27 Jan Can this $200 machine replace your masseuse?
Percussion massagers were without a doubt one of the biggest fitness and health trends of the past year. For the uninitiated, percussion massagers are essentially ‘massage guns’ designed to give deep tissue massages by delivering rapid pulses at the targeted area, resulting in increased blood flow, accelerated muscle recovery and reduced soreness, amongst other benefits.
The $600 Theragun led the charge as one of the most popular (and most expensive) percussion massage instruments on the market. Thankfully, there are more affordable alternatives on the market. The Tim Tam Version 1.5, at approx. $200 is one of those. So how does it fare as a sports therapy instrument, and does the percussion massage live up to its hype? Let’s find out.
First, let me say that the Tim Tam is the easiest thing to use. You take it out of the box, charge the battery, screw on the plastic head and boom, you’re in business. You can also extend the articulating head from its default flex position to get to those harder to reach areas. Now all you need to do is find the body part you want to assault – I mean, massage – then go to town on it. Point and kill!
How does the Tim Tam feel, you ask? I would say it feels like a pneumatic tool pummeling the living daylights out of your muscles thousands of times a minute, because that’s what’s actually happening. The Tim Tam promises a deep tissue massage, and that’s exactly what you get. The plastic head pulsates at a speed of 2000 strokes per minute (that’s the only speed setting available for the Version 1.5 model), and doesn’t lose any power even when it’s pressed deeper into the muscle, so you can dig deep and get rid of the most stubborn of knots. It’s so powerful you can actually see your muscles ripple and vibrate as the massager runs through them. There aren’t as many massagers on the market for this price that pack this much of a punch.
All that power comes at a cost though. The Tim Tam is loud. 90 Decibels loud. That’s about as loud as a lawn mower. So, it’s not something you want to use in an office (There will be death stares aplenty). However, it’s not offputtingly loud, so it won’t negatively affect your experience as a user. Chances are that once the machine is put to work, all your attention will be on the vibrations shaking your muscles to their core than on the sound the Tim Tam makes.
The battery life on the Tim Tam is pretty decent – a maximum battery charge gets you about 30 mins of use, which is pretty good considering its power output. This is one thing the Tim Tam could possibly have done better. You probably won’t need more than 20 minutes per session with the Tim Tam, but it would also be nice to not have to recharge the battery after every use.
Simplicity is the Tim Tam 1.5’s selling point, and as such you might lose out on some features – it has only one speed setting, a single battery with 30 minute use, and you have to hold the trigger while you use it (it can’t be locked in the ‘on’ position). But those are trivial issues. The machine’s power ranks up there with the best massagers on the market, and extra batteries can be purchased in case you need to do multiple sessions back to back (as a sports therapist, perhaps). Additional screw-on massage heads can also be purchased to hit the muscles in different ways.
Most importantly, however, The Tim Tam does what it’s meant to do – it delivers a percussion massage so powerful, it falls into the ‘one blow, seven die’ category of things. You can feel the machine while it’s at work, and the after effects are immediate – I noticed a lot more malleability in my muscles after a Tim Tam session, so I use it to eliminate tightness and loosen up my muscles before a workout. It’s also a godsend for when I’m sore after a workout – nothing compares to a deep tissue massage when you’re dealing with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Overall, the Tim Tam V 1.5 is a very solid massage gun. It’s sturdy, powerful, and gets the job done. All with a price tag of just $200. Highly recommend!
(Note: higher spec versions of the Tim Tam are currently on the market. They have a lot more features, but they’re more expensive, of course)