Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review

Einhell GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier Review

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A reputable brand for garden tools, Einhell produces a range of electric, petrol, and even cordless scarifiers. I’ve used Einhell products before, so I had high expectations for their GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier.

Einhell GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier At A Glance

Einhell GC-SA 1231 Electric ScarifierEinhell GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier
Assembly
5
Design
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
4
Noise
5
Safety
3
Value for Money
4
Overall
4.4285714285714
CHECK PRICE →
  • Working Width
    31cm
  • No. of Heights
    3
  • Weight
    9kg
  • Power
    1200W
  • Power Source
    Corded Electric
  • Cable Length
    4.5m

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How I Tested The Einhell GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier

This Einhell scarifier is designed for small to medium gardens – spaces no larger than 300m². So, I decided to test it out on one of the smaller lawns on my farm. Since this scarifier also comes with an aerating roller, the plan was to scarify the ground first, follow up with the aerator, and then put down some grass seed. I would also usually mow the grass first, but my sheep had done that job for me!

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The Results

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Assembly

5

Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review-assembly

Opening the box, I was pleased to see that the collection bag was already assembled – putting a bag together may be a simple task, but it’s a fiddly process that can take some time!

So, the first step was to assemble the handles, which required six screws (you’ll need a Philip’s screwdriver for this). After this, clip the cables into place with the plastic clips provided.

You’ll then need to remove the aerating roller that the machine comes with and replace this with the scarifying roller. There is an Allen key provided for removing the rollers, and, although easy to do, it does take a couple of minutes to swap them around.

All in all, assembling this product was very simple and took about 15 minutes overall.

Design

5

Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review-design1

In-keeping with Einhell’s branding, this scarifier sports a modern red and black colour palette. At first glance, it looks like a sturdy and well-built machine. Yes, its housing is made from plastic, but it still feels pretty durable.

As mentioned, it has been designed to take two rollers; one with tin tines (for scarifying) and one with blades (for aerating). This is definitely a useful feature – both scarifying and aerating are chores that you’ll only really need to do once a year, so having one machine that can do both, rather than having to invest in two individual machines, is a big bonus. It’s also worth noting that the design of this machine makes it easy to insert the needed roller – it’s not possible to put the roller in incorrectly or upside down, which is handy for those who are new to scarifying.

I appreciated that this scarifier had handles that could adjust to three different positions, making it comfortable for people of varying heights to use. The handles are also foldable, making the machine easy to store.

One design feature that puzzled me at first was the little plastic holder attached to the scarifier’s handle. However, after double-checking the instruction booklet, I realised that this was for holding the Allen key that you’ll need to swap the scarifying and aerating rollers over. This was a very clever little touch as it ensures that you’ve always got an Allen key to hand when using the machine.

This Einhell scarifier comes with a 28 litre collection bag. In my opinion, this seems small, even for a small garden.

Its operating width of 31cm makes this scarifier one of the smallest that I tested (in comparison, the AL-KO lawn scarifier has a width of 38cm, but has a much higher price point to match). This machine also only has three adjustable height levels, compared to the four or five that its competitors boast. However, it does also have an extra transport position, which is handy if you plan on moving the machine around in a vehicle.

The main downside to this machine’s design is the fact that, in order to change the depth, you need to adjust two handles, rather than the single handle that many other scarifiers have. However, this literally only takes a few extra seconds, so it’s not a huge disadvantage! That said, look into the VonHaus or the Hyundai if you’d prefer a single height adjustment lever.

Performance

5

Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review-performance

Scarifier

I accidentally left this scarifier on its lowest setting when I first turned it on, and was a little shocked at how much grass it was ripping out, leaving nothing but deeply-churned bare soil beneath. But, after a quick adjustment, I continued on at the highest setting and was much happier with its performance. 

The machine was able to remove a large amount of thatch, and it did this quickly. Although I didn’t go back over the lawn on a lower setting, simply because I didn’t need to, it’s great to have this option for lawns that are mossier and weedier than the one that I was scarifying. 

