Perhaps now more than any time in history, hacks are hot. As the pandemic appears to be ebbing and we start picking up the pieces, we sit at a rare confluence: peak technological advancement — and peak desperation for anything that makes this weird new normal easier and/or cheaper to endure.
So when GP platforms editor J.D. DiGiovanni alerted me to a wacky hack involving a jigsaw and a bunch of inexpensive attachments, I was intrigued. Five minutes and one online order later, I was days away from turning a jigsaw into a percussion massage gun — and finding out if it actually worked.
But first, why is such a hack so compelling? The cost savings is significant. After all, the less expensive of the top two percussion massage guns costs $399. What I bought, the Baoyou Jigsaw Massage Tip Adaptor and Bits, cost $19.99. As a city dweller, I also forked over $59.99 for a Black+Decker 20V MAX JigSaw with Battery and Charger but even so, the cost was literally a fraction of what you’d pay for a top-notch gun: about one-fifth.
The little kit and the jigsaw arrived a couple days later, and it was time to put it to the test. Here’s how that went.
Could hardly be easier. All you have to do is screw one of six attachments — a cone, a wedge, a fork, a flat head and two round ones, all made of dense, foamy plastic — onto one of two included bits.
Then lift the little orange latch where your jigsaw blade would go and insert the bit. Assuming your jigsaw’s battery is charged, you’re good to go.
Cons: Heavy, clunky and loud
First off, at five pounds, it is significantly heavier than the Theragun PRO (2.9 pounds) and Hypervolt Plus (3 pounds). You can’t pair it with an app, and you can’t set the percussions per minute at a single, consistent rate — the speed varies based on how much pressure you apply to the trigger.
Also, while the top gun brands continually innovate to make their products less noisy with technologies such as QuietForce and QuietGlide, Black+Decker plays by no such rules. Get this thing going at any respectable speed and it is, technically speaking, loud as f*ck. You dare not fire it up in an apartment after 10 p.m. unless you want a citation for disturbing the peace.
Pros: Durable, versatile and powerful
That being said, I must confess this thing works a hell of a lot better than I would have imagined. As an industrial strength tool, it’s super solid and sturdy and reliable. So is its 20V lithium battery, which promises 3 amp hours of life and the ability to hold its charge for, oh, 500 days.
The range of attachments enables me to hit my aching muscles with all the same variety as I can with an actual massage gun. The bigger ball, wedge and flat head are great for punishing larger muscle groups, while the smaller ball, cone and fork let me pinpoint smaller ones.
Meanwhile, the B+D’s top speed of 2,500 RPMs is no joke. Considering Hypervolt Plus hits 3,200 PPMs and Theragun PRO reaches 2,400 PPMs, this rig has more than enough pace and power to beat even my biggest muscles into relaxed, recovery-ready submission.
If you are itching to get into the massage gun game for cheap, and you don’t mind the racket, this hack might be for you. Just make sure to brush the sawdust off your quads when you’re done, aiiight?