and offer our customers 1.5 years of warranty (as opposed to the regular 1 year warranty).
For generic massage guns, what you’ll find is that these sellers cannot afford to provide warranties, especially given the fact that the guns that they sell tend to last no longer than a couple of months.
Most of the brands offer a similar 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee policy.
Without a doubt, these guns sell at a tiny fraction of the price of the premium massage gun brands. If you’re a student with a tight budget, then this is probably your best option. But to be honest, what you get is what you pay for. There are many stories of people using the cheaper massage guns, which break down after a couple of weeks or months. Some of my friends have even mentioned that certain models produce a burning plastic smell after 2-3 min of usage, which is very worrisome.
HYDRAGUN comes in at second place, with a premium product that provides significantly more value than the other two brands, at a more affordable price.
The Massage Gun is an awesome device that can be used by people from all walks of life, ranging from the sportiest and fittest of athletes, to ageing seniors who just want to enjoy a nice, relaxing massage while watching their favourite television show while sitting on the couch.
If you stay with your family or friends, and think that they can all benefit from using a massage gun, it would make sense to get a well-rounded and balance gun such as HYDRAGUN, which is in the “Goldilocks Zone” (not too strong, not too weak) for most people.
In our opinion, HYDRAGUN provides the most bang-for-buck, with balanced features that make it suitable for most users. Our product offer was intentionally crafted to be as such. This makes HYDRAGUN highly suitable both as a sports recovery tool, as well as a gift for your loved ones.
But don’t just take our word for it as we may be biased.
Hopefully this article greatly simplifies your decision-making process and allows you to choose the perfect gun for your needs. Until next time, see you!
The author is a writer for HYDRAGUN but has attempted to be as impartial as possible, writing this article based on facts and his own experiences.
This article is not meant to be used as medical advice. When in doubt, speak to a medical professional.