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Top Watering Cans

Keeping your garden watered is one of the most important chores that comes with gardening. A hose will do the trick in many circumstances, but sometimes it isn’t practical. A watering can is fantastic for such times.

If your hose doesn’t reach or the flow of water would be too strong, a watering can is an ideal tool for caring for your plants. It has an unlimited range. It’s also easier to control. 

Here we’ll take a look at the qualities of a good watering can. Then we’ll recommend some of the best we’ve found. Do you have any recommendations beyond what we have here? Let us know in the comments?

What To Look For In A Watering Can 

A watering can is a pretty simple tool. But there are still elements to take into account when choosing one.

The most important thing to consider is your comfort in using it. It should be easy to hold and to pour.

A gallon of water weighs over 8.3 pounds (3.8 kg). Most watering cans hold 1.5 to 2 gallons. That might not seem like much. But it all depends on how you have to carry it. And the handle design of many cans can make it rather difficult. A lot of the weight ends up getting transferred to your wrist.

Need more tools to take care of your garden? Here are our suggestions

So it’s important to find a can with a well-designed handle and container that offer good balance. That’s essential both for carrying and pouring.

Of course, you can also opt for a smaller can based on both comfort and needs. If you only have a few small pots to water, you may only need a gallon (or even less).

You also want a durable can. The weight of the water is not only a burden on you. It’s also going to put stress on different parts of the can. If it’s made of weak materials or poorly put together, it can crack rather quickly.

old-fashioned watering can

Materials

Almost all watering cans are either plastic, steel, or aluminum. Steel is usually tougher but it’s also heavier. 

Any of the three is a suitable material and can hold up well over time. In our opinion, it comes down to personal preference. An aluminum or steel can adds a “classic” look, but plastic watering cans aren’t bad-looking, either.

Size

For garden use, a 1.5- to 2.5-gallon watering can is ideal. Smaller, and you’ll run out of water too soon. Larger, and it would be too hard to handle for most people.

However, a smaller can is great if you’re watering a few small potted plants on the patio, or caring for a window box. For this article, we’re only looking at cans from 1.5 gallons and up.

Balance and Handles 

Being able to balance your watering can is essential. Otherwise, you’ll end up spilling water all over. You can also strain your hand, wrist, and arm.

We recommend a watering can that has two handles – one for carrying and one for pouring.

The handle that goes over the top makes it easy to move your can from place to place. It helps provide greater stability.

When it’s time to pour, switch to the handle on the side. Use your “off-hand” to help balance the bottom of the can. At this point, it’s tough to balance the can, so the two-handed approach helps.

Sprinkler

The sprinkler, also known as the “rosette”, is where the water comes out of the can. Be sure to choose a can with a rosette that attaches firmly. Otherwise, it could pop off and water will come out too fast. 

Also, be sure the rosette is well-perforated so the water flows smoothly. Be sure to clean it off occasionally to keep it from getting clogged.

Smaller watering cans may not have a rose. Their spout is small enough that it’s easy to control the flow of water without one.

Our Picks for the Best Watering Cans

We’ve picked out some of our favorite watering cans. Here’s an idea of what you can expect with each.

Behrens 210 2-1/2-Gallon Steel Watering Can

behrens steel water can

This steel watering can provides traditional looks and traditional craftsmanship. 

This can is available in 2-gallon, 2.5-gallon, and 3-gallon sizes.

The “lip” that covers part of the top is a great size to help prevent water from spilling out as you tip the can for watering. 

We’re not super-fond of the handle. It’s similar to a bucket handle. We prefer one that’s a bit thicker and easier to grasp. However, we’d prefer the same for any bucket, too. And this one is strong enough; it’s more a stylistic change.

The rosette is not designed to be removed. However, it’s welded on, so you could carefully remove it if you wanted to. Older models could be screwed on but newer ones can’t.

The spray pattern is pretty wide. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re trying to water. For most uses, that’ll be fine (although you might waste some water). But if you’re trying to water a small area and don’t want to get anything around it wet, this could be a drawback.

Bosmere Haws Traditional Peter Rabbit Design Metal Watering Can

haws peter rabbit style watering can

It’s not often we come across a product made in England, but that’s the origin of this watering can. And it has a traditional garden design – which they call the “Peter Rabbit” design – which hearkens back to English cottage gardens!.

The can is made of heavy-gauge steel and is available in several colors as well as a “raw” galvanized look. Colors include black, burgundy, green, and titanium (pictured). It’s coated with powdered zinc to help protect from oxidation.

The can holds 2.3 gallons.

The rosette is made of brass. It can be screwed off if you prefer a stronger stream of water.

We have seen complaints of them arriving damaged, although this seems to be a packing or shipping issue. Overall, Haws always seem to turn out a quality product and this is no exception.

CADO 63065 Indoor/Outdoor Plant Watering Can with Tulip Design

cado plastic watering can

This two-gallon watering can is made of tough but lightweight plastic. While it’s not as “fancy” as the metal buckets, it still has a simple, pleasant design. It’s available in several colors: hunter green (pictured), sage green, Caribbean blue, and purple. You can also get packs of 3, 6, or 12.

This 2-gallon watering can is easy to carry and offers a good grip. The hole on top measures 1.5” across. That’s large enough for a hose or for filling from the tap, but small enough that you don’t have to worry about spilling water while you’re working. 

The rosette can be removed. It’s also the source of any complaints we’ve come across. Sometimes the holes are not completely punched through, leading to a slow and unbalanced spray. It doesn’t always happen, but it is an occasional issue with individual cans. 

OXO Good Grips Outdoor Pour & Store Watering Can

oxo watering can in fuchsia

This two-gallon watering can by Oxo stands out for its color and its design. But it’s not just nice to look at. It works quite well, also.

Fuchsia may not be everyone’s favorite color choice, but that’s secondary. We like the design. The spout twists around for storage! It’s a great feature that will save space. It will probably help it last longer, too, since it’s less likely to get banged into by other tools. 

The most common complaint (which isn’t seen that often) is that a leak can develop where the spout swivels. 

Other color choices have been available, but only the fuchsia is shown as we write this.

Haws Professional Outdoor Metal Watering Can 

haws watering can with long spout

Another Haws product, this watering can is a heavy-duty model that offers a few advantages for gardeners.

Chief among them is the long spout. This will save a lot of reaching and stretches as you try to water plants in the interior of your garden. 

There is a handle toward the back which is great while pouring. The second handle stretches from the mouth of the can to the spout. Fortunately, the mouth is offset from the center so you can grip this handle near the center of gravity.

The rosette is brass. There’s also a mesh filter inside that will keep debris from clogging the rosette itself. You can take the filter out to rinse it. The rosette can be removed when you want a stronger flow of water.

It’s made of heavy-gauge steel for great durability. It’s also heavy, at 4.4 pounds. If you fill it with water, it will weigh nearly 22 pounds, which can be tough for many people.

Conclusion

When you need to water the plants, a quality watering can is a huge help. Whether you choose steel, aluminum, or plastic, there are quality options in each. Be sure to look for one with good balance and that holds enough water to help you get the job done quickly!