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Zarifa Massage Gun Review

Zarifa Massage Gun Review – Is The New Z-Smart Mini Worth The Money?

Welcome to our hands-on Zarifa Z-Smart Mini massage gun review, where we dive deep into our first-hand experience with this intriguing device.

Quick Heads Up This review focuses on the ZarifaUSA Mini. However, if you’re interested in Zarifa’s full-sized massagers, we’ve got you covered. Check out our separate in-depth reviews of the ZarifaUSA Z-Smart and ZarifaUSA Z-Smart Health+.

Zarifa may not be the first name that springs to mind when considering massage guns, but we were intrigued to discover how this company, renowned for their medical massagers, would perform in this arena.

Venturing into uncharted territory, Zarifa has introduced their first-ever massage gun – the Z-Smart Mini. We put this device through its paces, testing its power, effectiveness, and unique features.

One standout element that captured our attention was that the Z-Smart Mini is one of the few massage guns eligible for HSA/FSA tax benefits – a rarity in the market.

Our comprehensive Zarifa massage gun review will reveal whether this compact dynamo lives up to its reputation and if it justifies the $149 price tag (or $134.99 with the coupon – find it below).

So, let’s dive in and explore our extensive, hands-on journey with the Z-Smart Mini.


Zarifa Massage Gun Z Smart Mini Model Review
Getting hands-on with the Zarifa massager for the review.

Zarifa Z-Smart Mini Hands-On Video Review

Check out the Zarifa USA Z-Smart Mini massage gun in action. In our hands-on video review, we unbox and showcase all the included attachments, put it to the test with speed stalling, and demonstrate the charging process.

Keep reading below for a detailed discussion of everything featured in the video.

ZarifaUSA Z-Smart Mini Massage Gun: Unboxing + Speed Tests.

Zarifa Massage Gun Review: Z-Smart Mini

Zarifa Z-Smart Mini Specifications

Zarifa Mini Specifications
FeaturesZarifa Z-Smart Mini
Stall Force20-25 lbs*
Stroke Length8.5 mm* (advertised: 12mm)
Percussions Range1800 – 3100 rpm* (advertised: 1600 – 3500 rpm)
Speeds5
Battery Life / Capacity3 – 4h / 2600 mAh (non-removable)
Attachments4
Weight1.25 lbs
Noise 45 – 58 dB* (advertised: <40dB)
Main ProsStylish design
Good stall force
Good percussions range
USB-c charging
HSA/FSA approved
Main ConsSo-so amplitude
Max. percussions lower than advertised
No carrying case/pouch
WarrantyOne year
Price$142.49 $149.99
Discount CodeMGA
(5% Off)
Where to buy with discountGet it at www.zarifausa.com
Zarifa Z-Smart Mini Specs, according to zarifausa.com​1​. Values marked with an asterisk (*) have been measured and verified through our own testing.

Our Zarifa Z-Smart Mini Rating

  • Quality
  • Effectiveness
  • Usability
  • Accessories
  • Price Value
4.2

Summary

During our hands-on testing, we found the Zarifa Z-Smart Mini to be a decent mini massage gun with performance specs that met our expectations. We noticed that it has lower-than-advertised amplitude, but more than enough stall force to do the job. However, based on our experience and cost analysis, unless you plan to use your HSA or FSA card, the Zarifa Z-Smart Mini might seem a bit pricey considering there are more cost-effective alternatives in the market.

Sending
User Review
4 (1 vote)

First Impressions

It’s been a while since we reviewed a device that didn’t have a carrying case. We’ve always liked those; it gives the impression that you are carrying something important.

We believe Zarifa owes us one with the amount of money we have to pay for their device.


That aside, let’s talk about the device itself. It gives a really positive first impression. If you like stylish mini massage guns, this one should be up there on your shopping list.

It has an economical size that feels just about right for a mini. It’s well-proportioned with a metallic finish. It feels like a high-quality device in hand.

As you can see on the photos we’ve made, below, it has a modern look – in our opinion better than those old-fashioned designs we have seen with many mini guns on Amazon.

If you are keen enough, you will notice it’s not the smallest mini gun around. We know Ekrin Bantam is smaller. It may also be a tad bigger than Lifepro Dynamini. But it’s definitely smaller compared to Hypervolt Go 2 and Theragun mini.

