Einhell GE-CG 7.2 Li
Einhell brings out the stuffy old man in me
The GE-CG 7.2 Li cordless grass shears from Einhell are quite far down our sales rankings. After putting them to the test, I think they deserve a better place.
Everything sprawls and grows, even where I don’t want it to. Our robot lawnmower keeps most of the lawn at a height of 50 mm. But it can’t reach the edges. And that’s where blades of grass stretch cheekily into the air. Too nonconformist for my liking. The stuffy old man in me reaches for the grass shears.
I work on larger areas with a Gardena trimmer. The plastic blades cut it back quickly, but they don’t allow for much accuracy. Once in a while, they come into contact with the garden wall, which makes the plastic blades wear out much quicker. What’s more, the trimmer flings out rough quantities of grass cuttings into our small fountain.
Until now, I’ve been getting down on my knees in the more difficult areas to use very basic, manual grass shears. It’s a good workout for my hand muscles but too strenuous in the long run. Which is why the article request from our buyer in the garden range came just at the right moment. She had an Einhell device and wondered if I could test it out. I could and I wanted to.
When you open the box, you’re just met with parts, but I immediately understand what they’re for. These days, that’s by no means a given. Here’s what we have:
- the device itself with the small brushless electric motor
- the factory-assembled grass cutting blade
- a shrub blade
- a charger
I’ll ignore the latter for now – you’d probably do the same. I get started straight away.
Cutting the grass
As with all devices of this type, there’s an on-off switch and a power-on lock. This stops you accidentally starting the blades just by picking it up and potentially injuring yourself. I need to deactivate the lock with my thumb before I can start the blades with my index and middle finger. Once these are on, I can also release the locking switch. Only when the blades stop do I have to release the lock again to restart them. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. In reality, the device is simple and self-explanatory to use.
I let the grass shears glide over the ground at a low height to cut the grass at the edge of the lawn. These point upwards very slightly. This means I avoid stones or soil getting between the blades and making them blunt too quickly. I imagine shepherds use a similar technique to shear their sheep.
As I trim the edge of the lawn, I start to feel for the hygienist who has to keep removing my dental tartar. She has more work to do as I don’t floss regularly enough. And because I’ve never had battery-operated grass shears before, my lawn has already sprouted over the edging stones. But this grass plaque won’t build up again because the GE-CG 7.2 Li significantly simplifies maintenance work like this. The device is long-lasting, cuts effortlessly and is easy to clean.
The grass shears are 85 mm wide. They let me get to grips with almost all the overgrown grass. Where the verge is wider, I mow a second row. When it comes to cutting performance, the Einhell device isn’t exactly quiet, but equally, it’s not so loud that it bothers me or makes me feel like I’m disturbing the neighbours. According to technical specs, the sound pressure level is 61 dB (A), comparable to a standard conversation (site in German).
The GE-CG 7.2 Li – what a name, by the way – weighs 636 g when the small grass blade is mounted. It’s a bit heavier compared with Gardena and Bosch models. However, it sits comfortably in my hand, so I don’t worry about tendinitis, even after a long cutting session. If you want to avoid back pain, I recommend the version with the telescopic handle.
Changing from grass shears to shrub shears is self-explanatory. I press the knife release button with my index finger. With my other hand, I remove the grass blade. Obviously, I put the protective cap on beforehand. Safety first!
Once I’ve removed the blade, I can see inside the device. Well lubricated plastic gears turn and drive the mechanism. What I also notice is that the device isn’t completely enclosed. Remnants of grass have found their way into the mechanics. This could be a problem in the long run. In fact, the sight unsettles me so much that I fetch the user manual after all. It seems to give the all-clear: «There aren’t any parts inside the device that require maintenance.»
I use the shrub shears to trim shrubs, bushes and hedges. The blade cuts through twigs and branches as thick as 8 mm. Anything wider will just lead to a blockage. The Einhell device lacks a feature that arguably pushed the Bosch Isio 3 so high up in our sales rankings – namely, a microelectronics-controlled anti-jamming system. However, when it comes to the maximum branch thickness it can cut through, the Einhell device is on par with the Bosch.
Mounting the longer hedge trimmer is a bit tricky. If the eccentric pin on the unit and its corresponding blade mount aren’t in the correct position, nothing clicks into place. Once again, it’s instructions to the rescue. It turns out they do actually explain how the device works in an easy-to-understand way.
Charging and maintenance
The 1.5 Ah-capacity battery stays in the device and supplies 7.2 V of power – hence the number in the device name. This gives a maximum runtime of 85 minutes. In theory. In my day-to-day test, it was more like 60 to 70 minutes. Or even less if you spend a long time cutting one piece. This drains the battery more than if you take a few minutes’ break in between.
Einhell recommends not letting the lithium battery in the GE-CG 7.2 Li drain completely. Instead, plug it into the charger as soon as you notice a drop in cutting performance. According to the manufacturer, the battery should have fully recharged within two hours, but it took three hours for me. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out how full the battery is while it’s charging. There’s just a red LED to indicates that it’s in progress. And it turns off when it’s finished. That’s the extent of it.
Once you’ve finished cutting, they highly recommended you clean the blades. If the grass is dry, this is quick and easy. I remove grass residue with a soft brush and give the blades a quick wipe with a damp cloth. A few drops of oil every now and then ensures the two superimposed blades glide smoothly over each other. There are specialist products, but you can also just use a few drops of cheaper sewing machine oil.
Verdict: economical and solid
The GE-CG 7.2 Li closes the gap between robot lawnmower, grass trimmer and hand shears in my garden tool inventory. Compared with renowned competition from Gardena and Bosch, it’s a good 25% cheaper, while also providing good results for everyday use. Its red-dominant design is striking, but that’s certainly a matter of taste. The devices are solidly made, and Einhell needn’t worry about being in Gardena’s shadow, even though it’s not on the same level. You can tell there have been a few cutbacks here and there. For instance, the blade guard is made of somewhat thin plastic, which won’t last forever. And when you change blades, the gearbox is exposed meaning dirt can get in. The Bosch Isio 3 has a much niftier solution, with only one well-protected pinion drive protruding from the housing.
I find the large battery particularly impressive when I put the device to the test, as it guarantees a long runtime exceeding one hour. There are sister models, which allow you to use the battery for other Einhell devices – provided you have an Einhell battery ecosystem. As you have to buy the battery separately, there’s also a more significant upfront investment.
In terms of the GE-CG 7.2 Li, Einhell provides the battery as a spare part if needed. The same goes for the blades, which eventually wear out. This should ensure you can use the device for as long as possible. When it comes to sustainability, Einhell focuses on long lifespan for its equipment. For example, it offers a 10-year warranty on the brushless motor and three years on the battery and device itself, provided you register it on the Einhell website upon purchase. Incidentally, although the brand is German, the company also makes its products in China.Header image: Martin Jungfer
Journalist since 1997. Stopovers in Franconia (or the Franken region), Lake Constance, Obwalden, Nidwalden and Zurich. Father since 2014. Expert in editorial organisation and motivation. Focus on sustainability, home office tools, beautiful things for the home, creative toys and sports equipment.