Types of Metals Used in Containers

Types of metal used in containers article banner.Types of metal used in containers article banner.

Steeling the Show!

Companies are using metal packaging because of the durability and eco-friendly aspect that it brings to the table. Proper packaging is crucial for the quality of your products. Customers expect to receive your products undamaged. Protective packaging containers like metal, allows your products to stay safe.

6 Benefits of Using Metal Containers

When deciding a type of packaging, metal offers strength and durability. Here are 6 benefits of using metal containers for your products.

1. Protection to Products

Some products need to be stored in containers that protect from sunlight, moisture, or weather. Select metal packaging can provide an airtight seal, keeping oxygen away from your products. 

2. Metal's Lightweight Properties

Some types of packaging are heavier than others. Metal weighs a lot less than glass, especially once the containers are filled. Using metal will reduce shipping costs tremendously. 

3. Metal’s Durability 

Metal packaging is very durable. Having a high chemical resistance, this packaging protects your products purity. The durability of metal is more secure and protects products during shipping and storage.  

White pail at The Cary Company.White pail at The Cary Company.

4. Metal’s Food Safe Capabilities 

Metal can be easily sterilized and non-porous, making it a safe option for storing food. Certain types of metal can affect acidic foods, but with the proper lining, it would be safe for consumption. 

5. Metal’s Recyclable Abilities

Green initiatives are always being implemented in businesses and consumers have followed this trend in reducing their carbon footprint. Metal can be recycled and reused. It is easy to sort in recycling centers and is one of the most recycled materials in the world.

6. Metal’s Attractiveness

Metal packaging looks good on shelves, in addition to it being a practical packaging solution. Labels make metal packaging stand out on shelves. 

Set of drums image.Set of drums image.

Types of Metal

There are several types of metal packaging to choose from. Each type has their advantages and disadvantages. Looking at the differences between them allows you to choose the correct metal for your needs.


Aluminum is the most popular type of metal used in containers. It resists against rust, corrosion, and increases a product’s shelf life.


Steel is very durable, lightweight, and resists against corrosion. Uses for steel containers include for canned goods, aerosol cans, and paint cans.


To ensure food contents are safe, they are coated with tin-plate. This layer helps prevent corrosion, keeping food contents safe.

Types of Metals Used For Containers

Which type of metal container is best for your products? This list will help narrow down which containers are best for your applications.  

Image of metal F-style bottles offered at The Cary Company.Image of metal F-style bottles offered at The Cary Company.

F-Style Steel Cans 

Metal F-Style cans are made from tin plated steel which protects against rust and corrosion. These cans are unlined and are available with or without handles. The metal F-Style cans are not FDA compliant.

Use F-Style cans for: 

  • Solvents 
  • Motor oils 
  • Thinners
  • Turpentine 
  • Lighter Fluids

Image of metal slip cover cans offered at The Cary Company.Image of metal slip cover cans offered at The Cary Company.

Slip Cover Cans 

Made from tin-plated steel, slip cover cans can be used for a variety of applications to store and transport products that need extra care. These cans can be labeled, making it a great option to use for gifts to display your products. 

Use slip cover cans for: 

  • Candle waxes 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Inks
  • Teas
  • Spices 
  • Mints

Image of metal cone top cans offered at The Cary Company.Image of metal cone top cans offered at The Cary Company.

Cone Top Cans 

Durable cone top cans provide a smooth controlled pour of products. These cans typically store specialty items. Standard screw caps are available, in addition to child resistant, stolz closures, and spout caps.

Use cone top cans for: 

  • Automotive products 
  • Solvents 
  • Thinners
  • Break fluids

Image of metal utility cans offered at The Cary Company.Image of metal utility cans offered at The Cary Company.

Utility Cans 

Metal utility cans are used to store viscous products. The cylindrical design and wide mouth opening allows for easily filling and dispensing of products. Brushes, daubers, and standard caps can be used on these utility cans while providing a secure closure. 

Use utility cans for:

  • Glues
  • Solvents
  • Adhesives
  • Rubber cement

Image of metal paint cans offered at The Cary Company. Image of metal paint cans offered at The Cary Company.

Paint Cans 

Metal paint cans are the perfect solution for storing a variety of coatings and oil-based products. Some paint cans are available with a handle to easily transport and move cans. 

Use paint cans for: 

  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Oil based products

Image of metal buckets offered at The Cary Company. Image of metal buckets offered at The Cary Company.

Metal Buckets 

Galvanized metal buckets are designed to hold wet or dry products. These metal buckets are weather resistant and will not rust. 

Use metal buckets for: 

  • Home décor
  • Gift baskets
  • Beverages
  • Household cleaning

Image of metal pails offered at The Cary Company. Image of metal pails offered at The Cary Company.


Metal pails have a variety of uses that are used across many industries. UN rated pails are available for storing and transporting hazardous materials. Pails are easily nestable which makes storing, stacking, and shipping processes more efficient. Compare pail types in our Steel Pail Quick Guide.

Use pails for: 

  • Hazardous materials (UN rated pails)
  • Solvents
  • Petroleum products  
  • Acid compounds

Image of tight head steel pails offered at The Cary Company. Image of tight head steel pails offered at The Cary Company.

Tight Head Steel Pails

Metal tight head steel pails allow you to transport hazardous materials safely.  Available linings include Rust Inhibitor Lining, Epoxy Phenolic Lining, Gold Phenolic Lining, and Pigmented Phenolic Lining. All metal tight head containers are UN rated.

Use tight head containers for: 

  • Chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Lubricants
  • Adhesives

Why Should I use Metal Packaging? 

Protective packaging comes in a variety of forms, from boxes to shipping supplies to metal packaging. If you are looking for durable, recyclable, and affordable containers, metal packaging is your answer! The types of metals used in containers has many benefits that can make your products stand out.  

At The Cary Company, we understand the importance of quality packaging. If you need label assistance, we offer design services to help meet your needs. Our in-house design team can take your ideas and create designs from scratch so that it's made exactly as you envision it. -- Call 630.629.6600 or email us at sales@thecarycompany.com.

Metal packaging example uses.Metal packaging example uses.