The Best Gas Can for Safe and Efficient Fuel Storage and Transfer

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Selecting an optimal gas can from the many options available can seem overwhelming, particularly when you require it for a diverse range of uses, such as fueling lawn equipment, emergency reserves, or powering recreational vehicles. This comprehensive guide will explore crucial features to consider and also spotlight top-tier gas cans in the current market.

During emergency situations, it’s vital to have an adequate supply of fuel, essential for extended travel or residential operations. The US Energy Department warns that impending hazards, including natural disasters, can lead to fuel scarcities and subsequent rationing, making the needs of authorities and key infrastructure a priority over yours.

An effective step towards readiness is maintaining a substantial supply of fuel that can be securely stored in either a garage or an outbuilding for long durations. This overview highlights fuel containers that are specifically crafted for long-term storage.

Five-gallon metal cans are generally the ideal choice for most. They provide a balance between compactness and storage capacity, meaning they are easy to transport and store, yet hold an adequate fuel quantity. To monitor your stored fuel’s quality, you can use a piece of tape or sticky note to indicate the fuel purchase date on multiple cans.

Key highlights:

  1. It is advisable to store a sufficient amount of gasoline, around 15-20 gallons, to fill your primary vehicle. If you own a generator, ensure you have enough fuel to fill it at least once.
  2. Fuel cans are commonly available in sizes of 1, 2.5, or 5 gallons.
  3. Fuel cans are typically made of metal or plastic and are color-coded to indicate the specific fuel type. Gasoline cans are usually red, kerosene cans are blue, diesel cans are yellow, and oil cans are green.
  4. Metal safety fuel cans come in two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 cans allow both filling and dispensing of fuel from the same opening. Type 2 cans have an additional spout that can serve as a vent, making pouring easier.
  5. When it comes to long-term fuel storage, metal cans are preferable over plastic ones. Plastic containers may release chemicals into the fuel, and they tend to degrade over time. While metal cans may rust, they generally have a longer lifespan compared to plastic.
  6. It is important to review the local and state regulations concerning fuel storage, as some areas have strict rules regarding the types of fuel, storage quantities, and permitted locations.
  7. The most suitable location to store fuel is in a well-ventilated shed or garage. Ensure that your fuel containers are kept away from potential sources of ignition.

Based on extensive research lasting 10 hours and involving the evaluation of over 20 products, we have curated a list of top recommendations to simplify your shopping process. Our selection strictly adheres to the guidelines provided by the US Department of Transportation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. By choosing these cans, you can have the utmost confidence in purchasing the safest options for storing fuel.

Our top recommendations comprise sturdy metal containers, engineered to self-ventilate and efficiently manage pressure build-up. Contrary to plastic cans, which are governed by Environmental Protection Agency regulations, our choices facilitate seamless pouring, discourage fuel wastage, and diminish risks of excessive expansion or implosion.


Safety Features to Consider

  1. Material: Gas cans should be made of high-quality, durable materials that are resistant to leaks and corrosion. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and metal cans are the most common options. While metal cans are more durable, HDPE cans are lighter and less prone to rust.
  2. Spout Design: Look for a gas can with a self-venting, no-spill spout that ensures a smooth fuel transfer and reduces the risk of spills. Some gas cans also come with an automatic shut-off feature that stops fuel flow when the tank reaches capacity.
  3. Flame Arrestor: This is a safety feature that prevents the spread of flames in the event of a fire. A flame arrestor is a mesh or metal screen that allows fuel vapors to pass through but stops the spread of flames.
  4. Compliance: Ensure that the gas can you choose meets all necessary safety regulations, such as those established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Top-Rated Gas Cans

1. No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can

Our pick is the No-Spill 1450, a 5-gallon gas can constructed from superior HDPE. Noteworthy is its exclusive no-spill spout design that enables smooth, accurate pouring, coupled with self-ventilation for easy manipulation. The push-button control feature facilitates controlled fuel distribution, minimizing spill and overflow risks. In addition to being safe, the No-Spill 1450 aligns with CARB and EPA standards, making it environmentally friendly.

Price: $38.99

 
 
 
 

2. SureCan 5-Gallon Gas Can

The SureCan is another favored gas can, characterized by a unique patented design that promotes ergonomic and secure fuel transfers. The rotating spout and thumb release trigger combined with the self-ventilating system enable effective fuel flow management without requiring a separate vent. Constructed from resilient HDPE, this 5-gallon gas can satisfies both CARB and EPA regulations.

Price: $70.03

 
 
 
 

3. Justrite Safety Gas Can

With an emphasis on safety and durability, Justrite’s safety gas can is made from premium galvanized steel, ensuring resistance against dents, punctures, and corrosion. Added safety features include a self-closing, leak-proof lid and flame arrestor, while an ergonomic handle and flexible spout facilitate ease of use. Available in multiple sizes, this gas can meets both OSHA and NFPA standards.