I have to say that I was surprised at how powerful this scarifier felt. At 1200W, it does have a sizeable motor, but this isn’t as large as the 1500W motor that you’ll find on other models, such as the Hyundai. Still, it didn’t actually feel any less powerful – although designed for smaller gardens, it could probably cope with larger spaces too, especially if you’re regularly stopping to empty the bag. 

Aerator

It’s usually best to aerate a lawn after scarifying it. However, after taking a closer look at the devastation left behind by this scarifier (don’t worry, it’s normal for a lawn to look utterly destroyed after a scarifying session!), I could see that aeration wasn’t really needed in this case. The scarifier alone had dug into the ground enough.

That said, I still wanted to see how the aerator roller functioned, so I decided to subject a small section of grass to a quick aeration. I needn’t have worried – the aerator wasn’t quite as savage as I was expecting it to be, although I did have it on its highest setting. 

Dropping it down to its lowest setting didn’t make much of a difference. Although a light aeration was all I needed, anyone wanting more than that would probably be a little disappointed by the results.

Ease of Use

4

Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review-ease-of-use

Being tall means that I often have to stoop when using tools and machines designed for domestic gardens, but that wasn’t the case with this scarifier. Its adjustable height made it extremely comfortable to use, which I very much appreciated. 

At 9kg, this is a pretty lightweight machine. It’s easy to manoeuvre around awkward corners and angles – this is made even more convenient by the machine’s wide wheels.

However, as I suspected, the collection bag was simply too small for the job, even though I was only scarifying a small space. I ended up having to empty the bag every minute (literally). If I were scarifying a larger area, it would be much faster to just do without the collection bag and then run over all of the dead grass and thatch with a lawn mower.

Noise

5

Although this scarifier wasn’t quiet in any way, it wasn’t quite as loud as some of the other lawn scarifiers I tested. Ear defenders were definitely not needed. Its noise level was equivalent to that of a quiet lawn mower, so you won’t need to worry about disturbing your neighbours while you’re scarifying your garden!

Safety

3

Einhell-GC-SA-1231-Electric-Scarifier-Review-safety

Einhell clearly tried to keep safety in mind when designing this machine, but they’ve failed in a few aspects. 

Let’s start with the good points – it’s equipped with a safety button that you need to press before you can start up the machine, which saves anyone from accidentally turning it on. However, that’s where the praise ends…

This machine has a 4.5m lead, which may be long enough for small gardens, but is definitely not sufficient for larger spaces. All of the other scarifiers that I tested had longer leads, from 10m on the VonHaus to 12m on the AL-KO. The shorter length means that you’ll probably end up relying on an extension lead, which can pose various safety issues.

Even worse, the power lead for this machine is black, meaning that it can easily end up hidden in the grass. It’s not as easy to see as the brightly coloured leads that other scarifiers, such as Hyundai’s electric scarifier, have. This is an unfortunate oversight on Einhell’s part, as it significantly increases your chances of accidentally running the machine over the power lead.

Value for Money

4

Since scarifying and aerating are usually annual tasks, investing in a machine that you’re only going to be using once a year can feel a little painful. However, the fact that this Einhell model is a 2-in-1 helps to take some of that pain away, especially when you compare it to some of its competitors – many are similarly priced but don’t offer an aerating function. Even though the aerating roller on this machine may not be anything to write home about, it’s still worth using for a light aeration.

It’s also worth noting that replacement rollers are easily available for this machine. If you break one of the tines on your scarifying roller, this won’t render the machine useless – you can simply order another roller.

Overall

4.4285714285714

If you’re looking for an easy-to-assemble and simple-to-use machine that’ll both scarify and lightly aerate your garden, you’ve found it. This Einhell GC-SA 1231 Scarifier is beautifully designed and performs effortlessly. It should scarify and aerate a small to medium-sized lawn in under an hour, with its powerful motor making light work of the task. As a professional gardener, I struggled to find many flaws with this machine – it may be designed for domestic use, but it’s one that I’ll more than likely turn to each autumn for my clients’ gardens, as well as my own.

Einhell GC-SA 1231 Electric ScarifierEinhell GC-SA 1231 Electric Scarifier
Assembly
5
Design
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
4
Noise
5
Safety
3
Value for Money
4
Overall
4.4285714285714
CHECK PRICE →

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