11 Best Massage Guns for Athletes on a Low Budget

According to popular belief, the first massage guns were brought out in 2008 by none other than a chiropractor named Jason Werseland. I don’t think he had any idea that these Vibromassage machines would make them lose customers. 

For real, if you can get your hand on a good massage gun, you won’t need another visit to the chiropractors.

Before these tools, no matter how you tried, you couldn’t hit the deep muscles with your hands. But now, you can penetrate the muscles to quickly relieve them of pressure and increase blood circulation. 

Since 2008, there have been so many brands taking up the market with massage guns for different groups of people. And in this article, I’ll review my favorites as well as the market winners.

Top Picks

Best Overall
Best Budget
Best Performance

1. Legiral Le3 – Best Overall Massage Gun

The Legiral Le3 is like the Fiat brand in the car industry. It’s good but not something you would look forward to if you had the budget. 

This massage gun comes with 6 attachment heads in the package, including two ball heads, a pointed tip, a spinal tap, and two flat tips. Except for the ball heads, all of them are hard plastic and seem durable. But the soft plastic on the ball heads is, unfortunately, vulnerable to wearing out over time.

It also comes with a carrying case that I did appreciate even though the quality is subpar. Even these aren’t deal-breakers as you’re paying very little for it. But it redeems itself through its portability and 2500mAh rechargeable battery. For athletes, this is one feature that seals the deal.

The battery lasts 2-2.5 hours on a single charge and takes about the same time to recharge.

In terms of ergonomics, there are areas for improvement. It feels a little bulky in hand and also heavy, weighing 4.1lbs. Again, it’s balanced by the non-slip grip that does make handling it easier.

By the way, if you buy the ‘carbon fiber’ Le3 model, know that it isn’t real carbon fiber. 

The machine has 20 different speeds ranging from 1200PPM to 3200PPM. You’ll find the stall force of 30lbs to be sufficient for average needs. With each level, the sound level increases but even at the highest level (55dB), the sound doesn’t feel too much.

  • Portable and affordable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • 20-speed levels and 6 attachments
  • 16mm stroke length
  • Soft rubber heads
  • Ergonomics could have been better

2. Wahl Deep Tisue Percussion

If you want to spend the bare minimum and get a good massage, this Wahl massage gun could be a thing to consider. 

The machine comes with 4 attachment heads in the package, including a ball head, a flat head, an acupoint head, and a 4-finger flex. This 4-finger flex is meant to emulate the feel of your fingers but with more force. These heads are hard plastic with a soft coating.

It can deliver up to 3350PPM at the highest level, and with the acupoint head, it can go really deep into the muscles. But sometimes, it may feel a little too much. You can use the finger flex head to change it up.

But the problem arises in the ergonomics department. Even though the handle has a finger resting design, it can feel big in hand and sometimes heavy even though it’s only 3lbs.

And the overall plastic build seems to be on the cheaper side. But for this price, these are easily ignorable.

It isn’t portable like most massage guns as it takes power directly through a power cord. The power cord is 9 feet long, which is sufficient for a medium room. I’d say this is a home-only tool for athletes due to the lack of portability.

  • 4 attachment heads
  • Deep muscle penetration
  • Lightweight
  • 9 feet long cord
  • The Head is larger than the handle
  • Not portable

3. Rooftree R20

Our Review
“Rooftree is one of the very few companies that tried to solve itchiness created from those typical massage guns by using aluminum-alloy materials.” – Check Our Rooftree R20 Full Review
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Going up the ladder, this Rooftree massage gun brings more durability and quality to the table. But it’ll cost you more dollars.

It’s one of the first massage guns that brought metal head attachments to the market. Instead of the plastic heads, you’re getting 3 aluminum alloy attachments that will last virtually forever. And each attachment has a soft coating on top. More metal heads would have been really cool.

The brushless low noise motor is a powerful one delivering 50lbs of stall force. It will reach deep muscles in a single stroke of 10mm. and the low noise bit isn’t a gimmick only with 55dB being the maximum sound level.

You can choose 4-speed options that can go up to 3400 percussions per minute. I’d have liked more speed options with small increments in each level. It’d give more versatility in use as sometimes a speed level may feel either too strong or too soft.

It runs on battery and can run for 8 hours on a single charge. If you’re an athlete, you’ll love it. This massage gun passes the ergonomics dept with flying colors thanks to its handheld design and 2.1lbs weight. The hammer-shaped design isn’t new, but this R20 gun feels better in hand.

  • Aluminum alloy attachments
  • 50lbs stall force
  • Max level: 3400PPM
  • Excellent ergonomic design
  • It runs 8 hours on battery
  • Only 4-speed settings
  • Needed more attachments

4. Theragun Mini

The Cadillac of the Massage gun is Theragun, and this is the mini version in all its meanings. For athletes that need to bring along a massager all the time, this is a great option.

This mini version of the Theragun massager is smaller than you think. For an average person, it’ll be a tad bigger than your hand and more lightweight than a Macbook Air. Fatigue is never a possibility with this small pocket-sized product.