This size feels compact and will be easy to maneuver. 


The controls are simple enough – you won’t have to fiddle with a lot of buttons. There is one central button that controls all operations. 

  • Press it and hold for 2 seconds to activate the device
  • Quick press it to change the speed gears
  • Long-press it again to turn it off

There are 5 LEDs above the control button that indicate the current speed gear.

Zarifa Z Smart Massage Mini Gun Control Panel Leds

Our Take

Overall, this is a nicely designed massage gun with high-quality materials used to make it. 


Weight and Ergonomics

Being a mini, you expect it to be highly portable. It measures 4.60”x6.22”x1.95” (L*W*H).

We appreciated its lightweight design during our testing sessions, which made it easy to handle. The handle is longer than Ekrin and Lifepro’s minis, which caters to the slightly larger overall size. Its diameter is only 1.73”, and perfect to hold even for folks with small hands. 

However, we miss an angled handle or any kind of adjustability to it. But we like that it’s light enough to easily maneuver – it weighs a mere 1.2 pounds with an attachment mounted – perfect for a mini gun.

It’s well-balanced, with the battery in the handle and the motor sitting at the top.


Attachments

When we unpacked the Zarifa massage gun, we found 4 attachments inside – all similar to what we have seen with other minis.

Let’s have a closer look:

  • One standard EVA foam large-ball attachment. It has minimal give to it, almost giving the impression of a completely hard head. This is in contrast to the more yielding ball head in Ekrin Bantam. This one is firmer and good for massaging the neck, arms, and legs. It can be the universal head.
  • Bullet head. It’s the standard hard-plastic bullet head. It’s good for trigger points ​2​ and feet. 
  • Spine/Fork head. It’s used to massage the spine area (without touching the spine). You can also use it as a double-bullet head for treating pain points on large muscles.
  • Flat head (they call it Plate shape). This one doesn’t look entirely flat. But you can still use it as a universal head if you want a more aggressive massage than what the ball head offers. It’s hard plastic with no give to it. 

Well, we appreciate the variety and quality of the attachments, but we do feel the absence of a softer head for treating more sensitive areas.

Note, the attachment mounting system is the standard push ‘n pull.


Performance

What are the performance aspects like on this device?


Amplitude

Also known as stroke length, it’s the distance the head travels during percussions. It determines how deep a massage you can get. We know that mini guns don’t have long amplitude – most only have 6-12mm. Theragun mini is the only gun in this category with a 12mm amplitude. 

Surprisingly, Zarifa lists the Z-Smart’s amplitude as 12mm. However, we measured it at 8.5mm. This is less than what they advertise it to be, but still pretty decent.

Zarifa Mini Z Smart Massage Gun Measured Amplitude
Our own measurement shows a surprising result: the amplitude is at only 8.5mm, in contrast to the advertised 12mm.

What, then can you expect from this kind of amplitude?

You can expect it to be slightly more percussive than 6-7mm guns (Lifepro DynaMini, Recoverfun mini).

Nevertheless, it won’t feel punchy. If you want punchy hits you can try out the alternative Ekrin Bantam (recommended below) or Theragun mini.

Even though 9mm will feel more vibrational ​3​ than percussive, you can still get the job done with this gun if it has a combo of a strong stall force and many percussions per minute. Let us explore those two aspects. 


Stall Force

Stall force is the measure of how hard a device can be pressed against the body without stalling.

We couldn’t find stall force information on Zarifa’s website. Often this indicates a weak stall force. However, it is actually pretty good!

When we applied pressure during our massage sessions, we found that its stall force held up quite well.

In terms of the actual figures, it feels like it has 25lbs. on the top gear. In our testing, it felt stronger than a hyped Hypervolt Go 2. However, it lagged behind devices like Ekrin Bantam, which we voted the strongest mini massage gun out there (30+lbs. of stall force).

A few other thoughts we had after testing the stall force:

  • don’t expect the lower gears to withstand a lot of pressure – you can only achieve surface-level massage. However, our testing on higher gears revealed its ability to withstand some decent pressure.
  • the last gear (5th) withstands the most pressure. In our experience, you’ll want to take advantage of this if you want some deep hits. Beginners will find it strong enough to do the job.

