What to Look for When Buying a Tens Machine

Before purchasing a TENS machine, you need to first understand what it is and what exactly it is used for. You also need to understand why you need it. Once you have established what the basic operational is for a TENS machines, you will be able to evaluate the model in accordance to the pain relief you are anticipating to receive. Next you need to understand what key features you are looking for in TENS machines. You need to consider the number of electrodes, the number of channels and many other things. Below are the factors to consider when buying one of these machines:


What’s in the Deal?

Look at what additional things come with the package. Some TENS units will come with spare electrodes or gel which would have been items you would have been forced to buy if they weren’t included in the deal. Look to see if the TENS unit comes with a spare battery or if it is contained in a case. Also look to see if you have the options of making changes on the already available items. If you do not like the way the electrodes perform then you might want to replace these with others.


The System

When you are looking at the basic system of a TENS unit, you want to first start with the buttons or touch pads. You need to consider if these controls can be mistakenly adjusted. This could cause an increase in the power surge flowing through the electrodes and may not be comfortable. It could even lead to pain. The option you want to look for is one that has a cover over the controls. This will help avoid any accidental adjustment of the settings.

Size of Display

Also, when buying a TENS unit, you need to consider the size of the display. The unit should have a clear enough LED display unit which allows one to easily read the displays on the screen. The controls should be clearly labeled and easy to control allowing one to make any necessary changes with ease. The battery compartment should be easily accessible allowing change of batteries to be a quick, one off process. Ensure that the TENS unit has an AC adapter so that you do not have to use up your batteries if you have the ability to set up near a power source.

The Supplier

It is also important to evaluate the company that has manufactured the TENS unit and also the retailer selling them. Read any reviews you can come across on the company. It is important to read as many reviews as you can come across to ensure that they are bent on delivering quality.


A long warranty is a good indicator that the supplier is confident about the quality of their products and is committed to customer satisfaction. Do not brush aside a certain product just because a few people have complained about it. There are those people who are complainers by nature and tend to bad-mouth each and every product. Finally, take your time before coming to a conclusion. You never know, the best bet might be just around the corner.

Read our reviews and comparison charts on top TENS units HERE and top EMS units HERE




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14 Responses to “What to Look for When Buying a Tens Machine”

  1. seymour Zandell

    Apr 14. 2015

    At one time i had used a Tens Unit for my lower back. Now that Spring is here and the weather is inviting to enjoy the weather to excercise. Due to being confined
    indoors I find that the Aches are just to much to argue with, so I want to get back on track and be able to take a walk or Anything that requires some Physical Activity and Not be inthussed to to be active. With this said, I checked your website and see that you have a Multiude of Tens Units for whatever purpose they are to be applied to relieve the suffer from the agony of aches.
    The printer did not work unforetuneately for now. I will look forward to your
    recommendations, thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Tens Net

      Jun 20. 2016

      Thanks for your comment Seymour, and I certainly understand how difficult it can be to be active when you are suffering from severe pain. However, you have got the right attitude, and if you can be active, and get outdoors and enjoy life, then you are well on the way to feeling better. Any of the TENS machines that we have reviewed here at TENS.net will assist you with relieving those aches and pains, it is just a matter of finding the right locations, and giving some time to allow the treatment to interfere with the nerve signals to the brain. Over time, the treatment will become more and more effective, and you will begin to notice that you can spend more time up and about.
      If you want to have the benefit of a little muscular exercise, but just can’t get up and about as much as you would like, you might like to try a combination of TENS machine for pain relief and a EMS for muscle stimulation at the same time. This can deliver the same effect as a gentle massage, or mild exercise, while still providing the pain relief at the same time. The benefit for you is that you can relax in the comfort of your home or arm chair, while having a very relaxing session with a TENS and EMS machine! Check out this one if you are interested in an all round pain relief and massage effect in one – the TechCare S Massager Unit.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Diane

    Jul 02. 2015

    I am suffering from Sciatica in my right side. Will the Tens machine help with this problem? If so, which model should I buy? Thank you for a quick reply.

    Reply to this comment
  3. minnie moore

    Nov 07. 2015

    i have severe pain inmy lower back and the top of my hip i want to know if one of these machines will take my pain away they use one of these in the physial thearphy office to go to

    Reply to this comment
    • Tens Net

      Aug 13. 2016

      Yes Minnie, these are the same machines as professional therapists use!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Mary Martelloni

    Apr 15. 2016

    new account setup for purchasing

    Reply to this comment
  5. Craig Burd

    Jun 22. 2016

    I have for sometime now dealt with nerve/muscle “hot spot” pain in the middle of my back shoulder area. The pain encompasses the area about the size of a quarter coin, and primarily occurs when riding my motorcycle. I would appreciate your input as to what portable TENs unit(s) would be appropriate for use while riding my motorcycle. Thanks Craig!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Mary S

    Nov 11. 2016

    I know that many years ago a prescription was required for a tens unit. Is that no longer the case? If a RX is not required, will my medical expense account pay for it?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tens Net

      Nov 11. 2016

      Hi Mary – you are correct, a prescription may well have been required to purchase and use a TENS machine, but the good news is, the technology has become so safe to use, and medical professionals recognize the benefits of wide spread use of these devices, that there are no longer any impediments to buying a TENS unit and using in the comfort of your own home!
      I cannot speak about your particular expense account, but in a similar way that I just described, health funds are also recognizing the health benefits of TENS machines and are increasingly making these devices claimable, so that more and more people can have access to using one of these at home, and hopefully more and more people can use TENS machines to get relief from pain. So good news all around!

      Reply to this comment
  7. Elle

    Nov 21. 2016

    Will the TENS unit help my mom w/diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tens Net

      Dec 03. 2016

      Hello Elle,

      Thanks for dropping a message! Firstly I would just like to offer my sympathy for your Mom, and it sounds as though you are doing your best to help out. My Dad suffered exactly with this condition recently, and it can be quite debilitating. As if diabetes is not bad enough – peripheral neuropathy is a really painful side effect.
      My response is – definitely yes! Neuropathy is when the nerve ending are damaged due to the scourge of diabetes, and the pain and discomfort can be so bad that pain medication may not be enough by itself. This is where TENS treatment can be recommended to sufferers who can use a combination of pain relief and TENS machine. TENS is a non-invasive intervention used for pain relief in a range of causes of neuropathy, and it can be useful for sufferers of diabetes. There is significant research that proves that TENS can improve peripheral neuropathy symptoms of diabetes.

      Of course, check with a Doctor, but generally, TENS machines do not require a prescription, and are very easy to use.
      Hope this is helpful, and best of luck!

      Reply to this comment

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