Whether storing fuel for your power equipment or emergency preparedness, having the best gas can for you on hand helps. A high-quality gas can make filling your machinery or generator easy, in addition to providing a safe, leak-proof container for storage or transporting.
With so many options available, it can be a challenge to choose the best gas can. It’s important to find one that is easy to fill and pour, but also safe and durable. This guide can help you choose the best gas can for your specific needs.
- BEST OVERALL: Justrite 7210120 AccuFlow 1 Gallon Type II Red Safety Can
- RUNNER-UP: SureCan Easy Pour Rotating Nozzle 5 Gallon Gas Can
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can
- BETS FOR BOATS: DuraMax Flo n’ Go LE 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can
- BEST FOR GENERATORS: Midwest 5 Gallon Metal “Jerry” Gas Can
- BEST LONG-TERM STORAGE: Eagle UI-50-FS Red Galvanized Steel Type I Safety Can
Types of Gas Cans
Before you start shopping for the best gas can, you should understand the different types of gas cans to choose from. They each have their pros and cons, so be sure to pick the can style that will work for you.
Standard gas cans are the cans you see in residential garages and on gas station shelves. They’re usually plastic, though metal versions are available. They have screw-on caps or nozzles that must be removed to fill the can. Older models have a small plastic cap opposite from the filler cap that you need to pop in order to vent the can while pouring.
These cans are for residential use only. They don’t need to meet stringent safety regulations, but they’ll do a fine job of storing gas for most homeowners’ needs.
When it comes to any type of business or commercial enterprise, the Occupational Health and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a safety can. A safety can is a metal gas can, 5 gallons or less in volume, that self-vents when subjected to fire exposure. The lid must have a spring-loaded closure that prevents leaks but also safely relieves pressure as the temperature in the room builds.
Safety cans are commercial-grade and need to meet OSHA, NFPA, and often DOT certification for use on commercial premises. They’re long-lasting, safe, and durable. They’ll also keep your gas fresher for longer periods, but some models are subject to rusting.
Safety cans come in two variants.
- Type I safety cans fill and dispense from the same spout.
- Type II safety cans fill from a separate spout, which often doubles as the vent.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gas Can
Now that you have some background on the different types of gas cans, it’s time to fill up on the important factors to keep in mind while shopping. Choosing the best gas can for you comes down to capacity, materials, or other factors worth learning about. Take these factors into consideration when locating the best gas can for your needs.
As mentioned above, gas cans can be either plastic or metal.
Plastic gas cans are light and inexpensive. They’re acceptable for use in most residential situations, and their affordability makes them popular. However, their plastic material can break down over time, releasing chemicals into the gas, as well as lessening the can’s durability. In the event of a fire, a plastic gas can is likely to melt, rather than explode.
Metal gas cans are heavy and expensive, but they’re incredibly durable. Manufacturers typically construct them out of stainless steel, providing prolonged corrosion resistance and durability. They can eventually rust, but it usually takes years to occur.
Choosing your ideal gas can may hinge a bit on its capacity. There are many different sizes and volumes, so it’s a good idea to understand the requirements and know how much fuel you need to keep on hand.
In general, homeowners can get by with a 2.5-gallon can. This can size will hold enough fuel for mowing, trimming, and chainsaw work on a weekly basis for a month, or two, at a time. It will also ensure that you use your fuel before it starts to deteriorate.
When keeping fuel on hand for a generator, or bringing extra fuel with you on an off-road adventure, you might prefer a larger can. 5-gallon cans are ideal in these cases; they’re still manageable in weight, while also providing plenty of volume.
You can also find 1-gallon cans. They’re compact and easy to manage, making them an attractive choice for storage on a shop shelf.
Storing your gas won’t do you any good if you don’t have a way to pour it into your lawnmower, motorcycle, or generator.
Many gas cans have integrated fuel nozzles or spouts that make it easy to pour your fuel directly into a fuel tank. Some even have valves that allow you to adjust the angle of the tank without dumping the contents all over the machine’s filler neck.
If your gas can doesn’t have a built-in nozzle, a funnel will be helpful. They come in both metal and plastic, and they’ll allow you to fill your mower, vehicle, or generator without spilling.
Some gas cans, particularly certified safety cans, come with extra features to improve their safety.
When taking your gas can on the road, you might want to look for a model with a spring-loaded lid or valve. They’ll help to seal off the tank from leaks, even when sloshing around in the back of a vehicle.
Also, some gas can have flame arresters. These devices prevent ignition sources from traveling down a filler neck and igniting the gasoline vapors.
You can even find standard gas cans with valve locks that prevent you from accidentally opening the valve when handling the can.
Keep useability in mind when choosing the best gas can that fits your needs. When only filling a push lawnmower a couple of times a year, you don’t need a large gas can. If storing gas for a generator, you might want a larger metal can to ensure there is plenty of high-quality fuel on hand throughout the winter or during hurricane season.
In some cases, you can find fuel tanks on wheels that allow you to bring the fuel to the machine without carrying it. Sometimes these models even have built-in transfer pumps so you don’t need to lift them.
