Best massage guns to loosen up with

Living an active lifestyle can come with a few aches and pains, and these massage guns could help get you back on track — or gym — or trail.

Best Overall

Bob and Brad C2

Bob and Brad C2

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Best Budget

Taotronics Percussion

Taotronics Percussion

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Best Covert

Recoverfun Mini

Recoverfun Mini

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Massage guns, like all other ground-breaking inventions, were born out of necessity. Following a motorcycle accident, chiropractor Jason Wersland created the world’s first massage gun. In short, reciprocating saw, plus rubber head, equals immediate muscular pain relief. Since then, many amazing offerings have emerged on the market. There’s a portable massage device for every person, and I’m here to help you find the best massage guns for your needs. 

Best Overall

Bob and Brad C2

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Best Budget

Taotronics Percussion

See It

Best Covert

Recoverfun Mini

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Best Percussion

Theragun PRO

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Best Compact

Ekrin Bantam

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Best Hand-Held

Theragun Prime

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Best Electric

Therabody Wave Roller

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Things to consider before buying a massage gun

When you’re considering buying a massage gun, there are a few features you should pay attention to. These include the battery life, stall force, speed settings, and massage heads. 

Battery life

Good battery life for a massage gun is about two or three hours. And, more often than not, they’ll use a rechargeable battery. 

Stall force

For a massage gun, the stall force is the amount of pressure you can apply to the head before it stalls out. In other words, it’s how hard you can push it against someone before it stalls. 

Speed setting

Most massage guns have three to five speed settings, which have a speed range of about 2,000 to 3,200 RPMs. 

Massage heads

The number of massage heads probably won’t be a dealbreaker, but it’s helpful to know why they exist. According to PT Progress, the five common massage heads are for: 

  • The bullet head is for large, tight muscles and is great for deep tissue massages and target specific areas.  
  • The fork head is best for massaging large, tight muscles. It’s great for deep tissue massages and recovery. 
  • The ball head is for targeting sensitive muscle groups, but you can use it on all areas.
  • The flat round head is best for massaging medium to large muscles, and helping sore muscles recover. 
  • The soft padded head is for massaging sensitive and bony areas. 

FAQs about massage guns

Q: How much does a massage gun cost?

A: I wouldn’t seriously consider a massage gun that costs less than $80 without some serious letters of recommendation (see Taotronics). Within the low hundreds range, I’d be pretty confident in any of the selections by big-name brands. I really wouldn’t consider anything more expensive unless I knew for sure that I would use all the features that come with it.

Q: How do you use a massage gun?

A: All this talk is about which massage gun is best, but if we really get back to basics, massage guns are essentially miniature jackhammers that tenderize your muscles. According to Massage Gun Advice, a massage gun prevents delayed onset muscle soreness and helps blood flow, thereby helping with recovery. You should use it on sore muscles or even on muscle groups that just ache from time to time.

Final thoughts

The truth is, you don’t really need a massage gun for everything, but rather, you just need “something.” The trick is finding the best “something” for your applications — one that checks all the boxes you need without going overboard. There’s a reason my overall best pick isn’t the most expensive. Although I would like the Theragun Pro, it’s just not the best option for me because I don’t really need everything it offers. The Bob and Brad C2 gets the job done at a fair price. 

Methodology 

The massage gun market is well-saturated. Most people have only heard of Theragun and HyperIce. I know, at one point, those were the only two brands I was aware of. After deep-diving into countless forums, articles, blogs, and YouTube videos, I learned of many new options. I would even venture as far as to say “better.”

This list was compiled after comparing specifications, user experiences, reviews on longevity, and performance. Anything I wouldn’t buy for myself or recommend to a friend was immediately disqualified. This included any cheap rip-offs or generic, cheap rip-offs.

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Justin Chang Avatar

Justin Chang

Contributing Writer

Justin Chang is a tank platoon leader in the Army National Guard and amateur competition shooter with a passion for the outdoors. Living between California and Texas, he drives gear into the clay, dirt, and sand to push it to its limits and beyond.