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In this best mini massage gun guide for 2022, we look at why the small massage guns have been generating quite a buzz lately. We share with you the best options in ‘small massage gun’ and ‘mini massage gun’ categories, as well as make the selection process a bit easier.
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In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Ekrin Bantam. Bantam will offer you unmatched portability, best power-to-size ratio and a lifetime warranty.
In This Article hide
- Mini Massage Guns – The Latest Craze
- Criteria For Selecting Best Mini Massage Gun
- Our Best Mini Massage Gun Picks for 2022
- What about Theragun Mini and the Hypervolt Go?
- Choosing the Best Mini Massage Gun – What You Should Look For?
- Best Mini Massage Gun: Conclusion
Mini Massage Guns – The Latest Craze
Massage guns have gone mainstream in 2022. They’re no longer the experimental gadgets that science meant for physiotherapists. Everyone’s now either looking to buy or has bought one of these percussing devices.
But why the craze? We’ll tell you the obvious reason we think they’re such a big deal. Superstar athletes! That’s why. Something else maybe, but seems everyone wants a taste of what celebrities are having.
Two years ago just a handful of companies bought into the massage gun idea. But now everyone seems to either be making or selling them. The craze is such that there are so many sellers it’s hard to keep track of all of them.
However, you can only milk a situation for so long. With many options comes fierce competition and consequently the need to stand out from the crowd.
Obviously you’ll expect different companies to have different selling points. But the selling point that’s dominating this market now is the scaled-down version of the fuller massage gun. Or simply put, mini massage guns.
The smaller it is the more likely it’s going to sell. This seems to be driven by the fact that more and more people just want something they can carry around easily and also use comfortably at the gym, in the office, or on a hiking trip.
That’s why in this post we’ll be pointing you to the best mini massage gun. We may not exactly give you a straightforward answer, but we’ll share enough information to make your choice a little easier.
If you’ve checked out some of our massage gun reviews you must’ve noticed how thorough we are with the details. No one does it quite like we do. We’re addicted to massage guns and hopefully we can get some of you hooked into our habit as well.
So, let’s kick things off, shall we?
Criteria For Selecting Best Mini Massage Gun
If you thought picking one was hard, try selecting the best from 25 different brands.
A needle in a haystack suddenly isn’t so hard to find. That’s how thorough we can get. Our criteria is exhaustive. Here’s a bit on what we look at in best mini and small massage guns:
- Size: Naturally, we only take mini-sized and small-sized massagers into consideration;
- Performance: Here we look at a number of things;
- Stall Force: This is the ability of the massage gun motor to continue working under a certain amount of pressure when pressed on to the body. It affects how effective a gun can be. Basically how deep a massage you can get.
- Amplitude: Also known as the stroke length, it is simply how far the head travels back and forth. The longer the better, and the deeper it hits.
- Percussion Range: This is how many hits per minute the massage gun can give. Low stall-force devices slow down percussions upon exerting pressure, impacting the effectiveness of a massage.
- Brand Trustworthiness: How a brand interacts with its customer is crucial to us and we don’t pass up a chance to speak directly with the seller. Customer support has to be on point.
- Accessories Included: We check for the number of attachments and if a travel case is included.
- Battery and Charger: A good battery means a good product. Convenience in charging, e.g. via USB, is a plus for us as well.
- Warranty: We prefer lifetime warranties, but some have at least a 1-year warranty.
- Value for Money: A small gun should at least be sold at a reasonable price.
Read More We will look at these parameters in detail in the guide section below.
Our Best Mini Massage Gun Picks for 2022
If you chose to read on, then we’re glad to let you know that you’ve made the better decision. Here we take a sneak peek into 5 of the best mini massage guns of 2022. Don’t bat an eye, it will be over before you know it.
Ekrin Bantam – Best Mini Massage Gun
Ekrin gave us two magnificent massage guns in Ekrin B37 and its beautiful sequel, the B37S. They also introduced us to excellent customer support and unbelievable faith in their products with a lifetime warranty for everything they sold us.
You better believe we were eager to lay our hands on their mini massage gun. The Bantam is a darling to us here.
It’s basically if the B37 and the B37S had a child it would be the Bantam. Everything they gave us with the full size guns they simply replicated into the Bantam. The only difference being the size.
It’s super compact and perfect in size. In fact, if there ever is an on-the-go massage gun, this is it.
It measures just 6.5” by 4.5” by 1.9. Just about the same height as iPhone 12 Pro and noticeably smaller than the Hypervolt Go 2, for instance.
It has superb ergonomics with its 15-degree angled handle and weighs only 1.1 lbs.
