Reviews | The Drive

Best Gas Cans: The Kind that Work in the Real World

These top gas cans are high quality and easy to use

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

youtubefacebookinstagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON May 20, 2022

Finding a good gas can is tough. We've all picked up the first thing we came across at the local superstore only to find the overengineered spout sends fuel everywhere except where you want it. I'm not saying safety cans are unnecessary. I'm saying it'd be nice if the designers behind them actually put some thought into real-world operation. Filling lawn equipment, off-road toys, or your car during an emergency shouldn't be a complicated task that’s more likely to create spills than prevent them. That's what brought you here, though. We’ve got some top picks and a buying guide that'll help you find the best gas can for your situation.

Best Overall

Eagle Red Galvanized-Steel Gas Can

Summary
A metal can to replace many plastic nightmares. The built-in funnel, spring-loaded lid, and durable body make for a unit you can easily trust and operate.
Pros
  • High durability 
  • Won’t shrink or swell
  • Built-in funnel 
  • Spring-loaded cap prevents spills
Cons
  • Pricier than polyethylene alternatives
  • Red paint may chip 
  • Cap tends to rust
Best Value

GarageBoss Press 'N Pour Gas Can

Summary
It’s simple. It’s cheap. It actually works. The Press ‘N Pour gas can offers the functionality all can designers should strive for.
Pros
  • Affordable 
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably portable
  • Ample capacity for multiple uses
Cons
  • Fuel does not dispense quickly
  • Leaks around spout are common
Honorable Mention

Wavian Authentic NATO Jerrycan

Summary
A can featuring the design that has proven useful since the World War II. This Jerrycan is every bit as functional as you need it to be and even comes with an EPA certification for all 50 states.
Pros
  • Superior durability 
  • Excellent functionality 
  • Includes lock-on spout 
  • EPA certified in all 50 states
Cons
  • Included spout is difficult to use
  • Can dents easily in shipping process
  • Expensive
Best Gas Cans: The Kind that Work in the Real World

Our Methodology

There's more to gas cans than a red exterior. You need to factor in sizing, shape, and spout design to ensure a gas can will serve you well under normal circumstances. If you're using it for racing or other recreational purposes, you might demand other qualities from a fuel can. I took the time to think through those considerations when putting this buying guide together. I also made sure to further research the topic and learn what other DIYers and professionals have to say to provide you with suggestions that are useful in practice and not just on paper.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Gas Can Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Capacity: Five gallons
  • Primary material:Steel
  • Model:UI50FS

Pros

  • High durability
  • Won’t shrink or swell
  • Built-in funnel
  • Spring-loaded cap prevents spills

Cons

  • Pricier than polyethylene alternatives
  • Red paint may chip
  • Cap tends to rust

Eagle's gas cans are the go-to for many looking to get away from plastic gas cans that can expand and contract as temperatures change. This Type 1 can comes with a built-in funnel and spring-loaded cap to give users total control over fuel. The funnel makes it easy to fill most anything, and the spring-loaded cap keeps fuel from spilling if the can lands on its side. The galvanized steel body resists rust and corrosion better than most and protects against punctures or dents. The price is a little higher than many consumers might spend on a gas can. The paint also chips easily, and the lid tends to accumulate rust.

Specs

  • Capacity: Two gallons
  • Primary material:Plastic
  • Model:GB320

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably portable
  • Ample capacity for multiple uses

Cons

  • Fuel does not dispense very quickly
  • Leaks around spout

GarageBoss Press 'N Pour can takes the pick for Best Value and is a close contender for the pick of Best Overall. This two-gallon tank is the right size for keeping small machines topped off or for storing in the trunk for emergencies. The spout's function is what separates it from anything similar. Simply depress the button to get fuel flowing and let it go to stop. The low price makes it an obvious pick for this title. The quality is about what you'd expect for a gas can in this price range. It's not terrible, but leaks around the spout are fairly common. It's also important to know that it does dispense fuel at a slow rate.

Specs

  • Capacity:5.3 gallons
  • Primary material:Steel
  • Model:667741439119

Pros

  • Superior durability
  • Excellent functionality
  • Includes lock-on spout
  • EPA certified in all 50 states

Cons

  • Included spout is difficult to use
  • Can dents easily in shipping process
  • Expensive

Wavian's Authentic NATO Jerrycan is based on the timeless design that played a major role in keeping machines moving during the second World War. Though appearances alone might not tell the whole story, the design offers the best practical features one could expect from a gas can. It even comes with lock-on spouts to improve its ease of use. The metal body offers superior durability and resistance to the elements. This particular model is also EPA certified in all 50 states. Even if this can has plenty of historical value and great functionality and looks, the price is not justified compared to other options. Also, the included spout is about the same as many of today’s worst offenders, and there are reports of this can arriving dented or damaged.

