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There is a wide range of manual handheld massage machines that can cover almost any need.
However, the wide variety of designs, features, and functionality of these products may cause you confusion at the time of purchase.
RENPHO Wireless Electric Handheld Massager
The most outstanding feature of this massager is its portability.
Its 75-minute autonomy is more than enough to take it and use it anywhere. Just keep in mind that the machine turns off every 20 minutes, to avoid overheating.
On the other hand, in case of any manufacturing defect, positive comments related to good service and excellent brand support can be observed, which undoubtedly offers a lot of peace of mind at the time of purchase.
The ABS materials, the robustness of its design, and the power of the device despite being wireless are also outstanding.
Hand massager with NURSAL heat function
What stands out most in this electric handheld massager is the speed and intensity adjustment that can be graduated in the same way.
This means you can choose from multiple massage speeds and intensities, without being limited to fixed settings.
On the other hand, users highlight the versatility offered by its accessories.
Some clients report that scalp massage, kneading, deep tissue massage, thermal exfoliation therapy, and local exfoliation can be easily performed.
It also stands out for its ease of use, and a suitable weight that allows it to be handled without any major effort.
Hand machine for giving body massages Naipo
What stands out most in this handheld massage machine is its low weight (the lightest in this review) and the ergonomic rubber handle, which makes it easy to handle.
This means that the massager can be manipulated by people with hand problems, who may have trouble grasping and moving other similar devices effectively.
Some users are positive about the percussive power this massager offers, and the accessories that allow for great versatility.
A flexible massage head that imitates the movement of the fingers is particularly noteworthy, very similar to the natural movement that takes place in a kneading massage.
Handheld massage machine
You could say that this is the only handheld machine to give a massage naturally.
Unlike the previous ones, it is your own fingers that make up the acting surface that comes into contact with the area of the massage.
However, keep in mind that this machine will not work for self-massaging your back, as it has a compact design, which fits over the back of your hand, to use your fingers as if they were massage heads.
Therefore, it will serve to massage your scalp or any other part of your body except your back.
The truth is that it is a machine widely used for hair massage, as a hand machine to give a lymphatic massage, or any other type of massage where kneading and vibration are needed, but transmitted in the most natural way possible.
And what could be more natural than your own fingers?
However, it is a somewhat heavy machine that must be used on the back of the hand and therefore this may present problems for users with mobility problems or lack of strength in the wrists and hands.
In terms of customer feedback, its durability is particularly noteworthy, and although it has a single speed, this does not seem to affect the value perceived by users.
Battery operated handheld massage machine
This ultra-compact mini hand massager stands out for its high portability, as it runs on three AAA batteries.
It is basically a machine with three massage nodes that offer a gentle vibration that, although it is not powerful enough to perform a deep massage or promote muscle recovery, is quite useful when you need a simple and relaxing massage.
Since it runs on low power batteries, it is a handheld massage machine that is very safe for children, in addition to its nodes with LED lighting, which add a different touch.
Users report good attention from the seller, and in general, great value is perceived for the price.
Japanese massage and heat therapy handheld machine
Like the NURSAL heat function massager discussed above, this massage machine stands out mainly for the versatility it offers in terms of speed and intensity.
It has an intensity control described by the manufacturer as a “wide spectrum control”.
Basically, it is an analog type control that offers the possibility of adjusting precisely any speed that is within its maximum and minimum range.
Therefore, unlike other machines that offer limited speed options, with this device, you can set any speed, as long as it is within the above-mentioned range.
It is completely made of ABS, which makes it a very resistant machine.
And, although it is the heaviest elongated design massager in this review, it could be said that the manufacturers have found a good balance between manipulation and stability.
Users highlight the analogous speed control, the power of its infrared light for heat therapy, and in general, there is a great satisfaction, although some complain about its weight.
Thumper Sport E501 Double Node Hand Massager
The E501 by Thumper Sport is a hand massage machine specifically designed for those who are serious about their well-being, and the relaxation of their body.
What stands out most in this massager is that despite having two massage heads, it only weighs approximately 200 g more than the heaviest single-headed machine analyzed in this review.
It is therefore a robust, powerful but relatively light massager, considering the power of its two heads and the overall size of the machine.
