Best Gas Cans

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
244 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best gas cans

Last Updated September 2020

Anyone who has gas-powered lawn equipment like a mower, edger, or aerator knows how frustrating it is to run out of fuel in the middle of a landscaping project. That’s why you need a high-quality gas can to keep plenty of fuel on hand in your garage or shed. 

A gas can is just what it sounds like: a container designed to hold a small amount of gasoline. Gasoline is highly flammable, and it can also evaporate at room temperature and create pressure inside a storage container. A gas can is constructed to limit fire hazards and prevent vapors from building up inside, so you can safely store the gasoline you need for your lawn mower or other lawn tools. Most gas cans are red to make it clear from a distance that they contain gasoline. And they feature a well-designed spout to prevent spills when filling a gas tank. 

Our convenient buying guide has all the tips you need to find the best gas can for your garage or shed. If you need one right away, we have some specific product recommendations to take all the guesswork out of shopping. 

Gasoline should never be mixed with diesel or kerosene fuel. And don’t use gasoline in a kerosene lamp or heater.

Key considerations

Usage

The first thing to ask yourself when shopping for a gas can is how often you’ll use it. If you only need a gas can very occasionally, a less expensive option should work well. But if you plan to use the gas can regularly, you want a high-quality model that’s extremely durable, so you can cart it around your yard without worrying about it being damaged. 

Materials

When it comes to quality and durability, a gas can’s material plays a critical role. Gas cans are made of either plastic or metal, and each material has its own pros and cons.

Plastic gas cans are lightweight and easy to carry from place to place. They’re usually less expensive and aren’t as likely to tip over or spill when you’re pouring from them. The problem with a plastic gas can is that it’s not as durable and can easily be punctured by sharp tools. 

Metal gas cans are incredibly durable. Many last for years without suffering any damage. However, they’re more expensive and heavier than plastic models. Their weight can make one more difficult to take on the road and more likely to tip over or spill when you’re pouring from it.

Spout

To make filling your lawn mower or other equipment easier, many gas cans have a spout and pouring mechanism that prevents spills and accidents. Some models feature a button system, so you only need to press the button to get the fuel to flow through the spout. This design prevents spills if the can is knocked over or jostled. A button system can also have an automatic shutoff that stops the fuel from flowing once the gas tank is full. 

Other gas cans allow you to pour from the bottom of the can instead of the top, so you don’t need to tip the can. These have a long nozzle at the bottom and a thumb-activated release that allows the fuel to flow. The release usually has a safety latch that also must be released to dispense the gas. 

Many gas cans also have an adjustable, rotating nozzle that makes it easy to pour gas into any fuel tank without any spills. 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

You should never store gas in a container that isn’t approved or one that’s made of glass.

Features

Capacity

Gas cans typically range in capacity from 1 to 5 gallons. If you’re using the can to hold fuel for equipment you frequently refill, such as a lawn mower, it’s a good idea to opt for a larger can so you’ll be sure to always have enough gas on hand. If you’re only looking for a gas can to keep in your trunk if you run out of gas on the road, a smaller can is usually sufficient. 

Fuel compatibility

While gas cans are designed to hold gasoline, there may be occasions when you need to transport other types of fuel. If you need to store diesel or kerosene, you should look for a can that holds these volatile fluids in addition to gasoline. 

You should take care, though, because mixing fuels can be extremely dangerous. If you frequently use multiple types of fuel, it’s best to purchase a can for each type and clearly label them so you don’t mix them up.

Safety

When you’re storing a flammable, volatile liquid like gasoline, it’s crucial to choose a container with proper safety features. 

Certification: It’s always best to opt for a gas can approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if you want to be sure that it’s safe to use. 

Pressure-release valve: If you keep your gas can in a hot location like a garage, look for one that has a pressure-release valve. It keeps vapors resulting from the evaporating gas from building up inside the can and possibly exploding. 

Flame arrester: If you live in a hot climate, look for a gas can with a flame arrester. It’s a small metal screen that keeps any ignited vapors from bursting out of the can.

CAUTION

If you get gasoline on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water to prevent any possible irritation.

Gas can prices

Gas cans vary in price based on material, size, and special features. Most cost between $10 and $100.

Inexpensive: The most affordable gas cans are small plastic models that hold 2 gallons or less. These typically don’t offer many special features and work best for occasional or emergency use. They generally cost between $10 to $23.

Mid-range: These gas cans are usually larger plastic models that hold more than 2 gallons or small metal models that hold 2 gallons or less. They may have some special features, such as a no-spill spout, and typically cost between $23 and $49. 

Expensive: The most expensive gas cans are metal models that hold more than 2 gallons. These also offer some special features, such as a no-spill spout or push-button release. These gas cans usually cost between $49 and $100, depending on size. 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Avoid filling a gas can more than 95% full. You need to leave room for the gasoline to expand.

Tips

  • Check your local and state regulations for safe gasoline storage. Many jurisdictions restrict how much gas you’re able to store, so be sure you follow the guidelines. 

  • Store the gas can tightly closed and on a flat, stable surface to avoid spills. If you’re storing it on concrete, it’s a good idea to place some plywood beneath it.

  • Store your gas can where children can’t reach it. This helps to avoid spills and other accidents.

  • Keep your gas can at room temperature. Don’t store it near any source of heat, including sunlight, furnace, space heater, or water heater. Make sure that there is a space of at least 50 feet between the can and any possible ignition source like a pilot light, too. 

  • Make sure the engine is cool before adding gas. When you’re adding gasoline to a lawnmower or other lawn equipment, make sure the engine is completely cool.

  • Work outdoors. When you’re handling gasoline, it’s best to work outdoors to make sure you have adequate ventilation.

  • Add fuel stabilizer. If you’re storing gasoline for a generator, always add a fuel stabilizer right away to prevent bacteria from growing on the gas. 

For safety reasons, it’s best to keep your gas can in a detached garage or shed.

FAQ

Q. How much gas should I store for my gas-powered tools?
A. Most local fire codes prohibit an individual homeowner from storing more than 25 gallons of gas. However, you should divide the gasoline between approved gas cans with a capacity of 5 gallons or less. 

 

Q. How long can I store gasoline in a gas can? 
A. It’s best to use gasoline within a month of buying it from the gas station. However, if you keep your gas can at room temperature in a location where it isn’t exposed to heat, it should stay at a relatively high quality for up to six months. 

 

Q. How should I clean a gasoline spill? 
A. If you’re dealing with a small spill, you can usually absorb it with paper, rags, or sawdust. With a large spill, do your best to contain it and gather up the gasoline from the surface. Consult your local guidelines regarding hazardous waste disposal to figure out how best to dispose of the gas. It should never be thrown out with your garbage or poured down a drain or into your local sewer system. 

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
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