Specs

  • Capacity: Five gallons
  • Primary material:Plastic
  • Model:1450

Pros

  • Simple operation
  • Offers total control over fuel flow
  • Three-year warranty
  • CARB compliant

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Not designed for automobiles
  • Slow flowing

No-Spill gas cans are a favorite of many. The design of the can itself isn't all that different from other plastic cans. The spout, however, is a total game changer. The operation is simple and easy to understand. A button is depressed to get fuel flowing. Releasing the button stops fuel flow as does the fuel level coming in contact with the spout, giving you total control over fuel flow. It's also backed by a three-year warranty and is CARB compliant. This can is great, but it's not perfect. The spout is small, and the overall design does lend itself more to lawn equipment and recreational vehicles. The price is also high for what it is, and the flow is on the slow side.

Specs

  • Capacity: 14 gallons
  • Primary material:Plastic
  • Model:6792

Pros

  • 14-gallon capacity
  • Wheels and handle allow for easy transportation
  • Siphon pump and gravity feed functions allow for use in many situations
  • Spill-proof disconnection

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy when fully loaded
  • Wheels have trouble on rough surfaces

If you have a high demand for fuel, Sceptor's Duramax 14 Gallon Flo-N-Go Fuel Caddy is the way to go. It's essentially a portable gas pump that you can use to fuel up whatever you need. It replaces multiple cans that take up valuable floor, trailer, or truck bed space and built-in wheels and a pull handle make it easy to relocate as necessary. The siphon pump handle makes it possible to fill equipment in basically any relation to the caddy, and the spill-proof disconnection keeps things clean. As for the drawbacks, it's an expensive piece of equipment. It's also worth noting that the wheels have a tough time rolling over inconsistent surfaces, and the caddy is rather heavy when filled to maximum capacity.

Specs

  • Capacity:Five gallons
  • Primary material:Plastic
  • Model:3512

Pros

  • Thoughtful design saves space
  • Easily dispenses contents
  • Filling hose included
  • Can be used for multiple purposes

Cons

  • Not EPA approved
  • Expensive for a plastic can
  • Quality control issues are common

You can't be the only person in the pits not using a VP utility jug. This design brings a lot more to the table than you may initially believe. Its square shape is great for saving storage space. The contoured handle and included filling hose make dispensing the contents quick and easy. An unbreakable lid and rubber gasket make it difficult for foreign materials to pollute the contents. Speaking of contents, these jugs are perfectly viable for carrying anything from race fuels to animal feed. This can is not approved to store gasoline in the shop or when you’re at the races. It's also relatively expensive for a plastic can, and quality control issues are common.

Our Verdict

The Eagle Red Galvanized-Steel Gas Can is getting a lot of buzz for being far better than most options. The GarageBOSS Press 'N Pour Gas Can is a great choice for anyone who needs a decent gas tank on a budget.

What to Consider When Buying a Gas Can

Not everyone needs to science out the gas can buying process. Most of us can buy any can on the market and make out just fine. Even tricky government cans will serve you well when you learn how to use them. It does make a big difference when you do put a little thought into your selection as you will wind up with a can that is far less frustrating to get the hang of. That's what this buying guide is here to help you with. 

Key Features

Material 

You'll have the option to buy either a metal or plastic gas can. Many consumers will wind up with plastic cans because they are affordable and abundant. Unfortunately, plastic cans are less than ideal in many situations because gas will eventually break down the material and their tendency to bloat or collapse when temperatures change. Metal cans are often viewed as superior because of their durability and resistance to these issues. That isn't to say metal cans are always better. The increased cost and weight paired with their tendency to explode in the case of a fire can make them worth avoiding in many situations. You need to decide what material works best for you. 

Capacity

Capacity and purpose go hand in hand. If you need a gas can to keep around the shop for various vehicles and equipment, a bigger can is better. However, the size of said can does make it less than ideal in other situations. A five-gallon can may be difficult to manage when filling small equipment or take up too much space to carry around in a car or on recreational equipment. In those instances, a one-gallon can or something similar is a better choice.

Safety mechanisms

Safety mechanisms are a necessary evil. EPA and DOT regulations enforce them to keep people safe. Features such as flame-arrester screens, a spring-loaded cap, and pressure release vents are all implements that are worth having on the gas cans you use. The issues don't usually exist in these areas. Poorly designed spouts can be more hazardous than helpful. It's important to take the time to research different spout designs and pick a can that's safe and practical for your typical situations if you intend to use one. 


Pricing 

Size and the primary material used in the construction of a gas can largely determine the price. Small single-gallon or two-gallon plastic cans usually cost about $20. Moving to five-gallon plastic cans usually increases the price to around $25-$50, and metal versions of any size generally go for double the cost. Expect to pay more for cans that feature special spout designs or features that compliment their use in recreational settings. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Can I mix new gas with old gas?

A. No. The old gas will ruin the quality of the new gas, leaving you with a rough-running engine. If fuel has been sitting long enough to go bad, you should replace it entirely.

Q: Do plastic gas cans deteriorate?

A. Yes. Plastic cans will deteriorate over time when exposed to gas due to the nature of gasoline. It can take several years for the process to compromise the can to the point that it must be replaced.

Q: How long does it take for gas to go bad?

A. Most gas is good for three to six months. However, poor-quality gas can turn bad in as little as a month. Fuel additives can extend the life of any fuel.

stripe
stripe