Best Gua Sha Materials – Gua Sha Tools 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

In this article we’ll focus on the materials which can be used for gua sha tools.

When it comes to Gua Sha tools, one of the first things that you’re going to notice is many different options (shapes, materials, weight and size) in the tools that we can use. There’s plenty of options to choose from, not only just from the shape and the size of the tools, but also the gua sha scraper material.

how to choose best materials for gua sha tool

We’ll talk a little bit about some of the tools that are worth using and outline some of the pros and cons of each.
This is a standard group of tools that they use most commonly.

There’s more out there in the market, but this is a basic subset of tools that one can find.
The first thing we can notice is an increasing scale on both the cost and probably the complexity of the material in the tool itself.

Gua Sha Materials 2020 – Choose Your Ideal Gua Sha Tool

Buffalo Horn – Jade, Bian Stone, other Stones – Metal: Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel

MaterialPriceWeightDurabilitySanitizingResonationOther
Ox / Buffalo HornCheapLightweight ► Poor ResonationGoodPoorPoor
JadeMediumMediumFragileAverageAverage - Good
Bian StoneMediumMedium - HeavyFragileAverageAverage - Good
Metal Gua Sha Tools
Copper, Brass MediumMedium - HeavyGoodBestGoodTarnishes
Stainless SteelMedium, ExpensiveMedium - HeavyBestBestBestAnti Slippery option

Budget Gua Sha Material: Buffalo Horn – Best Budget Scraping Tools

Starting over on the budget end, one of the first tools you’ve probably heard about is just a simple piece of buffalo horn. Buffalo horn is cheap material to manufacture. Some ten-twenty years ago you had to buy this from China. But now it’s a little bit more common and we’re starting to see them readily available.

You can get yours off Amazon now, but there’s, again, plenty of places you could potentially get these from. It’s just a simple piece of buffalo horn. What’s good about buffalo horn, again, it’s cheap, and they tend to be a large variety of shapes and sizes.

Don’t worry too much about the different shapes and just start with a plain, simple rectangle shape. This is about a three-inch by two-inch rectangle, which I think is a good place to start.

It’s easy to grip in your hand. You can do lots of different techniques. You could pretty much hit the majority of body parts with a tool this big because you can use the small side, as well as the corners.

But I think this is just a nice, simple, versatile Gua Sha tool to get started with. The buffalo horn tends to be a little shiny, which could make it a little slippery but certainly not as slippery as some of the other tools that we will discuss.

But they’re pretty lightweight, they’re pretty durable, and very cheap. If you drop it and it breaks, it’s really not that big of a deal. It’s exciting that for very small amount of money, you can start doing guasha technique.

You don’t need to get the best tools day one if that’s not what you’re looking for. There’s really no reason why you can’t start with a simple tool like buffalo horn.

Jade Bian Stone Gua Sha Tools: Best Material for Face Massage Tools and Self Care Tools

Moving up the scale, next would be what are jade and just stones. The three that are uses most are probably jade, bian stones, and obsidian stones. The three are very similar. The difference is, now, we’re starting to get a little bit heavier than buffalo horn. It’s got a little bit more girth to it, which is good.

You need a little bit of heaviness to it. You’re starting to get a bit more resonation.

gua sha materials for face - jade

When you go over some adhesions, you start to feel it a little bit better. There’s certainly not a lot of good feel with buffalo horn.

Again, it’s enough to get started but it’s certainly not the best feel. Jade and stone, much better feel comparing to buffalo horn. With the jade and the stone, again, they can be slippery.

When you get too much lubrication on it, they can slide from your hand. But not as slippery probably as stainless steel tools.

The jade and the stone are probably the next step up from buffalo horn, and that’s what I would recommend next.

When you just start you can go with the horn and the jade just to try between the two. They are both affordable, and the horn is a good, versatile tool, but you’ll probably prefer the jade and the stone.

So, buffalo horn, jade and stone can go together in one starter-kit group.

Metal Gua Sha Tools: Best General Purpose Tools

Metal Gua Sha tools are distinguished because they do not break or crack when dropped (like the porcelain spoons or stone gua sha scrapers), and they are obviously easy to sterilize.

There is no doubt that metal gua sha scraping tools are the best tools currently on the market.

The natural tools are awesome. They are great. But if you want to and you’re not satisfied, or you’re just looking for a better tool, you have plenty of options in the metal category, as well.

But not every metal tools are born equal.

Copper Material for Gua Sha

Copper is famous for its heat releasing properties, it works awesome for dissipating heat from hot acute problems.

The shape and size of these tools can be versatile with different edges ranging from sharper to duller.

They are also considerably less pricey than most Graston technique metal tools.

Brass as Copper Alloy – Beware

Speaking strictly, what you’ll find on the market are predominantly the brass tools. Brass is an alloy that is made of copper and zink. But that’s not a big deal and brass tools are working great but not as great as pure copper.

Pure Copper Tools – better gua sha material then brass

Fortunately, you’ll be able to find a pure copper muscle scrapers if you try. There aren’t plenty of choices but the task is not that difficult. Read carefully the description of the gua sha tools sold and ask a seller, if in doubts, what material the scrapers are made of – brass or pure copper.

Unfortunately, these tools (either brass or pure copper) tarnish over time which is ok but might drive some people nuts.

However, a simple paste made of 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, and enough flour will cleanse the stains being applied to the tool for approximately 10 minutes. You can then buff it.

Another property which may discourage you from buying is that it has the tinge of old penny smell after use. But come on! That is where the word coining is coming from. The practice of Chinese guasha was hand in hand with use of coins to scrape muscles.

Stainless Steel: Best Material for Professional Gua Sha Tools

Stainless steel is the best. Why is it the best? One, they’re a lot heavier. There is a good, good girth to these tools. That is going to make it a little bit easier for your hands.

It will be a little bit easier to get into the tissue. But probably more important is that they resonate so well. You’ll really be able to feel adhesions and some fibrosis in the area that you’re working on with a stainless steel tool. They’re going to really send that vibration through your hands.

I’d say probably the biggest complaint with the regular stainless steel tools that they get really slippery and tiresome to use with your hands over time.

There is, however, a very nice exception from this rule: ValeoFM Anti Slippery Gua Sha Tool. Its anti slippery surface makes it stand out of the crowd. It’s more expensive than other gua sha tools but it’s substantially less expensive as other IASTM tools with anti slippery properties (e.g. Hawk Grips tools).

Conclusion

Stainless steel is definitely the best material for gua sha tools. But you can see it as a spectrum. If you want to start right away with nice stainless steel tools, fantastic. Here is a review of an excellent stainless steel muscle scraper we could recommend.

If you don’t and you want just to get started with some of the basic tools, then do it and buy cheap buffalo horn scrapers. Even doing gua sha with a cheap piece of horn is a very beneficial treatment. It’s an effective treatment that we all should be using.

Start with something cost-effective if you can, but you’ll probably notice that you’re sliding up the scale over time.

Again, once you start getting into Gua Sha technique, you may not want just one tool. You might want to start getting a few different tools. That way, your treatments can vary and be more effective for whatever you’re looking to do, both the area treated and the effect that you’re trying to get.

You may want switch out tools.

Really, again, these are instruments. You’re going to find different tools for different parts of your body that you may want to do. Maybe you never treat feet and hands and you just want a bigger tool. That’s great. Or maybe you want a set or a variety of tools like I use that you can tackle a bunch of different problems.

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