LAST UPDATED: August 7, 2019
Best Gas Cans: Great Options for Reliable Containers
Find the right gas can for storing fuel safely at home or on th
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON August 7, 2019
Gas cans are a useful tool for keeping fuel reserves on hand during road trips, on job sites, or in the cellar for a generator. Quality is critical to prevent spills and to 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 available.
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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, 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 2020
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 small 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 prevent accidental ignition. This five-gallon gas can is 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 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.
Our best value pick has to be the Quick-Flow Spout Midwest Can 2310 Auto Shut Off Gasoline Can, which offers a safe and reliable gas can at a very competitive price point. It’s a super compact and lightweight option that holds up to two gallons and eight ounces of fuel, perfect for smaller jobs when you don’t want to lug big, heavy gas cans around. This convenient gas can is constructed from durable, high-density polyethylene and features vapor barrier technology built right into the walls of the container. It meets or exceeds all EPA requirements.
This gas can also comes equipped with a Flame Shield Safety System that includes the vapor locking Quick-Flow spout, but also a special internal flame mitigation device to provide a double layer of protection from accidental fire. One thing that users do seem to note is that because of the added safety measures within the spout, it can take some getting used to before you’re able to easily operate it, so don’t get frustrated if it takes a few tries.
For those who are looking for a straightforward gas can that’s simple to use, the Garage Boss GB351 Briggs and Stratton Press 'N Pour Gas Can is the gas can you’ve been looking for. No complicated spouts that take time and energy to figure out, this can includes a simple fuel spout that works with just the press of a button to allow a fast and easy pour. This also allows you to be more precise and less messy when dispensing gasoline.
The translucent spout lets you easily see how much gasoline is being dispensed at any given second, and the ergonomically designed spout grip and lift-assistant indent ensure a comfortable and stress-free filling experience. This can is also CARB and EPA approved to meet or exceed all safety standards for added peace of mind. That being said, it is still probably a good idea to keep this can far out of reach from children, since it’s less complicated to use and might pose a slightly higher risk.
For bigger fuel requirements, check out the DuraMax Flo n' Go LE Fluid Transfer Pump and 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can. This large gas can holds up to 14 gallons of fuel and comes equipped with an ergonomically designed, rugged top handle and heavy-duty resin and rubber wheels for easy and effortless transportation. It’s perfect for use around your farm, job site, dock, mechanic shop, and more.
The gas can itself is constructed from durable high-density polypropylene that is corrosion-, dent-, and impact-resistant. It features specially designed molded-in feet that keep the tank off the floor or ground for increased ventilation and improved stability. A long 10-foot hose includes two shut-off valves for easy disconnecting and safe filling and refilling. One thing that could be better is the difficulty of getting all the fuel out of the bottom of the tank. Since the hose doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom, you have to tip the tank up and pour the remaining fuel out of the filling spout at the top.
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, which 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 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 available. 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.