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The Best Deep Tissue Massager Handheld Machines

What is the best deep tissue massager machine that is handheld in 2019?. Before we unveil our top 7 devices that can penetrate deep muscle tissue and Fascia – The surrounding connective tissue, it’s important to know the benefits and precautions of doing a self deep tissue massage from home.

Many standard massagers that you may have used in the past simply aren’t designed to penetrate deep enough to reach those constricted muscles and or knots. Typically the deep tissue massage is designed to tear away at the knots and break them down along with scar tissue. It’s not the same technique as a Swedish Massage, nor is it just a general massage where harder pressure is applied.

There are 3 stages of a deep tissue massage, in which a massaging machine should be able to accomplish.

  1. Prepping: This is a low impact massage to essentially warm the muscles up
  2. Stripping Back The Muscles: Once the muscles have been warmed up with a gentle soft massage a more intense massage is applied. This is a deep and more of a gliding motion along the fibers of the muscles. Typical achieved by using your elbow, thumbs or knuckles. So a massage device that has an attachment capable of replicating a more pointy tip is required for a deeper tissue massage.
  3. Friction Finish: Instead of following along the fibers of the muscles, the friction method is the final step. This involves applying pressure across the grain of a muscle. This will help put the muscle fibers back in place while releasing any adhesion’s.

Compare Deep Tissue Massager Specs

Name Speed Intensity Price
Pure Wave CM-7 3700 RPM 8.8
Brookstone Max 2 2550 RPM 9.5
WAHL 3500 RPM 7.8
Angel Kiss 3400 RPM 7.6
Styles II 8
Oreadex 5000 RPM 8
TheraGun 2000-2500 RPM 9.7


My Top Rated Massager For Deep Muscle Tissue

#1. Pure Wave CM-7

Best Trigger Point Deep Tissue Massager

Available On Amazon.com

Voted one of our favorite neck and shoulder massagers of all time, the Pure Wave CM-7 is a wonderful device for hitting deep tissue. It has the variable speed needed to begin with a soft gentle massage using the ‘air cushion’ attachment.

Then slip on the ‘point’ attachment for performing the deep tissue massage. This point is magical for relieving trigger points and adhesion’s that attach to worn muscles.

While the Pure Wave CM-7 comes with additional attachments/nodes, these are the two you will find most beneficial for a deep tissue massage. Others include a nice attachment for giving the face a massage and scalp. Mainly aimed at areas with bone contact to reduce the risk of bruising when the device hits a bone.

While not a deal breaker for everyone, the one feature I love the most is that it is cordless. It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts quite some time before needing to be charged again. Having a cordless massager comes in handy for many reasons. For me its the lack of cords that get in the way when trying to reach over to massage the shoulders.

The style of this massager is Percussion. Some people may find this to be not as intense as maybe the Thumper Mini Pro 2, in regards to the pounding action. But, what the Pure Wave CM-7 lacks in pounding, it gains in pin point accuracy. Using the ‘point’ attachment will allow you to get into exactly the right areas whereas a bigger wider surface pounder will lack the accuracy. However, the CM-7 still puts out  3700 RPM and for the facials 10k RPM.

Pure Wave CM7 Cordless Percussion Massager

#2 Brookestone Max 2 Cordless Dual Node Percussion

If you are wanting some serious damage done to your deep tissue muscles, in a good way. Then the Max 2 by Brookestone is one of the strongest percussion massagers. It’s one of the meatiest handheld massaging units I’ve come across. Besides it’s incredible power to push into troublesome muscles, the other great feature is that it’s cordless. But do note, an even more powerful corded version is available.

Brookestone Max 2 Cordless Dual Node Percussion
The Good
  • One of the strongest percussion massagers out there
  • Cordless - While also works when charging
  • Powerful Dual node massagers
  • 5 intensity levels and 3 types of massages
  • Anti user fatigue handles
  • Plus so much more...
The Bad
  • Little heavier than was expecting
  • One of the more pricier massagers available
  • Not as powerful as the corded version
  • Doesn't Offer Heat

But it’s not a cheap cordless either. The Max 2 uses the Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, which as you may know is the current best available. If you have ever owned a device in the past and found that if you didn’t use it for a while, it would drain power. Then you go to use it and then you left with a flat device. Not with the Max 2. This is just one of the benefits of the lithium ion battery.

