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Theragun alternative: 2021’s best budget massage gun

Everyone on this planet can probably use massage now. Last-minute massage can be difficult, but you can fight the pain at home with a percussion massage using a massage gun. But you may be wondering if you really need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good handheld massager to help your muscles recover.

I put my muscles on the line and examined. (It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it.) Start with the most affordable models of premium and popular massage gun brands Hyperice and Therabody and become the cheapest off-brand massager you’ve found. I arrived. (It doesn’t show the super sale deals that take place every few weeks. It sells out quickly, so keep an eye on the deal news to make sure you catch the next one.)

Percussion massagers are available in all shapes and sizes, from full-size guns that look like hair dryers to miniguns that don’t seem to generate much massage power on tight muscles. (Believe me, they can easily fit in your gym bag, but they are capable.) One model has a strange triangular body. The other incorporates two heads. In the end, I turned to products that cost less than $ 100 and tried to get a good sampling of what’s there.

Sure, this is the “worthy” end of the handheld massager category, but it doesn’t mean that any of these devices will lean forward when it comes to fighting muscle aches. Even better, some of the prices shown here can actually be lower thanks to the codes and coupons that go in and out.

Rick Broida / CNET

You know the old saying: two heads are better than one. But does that also apply to massage guns? I thought Fishda’s Frankenstein was just a gimmick, but I’m curious if it doesn’t give me twice as much muscle punch. For large areas such as the thighs and gluteal muscles, I really enjoyed this “bigger” massage.

Fortunately, it’s not twice as loud as other guns. In fact, it’s surprisingly quiet. It’s also a relatively compact shape, basically a taller version of the Recoverfun Mini. However, it has some burdens. At 1.7 pounds, it’s heavier than any other gun in its size class. Expect this to start your arm fatigue a little earlier.

It’s also more expensive than other models, which is to be expected given the dual heads. However, you often find coupons that significantly reduce prices.

  • weight: 1 pound, 11 ounces
  • Charging method: USB-C
  • Number of heads included: 4 (double)
  • Includes carrying case: purse

Rick Broida / CNET

Like Therabody, Hyperice is a premium brand for the price. When it comes to matching, the Hypervolt Go sells for about the same price as the Theragun Mini. However, I prefer the former. This is because it comes with two heads instead of one, making it a more comfortable gun-like design.

It’s smaller than the MaxKare and Taotronics models, but larger than the Naipo and Recoverfun. So let’s call it “medium”.

But awesome, is it powerful? It is equivalent to Theragun in terms of its ability to punch muscles. However, if you only have three speeds, it might help a bit if you prefer a lighter touch. Hyperice does not provide an inconvenient travel case and the AC adapter is proprietary.

Between this and Theragun Mini, I choose this. But it’s not my number one choice, as there are also more versatile and cheaper models.

  • weight: 1 pound, 7 ounces
  • Charging method: Exclusive
  • Number of heads included: two
  • Includes carrying case: purse

Rick Broida / CNET

The Naipo massager is the lightest and most compact model in the group, with a small but comfortable grip and more striking power than expected.

Other benefits include 5 speed settings and 4 different massage heads. Naipo doesn’t offer a carrying case, which is a bit disappointing. But my only real complaint is that it’s on the noisy side, at least compared to the other “mini” Roundups, Recoverfun and Sportneer.

I’ve seen various coupons and code deals that lower the price of this massager, so you should definitely get it when it’s on sale.

  • weight: 14 ounces
  • Charging method: USB-C
  • Number of heads included: four
  • Includes carrying case: number

Rick Broida / CNET

Available in three colors (including pretty dazzling red), the Recoverfun Mini is one of my favorite massagers in the group. It’s heavier than a similar compact model of Naipo, but the metal barrel feels a bit cold until it warms up, but it’s surprisingly quiet. (Extra noise doesn’t help when trying to relax.)

The gun offers four speed settings, and Recoverfun offers “Big 4” attachments (balls, bullets, forks, flats). The flat ones are made of aluminum, so they don’t have a clear advantage, but they’re certainly cool. Some carrying cases have a drawstring, but you’ll need to provide your own powered USB port for the USB-C charging cable.

  • weight: 1 pound, 5 ounces
  • Charging method: USB-C
  • Number of heads included: four
  • Includes carrying case: purse

Rick Broida / CNET

The Sportneer Mini 3 is much like a Recoverfun gun, but slightly more “mini er” than ever before. Not only are the hair short and light, but they are a little bigger (but not distracting). There is also a basic LED display that shows speed, battery level and run time. There is some unnecessary information, but it’s all the same.

