A Complete Buyer’s Guide To Percussion Massagers!

Sounds Fancy, But What Is A Percussion Massager Anyways?

Did You Know Plucking Is A Form Of Percussion Massage?
Did You Know Plucking Is A Form Of Percussion Massage?

In layman terms, a percussion massager is one that can perform percussion movements. But what exactly are percussion movements? According to ivyroses.com, percussion movements can be categorized as cupping, hacking, plucking, pounding, pummeling, and tapping. You’ll notice the terms percussion and tapotement are often used interchangeably. For your information, they mean the same thing! You can read more about Tapotement by clicking here.

What does a percussion massage feel like? If you’ve ever had a Swedish massage before, that’s exactly what it feels like! Depending where you live, some also use percussion technique in traditional or classic massage. That being said, it’s more than likely you’ve had a percussion style massage before!


What Are The Benefits?

Talk To Your Physician Before You Begin A Massage Regimen!
Talk To Your Physician Before You Begin A Massage Regimen!

If done correctly, percussion massage can be incredibly beneficial. The intense nature of this technique allows for deep tissue stimulation. The obvious benefits from this is better circulation, healthier skin, and an overall improved immune response. Even still, I always recommend you consult with your physician prior to commencing any massage therapy. Do not take this statement lightly! If there’s one thing about massage, it’s that not all massages are for everyone. Our bodies are different, and as a result what fares well for me, may not be the case for you. Take my advice!


6 Things To Consider Before Buying A Percussion Massager!

The infographic below (created using Canva) is a list of 6 things I would personally consider before buying a non commercial percussion massager. Commercial massagers are an entirely different ball game, so we will limit our discussion for the entirety of this post to consumer percussion massagers only.


Pure-Wave CM5 Is My Best Percussion Massager!

Why is this the best? Simply out, it has pretty much everything I look for in a percussion massager and still is reasonably priced. Let’s look at the pros and cons below!

Pure Wave CM5: The Best Percussion Massager On The Market!
Pure Wave CM5: The Best Percussion Massager On The Market!


Pros—Why I Love It So Much

It’s Cordless & Has A Rechargeable Battery

Cordless versus corded is a debate not worth arguing. As I mentioned earlier, it really boils down to preference. I’m always on the go, whether than means driving for long hours, or taking 12+ hour intercontinental flights. That being said, my preference is a cordless massager which I can use without having to plug into an electrical outlet. Quick, simple, and best of all…travel friendly!

It Weighs Less Than A Kilo!

As far as handheld massagers are concerned, weight is a big deal, especially if you plan on using the massager on yourself without any help. A lightweight device makes it a heck of a lot easier to hold and reach the lower back, for example. The Pure-Wave CM5 weighs about 1.65 pounds.

Up To 3700 rpm—Great For Deep Tissue Work!

True percussive movement such asĀ cupping, pounding, pummeling, and tapping requires high intensity in order to be truly effective. That being said, the CM5 has up to 3700 rpm of power. This is more than plenty to do deep tissue work!

3700 RPM To Work The Toughest Areas Of Your Body!
3700 RPM To Work The Toughest Areas Of Your Body!

Ability To Change Intensity

If you find 3700 rpm is a little too much, you can alter the intensity and drop it down a notch. My advice personally is to always build yourself up from low to medium to high intensity eventually. In other words, don’t jump the gun. Listen to your body, and let it be what guides you!

Dial Up/Down The Intensity To Suit Your Needs
Dial Up/Down The Intensity To Suit Your Needs

The 3 Attachments That Come With It!

Massage heads are kinda a big deal because they’re the one surface that actually touches your body. Why the need for different massage heads? Because the muscles in different parts of our body vary greatly! For example, the inner foot arch muscle (tibialis posterior) is not the same as your deltoid muscle on the shoulder. That being said, this comes with 3 different massage heads:

  1. Six Head Stick—The most versatile attachment from the lot. Particularly great for bigger muscles such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
  2. Air Cushion Stick—A soft head that works well for sensitive areas of the body (shoulder blades for example).
  3. Point Stick—If you’re looking to loosen up knots, this is the head you’ll wanna use. Works especially well on the lower back!
6 Head Stick
6 Head Stick
Air Cushion Stick
Air Cushion Stick
Point Stick
Point Stick

Doctors Seem To Love It!

If this is being used by doctors and their patients, then it has to be half decent. Majority of the reviews I read online all had good things to say as well. Below is a video from PADO, the company that makes these handheld percussion massagers, showing what chiropractors think of pure wave!


Cons—What I Dislike About It

No Heat Option

As far as massage is concerned, heat makes a massive difference. Heat not only helps loosen up stiff muscle, but also improves overall circulation. Also, I find a heated massage much more relaxing compared to a non heated massage. Unfortunately, the CM5 does not have heat as an option. If it did, I’d rate it a full 10/10!


Pure-Wave CM5 Common Questions

Q1. What is the minimum/maximum intensity range?

Answer: According to the specs, the CM5 allows you to vary intensity anywhere from 1500-3700 rpm. Obviously the higher the revolutions, the more intense the massage. As mentioned earlier, start of at a low intensity and build your way up!

Q2. Can I use the CM5 as a facial massager?

Answer: Uhh no. I recommend against it. The CM5 does not come equipped with the right head/attachment to do facial massages. It’s bigger brother the CM7, which I’ll be talking about later does come with this particular head.