The other is that you can actually use the massager while it’s plugged into the wall charging. So many other models don’t allow this. So when you desperately need a massage but the cordless is flat, you cant. But with the Max 2 you can. This is an under valued feature that I don’t hear too many people speaking about.

Does It Massage Well?

The Strongest Percussion MassagersIn a nutshell, yes!. The Max 2 offers one of the best percussion style massaging experiences around. If you spend $200 a month on a massage therapist, do yourself a favor and save money. Buy this instead. It’s that good.

The two nodes operate like you would expect, they pound up and down into your muscle tissues. But what makes the Max 2 a winner is that the nodes also rock side to side ever so slightly.

Not enough to pinch huge chunks of flesh. But enough to resemble fingers naturally digging deep into your back. The rocking nodes give this massager a more realistic massage feel compared to most machines out there.

Customizing your massage is also easy with the Brookestone Max 2 due to the amount of options you have at the tip of your fingers. I was quite amazed at the various options available. To begin with, their are 5 speeds that intensify the massage. Which is more than enough when you consider most models have 1-3.

Complimenting the variable speed is the 3 massage settings. Remember, this is a handheld massager. Quite impressive!. For a deep tissue massage, choose the ‘Pulsing’ setting. This will give you an intense short pulses of percussion massage. For times when you need to unwind and relieve stress, choose the ‘Energizing’ setting. This is a slower more wave like motion that helps circulate the blood better. Lastly, the ‘Soothing’ is for long deep tissue rolling massage. Which with the variable speed can be a godsend for getting into those big deep muscles.

Is The Brookestone Max 2 Worth Buying

With a maximum speed of 2,550 RM and the variations in massage available, this is one powerful handheld massager. It really does the lot. Thighs, all regions on the back, neck, shoulders and even your hands due to the massage settings. While there is a fully corded Max 2 version which offers an even more powerful massage, I find that the cheaper cordless model is better suited to my needs. While it’s not too much extra to buy the corded version, I like having the flexibility of taking this beast on road trips, to the park and to work every day.

If I had to complain about anything, it would be that it is heavier then I expected. I don’t feel this is a lightweight handheld massager like described. But in a way, this is a good thing. Using gravity and the weight of the device to push the dual nodes into areas like the thighs and calves is certainly a bonus.

But areas like the shoulder, you can use the two handles to really give those knots a work over. The design of the handle is another feature I don’t hear enough talk about. It’s very well designed for reducing user fatigue, which makes up for the heavier device.

Brookestone Max 2 Cordless Dual Node Percussion

Highly Powerful Handheld Deep Tissue Massager

#3. The WAHL 4290-300 Percussion Vs Pure Wave CM-7 Review

Most Powerful Deep Tissue MassagerAnother percussion style of massager, the WAHL 4290-300 is a great fit for self deep tissue massage. This machine is very powerful, so much so that you don’t need to apply much pressure to feel the massage penetrating deep. The incredible (up to) 3500 pulses per minute make this one of the more powerful handheld massages on the market.

The WAHL 4290-300 comes with 4 attachment heads, 2 of which are great for deep muscle tissue. The larger rounded head is ideal for the ‘Prep’ stage of the Deep Tissue massage. This head can also be used as the general massage tip. Once warmed up the ‘Accupoint’ attachment can be used to run along the muscle fibers. Much like the ‘point’ of the Pure Wave CM-7, the WAHL Accupoint is very accurate for getting in and breaking up knots.

The other 2 attachment heads are the ‘Flat’ and the ‘4 Finger Flex’. Both great in their own right and treat different areas. The Flat is a larger head for the broader muscles while the four finger flex is designed to replicate the feeling of a finger massage. Great for the Shiatsu style of massage.

The main differences between the WAHL and the Pure WaveCM7 are that the WAHL is corded which is a little bit annoying in my opinion, but due to being powered by electricity the WAHL can generate more power. Resulting in a more harder and deeper massage. Both models have great long handles that feel nice to hold and don’t strain the hand too much. If I had to decide between the two devices, it would simply go down to corded VS cordless massager.

