No-Spill Gas Can

nospill.jpegThis No-Spill Gas Can has a push button spout that almost completely eliminates spilling gas when you fill a small fuel tank on a lawn mower or weed whacker. The first time I tried it, I filled a chain saw to exactly the spot I wanted. Since most chain saws have small and oddly-shaped tanks, I was really impressed.
Most gas cans have an unreliable separate vent cap that you have to remember to open and close, and even worse, a leaky main cap that lets the gas vapor escape when you leave it in the sun and the tank can't hold the pressure. The No-Spill can has a single push button that controls both pouring and venting, and the only thing to remember is to push the button with the can level to relieve the pressure. (And don't make the mistake I did, and look into the nozzle, because you get a puff of gas fumes in your eyes. I'm lucky I wear glasses.) No-Spill also has a line of fuel cans that meet CARB (California Air Resources Board) requirements, and that are required in many states. I live in Ohio, and had never even heard of this requirement, though I'm aware that gas cans pressurize in the sun, and I make sure to keep them in the shade. -- Matthew Robbins No-Spill Gas Can 1 1/4-Gallon (other sizes available) $17 Don't forget to comment over at Cool Tools. And remember to submit a tool!


  1. Now if only I had remembered to take the lit joint out of my mouth, I wouldn’t have ended up in the burn unit.

  2. Wait, so they have a CARB and a non-CARB version?

    Because, here in Ohio, all I find (even though Ohio isn’t a CARB state, nor is it near one) are useless CARB-friendly gas cans, that you have to tap a hole into the back of to get them to do more than “glug… … … glug… … …”

  3. I don’t know if NC is a carb state or not, but all of the gas can’s I’ve seen around here have a spout in a spout design.

    It pulls air back in as the fuel comes out. It works fine unless you are trying to fill something really fast.

    I’ve also found it really helps to have the appropriate size container for what you are filling. Chainsaw/weedeater 1 or 2 gallon can works good. The 5 gallon one that is used on the mower not so much. (Not to mention I need at least 2 containers, 1 for oil/gas mix and one for just gas.)


    I work at a golf course in a Cleveland suburb and we have the babies linked above (or something similar). It says they’re a no vent design, but there’s actually a vent in the spout itself that helps achieve that smooth flow.

    The only problem is that the sliding necks tend to break when put to the heavy hazardous use we put them to. For residential uses I imagine they would hold up much longer.

    1. While I agree fancy spouts break easily under (what I would consider) moderate abuse, I’m not so sure you are supposed to be using these at your place of employment. ;)

      IIUC you should be using a steel spring-lid safety can as approved by OSHA.

  5. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles.

    1. I’ve only ever used electric mowers. My newest mower is battery-powered.

      Aside from causing much less pollution, they are much quieter.

    2. And how many new push mowers do you see with throttle controls?

      Right. So lets put out here the fact that manufactures for some reason decided to just let the engines run wide open all the time for no reason. I retro fitted mine, works like a charm and I burn half the gas.

      -I’d also like to point out that push mowers are now disposable items now. Most people I know have the deck rust out in 3-5 years, while the motor is fine. Ironically my parents had the same mower for 21 years. Of course it was purchased in the early 70’s, and only died because my father ran over a rock and bent the crankshaft.

      And not to dispel your EPA fact there, but assuming each car got 30 mpg, that’s a combine total of 17,200 gallons of gas consumed by 43 cars. Compared to maybe 3/4 to 1 gallon in the mower.
      Either catalytic converters are that good, or something seems a bit off with a 17,200:1 ratio.

      1. The mower to car ratio is probably closer to 4-10 per hour of operation.

        Considering that a car is burning, what?, 25 times as much fuel per hour, I’d say a gas mower is pretty polluting – 100 times as much pollution per liter of fuel. Mowing your lawn would be the equivalent of driving some 700-1,000 kms. Think about it, driving that every weekend… Not to mention the fuel spillage, etc…

        If your mower uses a single-stroke engine (usually not), somewhere between a quarter to half of your fuel is sprayed out of your exhaust unburnt. Very polluting.

  6. It doesn’t require sun to create vapor problems with the traditional cans — just the normal extremes of summertime heat lead to losses. And this is one CARB requirement that the manufacturers actually embraced, because obviously they would sell more new gas cans. It’s true some of the first generation cans didn’t work as well as they should have, but now they’re very effective. While you may think that worrying about what leaks out of your gas can is ridiculous, the total evaporative losses in New York (not sunny California) from the old containers were estimated at 70 tons per day — the equivalent of 800,000 cars. So it’s significant.

  7. While the two flanges on either side of the button on the back of the nozzle protect from accidental spillage, some people have found that the space between them is too small for a thumb, so they cut the flanges off.

  8. I need something similar to a gas station pump, where I have a handle on the end of a hose that dispenses gas from a large container, say 20 gallons. The only problem then would be how I get the thing home from the gas station when it needs filling. Unless you live near a station, and the thing is on wheels, that’s probably not too practical.

    Maybe I can just get an even larger tank, like the one in my basement that holds home heating oil. That way, I can have Agway or somebody deliver my gasoline 200-odd gallons at a time. I can fill both my cars and my yard equipment from home.

    Problem with that would be that I’d then have a ticking time bomb just waiting to blow up my house. Kaboom.

  9. The first versio without the flanges o either side of the thumb button was better. It seems they were added to protect from accidental pressig in transit.Twist lock for the button would work better. Being ablt to see the gas in the nozzle is what makes it worthwhile. A nightmare for fueling a car with the flap in the intake. A long enough funnel to open the flap is awkward to manage when the gas can requires two hands. There are some overpriced specialized funnels for this which would be useless for anything else. An extension for the spout would be better. Overall a definate improvement,but not quit good design yet.

  10. FWIW, those gas engines on mowers are NOT running at wide-open-throttle, because they have a RPM governor on them that keeps them running at a set speed (typically 3600 RPM). If they did run WOT, they would very quickly overspeed and break as soon as the load on them decreased.

  11. I forgot the 10th annual edition of “The Standard Model of Ranking Pollutants” was now out.

    The entire argument is silly. Does a lawnmower pollute more than a car? Depends on what pollutant one counts and how one ranks the relative impact of them.

    Kill me now with soot and VOCs or kill my grandchildren with CO2.

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