It’s not only small, but it also acts like one. With a brushless QX35 motor, it’s practically quiet with a very low sound level. Get a good massage session without the fear of making noise in the gym before hitting your regular sessions.

You may think that gripping this gun would be a bit difficult, which I thought so as well. But the rounded shape with a smooth nonslip grip makes it quite comfortable to handle when you’re massaging your muscles.

Talking about muscle massage, it has 3 different speed levels in PPM. They are 1750, 2100, and 2400. Although it’d be awesome if they’d added higher speeds, these are perfect for any slight muscle soreness.

It’s portable, and the battery it uses lasts 2.5 hours on a single charge. For the size of this gun, I’d say you’re getting more.

Yes, it costs more than most full-size guns. Yet again, this Mini is the smallest and the cheapest among Theragun’s product line.

  • Lightweight and small
  • Excellent Battery life
  • Durable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Affordable compared to other Theragun products
  • Not as powerful as full-sized massage guns

5. Exerscribe Vibe Pro

These are some of the best massage guns for athletes on a low budget. Excerscribe’s Vybe Pro is a good performer especially considering its budget-oriented price range.

In the package, you’ll get 8 head attachments. That’s right, a whole lot of them, including 3 metal attachments and 5 plastic ones. They are all shaped differently for different purposes. The foam ball as well as the 2-finger plastic head is my favorite.

The brushless motor in the gun can deliver up to 33lbs of stall force which left me wanting more. It works at 9 different speeds with a minimum of 1,800PPM and a maximum of 3,400PPM. And the stroke length is 12mm. All of these make it a moderate-level massager.

In terms of noise comfort, this one has a maximum sound level of 60dB. For a small period, this doesn’t seem to be irritating to you or others around you.

Due to being a battery-powered machine, it’s highly portable. And according to the manufacturer, the battery will last 3 hours of continuous use. In practical use, it seemed to hover around 2-2.5 hours.

The ergonomics on this machine are laudable. It has a soft coating and grip on the handle. Thanks to the well-balanced design from the head to handle, fatigue is out of the question.

  • Affordable
  • 9 different speeds
  • 8 attachment heads including 3 metalheads
  • Ergonomic design
  • Stall force could have been more

6. Theragun PRO – Best Performing Massage Gun

The Cadillac of massage guns is here. Theragun, one of the pioneers of this industry, brought their latest offering, the Pro version, into the market. And it unsurprisingly has a premium price tag.

There are so many things positive about this product that people may think I’m exaggerating. First of all, this machine comes with two removable rechargeable batteries, which are rare. Take one out and use another. And each battery lasts 2.5 hours totaling 5 hours. This speaks to the heart of athletes as they tend to move around a lot and spend their time in gyms.

It comes with 6 attachment heads, and I wanted more. The quality of these heads is durable, as you’d expect. But they are quite soft on touch as well. There are no finger flex heads, which is a bummer.

As a big brother of the mini version, this also comes with a more powerful QX150 brushless motor. But the noise level virtually stays the same (60dB maximum). Deep muscle treatment with an almost quiet operation is something you don’t see everywhere.

Shockingly, it holds the same speed range of 1750-2400PPM as the mini version. You may want more depending on your need, as I did. There are 5 different speed levels you can choose from.

The handle is unique as it has a triangular shape with a hole in the middle for your fingers. Due to the design, the arm can be set in different positions so you can work on different muscles from different angles.

  • 2 removable batteries
  • Quiet powerful motor
  • 5 different speeds
  • 16mm stroke length
  • Ergonomic triangular handle
  • Adjustable arm position
  • Expensive
  • Speed range could have been larger

7. TimTam Power Massager

From the outside, any inexperienced person will deem this TimTam massage gun to be a drill. And the design actually carries that vibe. It does drill into your muscles and relaxes them.

This TimTam power massager comes in a large case carrying the gun itself, the charging stand, and a battery. There are no attachment heads with this one. And that’s the main disadvantage. Other than that, the existing ball head is a shiny hard plastic that should last long unless you break it.

The Lithium-ion battery is rated for 40 minutes of continuous use. This duration is significantly less than most products on this list, and the low price is a testament to it. 

If you’re buying it only for yourself and plan to use it in short sessions, then this 40 minutes will suffice. I mean you don’t need much more for just relaxing the muscles after workouts.

It has only a one-speed setting rated at 2500PPM. You can’t adjust the speed so try it out when you get it in hand. It’ll either suit you or not. 

That being said, the 25dB sound level on it is one comfortable characteristic. No obnoxious sounds to be irritated by.

Furthermore, this is a portable device that you can carry anywhere without limited by a cord. It looks big, but it’s only 2.2lbs in weight. And the ergonomic handle and button placement make it an easy to use the tool.