The build quality is impressive. It not only feels durable, it is durable: we’ve had it with us on a number of hikes, and even though we accidentally dropped it a few times, nothing bad ever happened to it. This is part because of the sturdy, and slightly rubberized plastic it’s been made of, and part because of how well it’s been put together.
Obviously being a smaller gun you’d expect some compromises. That’s why the stall force is 35lbs. and not 56lbs. like the bigger guns. Still this is very impressive power for a miniature massage gun. It also has a respectable amplitude of 10mm – you won’t need more.
Rpms are impressive as well, running at 2000-3200rpm with 3 gears to separate the intensity. This is standard percussions range for most guns in this category, but it feels slightly more stable. We’ve verified the percussion range using our laser tachometer device.
Perhaps the most important feature, as far as the performance is concerned, is the Bantam’s ability to give an intense, deep tissue massage without slowing down percussions upon pressing it harder to larger muscles. This is where 95% of other mini guns fail miserably. They’re just too weak for the job.
In other words, when you get the device rev at 3200 hits per minute, it will continue rev as fast even after pressure is exerted (due to high stall force). Most mini guns fail this test miserably, but not the mighty Bantam.
It’s a quiet device as well, with only about 50-58dB noise level – we checked with our noise meter.
Other things you may want to know include its superior built-in Samsung battery that’ll give you 3-5 hours of battery juice. Unlike its bigger counterparts, the Bantam has a USB-C cord charger.
It comes with 4 attachments and a very informative instructional manual on how to use the heads. You’ll also be pleased to learn that it comes in a nicely done travel case.
Lastly, this mini massage gun is backed by Ekrin’s signature lifetime warranty.
It costs $149.99 but you can use our coupon code MGA20 that gives you 20% off so you can have it at only $119.99 in the Ekrin’s store right here.
Read More We recommend reading our in-depth Ekrin Bantam review if this one caught your attention.
Renpho R3 – A Tad Bigger But Great
The R3 Active (formerly the R3 Mini) is not as mini as the others we looked at but it’s small and compact if only to compare it with any large gun. It’s made of good quality plastic, and finished nicely.
It’s the surprise package in our list because it delivers more than advertised.
For starters, the stall force is about 25lbs. At least that’s how it felt to us (Renpho does’t list it anywhere). The amplitude is 9mm, which is reasonable for a mini massage gun because most range between 6-9mm. It has 1800-3000 percussions per minute.
This for us is impressive, because as you read about our other choices you’ll notice they have better percussions per minute range but lower amplitude. The Renpho might not be as fast as the Bantam, or Recoverfun Plus, but it punches harder than all the guns below.
The R3 is also surprisingly quiet at 51-62 dB of noise. Renpho chose to give their customers something that’ll give them peace of mind. Many minis don’t come close. It has 4 speed gears which we think is just enough.
The battery is nice, with 2500mAh capacity, so like in a full-size device. You easily get about 2 hours with a single charge, maybe more if you don’t apply much pressure. To top it all up, it’s very convenient to charge it because, instead of a dedicated charger, it comes with a USB-C cord.
Other noticeable features include a one-button operation which we believe you’ll find very useful and convenient. It also comes with five attachments, the most of any gun on our list. In fact, some mini guns will offer you just one (looking at you Theragun Mini).
Cons – very minor ones:
- May be a bit too shaky on higher gears. It vibrates quite a bit.
- It weighs 1.5 lbs, so is 50% heavier than the Bantam (same as Hypervolt 2 Go).
Overall, a very decent proposition that might not be as powerful (nor compact) as Bantam, but it is a solid runner-up and our number two choice. It is also an affordable one.
Renpho R3 retails at $99.99 but we’ll make it an early Christmas for you our readers with a reduced price. Use the MGA10 promo code at checkout to get 10% off – buy it here at renpho.com.
Read More Check out our Renpho R3 review if it caught your attention.
Lifepro Dyna Mini – The Smallest One
Lifepro might not be a top banana in the bunch. At least not as far as mini massage guns go. But they built a good reputation with their massage guns, as well as a variety of other fitness products.
Their Dyna Mini is an interesting massage gun, though. Interesting because in terms of size, it’s super tiny. It’s smaller than all of the guns we’ve looked at (it’s even a tad smaller than Recoverfun Mini below). At only about 5.6”H x 3.5”L x 1.7”W, it can easily fit into the pocket.
They say it’s made with aircraft grade aluminum. We’ll give them that because, anything but plastic, right? A lot of these massage guns are made with plastic.