TIP If you want more stall force than this, you’ll have to try the Ekrin Bantam.


Percussions and Speeds

We couldn’t help but notice how outrageous the percussion range suggested by Zarifa was. They say it’s 1600-3600RPM.

We felt this was unrealistic given the amplitude. We understand that 1600RM for the first speed isn’t unheard of, but 3600RPM sounds like an overreaching. Either way, we used our laser tachometer to test it.

Our readings showed a range of 1800-3100RPM, which is more realistic. While up to 3600RPM would’ve been incredible, the actual range is pretty decent too.

The Bantam percusses a bit more intensively (maxes out at 3200RPM), but you won’t feel the slight difference. Also, you can start slow and gradually set to a more aggressive massage. 

The device has a 5-speed setup to go with the percussions. We like 5 speeds because they are just enough to cycle through. Plus, for this percussion range, 5 speeds feel perfect.

Nearly all competitors have 3 speeds for their mini guns. We are talking Theragun mini, Ekrin Bantam, and Hypervolt Go 2.


Our Take on Performance

The 8mm (8.5 to be precise) stroke length, above-average stall force in the mid-20s lbs., and a wide vibration range make this Zarifa mini massage gun a versatile device.

You can use it for a reasonably intensive massage. It’s the perfect setup for those who want something portable to use before or after a workout. It’s also great if you want a mini device with a relatively high amplitude and decent power. 

This Zarifa mini massage gun will work great on the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, feet, and back massage therapy. Normal non-buff guys will be able to use it on large muscle groups.

We are not so sure about buff guys. If you want more power from a mini gun, we welcome you to chek out the Bantam (review here) or just grab it at ekrinathletics.com


Noise

Mini devices don’t have a noise problem. This one follows suit.

When we turned it on, it was reasonably quiet. We measured 45-58dB in a quiet room. This makes it slightly noisier than the Bantam.

In our testing, we felt slight vibrations to the holding hand, but nothing too uncomfortable. 


Battery

During our testing, the long battery life stood out as a major advantage. It is pretty juiced – up to 2600mAh, which is full-sized massage gun territory. It’s impressive how they could squeeze such a large battery into a tiny body.

That said, Zarifa says it can go for 10 hours straight on a single charge. In our experience, this is doable, but only when you don’t use higher speeds and apply no pressure. In our use, we noticed it could last for about 4 hours on a single charge when used on higher speeds and with some pressure here and there.

4 LEDs underneath the power button indicate the current charge level. The biggest plus is the USB-C charging that it comes with. You don’t have to work with a bulky wall charge anymore here. 

Usb C Charging Zarifa Mini Massager
We always appreciate massagers equipped with USB-C charging. It’s just so convenient.

Warranty

We learned that the massage gun is covered by a 1-year warranty, which adds to its value. It’s recommended that you register your device on zarifausa.com.

A 1-year warranty feels like nothing in today’s market, given that brands like Ekrin offer a lifetime warranty.

The return policy is also so-so at best. You only have 14 days to complain, whereas other brands allow up to 30 days.

Related ZarifaUSA also offers full-sized massage guns. For a detailed examination of every possible aspect of these devices, take a look at our comprehensive reviews: Z-Smart massage gun review and Z-Smart Health+ massager review.


Price

It now retails for $149.99, or $142.49 if you apply the MGA code at checkout (5% off). In our assessment, that is not a lot for a HSA/FSA eligible mini massage gun. You can buy it at Zarifa USA store.

In our opinion, if it wasn’t for the tax benefits, we would’ve probably preferred a different mini.

Perhaps Ekrin Bantam, which is a lot more powerful but costs less. If you can afford $50 more, you can also buy the Theragun mini (directly at therabody.com, now also using HSA/FSA card).

We have also seen some less-advanced minis with great features that cost a fraction of the Zarifa mini’s price.

To conclude, if you have FSA/HSA benefits ​4​, it might be worth a buy. Otherwise, we believe there are better alternatives.


Best Alternative: Ekrin Bantam

The Bantam is one of the top rated mini massage guns out there today. There are many reasons we listed it as our top mini of 2023.