Powerful WAHL 3500 Pulse Percussion Massager

Professional Grade Handheld Massager

Professional Grade Handheld MassagerThe Theragun G2Pro is a professional grade battery operated handheld massage device that is in a league of it’s own. Warning: This massager is not for the faint hearted, it’s a brutal piece of massaging equipment that can send your Chiropractor or massage therapist broke. It’s that good, but it is expensive.

How much exactly? You can check price on amazon here.

The G2Pro combines frequency, amplitude, and torque. Which basically means it’s like a redesigned and converted jigsaw (minus the blade and replace the blade with massaging nodes), or a nail gun like machine. It’s brutal vibration strokes are intense and certainly require some practice and patience to master this device.

How’s Does It Work?

So it’s shaped like some futuristic robot hand gun with a massage node on the end. The node basically goes in and out at a rate of knots, which is basically like punching you 1000 times per minute. The handle has been redesigned to be more ergonomic so that you can use this device on just about all your deep tissue muscles strains and pains.

There are 4 massage nodes that can be attached to the G2Pro for targeting specific areas of the body:

  1. Regular ball node for neck, shoulders bottom of feet etc.
  2. Large ball node for large muscles groups like the quads and thighs.
  3. The cone node is for deep tissue massage and getting into those trigger points.
  4. Dampener node which is for sensitive areas and where bone is present.

Theragun G2Pro Video Review

With the high price tag it’s easy to be skeptical. With this video review you can find out how well the G2Pro works after 2 months of daily use on someone with many conditions suitable for the G2Pro.

Is It Really Worth The Money?

The Theragun G2Pro has been designed with two purposes in mind. 1. Activation 2. Recovery. In regards to activation the G2Pro can help with blood flow, soreness and stiffness. While it is also great for getting a muscle group firing before training, exercising etc.

In terms of it’s recovery purpose, the G2Pro is great for loosening up a particular muscle before stretching or if you simply need to relieve soreness associated with the muscle. You can also use this handheld massager to break up scar tissue, myofascial release and also help with lactic acid build up.

Using The G2Pro

Because this is an expensive professional massage tool, it’s not going to be the most easy device to pick up and start using immediately. Even with a lot of massage experience, you will still need time to control and get to know how this machine works. While it is top of the line in regards to relief, it’s one that takes experience by using to truly master.

As a guide, you want to travel with the node belting into your muscles at a rate of about 1 inch per second. For each muscle group try not to spend more than 1 or 2 minutes on them before moving to another area. It’s best to avoid locations such as your head and sensitive areas. Be sure to read the manual for the Theragun to learn which nodes are designed for which areas of the body.

Overall it is one of if not the best massage tool you can buy for deep tissue massage. The options the Theragun offers is almost limitless. If you and your partner want to give a full massage with this device you can really save money in the long run compared to professional massage therapy.

The G2Pro is basically like a foam roller in turbo mode and can produce results a lot faster than conventional massagers. As it is quite expensive, it may not be the best investment for someone that doesn’t regularly need a to unwind from exercise or loosen up before training. But if you find yourself in constant pain due to muscle soreness, the G2Pro could be the best investment ever. Just make sure you read the manual and take it easy when learning how it works.

TheraGun G2PRO Professional Massager

Best Deep Tissue Handheld Infrared Massager

#4. The Angel Kiss Infrared Percussion Massage Device

Best Infrared Deep Tissue Massaging Device
As mentioned earlier, Infrared Therapy is one of the best ways to get deep into the muscle and heating the muscles to contract and release from knots. The Nitric Oxide gas that Infrared therapy unleashes is beneficial for improved blood flow allowing more nutrients to flow to affected areas.

Just 30 minutes of Infrared treatment can increase blood flow by up to 400. There are numerous more benefits from using Infrared, and when combined with a deep tissue percussion massager like the Angle Kiss, amazing things can happen.

The Angel Kiss is a bigger more of a pounding style of massage. Ideal for larger muscle groups where a deep tissue massage is required. The round knob on the face of the massager controls the amount of intensity, which goes up to 2-3k RPM. So begin on the lower setting and work your way up to higher impact to get real deep into the painful muscle tissue.

