6 Things To Look For When Buying A Massage Gun
Massage guns are among the most popular products right now, and for good reason! With numerous benefits ranging from improving muscle recovery, and reducing soreness, stiffness, aches, and pains, it's no wonder why people are clamoring to buy them. However, with a flooded market, it's difficult to figure out which one is right for you. Here are 6 things to look for in a massage gun:
1. Massage Gun Power - Amplitude, RPM, and Stall Force
Massage gun power is determined by three things - the speed at which the head oscillates (RPM), the distance the massage head moves over each stroke (amplitude), and the amount of force you can apply to the massage gun against your body before the motor stops moving (stall force).
Let's start with speed. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to a massage, so it is essential for massage guns to have different speed settings. As you would expect, lower speeds are more gentle, and higher speeds are more intense. Most massage guns offer speeds ranging anywhere from 1200 to 3200 RPM.
As mentioned, massage gun amplitude refers to the distance the massage head moves over each stroke. These are generally listed in millimeters (mm) and most massage guns have an amplitude between 7-16 mm.
The higher the stall force, the more pressure you can apply on the massage gun while using it on your body, and the more powerful it will feel. This is important if you have stubborn muscle knots and you really want to dig into them with a powerful massage. Most massage guns have a stall force in the range of 10-50 lbs. If you've got stubborn muscle knots and prefer a powerful massage, I would shy away from anything with a stall force below 20 lbs.
Since you're probably going to use the massage gun on yourself, you'll have to hold it for several minutes at a time. This can get tiring with heavier massage guns, so making them as light as possible is important. Most massage guns weigh between 2-4 lbs.
Some of the most powerful massage guns sound like jackhammers, which gets really annoying for anyone who has to hear it. Therefore, making them as quiet as possible without sacrificing power is important, though it's only possible to a certain extent. Most massage guns operate between 40-80 decibels (dB).
4. Battery Life
Nearly all massage guns are cordless and powered by lithium ion batteries. Most have battery lives between 1-4 hours, which is usually plenty for most people even if it's on the low side. Therefore, this is not as important as some of the other factors, but a longer battery life is definitely more convenient.
Some people won't care about this, but a lot of us do. Call me shallow but I just can't get behind a product that looks hideous! A sleek, visually appealing design is definitely better than one that isn't, and with all the massage guns out there, some of them really look quirky, like this one:
I really have no idea why this thing is designed like a refrigerator door. Fortunately, most massage guns look decent, so this shouldn't be a major concern.
From our experience testing massage guns, the quality can vary quite a bit, even between models that look very similar. In many cases, more expensive models did not necessarily result in better quality. Therefore, before investing in a massage gun, check out the warranty.
Our Top Picks
Best Value: Ribex A6 Pro
The engineers at Ribex set out to design a massage gun with the goal of making it powerful and affordable. Featuring a sleek, minimalist design at an affordable price point of under $100, I'd say that they've succeeded. Here are its specifications:
1. Amplitude: 10 mm
2. Stall force: 25 lbs
3. Speed: 6 speed settings, ranging from 1800-3300 RPM.
4. Weight: 2.2 lbs
5. Operating noise level: 45 dB
6. Battery life: up to 2 hours.
7. Price: currently on sale for $69.99
The Ribex A6 Pro is the perfect balance between power, noise, and affordability. It is capable of providing a powerful massage while being a fraction of the price of other massage guns. Best of all, it comes with free 2-day shipping at https://ribexhealth.com and their customer service team offers free returns and full refunds (i.e. they issue a full refund and pay for return shipping). This means that you can try it out completely risk free and send it back if you don't like it. Get the Ribex A6 Pro by clicking here.
Most Powerful: Hyperice Hypervolt
The Hyperice Hypervolt is an extremely powerful percussion massager. It is designed for professional athletes who have high muscle density and require exceptionally powerful massage guns to work out their muscle knots. Here are its specifications:
1. Amplitude: 12 mm
2. Stall force: unknown
3. Speed: 3 speed settings, up to 3200 RPM.
4. Weight: 2.5 lbs
5. Operating noise level: 60 dB
6. Battery life: up to 2.5 hours on each battery (5 hours total, two external batteries).
7. Price: $349
We couldn't find the stall force on Hyperice's website, but we tested it out and it feels extremely powerful - more powerful than the Ribex A6 Pro - so it's a great choice for professional athletes. However, it costs an eye-popping $349, which is way more than most people should be paying, because most people don't need that much power. We tested both massage guns and asked random people to test them both as well. Some people did not notice a significant difference between the two massage guns, and were happy with the performance of both devices. The few people that did notice that the Hypervolt was more powerful said that the difference was minimal, and that the Ribex A6 Pro offered about 80-90% of the power of the Hypervolt, so it wasn't a major issue.
Given the staggering price difference between the A6 Pro and the Hypervolt, our top pick has to be the Ribex A6 Pro