Onto serious business, and we noticed the stall force is somewhere between 12-15 lbs. which isn’t much, but is enough to treat sore neck, provide relaxation after a workout, and also if you are just looking to have a light, soothing massage.
It has an amplitude of 6mm which again isn’t impressive as compared to our top picks above, but if you consider the size of this gun, and the price, it is probably acceptable.
Percussion range is 1300-3200rpm with 4 built-in speeds. This is normal range stuff as far as most massage guns go. Even so, it’s a super quiet gun – much better than what we’ve seen so far – with 45-53dB noise levels (this is largely due to small amplitude). Hushed!
We checked the stats on the battery and our jaws almost dropped. 16 hours is super impressive don’t you think? But hold on a minute, we realized it only goes that long if you were using it at the lowest of speeds. If you go a bit more intensive, you’ll run out of juice in about 7-9 hours. Which is still very impressive.
It may be a tiny gun but Dyna Mini comes with 4 attachments unlike Theragun Mini. They offer a lifetime warranty, just like Ekrin, and have a superb customer support system – we had a smooth buying experience.
Recoverfun Mini – The Fastest Revving
The Recoverfun mini massage gun doesn’t glitter when it comes to the essential performance features. It lags behind the Bantam and Theragun mini.
But this is not for lack of trying. It’s designed nicely, and the metal-coated body makes it look stylish. The metal adds slightly to the overall weight, but it’s nothing an ordinary user can’t handle.
We’d say it looks pretty similar to the DynaMini above. In fact, it resembles the DynaMini in many other aspects, as we will see below.
Like the Dyna Mini, it has a 6mm amplitude. Now, this is a low amplitude that can only deliver a vibrational therapy massage. This means that you will need plenty of stall force if you hope to massage deep into the tissue. But the Recoverfun mini only has about 10-15lbs. of stall force. In many cases this is not enough.
However, it has a twist that may just make it effective if you know what you are doing: it percusses really fast. It has a range of up to 3300RPM (we verified it). This means that the many percussions can override the pain signals in the brain, increase heat within the tissue and help to release tension. So, this device will do the job just fine.
But why does it rank after the Dyna mini? Well, the Recoverfun mini comes with 4 attachments – you can buy the semi-soft head separately. However, it doesn’t have a carrying case.
But what puts it here, instead of before the Dyna Mini, is the warranty period. This one has a 12-month warranty.
It costs $79 without the semi-soft attachment (you will pay an extra $10). Use the MGA5 code at checkout to get $5 off. Check it out at recoverfun.com.
Read More Our in-depth Recoverfun mini massage gun review for more details.
Bob and Brad Q2 Mini – The Lightest Option
Bob and Brad have dubbed themselves as the best physical therapists on the internet. It’s not hard to see why because they have a YouTube channel with over 4 million subscribers. They help people with actionable advice on how to diagnose muscle problems and treat them.
They also offer very good advice on massage guns. They have been selling their Bob & Brad branded products on Amazon. They have been selling percussion massagers for a while now, and the Q2 Mini is one of their exquisite massage guns (the other is the Theragun-like D6 Pro model).
The Q2 impressed us just like its bigger brother and we chose to include it in this guide as a result. The smaller of the two and fits here perfectly.
Talking of fitting perfectly, this device will literally fit in your pocket – hopefully you’ve pockets that can fit a 5.7”x 3.4 x 1.8 massage gun. It’s so small, you may have trouble believing it’s not a toy. But at 1 lbs (with an attachment), it is the lightest option on our list, sizable enough to deliver as a true mini massage gun.
It has a rather unique shape compared to the rest here. It’s a rounded shape that’s more oval than anything else.
We would recommend this for people who want to have a massage gun that can relieve slight pain in muscles, break lactic acid build-up, or just get a much needed session after a long day at the office. You’ll find the very reasonable stall force quite useful (we estimate it at mid 20s lbs.)
The amplitude is a bit of a let-down because it’s only 7mm. But the percussions per minute range is decent and will give you up to 3000 hits.
You get 5 speed gears to go with the high percussions. You probably won’t get a harder punch, but you’ll definitely get a thorough massage.
It comes with 5 attachment heads, which is awesome because with a full set there’s more to your massage session.
The battery is powerful enough, parking just the right capacity of juice – 2500mAh. You can use it for 3-4 hours before you think of charging it again. A USB-C charge cord is provided. If you love traveling bags, this one comes in a tiny nice carrying case.
If you’re absolutely tight on budget, or if you are just looking for something to work with after a workout, then this gun will serve you well. It will not offer you the best in power but it’s very low-priced.
What about Theragun Mini and the Hypervolt Go?