The Angel Kiss comes with a few additional massage attachments which can be used in heat mode or without heat applied. However, there is no pointy style of attachment found on the likes of the Pure Wave CM7 and the WAHL. So if targeting tricky areas is required, the Angel Kiss may let you down here.

With the con of not having a trigger point type of head, the Angel Kiss dominates in regards to heat and Infrared. Both which are very powerful at getting a deep tissue massage, while benefiting from heat to loosen muscles which aren’t as deep. Great for general massage, but not the best fro pin pointing trigger pints in the neck for example.

Angel Kiss Infrared Percussion Massager

#5. Styles II SSM – 044 Review

Fairly new on the market is the Styles II SSM – 044 cordless deep tissue massager. In time, I believe this will become the best handheld deep tissue massager on the market for a few reasons over the Pure Wave CM7. If improvements are made.

So the Styles 2 is cordless, just like the CM-7. Which I love, but where the Styles is better (In my opinion) is that once the massage machine is low on battery you can keep using it once you plug into the wall. Compared to other devices that won’t allow you to use the massager while plugged into a power source. Huge plus for me.

Being handheld, you need a long ergonomic handle so that you can comfortable grip the device and reach the middle of your back. The Styles II has these features, which are perfect for me. A longer handle is definitely something you should look for.

The Styles 2 cordless massager has 6 separate attachments, which are quite different to the Pure Wave CM-07. Which is the one area I think Stlyes needs to improve on. As for a ‘point’ style of node, the CM7 is more narrow and can penetrate deeper than that of the Styles version. But in saying this, the Styles is still great for a deep tissue massage. I just think a more narrow head is needed to get into those tight areas. Maybe just a personal preference, what do you think?

Styles II Handheld Massager


#6. Best Portable Travel Waterproof Massager

Oreadex Waterproof Cordless Handheld For Deep Tissue Release

Different to any other handheld device in our list is the Oreadex massager. There’s many a times when I have wanted a massage, but had no device on hand. With the Oreadex you can carry it in your car, bag, suitcase etc due to its small size.

But don’t be fooled by the smaller size, this handheld massager is extremely powerful offering up to 5000 pulses per minute. Which is more than the Electric hand held WAHL massager. But the lack of attachments is where the WAHL is better.

While not being the best for pinpointing smaller muscles on the neck for example, the main massaging node is still a small enough size to give a deep tissue massage to just about anywhere on the body. Just lacks the ‘pointy’ head option.

However, being super powerful the Oreadex is great for massaging deep into the muscle tissues and loosening up knots, pinched nerves etc. For such a small and lightweight massager, I am very impressed with the percussion action of the massage head. On many devices, the percussion can feel more like a vibration than something pounding into your muscle. But I found with the Oreadex, the massage percussion style is much deeper. Meaning the node penetrates further in and out of your muscle. A definitive difference between this massage and a less powerful vibration massage.

What I love about the Oreadex is that it is extremely portable. Like so portable you can use it in the shower. That’s right, it is waterproof. Which is also good for me as I sweat a lot in general. So it could very well become my new best GYM buddy in no time.

Oreadex Deep Node Percussion Massager - Waterproof Cord Free


What To Expect From A Massaging Device That Can Implement Deep Tissue Massage

This style of massage is more brutal than you may expect. It’s not unusual to find bruising occur after a thorough treatment. Immediately after a session, you may feel stiffness and soreness. This will reside after a day or so. Because it is a deeper tissue massage, expect to feel some pain during the massage. By using a handheld massager you can control how much pain you are willing to take. Just don’t be alarmed if the massage starts to hurt.

Using a Infrared therapy massager will assist in providing heat to the deeper muscles while also benefiting from infrared treatment. If you have recently had surgery, radiation or suffered a medical condition, it’s best to consult your Doctor before undergoing a deep tissue massage. Furthermore, if you suffer from deep vein thrombosis or thrombophlebitis, this massage style is not recommended as it can dislodge the blood clots.



Compare The Best Deep Tissue Massagers

Now that we have compared what we believe to be the best handheld massagers for deep tissue muscle relief its easy to see why these models are standouts from the crowd. Having the ability to penetrate deep into the muscle group unlocking constricted muscles and breaking down knots is something all massagers should boast.

