This product from Renpho may appeal to people who are familiar with traditional massagers but think that a “gun” is something you shouldn’t be pointing at your own body.
Shaped like a wand instead of a pistol, this gadget isn’t all that effective as a deep tissue massager, but very versatile otherwise. In particular, the 15” (38 cm) long handle allows you to reach every part of your back, either over the shoulder or from the side.
Unlike most of the other massagers we’ve chosen to review, it’s best used to massage whole areas fairly gently and near the surface, instead of working a knot out of a single muscle or stimulating a particular trigger point.
To this purpose, it comes with two different three-headed, soft attachments for general massage, as well as a curved accessory that works well on calves and biceps. Two ball type massage heads made of hard plastic allow you to perform more targeted treatments and get to work deeper under the skin.
Easy to Use, Even on Your Own
The massage action is adjustable from a relatively slow pulsating action to a fairly vigorous, penetrating vibration. You can choose between 4 speed settings and 3 intensity options, some of which produce an intermittent action that allows muscle fibers to recover and resume their natural shape between pulses.
Switching between these massage modes is easy: simply hit the power button, cycle through the different options, and increase or decrease the speed using the + and – buttons.
Since it uses a rechargeable battery, there’s no cord that tries to strangle you, while the soft silicone handle and a total weight of only 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg) makes this one of the most ergonomic machines you can buy. This means that even those with joint problems should have no trouble using it – and they are, after all, sometimes exactly the kind of people who can benefit most from deep tissue massage.
But Not Very Powerful
One of its main drawbacks is that the motor is designed for only 20 minutes of continuous usage, even though the battery lasts for over two hours on one charge. When not in use, it lives on a nice charging/storage station that also provides slots for storing the spare massage heads.
The rubber-coated heads and a low minimum intensity setting give you the option of using this product on sensitive, bony areas like the knee, ankle and near the spine.
As with most percussion massagers, though, you should be careful around the neck. You might benefit from having a separate device to deal with all those nerves, vertebrae, blood vessels, and assorted anatomy. What we would have liked to see is a fork attachment specifically for working around the Achilles and shoulder tendons, but you can achieve something similar using the point head and some patience.
The noise level is not specified by the manufacturer, but unlike some “true” massage guns, this wand produces only a gentle buzzing that shouldn’t bother anyone.
The Upshot: A Good Percussion Massager for Casual Use at Home
Unlike the majority of massage guns, most of which are designed to go where you do so they can be used immediately before or after a workout, the Renpho doesn’t include a carry case to take it to the gym or office.
The shape and general sturdiness of the unit shouldn’t make traveling with it a problem, but it’s not something you’d normally just toss into a gym bag. The light weight and ability to charge from either 110 or 230 volts do, however, make this product suitable for frequent travelers who need to relieve stress or pain caused by crampy airline seats.
Though this isn’t the kind of massager most weightlifters or runners will buy for themselves, its versatility and ease of use does make it a great gift for most of the people you know.
Its ergonomics are suitable even for people with limited mobility or joint pain, including arthritis sufferers, while it’s powerful enough to satisfy everyone except dedicated athletes. Even with an injured or impaired shoulder, it’s fairly easy to reach whatever part of your body needs treatment. It’s difficult, unfortunately, to get enough leverage to press it firmly against your skin.
Finally, the company offers a one year warranty and is known for generally good customer service.
- Easy to treat your own back
- Good for spreading vibrations over a wide surface area
- Difficult to apply firm pressure due to handle design
- Not great for deep tissue massage
- Only 20 minutes continuous runtime