Price: $114.70

 
 

Our Picks

Eagle 5 Gallon Type 1 Steel Safety Can

Price: $60.95

Justrite 5 Gallon Type 1 Steel Safety Can

Price: $65.00

 
 

Metal fuel cans:

  1. Eagle Type I 5-Gallon Diesel Can and Gasoline Can
  2. Eagle Type II 5-Gallon Diesel Can and Gasoline Can
  3. Justrite Type I 5-Gallon Diesel Can and Gasoline Can
  4. Justrite Type II 5-Gallon Diesel Can and Gasoline Can and Kersosene Can

Plastic fuel cans:

  1. DuraMax Flo nā€™ Go 14 gallon rolling Gas Can
  2. No Spill 5 Gallon Diesel Can and Gas Can
  3. Scepter Smart Control 5 Gallon Diesel Can and Gas Can and Kerosene Can
  4. Scepter Smart Control 5 Gallon Diesel Can and Gas Can with Rear Handle (an easier-to-use upgrade over the base model)
  5. SureCan Easy Pour 5 Gallon Diesel Can and Gas Can

What About Jerry Cans?

The Wavian USA – also known as Jerry can – is a top choice for fuel storage due to its robust construction and ample fuel capacity, especially useful during rushed evacuation emergencies.

While Jerry cans like the Wavian enjoy popularity among preppers, they are not the primary recommendation due to their vapor-tight nature, which means they lack proper venting capabilities. Consequently, pressure can accumulate during long-term storage.

Choosing this type of container calls for regular manual venting, ideally incorporated into your yearly readiness inspection.

While the Wavian Jerry can is a superior option for temporary fuel storage, specifically for vehicular usage, it may not be the most suitable for extended storage needs.


Plastic vs. Metal Fuel Cans

Gas cans are primarily manufactured from two materials: plastic and metal. Metal cans, though heavier and costlier, offer an extended usability period, whereas plastic cans, although lighter and less expensive, may degrade over time, possibly introducing chemicals into the fuel. For long-term fuel storage, metal cans are advised as they are more durable and subject to relatively rational regulations compared to plastic variants.

Vital Reminder: For safety reasons, never keep gasoline or diesel fuel inside your residence. Store it preferably in a well-ventilated garage or an outbuilding. Always keep a fire extinguisher near your fuel storage area entrance.


Fuel Can Size

In the American market, the majority of gas cans are available in approximately 1-, 2.5-, or 5-gallon capacities. While there are some unconventional sizes like 2.2 gallons, it’s advisable to consider them cautiously. Our recommendation is to invest in 5-gallon cans as they offer the highest level of versatility. It’s important to note that gasoline weighs around six pounds per gallon, so a five-gallon gas can would weigh approximately 30 pounds. If lifting that weight is challenging, you have the option to fill the can with a smaller quantity of gas or explore larger cans that come equipped with wheels.

Although larger sizes exist, it becomes impractical for most individuals to lift and pour quantities beyond five gallons. Beyond that threshold, using a pump to fill your engines becomes more practical. Additionally, adhering to safety guidelines, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits portable fuel containers to a maximum size of five gallons due to valid safety concerns.


Understanding Fuel Can Colors

To distinguish between different fuel types, fuel cans are assigned specific color codes:

Red: Gasoline

Blue: Kerosene

Yellow: Diesel

Green: Oils

It is essential to store fuels in containers that match their respective color coding to prevent any mix-ups. Accidentally using kerosene in your vehicle or mixing diesel and gasoline can have undesirable consequences. However, in emergency situations, it is generally considered safe to temporarily store diesel in a clean gasoline can and vice versa.

Helpful Hint: Avoid storing water in a metal fuel can, as it can damage the interior lining, encouraging rust formation, and reducing the can’s lifespan.


Type I vs Type II Cans

Two primary safety can categories are available for fuel storage:

Type I cans: These cans feature a single opening for both filling and pouring. Typically, using a funnel is necessary for the filling process.

Type II cans: These cans have separate openings for filling and pouring, often accompanied by an attached spout for pouring convenience.

Type II cans are generally twice the price of Type I cans, but most individuals may find investing in Type II unnecessary.

Safety cans, akin to EPA-approved ones, don’t permit unrestricted pouring. However, their opening mechanisms are more sturdy, eliminates the flimsiness of plastic buttons, and unlike plastic gas cans, they do not expand or collapse.


Fuel Safety Standards and the Dreaded EPA Nozzles

You might have noticed recent alterations in gas cans’ designs. They have moved away from the simple red cans with the flip-top vent featuring intricate spring-loaded mechanisms for fuel dispensing. While some are effective, a majority are found inconvenient by users.

These changes in gas can design can be attributed to EPA regulations. Since 2009, gas can manufacturers have been required to incorporate a single automatically closing opening that serves both for filling and venting. Instead of allowing free pouring, these mechanisms typically involve pushing a notch against the fill hole rim or pressing a trigger.

The purpose of these regulations is to curb gas fume emissions. However, the new designs have resulted in more users experiencing difficulties and lead to more spillage compared to the older models. The absence of a rear vent for air circulation can cause ‘burping’ of gas from these cans, causing spillage. However, the efficiency of these mechanisms differs between products.

There’s a silver lining though. E-Z Pour offers alternative vents and replacement spouts that can be used with your plastic gas cans.

Prior to EPA’s intervention in gas can rules, the Department of Transportation (DOT) implemented its own standards, mirrored by OSHA. These standards are met by the so-called ‘safety cans’ and include the following stipulations:

These specifications aim to reduce risks linked to fires and explosions.


Conclusion

The best gas can for your needs should prioritize safety, durability, and ease of use. The No-Spill 1450, SureCan, and Justrite Safety Gas Can are all excellent options that meet these criteria. However, personal preferences and specific requirements will ultimately guide your choice. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using a gas can to ensure the safe storage and transfer of fuel.