Q3. How big is this? As far as storage is concerned, is it easy to carry in a backpack while travelling?

Answer: The approximate dimensions are 14.75” in length, 2.75” in width, and 4” in height. Yes I think the CM5 would fit most backpacks with no issues. I wouldn’t consider it a bulky device!

Q4. Can this be used on yourself, or do you require help from another person?

Answer: Both ways work fine. Because of how compact and light it is, you don’t really need a second person. Although, it may be nice to have someone help you with hard to target areas, such as the lower back for example.

Q5. How about charging? How long should you charge the battery for, and how long does it run for?

According to the manufacturer, an hour charge will give you 3 hours (180 minutes) of continuous run time. However, I don’t recommend you deplete the battery by using the full 3 hours. Charge for 1 hour and use for an hour or two, if possible. I’ve found this works particularly well for lithium ion type batteries. My 2 cents!


3 Other Awesome Percussion Massagers You May Wish To Consider!

All things considered, nothing trumps the CM5 discussed above. It is the best percussion massager as far as I’m concerned. That being said, I think it’s important to weigh your options and consider the alternatives. As such, below are 3 awesome massagers you may wish to consider!

Pure Wave CM7

CM7 is considered the “bigger brother” to the earlier discussed CM5. What are the differences between both? Here’s what you should be aware of:

  1. CM7 Comes With 6 Massage Heads—CM5 comes with 3 massage heads. The 3 additional heads are a body oil stick, scalp massage stick, and a facial massage stick. I personally couldn’t care for the facial and scalp sticks, but I think the body oil stick is a neat option. If you think you need the extra attachments, consider the CM7 over the CM5.
  2. Price—CM7 is higher priced in comparison to the CM5.
  3. Length & Weight—CM7 is 1.75 inches longer than the CM5, and 0.1 pounds heavier. Definitely not significant, but worth noting nonetheless!
  4. Dual Motor—This is a significant difference worth noting. CM5 is designed solely for percussion massage; CM7 on the other hand is designed to do both percussion and microvibration therapy. As such the CM7 has 2 motors. What is microvibration therapy? Here’s an interesting post from Milne Medical Center you should check out! Also worth noting: the vibration motor goes up to 10,000 rpm.
CM7 Is A More Advanced Massager Than The CM5 (Also More Expensive!)
CM7 Is A More Advanced Massager Than The CM5 (Also More Expensive!)



TheraFlow Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

The best percussion massager for anyone on a tight budget. It offers variable speed control with a range of 2200-3200 rpm. Compared to the CM5/CM7, this is a much tighter range with a lot less flexibility, and for those of you wondering….that’s really the main reason for the big price difference! Even still, this is an awesome massager. It comes with 3 attachments:

  1. Dual Point Attachment—Great for a soft, relaxing low intensity massage.
  2. Shiatsu Attachment—Ideal for deep tissue work.
  3. Trigger Point Attachment—Also ideal for deep tissue therapy.

Unlike the previously discussed CM5 and CM7, this is a corded device. That means it will need to be plugged in at all times during operation. If you’re looking for a portable massager to carry on the go, this is probably not the best option all things considered.

The Perfect Choice For Anyone On A Tight Budget!
The Perfect Choice For Anyone On A Tight Budget!



Renpho Hand Held Percussion Massager

Another reasonably priced percussion massager. It’s a cordless device that works with a rechargeable battery. A fully charged battery will last you up to 2 hours. As far as attachments heads are concerned, this one comes with 5. There’s a round ball head for deep tissue work, two 3 point heads for softer massage, a curved head specifically to work on arms and legs, and a one point head to target specific acupuncture points around the body. Overall, a decently priced massager that’s both effective and easy to use!

Inexpensive, Effective & Travel Friendly!
Inexpensive, Effective & Travel Friendly!



What About Use? Are There Any Restrictions?

There’s a couple things you should be aware of before attempting to use a percussion massager. I’ve summarized my 6 favorite tips in the infographic below! (created using Venngage)


But Before You Go, Please Remember To……

I want to end this post reminding you about the importance of consulting with your physician before you start any massage regimen. I know it takes time and we’re all so busy, but you know what they say right? Better to be safe than sorry! That’s about it really. You now know what my best percussion massager is, and what I typically look for in one. If you have some experience with these things, it begs me to ask….what’s your best percussion massager? Maybe it’s not the same as mine, and if that’s the case please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you guys. That being said, I hope you enjoyed reading and got some value out of this post. Please consider sharing on the socials. Till next time friends!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

2 thoughts on “A Complete Buyer’s Guide To Percussion Massagers!

  1. It was interesting to read how different percussion massagers can range in price anywhere from 25 to 350 dollars. My wife has a lot of back pain and has been looking for a solution other than a chiropractor to try and fix it. While a percussion massager or something like it sounds great, we would probably have to go to a facility that specializes in this type of treatment as opposed to buying one for ourselves.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment Dean. Concerning massage, there’s always this debate of “Man Vs. Machine”, and who can do it better. No doubt that the human touch prevails! However, visiting a massage therapist or chiropractor on a frequent basis can get quite expensive. What’s the alternative then? Well, percussion massagers are one. Massage chairs are probably a better alternative. Short term it’s an expensive investment for sure, but long term it sort of pays itself off. It’s definitely worth giving some thought! If there’s anything else I can help with, please do let me know!

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