Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Finally, the most modern technology is no longer only available to professional athletes. Many physiotherapists and masseurs are convinced of massage guns; they have been used in professional sports for some time. Now these devices are conquering private households. The easy handling and the relatively low purchase price make it possible for hobby athletes to use them as well.

The massagers support athletes during regeneration. But they also help with regular tension. They can be used all over the body. This does not replace professional massage or therapy, but massage guns are very popular as a supplement or for stubborn points. We have investigated what is important when buying a massage gun and present the best products.




Summary

  • Massage guns can help with many different muscle ailments. Whether it's after a workout to prevent sore muscles or the day after for relief. But these devices can also help for relaxation, before sports or with over-acidified muscles.
  • The market is growing rapidly and there are more and more very good devices, but also less good copies. Therefore, you should look carefully when buying one. Bad equipment often lacks power or breaks down quickly.
  • If you have pre-existing conditions and are not sure whether and how the massage gun should be used. It is best to ask your doctor or physiotherapist. If you are healthy, you can find practical instructions for use on YouTube, for example.

The Best Massage Gun: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for massage guns

The market for massage guns is still young, but it is growing rapidly. When buying a massage gun, you should consider a few points so that you can really enjoy using it. We have thought about which are the most important and have highlighted them here for you.

In the following FAQs, we will answer your most frequently asked questions in more detail. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.

Weight

Weight is a very important factor when it comes to choosing the right massage gun. Lightweights come in at around 600 g, while the heavier hunks make it to two kilograms. The average is pretty much in between, at 1000 to 1500 g.

If the gun is too heavy, it will cause fatigue during use. If it is too light, handling can become more difficult. Because you have to build up more pressure from your own body.

Another factor is whether you use the gun mainly on yourself or whether it is used by a second person.

Adjustment options

Here, the speed levels in particular should be taken into account. While normal massage guns sometimes have only three to five levels, some devices have 20 or even 30 levels. Fine adjustment to individual needs is important so that the massage does not become unpleasant.

While most devices are adjusted directly via buttons on the device, certain premium models can be adjusted via Bluetooth. Both should be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible.

Power supply & battery

The power supply is especially important for frequent use. Corded models are rare, as they are more practical to use without a cord.

Most massage guns cannot be used while charging.

More expensive devices come with a second battery; while one is charging, you can continue to use the gun with the second battery. Of course, this option is not available with devices that have a permanently installed battery.

Volume

Basically, the quieter the better. If the massage gun is very loud, it will be very unpleasant for people and animals in the vicinity during use.

There are devices that reach up to around 90 dB. This is louder than a truck and can even be harmful to hearing if used for a long time. A reasonable volume is below 45 dB on average, which is roughly equivalent to a quiet radio. In higher gears, the massage gun can get a little louder, which is not a problem when used for a short time.

Attachments and accessories

The attachments are a fundamental part of massage guns. Depending on the muscle group to be treated, a different attachment is suitable. We present the most important ones in more detail here.

  • Ball head: Available in different diameters. Large ball heads are suitable for larger muscles or the whole body. Smaller ones are suitable for smaller muscle groups.
  • Air cushion: The air cushion is mostly used for the shoulders, bone areas or muscles directly on a bone.
  • Trigger point: As the name suggests, this narrow tapered attachment is particularly suitable for trigger points or deep lying muscles.
  • Flat or thumb head: Particularly suitable for spot treatments in the joint area or for hands and feet.
  • Fork or U-shaped: This attachment is shaped to be gentle on the spine. So it is best suited for the neck and back. But also practical in the area of the shoulders and the Achilles tendon.

The choice of material also has an influence on the application, for example, a head made of metal is suitable for treatment with oil. Other accessories such as a spare battery, transport bags etc. are not essential, but can make handling and transport easier.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about massage guns answered in detail

There are always many questions and uncertainties about massage guns. We have looked for the most common ones for you and answered them here.

What is a massage gun?

Massage guns are massage devices that look like a pistol or a cordless screwdriver. Basically, they consist of a handle, motor, battery and massage head. The massage head performs light strokes at a very high frequency.

There are devices that make up to 5000 or more strokes / impulses per minute, but the average is more like 1500 to 2500. These strokes are meant to stimulate or relax the muscles.

Who is a massage gun suitable for?

Originally, massage guns were used by physiotherapists and sports masseurs to bring professional athletes back to a high performance level more quickly. In recent years, more and more amateur athletes are also using massage guns. Basically, they are suitable for everyone.

massagepistole-test

A massage gun is ideal for before or after a workout. But even without intensive sport, the device can help with tension. (Image source: Unsplash / Sven Mieke)

If you want to be on the safe side, discuss the use of the device with your physiotherapist or doctor in advance. Massage guns are not suitable for pregnant women, cancer patients, people with pacemakers or artificial joints, or only after consulting a doctor.

What types of massage guns are there?

Basically, all massage pistols are very similar, with only a few differences in shape. There are slight differences in the handles. However, there are major differences in the technical specifications. We have examined these more closely for you in the buying criteria.

Another alternative is the vibration massager. This has a long handle and a flat plate or a round head at the tip. The shape is more reminiscent of a shower head or massage wand. The advantage is that you can also use it on your own back, for example.

How much does a massage gun cost?

There is a wide price range for massage guns. The more expensive models usually come with more attachments and accessories, but the pulses also tend to be more even and powerful. The general quality of workmanship is also reflected in the price.

Price range Available products
Low-priced 50 - 100 € Often small devices, or cheap copies of brand products. Also suitable for beginners or for trying out. Often little or no support.
Medium-priced 100 - 200 € Many devices are in this price range. Some branded products are also available in this category, with some support guaranteed.
High-priced 200+ € Particularly high-quality products with special features and accessories. The workmanship and materials used are usually particularly good.

An important point with the cheaper models is the non-replaceable battery. If this should ever become defective, the entire device must be disposed of and replaced.

How is a massage gun used?

A massage gun is used to massage individual muscles. The device is held by the handle and the respective attachment is held on the muscle. Do not massage bones (bones should only be massaged with an appropriate attachment) and do not apply too much pressure. Each attachment is suitable for different muscle groups.

What they all have in common is that they are held on the muscle several times in succession (approx. 2-3 times) for a few seconds (approx. 20 sec.) and are moved slightly. Depending on how many muscles are being treated, this amounts to about 10 to 15 minutes per day.

The gun can basically be used every day. For some areas of the body, it is a good idea to have a second person hold the massage gun.

Are massage guns harmful?

As a rule, massage guns are not harmful as long as you follow the instructions of the respective device. If used too excessively or with too much pressure, it can be counterproductive.

However, massage guns can be dangerous for pregnant women, cancer patients, people with pacemakers or artificial joints. In this case, it is essential to discuss their use with their doctor in advance.

Conclusion

As you can see, massage guns are not rocket science. But you should still keep a few things in mind. In order to enjoy the device for a long time, it is important to buy high-quality devices. It is not only better for you and your health, but also for the environment.

Another important factor is the attachments. But if they are powered by an unclean or noisy motor, the best attachments are no fun in the long run. We have searched for the best products and compiled them for you above.

Image source: Pixabay / Matias Maiztegui

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