Bob and Brad fans: We tried their D6 Pro massage gun
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Bob and Brad fans: We tried their D6 Pro massage gun

Aug 12, 2023

Late in 2021, I hurt my knee pretty badly from… stepping out of a van wrong.

At first it was just a twinge, but it quickly progressed to a point where I couldn’t put any pressure on that knee. This made so many things unexpectedly difficult, like playing with my kids, walking up stairs, picking up things off the floor, and even getting in a comfy spot on the couch.

A few weeks later, at physical therapy, I learned that I had sprained my meniscus. Yes, from getting out of a vehicle — something that most people have been doing without injury for several decades now. My physical therapist also let me know that my hips and quads were, quote, “very weak,” which probably contributed to my injury. This began my love affair with strength training, and I’m happy to report that I’m now much stronger and one of those annoying people who is obsessed with lifting weights.

But back then, when I was still dealing with a lot of pain in my knee, there were two things I knew I could count on for some relief: Bob and Brad videos and a massage gun.

Bob and Brad are a YouTube-famous physical therapy team. They make videos about anything and everything physical therapy-related, including lots of self-massage and percussion massage walkthroughs for knee pain. Through and through, they give off major wholesome dad vibes — which is a big part of their charm.

When I was injured and watching their videos regularly, I had no idea they also had their own line of massage guns. But I recently had the opportunity to try the Bob and Brad D6 Pro and it’s my new favorite.

The D6 Pro is one of several massage guns offered by Bob and Brad. It is the newest, the largest, and the most high-end. It looks very much like a Theragun, with an adjustable neck and a rectangular handle that allows it to be gripped in multiple ways.

It comes with seven different attachments to target various muscle groups. You’ll notice in my photo that there were only six, and I’m gonna have to blame my toddler for that one. I’m sure it’s stuffed in a shoe or a toy purse, and we’ll find it eventually.

Now, to get technical: Let’s talk about amplitude, stall force, and RPMs. If you’re shopping for a higher-end percussion massager, these are terms that you’re going to want to be familiar with.

Amplitude is essentially how deeply the massage gun is able to press into your muscle. This one offers an amplitude of 16 millimeters, equal to the most powerful Theragun. That means it can get a little deeper than most other percussion massagers, especially those in the middle-of-the-road $75 to $150 price point.

Stall force refers to how much pressure it takes to stop the massager from moving. A higher stall force can be helpful when you’re really wanting to dig into muscles. With a stall force of 85 pounds, which is on the higher end of what these devices are able to offer, you can use this gun to apply a lot of pressure on your muscles and it won’t slow down.

Finally RPM, or rotations per minute, is simply the speed. This one tops out at 2,500 RPM, which again is comparable to top-of-the-line Theragun and Hypervolt options. It offers five different speed options: 1,500; 1,700; 1,900; 2,100; 2,300; and 2,500. It also has several different modes, which are essentially just short programs that automatically adjust the speed for you.

The D6 also arrives in a really nice zippered travel case. Inside, there’s a small bag to keep all of the attachments contained. Also, along with the product documentation it contains an 86-page booklet full of advice from Bob and Brad themselves on using self-massage for a number of different muscle groups and conditions, from trigger finger to shin splints to Achilles tendonitis.

I also really, really appreciate that this device comes with a USB plug. So many devices only come with a charging cord now, so I thought the plug was a nice touch that makes this massage gun truly practical for travel.

I’ve tried several midrange massage guns and after a while it can be hard to tell a difference between them. But I’ve been really impressed with the performance of this massage gun and I can safely say that it’s my new favorite.

First, the battery lasts a while. My husband uses it fairly regularly for his back, and I usually need it after leg day, and it can go weeks before it needs a recharge.

It’s bulkier than most, sure, but the rectangular grip combined with the adjustable neck makes it possible to reach anywhere you want.

However, the controls have a bit of a learning curve. There are two buttons. One powers the device on and off and increases the speed, and the other changes the modes and decreases the speed. One touch on each button will change the speed, and you have to press and hold the button to either power the device on/off or change the mode.

The attachment heads are made out of a silicone blend rather than just straight, rigid plastic, so they’re softer to the touch and don’t beat you up as much as some others can. With other massage guns, the tiny, pointed bullet head is usually too painful for me to use because it’s hard as a rock. However, the same attachment for this massager has just a little bit of give to it, so I can use it pain-free to target tiny muscles.

Finally, it’s much quieter than some of the less expensive models I’ve tried — despite having a more powerful motor and a higher top speed.

At the time of writing, the D6 Pro is $249.99 at Amazon, with a $60 coupon available to bring the price down to about $190. Based on specs, its closest competitors are some of the highest-end offerings from Theragun — which are in the $400+ range.

Based on that alone, I think this massager offers superb value — unless you’re looking for some of the other features offered by the more well-known brands, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. The D6 Pro isn’t a smart device.

If you’re looking for a higher-end massager but not necessarily ready to drop several hundred dollars, it’s a great option. But maybe, as a Bob and Brad stan, I’m a little biased.