7 reasons why I like this budget-friendly massage gun better than my $200 Theragun

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun in someone's hand
(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

I first picked up a Theragun Mini in 2020 for about $200 and have been into percussive massage therapy ever since. Theragun is one of the best-known names in the industry — three models grace our best massage guns list, including the Theragun Mini — and I've been fairly happy with my purchase. 

But I recently had the chance to try the budget-friendly Bob and Brad Q2 Mini, and much to my surprise, I dig it more than the Theragun. 

It may have a somewhat silly name but the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini is a serious little massage gun. Priced at just $69 on Amazon, but often available on sale for less, this travel-ready model boasts excellent battery life, lots of speed options, and plenty of bundled accessories.

What follows are seven reasons I'm keen to bring the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini on my next vacation or snowboard expedition rather than the Theragun Mini.

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun: was $69 now $59 @ Amazon (with coupon)

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=45724&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB08M8YSFC7%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">was $69 now $59 @ Amazon (with coupon)
$59 gets you a five-speed, travel-friendly massage gun with four hours of battery life, five accessory attachments and a decent-quality travel case. Great for everyday muscle aches, the Q2 Mini is my new favorite percussive massager.  

1. Fives speeds and gentle amplitude

The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini has five speeds, including, 1800, 2100, 2400, 2700, and 3000 percussions per minute. The Theragun Mini provides three: 1750, 2100, and 2400 PPMs. 

Speed isn't everything, though. The Theragun boasts a greater vibration amplitude (how far the massage head travels each cycle): 12mm compared to 7mm for the Bob and Brad model. The further reach of the Thergun translates to better deep-tissue massaging power. 

The Q2 Mini, on the other hand, is a little gentler on the body, which makes it a more versatile device, at least, for me. 

While the Theragun Mini is a great option for working exceptionally sore muscles, it's not so great for more minor aches. It's also too aggressive for more tender muscles, even at its lowest speed.  With the Q2 Mini, I don't have this issue — I can even use it on my abs and shins.

2. Truly travel-sized

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun in someone's hand

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini is smaller and lighter than the Theragun Mini, making it a better choice for travel. Further, when you remove the massage head, nothing protrudes from the handle/battery of the device, unlike the Theragun Mini. This makes it considerably easier to pack. 

3. Quiet motor, even at max speed

When I first switched on the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini, I was amazed at how quiet the brushless motor is compared to my Theragun. Neither brand offers decibel specs, but the difference in noise generated is hard to miss.

For example, I can easily use the Q2 Mini on a phone/Zoom call, without worrying about the sound picking up. The same cannot be said for the Theragun Mini — believe me, I've tried.

"Dan, can you please mute? It sounds like someone is jackhammering."

4. Impressive battery life

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun with LEDs illuminated

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

Bob and Brad quote four hours of battery life for the Q2 Mini, double that of the Theragun Mini's two hours. These are, of course, best-case estimates. But from my initial trials, the former's battery life impresses. 

The Q Mini arrived on a Friday and saw heavy use that evening after a solid day of solo snowboarding. It also got plenty of use between my partner and me over the weekend. I'm now on day four of massaging my still achy body and the Q2 Mini shows no signs of a low battery — I'm using it on my hip flexors as I type this.  

The massage gun charges using a standard USB-C connection, which I appreciated — the OG Theragun Mini has a chunky proprietary charger — and a full charge takes around three and a half hours. 

5. Accessories are included 

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun and accessories on a table

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

While the new version of the Thergun Mini comes with several attachments, mine shipped with just one. Meanwhile, the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini arrives with five swappable massage heads, some of which look a little scary (but aren't), and a lovely travel case.

The foam ball head and rubber "air cushion" head are my two favorites, with the latter getting the most use. You also get a plastic "bullet" head, U-shaped head, and flat head attachments. Not sure which one to use? The package includes a helpful instructional guide to get you started. 

6. Excellent ergonomics 

The Q2 Mini's T-shape design is easier to grip and comfier than the Theragun Mini's triangular shape. I can also better reach knots in my back with the Bob and Brad model. 

Another ergonomic advantage: The on/off button on the Q2 Mini is small, about the size of a pencil eraser head, and requires a three-second press to power on. The Theragun Mini has a larger on/off button, about the size of a penny, and requires a roughly two second-second press to turn on. 

Why does this matter? On several occasions, while traveling with the latter, it's inadvertently turned on in my bag, causing a small panic for me and those in my immediate vicinity. 

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini Massage Gun in the travel case

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

7. A lot of massage gun for the buck

The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini is a third of the cost of the Theragun Mini, yet outshines it in nearly every regard. The one trade-off, of course, is the former has less deep tissue massaging power than the latter. 

For hardcore athletes, that's probably going to be a deal-breaker. But for casual users wishing to soothe minor muscle aches and pains, the Q2 Mini will do so more gently. 

Bob and Brad Q2 Mini – will it last?

Ultimately, I've had my Theragun Mini for three and a half years. In that time, it's been tossed in snowboard bags and suitcases, knocked off tables and bumped around endlessly. Yet, it still performs just as well as the day I got it. 

Time will tell whether the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini offers similar longevity. But I intend to put it through hell over the next few months and will aim to report back with updates. 

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.