While most of us hate to admit it, something we all have in common is the little aches and pains in our muscles and joints.
The SKG F5 Percussion Massager Gun is the answer for those days when we need a little massage or pain relief therapy.
The beauty of this sleek little gadget is that, unlike meds and other ointments, you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get one. As the name suggests, it’s shaped like a pistol, but it’s more reminiscent of a Star Trek phaser. But unlike a phaser’s stun or vaporize settings, the F5 transmits a soothing heat for a therapeutic muscle and joint massage.
There are three removeable massage heads for different parts of the body and varying needs. The first two resemble mini tennis balls. The green head is soft and offers a gentle and soothing massage for more sensitive areas. The grey head is harder for a deep relaxing experience where more skin penetration is required, while the third, flatter in nature, is for those areas, like your hands, that need a more stimulating massage. There are three levels of motion output – 1,800, 2,500 or an impressive 3,200 pulses per minute.
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At the base of the handle is a first-ever three-level heating compress. A compress helps increase blood flow and reduce your pain as it’s pressed against the skin and heat is applied to the body. You can choose from three heat settings you’re best comfortable with: 40°C, 48°C or 53°C (104°F, 188°F or 127°F). The base itself doesn’t vibrate. However, the massage mode turns off when the heating mode is engaged. Its ergonomic design also makes it perfect for rubbing into stiff joints and to loosen sore muscles.
The metal gun trigger has a two-in-one rocker switch that can quickly toggle back and forth like a see-saw. The upper portion activates massage mode while the lower activates heating mode. A long press easily powers the unit on and off.
The F5 has a cleverly designed series of LED indicator lights that flash and glow around the upper portion of the unit so you know at a glance what mode you’re in and how much power is left. For example, during the power state, the two lights will flash, with a red light remaining solid when the battery dips below 10 per cent. In massage mode, dual-coloured lights will rotate around the unit depending on the level of intensity, with one of three solid colour lights staying illuminated. The quick-start guide explains the various combinations.
It has a built-in rechargeable 1800mAh lithium-ion battery. With about 10 minutes of use per day on the lowest setting, a charge could last up to two weeks with a recharge time of about three to four hours. Of course, results will vary with use.
The SKG F5 measures 157mm x 99mm x 47mm (6.2 x 3.9 x 1.6 inches) and weighs a mere 300 grams (0.66 lb.), but don’t let the size fool you. Other units of its size are underpowered and crash to a halt when pressure is applied. Larger units may have significantly more power but can also be cumbersome and heavy and much harder to manoeuvre. With F5’s impressive 3,200 penetrating pulses per minute of deep penetrating relief you really feel it and get a great workout. You can easily operate it with one hand and get to those sometimes hard-to-reach places. Furthermore, its brushless 5V motor is so quiet, you can barely hear it over the sounds of a typical conversation so can use it almost anywhere without causing a disturbance.
Built-in safety features protect both the F5 and the user. In the event of something preventing head movement or it reaching a certain temperature that could lead to overheating, the unit will stop and power itself off. Once cleared or the temperature drops the unit can be powered back on.
Overall, the SKG F5 Body Massager is a great solution for a little soothing pain relief.
It’s also perfect for those who travel – if we’re able to get away. But while it fits nicely in your carry-on luggage, I suggest that when going through airport security you remove it from your carry-on and place it in the bin alongside your laptop. From first-hand experience, it will attract attention going through the scanners. And when asked what it is, call it a handheld massage gadget and not a massager g-u-n.
Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca. For interview requests, click here.
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