Staying motivated to work out during the pandemic has been tough, and we’ve tried at-home workouts, buying new yoga mats and even fitness bands to help keep us on track. What makes working out even harder is waking up to find your muscles tight and sore from your exercises the day before. That’s why recovery is a key to getting the most out of any workout.
One recovery tool that has become immensely popular is the massage gun. We’ve covered massage guns and their benefits in the past and have tried out the super-popular Theragun. Recently, we’ve been trying out the Kraftgun, which is a comparatively affordable massage gun that has enough power to blast away your soreness while staying surprisingly light and quiet.
Available for $369.99 at StackSocial, the Kraftgun can go toe to toe with the best Theraguns and other massage devices on the market, thanks to its power and price. While it’s not as easy to stow as the Theragun Mini ($199; theragun.com) and isn’t as multifaceted as the Theragun Pro ($599; theragun.com), if you need a deep massager that won’t set you back $600, the Kraftgun is for you.
This massage gun packs a 24-volt brushless motor and a battery that keeps it massaging for three and a half hours. The Kraftgun has three different speed settings (though it has four indicator lights, which seems like a design mistake), and can massage you at 30, 35 and 40 Hz, which translates to 1,800 to 2,400 percussions per minute. That’s right up there with the power of the Theragun Pro, which has a range of 2,100 to 2,400 percussions per minute.
The Kraftgun also has a stopping power of 60 to 80 pounds, which means you can press the massager deep into your muscles without it stopping so you can really dig into those pesky knots. Its stopping power is also comparable to that of the Theragun Pro, which has a maximum of 60 pounds. The Theragun Pro does offer other features, such as an adjustable arm, a more precisely customizable speed and smart app integration, but if all you need is a powerful massager, you can get similar results with the Kraftgun.
We spent over a month with the Kraftgun and found that it does in fact pack a punch. We were able to push the massager deep into our back and legs, and its four interchangeable attachments were helpful in targeting different areas of the body. We used it immediately after working out and sometimes the next day before working out, and overall we felt less sore than we normally do.
PHOTO: Kai Burkhardt/CNN
While it’s proven that massage guns help with recovery, oftentimes they’re heavy, clunky and obnoxiously loud machines that honestly aren’t worth your trouble. But recent improvements in technology have led to increasingly smaller, lighter and quieter massage guns. The Kraftgun is no exception. We were pleasantly surprised by the low volume of the motor, because given its size we were expecting a loud and rattly sound. However, it wasn’t annoyingly loud, and we could use it while watching TV without having to blast the volume all the way up to 100.
The Kraftgun is light too at just about 2.5 pounds, and our arms didn’t get too fatigued trying to pinpoint hard-to-reach spots, although an adjustable arm would make this easier. Even though it’s light, it’s not the most portable of massage guns and will probably have to stay at home unless you have tons of room in your gym bag.
If you’ve heard of the Kraftgun before and are wary of tales of eight- to 10-week shipping times (Kraftgun’s site admits to it, blaming high demand), there’s no need to worry, because StackSocial has shipping times listed right on the product page so you won’t have to wait months for your Kraftgun.
The Kraftgun is a fantastic massage gun that’s perfect for athletes or fitness freaks that take recovery seriously. If you’re willing to give up the fancy features of comparable massage guns like the Theragun Pro, you can score this powerful massaging device for just $369 and get your own personal massage at any time of the day.