How to Buy a 55 Gallon Drum

rusty 50 gallon drum image by Jim Mills from

A 55 gallon drum can serve many purposes. Finding the right one for your personal use just takes a little knowledge of what types of drums are available and their individual specifications.


The 55 gallon drum is available in a variety of colours, materials and specifications. Steel and stainless steel drums can be lined or unlined. Plastic drums are durable and light. Fibre drums are made from a dense paperboard substance. Reconditioned steel and plastic drums can be found at speciality dealers. Drums are either open-head or tight head.


Lining in steel drums prevents interior surface rusting and can be coated with a chemical-resistant epoxy lining for hazardous material storage or transport. Plastic drums are usually rated for safe storage of food and water. Check the label to be sure it is a food grade drum. Fibre drums can easily store dry goods, but they are not suitable for storage of liquids or sharp objects.


Find all types of 55 gallon drums on the Internet. Some farm supply stores carry metal or plastic drums. Northern Tool and Equipment, with more than 65 stores nationwide, stocks several types of 55 gallon drums. Check with local bottling companies, car washes and landfills to see if they have plastic barrels you can get free or for a reduced price.

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