Shootout: Theragun, TimTam, Percussive Massagers
article & images by Nick Salazar
Mar 26, 2019
The first time I saw a Theragun was on a trade show floor. The Theragun folks were showing off a very high-priced massaging tool, and I didn't really pay attention. They wanted several hundred dollars for what is essentially a jigsaw with a rubber tip. Or so I thought. Years later, they have become a force of nature in the high-end massage gadget space, and when I finally got around to testing one, I was floored. It's surprisingly effective, and a very polished product. But how did this extremely expensive massager compare to similar offerings? And can any of these things justify their very high price? That's what this review is all about.
I began my quest in this space with the home-brew tool variety - an actual jigsaw, with a rubber tip. I then stuck my toe in the water with a slightly higher-priced version made by TimTam. And finally, the good folks at Theragun sent me their latest massager, the $600 G3PRO, to test out. We will look at the lower-tier options first, and then dig in to the Theragun. Spoiler alert: the Theragun is head and shoulders above the competition. There's a reason it's more expensive. Does that mean you should shell out for it? After all, that kind of cash can buy you many months worth of massages by a trained professional.
Hit the jump and let's get started.
Theragun, TimTam, and the homemade variety, side by side.
The G3PRO is the latest and most refined massager from Theragun. It's incredibly slick, MUCH quieter than the competition, and comes complete with a spare battery, seven tips of different sizes/shapes/firmness, and a case. At $600, it's extremely pricey, but it is undeniably head and shoulders better than anything else in this review. Is it worth the extra cash? That's really a decision for the individual user. Personally, I did't want to see my review unit go back.
TimTam Power Massager
TimTam is kindof the budget version of Theragun. It works just fine, but it's no quieter than a shop jigsaw, and only has one tip. That tip is a very hard rubber ball, which offers you just one shape and one level of firmness. Honestly, it'll get the job done, but it's loud and not particularly refined.
The Homebrew (Black + Decker Jigsaw)
At about $100 complete, this is by far the cheapest setup, and comes with the added bonus of being useful as a shop tool. After all, it's just a jigsaw. It also features variable speeds, which is pretty nice, but you have to control that speed with the continuous trigger, which can be a bit tricky. And finding different tips is a pretty tricky situation, you basically scour Amazon or eBay to find something that will fit the jigsaw shank.