  • Cheap and lightweight
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Low noise level
  • Removable battery
  • Only one speed
  • No extra attachment heads

8. LifePro Sonic

This is another winner in the budget-oriented massager category. LifePro’s hammer-styled Sonic massage gun comes with lots of features and versatility that will cater to both the general crowd and the athletes.

The machine comes in a plastic case with 8 attachment heads. Each head is designed to work on your muscles differently and hit different zones. All of them are plastic with the ball head covered in foam. Having hard plastic, these won’t deteriorate over time, but they are definitely prone to fracture.

One of the better features of this tool is its long-lasting battery. It’s claimed to run 3-6 hours in continuous use.

In terms of ergonomics, you’ll be quite fond of the handle and the push button. But I’d be careful with the rubber coating on the handle and keep it as dry as possible. The overall design seems balanced enough that the head doesn’t feel heavy.

You can work on your muscles at 5 different speeds ranging from 1200PPM to 2800PPM.  Each increment has similar gaps so that you can choose the most comfortable setting. And the amplitude or stroke length is 12mm.

With a range of 55-75dB, the noise level on this motor isn’t as low as the other massagers on this list. It may irritate if you use it long enough in the maximum setting.

  • 8 attachment heads
  • 5-speed settings
  • Makes low noise and affordable
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Long battery life
  • Plastic heads
  • Rubber will deteriorate

9. TaoTronics TT-PCA003

There were a few budget options before this TaoTronics gun. But I’d say this is one of the best massage guns on a budget. This has a futurist design that will go well with sports accessories.

It comes in a nice big plastic case that contains the gun itself and 6 attachment heads. The shape of each head tells the story. Depending on your muscle soreness and how concentrated you want the vibrations to be, you can use the ball or two-point or the acupoint heads.

In terms of build quality and ergonomics, it hit the nail on the head. With a PU case and hard plastic heads, the durability level deserves recognition.

The speed settings are adjustable between ten speed levels ranging from 1400PPM to 3200PPM. Lots of speed levels mean there are small increments so that you don’t have to choose between two uncomfortable speeds. Each time it hits, the head moves 12mm to hit deep into the muscles.

Thanks to the portable design, you can carry it around. Use it before and after your daily physical activity in a single charge. With one full charge, it’ll run 10 hours of continuous use. But to protect the components from overheating, it’ll shut off after 15 minutes of continuous use.

The sound level rating is 40dB-50dB, which is well within the range of our human ear’s threshold capacity.

  • Durable build
  • Auto shutoff
  • 10 hours of continuous use
  • Almost drop-dead level quietness
  • 10 different speeds
  • 6 attachments heads
  • Plastic attachments
  • Rubber and foam will wear out

10. Recoverfun Mini – Best Budget Massage Gun

If you’re looking for something that’s compact enough to fit in your backpack but has enough power in it for daily average usage, then I’d suggest this Recoverfun Mini massage gun. It’s portable, lightweight, and strong.

It comes in a paper box with 4 massager heads, including one aluminum head and 3 plastic heads. At this price, receiving so many attachments with durable material is something like a unicorn. 

The length of the minigun is 138mm, which corresponds to a low weight of 0.5kg. You won’t face fatigue even after a long session of recovery massage after a hard workout.

And also, being a battery-powered gun, portability is its biggest selling point. The battery lasts 5 hours after a 1.5H charge. It utilizes the modern USB-C port, which means your mobile’s charger will most probably work with this.

Furthermore, there are 4-speed settings on this device starting from 1800PPM and the last speed is 3200PPM. 

With just 30dB-42dB, this is the quietest massage gun on this list. You won’t even hear it running most of the time. Take it anywhere you want, and your mates won’t feel bothered, thanks to the lack of obnoxious noise.

  • Super cheap
  • 30-42dB noise level
  • Long battery life
  • USB-C type port
  • 4 attachment heads
  • Lightweight and compact
  • More speed settings would have been better

11. Hyperice Hypervolt Go

The last but not the least gun is the Hypervolt from Hyperice. Looking at the price and features, I’d say it falls among the massage guns for athletes. Even the exterior design screams a sporty outlook.

This Hypervolt GO massager comes with only 2 attachment heads; a flat head and a bullet head. There should have a few more in the package if you look at the price you’re paying for it. Different shapes allow us to work differently. That being said, the tool’s shape allows for a deep hit into the muscles that increases blood circulation.

It’s a portable gun, running on an 18V lithium-ion battery. According to the manufacturer, it has a 2.5 hours battery life in continuous use — and it does perform as it says. Besides, nobody uses the gun for 2.5 hours at a stretch.

You can choose from 3 different speeds that go up to 3,200PPM.

The portability of this device increases even more thanks to its 1.5lbs/0.7kg weight. Compared to the original Hypervolt, this Go version is 30% smaller. It comfortably takes place in your palm and grips onto you. Both the shape and low weight play into reducing fatigue in long use.

  • Ergonomic design
  • Comfortable
  • Low noise
  • Lightweight and sporty design
  • Only 2 attachments
  • Expensive
  • No case