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How to Read Metal Can Sizes


How to Read Metal Can Sizes

Metal can dimensions can be confusing and typically the unit of measure is not shown. So, the question becomes, how do you understand Metal Can sizes to get the size you need for your application? 

Metal cans sizes are based on nominal outside dimensions of the can and use a set of 3-digit numbers to represent each dimension. 

Round cans – are shown as two sets of numbers. The first set of numbers is the cans diameter and the second set is the height. 

Oblong cans (also known as F-Style cans) – are shown as three sets of numbers. The first set of numbers is the cans length, the second set is the width and the third set is the height. 

The expression of these groups of 3-digit numbers are unique to metal cans in the United States. This number is the dimensions in whole and sixteenths of an inch. The first digit indicates the number of whole inches, and the second and third digits indicate the fractional inches as sixteenths of an inch. 

To demonstrate how these look, a round can with a size listed as 307 x 512 would be 3 and 7/16" in diameter by 5 and 3/4" (12/16") in height. 

Still confused? Contact us at 800.922.7558 and let one of our technical experts guide you to the right can!