By now you must have noticed that both these household names are missing from our list. Don’t they stand a chance at all?
We’ve chosen not to simply skip over them but tell you what we think and then you can make a wise choice. That’s all we want for you. So take a look:
To be fair we have mixed feelings about the Theragun mini. On the one hand, being a premium product it has some unique features. We’ll call those:
- First, we’ve not seen that design before. It’s interesting to hold as well. But it’s not our favorite hold. We’re just not sure if this kind of handle is the best for a massage gun.
- The amplitude is massive for a mini gun. Its 12mm stroke length is impressive to say the least. If we were to judge all our picks by this, then it’s the clear winner.
However, that’s just about the pros that this gun has over the others. Otherwise, there are plenty of cons in comparison:
- Only max. 20lbs of stall force. It’s one the weakest in this respect.
- Percussion range is unimpressive – only 1750-2450rpm. It’s on par with the Lifepro Dynaflex Mini here but the Dynaflex beats it hands down with its powerful motor of 45lbs.
- It only has 3 speed gears to choose from. The same as the Ekrin Bantam though but all the others have 4 or more.
- Perhaps the heaviest; weighs 1.4lbs.
- Just the one attachment (ball). This doesn’t give you many options unless you have a bigger Theragun with more attachments.
- The battery isn’t as juiced, giving you just 2-2.5 hours of continuous use.
- Does not come with a USB-C cord.
- Comes in a pouch rather than a carrying case.
- Has just 1-year warranty
- By far the most expensive. It’s way overpriced to be fair.
More to read Here you will find our dedicated Theragun mini review.
Hypervolt Go 2
Unlike the Theragun mini, we didn’t have any mixed feelings with this one. This one doesn’t have any clear advantage(s) over the others. At least the Theragun gave us the unique design and a 12mm amplitude. We’ll share some points about how we feel:
- It has 10mm amplitude which is the same as the Bantam.
- It has a disappointing stall force of only about 12-15 lbs (our estimation). It stalls very easily, unfortunately, and it’s feels very underpowered compared to all guns on this list (maybe except of the Dyna Mini, but Dyna is like 30-40% smaller)
- Not really a unique design – tons of guns look the same i.e. it borrows a leaf from Ekrin’s design book as far as the ergonomics go.
- It weighs 1.5lbs. Possibly the heaviest of them all.
- They also don’t get any points over any of the others as far as portability. It’s worse really, no pouch, no case, nothing!
- It comes with only 2 attachment heads.
- No USB-C charging cord option.
- Just the 1-year warranty.
- Sells at a hefty price point. Definitely not a great option if your budget isn’t as flexible.
You see why it doesn’t make our list, don’t you?
Oh, and it you wonder if the Go 2 is better than the Go 1 then we’ll tell you right away – it is not. It is about the same.
Refer to our Hypervolt Go 2 Review to read what has changed and what has not vs. the Go 1
Choosing the Best Mini Massage Gun – What You Should Look For?
With massage guns, big is better. At least if you really want to get results. But small is just as good if not better. They will not give you intensive percussion therapy, but they will offer you just about enough to keep you going. They will work to:
- Improve your blood flow.
- Provide relief to sore muscles by breaking up the lactic acid accumulation especially after a workout session.
- Reduce tension or inflammation.
- Improve muscle performance. You can do this by having a quick massage before a workout session. It’s even more effective when you have one after.
Read More There are even more benefits of massage gun therapy.
The full-sized massage guns will still give you all of these, or perhaps even better, but the important thing here is the portability the little percussive devices offer you instead.
But perhaps that’s just about the only great thing about a mini percussion massager will give you. Unlike their full-size counterparts, the mini massage guns;
- Won’t give you a really deep tissue massage. This is because their less than enough stall force and amplitude won’t get the job done.
- Because of this, regular sized guns are a better choice for people with massive body sizes or muscles, athletes, bodybuilders or those looking for intensive percussive therapy.
Even though you may not get as intensive massages as the regular sized guns, it’s important that your choice will serve your purposes just as well. Here are key things to pay attention to as you make your choice:
Size and Weight
Quite obviously, when you shop for a mini massage gun the size and weight are two very important factors. You should know that although most massage gun brands tend to call small massage guns as ‘mini’, there are two main types as far as size is concerned.
- Smallest devices, which we like to call as mini. These are Ekrin Bantam, Lifepro DynaMini, as well as the Recoverfun Plus.
- Slightly bigger, yet still very compact ones. We call them small instead of mini. Example devices Hypervolt Go 2, Renpho R3, or Taotronics PCA004
When it comes to two industry darlings, Hypervolt Go and Theragun mini, we would classify the former as small and the latter as mini (as the name suggests).
