Despite its intimidating appearance, however, it’s both much quieter and easier to use than the Vybe, and it’s actually a pretty good massage gun all round.
One of its notable features is that it offers no fewer than 30 speed settings, allowing you to get exactly the massage you want: as firm as possible without causing pain. In other words, you can get effective results on large, heavy muscles such as the glutes and calves, then dial it down to treat areas close to joints or those without much padding.
The power and battery level are displayed on a nice LED display you can read easily even in a dimly lit room, while the six-hour battery life is also worth a mention.
A Good Entry-Level Massage Gun
Six different heads should cover all your deep tissue massage needs, although there isn’t a good option for area massage – a muscle group at a time is the best you can hope for with most gun-type deep tissue massagers.
The flat head does help to transmit vibration energy through a wider cross-section of tissue than you’d think, but this kind of product is not intended for general stress relief. If you need something just to rub your back, you should look elsewhere: percussion massage is really intended to target specific problem areas.
The selection of massage heads gives you a number of options for doing exactly this. A ball attachment allows you to work on large muscle groups, either against the bone or laterally. The cone head lets you penetrate more deeply in order to reach specific trigger points, the fork-shaped accessory is very useful for tricky areas like the ankle and shoulders, and two special attachments work reasonably well on the soft and sensitive parts of your body.
This range of uses is only expanded by the considerable control you have over how hard you want it to work. Although the increase/decrease buttons are a little too fiddly for our liking, you can choose any level of intensity from a gentle 400 pulses per minute to a very powerful kneading action at 55 strokes per second. You can’t, however, adjust the actual force; this is basically regulated by how hard you press down.
A Couple of Nice Extras
This massage gun comes standard with a carry case that has form-fitting slots for the charger and all the massage heads. Along with a very reasonable weight for the whole package and a long battery life, this makes it convenient to take with you to sporting events. You’ll need a 110 volt source or a different charger if you plan to use it outside North America, though. On the plus side, it charges up fairly quickly, which may be useful if sharing among several people.
Although it’s not quite as easy to hold and use as the LifePro Pulse FX, a weight of only 2.2 lbs (1 kg) and a soft, textured handle that doesn’t transmit much vibration back to your hand do help.
Perhaps more importantly, this massage gun is very solidly built. This is probably part of the reason it’s so quiet even though the most powerful setting is really all most people will want to use (or in fact tolerate for more than a few minutes at a time).
Basically, if you’re on the lookout for your first massage gun, the Darkiron should be on your mind. It’s good at performing deep tissue massage, durable, and does much the same job as similar machines that cost a great deal more. Reassuringly, it carries a 12-month warranty and is tough enough to take a few falls without breaking.
- Operates quietly
- Can adjust massage intensity very finely
- Good selection of massage heads
- Styling won't appeal to everyone
- Grip design is not as good as some