Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Whether you are at a campsite, walking through gardens or looking out onto balconies, you will always see gas cylinders providing the necessary heat. They are used as cooking appliances or to heat rooms.

They can be very small to save space on a camping trip, but also very large to be able to work with them for as long as possible. In addition to everyday use, gas cylinders can also be found in the health sector or at events for filling balloons.

With our gas bottle guide, we want to help you find the gas bottle that suits your use best. Again, there are several criteria that concern not only the filling, but also the construction of the bottle and safety instructions.




The most important

  • Gas cylinders can be used in many ways, both in the garden for barbecues and for heating rooms. They can also be used for mobile cooking and heating.
  • In addition to the different gases that can be contained in gas cylinders, they are made of steel, aluminium and plastic. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of composition and use.
  • Both with the gas bottles themselves via the TÜV seal and with storage, transport and disposal, there are a few things to bear in mind so as not to endanger either your own health or the health of others.

The Best Gas Cylinder: Our Picks

There are many different gas cylinders with various uses. To give you a better overview, we have put together our favourites.

Gas bottles: Buying and evaluation criteria

As with many other products, you are faced with the decision of which gas bottle to buy. There are different criteria for deciding for or against a certain model.

In the following, we have listed some criteria which, in our opinion, can contribute to the decision when buying.

Size

Size can be classified according to two criteria: weight in kilograms or litres. Both refer mainly to the filling level of a gas bottle. You can find them from less than 1 kg up to 33 kg filling weight. Depending on this, of course, the burning time also changes.

Before deciding on a size, you should consider exactly what or how much gas is needed.

The storage space for the gas bottle is also crucial, because if you have a gas barbecue with storage space for the bottle, you are usually limited in size.

Price

Several factors play a role in calculating the price. Besides the type of gas, which can vary, it also makes a difference what the bottle itself is made of.

For example, a bottle from the same manufacturer with the same filling weight made of steel may be cheaper than one made of aluminium. Of course, as you might imagine, the size also makes a significant difference to the cost.

For the end user, it is certainly also pleasant to know that you do not always have to buy an expensive gas cylinder because there is often the option of choosing a reusable cylinder that can be refilled again and again.

In this case, you have the option of either renting a gas bottle or just borrowing one; in the latter case, only the bottle deposit is due.

Material

It is important that the material of gas cylinders is stable and robust, especially because there are some gases that are easily flammable and they are often exposed to different weather conditions, but the thermal conductivity should not be underestimated either.

Gas cylinders are made of steel, aluminium or plastic.

Many models are made of steel, which gives them a certain stability, and often of aluminium, which contributes to the fact that the gas cylinder weighs less and is therefore lighter. This point is particularly important for mobile gas cylinders, as it is often a matter of saving weight.

But it is not only the weight that makes a difference, but also the safety due to the susceptibility to rust. If you look around a bit, you will also find models made of plastic.
Depending on the material, however, availability may vary as not every model or design is available everywhere.

Intended use

Gas cylinders are available in different designs for different purposes. They can be used for barbecues or for cooking in general.

Very common is the use of gas for cooking when camping.

However, all kinds of gases can be stored in gas bottles.

You can find gas cylinders filled with helium to fill balloons or with carbon dioxide to turn tap water into sparkling mineral water. But oxygen for respirators is also stored in this way.

When it gets uncomfortable at colder temperatures, there are also gas cylinders that are used for radiant heaters to create a cosy warmth again.

TÜV seal

The TÜV seal provides information about the last inspection of the gas bottle and when the next one is due. This is intended to provide reassurance that everything is in order with the gas cylinder.

It is usually valid for 10 years and can cost between 20-30€.

If you decide to buy a gas bottle, you are responsible for the maintenance and therefore also for the TÜV seal. If you rent a system with a reusable bottle, you don't have to worry about this because in this case the dealer is responsible for it.

Accessories

Usually you will find a pressure regulator and a gas hose to connect a gas bottle to a connection. If the bottle is not connected, you will also find a cap to protect the connection on the bottle.

Every gas bottle should also have a safety valve to limit the overpressure and prevent an explosion.

Gas bottles: Frequently asked questions and answers

In addition to the general information about gas cylinders, there are often questions that arise. We would like to answer some of these questions in advance to help you with your purchase decision.

Who is a gas bottle suitable for?

Gas bottles can often be seen in the camping sector. They are mostly used for cooking, but also for heating caravans and mobile homes.

In summer, you often see barbecues that are operated with gas cylinders, but this type of barbecue is also very common in gardens and on balconies. Working with gas offers you the possibility to quickly obtain a certain heat that you want to work with.

