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Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun

8
£79.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Effective, quiet and easy to use massager with a comprehensive set of heads
Well made
Quiet
Pleasant to use
Low stall force
Small stroke length
T-handle can strain the wrist over time
Weight: 
690g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun has met most of my recovery needs handsomely. It's ergonomically shaped, the kit is comprehensive and it lets you tailor pressure very accurately. The run times are quite generous too and, despite being bigger than some, it's pretty comfortable for longer periods – though if you have a sprinter's physique you may find the stall-force and low stroke length leave you wanting.

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Complete with a nice, solid carry case, the Renpho R3 kit is more comprehensive than many, especially at this price.

You get five interchangeable heads. First up, there's a high-density foam ball for larger muscle groups. A flat head made from a firm composite serves a similar purpose, and is generally a good bet for deeper tissue relief.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - head 5.jpg

Fork head

The 'bullet' is for precision work - joints, palms, soles of the feet and so on – while the hard composite 'fork' head avoids direct contact with the spine when you want to do your neck.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - head 2.jpg

Finally, we have the air cushion head, which is for sensitive areas and bony parts. Note that the instructions warn you not to include your head or genitals in that list, though, since it can lead to serious injuries...

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - head 3.jpg

Mini adventure

The gun itself is stocky and on the portly side for a minigun – it's closer to a midi, if there were such a category. The composite body is very nicely executed, and the titanium swirl effect looks very classy. Everything feels reassuringly solid.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - unit.jpg

It tips the scales at 1.5 kilos and measures 7.3x2.3 inches. Part of the weight is the 2500mAh lithium-ion battery, which charges in 3hrs from flat via USB C cable and is reckoned good for 80 minutes from fully juiced. It does indeed do it, but lithium-ion batteries really don't like being totally discharged – the maximum charge it can hold will degrade at the highest rate that way – so it's better to regularly top it up instead.

Keeping the R3 generally above 75% charge will hugely increase the amount of charge cycles it can take before it permanently drops below a useful level of performance – it's considered done for when it can only hold 70% of its original charge, no matter how long you try.

Buzz off

There are five speed options, denoted by blue LEDs, and less is sometimes more. Some massage guns have 30 speeds, and working through those can be tedious. The settings range from 1800 to 3200 percussions per minute.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - case open.jpg

If you want to actively massage an area, rather than simply provide superficial vibrational therapy, then stroke length (the distance the head travels) and stall force are very important. Here it's 10mm, which isn't huge but is fine for the price and intent.

Stall force refers to the amount of pressure the motor can supply before it cuts out – here it's a claimed 25lbs. While these numbers won't be enough for heavily-muscled athletes – think boxers, bodybuilders and sprinters – those of a more toned, or whippet-like physiques will find it just fine. I did.

It means it's refreshingly quiet, too. At 40-45 decibels, it's unlikely to draw unwanted attention, sniggering, or suggestive remarks (though obviously we all know what you're doing in there).

Magic bullet

I've been pleasantly surprised by how well this performs. I am vulnerable to shoulder discomfort, following a series of knocks while racing and a couple of nasty motorcycle accidents too. I found the bullet effective in releasing tension, discomfort and for improving post-ride recovery with 15-30 minutes at setting two. That also leaves ample battery power for tackling other regions (steady) if I felt the need.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - head 4.jpg

Even though the stroke force is lower than some, I really felt a definite benefit within my muscles. It goes much deeper than superficial vibration and the stall force hasn't presented any issues for me, either.

The compact dimensions and T-shaped, rubber-sleeved handle mean it's user-friendly and easy to use solo. That said, the handle's angle places pressure on the wrist which can become a little tiring after 40 minutes or so. A little more angle would make a good design great.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - handle.jpg

Ball head

The other heads are genuinely useful, although neck and shoulders aside I've defaulted to the ball and flat heads. There has been no need to employ massage oil, and the R3 has been great for busting lactic acid and general fatigue. It's equally comfortable against the skin or on a T-shirt or base layer.

2021 Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun - head 1.jpg

It's worth noting this will invigorate and stimulate, rather than induce a sleep-like relaxation, so it's best avoided before bed.

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The whole kit feels reassuringly solid and save for superficial wear to the EVA head, there's little to suggest it won't pay for itself many times over.

Value

At £79.99, this is competitively priced. The Pulseroll Mini Massage Gun boasts four heads, four settings and an impressive claimed battery life of up to six hours, for instance, but is £129.99. It does come with a 90-day money-back guarantee, though.

There are cheaper options if you aren't set on a minigun. The Fitindex Muscle Massage Gun comes in at £63.99 with six massage heads, a claimed battery life of six hours, and 20 speeds. At 45 decibels, it's similarly quiet. However, being a full-size model, the quoted weight of 2.2lbs is a little heavier than the Renpho R3, which may be noticeable if you're using it for longer periods.

Alternatively the Aerlang EM8 is cheaper still at £45.99, includes six heads, promises a six-hour run time is also full size. The 16mm stroke rate is arguably better suited to the heavily-muscled, too.

Summary

The Renpho R3 is a competent and user-friendly introduction massage guns. Those with considerable muscle mass might find it lacking, but for general recovery and relaxation for most typical cyclists, it's money well spent.

Verdict

Effective, quiet and easy to use massager with a comprehensive set of heads

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun

Size tested: One Size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Renpho says, "We are dedicated to offering a more exquisite and intense sport massager gun. This muscle massage gun is designed with premium metal housing and super powerful brushless motor, delivering high penetration, rejuvenating sore tissue and aching muscles."

This is a genuinely useful, well-made entry-level massage gun. However, those with a higher muscle mass will want something with higher stall force and stroke length.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Stall Force

25 lbs

Stroke Length

10 mm

Percussions per min.

1800-3200 ppm

Speed options

5

Battery Life

80 minutes of continues run

(non-removable)

Attachments

5

Noise

40-45 dB

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made and nicely finished, especially for the asking price.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Quiet, effective, and very reasonable run times.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Build quality and carry case feel solid.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

690g is reassuring and generally comfortable for longer periods.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Generally nice to use, although being picky, a quick tweak of the handle would further improve this.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a great introduction to mini massagers, but those of a heavier build may want something more powerful.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Solidly made, comprehensive, pleasant to use, effective at releasing tension and encouraging recovery.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Those of a heavier build may find the stall and stroke forces wanting.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £79.99, this is competitively priced. The Pulseroll Mini Massage Gun boasts four heads, four settings and an impressive claimed battery life of up to six hours, for instance, but is £129.99. It does come with a 90-day money-back guarantee, though.

There are cheaper options if you aren't set on a minigun. The Fitindex Muscle Massage Gun comes in at £63.99 with six massage heads, a claimed battery life of six hours, and 20 speeds. At 45 decibels, it's similarly quiet. However, being a full-size model, the quoted weight of 2.2lbs is a little heavier than the Renpho R3, which may be noticeable if you're using it for longer periods.

Alternatively the Aerlang EM8 is cheaper still at £45.99, includes six heads, promises a six-hour run time is also full size. The 16mm stroke rate is arguably better suited to the heavily-muscled, too.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Overall, the Renpho R3 is an excellent introduction to massage guns and has delivered genuine deep muscle relief. It comes in a comprehensive kit and it's pleasant to use too, and though the handle's angle isn't perfect for long sessions, that's really just a niggle. It's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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