Best Gas Cans: Great Options for Reliable Containers
Find the right gas can for storing fuel safely at home or on the go
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PUBLISHED ON August 7, 2019
Gas cans are a useful tool for keeping fuel reserves with you on road trips, job sites, or just in the cellar for a generator. Quality is critical to prevent spills and make using the gas can easy and mess-free. We’ve done all the dirty work for you, so read on to find out everything you need to know about the best gas cans out there.
- Best OverallNo-Spill 1450 Poly Gas CanSummarySummaryThe one-size-fits-all spout makes this a great choice for big and small equipment. The unique no-spill design takes care of potential messes before they happen.ProsProsFunnel spout; attached dust cover; CARB and EPA compliant; 5-gallon capacity; and integrated 20 mesh steel screen to help prevent accidental ignition.ConsConsProne to spillage when overfilled, so it’s important to leave a little room at the top as a safety gap.
- Best ValueMidwest Model 5600 Spill Proof Gas CanSummarySummaryOur best value pick features a great design at an even better price, the perfect option if you’re looking to save some cash.ProsProsSpill-proof cap and nozzle system; convenient top handle and back grip; plastic material won’t rust, dent, or corrode; 5-gallon capacity; and safety compliant.ConsConsThe shape of the spout is not ideal, making it difficult to use with generators.
- Honorable MentionEagle Metal Safety CanSummarySummaryA 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.ProsProsGalvanized steel container; powder-coated finish resists scratches, chipping, and fading; integrated flame arrestor; resealable spout; and FM approved.ConsConsNot 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, and practical experience with each product 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’ve got 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 an annoying occurrence. 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 tradeoff.
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, Kansas, 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 over 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.
- Over $35: 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 Can Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: No-Spill 1450 Poly Gas Can
A gas can with a purpose, this No-Spill model has a unique thumb button to control the rate of pouring. The 7/8-inch funnel spout fits even the smallest equipment, making this one perfect for everything from small construction equipment to big generators. An attached dust cover keeps the spout clean, and the gasoline contained within, free of debris.
As a high-quality fuel can, this model is CARB- and EPA-compliant. Additional safety features include an internal barrier and an integrated 20 mesh stainless steel screen to help prevent accidental ignition. This 5-gallon gas can has the ideal size for storing gasoline, while the shape and design of the canister make handling it easy.
One thing you have to watch out for with this model is that overfilling it can very quickly lead to spills. It’s important to stay just under capacity to ensure a tight seal with the cap, which is what will prevent spills in the first place. Keep that in mind when you’re using this model, and you should be good to go.
Best Value: Midwest Model 5600 Spill Proof Gas Can
Our best value pick is this Midwest gas container, offering a great feature set at a respectable price. A convenient top handle and back grip make carrying and pouring a breeze, while the material won’t rust, dent, or corrode. Its design makes it ideal for use with large equipment such as lawn mowers and generators, while it can also be used for other purposes.
The spill-proof cap and nozzle system will help prevent any dangerous messes, and the durable HDPE with barrier materials construction virtually eliminates hydrocarbon emissions. The 5-gallon capacity is generous but not so big that it would make it excessively difficult to carry, and it’s CARB-compliant and EPA-certified, ensuring a safe-to-use product. Another design feature is the extra-wide base that prevents tipping, stabilizing the entire can.
What we didn’t like about this model was the shape of the spout, which makes it difficult to use with generators. If this is the main purpose for which you need a gas can, we recommend checking out an alternative product.
Honorable Mention: Eagle Metal Safety Can
A Type I safety can, the Eagle gas container can be used to store, transport, and dispense flammable liquids safely. It comes with a useful funnel to facilitate filling and pouring, further upping the safety factor by decreasing the potential for spills. It’s made from galvanized steel, which is resistant to rust, dents, and certain chemicals, while the powder-coated finish resists scratches, chipping, and fading, making this one a durable option.
Another useful safety feature is the flame arrestor that helps prevent liquids inside the can from igniting. The spout cap seals itself to prevent leaks or spills, and the cap assembly opens automatically to vent internal vapors. This can is also FM-approved and complies with a number of safety standards, including OSHA. That makes it a great option for both home or business use.
The one thing to keep in mind is that it’s not suitable for diesel fuel. If you need a container to store and transport diesel, we recommend choosing a plastic option, as this will work better with the fuel. Other than that, this is a solid choice that comes with a number of nifty safety features to protect you from injury.
- 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?
A: The short answer is no. Although it’s a convenient way to carry extra gas in case you run out, we don’t recommend taking a gas canister along inside your vehicle. The noxious fumes can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea. Likewise, a spark can ignite the fuel, causing serious and potentially fatal injury. If you really must take along a canister, strap it to the roof rack, but we recommend filling up beforehand instead.
Q: Where can I best store my gas container?
A: The safest place to store it is in a proper storage cabinet that is flame resistant and robust enough to protect the gas can. If that’s not an option, gas cans should be stored as far away from your house or home as possible, in a garage or shed that’s at least 50 feet away from any ignition sources.
Q: Will a gas can explode when exposed to the sun?
A: Most gas cans won’t ignite if exposed to sunlight. However, it’s important to keep in mind that longer exposure to sun and heat can cause an explosion, especially in cheaper plastic models. That being said, it’s best to be on the side of safety, and store your gas cans in a cool and shaded area only.
Q: How do I clean my gas can?
A: To do this, you’ll need an old toothbrush and dish detergent. Place the empty gas can in the sink, then add a few drops of detergent onto the bristles of the toothbrush, wet the bristles, and start scrubbing the exterior. To clean the interior, add a few drops of detergent and fill the can up part-way with warm water. Shake the can with the cap on, and pour the used up water down the drain. Flush with water one more time to get rid of any detergent residue.
Q: What features should I look for in a gas can?
A: You’ll want to invest in a gasoline safety can, preferably a Type I or Type II for optimal safety. Spring-closing lids, self-venting caps, and rotating spout models are among the better ones out there. A heavy-duty thumb trigger or trigger release is also useful, as is a narrow pour spout so it works with lots of different equipment.
Our top pick is the No-Spill 1450 Poly Gas Can. Its safety features and handy design make it a favorite among consumers.
If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, we recommend the Midwest Model 5600 Spill Proof Gas Can. It’s CARB- and EPA-certified, making it a safe and reliable choice.