Go into any running store now, and you’re bound to see a display of massage guns. They are all the rage and they are a lot cheaper, in the long run, than getting massages every month. I saw one for the first time years ago when my sports injury therapist used a Hypervolt Massage Gun on my leg. It was so amazing that I went home and looked it up on Amazon – only to find out they cost, at the time, in the neighborhood of $350. I just couldn’t justify the cost. Fast forward a couple of years, and they are popping up everywhere, and now there are many different brands at many different price points. How do you know if it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for the most reputable massage gun or not? Well a staple in the recovery sphere – ROLL Recovery – has released their latest option the R1 Percussion.
I have seen a few different sizes of massage guns, and the R1 is definitely on the smaller and more portable end of the spectrum. Though it is small in stature, it is built sturdy enough (with aircraft-grade Anodized Aluminum) to provide the desired power. I know some people who have larger guns who state that the added heft/weight in larger guns can feel unnecessary at times, and fatiguing when using as a self-massager.
The Massage Heads:
The gun comes with four separate heads – each with a more specific purpose to their design and shape. I don’t know if they have “official” names, but I would classify them as:
Obviously, this is just made up, but you get the idea. I have been playing around with these and have found certain trouble spots on my body that each of these seems to do well with. For example, I enjoy using the bulb on my hamstrings and things, the point for getting deep into my hip flexors, the chisel for kneading out my calves, the horseshoe for my Achilles, and the flat works great for my forearms after upper body workouts. There are plenty of other body parts and combinations of heads, and that’s really the benefit of having numerous head types.
The Speed Settings
There are 4 deep tissue massage speeds (1800rpm, 2200rpm, 2600rpm, 3200rpm) to select. This is done simply from the bottom of the gun, with a button that moves through all four and a light that indicates what intensity you are at. You cycle through them in order, so there is no way to immediately select the most intense speed from the outset – an extremely, almost non-existent, issue. I definitely have no complaints about the function at any speed.
The Noise Level:
In my head, I expected this gun to be super loud. I am not really sure where that idea cam from, but the expectation was some sort of dental-type whirring. This was (obviously) not the case, but it was even quieter than I ever would have expected a massage gun to be. So quiet, in fact, that I was able to do this in my bedroom one night while my wife slept – and she never woke up. It obviously get a little louder as it starts on the body, but overall the lack of noise was a pleasant surprise.
This is simple to report on. I don’t use this for hours on end every day – mostly in bite-sized chunks throughout the day and pre- and post-workout. All I have to do is plug it in to charge and I easily achieved the lithium ion batteries 7 (!) hours of usage before needing to recharge – and this took me a while. It even has a 15 minute auto turn off in case you forget. For the final few days, I kept thinking that the battery must be close to running out – but it kept going much to my appreciation. With the number of things in life that require constant power and charging, it was nice to have something that keeps on going – especially an item I am not using all the time.
As you can tell, I have been a big fan of this massage gun. Though I have tried a massage gun before, the smaller size really performed well. It is a simple and effective tool – and worth the investment. As someone who is not the biggest fan of rolling (I know, I know), a massage gun is a great alternative and I found more effective in some spots on my body. I could really get deep into my calves with this gun – way more so than I have been able to with a standard foam roller.
The carrying case is a soft envelope of sorts. I wish it was a little larger, and potentially even a harder shell, for carrying and security, but overall it does the trick. Overall, this massage gun far exceeded the expectations I had and I think my body will thank me as a result. It’s also a relatively cheap option compared to some bigger brands out there.
Products & Price:
- R1 Percussion | $129
- Dimensions: 5.6” x 3.6” x 1.85”
- Weight: 1lb 4oz
- Mint Green
Thank you to ROLL Recovery for providing us with a sample massage gun. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.