But not all are designed or created equally. We hope you have found our top 5 list to be of some benefit and would love to hear your thoughts. Have you got a better deep tissue massage machine?, any of the above devices being failures for you?. Help other people make their buying decision by leaving a comment below.


  1. Very helpful, informative article! I will definitely be investing in one of these since I hold almost all of my stress and tension in my neck and shoulders. I would prefer to go cordless, but it doesn’t look like any of these combine cordless with the infrared/heat feature. Do you know of any good ones that do?

    • Your not alone on wanting to go cordless. They can be so annoying at times. Unfortunately due to power requirements, Infrared and massage capabilities seem to be non existent for a handheld massager that uses rechargeable batteries. We are always keeping a look out for new innnovative technology and perhaps one day we will get our hands on a cordless infrared handheld massager.

  2. Thanks for your thorough review of the best deep tissue massagers. I didn’t know about the three stages of a deep tissue massage but they make sense. I have constant sore muscles, and would love to get a weekly or daily massage, but can’t afford to pay for it or take sick time off of work. I will definitely look into buying one of these in the future. I like your breakdown of which massager you like best. I agree that cordless is the way to go. There is nothing more frustrating then getting wrapped in a bunch of cords.

    • I agree Michael. While cordless generally means a little less power, being able to take the massager with you anywhere you go is amazing. Even when you go camping you can have access to a nice deep tissue massage.

  3. Hey Josh,
    Great articles and reviews for the neck and shoulder massagers. I’ve thought about getting one for several years now and your reviews will definitely help me in that direction.
    I used to go to a chiropractor every 3-4 months but haven’t done that for several years now. My biggest pain point are my trapezius muscles and the right side of my neck. Do you find that there are certain massagers that are best for the neck?
    Thanks again for the great article – the 3 different areas of massaging, the prepping, stripping, and finishing were new to me, awesome to learn!
    Mat A.

    • Hi Mat, I would recommend you keep up the massages at home if you are not visiting the Chiropractor anymore. The more relief you can get the better. As for the neck, you can get various types of neck massagers. Take a look in the menu above and you can find percussion, Shiatsu, vibration etc for the neck. Alternatively, visit the homepage and check out the neck brace which offers infrared treatment as well as massage. https://neckandshouldermassagers.com

  4. Antonis Christonasis

    As a very busy person I don’t have time to go to massage appointments. I’ve done it twice and I loved it, but unfortunately I can’t do it very often. These deep tissue massager handheld machines look like a great alternative for me. I think the Pure Wave CM-7 is the one I’ll go for since it’s one of your favorites! Such a detailed post a review! I’ll come back for more!

    • Hi Antonis, I know what you mean by too busy to visit the massage therapist. In this day and age we are lucky to get 5 minutes alone. This is why massaging yourself from home is so important. The Pure Wave CM7 and the Max 2 are both very impact driven machines. They both have unique features and I find they work together well as a team to combat muscle pain.

  5. I really enjoyed the information about the different layers of massage and types of handheld massagers. I’m always looking for devices I can use in the comfort of home and I enjoyed the in depth information on all of them. Do u find they work better if you use them yourself or get a loved one to do it for you?

    • Hi Mike, if you have someone to apply the massager to your trouble areas that you can’t reach. Go for it. Someone else will always have greater reach. But for areas I can reach, I prefer to do it my self as I can then control how much pressure to apply and where exactly to target.

  6. I am looking for a deep tissue massage – just love the idea of massaging the deep tissue at home on my own 🙂 I think Pure Wave CM-7 could be the right one for me. I love that it is cordless and not so heavy as others are. But do you know if there are different massage levels? Is it possible to regulate the strength of the massage without sacrificing the efficiency ? I usually end up hurting my neck so it is important I can lower the settings.

    • Hi Arta, thanks for your interest. The PureWave CM7 is certainly a great massager for getting into those deep areas a normal massager wont. To answer your question, yes. The CM7 does have variable speeds which range from 1500 to 3700 rpm. As it is cordless, you can expect up to 3 hours of massaging before needing to recharge the battery. This however is on the lowest setting, so if you go full hard core on your muscles it won’t last as long. Hope this answers your question. Thanks for dropping by.

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