It’s a tiny device that will slot easily into your jeans pocket. If you are looking for an excuse to carry a massage gun everywhere you go, the Bantam has plenty.

Besides being tiny, it has one of the best ergonomic handles on the market. The angled handle allows for a natural grip and reduces tension on your wrist. This is different from the Z-Smart’s straight handle.

The handle also allows for an inch more when you are trying to reach your lower back. It’s easy to maneuver because it only weighs 1.1 pounds. Very close to Zarifa’s 1.2 pounds, but lighter nonetheless.

It has an excellent build and a premium feel. You also get a higher amplitude that is more than 9mm. This allows for much deeper penetration into the muscle than Zarifa’s 8mm stroke length. The stall force, up to 35lbs., greatly complements the amplitude to deliver a more robust massage. 

It comes with a percussion range of 1800-3200RPM. This makes it slightly more intensive than the Z-Smart mini. It has 3 speeds to go with the range – a different proposition. This is a more versatile device than Zarifa’s. It has better equipment, including a carrying case and a soft ball to use on delicate areas. 

The regular price is $149.99, but you can use the coupon MGA20 (20% off) and get it for only $119.99. That is $15 cheaper for a better device that also comes with a lifetime warranty. Buy it at Ekrin’s store right hereHowever, you won’t be able to buy it with your HSA/FSA funds.


Review Summary

Before we end this Zarifa massage gun review, there are a few things worth noting.

In our use, we found the Z-Smart Mini to be a decent mini device that looked okay and felt comfortable in our hands. We did encounter some downsides, but we didn’t consider them to be deal breakers.

Based on our personal use and testing, we recommend giving it a chance as we believe it will perform adequately for most users.

From our perspective, one of the greatest advantages of this Z-smart massage gun is its eligibility for HSA or FSA, making it a good alternative to Theragun Mini in the mini device category

You can now also buy Theragun mini using the HSA/FSA funds (here’s the FAQ) but that’s about it – other minis don’t come with HSA/FSA benefits.

That said, we think it’s worth considering other options as well. We’ve found that the Bantam, despite being smaller and more powerful, doesn’t offer the HSA/FSA benefits that we appreciated in the Zarifa massage gun. It is cheaper though, so perhaps it makes sense.

Whichever device you choose, you’re likely to be satisfied. We found them all to be good devices. These are all good devices.


References
  1. 1.
    Zarifa USA Official Website. Zarifa USA. https://www.zarifausa.com
  2. 2.
    Moraska A, Stenerson L, Butryn N, Krutsch J, Schmiege S, Mann J. Myofascial trigger point-focused head and neck massage for recurrent tension-type headache: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin J Pain. 2015;31(2):159-168. doi:10.1097/AJP.0000000000000091
  3. 3.
    Lupowitz L. Vibration Therapy – A Clinical Commentary. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2022;17(6):984-987. doi:10.26603/001c.36964
  4. 4.
    Publication 969 (2021), Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. irs.gov. https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969

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Post Update History

Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!

Current version.

Jun 27, 2023 Added links to our in-depth reviews for the Z-Smart and Z-Smart Health+ models. Plus, made some editorial changes for improved readability. (Author: Greg)

Jun 13, 2023 Price and discount code update. (Author: Greg)

Jun 8, 2023 Updated the specs table; Added more information to the review based on our first-hand experience with the product. (Author: Luke)

May 31, 2023 We’ve just added our in-hand video review of the Zarifa USA Z-Smart Mini Massage Gun. (Author: Greg)

May 26, 2023 I’ve added a large amount of authentic hands-on images for a closer look, along with real amplitude measurements. Plus, I’ve made some editorial changes here and there. (Author: Greg)

Published on:

Written by:

greg massagegunadvice com

Greg Szostak

greg massagegunadvice com
Greg Szostak

Hey, I'm Greg, co-founder of MassageGunAdvice.com, with three years of experience in testing over 50 different massage guns. As an avid marathon runner interested in sports tech, I ensure our product reviews are accurate. My responsibility is to verify device specifications and maintain review consistency, simplifying product comparisons for our readers. With a web and graphic design background, I snap the photos and videos you see and keep our site looking sharp.

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