If you’re trying to take better overall care of yourself, a little massage can go a long way. For instance, we’ve reviewed foot massagers in the past, and they’re a great way to relax. But sometimes, you need to do a little more than just relax. Sometimes, a massager is a powerful therapeutic tool that needs to meet serious demands. If that’s what you’ll need, you’ll find few more rugged options than a good massage gun. But some massage guns are better for different purposes, or just plain better in general. If you take your time when you’re shopping, you’ll be more likely to find what you need.
Today, we’re going to review two of the better massage guns on today’s market. We’ll start off by looking at the ExoGun DreamPro. This is a heavy-duty massage gun designed mostly for deep tissue massage. Next, we’ll check out the Medcursor Handheld Massage Gun. This is a lighter-duty gun with a longer-lasting battery, made for home use. But there are other differences between the two, as well. Let’s take a closer look, and see how they compare!
Why Use a Percussion Massager?
Percussion massagers are a bit different from ordinary, vibrating massagers. Many people may be unfamiliar with them, so let’s take a minute to clear things up. Why would you want a massager that rams into your muscles or joints? How is this better than something more relaxing, like a shiatsu massage?
The short answer is: it depends on what you’re doing. Different types of massage have different benefits and drawbacks. The difference between percussion therapy and most other massages is that the movement is up and down, not side to side. If you’ve never had a percussion massage, this might sound uncomfortable. However, it’s actually more precise. A deep tissue massage, for instance, can relieve knots deep inside your muscles. But if it’s applied with a side-to-side movement, the same massage can cause lingering pain in surrounding tissue. A percussion massage helps to avoid this issue by only massaging exactly where you need it.
There are three reasons percussion massage is so effective. First, it stimulates blood flow. More blood means lactic acid will flush out of your muscles faster, speeding workout recovery. This benefit isn’t just limited to post-workout use, either. Blood flow can help relieve most types of muscle pain. The other reason percussion massage is so effective is that it loosens muscles. This is a benefit for just about anybody.
The third reason to use a percussion massager is that it helps break down scar tissue and relaxes tendons. If you’re recovering from an injury, that might be just what you need. Of course, prevention is the best cure, and one common cause of injury is bad posture. To help keep your back straight, consider the Upright Go 2. It’s a small patch that goes on your back, and beeps when you’re slouching.
The advantage of an electric massager in particular is that it never gets tired. This type of massage can be taxing on a masseuse if performed by hand. Typically, the manual equivalent would involve digging a knuckle deep into your muscle to loosen up the knot. It’s not hard to understand why this can be uncomfortable for both people. If you’re a masseuse who has to do this all day, a machine can make things much easier.
The ExoGun DreamPro is a beefy, handheld massage gun with a powerful motor. Needless to say, a powerful motor is a heavier motor, so the DreamPro weighs in at 2.5 pounds. It’s not what we’d call “heavy,” but it’s on the heavy side for a massage gun. The housing is matte black plastic, with a rectangular upper housing and a pistol grip underneath. The grip is padded, so it’s reasonably comfortable to hold, but it has a simple round shape, not molded.
On the back of the massager, you’ll see two buttons that glow blue when the unit is running. One button turns the DreamPro on and off, while the other one adjusts the power level. The massage head is located at the front of the housing. There, you can mount any one of four attachments. There’s a round attachment for a standard massage, and a flat attachment for a gentler massage. There’s also a bullet-shaped attachment for a more precise massage, and a forked one for your spine.
The kit includes a black nylon weave carrying case, with a molded foam lining. There are cutouts for the massager and all the accessories, as well as the included charging adapter. The case isn’t crush-proof, but it will keep everything from getting jostled or scratched. All of this is covered by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty.
Controls and Operation
With the speed control button, the DreamPro can cycle between six different speed settings. The lowest is 1,200 RPM, and the highest is 3,200 RPM. That’s quite a range, and it allows for everything from the lightest to the most vigorous massage. This means it’s a good fit for just about anybody’s needs, at least in terms of speed range.