Our Top Picks
Now that you have information on the different types of tanks and the features to keep in mind, it’s time to start shopping for the best gas can for your needs. The following is a list of the top products on the market. As you shop through them, keep these important considerations in mind.
When looking for a long-lasting and safe gas can, you should check out the Justrite 7210120 Accuflow 1 Gallon Type II Red Safety Can. This gas can features Justrite’s Safe-Squeeze trigger handle, allowing you to pour out gas easily and under control. It also has a flexible 9-inch hose that fits into gas tanks and vehicle filler necks with ease.
As a Type II gas tank, it will safely vent when exposed to fire conditions, avoiding dangerous explosions. While it won’t hold a lot of fuel, its 1-gallon size will fit easily on a shelf and is light enough for almost anyone to use. If you’d prefer a larger size, you can shop for Justrite’s 2.5-gallon model.
Fueling up a vehicle or generator from a gas tank can sometimes require some awkward angles. The SureCan Easy Pour Rotating Nozzle 5 Gallon Gas Can solves that issue with its Easy Pour filling system. The nozzle rotates, allowing you to hold the tank at a comfortable angle, while the thumb-activated trigger allows fuel to pour out at an easily controlled rate.
SureCan’s six-layer design makes this more durable than some of the other plastic tanks. It has a top handle and bottom grips to make pouring even easier. It self-vents, features a childproof cap, and at only 4 pounds when empty, it’s pretty lightweight.
For a bit of control when it comes to filling your power equipment, the No-Spill 1405 2.5 Gallon Poly Gas Can provides it. This can has a thumb-activated push button that allows you to start and stop the flow of fuel into the machine without tipping the tank back and forth. The rigid nozzle fits in most smaller equipment tanks without issue.
This 2.5-gallon plastic tank has an integrated fuel level gauge so you can see how much fuel you have at a glance. It also has a large filler neck opening so you can see into the tank to inspect for debris. This can doesn’t self-vent, but it does automatically vent while filling, allowing you to pour up to 3 gallons per minute.
Instead of paying expensive gas prices at the marina, you can bring your fuel with you with the DuraMax Flo n’ Go LE 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can. This plastic gas can has two plastic wheels and a top-mounted handle to make pulling it across parking lots, garages, or docks a breeze.
The DuraMax has a siphoning hand pump that allows you to transfer gas without using a battery or shore-power. The 10-foot hose will work for hard-to-reach filler necks. As an added bonus, its 14-gallon plastic tank holds plenty of fuel, making it flexible for use filling smaller cans in a garage setting.
When it comes to storing gas for an emergency, you need a gas can that’s durable and reliable, while storing plenty of gas to see you through. The Midwest 5 Gallon Metal “Jerry” Gas Can has a large capacity and metal construction, making it worth a look for storing generator fuel. It follows the classic Jerry can three-handled design, allowing you to carry the tank alone or with a buddy. It also comes with a spill-proof spout, making it easy to fill a vehicle or generator.
The Jerry can design is a classic, and there are a lot of nozzle, cap, and mounting bracket options available to customize this can to your needs. You can secure it in the bed of a truck, for instance, with a can holder. If you’d prefer to upgrade to a standard venting cap, there are adapters available as well.
For storing your fuel for long periods of time, look into the 5-gallon Eagle UI-50-FS Type I Safety Can. The galvanized steel construction will last for years, and the powder-coated finish helps to ensure it stays rust-free.
This Type I can has a spring-loaded closure lid with a grip-activated trigger. It also has a removable plastic funnel to make filling fuel tanks on machinery straightforward. As a Type I can, it features a flame arrester screen in the fill spout and the ability to self-vent when temperatures rise. The top-mounted handle makes the Eagle easy to carry or place on a shelf.
FAQs About Gas Cans
If you still have questions, don’t worry. This section will help. Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers about selecting the best gas can possible. If you still have questions after sorting through all of these, reach out to the customer service department of the brand you purchased for additional information.
Q. Are metal or plastic gas cans better?
Metal cans are longer-lasting, but plastic gas cans are less expensive and lighter. The material that will work depends on your needs.
Q. What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 gas cans?
Type I gas cans fill and pour through the same spout. Type II gas cans have separate fill and pour spouts.
Q. Should gas cans be vented?
Metal gas cans should be vented for safety. If they’re exposed to fire conditions, they could build up pressure and explode. While plastic cans can benefit from venting as well, they can be expected to melt in a fire, as opposed to exploding.
Q. Is it safe to store gasoline in a hot garage?
If your gas can self-vents, it’s perfectly safe to store your gasoline in a hot garage. Save for fire conditions, it’s improbable that the garage will reach an unsafe temperature for gasoline storage.
Q. Is it safe to drive with gas cans in the car?
While the chances of something happening as you transport your gas can from the gas station to your home are slim, driving with a gas can in your vehicle can be hazardous. They can spill or leak, and the fumes can affect your judgment and abilities. Also, any additional fuel source to contend with adds a hazard for first responders in the event of an accident. For all of these reasons, it’s far better to store the gas can on a roof rack or in a truck bed.
Q. How do you clean a gas can?
Once your gas can is empty, you can wash it out with water and dish soap. But, to avoid getting water in your new fuel, allow it to dry completely before filling.