Mini 3 has two tricks. First, it provides an “AI” mode in addition to the four standard speed levels. A light touch will slow down the speed, but the harder you press it, the stronger it will be. This worked surprisingly well, and as a result I was able to reach for this gun more often than any other gun.

You can also loosen the barrel of the handle and add up to about 1.6 inches. Many minis (including Recoverfun) have a slightly shorter grip, especially with big hands, which is great.

I’m glad the Sportneer included a carrying case with a zipper, but it’s a shame that I can only store two of the four massage heads. The USB-C code is also quite short. Aside from these issues, this is definitely one mini you should consider.

  • weight: 1 pound, 3 ounces
  • Charging method: USB-C
  • Number of heads included: four
  • Includes carrying case: Zipper type

Rick Broida / CNET

As big hair dryer style massage guns progress, TaoTronics will offer you a lot of what you like. It’s reasonably lightweight in size, smaller and quieter than a similarly designed model of Max Kare. The metallic green coloring adds a touch of flair, and I like the partially square grip.

TaoTronics offers six interchangeable heads, all of which fit nicely in the included zippered case-although the latter is actually a bit larger than MaxKare’s. To travel with this, you have to sacrifice a fair amount of suitcases.

A big outstanding feature here is speed control with settings ranging from 1 to 20. Almost every other massager here will probably offer four or five. How fast do people really need? I don’t know, but this massage gun is also notable for its unmatched 4.9-star review average from over 2,300 buyers.

  • weight: 1 pound, 11 ounces
  • Charging method: Exclusive
  • Number of heads included: Six
  • Includes carrying case: Zipper type

Recommended by reservation

Rick Broida / CNET

MaxKare, another model with frequent price fluctuations big.. In fact, it’s the largest massager in the group. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just makes it harder to travel together. To that end, MaxKare offers both a zippered carrying case and a shoulder bag. Suitable for carrying the included 6 massage heads.

What looks like a power button on the back of the device is a button that toggles between five different speeds on the gun, so the controls are a bit confusing at first. The power is actually controlled by an on / off switch at the bottom of the handle. Then there is a mode button to switch between “warm up”, “relaxation” and “deep tissue” modes. All of this only makes intermittent speed changes during the massage. But be prepared for a gun that is a little bulkier and heavier than other guns.

  • weight: 2 pounds, 5 ounces
  • Charging method: Exclusive
  • Number of heads included: Six
  • Includes carrying case: Zipper and shoulders

David Carnoy / CNET

The triangular mini exerts an impressive force on its size, but its shape is difficult to maintain comfortably. In addition, Therabody offers only one attachment, the ball head. The other models here come with at least two, if not four, and even six.

At the lowest of those three speeds, the Mini feels stronger than many other guns I’ve tried. In fact, anyone looking for a light and relaxing massage may find it a little too powerful.

The unit, on the other hand, relies on its own AC adapter rather than USB-C. That’s another thing to pack on a trip-and the adapter doesn’t even fit in Therabody’s snug zippered carrying case.

It’s nice to have this handy for the relief of deep tissue, but it’s hard to recommend any other method. There are too many other models with more features and lower prices.

  • weight: 1 pound, 8 ounces
  • Charging method: Exclusive
  • Number of heads included: one
  • Includes carrying case: Zipper type

Rick Broida / CNET

Most Theragun massagers (except this Roundup Mini) have a unique design. They are not like “guns”, they are like the handles of gas pumps.

TechCare’s is the only one that closely matches its design. The large curved handle offers a variety of grip options and the massage arm itself can be fully rotated 90 degrees, expanding your positioning options.

However, it was one of the heaviest models in the group, and for self-massage purposes, large grips and articulated arms were not very valuable. Sure, for example, I don’t know if it’s worth stretching your arms all the way forward. But I liked the super simple controls and the choice of 15 speed levels.

One of the ease of use complaints: this is the only massager with a removable battery, Have got Remove for charging.On the plus side, you can get Spare batteries are about $ 20 each..

If you like Theragun’s design, this can be done for a small price. Overall, however, there are other massagers I like more.

  • weight: 2 pounds, 2 ounces
  • Charging method: Exclusive
  • Number of heads included: four
  • Includes carrying case: Zipper type


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The information contained in this article is for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about your medical condition or health goals.

https://www.cnet.com/health/fitness/best-budget-massage-guns/#ftag=CADf328eec Theragun alternative: 2021’s best budget massage gun

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