Best Gas Cans: Safe and Secure Fuel Storage Options
Find the right gas can for storing fuel safely at home or on the road.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON May 13, 2021
While certainly not the most glamorous piece of equipment you’ll ever buy, a high-quality and safe-pouring gas can is an integral part of your garage, tool shed, or workshop. Many people keep gas cans on-hand in their garage or vehicle in case of emergencies, or for storing spare gas for lawn equipment, ATVs, motorcycles, and more.
For those with small children or pets at home, it’s important to get a gas can that promotes safety and won't easily spill accidentally. Quality construction is a key factor in choosing the best gas can. And nowadays, when it comes to pouring and operating the can’s spout, it’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. There are many different configurations of gas can spouts on the market.
If you are looking for a new gas can, check out our top product recommendations and our informative buying guide to help you make a confident and informed choice.
This is one of the more user-friendly spill-proof gas cans on the market. It combines durability with functionality and an economical price point.
- This gas can has an easy-to-use push-button safety spout
- Features an integrated 20 mesh steel screen to help prevent accidental ignition
- Hard to visually gauge how much fuel is in the can due to its dark color
- Might be considered a little pricey for some users
Our best value pick features a great design at an even better price, the perfect option if you’re looking to save some cash.
- This compact and lightweight can is great for smaller jobs and is made from durable, high-density polyethylene
- Has vapor barrier technology and a Flame Shield Safety System
- Safety measures on the spout make it a little hard to operate
A Type I safety can, this Eagle container is among the safest to use for storing, transporting, and dispensing flammable liquids. A great pick if you’re frequently working with gasoline.
- Galvanized steel container; powder-coated finish resists scratches, chipping, and fading
- Features an integrated flame arrestor; resealable spout, and is FM approved
- Not suitable for diesel fuel, as galvanized containers and this type of chemical don’t mix
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Gas Can
- Store extra gas. If you have a gasoline-powered generator in your home or shop, you’ll likely want to store extra gas to fill it up in case you need it. Quality gas cans help you achieve that goal.
- Transport fuel. A car running out of gas is annoying. With the use of a gas can, you can transport fuel to the affected vehicle, quickly, safely, and easily.
- Avoid noxious fumes. Properly sealed gas cans prevent harmful fumes from escaping the container. That’s an important safety feature that protects your health and safety.
- Fill up equipment. Lots of construction equipment requires gasoline to function. Gas can make fueling up that equipment a breeze.
Types of Gas Cans
Metal fuel containers are typically more expensive than the plastic variation, with some reaching twice the price. These gasoline cans are best if you’re planning to store the fuel for longer periods of time without losing structural integrity. They can, however, begin to rust under certain conditions. In case of fire, a metal container can explode, potentially causing injury. That being said, overall, metal cans can hold more fuel than plastic ones and offer more durability but are heavier and bulkier as a trade off.
Plastic gas cans are cheaper, lighter, and less bulky than metal ones, but this user friendliness comes at a price. They absorb fuel and chemicals when kept filled over long periods of time, weakening the structure of the can. In case of fire, plastic cans will melt, but won’t explode. If kept properly, this type of gas can is a great option.
Based in Lenexa, Kan., No-Spill makes a wide variety of gas containers to suit all types of needs. All products come with a three-year warranty and feature a wide and stable design and a leak-proof cap. Its most popular products include the 2.5-gallon Poly Gas Can.
For more than 70 years, Midwest Can has been designing and making quality products. Based in Franklin Park, Illinois, all of its products are manufactured in the Midwest and meet the highest safety standards in the industry. Among its best sellers is the 5600-4PK Gas Can.
Around for more than 60 years, Eagle knows a thing or two about manufacturing high-quality gas cans. Its “safety cans” meet and exceed OSHA and NFPA requirements, are FM approved and are listed with UL and ULC. Its galvanized 5 gallon steel model is a consumer favorite.
Gas Can Pricing
- Under $20: At this price point, you’ll find a small variety of good-quality budget models, as well as a smattering of not-so-good ones. The latter are best avoided, as they won’t meet safety standards.