On the other hand, the area it covers is considerably larger compared to other manual massage machines of similar size. A feature that allows for extensive and quick massages, but with a high degree of efficiency.
Furthermore, according to its manufacturers, this Canadian-made machine is completely assembled by hand, which can be an indicator of good quality, both in its manufacturing processes and in the materials of its components.
In general, users especially highlight the benefits obtained with this massage machine in terms of pain relief, as well as its power and robustness.
Each of the massagers reviewed above has a certain set of features that are slightly different in each model.
Because of this, finding the best electric hand massager may not be as simple as it seems.
The truth is that, depending on each need, some characteristics are more useful than others.
Manufacturers know that and are constantly striving to design products with varied options for functionality and design, to try to offer solutions that are adapted to the needs of each client.
The bad news is that, despite all these efforts, no handheld massage machine works for everyone.
The good news is that a handheld massager doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you inform yourself enough, you can choose what’s best for you without fear of making a mistake.
In this order of ideas, the purchase criteria described below are based on the features and functionalities, which really offer you the best value for your money:
Although hand massagers do not come with the same options offered by other devices such as massage cushions, chair pads, or massage chairs, they are still devices capable of providing multiple benefits in terms of relaxation, and muscle recovery.
On the other hand, in a review published in NCBI, it is concluded that some massage techniques such as kneading, Shiatsu, and Tapping offer important benefits.
So let’s see what each technique is about, and how the electric massagers simulate those movements in the muscle mass:
When performed by a professional masseur, this massage technique involves the compression of soft tissues against underlying bone structures or each other. The masseur accomplishes this by using his or her fingers and palms.
By using specially designed accessories and heads, a manual massage machine can replicate this technique.
With these attachments, you can push the muscle against its bone structure, and the intensity depends on how hard you press on the massager.
When performed by a professional masseur, the Tapping technique involves tapping and pressure with the fists.
In this case, the handheld machines that best simulate this movement are those with double heads.
Percussion is probably the technique in which a handheld massage machine performs best.
When performed by a professional masseur, percussion massage involves rapid movements that hit the body alternately with each hand.
The hand massager simulates these movements by performing sequences of short movements that hit the muscles. The sequences may or may not change, depending on the model.
The percussion massage is attributed to multiple benefits among which are relaxation, muscle recovery, and improvement of blood circulation in the area where the massage is performed.
Using heat therapy is probably one of the best ways to relax after a long day of work.
Heat therapy promotes a state of comfort and relaxation, and can also relieve some pain and discomfort.
A handheld massager that allows for speed settings is more versatile than one without this feature. Changing the speed will allow you to customize the massage experience and environment.
For example, if you’re in a good mood for a gentle massage, just set the massager to its slowest speed.
On the contrary, if you want a more dynamic and vibrant massage, you simply set the machine to the highest speed and that’s it. The truth is, in the long run, this is a very valuable feature.
The number of accessory heads that come with the hand massager determines how you can use the unit.
Most manufacturers provide several massage heads with their products, and each one produces different sensations and styles of massage.
The ideal, in this case, is to obtain a manual machine with multiple massage heads and adjustable speed.
This will allow you to customize your massage sessions and over time, set up the type of massage that best suits your particular needs and tastes.
The following are the massage heads that you can usually find in the accessories of a good electric hand massager:
Narrow massage head
Although the manufacturers present it under different names, the truth is that they are quite similar in each model, as they are specially designed to provide a deep tissue massage.
This design is usually narrow and ends in a tip that can range from 20 to 8 mm in diameter.
With this massage head, it is possible to reach deeper into the muscle mass because all the strength is concentrated in a small contact area. Therefore, when it comes to deep tissue massage, this design offers the best experience.
Massage head with wide design
As in the previous case, this accessory will most likely have a different name according to the model and brand of the massager you choose.
The wide head is designed to provide a wide contact surface, which is intended for a relaxing massage.
Roller type massage head
This head design provides a firm massage, but without reaching deep muscle tissue.
Some variants come with bumps to stimulate circulation in the area of the massage.
While the roller head does not offer as strong an experience as a deep tissue massage, it does provide a message powerful enough to stimulate circulation, and promote muscle recovery.
Scraper type massage head
It is designed to gently remove dead cells and stimulate blood circulation in your skin.