The DreamPro’s most impressive feature is its 60 pounds of stall force. This is the amount of force required to stop the motor. In other words, you have to put 60 pounds of weight on it to stop it. That’s more than anybody will ever need. The downside of this much power is that the motor is fairly loud. At its top setting, it produces 70 decibels of sound, which is about the volume of a TV at normal levels.
Battery and Charging
The DreamPro’s battery will run for four hours on a full charge. This is enough for half a day, and should be plenty of power even for most professionals. When your battery runs dead, it takes about an hour to fully recharge, so there shouldn’t be any trouble. Moreover, it will last for up to 30 days in standby mode, so it’s also good for occasional use. That said, you might want to have a little more juice if you use the massager constantly. In that case, the Saluko Percussion Massage Gun is a good choice. It has similar power to the DreamPro, but with a longer, five-hour battery life.
Medcursor Handheld Massage Gun
The Medcursor Handheld Massage Gun is a completely different animal. Whereas the ExoGun is a bit large, the Medcursor is lightweight, tipping the scales at only 1.7 pounds. It has a similar matte black housing, with a slimmer, more rounded profile. This same philosophy extends to the pistol grip, which has no padding whatsoever. This might make it tough for some people to hold on to, but it does keep things as light as possible.
The controls are located on the side of the handle, rather than on the back of the unit. There are five LED buttons, which can be used to switch between power levels. A sixth LED button works as a power button, to turn the unit on and off. The charging cord plugs right into the bottom of the handle, and is included in the package.
The Medcursor Handheld Massage Gun comes with six different massage heads, to meet a variety of needs. To start with, you get the four heads that are included with the DreamPro kit. These include the plastic round, flat, forked, and bullet-shaped tips. However, you get an additional pair of tips for added functionality. These include a steel-capped bullet tip that’s a bit broader than the plastic one. The other is a steel-capped flat tip. These can be better than the plastic tips for long-term use, since they’re less malleable. However, they shouldn’t be used for your joints, for the very same reason.
Controls and Operation
The Medcursor massager has five different speed settings, one less than the DreamPro. However, it has the same range, from 1,200 to 3,200 RPM. This makes it equally well-suited for light and heavy massage work.
That said, the motor is considerably quiet, producing a maximum of only 50dB. That’s the level of volume of an ordinary conversation, so it’s fairly quiet. The flip side of this is that the stall force is only 16.5 pounds, so you can’t put a ton of weight on it. Motor noise versus stall force is one of those tradeoffs manufacturers have to make. Besides which, 16.5 pounds is still useful for most massage needs.
Battery and Charging
The Medcursor’s internal 3,400mAh battery will run for up to eight hours on a full charge. As with any massager, the battery life varies depending on motor speed. Even so, you’re looking at a boatload of juice, enough for several days’ use. It recharges in about an hour with the included charger, and you don’t have to worry about wasting batteries. If the massager is left untouched for 60 seconds, it will automatically shut off.
As you can see, the differences between these two massage guns are pretty significant. Which one is the best choice will mostly depend on what you’re using it for. On the one hand, the ExoGun DreamPro is the best choice if you need the most power. With an impressive 60 pounds of stall force, it can handle deep tissue massages that most others can’t. That said, that much power means a loud motor and relatively limited battery life. This means you’ll need to charge more frequently if you’re on the road. On the other hand, the design is well thought-out, with a comfortable handle.
The Medcursor Handheld Massage Gun falls on the other end of the spectrum. Where the DreamPro is beefy, the Medcursor is more lightweight, at only about 1 ¾ pounds. It’s correspondingly less robust, though, with a simple, solid handle and a light stall weight. The upside of this is that the motor doesn’t need to be as loud. It also doesn’t draw as much power, so you get significantly longer battery life than the DreamPro. It’s a great choice for anyone who needs exceptional battery life.