Shootout: Theragun, TimTam, Percussive Massagers
article & images by Nick Salazar
Mar 26, 2019
So now we get to it. The King of the Hill. The most expensive percussive massager on the market: the Theragun G3PRO. I kind of didn't want to like this unit, because of how expensive it was. If I hated it, it would be easy to complain about the price. The problem is, it's really nice. Not only does it have a very slick design, come with multiple massage heads, an extra battery(!), and is MUCH quieter than the others in this review, but ultimately, it works really really well. I like to use it, my body always feels better after using it, and that's ultimately what matters.
So first, the design. This is Theragun's third-generation product, and it's significantly prettier than its predecessors. It's about the same weight as the TimTam, and although it appears larger, that's just an illusion of the TimTam's member that juts off in the z-axis. It's very easy to hold and to use.
And the Theragun G3PRO is way way quieter than the others in this review. Where the other ones would require you to pause the TV to use, this one you can keep watching, you just might want to turn up the volume a couple clicks.
The G3PRO offers two speeds, which were well-chosen. The lower speed is good for sensitive muscles, or as you start to get into your session. Particularly on large areas like quads, I like to start with the low speed, and work my way up to the higher speed, which feels like it's giving a deeper and more powerful massage. Although the higher speed is slightly louder than low-speed, it's not really significant. It's more an increase in pitch than in volume.
And of course, the thing I really love is the plethora of different head types. Theragun gives you a bunch of them right out of the box. They have different sizes, shapes, and levels of firmness. It's really easy to find exactly what you want for a given muscle or group. Ultimately, I was very impressed by the level of refinement that seems to have gone into this critical aspect of the tool, seemingly overlooked by some of Theragun's competitors. This is where the thing actually contacts your body, so it's pretty crucial to get it right.
In summary, Theragun just gets everything right with this product. They are head and shoulders above everything else in this review, and for three-times the price, they should be. The $600 is going to be an immediate dealbreaker for most people, but if you have the cash to spend and you want what I think is the best home massage device on the market right now, it's an easy one-stop shop. You truly get everything you need with the G3PRO, so other than the price, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
Hit the jump for some final thoughts.
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.