Hair Massage Head
While this accessory is not as effective as scalp massagers, you can get a comfortable and relaxing massage.
Final recommendation on massage heads
Before using any accessory that comes with your handheld massage machine, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations carefully. Some massage heads should not be used under certain conditions.
In general terms, the degree of portability in these devices is determined by the absence or presence of a power cable, and the length of the cable.
However, although this is one of the main advantages of a handheld massage machine, not all of them have the same degree of portability.
Under these criteria, we can classify the portability of these devices as follows:
The wireless electric massagers are the most portable massage machines of all.
These devices can be used anywhere. You can use them at home while resting in your backyard or, give you little moments of relaxation when you are at work.
Some hand massagers are manufactured with a considerably long power cable.
Usually, they come with cables that can reach 1.5 meters long. This allows a fairly acceptable degree of freedom to use it in your favorite chair, or on a massage table.
Handheld electric massagers that come with a short power cord have low portability.
Some models come with a power cord only 30 or 50 cm long. This is a major disadvantage, as, without an extension cord, it becomes too complicated to use.
A handheld massage machine offers the possibility of using it on any part of your body, which is another important advantage.
However, like portability, versatility can be affected by certain design and functional features.
Let’s see which factors most influence this characteristic:
One of the first things you should consider when looking for a handheld massager is the design of its overall structure.
Not all manufacturers use the same design, and depending on whether you need an auto massager or not, some designs will be more versatile than others.
Elongated body design
Hand massagers that come with an elongated body are usually very good for self-massaging because they can reach difficult points (e.g. the back), allow for an easy and comfortable grip, and are generally very easy to operate.
However, most of these models only have one massage head, so you will have to take your time, in case of massaging large areas of your body.
In this case, the greatest versatility is achieved with an extended body self-massage machine, but with a double head.
Compact body design
Compact massagers are usually very easy to operate. They have a comfortable handle that is easy to hold, and since they have a larger area and number of heads, they can cover large areas of your body without any problems.
However, these models are useless when it comes to self-massaging the back.
Which design is the most versatile of all?
The ideal design of a handheld massage machine is one that allows you to perform a self-massage on any part of your body.
For example, the best handheld back massager is one with an elongated design and a 90° head, and if the budget is not the issue, the double head is definitely the best choice.
However, if self-massage is not the priority, the area of contact, the ability to cover large areas of your body, and the variety of power, are the main features to look for in a handheld massager.
Therefore, there is nothing better than a good massage machine with a compact design and several heads.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, some handheld massagers use a single massage head while others use two or more.
Single-headed massagers generally have a better range. They are more efficient at massaging in the right place, so they are especially useful for people who suffer from muscle knots.
However, they are not appropriate when you need to cover large areas of your body.
In contrast, the wide head models cover larger surfaces in less time but are less efficient when it comes to a deep massage.
You can buy the best handheld massage machine online, but if it’s too heavy to hold comfortably, chances are you won’t be able to take advantage of its full potential.
However, not necessarily lighter is better. Rather, it is a question of balance.
Manual massagers must have a certain weight to be more stable, especially when they are working at full capacity.
So, keep in mind that if you are looking for a good quality electric massager, don’t expect something too light.
Not all massage accessories are designed to work on every part of your body. In fact, some heads are quite uncomfortable when you try to use them in sensitive places.
Having a model with multiple massage heads is an advantage because it offers greater versatility, in the sense of finding one, for every part of your body.
Every manufacturer tries to incorporate as many features as possible in a single unit, but the truth is, you probably don’t need them all.
If you want a strong, deep massage, or a high degree of portability, the ideal is a wireless handheld massager, powerful and robustly designed. In this case, nothing beats the Renpho wireless.
However, it doesn’t make sense to buy expensive and powerful massage equipment if you only need to relax occasionally after work.
In this case, a simple handheld machine is sufficient to give anti-stress massages, such as the Nipo with its heat function.
In short, to be on the safe side, just keep in mind the purchase criteria described in this guide.
This way you can determine which features you would like to prioritize, and how you want to feel during and after a self-massage.
If you do it in this way, you will surely erect the best hand machine to give body massages, that widely fulfills your expectations according to your particular need.