- $20-$35: In the mid-range, you’ll find a wide selection of gas cans to meet your needs. Most will meet safety standards and industry guidelines, but it’s still important to watch out for seals and certificates.
- $35 and up: If you’re looking for metal instead of plastic, this is the price range you’ll find it in. Bigger sizes, more durability, and higher quality round out the typical feature set. If you’re going to be storing gas for longer periods of time, we suggest investing.
Consider how much fuel you want the gas can to store. Will a small gas can do the trick or do you require something a little bigger? A larger fuel tank is a more cost-effective solution, but keep in mind that a filled-up fuel can get exponentially heavier the bigger it is.
Ask yourself what the main purpose of the gas can will be. Do you need it to fill up a generator, or are you fueling lawn equipment? This will affect the type of nozzle you need, as well as determine the best size and type of your chosen container.
Gas cans must meet a whole list of requirements to be considered legal and safe for use. These regulations are made by the EPA and the DOT to protect consumers, so it’s important to watch out that the container you select meets these requirements. Your best bet is to only purchase an approved container that’s listed by a nationally recognized testing lab, such as UL.
- Material. Here, it’s important to consider that metal and plastic containers both have their advantages and disadvantages. The most important difference is in their durability. Metal cans are much more durable, but also much heavier. Plastic models have the advantage of being lighter and more portable, but at the cost of being less durable overall.
- Quality. Watch out for the quality of the manufacturing. If the product you’re buying is tested by UL or a similar testing lab, chances are, the quality is good. It’s still important to check that the seams are well-constructed, the nozzle and cap are high quality, and that the overall container is designed for easy handling.
- Cap. Some models come with a child-safe screw cap that is extra strong and durable, preventing children from opening gas canisters. It’s a good idea to get a model with this feature if you’re storing the fuel at home.
Best Gas Cans Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you’re filling up gas containers at the gas station, make sure you remove them from your car before refilling.
- Always place containers on the ground, keeping a safe distance from your vehicle to prevent damage or injuries.
- Static electricity can cause gasoline to ignite, so it’s important to touch the container with the gas dispenser nozzle before removing the container lid.
- While filling the gas can, keep the nozzle in contact with the container to prevent a buildup of static charge.
Q: Is it safe to drive with a gas can in the car?
It’s really not safe to carry a gas can in your car, even if it’s empty. Keeping a gas can in your car can cause you to be exposed to toxic fumes and is a potential fire hazard. If you do need to carry a gas can in your vehicle, it’s best to keep it stored somewhere outside the vehicle, like in the bed of your truck, or tied to your roof rack.
Q: Where can I best store my gas container?
The best place to store gas cans is in a well-ventilated room, shed, or storage cabinet that protects the can from being exposed to harsh weather and corrosive elements. It’s also a good idea to store your gas cans away from your house in an outbuilding or a shed if possible, to reduce the risk of an accidental fire destroying your home.
Q: Will a gas can explode when exposed to the sun?
Direct exposure to sunlight will not usually cause your gas cans to explode. However, if you use plastic gas cans, prolonged exposure to bright sunlight will cause the gas can to wear out faster than if it was tucked away safe from harsh weather and environmental elements.
Q: How do I clean my gas can?
To clean the interior of your gas can, set the can in a large tub outside or on a flat concrete surface. Be sure it’s fully emptied of all fuel. Add a few drops of dish detergent, then fill the can partly with warm water. Put the cap on and shake the can vigorously to thoroughly spread the soapy water around the inside of the can. Pour the soapy water out and flush it with fresh water until all the detergent is gone.
Q: What features should I look for in a gas can?
If you have kids around, it’s imperative to look for a gas can with a safety spout that won’t allow for any accidental opening or spilling of the can. Venting caps, rotating spouts, and translucent spouts are also nice features to look for in a high-quality gas can.
With its spill-proof design and easy-to-operate, push-button safety spout, it’s easy to see why we chose the No-Spill 1450 Poly Gas Can as our top pick overall. It combines durability with functionality and an economical price point.
For a reliable and economical gas can that won’t hurt your wallet, check out the Midwest Model 5600 Spill Proof Gas Can. It’s a CARB- and EPA-certified, rugged, and compact gas can that’s perfect for smaller jobs.