Gasflasche-1

Gas bottles can be used in everyday life as well as in the medical field. They are often found in the camping area, but you also often see gas barbecues. The advantage of gas is that it is quickly ready for use.
(Image source: Skitterphoto / pexels)

Gas cylinders are also used in the kitchen for soda fizzy drinks. In addition to cooking or heating with gas, gas cylinders can also be used to fill balloons or as a breathing aid by supplying the body with additional oxygen.

What types of gas cylinders are there?

In addition to the different gases that can be contained in gas cylinders, gas cylinders can be found in different material designs. They can be made of steel, aluminium or plastic. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will briefly explain below:

type advantages disadvantages
made of steel cheap, available in many places (widespread), can be rented weight, susceptible to rust, can be used by clubs when consumption is high
made of aluminium weight, good conductivity in winter, robust, does not rust price, rarely available, can only be bought
made of plastic weight, fill level visible price, poorly available

What does a gas bottle cost?

The purchase price of gas cylinders is primarily determined by the filling weight. The costs vary from about 25 € to over 100 €, but this also depends on whether you choose a so-called reusable bottle, which you can always exchange, for a new filling or rent or buy one.

The cheapest and easiest option for the end user is to rent a gas cylinder and only pay a deposit, as listed below.

Size bottle deposit (approximate)
up to 5 kg 25 - 30 €
5 - 11 kg 30 - 35 €
11 - 33 kg 35 - 70 €

However, if you decide to buy one, the costs are significantly higher. For example, the price of a small camping cooker with a gas cartridge with a filling weight of approx. 0.5 kg is approx. 10-15 €.

For larger fill quantities, you have to reckon with the price going up to over 100 €. Another component in the pricing besides the type of gas is the material of the cylinder. If you rent a cylinder, you usually have to pay an annual rent in advance.

Gasflasche-2

Apart from the different gases that can be contained in gas cylinders, you can find models made of steel, aluminium or plastic. Each material has its advantages but also disadvantages in handling.
(Image source: Marra / unsplash)

What are the alternatives to a gas bottle?

If you don't have the possibility to work with gas bottles or don't want to for some reason, there are also alternatives. However, a gas cylinder is most likely to be used in everyday life, for cooking or heating.

  • Electricity: apart from mobile use, electricity can also be used in many areas, e.g. for cooking, heating and grilling with electric barbecues
  • (Wood) Coal: nowadays, coal is only used for barbecues, now and then there are still all-purpose burners for heating the rooms, coal can be found in the form of charcoal but also coal briquettes
  • Wood: Wood is still used for heating, but also for barbecues or campfires, even in kitchens you can still find cookers or ovens that run on wood

At this point, however, it must be mentioned that the alternatives often produce dust or soot, which can be very annoying, especially indoors.

Gasflasche-3

Of course, there are also alternatives for gas bottles. You can also use coal or wood for barbecuing. In some kitchens, you can still find wood-burning stoves. In the meantime, electricity is a good alternative that can even be used to operate barbecues.
(Image source: Caio / Pexels)

How do I store a gas cylinder properly?

When it comes to storage, there are a few things to keep in mind, both during transport and at the destination. When transporting it, it is important to secure it well so that it cannot slip and to have the protective cap on the bottle. The shorter the transport, the better.

A gas bottle should be protected from direct sunlight, stand upright and be well secured against falling over. If the gas bottle is not used, make sure that all valves are well closed and the protective cap is fitted.

A well-ventilated place is also important, preferably outdoors in a weather-protected location. Closed rooms are not recommended because any escaped gas cannot escape from the room and there is an increased risk of explosion.

In summary, one must pay attention to the following during storage:

  • protect from the sun
  • a well ventilated room, preferably outdoors
  • all valves closed
  • Protective cap on the gas bottle
  • well secured

How do I dispose of a gas cylinder?

If the inspection date for a gas cylinder has not yet passed, you can ask a dealer or DIY store if you can return it there. If the cylinder is not old and in good condition, you may be lucky and get a deposit back.

You can also try to sell the gas cylinder privately. Smaller gas cylinders can possibly be handed in at the hazardous waste yard or at landfill sites, as some offer the disposal of special goods or hazardous substances.

Conclusion

Gas cylinders are versatile, from the kitchen to heating rooms to the health sector. They are available in different designs such as steel, aluminium and plastic, but also filled with various gases.

When using them, one must also pay attention to certain safety precautions to avoid an explosion, as well as the gas bottle should be protected from sunlight and well secured when stored. You can either buy it, rent it or pay a certain deposit for the bottle.

Photo source: Kaewsai / 123rf

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