Best Gas Can For Garage Projects
Like most motorheads, I have many gas cans in my garage. One is for my motorcycle and old car projects that require premium fuel. A second container is for the lawn tractor, pressure washer, go kart and minibike that run on regular octane fuel. A third is for my two-stroke leaf blower.
I have a gas-powered generator for back-up power. When needed, it may have to run 24-48 hours or longer. So I want to keep enough gas on hand for power outages.
Last year, I had five plastic gas jugs in my garage. They were all different sizes and different brands, some were cheap and some were free. And they all leaked gas whenever I poured them. I decided to spend the money and get a couple of no leak gas containers.
Did Gas Cans Always Leak?
Starting in 2009, all portable fuel containers sold in the U.S. had to meet new CARB regulations. The premise was noble - to help the environment by not having gasoline spilling and being wasted, and to contain harmful gas fumes. They also had to have child-proof caps, which meant they were a little harder to open.
So the premise was good, but the implementation was poor. Many, if not most CARB approved gas cans are poorly designed so they can be sold cheaply.
So, the CARB approved gas containers still leaked and were now harder to pour. This prompted consumers to unscrew the nozzles and pour the gas through a funnel, thus defeating the point of the no-vent nozzle. All that was really attained was that they were a little harder to open.
Plastic Containers vs Metal Cans
I began doing research on CARB approved gas cans that don't leak. The first question was, which is better, plastic or metal gas containers?
For fuel stored in storage (garage or shed), plastic gas jugs are fine, but they can swell if subjected to extreme heat. They can also get brittle when it's very cold.
Gasoline keeps freshest in a sealed metal container. They also withstand extreme weather better.
Best Plastic Gas Jug
For my premium fuel storage needs, I bought a 2-1/2 gallon NO-SPILL gas can. It really is a no spill container, and most of the time I don't even need a funnel because the gas pours out so smoothly.
Shop: No-Spill 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can
A nice feature on all NO-SPILL gas cans is the thin vertical translucent strip on the front. This lets you see at a glance how much gas is left in the container.
Best Plastic Gas Jug (Runner Up)
The SURE-CAN sure did look interesting. Offered in several sizes including 2.2 gallon, it's the only gas can that dispenses fuel from the bottom of the can. It won't spill because you're not tipping it. The flexible hose twists up and down.
Shop: SURE-CAN Gas Container
The rotating spout also lets you to see into the receiving tank, so you don't accidentally overfill and waste gas. The SURE-CAN is self-venting and has a thumb trigger.
Best Metal Gas Can
Since World War Two, the metal Jerry Can has been the world standard. Extremely well designed, rugged and safe, it is simply the best portable fuel container to have. The Wavian brand is the only military-grade EPA and CARB compliant Jerry Can presently on the market.
Shop: WAVIAN Jerry Can
Made in Europe and legal for sale in all of North America, the five-gallon Wavian is the highest spec steel Jerry Can in the world. But be aware when pouring gas they're heavy when full, and the gas pours slowly.
After buying a metal Jerry Can, I couldn't believe I ever managed without one. They are expensive, but it's easy to justify when figuring if one lasts you 25 years, that's about three dollars a year you've spent.
Best Metal Gas Can (Runner Up)
I considered buying the JUSTRITE five-gallon gas can, mainly because it was less expensive than a military-spec Jerry Can. The JUSTRITE 7250130 is a five-gallon (19 litre) gas container made from high-grade coated steel, and each one is tested to guarantee 100% leakproof construction. The outside of the can is powder-coated.
Shop: JUSTRITE Five Gallon Gas Can
The JUSTRITE can features a safety squeeze trigger. The sealed lid has an automatic positive-pressure relief that vents between three and five psi to guard against rupture or explosion. This "Type II" gas container comes with a one-inch flexible spout, and meets OSHA & NFPA standards.
Benefits Of Metal Gas Cans
There are plenty of 50 year-old metal gas cans still in use. If you keep paint on the outside and there's no rust on the inside, a metal gas container may outlive you. The only maintenance required is to refurb/replace the gasket every couple years.
Metal gas containers may eventually rust. If this happens, it can be remedied with muriatic acid, but this procedure can only be done once or twice, as the acid eats away at the metal it cleans. A preventative measure for this would be to coat the inside of the can with gas tank sealer.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
So now I fill my five-gallon Jerry Can with standard octane gas, which will also serve for my generator gas needs. The smaller 2-1/2 gallon jug holds premium for my motorcycle and old car projects.
What did I do with my old cheap throw-away containers? After getting replacements, I threw them away.
One Year Update
Because of it's smaller size and lighter weight, I'm favoring the 2-1/2 gallon NO-SPILL gas can over the larger and heavier Waivian can. Curiously, we haven't had a power outage in over a year, so I've only the Jerry Can once or twice.
I ended up buying a second, smaller (1-1/2 gallon) NO-SPILL gas can for my two-stroke fuel/oil mix.
Gas Container Storage Tips
* All gasoline containers must be red. This is for your safety. If your house caught on fire when you weren't home, a fireman can quickly spot it and remove it.
* Stored gasoline should be rotated every 3 to 6 months. This requires pouring the gas out of the cans and into your daily driver every so often, then refilling the containers with fresh fuel.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
It looks like I have solved all my gasoline container issues, except for one. My wife likes to use the 2-1/2 gallon jug with expensive premium to fill up the lawn tractor because it's easier to use. To prevent her from doing this, I took a black marker and wrote "old gas" on the top of the container. She'll never know.