Weight Comparison (lbs.)
This is the amount of pressure needed to stall the motor of any given percussive massager.
This is measured in pounds (you’ll notice we always abbreviate it as “lbs.”). A stronger motor will not stall easily when pressed down hard on the body.
It’s important that the compact massage gun you choose has a stall force of at least more than 20lbs.
We prefer going for the ones that are listed as having 30-plus pounds of stall force. This is because there are many cheap devices bearing the same title that are listed as having only 10lbs. stall force. We are sorry to say that those aren’t really offering percussive therapy but vibration therapy.
Stall Force Comparison (lbs.)
Conclusion As far as the performance is concerned, Ekrin Bantam has the most power.
Stroke Length (Amplitude)
This is also known as the stroke length. It refers to how far the massage head will travel as the device vibrates.
The head hits the part of the body you’re trying to massage rather than just vibrate over it. With this one, the longer the length, the better performance you’ll get. A longer amplitude punches harder and gets the job done much more effectively.
Most mini massage guns will have about 6-10mm amplitude. This is the accepted standard here. Anything lower than that and you’re probably just buying a vibrating tool rather than a percussive therapy device.
You’ll notice that our picks fall under the 6-10mm threshold with Theragun mini going up to impressive 12mm.
Stroke Length Comparison (mm)
Conclusion Amplitude is the only one feature when Theragun mini shines, with its 12mm. But sometimes, you’ll want to sacrifice more head travel for more no-stall force.
This is the measure of how much faster the device can hit. However, these aren’t really the magic numbers.
Just because a gun has more hits per minute doesn’t mean it’s the most effective, at least not always. This is because sometimes the manufacturer may choose amplitude over percussion range. In that case the device isn’t hitting faster, but hits deeper.
For example the Theragun Mini may have only 2400rpms but it makes up for the reduced speed with a 12mm long stroke.
Therefore, here, instead of just looking at how fast the device works, factoring in the amplitude is recommended.
For example, you’ll do well to pick a device with 3000rpm but with 10mm amplitude, rather than one with 3500rpm but only 7mm stroke length.
How many speed options is good enough? Most mini massage guns come with 3-5 speed options.
On the lower end look for at least 3, but you’ll probably need 4 or at most 5. Sometimes however, it’s not surprising to find devices that have over 15 speed options.
In our opinion this is ridiculous (all pun intended). How many times do you think you’ll have to press the button on the device to find the right range?
A mini massage gun’s motor will make a certain amount of noise when it’s turned on. There’s tolerable noise and then there’s madhouse noise levels.
You can get any of these depending on what device you pick. However, since you are probably looking for something to use in the office or at the gym without drawing unnecessary attention, we’d recommend less noisy guns.
The optimum noise level for us would be less than 65dB, with the 35 dB being the ambient sound in the room. Mini massage guns tend to be quieter than their full sized counterparts, so this shouldn’t be much of a hassle.
We’ve made the choice easier here because none of the guns in our list are loud. They wouldn’t make the list if they were.
…And a Few More Considerations
Apart from what we just explained above, sometimes the cherry on the top doesn’t do any harm at all. So here are a few cherries you might want to consider when making a choice:
- Materials: As you’ll see below, some massage guns are made from metal (aluminum) while some others are plastic/rubber. From our experience, the former are better for home use, while the latter are more practical and better for people on the go (e.g. great for hiking trips).
- Number of attachments: One or two attachments on any device just isn’t enough for us. Get a device that has at least 4 attachments. This gives you more options to massage different parts of the body.
- Battery capacity: You’ll rarely find a mini massage gun that won’t run for at least 2-3 hours on a single charge. You’ll probably only need to charge them once in a week.
- Charger type: Smaller massage guns should at least afford you with a convenient charging means. A USB-C is much more suitable than a dedicated charger.
- Travel case: You want a device that at least gives you the option to carry your massage gun around easily.
Best Mini Massage Gun: Conclusion
We’ve come to the end of our best mini massage gun guide. Hopefully you have enjoyed the ride and will be a lot wiser when you pick your next mini percussion massager. You’re saying “I still need help”. Don’t worry we’ll give you the help you need.
The Ekrin Bantam is our top pick in the mini category with superb ergonomics, more no-stall force, lifetime warranty and wonderful customer support from the company. It doesn’t get as comprehensive as this! But If you need something that’s really tiny then consider Lifepro Dyna Mini or RecoverFun Mini.
Please drop a comment below if you have any questions or need more information. We’ll be glad to help.
Till next article, thank you, and goodbye!
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