How Old Should Someone Be To Use A Weed Eater?

how old to use a weed eater

Most parents want their children to learn the value of hard work. One of the more healthy and available ways is to have your son or daughter do outside chores. It’s good to breathe in fresh air, and engage in some manual labor.

It’s a more difficult question when dealing with using a weed eater or string trimmer. How old should your child be before they can use a weed eater? We’ll tackle the question below.

What Age Is Right To Start Using A String Trimmer?

How old should someone be to use a weed eater? While the answer depends on the strength, height and maturity of your child, most experts agree a child should be at least 14 before using a weed eater. At this age, they should have enough strength to handle the power tool correctly and the maturity to understand the dangers involved in trimming weeds.

Different states have different laws on how old someone must be before you hire them to do lawn work. You’ll have to check with your state’s department of labor to see what the legal age is to hire a teen to weed whack your lawn. Ages vary from 13 all the way to 18 across the states.

Is Your Teen Strong Enough To Handle A Weed Eater?

As we stated earlier, one of the primary concerns for letting a teen use a weed eater is their overall strength. While you don’t have to be The Arnold to safely and effectively use a weed wacker, there is a certain level of upper body strength required. String trimmers vary in weight from less than a gallon of milk up to nearly 50 pounds with a full gas tank. If your child is on the scrawny side, you will want to start with a one of the best corded electric string trimmer or battery weed eater models on the market.

It’s not just raw strength either – there’s muscular endurance to be taken into account as well. A good chunk of the mass of a string trimmer is held out a few feet from the body. This can amplify the effect of the weight – and tire our your child.

If you aren’t sure, have them carry the weed eater around the yard for a dry run. See how well they do – do they look like they are struggling? Are they consistently forced to take breaks? If so, they might not yet be developmentally strong enough to handle weed eating duties.

Kids Need The Right Gear

Of course, a teen needs ear protection to help prevent hearing loss. With decades of life in front of them, it’s important they don’t accidently damage their hearing from the use of a power tool.

They also should have the correct eye protection and protective clothing in case debris is kicked up while using the string trimmer. The proper footwear is key – no open-toes shoes or sandals should be allowed when using a weed whacker.

Long pants are also a good idea. While it’s usually warm outside when you are trimming weeds, shorts aren’t great from a safety perspective. A pair of jeans might be the difference between a bruise and a cut from flying debris.


You also need to provide your teen with instruction on how to use a weed whacker. While written instructions are necessary, nothing beats visually showing them how to use the string trimmer safely.

Remember – children don’t necessarily know all the safety tips and operating advice you take for granted. While we have a longer guide covering how to use a weed eater if you want more detail, here are some areas you must cover with your teen.

Essential Items To Cover:

  • The Importance of Safety Equipment While Weed Whacking
  • How To Watch Out For Debris That Could Become A Projectile
  • How To Start The Weed Eater
  • How To Stop The Trimmer
  • How To Fill The Gas Tank If A Gas Trimmer
  • How Important It Is To Be Aware Of The Extension Cable If It Is A Corded Electric Model
  • How To Advance More String From The Trimmer Head
  • Which Way To Cut – Based On The Direction Of The Head Spin
  • Different Cutting Techniques With A Weed Eater – Like Tapering, Screening and Scything


Just as every child is different, the age at which a child should be weed whacking your yard varies as well. While not THE most dangerous power tool for the yard, it can cause serious injury or damage if used improperly. Hopefully this article gave you some guidance on figuring out how old someone should be to use a weed eater.

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